Meeting Minutes – Safer Spaces – 11.27.11

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[posted retroactively for Working Group compliance]

safer spaces meeting 11/27/2011


present: Matt, Fanya, Leah, Lippe, Winter, Ali, Nikki, Liz, Jodi, Leah

CONNECT members?


suggestions for how to keep meeting safe:

no yelling, interrupting, check ins, step up step back



12/3 Sat 11-6 open space technology- facilitation tool.  Group makes its own agenda, how to help people build the agenda, emphasis on personal responsibility, anti-oppression, openness, geared toward people with trauma/ marginalized, healing space


11/29 Tuesday GA proposal to dissolve spokescouncil is on the agenda

try to make it!


11/31 this Thursday GA proposal for racial justice training on December 14- to be held in place of spokes


11/30 This Wed. 6pm at 60 wall POC has a mtg to discuss the racial justice training, at 7pm mtg to talk about racism w/in the spokes- both open to everyone



Meeting with CONNECT:

CONNECT- anti-DV organization hosts a collaborative called collective action- various anti violence organizations

wants to help keep spaces of resistance safer

what they can offer: they are drafting a document with the resources they can offer this week

maps of safe hospitals: safe centers of collection- rated excellent for sexual assault, have advocates

Bellevue has a training manual for advocating for and assisting survivors of sexual assault, timelines, resources, etc.

CONNECT offers trainings- willing to train us on anti oppression anti violence

Trenton Wolcott (Sp?) works with perps

alliance is at 32 Broadway- has a small conference room, we can use it for meetings, trainings

alliance is developing a training around activist trauma- police violence, conflict within the movement, people in support positions (vicarious traumatization- need to take space to talk about it)

Book: Heal the Healer, helps understand vicarious trauma- particularly anti violence advocacy


Potential training:

It could be useful to have a training for people to do survivor support? how to be an advocate? How to ensure that evidence collection is done properly?  What you should be offered at the hospital?  Timelines for evidence collection and filing a police report?




They are done. They are hot pink. In Winter’s bag. Who gets them?  There are approx. 36 of them.



reportback from last Monday: proposal from legal to erase bail cap- lead  to discussion of racial inequality in criminal justice system

then on Wednesday lots of racist sexist comments

Friday’s lots of discussion around accountability for racist and sexist comments/ behavior


last Friday had breakout groups-

1. accountability. 2. anti oppression

conflicting perspectives on how to deal with disruptive behavior in meetings

people dismissed anti-oppression framework

people wanted to make punitive rules for expulsion

no consideration for figuring out with that person what was upsetting them

Nikki- talked to Alejandro, Bethabule from mediation

People like the agreement, but can’t see how it works in the meeting


Alejandro from facilitation suggested a peace team (WOW, Fac, POC, SS, Med.) for debriefing after the spokescouncil or GA

not to think about how to police, but to meet after each mtg to discuss what occurred in the mtg, how things could have been improved (people who were upset, felt shut down or unheard, etc.) then discuss those ideas at the next mtg


another suggestion: have one person from SS or Mediation on facilitation team for each mtg


basic needs for accountability:

need to recognize unmet needs, need to be at base level where they can engage

need to build on how these meetings are operating


Nikki: will liaise with facilitation to ensure accountability is emphasized

will let us know when mtg with facilitation and mediation happens


Lippe: it was brought up that this may be caused by confusion about the function of SC

multiple spoking has been raised- maybe over emphasized


Ali: people were using process to justify silencing people, continuing to emphasize structure not working, need to discuss what process is not addressing


Matt: when someone is supposedly being disruptive, people use POP sign, and then start yelling and shaming, we need to clarify that it’s the role of facilitation to guide convo, not  other participants shouting someone down


Ali: Do we want to make a doc of community agreement for mtg, or not focus on that at this time?


Nikki: Not now, focus on the affinity group- peace council, don’t want to duplicate


2. anti oppression group

Suggestion: requiring all members of facilitation to have anti oppression training, possible requiring anyone who is going to be a spoke must do it too


Lippe: Will ask POC about how their training planning is going



A’yen is in Tampa setting up a safer spaces group there

Ellie is coordinating at St.Paul’s church

2 spaces: St Pauls church in midtown

theater in Rockaway


Support has a text message list: updates with housing and needs, Leah is on that and is coordinating


Leah trying to get SMS list for hospital and for housing


Safe House email: There was a support person at St. Paul’s, this person is very involved in organizing and needs a day a week “safe space” to take a break, security had a problem with this person, and this person was verbally assaulted by members of security


Security is escalating situations, getting aggressive, calling the cops

they will defer to us if we are there


Leah got a call from [name redacted for privacy] on Thanksgiving and said that a security person who had sexually assaulted an occupier is back doing security, she said that she tried to create a women’s sleeping area to  keep people away from that security member, security members would not allow her to do that. [another person] was able to help that space to be made.


Winter: The guy running the Rockaway space Paul is into calling the cops.  Winter talked to him for 9 hours.  Was finally able to get him to allow the backroom to be used as a safe sleeping space.


How can we coordinate with Security?

Need for education and better coordination

How can we revise safety cluster


How are we going to address the issue of this security person?

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