RSVP: Action Camp RSVP Form
After Peter Gibbons-Ballew’s pretrial at 9 am, Appalachia Resist! will be in front of Chase bank at 100 E Broad St. in Columbus at noon on January 26th, 2017 asking Chase’s patrons to divest their money from the institutions that are funding the pipeline. Athens, Ohio carpool meet at 550 park and ride between 10:15 and 10:30.
If you bank with Chase, DIVEST NOW!
Since the decision by the US Army to suspend the DAPL river crossing easement to conduct a limited Environmental Impact Statement, the resistance camps at Standing Rock are asking people not to travel to the camps but to “instead take bold action in your local communities to force investors to divest from the project”.
The financial backers of the Dakota Access Pipeline include: JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank, ING Bank, Citizens Bank, U.S. Bank, PNC Bank, Barclays, Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Morgan Stanley. The Standing Rock Sioux & their supporters are asking people to close their accounts with these financial institutions, tell them why, and post the action on social media.
In Columbus, Ohio hundreds of protesters marched together in solidarity with the water protectors at standing rock North Dakota. “This action is occurring simultaneously with protests of across the nation and world in solidarity with the people at Standing Rock” said Madeline ffitch of Appalachia Resist!.
The peaceful protest began in front of the Columbus state house and ended a few blocks away outside of chase bank at 3rd & Broad. Issues such as Ohio’s deployment of 37 State troopers to North Dakota who have engaged in militaristic human rights abuses against peaceful NoDAPL protesters at the expense of Ohioan taxpayers, divestment by banks who have invested over $3.7 billion into energy transfer partners disastrous pipeline, and a call for President Obama to end his final term in the White House with the immediate halting of the US Army Corps of Engineers permits.
“Water is life!” Shouted Peter Gibbons-Ballew- the protester who ground traffic to a halt after locking himself to a van at The intersection of third and State Street. Police on horseback were on the scene as were multiple fire trucks and helicopters circled overhead.”Today is not a day for business as usual – today is a day to shine a light on the human rights abuses being perpetrated on indigenous people attempting to protect their own health and welfare” said protester Lauren Goldberg. Business as usual certainly was not possible in the several hours that protesters occupied the Columbus financial district in one of the biggest protests Columbus has seen for years.
The immediate divestment of major banks from the Dakota Access Pipeline.
The President to immediately halt the DAPL by ordering the US Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the construction permits.
The immediate withdrawal of Ohio’s State Troopers from North Dakota. Committing Ohio state troopers to Standing Rock is an attack on human rights and a misuse of taxpayer dollars. Protesters have been maced, beaten, shot with rubber bullets, locked in dog cages, pulled out of Sweat Lodges during prayer, and brutally assaulted- including children and elders.Because of grave concerns of human rights abuses, the United Nations and Amnesty International have deployed human rights observers to Standing Rock to monitor law enforcement and private security aggression.
The immediate divestment of major banks from the Dakota Access Pipeline. Through Energy Transfer Partners, private banks have invested over $3.75 Billion in the construction of the DAPL. Lets inform the public and ourselves about the importance of divesting from and boycotting these banks:
Wells Fargo, Citibank/Citigroup, TD Securities, ING Bank, BBVA Securities, Citizens Bank, U.S. Bank/PNC Bank/Barclays, JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America, SunTrust, UBS, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley and others.
The President to immediately halt the DAPL by ordering the US Army Corps of Engineers to revoke the construction permits. This is clearly within the President’s power. A request from the Department of Justice to halt construction has been ignored by Energy Transfer Partners. The construction of DAPL crosses the Missouri River, the sole drinking water source for thousands of people, both Indigenous and non-indigenous. A spill from DAPL would result in the catastrophic destruction of the Missouri River as a viable water source.
Join together in calling upon our fellow citizens, elected leaders and law enforcement to rectify the perpetuation of systemic and physical violence against the Indigenous Water Protectors and their Allies at Standing Rock as they defend the health and safety of their water systems and land.
For up to the minute information regarding Appalachia Resist, follow up on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/appalachiaresist/
CHILDCARE will be provided on site
LUNCH AND DINNER will be provided on Saturday and Sunday. Suggested donation of $5-20 to help offset costs. Bring snacks to share if you can.
