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The Community Wellness Working Group
Community Safe Space Facilitation, Mediation and Conflict Evolution
We are the members of the Community Wellness Working Group (formerly the Mediation Committee). We are committed to facilitating understanding, mutual respect and safe space within the Occupy Boston community through group skill-building workshops, mediation among members of the movement, resource referrals and designation of physical and emotional safe spaces.
WE PROPOSE to hold Occupy Boston community wellness trainings and working group skill-building workshops so that many of our members are available to the community as mediators.
WE PROPOSE to create a process by which members of the movement are asked to work with mediators and other parties involved to avoid having to leave camp.
WE PROPOSE to create a process by which members of the movement are asked, after all other avenues have been exhausted, to leave camp.
WE PROPOSE the collection of comprehensive information about resources for those leaving camp indefinitely, for any reason.
WE PROPOSE the designation of a Safe Space tent for conducting Community Wellness activities and as a home base for resource distribution.
WE PROPOSE the adoption of the white armband to identify members of the Community Wellness working group and to indicate our commitment to neutrality in all matters for which we serve as mediators.
November 1, 2011
Good Neighbor Agreement ratified by morning GA
Proposal for De-escalation and Removal of dangerous individuals/evictions ratified by morning GA
October 29, 2011
Joint Proposal passed with amendments! To be uploaded on the wiki soon!
Joint meeting between Comm Wellness, Safety, Nonviolence, and DA Monday 10/31 9pm to create proposal for an eviction protocol. Meet upstairs in South Station.
October 28, 2011
Possibility of emergency GA to pass the joint Community Wellness/Safety proposal
Next meeting: 2pm, Sunday 10/30
Conflict Resolution & Mediation
10 steps For De-Escalation:
These points are based on a de-escalation training held on 1 October 2011 at Occupy Boston. Laminated copies may be found the Medics tent. Suggestions and amendments to this list are welcome.
- Keep your cool; by remaining calm and relaxed you model and help the other person(s) calm down. Practice breathing and staying present and grounded.
- Remember, your purpose is to “cool everything down.” You are not there to solve problems, argue or convince anyone of anything. You want to bring the arousal level down so that people can engage in a calm discussion.
- Voice: Keep your voice low and monotonous
- Stance: Turn your shoulders and feet 45 degrees from the person(s) so you can easily step away. Keep both hands visible and open.
- Distance: Keep some space between yourself and the agitated person – allow about twice the space you would normally use when talking to someone
- Use non-judgmental language: A simple “what’s going on?” followed by “that sounds pretty stressful/painful/scary/upsetting.” Or: you can try to distract the aggressive person with a question or a suggestion that they join you for a walk.
- If two people are in conflict, try to separate them as quickly as possible. Once you're alone with them, identify yourself (your name;and that you’re a medic or mediator if you think it’s appropriate) and ask what they need in that moment. Allow them space to be flustered/agitated/upset.
- Offer options to cool down:
- Go for a walk
- Drink some water
- Sit in a quiet space
- Talk it out ( with someone not involved in the incident)
- Make a phone call to a friend or family member
- Get something to eat
- Use resources at Occupy site: Medic tent, Spirituality tent, Library tent, “safe space” tent, leaving the occupy site completely, going inside to South Station
- Take care of both the aggressor and the person being aggressed; don’t leave anyone alone.
- Take care of yourself! De-escalation is draining work. Make sure to drink some water, sit in a quiet space and/or talk to a friend after you have dealt with a conflict situation.
Establishing a Rapport of Respect
- Get to know the person you’re talking to!
- Respect each individual’s gender identity, even if it doesn’t make sense to you.
- Do not assume that all people of transgender experience want to talk about being transgender.
- Use the pronouns and name the individual uses and prefers.
- Ask only questions relevant to the service you offer; do not ask questions to satisfy your own curiosity.
- Be mindful of your assumptions.
- Admit when you don’t know the answer and respectfully ask for the person’s help.
- Apologize, but don’t over-apologize for mistakes.
Websites for crisis prevention, management and resolution.
Based on: Conflict Resolution at wikispaces