Community accountability around Sexual and Gendered violence and intimate partner violence

the followiing is a list of links provided to me by No One Is Illegal Toronto in how to address gendered and sexual violence that exists within our communities.

I haven’t yet read through most of this but i figured i might as well give everyone else the same opportunity that NOII-Toronto gave to me.

Learning Good Consent
http://www.phillyspissed.net/sites/default/files/learning%20good%20consent2.pdf

The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities
http://www.incite-national.org/media/docs/0985_revolution-starts-at-home.pdf

The Revolution Starts at Home (book based on zine but with new content)
http://www.southendpress.org/2010/items/87941

More Resources on Sexual Assault & Community Accountability
http://anarchalibrary.blogspot.com/2010/09/zinespamphlets-on-sexual-assault.html

Organizations and Projects

INCITE, Women of Color Against Violence:
http://www.incite-national.org/media/docs/0528_Incite-CommunityAccountabilityPrinciples.pdf
http://www.incite-national.org/media/docs/2406_cmty-acc-poc.pdf

Transformative Justice Toronto (Toronto)
http://transformativejusticetoronto.blogspot.com/

Philly Stands Up (Philadelphia)
http://phillystandsup.wordpress.com/

Storytelling & Organizing Project (Oakland)
http://www.stopviolenceeveryday.org/

Challenging Male Supremacy Project (New York City)
http://zapagringo.blogspot.com/2010/06/challenging-male-supremacy-project.html

For Crying Out Loud (Seattle)
http://forcryingoutloud206.wordpress.com
http://www.generationfive.org/downloads/G5_Toward_Transformative_Justice.pdf

My on-going rant about borders and colonial policies on migration

Britain (and other nation-states) went around fucking up the world by stealing land and people, (often from people who previously hadn’t conceived of land and people as things that could be owned), slaughtering lots of folks, creating artificial boundaries and imposing religious and government structures upon groups of people regardless of their own identities and previous lifestyles. The result of this include massive deforestation, altering of the land (dams etc, ) poisoning land and water, disrupting cultural practices and national identities and imposing a value-system based on on competition, profit, individualism etc. And so, after people’s homes, lands, families, communities and lives have been so deeply disrupted; after companies like Monsanto trademark the food and medicine that people used to grow and use for their own; after factories implant themselves on land, steal the local resources and impose sweatshop labour practices in order for people to produce things to export to the west that the folks working to produce them can’t even afford; after people start living by the values and religions imposed upon them; after conflict arising from imposed borders and states and religions, not to mentioned factions armed and trained by places like Britain and it’s children (i.e. the bratty USA) makes people’s homes and land unsafe; well; some people want to get the fuck out or at least leave their family and community to make enough money to help the people they love survive. And then the migrants get blamed for being scroungers, or for having *backwards* cultures that persecute people, or are unable to live except in a state of war.

Meanwhile, most of the people doing the blaming are benefiting from almost every aspect of this ongoing system. Even low-paid workers in this country are beneficiaries of this system, being able to buy cheap food and clothes, communication devices, etc., because of the even lower wages and worse working conditions elsewhere. Though, of course, this isn’t universally true and continues to be under constant threat by being shown how much worse things could be. Sometimes i think that the few rights and protections that exist are as much so that “first-world countries” can perpetuate the myth of moral superiority. But certainly they exist because the governments of places like Britain are not as indebted to bodies like the World Bank and the IMF, because they have stolen so much from the places that are so indebted. Countries that have had to borrow significantly from the World Bank and IMF have structural adjustment programs imposed upon them that make them cut and privatize things like health care and education, “liberalize trade”* etc. that further impoverish a region, and those of us living in “wealthy” nation-states then maintain some standard of health-care and education (tho that’s eroding because of our own complicity with neo-liberalism), benefit from the so-called liberal trade agreements, and then ridicule and demean the places we continue to steal from.

Get that? Those of us in Canada, the US, western-Europe, Australia, etc. are still stealing from the rest of the world, and then calling the people we steal from the scroungers and thieves. It’s a little like breaking into someone’s home, stealing what you want before burning it down, maxing out their stolen credit cards, loaning them money to buy back their stuff at double the value and interest and then making them work in your own sweatshop to repay you.

