Monday, November 25, 2002

From the In Box: Pulling the Plug VIII
More on Mama Gaia's:

It is with gratitude and a profound sense of humility that I write this response to your emails of support. Since the suspension of operations at Mama Gaia's Cafe, we have become the subject of a powerful show of support from customers, friends, and families. Said support has been manifested in offers of financial contributions big and small, offers to organize fundraising events, and even campaigns of support-letter writing. Unmistakably, such tremendous show of support has taken the management team by surprise. It has been humbling and refreshing to feel and see a community asking us to remain in business and continue our mission of community building and social justice. We felt very much alone and overwhelmed by the developments, the motives behind them, and the unnecessary use of pressure imposed upon us; however, to see members of the Cambridge community, ranging from students to business owners and even homeless people, expressing their sympathy and support is at least unusual and, at best, a sign of hope in times of hopelessness and a clear indication that, even under very difficult circumstances, most of them financial, we have done something right and there are a lot of community members that do recognize and appreciate all the hard work and passion invested in the vision and mission of Mama Gaia's Cafe.

I would like to take this opportunity to brief you on the current status of the negotiations to reopen Mama Gaia's. I am happy to report that your support has allowed us to reopen between Thursday or Friday of this week. However the financial damage of the suspension of sales is expected to have repercussions as we approach the slow business cycle of the Christmas break. Therefore, we find ourselves in need to continue our fundraising efforts to ensure that we won't be closed again. To that end, and in honoring the Spirit in which help has been offered, we will work with many of you to organize fundraising events; we will ask the support of the hundreds of talented musicians, artists and performers, as well as the intellectual, activist, media, and student communities that make up the bulk of Mama Gaia's customer and support base, to join us and show their commitment by participating in activities to fundraise and by increasing their visits as customers of the Cafe.

I have asked Martin Hunter to serve as liaison for all of you who would like to be updated as to our status. In addition, if you wish to circulate updates about Mama Gaia's Cafe situation or send out calls for help to various listserves, we ask you to please coordinate your efforts with Martin in order to avoid duplication of efforts. In turn, all special cases and/or people wishing to help in organizing or performing will be channeled by Martin to Rafael Medina. Rafael will serve as coordinator for special projects. His duties will include to organize the flow of the events, to bring together volunteers with coordinators and to oversee that the outreach is well done so as to maximize the result from all these efforts. Performers, organizers, and idea people should contact Martin requesting to be directed over to Rafael. This way they will continue to be in the main stream of communication while serving on a special projects team.

A bank account has been prepared for those of you who want to help financially. All contributions will have the option to be turned into stock in the equity of the company in the near future, or just be treated as a loan with terms to be determined on an individual basis. Proper documentation will be provided upon receipt of contribution and will be personally guaranteed by me. More information is available to better inform your financial decision. Please contact us to make arrangements. Juan Carlos Kaiten will serve as administrator for the funds and will be in charge of proper documentation of entries and proper communication to those with financial links to us. For all financial questions and contributions please write.

Finally, I would like to pledge with renewed breath and depth my commitment to the principles of community, solidarity, social justice, peace, equality, nature, diversity, and spirituality that make up the fiber of the Mama Gaia's experience. Rest assured that Mama Gaia's will continue to be not only a part but a reflection of this community, which has now grown and expanded to all of you. All our past, and now our current, efforts represent the heart and soul of all of us who still believe in our birthright to live in a better place based on dignity and respect, on true love and commitment to our community and those who will one day continue this age-long struggle for freedom and justice. We will not give in, we will stand out for what is right, it is the only way we can breathe. We can't and will not have any other way.

Thank you sincerely for your support. -- Pedro Noe Morales, founder, Mama Gaia's Cafe

Thanks to Media Dietician George Mokray.

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