meetings & minutes

Hi friends!

couple of meeting announcements: our next open meeting will be on SUNDAY (22nd) this weekend, not Saturday. still at LARC (62 Fieldgate St), 5pm for working groups and 6pm for general meeting as usual. probably the last open meeting before the social centre opens, so do come along!

there’s also an interesting discussion happening on Thursday 26th June: “Putting Politics and Pride back into Pride”, as part of the TUC LGBT Conference. 1pm at TUC Congress House, 23-28 Great Russell St. Zacharia Brag will be speaking about the queer social centre project!

finally, here are the minutes from last saturday’s meeting:

Reports back from working groups:

Programme:
– Programme is filling up but there will be space for last minute additions
– Idea to have caucuses during dinner – this would require 2 eating spaces
– Ja to contact spoken word community incl PJ Samuels about performance events
– We discussed possibility of providing a workshop for queer teenagers. Decision not to include this in programme as it is too short notice to find someone to run and promote to teenagers. But we will look for zines & books aimed at kids & youth, and Comms will research queer youth groups to advertise Social Centre programme to

Pic Nic:
– People’s kitchen interested in cooking
– Decision to advertise Social Centre at Pic Nic

March:
– idea is to have a demo outside home office which may spontaneously turn into a march
– accessibility – a vehicle will follow in case people overestimated walk
– T to compile and share accessibility info with other working groups
– Monster March Mask Making Workshop will be on 11th at social centre.

Other Business:
– Discussion on sign interpreters – H to find out if an interpreter will be needed at any events, if so A potentially has a contact for sign interpreting.
– Discussion on volunteer roles – Jo has compiled a detailed list – Ja suggested welcoming roles and volunteered himself for this.
– Discussion of possibility of fundraiser events for other orgs – decision that this would be fine. Preference that there would be no obligation to ‘donate’ in order to enter the space. Donation buckets and announcements inside the space.

xx Brags

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Finding Safe Spaces – new project for LGBTQ+ rough sleepers

Our friends at awesome queer homelessness organisation Stonewall Housing (an independent charity with no connection to smug classist transphobic wankers Stonewall, who make the bus adverts) are starting a new project to improve the way they can help and support LGBTQ+ people who sleep rough. Existing projects such as No Second Night Out often don’t recognise the specific needs of queer rough sleepers and Stonewall Housing want to change this.

Last year, 78 people who called us for housing advice told us they were rough sleeping. A further 143 said they were part of the hidden homeless, unknown to housing services, who were living in insecure and often unsafe spaces.

Finding Safe Spaces is an innovative new project working with lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans* people who experience rough sleeping in Manchester, Brighton and East London.

Funded by the Homeless Transition Fund, we will:
speak directly with LGBT* rough sleepers about their experiences;
work alongside people who support or champion LGBT* rough sleepers;
work with No Second Night Out to make sure that LGBT* rough sleepers are getting the service they need.

One of Team Brag (who is herself a queer homeless person) is going to be helping out as a community researcher, running interviews and focus groups and helping the professional housing workers gain a better understanding of queer homelessness.

If you identify as LGBTQ+ and have experienced rough sleeping (which includes sleeping on public transport, in parks, in bus or train stations, on the street, etc, during the day or night) at least one time in the last two years, get in touch with Robin on 07908 522 972 or robin@stonewallhousing.org.

SH will pay transport costs and give a £10 shopping voucher for anyone taking part in an interview or focus group.

Michael and Robin from Stonewall Housing will also be coming to our new social centre building to talk about queer homelessness and the work that they do on Wednesday 9th July!

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zines, books, films required!

We are looking for queer zines and queer books to provide our space with an amazing radical library!! 

And also films related to queer squats!

Get in touch if you have any materials or suggestions: house.of.brag@gmail.com.

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MONSTROUS PRIDE CALLS FOR ARTS!!

Image

MONSTROUS PRIDE is looking for musicians, DJs, performers, films and film makers, spoken words, readings, cabaret, and all kinds of artists and arts!!

Make ours space full of COLOURS, MUSIC, IMMAGES, SOUNDS, CREATIVITY QUEER VIBRATION!!

Send us an email: house.of.brag@gmail.com! 🙂

 

 

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Meeting! This Saturday! 14th!

