Thursday, March 14, 2019

Writer Rachel Monroe is in Marfa, Texas, “I am going to write a book! Yay/yike!”

Rachel Monroe is the author of Monkeywrench. This exceptional piece of writing is about our City of Lake Worth. A small City that became part of a very big political struggle in February 2016.

The City’s municipal elections were held in March 2016. And when it was all over we all thought we’d seen it all.

And little did we all know that just 8½ months later a man named Mr. Donald J. Trump would become the next President of the United States.

But anyhow. . .

Below is the link to read the piece by Rachel Monroe for yourself. And then later you’ll want to read it again.

Prior to going off to Texas the writer was observing the goings-on here. What Monroe produced was a work of nonfiction. But it reads like fiction. You’ll be scratching you head and asking yourself, “This really happened?”

Later in this blog post you’ll learn about Monroe. And more about Lake Worth too.

Many new and recently-new residents of this City will have a hard time believing this all happened. Rachel Monroe chronicled the entire thing. She interviewed a lot of people. She embedded herself in the story. And it was later published in the Oxford American.

Briefly, in late 2015 trouble was brewing. Everyone could feel it. Fresh off a huge defeat at the “Briger Forest” in Palm Beach Gardens and then another devastating defeat in Ft. Lauderdale, the Anarchists set their eyes on the City of Lake Worth. For many years the Anarchs had settled in this City and it was their home base from where they launched ‘actions’ in South Florida. But for the most part they tried to keep a low profile here in the City. And for the most part it didn’t work. But they tried. It was sort of truce most times with law enforcement and the City government.

But that all ended in a very big way.

Starting around November/December 2015 they began to arrive. Anarchs from all over the country. From Oakland and the Midwest and the Northeast. By beat up old buses and rusted old cars. Any way they could. Everyone was wondering what was going to happen.

And then a flyer appeared.

Portions of that actual flyer are below. It was hard to miss. It was pasted on electric poles and traffic signs all over the City and all over the Downtown too.

Now that the stage is set.

Last August marked the two-year anniversary of writer Rachel Monroe’s piece published in the Oxford American about our six square mile City.

Meet the writer, now in Texas writing another book.

Please pause momentarily for Tweet to load:

Follow Rachel Monroe on Twitter on her quest to write a book for a major New York publisher: Click on this link.

And continue reading to learn more about this exceptional writer. If you didn’t know, Monroe spent a lot of time talking to people in our City of Lake Worth. And one of those people was Yours Truly.

This happened to be during one of our more, well, let’s just say spirited election seasons. And what Monroe later had published created quite the stir.

Without further ado. . .

From the Oxford American,
“Later that day I met with
Wes Blackman. . .”

As recently as last month was still getting surprised, incredulous calls and emails from people who just somehow happened to stumble across this article by Monroe in the Oxford American, titled “Monkeywrench”. Emails and people calling, “Why haven’t I seen this before!”

The article by Rachel Monroe really is a unique and highly interesting look back at what happened in our little City of Lake Worth back in 2015–2016.

After the article was published used several excerpts from this very lengthy, extremely well-written, and highly entertaining work. Recommend you read in it’s entirety when you have the time. Following the images from Everglades EarthFirst! (see below, “Yes! It is Happening”) is the first excerpt. For excerpt #2 use this link. From Monroe’s article:

“Most people in the room were not Floridians; instead, they lived in fringe towns—Ithaca, Bloomington, Oakland—where the rent was cheap enough that radical politics could flourish.” [emphasis added]

For excerpt #3 use this link:

“. . . I [writer Rachel Monroe] walked in late to find a dozen tattooed people pretending to be a machine. Tentatively at first and then with increasing enthusiasm, they pantomimed the pulling of levers and the pushing of buttons and other nonsensical but orderly tasks.

Without further ado, hope you enjoy the very first excerpt below the images from EF! (EarthFirst!) plastered all over town in February of 2016.

“. . . we will converge in Lake Worth . . . seating based on willingness to risk arrest. Hurrah!”

A ‘musical’ is code for something else entirely.

“Later that day I met with Wes Blackman, the blogger who’d been leading the anti-Hartman,* anti-musical faction. The anarchists’ nemesis. . .

. . . turned out to be a tall, broad-bodied man who spoke so reasonably and blandly—about the history of zoning ordinances in the town, and height restrictions, and other wonky city-planning topics—that I nearly forgot the rancor he embodied online. ‘I’m a liberal Democrat, but the political spectrum in Lake Worth is skewed so terribly that most people here would see me as a right-wing Republican type,’ he told me. ‘They think that money is an evil, that people having the ability to make money somehow is a bad thing, that there’s greed involved. That if someone’s making profits, that’s not the way it should be, and we should live at a subsistence level so other people can live better? I’ve really tried to figure it out, and I end up scratching my head.’ ”

Moving forward. . .

Following the 2015–2016 Election Season here in this City things began to return to normal. Well, at least as normal as it can be in this tiny municipality. It was a relatively uneventful Election Season in 2016–2017 when a long-sitting do-nothing finally got booted off the dais and the revolving door in another district revolved once again, the “spinning seat” some call it. That would be District 4.

But then in January 2018 things went nuts again.

An environmentalist from the Sierra Club and most prolific letter-writer to The Palm Beach Post thought he could become the mayor of Lake Worth. And as recent history has proven, it was downright delusional to think he couldn’t. But he didn’t win. He got clobbered.

And hope springs eternal. And much thanks to Rachel Monroe for chronicling what happened two years ago. And maybe even that ‘spinning seat’ will finally stop spinning next year following the upcoming 2018–2019 Election Season!

*“Hartman” is the Anarchist Ryan Hartman who lost in a landslide to then-Vice Mayor Scott Maxwell in March 2016. To read Hartman’s fact-challenged concession message following that election use this link. An excerpt:

“By the end of the campaign, they [press] refused to even call me [Hartman] for interviews (in fact, Kevin Thompson [beat reporter at Post] lied in two of his articles about trying to contact me).

Where we are now: Commissioner Andy Amoroso is now Vice Mayor. He ran unopposed this year. Mayor Pam Triolo was re-elected for the second time in 2016. And then again this year. Commissioner Maxwell faced the voters once again in March 2018 too. He won again. But this time to a three-year term.

Maxwell’s challenger was endorsed by the Post.