WOW Meeting notes Dec 1st, 2011

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-Our first Agenda point today was continuing the discussion on amending the OWS declaration of independence.

-Susan read her proposed amendments which focused on three main concepts:

-Trafficking/Exploitation

-Violence/harassment

-Reproductive freedom

-It was suggested we add something to the extent of blocking women from fully participating. It was then suggested that this is implied in the existing amendments.

-It was suggested that we add simplify the three amendments into one all encompassing one.

-I had a suggestion of a simplified sentence which I then read and we discussed and slightly modified, coming up with: They oppress women through trafficking, exploitation, commodification, sexual harassment, sexual and domestic violence, and blocking access to family planning, denying women autonomy and the ability to reach their full potential.”

-We agreed I would post this modification to the google doc with Susan’s amendments so it could be further worked on.

-We then discussed what Caucuses/Groups with similar interests we could send the amendment to, after it is written and agreed upon, to ask for their support in getting it passed.

-Groups we thought we could reach out to for this: Safer Spaces, Queering OWS, POC, Community Alliance

-We then agreed to set a Deadline for this amendment, and reached consensus on that deadling being next Thursday, Dec 8th, at Noon for editing the amendment, and then we will try to reach consensus at the meeting that evening so we can take it to GA after or the next day.

-We then moved on to our second Agenda Item, Susan’s report back from her discussion with Annie Ellman of the Center for Antiviolence Education in Brooklyn, pertaining to our previous discussion of obtaining assertiveness, self defense, and nonviolent communication training in order to diffuse situations in which a person is being disruptive/oppressive/misogynistic.

-Susan told us Annie Ellman is very willing to come and meet with us and discuss what our needs are and how she could help us. She could then arrange a workshop for us, for 1.5-2 hours focussing on the training we think we need, the cost of which would be $200, and could accommodate 20-23 women.

-We then discussed how to obtain this money, various options being appealing to the GA for it, or going directly to Finance Working Group about it, or getting $100 from Finance and each paying a bit ourselves to attend.

-We discussed the idea of, after we receive this training, offering our services to other groups who feel they are frequently marginalized or silenced.

-We drafter goals for the training, to have an idea of what we would like to tell Annie Ellman when we meet with her, these are the goals we discussed:

-dealing with verbal harassment

-stand your ground techniques, both verbal and physical

-working as a group

-physical defense

-Individual on individual and group conflict resolution

-We agreed to invite Annie Ellman to a meeting to discuss setting up a training, we discussed some potential dates (the 11th and 18th) and Susan agreed to call Annie Ellman to try to set it up.

-Our next agenda item was a reportback from Mel G about some instances of Misogyny within the movement, one at a GA and one at a Facillitation meeting. We then discussed what we could do about these instances.

-We discussed the power in naming the problem, saying out loud, so everyone can here, what is begin done that is wrong.

-A few ideas were suggested but ultimately we settled on the idea of the members who were present in the facilitation meeting where the incident occurred writing up a short description of what happened, which another member, who was not present at the meeting will read, she will then ask anyone who witnessed that facilitation meeting to stand, then anyone who witnessed it and felt intimidated by what occurred, and finally anyone who feels intimidated/uncomfortable upon hearing about the occurrence to stand. This will be an experiment in awareness.

-We then decided this would take place at the Monday, December 5th Spokes Council meeting and we would love to have a strong showing of WOW to add power to the statement so I hope lots of people can come!

-Our last agenda item was a discussion of this weekends actions which are:

-Occupy Broadway at an as of yet undisclosed locating near Times Square beginning friday night and lasting until sunday, which is an awesome sounding 24hrs of performance pieces. They are requesting all the working groups send representatives, so hopefully some of us can make that!

-Occupy to Celebrate, Saturday starting at 10AM in Zuccotti Park, being thrown by OccupyFaith is a celebration of all that we’ve accomplished, with music and speakers, who will talk about the importance of public space in the movement. They’re also requesting all working groups send a member, so we should also try to attend that (I am planning on attending for a while before I have to work).

And thats all, long notes today, lots of important discussions!

See you at the actions this weekend sisters!

-Denise

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