April 15 @ 6:00 pm – Protectors v. Profiteers: Communities in Resistance to Disaster Capitalism
The first part is an accessible & entertaining introductory presentation (using Beehive Collective graphics!), “PROTECTORS V. PROFITEERS: COMMUNITIES IN RESISTANCE TO DISASTER CAPITALISM,” Sunday, April 15, at 6pm in office of Girls Inc, 1108 W 8th St.
The second part is a deeper, participatory workshop for affinity groups and individuals who are ready to get involved, “GIVING OUR BEST, READY FOR THE WORST: COMMUNITY ORGANIZING AS DISASTER PREPAREDNESS” Monday, April 16, at 3pm in office of Girls Inc, 1108 W 8th St. Free admission – all are welcome!
The Mutual Aid Disaster Relief (MADRelief) Training Team is visiting our community. Currently MADRelief is on a national capacity-building and educational tour. They will explain how natural storms turn into unnatural disasters through dangerous new forms of “disaster capitalism” and “extreme resource extraction,” and train diverse affinity groups on principles of grassroots direct action humanitarian aid and crisis response, covering a wide range of topics such as “Principles of ‘Solidarity, Not Charity,'” “Scouting, Mapping, and Understanding Your Community’s Resources,” “Building Power in Collaboration,” “Overcoming Trauma Together,” and “The Logic of Logistics.”
The reality of the climate chaos which is already redefining our future, coupled with rapidly escalating inequality and the civil political unrest that follows, is only worsened by a failing model of crisis management and aid programs centered around political opportunism and disaster capitalism. The time is right for developing a trained and empowered standing network of organizers and volunteers who can help communities rebuild with a vision centered on local community control, collaboration and innovation, and political, economic and social sustainability.
MADRelief is developing a community of grassroots crisis responders, continually growing in size and efficacy, which will be at-the-ready to assist and empower communities to overcome natural and unnatural disasters – from hurricanes to hate rallies, from mudslides to mine waste spills – and to transform these tragedies into opportunities for collective liberation. MADRelief envisions a new form of humanitarian aid, one that is participatory and empowering. One that exemplifies the principle of “Solidarity, Not Charity.” Founded by an already very active network of radical humanitarian aid workers experienced via Common Ground Relief, Occupy Sandy, the Standing Rock Water Protectors, and the long history of diverse movements seeking to make a better world possible, MADRelief is organizing a new network to facilitate inter-community disaster preparation and grassroots direct action humanitarian aid and crisis response. This tour is the first step in a “training campaign” that will strategically and progressively build necessary skills and shared knowledge in local groups that are a part of the rapidly-growing MADRelief network.
How did Trump come to power, and what does that tell us about the era we are entering? What strategies will be effective in countering repressive government policies and the rise of grassroots nationalism?
Framing Trump‘s victory in a global context, we will explore various approaches to self-organization and self-defense, drawing on the principles of mutual aid and direct action. The speakers will also present updates about organizing for resistance to the inauguration in DC on January 20.
Co-sponsored by Inaugurate the Revolution and Bloomington ABC
From the Herald-Times:
By Jonathan Streetman
A community discussion about how to best serve people experiencing homelessness and to make downtown Bloomington safe for all was interrupted Saturday morning by those who felt they had been left out of the discussion altogether.
The working meeting at City Hall, which was announced by the city in a news release 48 hours prior, is part of an ongoing process organized by the Community Justice and Mediation Center as part of the Downtown Safety, Civility and Justice Initiative launched by Mayor John Hamilton in August.
Stage one identified perceptions of the challenges, and stage two
explored potential action ideas in response to these perceived problems, according to a city news release. The third stage, which was Saturday’s public input conversation, did not go off as planned.
As CJAM members were providing the crowd, which filled the Council Chambers to capacity, with updates on the first two stages and then began to discuss the meeting’s agenda, Nicci B of The Equity Collective and about a dozen other group members stood up to read a prepared statement.
The Equity Collective, Nicci said, believes that the task force
assembled is not representative of the Bloomington community, nor is it objective. This process, she continued, should have involved more of the people who are actually affected by the issues being discussed.
“This initiative has failed to position the needs of our community’s
most disenfranchised members as central to the conversation itself, as evidenced by a mediation process that has thus far produced a collection of ‘action ideas’ that largely ignore the root causes of poverty, addiction and other vulnerabilities,” the statement read. “Instead, the proposed strategies overwhelmingly advance business interests through the unjust criminalization and stigmatization of those whose safety is most at risk. We, The Equity Collective, cannot help but wonder whether the Safety, Civility, and Justice Initiative is only meant to serve
those who can afford it.”
The group also took umbrage with the fact that community members were only given 48 hours’ notice, a fact CJAM volunteer Lisa-Marie Napoli agreed was unfortunate. Napoli said she would address timeliness of announcements in the future.
“When we are dealing with people’s futures, we deserve more than 48 hours and zero information,” Nicci said in response.
The disruption continued for about 10 minutes as group members took turns reading the statement. During that time many individuals who had come to participate in the working meeting left the chambers and entered the hallway, where stations had been set up by the center to discuss a variety of issues, including housing, education, mental health, police relations and addictions and abuse.
By the time Nicci and the others finished reading the statement, the room had largely emptied.
About 50 individuals continued with the meeting in discussion groups, while Nicci and others continued to discuss their points with organizing members in the lobby. Members of the Equity Collective then left City Hall with about an hour and a half left in the meeting.
Napoli said she was disappointed that members of the disrupting group didn’t want to participate in Saturday’s discussion.
“This process was designed to be an inclusive process to all community members, to take a look at some starting ideas of solutions to discussing downtown safety and civility issues and to build on those,” said Napoli, who helped create the three-stage process before handing over their report to the task force. The discussions, she added, would also allow community members to grab onto ideas about what they can do at their level to make a difference.
“I respect democracy; I respect the voice and people’s right to protest. It’s ironic because this meeting is wholly designed to be inclusive,” she said.
Napoli said there was an entire open space in the lobby designed to
discuss new ideas that weren’t on CJAM’s list, and that the Equity
Collective’s list of demands would have been discussed there, if Napoli had been allowed to run the meeting as she had planned.
The center will now forward all information gathered to the Safety,
Civility and Justice Task Force for further study. Hamilton has asked that recommendations be made to him by early April 2017.
Over the three years until the plant shutdown is completed, the workers at Carrier will see that they have only two choices: wait for salvation from above (the company, a union, politicians) that will never arrive or go beyond the point of angry words to direct, self-organized struggle…