Wingnut Member in the New York Times

Posted: May 1, 2014 in Uncategorized

Tammie and her mom in front of the Wingnut

Wingnut Tammie Hagen-Noey made the front page of the New York Times today,  in an article titled “Changed Life of the Poor: Squeak By, and Buy a Lot”.

The article was largely about the Senate failing to raise the Federal minimum wage yesterday.

The reporter and photographer from the New York Times had come to Richmond and the Wingnut to interview Tammie and learn about how folks making minimum wage scrape by.

Unfortunately, as usual, the New York Times article missed several important points.

One being that Tammie is a fast food worker, and heavily involved in the Fight for 15 and Raise Up Va campaigns.  Tammie will be speaking at today’s May  Day parade and rally on the many issues workers face in the Fast Food Industry.

We aren’t sure where the article gets the idea that Tammie or other low income workers ‘buy alot’. Cell phones are pretty necessary these days to even get a job, but beyond that Tammie and others do not have money for luxuries.

Another aspect that they skimmed over, was where Tammie lives. They called it a group home. Well, the Wingnut Anarchist Collective is a group home of sorts, but more accurately it is a collective. Being a collective, and choosing to live collectively helps Tammie and everyone else here survive and even thrive. Collective living is a huge part of how many low income people are able to survive. Solidarity and mutual aid are necessary for low income people in this economy.

Tammie, though low income herself, spends many hours a week involved in political activism and community work. She is active in many campaigns besides the Fast Food Workers, helping with Food Not Bombs, the fight to keep Monroe Park Open and Free, and the fight against a stadium in Shockoe Bottom, and the Crossover health clinic to educate lay health promoters on the disease of addiction to name a few. Today Tammie is spending her morning preparing food to be served at the May Day cookout, and has previously helped with catering for the Trans Day of Rememberance among other things.

Twice a week Tammie helps with the Wingnut’s neighborhood produce distribution, bringing fresh fruits and veggies into the low income food desert where the Wingnut is located. Once a month she helps with the Southern Barton Heights Mobile Food Pantry, also organized by the Wingnut.

Additionally, the article left out the hours and hours Tammie spends working on her gardening and landscaping business, Growing Home. Tammie is the head gardener at the Wingnut, and has dozens of seedlings growing all over the place.

We understand that the mission of the article did not allow for all of this information to be included. But it is important that Tammie be represented as a full, amazing, inspirational human being who is fighting back against the odds and against capitalism to make a better life for herself and her community.



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