|8-9||Ada Adams: local multicultural historian|
|Saturday||Location 1||Location 2||Location 3|
|9-10||Welcome and Morning Meetup|
|10-12||What’s Up Pittsburgh: What’s Trump Got To Do With It? White Supremacy, Structural Racism, and the Prison System – Madeline||delfin bautista:Rainbow Intersectionality and Queering Privilege|
|1-3||Marty Zinn: How to Have a productive meeting||Divestment roundtable: Student Sierra Coalition, and hopefully Francine Childs (ending apartheid), and Indiana prison abolition folks: Moderated by Caitlyn McDaniel||Nick and Patrick from Rising Tide: Intro to strategic direct action|
|3:15-5:15||Cusi/Heather: Basic Climb Training.||Jolana and Olivia: Anti-racism Activities||Kim: long and short term prisoner support and advocacy.|
|6:30-7:45||Panel on cross movement organizing or intersectional work: Rising Tide, BLAC, RAMPS, Moderated by: Peggy Gish|
|8:00||John Sims AfroDixieRemix listening project at night for this event.|
|Sunday||Location 1||Location 2||Location 3|
|9-10||Welcome and Morning Meet Up|
|10-12||John Sims, Political Math Artist: Art and Activism||Kim: Blockades|
|1-3||Joshelyn: Environmental Racism||Anne: Basic Street Medic Workshop|
|3:15-5:15||Talcon and Sarah Fick: Bystander Intervention||Teresa Mills: Environmental Justice|
|6:00-8:00||Roundtable on building a multiracial campaign against Letcher County Prison: Panagioti, Jordan from Letcher County, Rachel Lee from Columbus|
|8:00||action prep, banner making|
|11-1||Demand Water Justice! Rally and Flint Water Drive at the courthouse steps. Water Justice Now! Fight for Flint, Fight for Appalachia. Poisoned by lead, C8, 4-Methylcyclohexanemethanol in our tap water.|
What: 2016 Regional Action Camp for Social & Environmental Justice— connecting social and environmental justice efforts in our region to start building a broad coalition that brings us together as allies.
How: By working with regional activists for a dynamic weekend of community building in our region around racial justice, anti rape culture, prison solidarity and prison abolition, environmental justice and anti extraction. We will provide childcare, help with places to stay or camp, two meals on both Saturday & Sunday. Bring snacks to share on Friday evening.
Why: The struggles for economic, racial, and environmental justice are linked and it’s time to offer a camp that will be a jumping off point for solidarity and commonality among social justice and environmental struggles. We realize this a monumental task, and we are definitely NOT the experts. But we believe beginning a dialogue is important and necessary! Join us!
Updates: If you are on Facebook, please check for updates on our FB Page, by clicking HERE. Otherwise, we will get news about workshops out via our email list.
About Appalachia Resist!
We are a group of rural activists that formed Appalachia Resist! in 2012 in a mostly white working class community with a long history of fossil fuel extraction. We respond to the fracking industry in our region by using direct action as a tactic. We coordinate and cooperate with other groups working against this extractive industry. We’ve decided that solidarity with social justice campaigns is how we want to move forward in our work.
Guidelines for Operating by Consensus
Consensus is a process for group decision-making. The input and ideas of all participants are gathered and synthesized to arrive at a final decision acceptable to all. Through consensus, the group utilizes an approach to reaching decisions based upon trust and the input of all involved.
Consensus works among those who are committed to being supportive and empowering of themselves and one another. Each person makes a commitment to: (a) state their preference about what they would like to have happen; (b) inform the group how strongly they feel about their preference; and (c) say what they would and would not be willing to go along with. Differences are welcomed and seemingly contradictory ideas can be worked though and synthesized. Consensus assumes that people are able to talk about their differences and take responsibility for reaching a mutually satisfactory position. No ideas are lost; each member’s input is valued as part of the solution.
During discussion a proposal for resolution is put forward. It is amended and modified through more discussion, or withdrawn if it seems to be a dead end. During this discussion period, it is important to articulate differences clearly. It is the responsibility of those who are having trouble with a proposal to put forth alternative suggestion. When a proposal seems to be well understood by everyone and here are no new changes asked for, the facilitator can ask if there are any objections or reservations to it. If there are no objections, there can be a call for consensus.
Consensus does not mean that everyone thinks the decision made is necessarily the best possible one, or even that they are sure it will work. What it does mean is that in coming to that decision, no one felt that their position on the matter was misunderstood or that it wasn’t given a proper hearing. It also means that the final decision does not violate someone’s fundamental ethics, for if it did they would be obligated to block consensus or to withdraw.
On a continuum, those who object can express one of several position.
Once a decision has been reached on an issue, this decision will stand until compelling new information requires its re-discussion.
In order to provide safety in the group it is critical that no one “go along’ for the sake of speed, efficiency or peace. Ignoring individual preferences upsets the balance of power, creates a lack of trust within the group, and undermines the strength of the group as a whole
How to have a good meeting.
Three keys to good meetings.