This week’s meeting is confirmed for tomorrow Saturday 14th June (at 5pm for working groups, 6pm for all), and we’re back at our usual meeting-home : LARC, 62 Fieldgate St, E1 1ES.

See you there! xx

 

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New House of Brag tumblr created!

Hi! http://www.houseofbrag.tumblr.com is the address of the house of brag tumblr.
It should be automatically syncing with the wordpress.
Followers welcome 🙂

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What is Queer?

What is Queer?

we’ve got a new glossary page on the blog, check it out! thanks to everyone who contributed and gave feedback, we hope you find the finished version helpful.

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Meeting Saturday 7th June – new venue!

The next organisational meeting is tomorrow (Saturday 7th June), at 5pm as usual for working groups, followed at 6pm by a general meeting. But we’re in a new venue, Unite House in Holborn.

Unite House, 128 Theobald’s Road, Holborn, London, WC1X 8TN

Google Map : https://goo.gl/maps/zpdXI

Hope to see you there xx

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Minutes of meeting of 31st May

Apologies for the delay.

Next meeting next Saturday 7th June at LARC from 5pm.

Minutes of May 31st Meeting

General Feedback

Contact has been made with UK Black Pride re picnic – very encouraging. Contact to continue.
Also some new art events are taking shape for the programme.

Publicity – flyers etc. Designs are now coming in, with more to follow. A new batik studio is available, with possibilities for banners etc. Press release drafted – feedback welcome.
Morning Star article to appear.

March – A call out for legal services has happened. A legal workshop will now also be one of the events. Research done into legal considerations of march.

Specific events : Opening event – Baking & Entering, the traditional Brag opening event is proposed again. Possible Derek Jarman screening – Last Of England.
Request for people to specify when an event might be a good dry (sober) night/day. Possible three dry days hoped for.

Contact made with samba band re the march.
Peddles provisionally booked for picnic and march days.

Talk of costume making for the march. Changing area required.
Free shop again.

Out & Proud Diamond Group

Some clarification about the purpose and work of the group, working with refugees and asylum seekers, and the make up of the group – asylum seekers and refugees themselves organising to help others facing sometimes imminent deportation.
Clarification that the host of a recent event – Miss Cairo, whose remarks to the audience had made some people extremely uncomfortable – is not associated with O&P Diamond Group. This was mentioned last week as a one of the main concerns with O&P. Clarification that this person actually has nothing to do with O&P.
Pro-Israeli pinkwashing event which O&P attended raised again.

Point made about the valuable work that the group (O&P) do, life saving in some cases. Feeling that there is a danger in excluding the group.
Clarification that the event was a pinkwashing event. Protest outside by No To Pinkwashing, not Queer Strike as previously mentioned. That there was a demo, not a picket as such.

Point made that O&P is the only group like this, doing this sort of work. Some surprise has been expressed at the decision of last week’s meeting. Their presence at the Israeli event may be explained by a pre-existing relationship that they have with Heaven, the venue.

Point made that O&P were contacted before the event by No To Pinkwashing, and they did not really engage.
Again point being made of the specific work that the group does, and the achievements that it has had with regard to specific asylum cases.

Point made that pinkwashing and the Israeli state is very strongly held to be a racist entity.

Point made that O&P are not pro-Zionist. Some members did not pass the demo. And that none of us can claim ideological purity.

General support for O&P and the work they do.

General feeling that Miss Cairo would not be welcome.

Various proposals discussed seeking a way forward. None were put to the meeting. General feeling that the current contact we have with O&P should continue and that we should have a dialogue with them, hopefully leading to something positive.

Any Other Business

Research into the legal situation re public gatherings presented. General discussion about this.

 

Agreement to meet again next Saturday 7th June, at LARC. 5Pm for working groups, 6pm general.

 

 

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Minutes of meeting of May 24th

Another really good meeting. Thanks to all of you who came along for your energy and commitment.

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

 

Feedback from groups

 

Communications & Publicity

Design of flyers etc is under way. Change to the look of the online accounts – Facebook etc – is also being done. Press release to be written. Call out to all at the meeting and beyond for contact details for press/publicity contacts, bloggers, groups to whom press releases and information can be sent. Please send all such contact details to the House Of Brag email account, marked for the attention of Comms & Publicity.

Passwords to online accounts are to be changed, with access granted to those who need access, based on a web of trust with two other people vouching for each new person.

