11/2 POC Working Group Mtg Minutes

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POC Working Group/Caucus meeting notes
11.02.11

i. Introduction:
- Facilitation team
- Two person brief intro: name and why are you here.

ii. Brief review of discussion guidelines that was agreed upon by the group.

iii. Sub-committee report backs.

§         Education and Research sub-committees have merged.

§         Facilitation:
There’s another facilitation training on Sunday the 6th after the POC working group meeting, and is open for anyone who’s interested to join.

§         Immigrant Solidarity:
Immigrants solidarity march being planned in next couple weeks, and they’re coordinating with the Labor working group of the OWS as well.

iv. Report back from 11.01.11 emergency meeting on the Spokes Council (SC)

§         Brief introduction of the Spokes Council: why it is being introduced in the movement and how it’s structured.

§         Several things that were passed through consensus:
- Communications between the spokes and members of Operations Groups (OG) and Caucuses will be based on trials for the first few meetings to see how things work out. Some ideas: texts or use of flags.
- Spokes rotate at every meeting. No individual will represent as a spoke for two consecutive SC. People will step out to let others step in for the role.
- How is a spoke selected?
People will sign up what days they can attend. When signed up people show up at the SC meetings, a name will be drawn out of the hat, who will represent as a spoke for the POC Caucus.

§         Sign up sheet passed around for the first SC taking place on Friday, the 4th of November at 7PM. Location TBA.

v. Proposals:

§         Movement from Justice in El Barrio: Mikey
Occupy El Barrio in East Harlem holding a dialogue with OWS, invites POC WG to:
- publicly endorse the dialogue (there are other working groups who have already endorsed);
- help with flyer-ing or any other promotional activities;
- attend the General Assembly at OWS tomorrow (11.03) to support.

Group passed on consensus to the proposal.
Occupy El Barrio dialogue
at Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center, on November 7th at 7:30PM.

§         Media/video proposal: Danielle
Refer to the proposal document to review.

Clarifying questions:
a. What is the difference between “personal use” and “public use” noted in the proposal?
> Some participants/videographers were teachers who wanted to document the conversations to use in their classrooms. Others documenting for historical archiving, writing articles, etc. These are all “public use”
b. Is there any live-streaming or possibilities of doing so?
> Not yet. (?) But Press sub-committee is responsible.
c. What about facebook status(es)/ twitter updates?
> Public!
c. If media (such as Colorlines) wants to come and document/interview some members, do they go to Press sub-committee or do they announce at the meeting?
> Press sub-committee will clarify the process via facebook/email/blogs, etc.
> Talk to somebody from the Press and they’ll be able to find individuals that the media can personally interview.

Concerns:
a. Members in the POC WG fluctuate at every meeting so it is complicated to get consensus that is concrete.
b. Disagree with the idea of having a “committee” to approve the media contents for everybody in the group.
c. Freedom of press: Mainstream media is ignoring/misreporting. Hence, individuals who come in with camera to document and help spread the movement is a friend.
d. Important to understand why certain individuals may not want to be photographed or videotaped. This should be a safe space (as in no documentation) because there are individuals who have more at stake for publicizing their participation in this movement. For example: a person with certain visitor legal status might have problems in their home country when they return.

Friendly amendments:
a. It’s not possible to police every content of the media so take that part out.
b. Add the reason why certain individuals may not want to be documented in the proposal.

Passed on consensus.

§         Queer-trans Working Group proposal: Thanu
The POC WG’s endorsement to a talk led by Audre Lorde Project.
(Info needed!)
Passed on consensus.

§         Inclusion proposal: Preach
The POC WG has agreed on making it a POC-only space. It needs to open to white people while limiting their participation.

Clarifying questions:
a. “Restrict” participation? What does it mean?
> Somebody may not want to hear white person’s perspective while addressing certain issues of racism
> White person can’t block
b. Any capacity of their participation? What will they do besides watch?
c. What is the point of letting white people in the space if they cannot participate?
d. Are you going to form your own group if this group decides to keep it POC-only space?
e. What is the “strategy” behind having white people as observers?
> not answering question (d) right now.
> it sends a certain message when we say they’re “not allowed” .
> for transparency/ strategy purposes, open the group.
> going into LGBTQ space as a straight person

Amendment suggestions:
> Open specific times white person can participate.
> Allocate specific times (maybe first 15 minutes) as a POC-only space, in case somebody who feels uncomfortable can address her/his concerns.

Concerns:
Pro~
a. If white people are coming in, assumptions can be made that they’re there in solidarity and not to challenge. Important to do outwork.
> Point of information: there’s already a white ally group who wants to work with the POC WG.
b.  As long as “solidarity” is centered, white individuals should be welcomed.
c. Latinos are diverse group and at times, certain Latino members have felt uncomfortable because the rest of the group assumed them to be white.
d. Need to “educate” the “educators” (white people?), which is why it’s necessary to open.
e.  This is a public space so putting a “cap” on white people’s participation may give them more “fuel” to attack the group.

Cons~
a. Completely against the proposal because there’s already a group of white allies who understand POC WG’s position.
b. This conversation is taking up too much of our time that could be spent in doing more “work”.
c. It’s the POCs in the group who are attacking the POC WG. White people have no concerns.
d. Challenges noted in the proposal are very right-wing critiques.
e. We can keep it POC only group or have it include white folks. But if it is the latter they should have equal say.
f. Don’t want to work with white militants.
g. What is the mission of the group?
h. Safe space does not exist.
i. We need to build power in our own communities first.
j. Type of white people who come to POC only meeting are not the type of white people we want to be around.
k. Learn from white people. We do not have any relationship with White allies.
l. This is a family thing. White people are not included.
m. I was Latino/ Gay. I do not see color. It is about right/ wrong.
n. We need to reach out to light skin pocs. Light skin POCs have been policed and that is wrong.

PROPOSAL:

Need to work on Mission Statement before we go further with Preach’s Proposal. Preach was fine with that.

On Sunday we will have a smaller Meeting to discuss Mission Statement.

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