Roles for the meetings:
It takes training and a personal commitment to cooperation and equality to make a good facilitator. Other qualities that aid in facilitation are the ability to paraphrase or sum up, a good memory, a sense of what’s missing or what’s needed in the discussion, and humility. Also, a good facilitator is not deeply invested in the topic at hand and/or will step down from the role of facilitator for agenda items for which s/he has a lot to say. The facilitator is considered a “servant leader.” It’s a good idea to rotate facilitators so that more people get a chance to practice and everyone gets a chance to just be a participant.
Facilitator Job Duties:
Techniques for Discussion:
Consensus, A Group Decision Making Process
Consensus decision-making is a group decision making process that not only seeks the agreement of most participants, but also the resolution or mitigation of minority objections. Consensus is usually defined as meaning both general agreement, and the process of getting to such agreement.
Since the consensus decision-making process is not as formalized as others, the practical details of its implementation vary from group to group. However, there is a core set of procedures which is common to most implementations of consensus decision-making.
Once an agenda for discussion has been set and the ground rules for the meeting have been agreed upon, each item of the agenda is addressed in turn. Typically, each decision arising from an agenda item follows through a simple structure:
Although the consensus decision-making process should, ideally, identify and address concerns and reservations early, proposals do not always garner full consensus from the decision- making body. When a call for consensus on a motion is made, a dissenting delegate has one of three options:
Example of Ground Rules:
AR! Groundrules for Cooperation
Power Dynamics Within Meetings.
People who are accustomed to societal privilege and power may be used to having their voices and opinions heard easily and often both in larger society and in the smaller groups and meetings they participate in. It is important to confront the ways that your group’s dynamics may directly or indirectly exclude or minimize the voices of people based on their race, class, gender, ability, language use, citizenship, status as a parent, income, educational background, or activist experience.
The consensus method may not, in itself, be able to confront all societal privilege and power, but it is built interrupt those dynamics within smaller organizing communities. Because it seeks to amplify all voices and because it identifies and works against hierarchies, working by consensus can be a good foundation for anti-oppression work within groups.
It is also important for groups to engage in and to take seriously anti-oppression work. There are plenty of excellent people to provide anti-oppression trainings.
Power dynamics also manifest within groups as individual misconduct, structural weaknesses, or “power plays”. Of course, these often intersect with, or stem from issues of societal privilege, but even when that doesn’t seem to be the case, power imbalances within groups must be identified and worked through in order to fully embrace consensus principals. Remember, most people have been on the “wrong” side of at least one type of power imbalance. This shouldn’t have to be about rooting out the baddies, but simply about improving group process.
What It Looks Like
Working by consensus may be important but it’s not all that glamorous. Be wary if someone talks a good game about working against oppressive systems and changing the world, but they are not doing the hard work within meetings of simply listening, not interrupting, of accepting consensed upon decisions, and of observing ground rules. But how do you identify when there are unwanted power dynamics working their way into your group or into your meetings? Here are some of the ways that power imbalances might play out within groups or meetings (particularly in activist settings).
Microaggressions: A microagression is “the casual degradation of any socially marginalized group”. It’s often enacted on an individual level. Constantly commenting on the way a woman looks or what she is wearing, asking a person of color to speak for all people of color, refusing to refer to someone by the pronoun that they prefer are all examples of microagressions.
Gatekeeping: One person in the group seems to have all the information, and in order to participate fully, everyone else needs to go through that one person for access to information, passwords, media contacts, access to other activist communities or ways of working.
Intimidation and Self Righteousness: One person declares or implies that they deserve to have a larger say in decision making because of their purported level of activist experience, political awareness, or “political purity”. Intimidating or excluding others on the basis of activist experience encourages an atmosphere in which people feel they have to prove themselves in order to fully participate. Such an atmosphere makes activists vulnerable to infiltrators and saboteurs. Remember that you should never feel under pressure to recite an “activist resume”, to talk about past actions that you’ve taken part in, to participate in an action you’re uncomfortable with, or to prove that you are somehow “legitimate” enough to have your voice equally heard in group decision making.
Rigidity: One person in the group seems unresponsive to group process. Even after group brainstorms, discussions, straw polls, go rounds, and modified proposals, it seems as if this person hasn’t been listening. They are unwilling to take other voices into account, and will not budge from their unadulterated position. This makes it difficult to pass proposals or to make meaningful decisions as a group.
Stumping: After much discussion and brainstorming, a go round, a straw poll, and a “tally vote” show strong group support for two particular plans of action. Instead of respecting this process, one person goes back to the beginning of the discussion and begins to “pitch” whichever idea they personally are most attached to. This type of stumping is a vestigial carryover from electoral decision making styles, where the goal is to “advertise” certain ideas in order to get the majority of votes. Stumping can derail a group process that should be focused on the merits and concerns of various proposed plans, and on the nuances and ideas that each person in the group can bring to these proposals. Meeting time should not be used to “get people onto your side”, but to co create meaningful plans of action.
