"At home, American police bureaus,
Pacific Northwest Social Forum!
Sisters of the Road... 133 NW 6th in Portland
at 1:00pm - 5:00pm in PDT
5 days from now · 55°F / 46°F Rain
More information at http://www.ThePortlandAlliance.org/activecommunity
- Friday, September 26th–evening and Saturday, September 27th–all day- First Unitarian Church, 1034 SW 13th Ave., Portland, Oregon 97205
- Sunday, September 28th–morning and early afternoon- location to be determined.
The Pacific NW Social Forum (PNWSF)is not a conference, it is a convergence of people's movements who's primary work & struggles take place in No Cal, OR, WA, British Columbia, MT, ID, UT, Hawaii & Alaska to build solidarity and unified action toward social, economic and environmental justice in the Pacific NW.
We are a motion that is a part of the U.S. and World Social Forum processes. The USSF current 3-year plan calls for People's Movement Assemblies in 2014; USSFIII in 2015 in multiple locations and a National People's Movement Assembly in 2015. Go to http://www.ussocialforum.net/about for more information on the U.S. & World Social Forum.
We will hold a People's Movement Assembly (PMA) that will create & propose a Pacific NW People's Agenda for Action–a document that will guide us.
This PMA will be one of many PMA's taking place across the country in 2014 to inform, and prepare for, the USSFIII in 2015!
We will learn about each others struggles and connect to each others campaigns with the goal of mutual support and building toward a powerful movement for social justice in the Pacific NW. We will reach across fronts of struggle to find where we have common goals and where we can build unity, capacity and effectiveness to end the violent systems of oppression all around us and build systems that will meet the needs of all people and sustain the ecosystems of our region and the planet .
We will hear from those in other regions building region based social movements through similar processes (see http://southtosouth.org/southern-movement-assembly-2012/ for example).
Anchor Organizations: Community to Community (Bellingham, WA); Right 2 Survive (Portland, OR); ; Jericho Project (Portland, Oregon); Move to Amend (Humbolt, CA); GlobalFam; The Assembly to End Poverty and USSF Poverty Working Group (national); Alliance for Global Justice (national/Olympia) all are welcome to join – these are the groups regularly on the call so far.
Allies: Jobs With Justice (Portland,Oregon), B Media Collective, The International Center for Traditional Childbearing, Veteran's For Peace 72
Disagreement without the Hate
Laura Finley, Ph.D.
Disagreement is an essential component of a healthy relationship, a healthy workplace, and a healthy democracy. Much research documents the dangers of surrounding ourselves with so-called “yes men” who always concur. Workplace echo chambers stifle innovation and reify bad policy decisions. Disagreement stimulates creative thinking and prompts innovation.
Yet, there is indeed a peaceful, even collaborative, way to disagree. And, I contend, that it never involves personal insults, ad hominem attacks, and strings of epithets and curse words.
Unfortunately, it seems as though few in the U.S are taught how to disagree peacefully and constructively. Instead, if we read, hear or see something that bothers us, we tend to get all pissy about it and, rather than present our case, resort to the lowest blows we can. This behavior is, of course, modeled at nearly every turn.
It is difficult to remember any politician in the recent past who has not decided that the way to offer a contrasting view is to rip the crap out of his or her opponent. As bad (sometimes worse) is media, where television pundits (and I note, both conservative and liberal) seem to love nothing more than to invite guests onto their shows to interrupt them, yell at them, berate them, and otherwise set them up to look foolish. In professional sports, having the best trash-talker on your team is often viewed as an asset. K-12 schools reinforce the normalcy of mean-spirited disagreement when they fail to hold accountable those who denigrate those with whom they disagree. Popular culture encourages the “othering” of the alleged opposition. For just one example, the t-shirt company David and Goliath offers a shirt that says, “Boys are stupid, throw rocks at them.”
My recent experience authoring op-eds illustrates the issue perfectly. I authored a piece about the bureaucratic stifling of activism. In the op-ed, I encouraged folks who disagree with my positions to share their viewpoints, as dialogue and disagreement can lead to amazingly creative social change from the synthesis of the best parts of different arguments. While I did receive some pleasant feedback, I also received one very disturbing piece of hate email.
Not only did this anonymous emailer attack me personally, using hateful slurs, but s/he also failed to see the point I was making, which was precisely that we should not all agree but should not stifle those who do not see things our way.
I implore those who are reading this to understand what I am saying: I do not have all the answers. I never suggested I did. No one does. And I think it is amazing when people get worked up about an issue or a cause and take that passion to the streets, to the airwaves, to the print media and anywhere else they can find an audience. But please, do so in a peaceful, respectful manner. We really can learn from one another if we discuss and debate, rather than attack.
Laura Finley, Ph.D., teaches in the Barry University Department of Sociology & Criminology and is syndicated byPeaceVoice.