... is the
guest speaker scheduled for the 141st meeting of the Karl Hess Club, to
convene on March 20, 2006.
John Walsh on "The Key to Kelo"
with Bob Blue
Eminent Domain abuse is one
the most critical issues to arise recently. The Fifth Amendment to
the U.S. Constitution states "nor shall private property be taken for public
use without just compensation."
vs. The City of New London, the Supreme Court held that private
homes and stores could be taken for a development that enhances property
taxes and/or increases payroll and sales taxes revenues.
Also at issue is "just compensation,"
in that many property owners would willingly part with their parcels for
agreeable price. But Eminent Domain is often the first resort, not
the last, because the governmental agency wants the property at the lowest
Finally, the very idea of taking
private property for "public use" only to convey it to another private
party is anathema to fair play, justice, and the sanctity of private property
as a foundation of our social system.
John Walsh is no stranger to local
political controversy. In the past, we've had John speak on local
political shenanigans and transit boondoggles. He's been lauded as
"The Freak Who Stopped The Subway."
John says that he's "the only
leader in the fight for property rights who doesn't own land," and observes
that "Eminent Domain turns landlords and tenants into allies." When
he is not (literally) gagged at MTA meetings, arguing transportation issues,
he is likely the most conspicuous local activist on the redevelopment front.
Kelo is the most nationally prominent
of many cases being contested in localities around our country. It's
been likened to the Dred
Scott case's contentiousness. Could Kelo precipitate another
Across the street from the Ricardo
Montalban Theater (formerly the Huntington Hartford Theatre) on Vine near
Hollywood Boulevard is "The Angelyne Building," slated to be seized, demolished,
and replaced by a "W" Hotel, presumably a more tax lucrative and "highest
and best use" for this parcel.
The Angelyne Building currently
houses Bernard's Luggage, founded and operated for over a half century
by Bernard Blue, father of Bob Blue, who will tell us about his travails
dealing with government agencies intent on converting his property.
Our speakers will tell us how
they intend to make The Angelyne Building "The Alamo of Property Rights."
About John Walsh
Originally from New York City,
where his parents started the first rent strikes in the 1950s, John Walsh
to activism naturally. His "two great heroes are Howard Jarvis and
Malcolm X" and his goal is to "train ten more John Walshes" to expand the
effort. A teacher by trade, John has taught every grade from pre-kindergarten
through college and adult school. He works as a substitute teacher
in and around Los Angeles.
About Bob Blue
Owner of Bernard's Luggage, Bob
has been in the forefront of Hollywood activism. As reported by the Castle
Coalition in May, the Los Angeles City Council approved a $325 million
project at the intersection of Hollywood and Vine, including a fancy new
296-room W Hotel, thus displacing Bernard's Luggage.
The Karl Hess Club will present
the Samuel Edward Konkin III Memorial Chauntecleer,
an award for activism in the field of Agorism.
ADDENDUM: David Harmon
took these photos at the above meeting.
Prior to Walsh and Blue's
talk, the KHC awards committee announced the Chauntecleer
Award to Wally Conger.