[Hpn] Fwd: on the ground

Coalition on Homelessness, SF coh@sfo.com
Sun, 23 Jul 2000 23:35:24 -0700

>Date: Sun, 23 Jul 2000 18:51:03 -0700 (PDT)
>From: Andrew Rose <affirmingandy@yahoo.com>
>Subject: on the ground
>To: talk@quiet.org
>X-Original-Envelope-From: affirmingandy@yahoo.com
>One big obstacle for the demonstrators is the public opinion, shaped over time
>by the media, that there is 'one group' coming to phila to 'violently' upset
>the R2K.  The taxi driver and some other interested folks were asking me what
>these people wanted.  I guess it's hard to expect a society that gets its news
>in tiny pieces, unless it's supersensational, to handle what's happening here.
>Seattle and DC primed the media a little bit for the challenge of seeing more
>than one issue - remember them grappling with 'sea turtles and teamsters' and
>doing a little work to at least explain 'globalization' etc.  The fact is that
>many groups oppose the work of the republicans and are doing so 
>willfully here.
>My sense is these gatherings are opportunities to spread the nonviolence
>gospel, and in this way I am a little guilty of what we called 
>  This is when some group shows up at your rally and starts recruiting members
>or selling t-shirts or something like that - no great form.
>But NV is important and we're teaching a bunch of great skills here -
>facilitation, action basics, legal, jail solidarity, media, medic, blockades,
>plus lots of info sharing about issues of the day - death penalty, police
>brutality, 3rd world organizing, solidarity with labor, etc. 
>Lots of people will come to march and hang out in the crowds and check out the
>puppets.  Some of them will participate in trainings and share their 
>skills and
>hopefully take back more effective organizing strategies and tactics to their
>So here we go.  We'll watch the media do their thing -there's supposed to be
>15,000 of them here.  And the demonstrators will do their thing - cool puppets
>and street theatre and dancing and workshops and nonviolent everything.  And
>the repubs will annoint their king and he'll pick a prince.  And the police
>will do their thing - and hopefully no one will get hurt and the mayor and
>police chief will still have their jobs and everyone goes home a little wiser.
>The organizing here looks fantastic.  Rather than a big indoor space there are
>multiple smaller spaces for workshops and gathering.  They are within walking
>distance.  Police hassling spaces will be less vulnerable.  Convergence space
>opens tommorrow morning and there are printed schedules ready to go for
>training - not sure how housing or food is going but will check. 
>Seems to me that the best practice is to facilitate the group (all
>demonstrators) through the stages that groups go through to get to a 
>state.  That means the people first need to know 'hey this is safe, i belong
>here, people know what's going on, people are making plans, there are places
>for me to fit in' - then they go to second stage which looks like 
>'what a bunch
>of wierdos, these people don't know what they're doing, I know what to do, I
>want some input, that person's a cop, that one's rascist, etc.' (all 
>the issues
>culture, style, and personality that NEED to surface).   Then we eat together,
>we work together, we plan together, we celebrate together, and by the time the
>actions role around in a week - we are all together.  Then we are more
>creative, we make decisions faster and better, we care for each other more, we
>feel better.
>so AT FIRST, organizers need to make a strong show - have spaces, have
>schedules, have plans - during 2nd stage 'storming' they need to 
>drop back into
>the background and give people room to 'do their thing' ad hoc workshops,
>public speaking spaces, open mic, all that - and keep the curried tofu coming.
>of course this is all just an idea I have so it's interesting to see 
>it unfold.
>if your coming to phila I'm staying at Training For Change office at 215 729
>7458 or leave me a message 415 252 8734
>my schedule is loaded and looking like this:
>monday 1-5 training for trainers, 5-9 action basics
>tuesday 5-9 action basics
>wednesday 12-4, 5-9 action basics
>thursday 12.30-4.30, 5-9 action basics
>friday DAY OFF phew!
>saturday 12-3 NV DA, 5-9 action basics
>sunday 1-5 action basics
>next post current events and Action Basics curriculum revised.
>Do You Yahoo!?
>Get Yahoo! Mail  Free email you can access from anywhere!

Coalition on Homelessness, San Francisco
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