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:
- Disability justice and crip approaches to harm (Suggested reading to come from Care Work: Dreaming Disability Justice by Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha)
- 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)
- 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!)
- Difficulties in distinguishing what is conflict and what is abuse (Suggested reading to come from Conflict is Not Abuse by Sarah Schulman)
- 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.
Saturday 23 February 2019 – Queer abolitionist approaches to harm
14:00-16:00, Co-working 2nd floor space (accessible via the lift) Union Street (18-20 Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2JP)
At our last meetup we started out by reading ‘Transformative Justice: A brief description‘ written recently by Mia Mingus. We used this as a basis for some facilitated work on our group process. This resulted in some initial ideas about how we want our group to work. You can find out more about this at ‘Our Approach‘. To follow through our desire to share resources with each other we now have a ‘Resources‘ page on our blog. This will enable people who cannot come to the group to check out what we have been reading, listening and watching as well as provide links to resource hubs and reading lists. We hope that these resources will be useful in creating responses to harm in other communities.
At our next meetup we will be talking about queer abolitionist approaches to harm. Can prisons and the police make all queer people safe from harm? Given this system continues to perpetuate harm against queer people, including raids, harassment, violence and criminalisation, that disproportionately impacts the most marginalised such as queer communities of colour. With the introduction of hate crime legislation to protect LGBT groups from violence based on sexual orientation or gender identity what are the debates around the use of the law, police and prisons to address harm? How else could these harms be better addressed?
Everyone is welcome to join our conversation and you can find links to our readings below:
Ryan Conrad (ed.) (2012) Against Equality: Prisons will not protect you. Introduction by Dean Spade
Against Equality – has a range of different articles on queer abolitionism – feel free to read what looks interesting to you
Saturday 24 November 2018 – 14:00 – 16:00, downstairs at Union Street (18-20 Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2JP)
At our first meet-up a few of us came together with questions about what transformative justice and community accountability processes are. How are they different to ‘mainstream’ approaches to justice like restorative justice or criminal justice approaches?
In our next session we will be exploring the key principles of transformative justice and community accountability drawing on the work of CARA, Creative Interventions, GenerationFIVE and INCITE! Everyone is welcome to join our conversation and you can find links to our readings and videos below:
Saturday 27 October 2018, 2pm-4pm, downstairs at Union Street (18-20 Union Street, Sheffield, S1 2JP)
Introductions and trust building – in this meetup we will introduce ourselves and talk about what we want the group to be, what we want to learn about and what we need to be in place to create a space where we can be open, honest and feel supported by each other. The direction of group will then be guided by the collective.
Feel free to contact us to let us know you are coming and/or if you need something in place to help you come along and take part in the group.
Full accessibility information coming soon.