Deescalation minutes – 2/17/2012

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A goodfaith effort to remember what occurred at the last meeting. Minutes by Allegra.

 

Dylan said that the Occupy the SEC march went very well. No real need for deescalation, it was a great event.

Oakland medic brings up gay squat and it is added to the agenda.
Requiem brings a reportback from 86th Street/Amsterdam church (West Park), stating that everything is going smoothly there. Once again, no need for deescalation. It has become a co-opt, with people paying seven dollars per night to stay. However, he notes that this will change in the very near future and it’s a temporary predicament. No problems.

 

Conversation shifts to gay squat. A few people bring up the fact that deescalation has no jurisdiction to help them without permission from Ben, the owner, who is currently involved with a legal battle over the space. They have been dealing with drugs, a fifteen year old who has allegedly prostituted herself, and countless fights. Police and child services have both been there to check on the girl. This is not officially considered OWS housing, it is just Ben’s apartment.
A few people question.. should we should step in/ask if they need help? Some feel that doing so would be overstepping boundaries, but a few residents of the space have come to ask for help. Ben doesn’t want to deal with it, and the group is afraid that if something bad happens and no one is there to deescalate the situation.. things might spiral.
Other people in the group mention that deescalation only applies to spaces/groups which follow the principles of solidarity/community standards.
Prince takes it upon himself to go mention this to Ben. Everyone uptwinkles that this is alright with the group.

Big Chris says that he feels uncomfortable with gay squat’s questionable activities being looped into OWS. Josh says that he feels.. like the individuals in the space might need our help, and this is more important than how we’re viewed from any outside perspective. I say that they might not want our help. We just have to ask and see.

The group agrees that if they want our help, they have to go along with the principles of solidarity/community standards.

 

There is brief talk about livestream, saying that if anyone needs deescalation with them during marches, the group will be happy to provide as long as they’re made aware beforehand.

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