And those of us from the so-called colonies like Canada or Australia (or Occupied Palestine) are occupying mansions built on the burnt-out land of the other person’s home.

Anyone who argues that colonial states like Canada, the US or Australia has the right to impose any sort immigration controls (or the right to continue to break treaties, poison indigenous lands and deny the same degree of health care, education and protection to first nations as it claims to guarantee for it’s settler-citizens) has no right to distance themselves from the racism of that colonial history. I hear people say they are sick of being blamed for history’s mistakes. I personally think that if you are a beneficiary of those mistakes, you better be working really hard to rectify them if you want to absolve yourself of the guilt. But if that’s too extreme or unpalatable for some, then at least let me say, Stop making those same “mistakes”.  If you insist that the theft and murder required to keep you in McDonald’s, mini-vans and microchips (or Birkenstocks, bananas and brown rice) is justifiable, even necessary and that the benefit you gain from it needs to be protected from others, than stop mincing words. It’s exceptionalizing you and your community. Charging your right to thrive at the expense another person’s right to survive. And by extension, supporting the entitlements of the colonizer over the needs of the colonized.  You can call it a lot of things: selfish, greedy, Darwinian (though that’s a misnomer**), 1%-like, but one thing you’ve got to call the belief that some (White***) nation-states deserve to flourish on the backs of the majority of (racialised) cultures and communities (including communities within those nation-states, but that would be at least one footnote too many for this rant) is indeed racist.

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*which essentially means getting rid of import tariffs, facing additional export barriers, and essentially being forced to lower the cost of domestic production, getting rid of workplace standards, any national protection of resources, etc.: “In many countries, NGOs and farmers have expressed great concern that if the import duties have to go down progressively, while at the same time Europe and the U.S. continue to heavily subsidize their exports, then the farmers in developing countries will face great competition from imports and their livelihoods will be threatened. Studies in the Philippines already show how cheaper imports due to liberalization are causing grave problems for Filipino farmers. The situation will get worse in the next five and 10 years. ” http://www.ratical.org/co-globalize/mmIviewMK.html)

**Evolution is describing a process of genetic alterations through history, not a conscious, social process. Moreover, Darwin did not believe that “natural selection” meant any kind of linear progress – hmmmm. maybe it is social Darwinism…saving it for another rant, most likely remain in my head.

***Whiteness is a construct, much like the moon isn’t. And the definition of who is “white” has changed. It was created to distinguish European colonizers from those they colonized. At times, Irish people weren’t white; nor Jews, nor poor people There’s lots written about this. I am using it as the term was invented – those who belong to/identify with the colonial nation-states of Europe and their settler-descendants.

Consensus Decision-Making

job_174-consensus

This guide (click the link above)was written a few years ago and some of my analysis has changed, though i think the tools are still sound.

It attempts to give you a basic framework and some tools for working within a consensus environment. It can be applied to modified versions of consensus as well as other democratic decision-making structures. I feel passionately committed to finding ways for people to work together horizontally, (that means no leaders, no strati) refusing formal hierarchy and undermining informal ones, fighting against domination and oppression in our organizing as we fight against it in the world.

I believe that the best decisions are ones that have broad input, and are tested against the concerns and critiques of those who will be implementing the decisions. I believe the best actions are decided up and carried out by those directly affected. I think that the tools contained within help create a context in which people’s voices are heard, creativity is pushed, and ideas are valued.

It is a work in progress and the result of years of practice and discussion with many amazing people and learning from the most productive and most frustrating experiences in various contexts, generally in grassroots militant organizing, including mass consulta and spokescouncils but also working within not-for-profits, corporate settings and just living in a community with a people with a broad range of experiences, beliefs and styles of communication and decision-making.

It’s based on workshops i’ve given in the past and might be useful for other people’s workshops. I’ve put it under a creative commons license to ensure no one uses it commercially or profits from it and that anyone amending or building upon continues to keep it non-commercial and shares it freely. If you correct the typos, all the better!