Pushing the Process: This person suggests, at crucial moments, that things are taking too long, that the group doesn’t have time to come to consensus, or that a decision needs to be made quickly. This suggestion often comes at moments of high emotion, high consequence, disagreement, or discomfort, and often comes at the expense of voices that are already at the margins. This might be followed by the suggestion that a few people be empowered to make the crucial decision without group input, or that the process be cut short and things be put to a vote.
Transferring of Roles: As often happens in small communities, you might find yourself working in an activist group with someone who, in another context, is your employer, your professor, your partner, your classmate, or even your landlord. In most cases, it’s not enough to declare that those daily roles don’t matter. Instead, it is important to watch out for ways that those power stratifications might seep into group decision making and group process.
Silent Judgement, and Gossip: This person keeps their criticisms and concerns to themselves during meetings, but loudly spreads negative opinions once the meeting is over. By establishing groundrules and using good facilitation, consensus run groups attempt to create an opportunity for concerns and criticisms to be heard and worked through within meetings. Bypassing this can create an atmosphere of intimidation as well as a lack of trust and a lack of accountability. It also can be a power grab because the person has the luxury of voicing criticisms and concerns without the difficulty of hearing responses to them.
Acting Defensive. This person cannot hear concerns or criticism within meetings without directly responding to them each time, or treating them as personal attacks. This can subtly discourage much needed honesty during debriefs, which are built to help groups improve.
What To Do About It
Set Groundrules. For a group that meets together often, there might be one set of co-created groundrules that is always posted at meetings. A group that meets together for a one-time event can come up with groundrules at the beginning of the event. Groundrules are aimed at creating a shared understanding of basic behavioral conduct within the meeting, at creating a safer space for all to participate authentically, and to build trust within the group. It can be useful to go back to the groundrules and check in if the vibe of the meeting is off. Groundrules can be useful as a way to identify unwanted power dynamics within the group.
Use The “Point of Process Hand Signal.” Interrupt the meeting to mention that there might be a problem with process, that you fear the process is being rushed or that subtle hierarchies are creeping in. Be direct. Suggest or facilitate a check-in with the group in the form of a go-round, or asking directly to hear from people whose voices haven’t been heard. A go-round can help make sure that everyone gets a chance to comment on how they feel about the current process and how it might go better.
Debrief Everything. Even though it takes time and everyone is tired, make sure that your group debriefs every action or large event that they plan, as soon as it makes sense to do so afterwards. Analyzing and understanding what worked and what didn’t about group activities makes it harder for persistent power dynamics to fly under the radar.
Suggest Structural Changes: Discussions of power dynamics often seem like they’re built to denounce bad people within groups. But most people have been on the bad side of at least one of these dynamics, even if they didn’t mean to be. Assuming that all people within the group want the group to operate more democratically and equitably, consider suggesting structural changes that could help make this happen. If it seems like one person is gatekeeping, for example, it could help to establish rotating roles within the group for who checks the email account, acts as media spokesperson, keeps track of funds, etc. If one person’s microagressions seem to be stemming from a certain type of obliviousness, suggest that anti- oppression training become a requisite for all group members.
Be Honest With Yourself: If you are the perpetrator of one of the above power plays, consider your own motives or capacity for group work. For example, if you find yourself almost always at odds with the rest of your group, and blocking many decisions, consider that you might have fundamental differences from that group, ethically or strategically, and you might want to take a step back from that organizing body. If you prefer to be the sole decision maker, or only to work with one other person, consider other types of work that could still contribute to changing the world but don’t necessitate that you work in a democratic group process.
Don’t Hesitate to Bring in Outside Trainers or Mediators As needed! Regardless of experience or expertise within a group, a fresh perspective can always be useful. It can be invigorating and refreshing for a group to periodically bring in an outside trainer who can help them work through or learn more about process issues, power dynamics, or anti oppression work.
OTHER TRAINING RESOURCES:
WHAT’S UP?! PITTSBURGH: https://wwhatsup.wordpress.com (anti racist work, started out as white people confronting white supremacy)
AORTA: Anti Opression Resource and Training Alliance: http://aorta.coop (a variety of trainings on democratic process, also mediation and anti oppression work)
CATALYST PROJECT (ANN BRADEN PROGRAM):
TRAINING FOR CHANGE: https://www.trainingforchange.org
The Deconstruction Crew consisting of members of the Ohio University Student Union and Appalachia Resist have assembled on Shafer Street in Athens Ohio on the morning of June 23, 2015 at a pipeline construction site to reverse construction of Ohio University’s natural gas pipeline. This pipeline poses a danger to the local community and will contribute to the disastrously approaching climate chaos! #StopOUPipeline