WG/Strategies/Anti-Oppression/Minutes/Oct 30 2011

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Anti-Oppression Home

Anti-Oppression Working Group

Meeting Notes - October 30, 2011

Community Change Inc



Check-in (10)

  • Chose scribe, note taker, time watcher, etc
  • Go around: name, oops & ouch moment

Cathy, Michelle, Irene, Carolina, Stacia, Zoe, Nicole, Meck, Maureen, Chris, Ester, Susie H, Bhavin, Michael M.

Ground rules & discussion (30)

1. Step up, Step back

  • Facilitators can help w/ this
  • Its hard work

2. Active listening

  • Actively engaging with speaker: nodding, affirmative gestures
  • Don’t multi-task while someone else is speaking
  • Possible: not raising hand until someone else is finished speaking

3. Allow Space for disagreement

4. Don’t blame/ shame/ attack

5. Speak for yourself, Use I statements

6. Progressive Stack & Diversity of facilitation techniques

  • Have people who self-identify with marginalized groups put higher on the stack
  • EX: people of color, woman, trans, queer, …
  • ALSO, can put people who have talked a lot lower on stack … Facilitators
  • Discuss this ahead of time so it is not on facilitator to decide how to manage

7. Practice ‘both/ and’ thinking not just ‘either/ or’

  • more than 1 reality exists
  • EX: should we go to gov. and beg/ ask for stuff or create our own world…  actually both are possible
  • be mindful of ‘neither/ nor’ possibility
  • EX: glass half full, half empty?  One could also say: glass is partly full of water and partly full of air

8. Oops, Ouch, What’s up with that? (& positive hand gestures)

  • What’s up with that?:  if something may be an ouch, this is an option that asks for clarification and can open up discussion

Create toolbox:

  • ethics of groundrules
  • specific practices and ideas that we have used/ going to use to diversify facilitation techniques

Not going to include 1.  Assume best intentions

  • might not leave room for disscussion


Working Group Updates (15)

Women’s Caucus

  • currently a space for females
  • purpose
  • creating a process: discussion about how we are going to decide things
  • 100 listening; 15-40 in meetings
  • being visible at camp & accountable in decision making

Occupy the Hood

  • No update on internal discussion
  • In email: Occupy the Hood would like to ask people to endorse electoral candidates
  • Questions about relationship between Occupy Boston and Occupy the Hood
  • is it an event or a working group?
  • it looks like it is an ongoing group
  • Centrally controlled group, mainly around Jamal Crawford
  • Term has roots in NY (Malcolm X … Center)

Anarchist Caucus

  • Concern expressed over people always wearing masks…
  • it is a tactic that may loose its effectiveness
  • people wearing masks may not identify as anarchists
  • hierarchies in media group
  • Moving to other spaces
  • privately owned or foreclosed spaces
  • legality of these things

People of Color

  • to ally with Occupy the Hood or not?
  • have had 4 meetings
  • working towards statement of purpose
  • homelessness issue

Community Organization group

  • Monday meetings in the past
  • Next meeting Tuesday November 1
  • Purpose of group: possibly moving in direction of becoming more action-oriented

Still being discussed

Statements of purpose

  • formed to be the group to work on an Anti-Oppression statement of purpose
  • take ‘skeleton’ of ideas they have come up with, and discuss them with other groups.
  • have Saturday and Sunday meetings in the future
  • once Statement of Purpose is completed, the group plans to dissolve

Transparency Group

  • from emails: having meeting Tuesday (we think)
  • trying to figure out regular meeting times for groups and possibly posting them somewhere else

Queer/ Trans Caucus

  • working on putting up Anti-Oppression signs up around camp
  • this group is meeting now…  Can anyone fill in?

Allies against racism, White Allies

  • Question over the existence of group

Occupy Racism conference call

  • anti-racism work at occupations
  • messy at most other occupations … but everyone is doing work!
  • developing email/ resource sharing page
  • wants to stay connected to Anti-Oppression group

National conference call:  Action about Foreclosures

  • Occupy folks and community groups
  • Two calls so far
  • City Life has been on this call
  • Seems that people are using City Life model without talking to City Life first
  • Possible Day of Action Nov. 21, 22, 23
  • national calls about coordinating actions…
  • possibility of elite group arising that
  • how do people find out about these calls?

Youth Group  

Choosing Direction (30)

  • 4 broad categories of what this group could be …. ??
  • Network group
  • increase transparency of anti-oppression group
  • increase visibility of work being done (by many groups) around anti-oppression
  • empower accountability at camp
  • offer AO training & facilitation
  • offer a safe space
  • Coordinate between AO working groups (internal) and reach out to other groups (external)
  • what can we do for anti-oppression now?
  • doing actions we think are needed
  • posting anti-oppression ground rules on your tent
  • there is a Protest-Chaplan group
  • are we going to ‘put out fires’ at camp?
  • hopes that Safety group does not mirror oppressive ways of this country’s police force
  • leadership in dealing with urgent issues as well as developing long term strategy... as a group, we want to do both
  • we are meeting people and creating relationships throughout this process

Message for Reps (20)

Choosing Reps (5)

Closing Out (10)  Go-Round of thoughts

  • there are real emotions at stake
  • learning from these meetings and shaping interactions
  • here to contribute b/c I cannot be on the ground that much
  • questions about if groups will stay together after this;  not feeling excited about doing task-oriented stuff at occupy, but want to work towards it
  • made a lot of connections, hope to keep them over time
  • oil-can with dynamite flying through space…  will not last forever in this form
  • grateful for this group as a space for reflection; movement moment: need to deal with fast-paced work here
  • commitment to this, very involved in on the ground work and it is tiring but I am going to continue
  • urgency.. need to not worry about outcomes and just do my work
  • we have won so much already! Claim our victories, reflection time, and take care of each other
  • I appreciate that this group exists.  ?s over long term strategy
  • Learning space, want to contribute
  • gentle entry into this movement

Next meeting: Saturday 10/5