New First Thursday Coffee and Discussion Group

There are now three First Thursday Coffee and Discussion groups meeting this Thursday March 1. 

  • Original Group 10:00 am Rocket Market 726 E 43rd 
  • First Thursday Evening at 6:30 pm Rocket Market 726 E 43rd
  • Perry Street discussion usually held at The Shop at 10:00 am but this week being held at the organizer’s home so they can write letters to legislators as well as share resources and updates on what is happening. If you are interested in this group message Susan Hales on Facebook.

Possible discussion topics:

  • President Trump’s State of the Union speech
  • Youth Incarceration
  • 13th The Movie
  • Black Lunch Table
  • Oscars: Moonlight/Hidden Figures/Fences
  • Local Actions
  • …….And anything else you have on your mind

First Thursday Coffee and Discussion March 2, 2017

There are now two First Thursday Coffee and Discussion groups: 

  • Original Group 10:00 am Rocket Market 726 E 43rd 
  • First Thursday at 6:30 pm Rocket Market 726 E 43rd
  • Third discussion group to be announced

Possible discussion topics:

  • Youth Incarceration
  • 13th The Movie
  • Black Lunch Table
  • Oscars: Moonlight/Hidden Figures/Fences
  • Local Actions
  • …….And anything else you have on your mind

Local Direct Action

What’s your burning issue?  What are you doing about it? There are lots of opportunities locally and nationally to make your voice heard and be part of making positive change. Scroll down to check out some options.

Spokane Indivisible                                    Together for Washington 

PJALS Peace & Justice Action Leaque      First Thursday Discussion

SURJ Showing Up for Racial Justice          Black Lens News

NAACP Spokane                                        NAACP National

How I Saw: Spokane’s 8,000 Women March by Robert Lloyd

Protester’s sign read stand up! speak up! and these protesters did it this cold Spokane winter day. Some who were lucky made it to inside halls standing and sitting in the warmth and could hear the messages from the Ballroom. Others filled sidewalks for blocks east and west and entertained each other with songs, music, chatter. The Davenport Hotel Coffee and Bar was a hit place to keep warm.

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After the March People Rose Up!

Marchers continued on to the Community Building where they shared chili, soup, music, poetry, speakers, a movie, action tables, creative activities for kids and adults, and began networking to take action.

Something You Can Do                                                    Personal Actions You Can Take

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Let’s Commit Ourselves

Martin Luther King Day Celebration 2017

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OK, we had our celebration with speeches and the march.

Now Let’s Commit Ourselves

Since 2008 news and social media have done nothing but complain about what politicians did and did not do. If they have not accomplished goals and objectives it is no one’s fault but your own.  If you are not satisfied with the 2016 election I suggest that you step up and do something about it.

From the list below, choose the issue you feel needs action,  list the issue and the name of an organization that works on that issue in the comment box below and fill in your contact information. If you do not know of an organization, volunteer to start such an organization. I will pass your contact information on to the appropriated organization. Also I will collate the information everyone contributes and post the results at this site 4comculture.com. To stay aware of current posts at this site in the right hand side bar SUBSCRIBE to receive an email notifying you of new posts (a couple per week).

What Will You Commit To

Protest (Civic Disobedience, Non-violent direct action, Go to jail), Government service, Social justice, Political action, Political parties (Democratic, Republican, Independent, Progressive), Employment (Jobs and training), Housing, Healthy food production, Education (K12, College), Environment (Climate change etc.) Community organizing, Social justice, Community service, Social services, Health and safety, Drug abuse prevention, Community security, Reproductive rights, Hunger, Homelessness, Race relations, Human relations, Art and culture, International affairs, Belief systems (Humanism etc.).

 

MLK Week Kicks Off!

 

After the showing of the documentary film 13th at Bethel AME Church at 10 am on January 14, across town at the Spokane Public Library PJALS (Peace and Justice Action League of Spokane) sponsored a 5 hour hands on workshop: Love > Hate: Bystander Intervention Training which covered:

Being Resistant to Assertiveness

  1. Self-defense
  2. Continuum of Oppression / Nature of Prejudice
  3. The Spinach in Your Teeth Theory and Overview
  4. Putting Assertiveness into Context
  5. Assertiveness Model & Calling In

My observation as I photographed the workshop was that it was excellent. I thought that the information below that was listed on a wallet sized card was a good tool for it was an excellent tool for using white privilege to intervene in oppressive situations.