 

March

An information card is to be made for the day of the march, with a map of the route as well as some advice on what to do in the event of police intervention. Investigating the idea of having appropriate speakers at different locations on the route. Samba band possibly. Route information will not be distributed before the day. Van for accessibility. Route still being worked out. Possibility of promotional texts.

Should we go to places where contact with police will be more likely?

Point made that it would be good to have legal observers on the march. Legal observer role explained.

Points made of the possibility of arrests, and that legal observers will not necessarily prevent that, and may be more useful in the aftermath re the likelihood of charges or convictions etc.

Discussion of the legal position of unapproved marches.

General feeling that a march in the Westminster area is a good idea, with full information as to the risks involved given to all possible participants.

Point made about giving advice to people on the march as to their legal position if arrested, about carrying ID etc.

Point made that this would be good info to have on a web page anyway.

Decided to gather some general legal rights information and collate it, put it online.

 

Programme

Ways are being discussed of having online discussions of events planning. People with particular events interests are taking the lead on those events.

Act Up looking at a film screening and a workshop.

 

Printer

Concern about free printing. There is a printer available for the duration of the social centre. Needs toner, concern at the cost. But it turns out not to be very expensive (possible as little as £20), so general agreement that this will become the project printer.

 

Projector

Do we have one? Yes! We have one.

 

Fundraiser party

Three people currently organising this, could do with more people. Also, looking for accessible venues available for a Friday or Saturday night. Possible dates : 6th 7th 13th or 14th June.

LARC mentioned as a possible venue, with a donation suggested to LARC from the money raised.

Point made that it is chiefly an awareness raiser rather than a fund raiser.

Another possible squat venue mentioned.

Proposal to check the LARC diary and make a provisional booking which can then be dropped if we find a bigger squat venue. Consensus.

 

Core Principles

Proposal to reword a core principal regarding not providing a platform for political parties or fascists as it can be misinterpreted, apparently, as denying access to members of political parties, which is not the intention. General surprise that it had been misinterpreted, but general feeling that if it needs clarifying then it should be clarified.

Proposal to add additional core principle denying entry to fascists.

Both proposals gained consensus.

 

Day of Pride (28th)

Suggestion that there are things we could think about doing at Pride to both promote the social centre, and possibly by way of some direct action.

 

Groups to be invited

Concern expressed about the politics of a group which had been discussed as a possible partner. The Out & Proud Diamond Group reported as attending a pro-Israeli event, with some members believed to have crossed a picket line to do so.

Support expressed for the O&P group and their work with regard to asylum seekers and refugees, with recognition that the reported actions at the pro-Israeli event were very disappointing.

Discomfort expressed with racist comments by the host towards the audience at recent O&P events.

Suggestion that they be invited as individuals rather than as a group, to allow for the possibility of engagement and discussion.

Proposal to not invite the group to host an event, but to encourage them to come along to the social centre. Consensus.

 

Picnic

Our planned picnic clashes with the official Pride picnic on the same day (Sunday 29th). Point made that the picnic is being organised by UK Black Pride, a group with whom we’re friendly and would like to work. Possibility of having a presence at the picnic, collaborating with UK Black Pride. Clarification that this is not an event of the official Pride board, it’s independent of the Pride board – who organise the march on the Saturday.

General feeling that this is a good thing.

Proposal to discuss a presence at the picnic, with a Speakers Corner as the basic element. Consensus.

Additional suggestion to provide fee food. Agreement to discuss the details later.

 

Other business

Engagement with police raised again. Reasons for not engaging discussed. Core principle recalled. Point made that people who were uncomfortable going on a march where there may be police intervention could gather at the end point of the march, to await the party.

Point made that the main police concern is traffic disruption, and that there are considerations of safety etc. A static demonstration versus a moving, traffic blocking march will attract differing levels of police interest.

Again a reminder that the core principle is no police engagement.

March team are working on risk transparency for all people coming to the march.

Point strongly made that we are not engaging with the police, it’s a core principle. Consensus.

 

Agreement to end there.

Congratulations offered to all at the levels of energy and the number of people consistently attending.

 

Next meeting at the same time, same place next week –

 

Saturday 31st May at LARC, 62 Fieldgate Street, Whitechapel, E1 1ES. 5Pm for the working group meetings, 6pm for the general meeting.

 

 

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