Reviewing where we are at and where we want to go

At our last meet up (23 February 2019) we revisited our group process and what we would like to get out of the learning group. Issues that came up for us in our conversation included:

  • what does the work look like?
  • what skills do we need?
  • how do we deal with a need for a tangible document/process?
  • what does safety mean from different perspectives?
  • what assumptions are we making about people we percieve with power and privilege?
  • how can we deal with conflict that results from political differences?

You can find out more about where we are at in this work in ‘Our Approach’ as we keep developing our work and how we work with each other.

We discussed the ‘Introduction’ by Dean Spade in Ryan Conrad (ed.) (2012) Against Equality: Prisons will not protect you that introduced some key principles of queer abolitionist approaches to harm. Paper copies were provided and spare copies were left in the cafe downstairs.

We reflected on how the group has gone and discussed how we wanted the learning group to continue in the future. We decided to have the group less often (every two months rather than every month) for a longer period of time (12 noon – 4pm) with a break on a Saturday afternoon. This could look like a more casual/informal start by sharing a meal (pot luck) with each other, talking about our approach and what motivates us that day. Then after a break moving into examining the chosen reading/audio/video and thinking through how to use it in our work/lives using different activities. We felt taking a slower and more in-depth approach like this would help us to deepen our discussions.

We identified a need to increase our capacity in facilitation skills – to increase the range of activities we could use to explore transformative approaches to harm. A google form will be created to organise this training for those with an interest in facilitation.

The topics and potential resources that we are interested in focussing on in future sessions include:

  1. Disability justice and crip approaches to harm (Suggested reading to come from Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha)
  2. Self-accountability (Suggested viewing What is Self-accountability? discussion between Kiyomi Fujikawa and Shannon Perez-Darby and ‘New Year Intentions and Practicing Accountability’ by Mia Mingus)
  3. Confronting our/a need for a one-size-fits-all solution (Suggested reading to come from The Revolution Will Not Be Funded: Beyond the Non-Profit Industrial Complex by Incite!)
  4. Difficulties in distinguishing what is conflict and what is abuse (Suggested reading to come from Conflict is Not Abuse by Sarah Schulman)
  5. What do we do with our feelings of anger and revenge towards ‘bad people’ in transformative justice approaches? (Suggested reading TBC)

So watch this space or facebook to find out where and when the next group is. Union Street and the Heartcure Collective have been approached to see if they can accommodate us.

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