Fem GA planning meeting on 7/26/12

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July 26, 2012
Fem-GA 8/18 Planning Meeting
Natalie is faciliating, Janet taking notes and attending,Alex, Alix, Marie, Melanie, Lorena and Malu

Malu–we should be asking key people to reach out for and with us. A veteran Ffeminist in Harlem, Nelly Hester is one of these people. We should reach out as a collective and in addition to the letter.  Same with Justice for El Barrio. They have been to many planning meetings which they felt were not going anywhere.

So we will translate the letter, not just one email but fun and respectful way to follow up.

Melanie there is an impression of Occupy as imposing and that was the experience with some people during the MLK Jr.  event.

Natalie agreed.  We have to forge the relationships we want to have. Perhaps we can rotate and break up the list–maybe take 3 people on the lists, 3 organizations.
Can you come? How can we Help you to come? How can we contribute –what would be useful for you?

Marie–why not be uptown for 3 times in order to build relationships.

Melanie–September we should consider going “home.”

Marie–Occupy the Hood  Simumba  Occu-evolve is the contact.

Lorena–Sunset Park Occupy Town Square–last week in Jackson Heights was so beautiful, so much culture, also Colombian Day Parade Festival.  Lorena suggested using the banner–Margo has the banner now.  KEEP the banner being passed on.

Marie–yes, a festival and a GA. Numbers are hard to estimate.

Natalie-there is a rent strike there right now and many women are involved

Lorena–consciousness raising group xxxxx

Melanie suggested contacting Colby Hopkins used to be involve dwith a Harlem GA and he could give contacts.

Lorena will contact Nelly; Malu will give her the contact.

Melanie is suggesting T-Shirts.

Melanie is recnating what happened on MLK Jr. day.  Nelly and Queen Mother is another one who is a big organizer and they don’t get along.

Also we should invite Mahina Movemewnt now. Lorena said they would do it.

Alix suggests having different people contacting them it should work out.
Let’s take the high road to invite them both, but invited by different people.

Malu-that’s why the follow-up would work.  It makes it difficult to say no. They are very interested in.

Melanie would contact someone who will contact the Queen Mother. Creech?

Marie is asking if there are younger people who could be involved.   Malu knows them and knows young people

Alix is suggesting that we ask these two people who else they can recommend–people love to do favors like that. Malu agreed.

Natalie is bringing up the organization list that Dior compiled on POC.  Melanie said there are contact numbers for them.

Marie is asking about the contact org’s purposes.
Natalie and others are going through the list.

Melanie raised the issue of a permit, that we went through with the first Feminist GA.Should we have a know your rights teach-in before (30 minutes.)
Would this be presumpotious, Alix asked?
Might be a negative tone?
Alex–could we ask org’s if they think they wor we would need that?  Mel was especailly thinking of immigrant groups/
Marie is concerned about bringing it up.

loarena–if we do do the march after tWe need to let people know–it’s not a permitted assembluy

Alix–we could say that we have spoken to the National Lawyers Guild and they have people are here for support.

Malu said it is useful to people to know, but many do not care.

Alix will talk to the National Lawyers Guild.  Mel recommends Ben.  Call early.

The question of the march–or are we going to walk across the street.  Lorena suggests a people of color march–go to the jail near-by and show support to Mexico.  Mexican Consulate is downtown.

Mel suggests decideing when people are there.
Janet–fem Ga capable of  bringing people together.  We can offer the Fem-Ga as a public platform for local people and people of color orgs already doing to network and invite everyone there to contribute to their campaigns. Mel we’re here to show that Occupy is much more than that.

Yukuko said we should make the poin that it is a feminist concern to address racist issues. The language of support–we can offer you things and we share certain vision and affinities–Move away from word support.  So it is clear that it is not your problem–it is a shared problem issues.

Oppression and specific content issues for women and women of color and people of color.

Alix if we are going to do an action,any action, we have to be very clear of how it’s feminist, not just assume the connection.

Malu–the direct connection in Mexico the organized crime is assassinating women–raped, murdered, dismembered. The lead politicians are connected to organized crime. In September a man who is raising the awareness of that he is coming to New York.  Malu translated his talk on Democracy Now!  He was in NYTimes people of the year–this is totally feminist as it is full of violence against women.

