Sunday, June 10, 2007

Recap for June 3, 2007

New members (and returnees) introduced.

Allen-Power of Hope, non-profit youth development group (also member of 2012

Susan Carlton Brown, only been here one other time-back from Boulder, CO. Works at PLU.

Sid’s Story

Dexter’s moral and philosophical question of the day.

Went to the NCORE conference. Has been working on the report of the R&P task force. One of the issues is that UPS has made it a value to remain small. Dexter has pushed the university to think big. One area is to provide something that could be an anchor for the R&P initiative—like an Institute. There must still be community involvement, the question is how much, how wide, under what structure.

Went to NCORE to look at how they run their organization. They focus on the human resources area—diversity in hiring, multicultural office etc. They operate out of the U. of Oklahoma and put on a conference that travels to different universities.

First night there was a cruise 1,700 people. Sat across from a white couple. Man was one of the founders of the program (had no idea). Spoke with him for 3 hours.

One session, Sofia Elijah, Claude Marx, Wayne Thompson, Danny Glover presented on the issue Free the SF 8. 8 black men (former Panthers) well known in the community as activists, were charged Jan. 23 in death of a white police officer 36 years ago. 3 or 4 of them were arrested 36 years ago, taken to NO and tortured. Charges were eventually dropped. In 2003, same officers who tortured them showed up at their doors. “Remember me?” One of the methods was the plastic bag.

Sofia Elijah was on the radio talking about it in Louisiana and the host interrupted and said that the use of the plastic bag has not stopped in LA, in fact recently a man died under such treatment. So the 8 men are in jail but no indictment has even been made. 3 grand juries have thrown out. They are in jail based on a “complaint”. Bail is set at 3 million. One of the men died in Dec.

Question: Given the recent attempts to bring to justice crimes against civil rights activists, is this the retaliation of the white side? If Dexter understands it correctly, the charges are now being brought under the auspices of the Patriot Act.

One reason to bring it up is that some of these folks would be willing to come speak to us about the case.

Legacy of Torture: The War Against the Black Liberation Movement is the title of the documentary. There is a bubbling up of a whole new movement among the youth to reestablish the BPP. This is also against the backdrop of the history of the “old war” against the BLM (COINTELPRO). There are efforts to recruit agent provocateurs and other plants to infiltrate these new organizations. As in the past, if the black men refuse to be plants, they are then targeted.

A member pointed out that there are still over 1,000 political prisoners from the 60’s and 70’s.

Another member agreed that black men are often targeted when trying to organize. He believes it will get to brothers being snatched off the street. A friend and mentor was in jail for robbing a bank, finally let out after 6 months, then re-arrested for rape. Still in jail now.

Another member told of instances where these men are drugged and tortured in these jails.

Another comment on the Patriot Act—it seems that as a population, the American people don’t care or don’t see how it affects us. Maybe it would be good to have a discussion on the Act.

Dexter—really thinks that this group could represent a useful way to bring in discussions of the PA and use it as a way of looking at this issue. We could make some contact with the folks

Another member talked about the tactics used by police at the Port Resistance as well as the reporting on the events. A lot of the tactics that were used were under the auspices of the Patriot Act. An email was circulated around about how human rights were violated that was sent to the City Council on the basis that there was a resolution that the city would not violate civil rights, but now ”can’t comment because of lawsuits”, etc.

Another member said given what the power structure did against mostly white, college kids, don’t even want to know what’s going on in Cell Block D.

R&P was an intelligent exposure of the tender underbelly of racial injustice. Whether it’s the flooding of NO, the incarceration of black men, educational inequities, these issues continue to be a call to us to articulate and expose the injustice. How can we, as a community, ensure that the R&P initiative continue? We should continue the discussion about this next week.

A question that we have to address at some point—as Redeeming the Vision was the first coming out event, the next one will be a (loosely called) fall festival.

Last week the V-Team had a discussion about time. We decided to propose that at 11 we officially end our proceedings. If there is a substantive issue that some want to continue on, or if people just want to socialize, can stay. One of the needs that Dexter has is to have this kind of discussion. Quite comfortable with not knowing what the outcome is of these discussions, but the process itself is important.

Community Partners of R&P will meet June 13th at 4pm.

Adjourned at 11:15

Part 2 with those who wanted to continue the discussion.

R&P was a group of people with energy, intellectual commitment and were in the best sense of talk as action, discussing what they were going to do when they got back to their respective institutions. I.e., Oregon University, came as a group and organized their own caucus to strategize. If we can become an incubator for such activities that would really be enough. Politics is the art of the possible.

Community Partners collectively brought 10 of the 60 panels. One thing insisted upon was local representation rather than national speakers—validate the work that local people and groups are doing.

What about a consortium idea—already have it, really with the Community Partners. Multiple universities and community organizations and groups—spread the cost.

Next idea is to have an R&P Anniversary Summit to brainstorm about what can happen in the future of R&P. Community Partners should take the lead on the visioning.

Texas’10% model:

before: 75% of college students came from 10% of high schools

after: Each HS should have 10%

new 10%ers performed better.

Push back came form suburbanites—there should be no more than 50% combined should come from other schools.

Measure failed.

Tacoma is a great place to come for conferences in the summer.

Tension between 2 visions of Tacoma—a place ripe for becoming a model of radicalism and social justice work or a place for the capitalistic aims of the cultural creative class to thrive.

Another session at NCORE was by people from the National Institute on Diversity being developed at U. of Michigan.

Consortium idea is viable-an example is of how we do academic library consortia—by themselves no academic institution can provide all of the necessary library resources.

An observation from a new member is that in terms of group dynamics, we often fall into student:teacher mode rather than dialogue with each other. It would be great


Tom circulated a Petition to TPS School Board and Superintendent.

A member brought up a news item that reports a danger in toothpaste. Diethylene Glycol (DEG) an ingredient in toothpaste, esp. when made in China. Same ingredient is in anti-freeze. Don't use.

June 16th - Juneteeth in the Park People’s Park 2012, Dawud Mateen, gospel, fraternities, other speakers.

Later that night, Dawud Mateen and a really great local reggae group, Laborer will be at One Heart Cafe

Traditional Caballeros celebration as well.

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