Hello Organizers, Supporters, Allies and Friends!
What an amazing experience we’ve been having. Our vision has become more obvious and more tangible. We have the potential to make significant and lasting change. We have now held our second meeting (and impromptu participation in the Washington Square General Assembly). We have some concrete needs to attend to. The first goal is to plan for Day of Solidarity to Amplify All Marginalized and Underrepresented.
Apologies to anyone who came to Liberty Square and was unable to find the group. There was some confusion due to a scheduling conflict with the group Women Occupying Wall Street and being asked by police to relocate from the Red Cube. So far it seems that there is consensus about meeting on Sundays.
For our next Sunday meeting (Oct 30th), we have decided to meet at 2pm. Location 60 Wall St.
Proposed Agenda for Next Meeting (Sunday. 2 pm at 60 Wall St.)
- Common goals/Common Values.
- Possible Name for the Day/Messaging
- Where and how.[Nov. 19?/Dec. 3?]
NEEDS: We’d like to find an indoor space where we can host these weekly meetings. Please be in touch if you can offer space. Concerns about accessibility and relocating beyond the Liberty Plaza region were discussed as a possibility.
We would like to secure interest from someone/some people) who would like to help facilitate, take notes, report to the GA (at Liberty Plaza and perhaps additionally to Washington Square Park) and do outreach. One or many can do all of this so long as we work together and remain transparent.
The following are notes from the meetings thus far. We look forward to your participation! See you Sunday
Sunday Oct. 23rd: Planning for Day to Amplify All Marginalized and Underrepresented
- We have support from Eve Ensler, Code Pink, Gloria Steinem and Liz Abzug.
- Paradigm Shift and Permanent Wave (http://thepermanentwave.tumblr.com/) for helping get the word out.
- Outreach to more diverse populations needed. Reaching out to groups at OWS (People of Color/Women Occupying WallSt/SpeakEasy/Divine Feminine/ Labor/Outreach/Education) and outside (Occupy the hood/ Black Women’s Blueprint/ Organizers from Slutwalk/ Women’s Media Center/ Students). These are examples of groups that we brainstormed and NOT a final list. We would like to create a coalition of groups working together.
- More accessible location for meetings.
- What do we want from the day? March, Rally, Permit?
- Importance of ‘Step up, Step Back in our communication with each other and in the communication at OWS in general. ‘ This is an effort to allow space for everyone to speak. It involves personally assessing the number of times we speak and evaluating how necessary something is to say to the group. It also means opening the space for those who haven’t contributed.
- How to be an ally/ Assess our own Privilege. Privilege-A special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a group of people or person. “an invisible package of unearned assets”—Peggy McIntosh
- Avoid ‘Issue Silo-ing’
- Intersectionality, – It is a theory that seeks to understand oppression as a whole, taking into account the overlap and complexities of multiple oppressions as these operate in individual lives. For instance, though a more classical view of oppression is strictly divided between race, class, gender, etc, intersectionality seeks to understand how these oppressions may operate together, strengthen or repel each other. Essentially, it is a recognition that a single human life is often the site of multiple oppressions, the effects of which cannot always be easily separated.
- Possible Names/Branding/Messaging: Day of Solidarity/ Amplify All/ Amplify Intersectionality/ Inhabit Intersectionality
- Consider working with the Spokes council style. (For more info, start here: http://www.dailykos.com/story/2011/10/23/1029101/-Spokes-Council-A-Complementary-Proposal-for-Governance-of-OWS)
Open Letter and abridged minutes from Oct. 16th meeting with Eve Ensler:
PS: For those who do not know, there are also gatherings happening in Washington Square Park. Right now, it is not an occupation, but that is an ongoing discussion. On Oct 23rd, it was decided to hold General Assemblies three times per week in this space.
A few of us went from our Sunday afternoon meeting to Washington Square and participated in that night’s GA. We were invited to create small group discussions to dream and state visions. We mentioned the intentions of the group meeting to amplify all voices and invited people to join. Also discussed in the small group were the following:
- Solidarity with Immigrant populations.
- Demand CEDAW Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women and Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) be ratified
- Remember the issues of the world are as crucial to acknowledge as US
- Continue to occupy ideas/concepts as they prove more useful (Occupy Education/Occupy Religions etc)
- Pledge to Liz Abzug’s OccupyGovernment.org: http://www.occupygovernment.org/ — Be Your Own Government Mission
For more information, and to see the visions discussed in all the small groups, please see http://www.occupywashingtonsquare.org/.