Natalie–let’s move to the organization list.

Marie- the problem of how to decide about the rain .

Natalie-with regard to the march, there are so many issues in the city,w e could make it more localized.

Mel suggests the tone of our being guests, so that we aren’t perceived as being there to take over.

Yukiko we are not all outsiders. There is not a “we” who is or is not formthere.  We want to be here as feminists and we are inviting the conversation.  We do have to be careful, mindful.
Janet we are choosing to create a public space for a public discussion.

Yukiko, in many ways they don’t need us, the community organizers.

Alix, are there any abortion clinics.

Malu what are your feminist issues–we can ask the participants.

Lorena, we should go into this assembly and invite the participants to mayb speakout. What is their struggle?What do they want us to listen to?

Marie likes the idea of telling stories too.

Alix is asking about the form if the last one which sounded like it did just what is being suggested.

Alix also thinks it is important to do break-outs.  Was it successful?

Melanie thinks they are the same thing.  Malu disagrees. melanie liked how it led one to another.  There was a speak-out in the beginning and after that people suggested topics.  At the end we need to add more time to report-backs and ideas that materialize into actions–that could be a possible goal of the GA.

We can encourage people toward actions to follow through on–continuity in the next GAs if we go there.

Alix– since we’re making a big effort to invite orgs of POC, many located in or near harlem, maybe we should have aplace in the agenda for the orgs to speak. So early on we could invite the orgs that are ther to present their work, or something more specific.

Projects will be mentioned, that might stimulate people to talk about x…

Malu suggests that the letter suggests “sharing our fights” rather than making an announcerment.

Yukiko   raises questions what if something comes up in those neighborhoods or with people of color–do we have the apacity to make room in the GA for people to address that?

How do local political issues happen sometimes that we could incorporate?

Lorena–events page Julia Garcia–outraged that 2 Hispanic women were beaten at the Stop-&-Frisk movement and no one spoke out… discussion of what happened.  Melanie said that the first time she was man-handled by cops was when she tried to intervene in an arrest. Marie saw it and said they were man-handled, but not beaten then.  Everyone was yelling–there was not reason for the cops to do that.  More details…

Yukiko–there are going to be lots of incidents but really think of all the ways in which this happens, trying to think of are these the kinds of issues tha allow everyone who is there to feel they are being included in thge converstaions–to be involved in the larger questions

Alex–what is the intention? what are we trying to create? To create and share a larger framework or larger actions? Is Feminist GA to help be invovled?  What function are we trying to serve? OWS is different from a network more to create visibility.

Yukiko alliance builidng to raise questions around feminist values. Fro example Danny Chen Chinatown issues–its a feminist issues becasue in the military the feminization of this man. Gender–culture is the problem.

Why does an issue matter for people of color as a feminist issue/  ex–less and less public schools

Marie–we wante dmore people of color into Occupy.  Yukiko is hoping we are still there.

Natalie is re-engaging Alex’s question.

Alix–an action needs to be though out not action for actions sake, needs a framework. at the GA to have actions come up, that is without a focus, and does not bring in lots of people who are concerned with this purpose and action. There are for example a woman who is charged with murder because her fetus died in Indiana and four others (all of color) who are being charged with with serious crimes becasue while pregnant the fetus died.This has a reason, its feminist and lots of people could be organized around that.

Alex-how is the framework of the day being set up–a panel where people talk about hteir projects.That could be so different is if the intention is set up to increase relationships with people who are there.  Also with the jail sight–is ther a women’s facility around that we could talk about. or How women are in solidarity with male prisoners.

Women in incarceration–helath care system set up for women in incarceration–there is no ‘uterine’ care so women are lost all the time.  That could be a focused issue.

Mel there is a jail in the 20’s where there is a Mother’s Day protests.We could go there some time.

Yukiko we are stake holders in these issues, we can thinkof it and present it that way. In having a community of organizations speak then we have an incredibly tight struture of agenda, People can actually feel dis-associated by that.  So how do we do that bringing people together without disassociation or alienation.  Not to be too structured.

