Monday, February 19, 2007

Worker Protest at Burning Man Headquarters

Today, Feb. 18, 2007, a few workers, some with their heads covered by paper bags, staged a small demonstration outside of Burning Man headquarters in San Francisco to protest what they say are reductions in pay, forced "death waivers" and lack of adequate health care for the workers who primarily clean the desert up after the Burning Man event.


Ted said...

The regional folks must have been smoking some 'ignorance is bliss' before walking out.

The Keeper of the Boogaloo Prophecy said...

Surprising how the only way the protestors would come out was unless they either no longer associated themselves with the org or refused to have their pictures taken.

Well, not surprising per se. I guess if your protest gets ignored you could always go back if your face wasn't filmed.

The Keeper of the Boogaloo Prophecy said...

Just rewatched it. I think the regional folks were more or less just coming out to see what the three peoples' complaint was about. Honestly, the comment still stands: if you're going to stand outside, have the cohones to actually DO something to make sure change occurs other than stand outside in a three-person protest on a Sunday.

crabapplemoon said...

Thank you for doing this, for taping it and for posting it. I give kudos to the three of you for standing out there when apparently so many people in the burner community can only act like you're raining on someone's parade.

The counter-protestors were kindof interesting....especially the guy who was trying to hug you and then because you didn't want his damn hug, somehow he decided that meant YOU had a problem. Gotta love that.

Anyhow, thanks for raising consciousness and thanks for standing your ground.



Vox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vox said...

When I first started going to burning man 3 years ago, I was so wide-eyed and awe-inspired at how Burning Man was so different from normal society.

My image of the BORG becomes more and more tarnished every year after i speak to local volunteers & DPW workers. It seems that Burning Man's corporate image grows in proportion to their profits.

Next thing you know, they will be Burning Man brand water packs, tents & bottled water.

Tony said...

Crazy! I love how the anti-protesters come out fairly ignorant about what's going on, but just want to have in on the fun. Very burningman. In fact that is not far off from a representative burningman response to undue seriousness in general. One guy comes out shirtless with beads!

My two cents on the event:

The vast majority of people who are involved with burningman are involved because it's like that -- it operates from a consciousness outside our mainstream 'default world' mentality. Letting go of fears, loving community, spontaneous creativity, radical self-reliance, etc. -- the whole mentality runs against everything in this dominant culture of ours, and events like this, happening away from the playa, seem odd. The protesters have seemingly honest and earnest grievances in a traditional oppositional paradigm -- team A vs. team B. Union vs. Management. And they might be in the right. Maybe burningman has stiffed playa cleanup crews. I don't know. Certainly the "death waiver" is because running burningman shouldn't happen in this culture -- people are building huge fires and ill-advised art structures in the middle of an inhospitable desert and then playing with each other around them. It isn't a safe environment and there aren't seatbelts on the rides. Every year I go, I see at least one thing that makes me think, "wow, that's crazy shit. this could go wrong. this could fug something up bigtime and easily this could be the last burningman." And yet every year the "hippies and satanists" somehow manage to finagle a land use permit from the staid nevada bureau of land management, and the event continues.

For anyone who's seen the Walmart documentary, The High Cost of a Low Price, the "burningman = walmart" sign is obviously ridiculous. When I first saw it, I figured it had to be tongue-in-cheek. But then it wasn't.

Todd said...

i'm a 9 year burner. always pissed a bit at DPW and their ways. but i have now a new level of respect for the group. i plan to promote this protest in any way i can. please add to any list of protest happenings and videos. i will find some ways to spread the word as it evolves.


dodger said...

Burning Man is a FOR profit corporation.