Assertiveness Model
Breathe.
Describe the problem or name the problem behavior. “The situation is ______.”
Tell why the behavior is wrong or say how it makes you feel. “That’s not ok because _____.” “I feel ________when you _____.”
State your needs or give a direction. “What I/we need is _____.”
Be firm and persistent.

Practice Assertiveness!

Act like a self-respecting equal: You are! You have a right to your opinions, decisions, and to say NO with no excuses. Be persistent!
Visual: Straighten your spine. Breathe deeply. Make direct eye contact. Take up space.
Vocal: Speak in a firm tone. Don’t end statements with question marks.
Verbal: Think & talk about yourself positively. Don’t self-limit with lead-ups or tags. State your needs. Use “I feel ___.” Clarify. Say what you mean directly.
Support others in solidarity and unity.

 

Red Alert! Red Alert!

MLK Week Kicks Off

On January 14 in a small inland northwest town MLK Week kicked off with the Netflix documentary 13th:

Sandy Williams, publisher of the Black Lens News and Rev. Walter Kendricks president of the Spokane Ministers Fellowship started the week of Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations with the screening of the Netflix documentary film 13th at Bethel AME Church in Spokane hosted by the Rev. Lonnie Mitchell.

Spokane Washington 2015 Census DataAfter the screening the audience – predominantly white residents of the inland northwest – broke up into small groups for discussion. How did they feel? What did they need to do about it?

  1. I wish all the kids in our school district could see this.
  2. I never heard of the organization ALEC.
  3. I have 4 family members with a total of over 100 years in prison plus one with 3 strikes you’re out.
  4. I think we need political action.
  5. I take Netflix and I have never seen this before.
  6. I worked on both sides of this issue – as a corrections officer on the inside and as a youth counselor on the outside.
  7. The corrections industry is a cesspool.
  8. We need to talk about self responsibility.
  9. Black people need to have serious discussions about race also.
  10. White people need to check out SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice). PJALS is starting a SURJ Spokane branch.
  11. Look into  Hope Cafe : Washington State Department of Corrections initiative.
  12. We can send out information to follow up on this meeting.
  13. Subscribe to Black Lens News.
  14. We can join forces with a group started on the west side of the state called Black Prisoners Caucus.
  15. There is a small group that meets the First Thursday of every month at the Rocket Market at 43rd & Scott at 10 am and discusses actions that may be taken to build the community we would like to live in.

As the meeting at Bethel AME was ending a workshop called

Love > Hate: Bystander Intervention Training

was being held by PJALS across town at the Spokane Public Library. This workshop gave hands on experience in how to challenge oppressive statements.

First Thursday Discussion Group #1

first-thursday-logoI ran across this guy on Facebook and thought he had a great answer for all the people whom I have heard ask “What can we do?”

I have been to many rallies and meetings at the end of which no one knows what they can do. Here is a list that I am starting with our First Thursday Discussion Group here in Spokane.  What I want us to do is break into small groups and for each group to come to a consensus on something that those sitting around the coffee table can do and are willing to do. I am asking them to record that consensus in a comment to this post 4comculture.com so we can develop a list of actions people are taking.

Originally posted on Facebook November 22, 2016 by Prof. Timothy Snyder, Bird White Housum Professor of History, Yale University

Republished at Reddit.com:  https://m.reddit.com/r/lostgeneration/comments/5faksb/historian_holocaustthird_reich_expert_and_yale/?ref=search_posts

1st-thur-1Professor Snyder’s homepage:  http://history.yale.edu/people/timothy-snyder

Americans are no wiser than the Europeans who saw democracy yield to fascism, Nazism, or communism. Our one advantage is that we might learn from their experience. Now is a good time to do so. Here are twenty lessons from the twentieth century, adapted to the circumstances of today.

1.  Do not obey in advance. Much of the power of authoritarianism is freely given. In times like these, individuals think ahead about what a more repressive government will want, and then start to do it without being asked. You’ve already done this, haven’t you? Stop. Anticipatory obedience teaches authorities what is possible and accelerates unfreedom.

2.  Defend an institution. Follow the courts or the media, or a court or a newspaper. Do not speak of “our institutions” unless you are making them yours by acting on their behalf. Institutions don’t protect themselves. They go down like dominoes unless each is defended from the beginning.