Malue–to Dior who arrived.  Can they talk about the problem as theater (of the oppressed)

Dior has a suggestion from Leigh. Occupy the Stage and Forum project, they could bring some games.

Natalie did a summary for Dior of what we have done already.

Mel is suggesting speak-out-open-space like last time.  Lorena liked Malu’s ideas of what the struggles are of people.

Dior–open space might take longer than I want it too. People are beyond hearing peoples sotires and she wants to do actions. If we are going to do progressive stack, it should be explained.She felt very uncomfortable at the last GA. if things were laid out at the last GA. it was a little defensive–not callinbg on people. That was uncomfortable.

Janet–lots of Occupy issues were coming up an there was so much tension. OWS people were there because of the rain and because we ended up at 60 Wall Street.

Lorena a woman spoke up because she felt it was a safe space.

Alix–was it the form or this particular situation?  This time we probably wont have so many OWS people

Dior–we to bring people of color and develop actions. I am done with the whole discussion. if it’s the same discussion again and again, I wont feel like its worth my time.

Dior I want it to be more impactful. more consequences. to be more concrete-separte from the others.

Maire– what kind of actions do we want–I;m not sure.

Natalie–We could create a newsletter, some media, where orgs or people who are already doing actions–we could be the clearinghouse–a monthly newsleter.

Maire-that’s a nice idea
Alix, Maybe the orgs there and the people at the GA could tell us about actions they hve planned. Maybe we could just get behind these actions–WOWS supporting that action. That might be more useful than an action for action’s sake.

Marie– a dozen responses– We might decide–or future GAs.

Alix–doesn’t have to be GAs

Marie–maybe the GAs should stay GAs–consciusness raising, speaking out, then inbegtween we can participate in these actions.

Mel that was one intentions–If ther is a war aon women, we need to create an army..The fem Gas can create the connections, alliances, networks, support to each other.  Lots of the orgs may know of each other they may not have any occassions to meet up and share what they are working on. May be they will work together, but maybe we would at the end of the year have an action of our own.

Lorena–the actions could come out of the things we these GAs.She wants to do a screening.  Lots of people offered suggestions.She will screen the film on Juarez.

Dior–even with that we can have the orgs talk about their issues.Then we can breakout in the break out groups.So that people just go home and (not) talk about these after.

Marie–afte the Speak Out, then people go to this org.  and discuss their campaigns, projects, etc.

Malue–the format can be different from the people who attended.

Malu because of the form allowed what was in the room to come out. We can do this so that what comes out is more than the announcement. How can we create the space to go deeper, moves to actions, doesn’t sound to you like a boring discussion.  Inour group at last GA, many intersting things comes out.

Dior–we should explain the progressive stack. Her friend Jesse was confused by the stack without explaination.  She would like more disciplined ie to talk about the actions.

Yukikio–structure is diffierent from content.  We need to step back and think if we want to do this not as an open space but so that people who are aware that they are there to learn in the small groups what other people are doing.

Yukmiko it is not even one year that we haver been doing OWs. i understand your impatience.But everytime we have new people come. I have seet through so many times of new people coming. This kind of staggered and free-flowing and thematic focuded GAs really works.We just have to decide what we want to be doing.

Flex–new activist OWS model–Is the Q being asked that are we moving away from second wave feminist issue of connecting race to feminism.  Democratic process creating through process-or are we building up a framework that could be support for everying.

It’s okay to have a direct question–feminisms are so variable and multiple–how are the ways we can in the future to create an aliance system and what would we need to do that?

Malu–didn’t we do that in the first and the second GA? The third we didn;t have the capacities to organize.

Melanie–why can’t we combine these things?

The concept of having organizations be the first ones to speak this is what we do, these are some of the actions we are doing.This is what we originally concieve of what Fem Ga would be.

To me Open Space is a way to have conversations. No one is locked into the conversations in the room. The only person locked in is the one who proposed the questions.This is the most feminist way of working on these things.The whole line-the mantra of open space, what ever is going to happen her tonight is what weas meant to happen.  Problem of “fetishizing of stack” is always a problme–why can’t we just talk.

