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?

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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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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