Minutes of meeting – 17th May

Thanks to everyone for coming along yesterday – it was another great meeting, and there’s a general feeling that we’re making really good progress and things are starting to take shape.

We split up into working groups first, and then had a general meeting, and these are the minutes of that general meeting.

Minutes of the organisational meeting for LQSC’s alternaives to Pride, 2014

17th May 2014

Feedback from working groups

Programme of events WG
Proposed events will be listed on the HoB blog.

March/Parade WG
Plan to have a dressing up day for themed costumes. Plans to create placards, and devise chants. Plans to investigate sourcing a sound system. Proposed that the march/parade will include a tour of political targets in central London. Plans to source a bus or minivan for accessibility. Plans for flyering while on the march to communicate the idea to onlookers.

Communications & Publicity WG
Discussed sticking with GMail or moving to RiseUp – sticking with GMail was thought best by the WG. No objections from the general meeting, so we will stick with GMail.
Shout out for artwork, photographs etc for ongoing updates of media. As well as articles/text etc for general sharing on the website and Facebook.
Also shout out for names of groups we should reach out to, to let them know what we’re doing. And for emailing out posters and flyers.
Shout out for twitter handles.
An appeal to all organisers and participants to let the communications team know when there is something which we need to do, especially with regard to reacting to things such as the recent formal announcement of Barclay’s sponsorship of official pride, and the disgusting plan to turn ATMs into GAYTMs.

Safer spaces policy (for the Social Centre space)

Call to amend the text regarding dry days to include a request not to turn up to the centre under the influence of drink or drugs during a dry-day. So amended. A feeling that it might be important to except emergencies or situations where someone might need help.
Call to amend the text to emphasise that the Safer Spaces Policy is all the more import on days other than dry-days. So amended.
Question raised as to whether a list of unwanted behaviours, as opposed to the current more general and positive wording, is more desirable.
Point made that either approach can be valid and effective.
Point made that the current version doesn’t preclude a list of unwanted behaviours as well – being posted in the space itself for example.
Consensus that the general and positive wording which currently stands is good.

Media engagement policy

A specific request has been made (by a queer-identifying journalist who is positive towards our principles and ideas) as to whether they can pitch a piece to The Guardian Comment Is Free about the social centre.
Also for discussion – do we grant access to the centre to journalists and photographers who are working as such at the time.
Point is made about bad experiences before with articles (even when the journalist is well-intentioned) about previous social centres. Which led to last year’s policy of no journalists through the door.
Points made about the fact that there are many people who are bloggers etc who will just turn up and then cover the centre. Related point made about journalists who write about us – we have no control over what they ultimately say.
Question asked as to whether we could write a Comment Is Free piece ourselves. Point made that that would be a bit unfair towards the person who has approached us asking to pitch a positive piece.
Point made that if there is trust in the person who wants to pitch to the Guardian then we should do it. Suggestion that it could be co-written by one of us. Suggestion that the piece could be checked before publication.

Proposal : contact the person and have a chat about it, and how much control they think they will have over the published piece, and if that all looks good, suggest co-writing, or co-operation. Consensus reached.

Proposal : no journalist/photographer through the door of the centre. And any individual piece which is pitched to us should be cleared if possible by consensus. Consensus reached.

Proposal : send out an informational press release to contacts / people in the media. Bearing in mind that we do not have control. Consensus reached.

Fundraising

We discussed how to get the small amount of money we need without going against the spirit of the core principles. Persistently asking for donations from our own community seems wrong.

Suggestions made : A fundraising party. A GoFundMe (or similar) internet page. A magic hat passed around at events.

A GoFundMe page or similar can be researched with regard to whether it seems consistent with our core principles.
Point made that there is about £100 in the kitty to possibly cover expenses for setting up a fundraising party.
Point is made there remains an outstanding donation from UNITE, which is still avalable.
Suggestion made that LUSH is a possible source of donations. Some reservations are expressed about taking money from LUSH.

Proposal to share out excess funds once the social centre finishes to groups with whom we’ve worked. Consensus reached.

Proposal : find people to fundraise. Some of us are going to reach out to others with a view to organising a fundraising party. Consensus reached.

Further questions and objections are raised to the idea of a GoFundMe or similar page. Feeling that it doesn’t fit with with core principles. Also, it would require a bank account. General feeling that this is the wrong way to go.

Fundraising summary : Yes to party, no to internet begging.

——-
In a victory for the queering of bureaucracy, we ended the meeting by all introducing ourselves.

It was agreed that we should meet at the same time in the same place next week.

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