[mgj-announce] MGJ meeting minutes August 2, 2006
basav at igc.org
basav at igc.org
Wed Aug 2 20:21:19 PDT 2006
MGJ Meeting Minutes
The meeting was small and we were concerned about overcommitment issues
so most of our discussion was focused on the subject of SCALING BACK to be
realistic about our limitations.
The ideas we brainstormed are presented in no particular order.
Everyone is concerned about our capacity.
Present timeline is overwhelming.
How do we strike the balance between doing too much (so we burn people
out) vs. doing too little (so we fizzle out)? No easy answers.
Current group too small to take decisions. (See follow-up step later.)
Small group of people present felt like it was not their responsibility
to implement an ambitious group agenda. (Similar situation to last
We have great strengths: great public education events/teach-ins, great
educational factsheets, great theatrical/creative actions, great media
work, great logistics work. We need to do things that build on these
Weaknesses: small constituent base, cant pull off meetings and
demonstrations of any significant size, poor fundraising.
Give up national mobilizations as a tool for the time being at least.
Along with that, give up thinking of ourselves as a national organization.
We should not feel responsible for the state of the U.S. global justice
movement in other parts of the country. Our responsibility is only to
organize where we are, i.e. in Washington DC.
Integrate the lessons of a host of past mobilizations (Seattle, A16,
September 2002, Miami, etc.) into the work we do.
Based on our strengths that we talked about earlier, propose to do only
the following three things in Washington DC, drawing mainly upon local
activists and not making an extra effort to get people in from out of town:
(a) An effective educational event; (b) An effective theatrical/media
event; (c) An effective covert action. However, we must keep a vision of a
bigger movement in our heads all the time.
Link with immigrants rights issue.
All social movements go through cycles, we need to persevere in the
downturns to keep the momentum going enough to ride the upswings.
Theres been a general shift towards more local/grassroots work in
radical social movements.
We have somehow done a better job building relationships with groups who
have never been in MGJ than with groups comprised largely of
Choose strategic, to scale actions.
Based on these ideas, we came up with the following key followup steps:
1) At the next meeting, we will propose scaling back, and advertise in
advance so people who feel strongly about it can be there. Hopefully well
have enough of a critical mass to make a decision.
2) We keep the August 11 Wolfowitz action OK if its really low-key, need
not take up much effort at all.
3) We drop the idea of any other actions/teachins in August.
4) Postpone the strategy meeting to August 19.
a) Oscar and Nicole to approach Fleming Center and Al-Fishawy,
respectively, for space.
b) Everyone continue their local outreach.
c) Everyone tell people weve already contacted about change of date.
d) Basav to come up with first draft of agenda, Oscar and Nicole to help
e) Flyers will be changed as soon as we have space confirmed.
5) MGJ internal issues picnic to talk about issues such as: Are we
welcoming to new people? Are we an easy group to plug into and participate
in? Do we burn people out with too much responsibility? How do we excite
new people and get them to participate? And so on.
a) Date, time, place are: Rock Creek Park (Carter Barron entrance), 1 pm,
Saturday August 26.
b) Oscar will draft agenda, Nicole and Basav will help finalize
6) Plan an educational event for September next meeting.
Next meeting facilitator: Basav
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