Thursday, December 3, 2015

Activist Circle 12/2/15






On Wednesday December 2nd, I was joined by about 10 other activists for a time to share our triumphs, struggles, concerns and reflections on our efforts. It was  insightful and rewarding to be able to check-in with a whole new group of like minded folks.

It was held at the The Cascadia Center for Social Ecology near 22nd/Burnside. I had no clue this place even existed...and it reminded me a lot of the GuildHall at Community Supported Everything up in NE(now sadly defunct). These "activist hubs" are really critical in building solidarity

The Cascadia Center offers education, training, and support for effectiveness and enjoyment in our work for social justice and ecological regeneration.
We each went around introducing ourselves and our main cause. I said mine was environmental/veganism, and noted I lived primarily without money in order to to be a full-time change agent.

Next, we had a time to connect about the positive and negative aspects going on in our work. I noted the accelerated rise of Veganism, especially in mainstream and online culture, with particular note to growing awareness among environmentalists, notably with all the climate change and conference talk in the last few weeks. I also mentioned my Brooklyn Collective housing situation being very supportive and nurturing in my endeavors, by both providing an extremely affordable room price, but also fostering bountiful synergy with heart-centered, wholesome community members. To close, I brought up Food Not Bombs always being  a solid place for radical elements in PDX to mingle, and has helped keep me engaged in helping myself, and other with our food security needs.

On the negative spectrum, I did mention right off the bat the issue with a problematic person who used to be in our circles, and is now actively harassing and generally burdensome behavior. This "self-policing/call-out/accountability" theme is something many groups have to deal with, so there were many nods of resonance. I also mentioned that while intersectionality is growing across movements, I still see lots of disconnects and cognitive dissonance among activists, especially when it comes to lifestyle. Many are pretty unwholesome (e.g. lack of veganism, aggressive language/pontificating, substance abuse etc), and not clued into the holistic perspective on life, I see as critical for meaningful  transformation across a vast range.

There was also a person who seemed like they were going through some hardship, and was requesting more support on the housing/community side, so I'm looking forward to assisting with that.

Lastly, I got a chance to formally talk to Alexander Baretich, designer of the Cascadian Flag, and staunch contributor to the bio-regionalism movement. We had been friends on Facebook for a couple years now, just hadn't really met before. I usually make a point to not add anyone on FB unless I have met them in person, though I am starting to open it up more recently to bolster our respective missions. Might just hit 1,000 friends by the Spring?(sitting at 717 currently). But I digress...Alexander I both keyed in on the upcoming Food Stamp benefits being dropped for Able-Bodied-Adults-Without-Dependents(#ABAWD) in January 2016, and how it's just another #WaronPoor and #Austerity measure adding more suffering to the world.(I'll be making a blog post about this soon once I gather more intel).

All together, this was a worthwhile use of our precious time and energy, and I hope to stay in touch with the space, as well as my fellow activists.

More event info:


Activist Circle FB description:


Confidential sharing space for recharging, reflecting, supporting, and understanding our various forms of activism and change work. 2249 E Burnside. The plan: 6:00-6:20 Mingle. 6:20-7:40 Circling. 7:40-8:00 Mingle. BYO dinner or snacks to share, or not. Facilitated by Tod Sloan (aka Theodor), Cascadia Center for Social Ecology To rsvp or for more info, write tod.s.sloan@gmail.com




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