[mgj-announce] Notes from last general meeting
jeff920 at yahoo.com
Tue Oct 11 04:23:05 GMT 2005
Notes from 10/05/05
I. Report backs
A. Minutemen Protest
Minutemen had a meeting at Capitol Hill Club. ANSWER
members were there, but after they left police
confronted bikers. Police told bikers that it was
illegal to swear in public.
B. Apartheid Reparations
Citibank action had ~15-16 people. Action was to
highlight financing of South African apartheid. Event
was sponsored by Jubilee in solidarity with similar
event in South Africa. WPFW reported on the action.
C. Marriage / Street Theater
Short ceremony but lots of media present, at least 30
reporters. Event was covered on BBC, Channel 5, in
China, and other places. Some press mistakenly
reported that Wolfowitz ACTUALLY got married.
A lot of people, but not well-facilitated. 135
people were there, but some were thinking about doing
an action other than adopt-an-intersection. If energy
were more focused, the action could have had a bigger
impact. Lots of connections made.
E. Direct action
Started at 4:45. Cops threatened to lock everyone
up, but after negotiations with police, protesters
agreed to allow police and emergency vehicles through.
Delegates were delayed 2 hours. One protester was
hit by police car and then arrested. Police were
cooperative in general.
St. Stephens was happy with us. Some other churches
expressed willingness to help in the future.
Suggestion that alcohol policy should be enforced.
Noted that some items were stolen.
Went well, particularly on Sunday.
II. Open Letter in Z Magazine
Letter is read out loud (see other email for contents
Point is made that UFPJ knew the WB/IMF protest was
made that weekend. On housing, UFPJ should have
considered the demographics of who will attend
protest. UFPJ was supposed to have a Katrina tent
where Common Grounds could collect donation. Instead,
there was only a small table. It was suggested that
organizations mentioned in the letter get a heads-up
first. Also suggested to mention that the Unity
meeting was locally-based. Other groups in the global
south have integrated anti-globalization with anti-war
messages successfully, showing that connection can be
III. Event Announcements
Nov. 7 Campaign to End AIDS will do a walking tour of
right-wing organizations in DC. Meeting at Farragut
North metro at 11AM.
Oct. 14 Café Mawonaj (624 T Street, NW) 9PM-2AM,
Protesting from the Stage. The rawest underground hip
hop show moving millions to act. Fundraiser for
Empower DC & Youth Farming Cooperative in Zimbabwe.
$10, no one turned away at the door. Gracing the Stage
from all over: Afi, Bomani, Komplex, Nalea, Hicoup &
Hassaar, Black Ice, Mental Notes and more.
IV. Brainstorming Notes
A. Negative Outside
1. Spokescouncil/Direct Action
* People sacred about direct action.
* Too many people without affinity groups
* Lack of direct action, affinity group training.
2. Complaints about ANSWER
* ANSWERs authoritarian style, doesnt listen
3. Complaints about UFPJ
* Refusal to address IMF/WB if demo during meetings is
in the same city
* Insult to people in the Global South
* Dont operate by consensus dont listen to own
steering committeefaux democracybig problem for
* Political short-sightedness: focused on pleasing
media and funders
* Single-issue --> opposite of coalition building,
which is where movement should be
* Strategy too inward-lookingonly to uphold itself
Tactics, not overall strategy (same w/ Global Justice
* Appealing to the interest of middle-class white
* Concern that its important to appeal to middle
class whites because theyre the majority, but
population is changing and soon wont be white
* Sustainable movement not build on altruismneed to
go to people who are locked out
* Ignore the concerns of low-income and people of
colorfocus on white middle classpushing movement to
right like Dems.
* UFPJ were bad players from beginning should have
seen red flags and clarified goals
* We shouldnt have fallen into assumed actions
* Local groups expected to do all the grunt work not
* Could issue joint statement of Legal and Medics
* Basav was cut from the speaker list
* Virginia was made to speak really late
* We should up at UFPJ march and they werent there!
B. What went right (Yeah us!)
* Were forced to outsource and trust others
* Spokescouncil in same place as housing/food good
* Medics got their $
* Media was great!
* In-kind donations really great! Copies, food, etc
(see thank you list)
* Good that we helped coordinate this
* We had 40 on 1st day and 135 on second day
3. Direct action
* Really successful and effective coordinated and
* Not over-ambitious
* Sign-up really workedcan build infrastructure if
proved and show jaded activists theyre wrong
* Delegates confronted great!
* Direct action centered to MGJ founding mission
4. Marriage Street Theater
* Tons of media
* Lots of fun
* Cast knowledgeable able to ad-lib
* Cast conducted press interviews in character
5. Teach in
* Combination of speakers was great perceptible
* Turn out pretty high considering competition
* Childcare good
* Made $
* Worked well
* Housed lots of people
* Foodplenty & impressive
* Got some $
7. Feeder March
* Huge, tons of people
* Fun, loud, musical, empowering
* Art really good and got used
* Sunday very successful
* Great to talk to grassroots peace movement they
were * very interested in IMF/WB
C. What was difficult / what could use improvement
* We tried to do way too much with too few people
set agenda with lots of people, people dropped out
too few left dealing with it
* MGJ looked to for mega-organizing, but dont get
respect/support from NGOssets up unrealistic
* UFPJ steering committees are too powerlessmade
decisions that didnt get followed by staff
* UFPJ relied on medics, legal with no support for
* UFPJ security sketchy and last-minute
* Need to have clearer communications with all groups
* Need to look at our decision-making process about
2. Feeder march
* Should check if theres a fence at the other end of
Murrow Park (Luke did tell us this)
* We didnt stop at World Bank!
* March was confusing needed more communications
* Plan for larger rather than smaller
* Need MGJ banner!
* Black Bloc totally screwed usshould have told us
before breaking away, especially being in the lead.
* Should have passed the hat
* Lines between MGJ and Adopt-an-intersection were
blurred facilitating without enough info
4. Direct action
* Should have defined relationship with AIC better.
* AIC organizing style was hard for media work.
* Changing of line-ups was harddifficult to outreach
* Should have started sooner
* Suggestion: connect with NISGUA (Peter has contact)
* Lots less energy than in April (maybe because we
werent main event)
* MGJ shouldnt have had to do it
* UFPJ was told to do itdidnt want to
* Designated phone # would have been good
1. Feeder March
* Nadine took over in a very uncool waydirected
people wrong way/negotiated with cops without talking
* Should have had radios for communication
* GMRS are good (Nextel)
* Could have set up text mob in addition to voice
* Could rent Nextels if we have $
* Unclear what happened with Black Bloc
* Their call to action didnt clarify who was making
their plan got flaked on so what they did was
(they werent planning to march with us)
* Breakaway was not intended as break-away or
malicious, but it was disrespectful
* The original BB plan should have been communicated
to MGJ too confusing otherwise
* BB has overly security culture led to lack of
* BB has lack of respect
Same theme as J20
3. Self-criticism: General
* Need to clarify goals and strategy
* Plan how to fight against big groups
* Should have seen red flags with UFPJ
* Too few of us doing too much work not enough people
* Didnt have too much, power imbalance because of
this, but makes it hard for new people to come in
* Shouldnt have fallen into assumed actions
* Need to think of what kind of movement-building
* Local-global teach in really good think about
that in planning next April
* Should do more direct action was one of the most
effective things and didnt require interaction with
UFPJ or media
* Do more stuff i.e. wedding street theater.
V. Next meeting:
Wednesday 10/12, 7 pm, St. Stephen's church.
Matt will facilitate and Hope will cofacilitate.
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