Minutes from the open organisational meeting on 13th october

Next open meeting on wednesday 17th at 7pm


Description of HoB
– a collection of queer and allied people felt a need for a social centre and went about getting that done. There has been a huge amnt of support.
– New to queer scene and to squatting, this is a learning curve.
– Not intended to be a service provided for people, run by people
– what is queer?
– people who step outside of gender or sexuality norms or how one conducts their gender or sexuality life or those who feel that it has a political side to it in terms of definitions of how society sees gender and sexuality. broad as poss. definition, the term is broad.
– anything that doesn’t fit into the small box that people have defined as OK
– heteronormativity: the assumption that the canilla marriage and children would be the desired norm and people should aspire to this, it would be an exception to not be a part of that
– a whole bunch of neighbours exited
– queer is about self definition
– for future: underline importance of allies

– council and neighbours?
– have had contact with neighbours, can’t get through to council
– two years ago, proposal for flats, campaign against this, which fizzled out
– is social centre moveable?
– we dont expect to be here for long, already scoping out candidate buildings, move somewhere with community
– a broader queer movement and a broader queer centre? HoB has mobility, open discussions should work with wider queer community
– aqab happened around same time as this, would like to be part of it, lots of ideas of films
Future of HoB
– what do people want from centre? what do people want to do in here?
– uncertainty, adventure, fun; keep project going for as long as energy, expanding, engaging, more people, this is why open meetings.

Possibility of Getting Local Groups involved in HoB
– attempts to connect with save community centre campaign. there has been sense that this queer project has appropriated local residents’ space
– when was last used?
– 2 years ago
– are there queer identified people in local community?
– yes, probably. Kennington.
– do other poeple feel it is important to engage with local community?
– consensus yes
– if this project is mobile, how important is local?
– good though difficult to make it clear that presense of queer and queer allied squatters is not necessarily alienating.
– are any redevelopment plans in place? important to engage what was here before, and use it for future.
– yes important because massive building lots of poeple can feel like an invasion important to build links just to be nice
– surely a community centre should be about community
– short flyer to tell people what’s going on – there is one, but it’s hard to read – should be accessible, inclusive language. how to explain queer in inclusive language? be aware of language intensivity. Several different languages. to say it’s FOR NEIGHBOURS specifically. Which languages? Spanish, Portuguese? Someone here teaches Spanish.
Who is on working group?
Angus, Harriet, Zach, Carolin
– a day to have specifically local people in
– make it clear it’s open to ways people want to use space – community’s own issues, offer food
– free shop closer to entrance to welcome people in
– Southwark Trades Union Council – are in touch with council tenants’ association. Will send details. Historical note – this whole complex was once their buildings,
– Elephant Notes
– Aylesbury Tenants Group are great.

Other group involvement
– QIN: Queer Youth Network
– temporary nature of space is fine.
– Local community would like to use the space for how they used it before. Communicate by knocking on door.
– Outreach working group?
– Single person and mobile phone number? Phone rotates through group.
– Phone number on invitation.
– People should get in touch with house.of.brag@gmail.com if they
– Queer Self Defense classes.
– Stonewall Housing, here if anyone needs one to one support
– possiblity of talks?
– something about accessing housing
– Left Front Art: Queer, Political, Art. Use this space as a venue for discussino forum? Yes.
– Regular open mics? Regular events?
– Yes. Programme in main room.
– Regular open meetings?
– Wednesday at 7.
– Also closed meetings, more practical.
– Also meeting on a Weekend? Every 3rd or 4th meeting is on a Saturday afternoon? Every 2nd?

Safer Spaces Policy
– a list of behaviours we don’t accept here. we hope to discuss this as a group.
– biphobia
– violence
– sometimes violence an option if attacked?
– this is surely self defence?
– should police be called?
– they have been, and it was helpful
– there is really good LGBT officer in borough
– opposition to police or state involvement, should be able to deal with problems ourselves
– this is unrealistic
– there should be procedure, policy.
– Not policy: guidelines. ideas. discussions. you don’t know until the situation occurs.
– this is not ideological, it is pragmatic. how would police affect this as a safer space? Assess by whether or not this would make it safer.
– as a queer space more vulnerable to violence
– should be more detailed meeting on how to deal with violence and police violence. form of safer spaces policy should come first.
– how would we respond to situations of safer spaces policy being contravened? is violence ok?
– discussions so far have been small group, decided to refer to larger group
– smaller working groups to decide and report back?
– time and place can meet to discuss this specifically and come up with suggestions or broad guidelines for dealing with violence
– how to present this to people who are new to a safer spaces policy?
– Meet on Wednesday 17 Oct with report from working group who have come up with guidelines? Tools that people are aware of and can use.
– Should not be a policy, rule, should be a guideline.
– Working group provide structure for discussion rather than come up with guidelines
– This discussion should happen now; too important. Things can come up now.
– What do we do about police until Wednesday?
– Do research about how other safer spaces deal with this.
– are rules in safer spaces policy going to be hard or soft?
– come up with procedure and then decide if it is hard or soft?
Working group to structure next meeting’s discussion: Jacob Yaz Zia Eve Georgia Aonghus

Agenda points not covered:

Other things the space should provide
Colorama + Cuts Café

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