Minutes from 2nd Organisational Meeting

Minutes from Meeting 17/10/12

Proposal for start of meetings –
Introduce self and preferred gender pronoun

Feedback from Safer Spaces Working Group
– Various proposals for guidelines for dealing with internal and external conflicts were outlined, including appointing tranquillity officers, a designated conflict mediation space, a system for community accountability, with more input from Aongus at a later date, and setting up phone trees for generating immediate support from the local squatting community.
– It was agreed that these guidelines were a good start for a working document that could be written up and used as a guideline for resolving conflicts.
– It was also suggested that we work hard to foster a supportive and safe environment and community whereby people feel able to resolve conflicts internally without having to resort to police involvement. However it was agreed that any action towards conflict resolution was entirely at an individuals discretion and should be supported.
– It was suggested that we reproduce literature about being assertive in calling out people for behaviour, and T has volunteered to produce this for distribution in the space.
– Zx suggested ‘guidelines’ rather than policy, and these should be separate to the list of unaccepted behaviours.

Feedback from Community Invite
– We cannot use the word ‘café’ because of licensing issues that will present problems for us and potentially could jepordise the longevity of the project as well as put us under threat of prosecution.
– We need to remove the word café from the social networking sites and everywhere else.
– Definition of Queer is problematic, especially use of the word ‘non-normative’ in the neighbourhood letter.
– Jack and the gay people that he is representing within the community are unwilling to co-operate with the social centre if we are using the word ‘Queer’.
– Proposal to add more of an explanation of what queer means to us on the invite to the neighbours.

Jacks Concerns
– General meeting tomorrow including councillors from Labour, Lib Dems and Gladys Scheuber (who Jack mentions is ‘on our side’), we are invited to come along. Zx and T have volunteered to attend on behalf of the group.
– Jack mentioned that Gladys Scheuber would like to come and have a look around, and that we should sort out our kitchen, and our toilets. Jack suggests that Gladys would be able to sort that out for us.
– Jack proposed that he could deal with the water situation personally for us.

– Jack mentioned that there is a local AA group that are looking for a venue for their meeting, and this would be a opportunity for us to give something back to the community.
– Zx suggested he is not happy with the ethics of AA as an organisation, and would be uncomfortable with the group meeting in the space.
– It was proposed that we research the AA as a group and decide at the next meeting whether this is something that we would be comfortable hosting such a meeting. T has volunteered to look into the AA.
– Jack mentioned that the AA is a council funded project, and the council have recently shut down their building on Kennington Rd and that the nearest place is Greenwich.
– It was proposed that there may be an issue with the fact that alcohol is available on the premises. It was decided that if we do decide to host the meeting we would be a ‘dry’ venue for a few hours either side.

– He also suggested a desire for dancing, meditation as possible uses of the space.
– Jack also raised the option of housing homeless people.
– It was mentioned that we had discussed that we do not have the skills to deal with individuals who are homeless, and that there are other organisations available who can.

Other things the space should provide.
– A welding workshop has been proposed and D will be leading this. The room that has been allocated for that will be cleaned, and sorted out in preparation for that to start as soon as possible.
– J has proposed a sewing machine workshop next week.
– E has suggested a bike workshop, providing tools
– C from 56a has a connection that would like to set up a bike workshop.
– S proposed a Queer reading group and that the group be accessible to more people.
– If you are proposing a workshop then get someone from House of Brag to put it in the calendar and you are responsible for facilitating the event, with the help of House of Brag team and volunteers.
– E raised the issue of hosting groups with political agendas, such as Queer Resistance, and should we be hosting them?
– It was agreed that groups with radical queer and anti-capitalist values should be welcomed. It was decided that Queer Resistance could host their meetings in the space, E will be the contact for that.
– It was raised that we should have a process whereby we pick and choose political groups that we are hosting on a case by case basis, and we consult the group before booking them in.
– E would like to host an academic reading group, LIES Journal.
– D suggested that we host keep fit comrade classes in the space, and has volunteered to organise this.
– Zi proposed a workout with an acquaintence of his who is a personal trainer, and that Zi would be the point of contact for that. It was also suggested that we combine the two fitness events.

Colourama and Cuts Café
– It was suggested that we make more connection with the Cuts Café and Colorama, and it could work in the form of a presentation of our social centre at their centres. This is something to be discussed in a further meeting and carried out in the near future.
– Zx suggested that we fill a board from the ‘staff room’ with information about the LQSC and they could do the same, include a map and information about skipping, and exchange similar boards with the local social centres and radical anarchist queer spaces.
– It was suggested that we forge links with other LGBT groups in London. Fusing the link between queerness and homelessness.
– It was suggested that we make a list of the contacts at the Cuts Café and Colorama to contact them. Zx has volunteered to contact these places.
– Jack suggested that we put up information in local libraries, council houses plus more places.
– Angus and Guidela (sp?) have offered to make a poster for the group, T and D have volunteered to draft the information for the poster and keep the design consistent, and then relay this information to Aongus.
– G has volunteered to create a skipping map via asking for help from Colorama.

Other meetings
– It was suggested that further meetings be scheduled for different days, it was proposed that the future meetings be held on Sundays. T has volunteered to update google calendar.

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3 Responses to Minutes from 2nd Organisational Meeting

  1. Fab minutes. Many thanks for typing these up and having everything so easily accessable on here. Looking forward to visiting you all again soon. – Cel

  2. AA has helped me a lot and I have never personally had any problems with it ethically. I’ve been in it for a year…. what seems to be the issues? Also it would be a good idea to publicise the fact the alcohol may be around, as I wasn’t made overtly aware last time I went (I suspected it, but it would be good to know when/when not there’s drinking around).

    • houseofbrag says:

      Brag has little or no direct experience with AA. Concerns were raised during a meeting regarding the AA’s Christian-influenced model of addiction as an individual moral failing as opposed to a medical issue and the lack of empirical evidence regarding the effectiveness of the 12-step program beyond being a mechanism for drawing together a peer-support group. Having noted this – we are sure that a peer-support group of any kind is likely to be useful for people who wish to discuss alcoholism and would be happy to provide the space for any AA meeting that wished to use our space.

      I am updating the website description to make explicit the fact that alcohol is drank by some in the space. Cheers for the feedback 😉

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