Dior wanted to be more in the same as the first GA so that people feel that they hae the time to say waht they want to say. We also should have the orgs to say something–so how could we have that?I’d like to make some real decisions at thsi meeting.

Mel–we can have more time at the end to people report out and or say what their group is doing.

Yukiko–groups speak out; individuals speak; finish the questions; We have only 2 hours.  The first hour is done then.So then how do you envision..

Dior  Before we go we should know what  orgs will participate.
What did you envision for the other hour?

Lorena–why don’t we just do break out groups and stay as one group?

Yukiko–very often with big assemblies.Example one time focussing on race and also Elders converation–major figures. In those situations people will say this is what we are doing and then that’s it.There is no converation.This is what we are trying to avoid.WE are trying to use our ability to offer more than that more conversations.

Yukiko the reason that it is important not just for people to speak (announce) and there is not more.We don;t want that.  Some people who are there may not be part of the planning.

Mle –I thnk we are moving towar dthre secionts–1. speaking out etc, 2, proposing groups that would like to have and people go into break out groups and 3. report-outs including campaigns and actions-waht we can do.

So we are giving a guiding question that is broad enough so that people can reprt out.

Alix thinkg the question sound very prescriptive. The question could be much more open. Mybe report outs could be a dead end, anti-climactic.Maybe–what would you like? Would would you like to know? Waht would you like us to consider? Somethin much more genarlly

Noit three parts–something more gnerally–some more specific ways of setting up the break out groups.

That‘ where we need to make structure of what we want to allow to happen.

Yukiko–what would you like to say about what happened in our space–wahtever–they want to say, not much direction.

You are in this particular space we are here–what would you like to say to us.
Dior is there a way we can finalize the agenda?

Alix–we still have to refine–Dior something we have to edit. Mel- we alMalu–in open space you can also suggest action. Yes, dior says, as long as we

Marie–we welcome everyone, specifcally welcome groups and let them speak and then they will know that they may speak again.Will we all it open space.

Who ever is here is the right person, whatever happens is meant to happen, etc give sense of safety

Marie is it more complex?
Yukiko– we don;t need to say OPen Space we can all it something or nothing else-we are WOWS Fem-GA there is a particular history–We are using GA related to OWS.

Natalie–to endure that we move forward, amybe we can come up with a framework question. We could out the question of

how we build a framework  –we does that look like what do we need to do to build a network?

We know we will have a guiding qwuestion–we don’t have to have it right now.

If people asaend in the information from each group,then what?  will someone here process it and then announce it as a breakout group, people from planning gropu will bebe responsibile  to put it addressed.Some of the groups topics will be subsumed.

Dior is pleased.

For the next meeting, share phone numbers on line, so we have to decide about the rain.
We would have to decide at 10 am, Judith was the one.Then Dior would do tumblr.  In this case, since Melanie was on the way.  Maire. We always did that before. In this case we have to decide.

We have a rain day, next day different time.
Sat. 10am–Dior will make the decision, and put in tumblr, emal, facebook, etc.

We can use celly

Alex went to the meting last night that was about the rent strike in Sunset Park.vigil each night.  Francis got out of th ehospital and people tenants are gerttin tirede. WE might have drummers, and chalk and panel drawing with kids and Ecudorean? dance group.Woudl WOWS like to come out and do a vigil.

August 3? court date for landlord. Also having Spanish speakers there for the vigil.  13-14 familes holding rent from alandlord and 3 buildings on a block in Sunset Park and there 400 violations, esp. electrical violations.
Lorena, that’s an action and we should have a presence there.
Mel we could have a WOWs meeting there. WE decide on a meeting that we can be there and we can all make it.Bring some signs.
Natalie–we could do something more interactive. It’s a nice plae to have a conversation–they are organizers, many of the women in the buildings

Dior–more fliers (4 per page)

Alex is going to the Sunset Park  (in Brooklyn) GA on Saturday–Lorena proposes Sunday night.

Yukiko can add on docs with info about the rent strike.

Alex Calendar is the person whos  joining

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