Global Democracy Alliance MINUTES December 10, 2011

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Global Democracy Alliance

Minutes

December 10, 2011

Agenda:

Report back from one person in the group

Shared analysis – do we want to achieve consensus on shared analysis?

Proposal for potential actions

Our name

Movement building

Meeting times

How can we create connections with France?

 

Kim – Transition

Started in 2006 by a permaculture teacher in the UK as a replicable model for a sustainability movement.  There are over 400 in the world and over 100 in the US.  It’s tenets are: co-creating with your community, reducing reliance on fossil feuls, strengthening relationships with each other and with the Earth.  There is a general framework but it’s very flexible.  Uses open space format, made up of many small groups but report back to a larger group.  They do awareness raising,

Leah- this brings up the question of the relation of the local to the global

Boris: local solutions for global disorders.

Shared analysis, connections to global movements:

  1. Zaid – Palestinian, works on the middle east and Africa
  2. Ali – national field organizer for the War Resister’s League which focuses on militarism.  They’ve created a brochure which analyzes the connections between banks and militarism.
  3. Greg – artist
  4. Shaista – From Pakistan, studied at CUNY.  Interested in anti-war and anti-imperialist actions.
  5. Jonathan – lived in Namibia with the Peace Corps.  Deep Roots.  Also worked in Ghana to create collaboration between scientists here and there.  Wants to shine a light on how what we do here has an impact on other people.
  6. Udi – from Israel.  In the media, Occupy is all about domestic issues, housing, etc.  Any movement for justice has to be a movement for justice for everyone.  We have to fight against injustices perpetrated in our name.  Can the Occupy movement come to a place where it stands up against global militarism.
  7. Ray – UN University for Peace.  Facilitates intercultural dialogue.
  8. Raphael – here from France, writing about the global occupy movements.
  9. Kurt – from Pennsylvania, religious background and concerned about lack of solidarity.
  10. Carl – concerned that people who are serving the country are betrayed when they discover that war is so often for profit.
  11. Tu – address global problems by changing corporations.  Robinhood corporation.  Organizing a hunger strike against the fast food industry
  12. Lindsey –
  13. Becky – interested in us having a statement about how we fit into a global movement.

 

We had people from the War Resister’s League, Occupy France, Occupy el Barrio, the Kitchen, DA, Think Tank, guests from Philadelphia and New Jersey.

 

Shared analysis:

We need to think hard about solidarity.  What is the role of actual, real ties between people in other countries?  What are the ways in which we can focus locally to have international impact?  How can we address the role of corporations internationally?  How can we see our struggles as part of an interconnected system, and then figure out what you can do locally, where you are.  Strategic solidarity.

 

Proposal Ideas

  1. Iran, Israel, Egypt, Iraq – to protest against the military industrial context.  If we could work to create an action on the same day, even if the specifics are different.  Could the connections be created, the dots linked between the countries to show that there are allies between Israel and Iran on the ground, despite the fact that their governments are opposed.  Find our allies in different countries and create an action on the same date.
  2. Shaista – a general assembly at the United Nations.  A mock UN that puts war criminals on trial.  Show that the everything the UN does is dictated by the US and NATO.
  3. Hunger strike against the Fast Food Industry, demanding that 2% of the profits would go towards ending starvation.  That money would go to creating a company that would be focused on sustainable agriculture and production.
  4. Shared statement about our analysis of the global context, who are we in the global movement.
  5. What choices are we making knowingly and what choices are corporations making for us?  What choices would we make differently if we knew?
  6. An appeal to the world religions – to take a moral stance. Wants  to get a group to work on that.
  7. Ali: some way of listing who in our group is connected to whom. Just to create accountability. Second: the importance of winnable ends. This question of tear gas is an extremely wise place to start with. We would need research into this.
  8. Greg: Ali or Ezer’s proposals are specific. OWS has brought attention to corporate issues to mainstream media. To leverage the discursive success we already have. To come up with an action item that will resonate here and

Shaista:

Ali: another aspect is the financial side. We can ask what banks are involved. It would be deep to ask how tear gas is used in all the different places.

C: are we saying that one company is manufacturing all the tear gas?

No. Various points of information.

Proposal: why not persue a case in court.

Ali: it’s happening.

ð  I’m discouraged because it’s legal here…

Greg: do you feel that this tear gas thing can relate to the countries your thinking about? => also, from an American perspective, tear gas seems like a smaller deal (than nuclear), Americans can relate to. It’s used as a tool  of suppression even in the U.S. => it doesn’t seem as exotic.

Bex: point of info: tear gas sounds not big, but it’s being used lethally

Waco: I think a hunger strike is important. How can we flip the channels everyday and disconnect yourself from the hunger in Africa? Starvation is the most important issue.

Leah: part of the conversation is strategic… I do believe that starvation is related to the military industrial complex. What if we could tell that story, of the connection between military aid and starvation?

Bahare: 2 things we can highlight. 1 is action oriented, the other question is the issues – what’s the storyline we’re developing? I would suggest that whoever is connected to a particular issue work on a fact sheet that we can share… and then we have the action side.

Boris: Just to suggest that a hunger strike is very hard. In France we take a supermarket cart and leave it at the cashier and give our message.

Richard: the reason I’ve proposed (on religion)… there was a letter from Jamal (?) in prison. We’re seeing all this violence against us; when bankers are doing crimes against humanity. In London the Church has allowed the occupation to stay. We’re going to be fighting against people who say I’m working in this tear gas company and I’ll be taking their job. This is a moral issue. Church’s still have many people…

è Looking at the diversity  of this group: I want us to also appeal to agnostics and atheists.

Udi: we can break out into groups and work on both.

Greg: to me what Ali proposed is a specific action; but what Richard proposed is a perspective… we can have the perspective weigh in on the action we’re doing.

ð  Proposal to call the movement decolonize:

When are we meeting next?

Same time same place? Seems

Agenda for next time:

ð  How do we report to NYCGA? On the agenda for next meeting.

ð  Decolonize proposal

ð  Action at the UN

ð  Report backs from subgroup

ð  Iraq action: how do we generate attention for it?

ð  Writing a group statement about who we are?

ð  Talking about deaths in Africa

 

Internal coordination

-        Connections with activists

-        database

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