3.  Recall professional ethics. When the leaders of state set a negative example, professional commitments to just practice become much more important. It is hard to break a rule-of-law state without lawyers, and it is hard to have show trials without judges.

4.  When listening to politicians, distinguish certain words. Look out for the expansive use of “terrorism” and “extremism.” Be alive to the fatal notions of “exception” and “emergency.” Be angry about the treacherous use of patriotic vocabulary.

5.  Be calm when the unthinkable arrives. When the terrorist attack comes, remember that all authoritarians at all times either await or plan such events in order to consolidate power. Think of the Reichstag fire. The sudden disaster that requires the end of the balance of power, the end of opposition parties, and so on, is the oldest trick in the Hitlerian book. Don’t fall for it.

6.  Be kind to our language. Avoid pronouncing the phrases everyone else does. Think up your own way of speaking, even if only to convey that thing you think everyone is saying. (Don’t use the internet before bed. Charge your gadgets away from your bedroom, and read.) What to read? Perhaps “The Power of the Powerless” by Václav Havel, 1984 by George Orwell, The Captive Mind by Czesław Milosz, The Rebel by Albert Camus, The Origins of Totalitarianism by Hannah Arendt, or Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev.

7.  Stand out. Someone has to. It is easy, in words and deeds, to follow along. It can feel strange to do or say something different. But without that unease, there is no freedom. And the moment you set an example, the spell of the status quo is broken, and others will follow.

8.  Believe in truth. To abandon facts is to abandon freedom. If nothing is true, then no one can criticize power, because there is no basis upon which to do so. If nothing is true, then all is spectacle. The biggest wallet pays for the most blinding lights.

9.  Investigate. Figure things out for yourself. Spend more time with long articles. Subsidize investigative journalism by subscribing to print media. Realize that some of what is on your screen is there to harm you. Bookmark PropOrNot or other sites that investigate foreign propaganda pushes.

10.  Practice corporeal politics. Power wants your body softening in your chair and your emotions dissipating on the screen. Get outside. Put your body in unfamiliar places with unfamiliar people. Make new friends and march with them.

11.  Make eye contact and small talk. This is not just polite. It is a way to stay in touch with your surroundings, break down unnecessary social barriers, and come to understand whom you should and should not trust. If we enter a culture of denunciation, you will want to know the psychological landscape of your daily life.

12.  Take responsibility for the face of the world. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

13.  Hinder the one-party state. The parties that took over states were once something else. They exploited a historical moment to make political life impossible for their rivals. Vote in local and state elections while you can.

14.  Give regularly to good causes, if you can. Pick a charity and set up autopay. Then you will know that you have made a free choice that is supporting civil society helping others doing something good.

15.  Establish a private life. Nastier rulers will use what they know about you to push you around. Scrub your computer of malware. Remember that email is skywriting. Consider using alternative forms of the internet, or simply using it less. Have personal exchanges in person. For the same reason, resolve any legal trouble. Authoritarianism works as a blackmail state, looking for the hook on which to hang you. Try not to have too many hooks.

16.  Learn from others in other countries. Keep up your friendships abroad, or make new friends abroad. The present difficulties here are an element of a general trend. And no country is going to find a solution by itself. Make sure you and your family have passports.

17.  Watch out for the paramilitaries. When the men with guns who have always claimed to be against the system start wearing uniforms and marching around with torches and pictures of a Leader, the end is nigh. When the pro-Leader paramilitary and the official police and military intermingle, the game is over.

18.  Be reflective if you must be armed. If you carry a weapon in public service, God bless you and keep you. But know that evils of the past involved policemen and soldiers finding themselves, one day, doing irregular things. Be ready to say no. (If you do not know what this means, contact the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and ask about training in professional ethics.)

19.  Be as courageous as you can. If none of us is prepared to die for freedom, then all of us will die in unfreedom.

20.  Be a patriot. The incoming president is not. Set a good example of what America means for the generations to come. They will need it.”

Life After Trump Starts January 1,

THURSDAY December 1st bring ideas for the life after DONALD. Drop in ANY coffee house and start A  DISCUSSION don’t wait on me! I am with Jay, Ron, Idris and Jim will be having are usual Thursday discussions at 10am the same place on the Spokane South Hill. We can make changes one cup at a time. Report back after you meeting. (Message me Robert Lloyd on Facebook for my coffee spot)

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