WG/Strategies/Anti-Oppression/Minutes/Oct 23 2011

From wiki.occupyboston.org
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Anti-Oppression Home

Anti-Oppression meeting, Community Church Boston – 10/23/11 - 5pm-7:15pm

Check in – name and how you're feeling about our work so far

A few things that folks said that grabbed my interest:
-Maureen: conference call with 16 other occupation sites, this work is widespread.
-Nat: worry about lack of accountability process. OB working group?
-Carl: occupy the hood: “interesting”. What will OB look like when the physical structure is no longer there?
-Chris: worrisome reaction to eviction stuff
-Mariama: bringing people together is great but chaotic


  1. History: group came into existence because multiple groups (allies against racism OB working group, check your privilege, boston community allies, youth organizers) got together to put together an anti-oppression workshop at the GA. Support magnetized. Messy process led to GA passing a proposal to use Friday GA for workshop. Very little time to plan. Not 100% clear who was leading everything. Thursday night meeting: Split into two groups: longterm & immediate workshop plan. Challenges around structure & planning. Friday – finished agenda. Got rained out so had to pass another proposal at Friday's GA to get workshop moved to Sunday. Workshop: agenda transparent & available on Wiki. Large amount of feedback. Followed up with statement/announcement on Thursday's GA.
  2. updates 20mins
    1. (White?) allies: group has not been functioning. Probably because they assume that we're handling it.
    2. POC (statement group): what brings everyone together? Trying to figure it out.
    3. Community groups: 3 meetings, monday evenings. Mostly staff members of community orgs. Some OB folk present. Developing more of a reciprocal relationship with OB. Joanie involved in teach-in groups. They brainstormed ideas of teach-ins. Offered to find folk to do those teach-ins. Bringing strong update to community group tomorrow. They need to try and connect FSU (free school university). Relationship between teach-ins and community visit?
    4. Youth organizers? Planning to have another meeting. Community tent fell apart after raids. George trying to it back. Nat: community tent moving forward. Ester: sign up sheet circulating.
    5. Women's group: formed last week. 3 meetings, saturdays & wednesday. Large listserv. Multi generational attendance. 2ndmeeting: decided group would be a female only space. Dealing with immediate needs.
    6. GLBTG caucus: queer tent came down. Decision was made by possibly safety/logistics to remove tent. Nobody seemed to care. Other tents replaced space. Why didn't anyone decide it was important to hold that space? Brendon has been sharing his space. What do we do with this? Angela had enough faith that this would get resolved. She feels that it was not intentional.
    7. anti-oppression statement group: 2ndmeeting today. Folk concerned and feeling urgent about needing a statement for SPP. Goal is to have an anti-oppression statement. Lotta brainstorming. Small groups. Researching different proposals. Reaching out to other groups not being reached by OB.
    8. Other working groups of interest:
      1. Anarchists caucuses: issues of hierarchy and oppression in OB. Want to hold neighbor assemblies. Mostly white male, but have been doing solidarity work.
      2. Solidarity working group: trying to reach out to community orgs
      3. Transparency group
  3. ways of being (right now) – challenges in the group. How to move forward? 20Mins
    1. Groundrules:
      1. step up/step back
      2. assume best intention
      3. active listening
      4. allow space for disagreement
      5. no shame no blame – don't attack. Phh: oops/ouch/snaps or twinkle
      6. Speak for yourself/I statements
      7. facilitators: progressive stack/speaking order
      8. practice both/and (more than one reality can exist)
      9. facilitation techniques that allow different kinds of emotional work to be done; one idea: have a big piece of paper that people could add to in a non-verbal way; also sometimes allow two minutes of silence; pychiatric disabilities are sometimes invisible
  4. Should this group exist? How? What should our structure be? 1Hr
    1. Proposal: This group could exist as a coordinating space for all the different anti-oppression working groups and caucuses; could be an umbrella group that meets once a week for smaller groups to fit in.
    2. Proposal: whatever the configuration is, we should make sure we have a white anti-racis group
    3. Yes. We should exist. We could call an assembly of the 7 subgroups listed, and maybe we could emerge with a powerful voice, how to have a stronger voice, how to proceed with actions and teachins, how to keep each other safe. These subgroups include: POC, anti-oppression/statement group, glbtq, white allies, anarchists, women, youth
    4. What do we do that's not duplicative? If we proceed, we should know the answer to that. There's power in naming a group that is a representative body of all those other groups.
    5. This anti-oppression group can model idea of coming up with values, not positions. “Leadership is not a dirty word.” We could model sharedleadership.
    6. Capacity. Do the working groups have the capacity to keep themselves going. Could this group support the subgroups if they're low on capacity. Could this be a space where we identify space within the OB that is missing our voices? We could send groups of three or so to help out on the facilitation committee for example.
    7. Instead of saying that all these subgroups should exist, we might recognize that if, by whatever natural process, they can't exist or don't have the resources, they could fold into the larger anti- oppression group.
    8. How are we accountable to one another?
    9. Notice how ableism emerges in our meetings. This meeting, for example, is happening in a very linear fashion. Systems of oppression are connected to experiences of personal violence and family violence. And somehow our meetings need to address emotional health and processing as well as “getting stuff done.”
    10. Use assembly of working groups to continue our own healing; give ourselves space to deal with our own oppression; use general assembly to deal with our own oppression. Model continued anti-oppression work, accountability, and get a sense of where everyone else is as
    11. Every 20mins do a moment of silence.
    12. More pair shares
    13. Concerned about “rush to do” OB attitude. May leave differently abled people behind. Don't wanna scape goat.
    14. Let's continue the group!
    15. Things unanswered:
      1. How to connect those unplugged folks occupying
      2. Wikispace? How to get this work out there!
  5. What's next?
    1. Next meeting: Next sunday at 5pm Location?
    2. Facilitators: Cathy & Nicole
    3. Timekeepers:
    4. Note taker:
    5. Feedback from anti-oppression workshop.
  6. Occupy the hood
    1. OTH was an event in Dudley Sq. which is a predmoinantly black and latino community, held in Dudley Sq. on Friday night. And there was an anti-police brutality demo on Saturday. There were concerns about a bunch of white people descending on Dudley, but I felt like it was great to be in that space, to hear people's ideas; I felt that this was awesome; I didn't feel out of place; I felt like I was there in solidarity. I talked to Skeet; he's really thinking; I think we should have some conversations with him; Direct Action is really appealing to people who don't feel like challenging their oppression; we need to make challening our oppression as attractive as direct action
    2. I thought it was a really good experience. Tufts had a huge sign in solidarity but I wish they had had a quieter presence. Direct Action wants to work with OTH and needs to do a better job. On Saturday, both OTH and OB thought they were there in solidarity with the other

Network map of OB email lists?