As is almost always the case in our organizing, we have a lot more questions than we have answers. Below are some of our own questions that we planned on sharing during the small group discussion at the June 7th event (which unfortunately got cut short because of time issues), and then after that are some of the questions that were generated during the event.
Q 1. What is your organizational experience with building working class power (creating new institutions and new ways of doing things, collectively with others, outside of the state/police/mediation)? Does your organization currently have a method or process of with dealing with gender based violence?
Q 2. Why do punitive justice techniques prevail? Is this an individual or small group impulse? How does this get in the way of building our movements? What could be alternatives that are perhaps less sexy, slower or more complicated through which we could build power?
Q3. How does ongoing use of punitive justice continue to silence survivor voices and keep the focus solely on one individual rather than the systemic practice of gender violence?
Q4. How do you address individual circumstances but also expand strategies to have a long-term, continuous and growing method of dealing with gender violence?
Q5. What makes a space truly safe? A) one in which discussions on gender violence are silenced or B) only discussed within a small hierarchical group or C) open discussion of challenges and difficulties despite discomfort or primary focus/project/political goal?
Q6. What are ways of involving and holding survivors at the center?
Q7. What are possible tensions between holding survivors at the center and building the power of our movements to address gender violence? [potential follow up question: what if they want different things]
Q8. What are ways that we can build our movements in ways that those who cause harm can be engaged in accountability? [Other things that came up: Retention of membership? Responsible for each others well beings]
Q9. What are small steps you can take as an individual to build our capacity and tools to address gender oppression?
Q10. What can your organization enhance or create to utilize transformative justice practices as a tool for organizing and building power?
- Is geography a better way of thinking?
- What do we do when survivor is not there?
- Important thoughts:
- Perpetrator is shut down most of time (this makes issue, just not addressed)
- So that’s why it’s important to address this. We don’t just want to address the survivor.
- The response of an organization to the perpetrator is important.
- There’s an ideal ( ), how do we deal with cases without the big # in an organization?
- Baby steps, how do we deal with perpetrator without them leaving?
- Space where victim is sane, and addressing in broader scale… Transformative justice … draining process <-events like these are
- Balance of addressing situations
- The mass } Productive
- The victim } addressing
- Balance of addressing situations
- Word feminist was used: which definition are we using?
- How do we address that often survivors don’t want their experience made public?
- i.e. either because they are anti-state or they don’t want others misusing their experience…
- How do you address a harm doer who’s also oppressed/victim of violence?
- How do we address multiple survivors of one perpetrator having conflicting requests of perpetrator & community?
- How do we with conflicting ideals within the organizations?
- Can we have space for political disagreement across & within organizations about how to deal w/ sexual violence?
- How do we define justice? If we have different ideas of justice?
- How can transformative justice & survivor centered processes take into account white supremacy & history of lynching to protect white women?
- How do you get people to care? To care across racial divisions?
- Who is the WE?
- How do communities create safer space for survivors? And what is the community’s accountability to the perpetrator?
- How to deal with demand for exposure from people that don’t include survivor, perpetrator, etc? And how does that relate to our attempts for broader participation?
- How do you introduce transformative justice to workers and those who aren’t politicized?
- How do we effectively seek transformative justice when there is no clear model since situation and survivor needs vary so much? -> can be expanded…
- How do you seek transformative justice?? And create conditions for that to happen?
- How do you link the individual situation to a larger concept for a fight against capitalism if you are not part of worker organization?
- How do fight the impulse to be punitive with ourselves as people who believe in “TJ”?
- In organizing workers how connect the fight for material needs (i.e. pay) to ideas that include “TJ”?
- How do we organize workers to participate and care to participate in a “TJ” process?
- How can we understand ourselves as more than homogenous identities? i.e “survivor only” “perpetrator only”
- How do we move away from the worst case scenario?
- What do we do when the survivor doesn’t want a process?
- Why do people think accountability isn’t possible?
- What do we do when there is no survivor in the picture? (old cases)
- How can we make this a priority in our own organizations?
- How do we embody fights against racism and other oppression in TJ?
- How to maintain integrity in applying these frameworks that respects the trajectories and long-term struggles that it is rooted in?
- How do we help prevent cases of gendered violence from happening in our orgs.?
- How can we learn from our mistakes? How can we share those lessons with people outside the ‘left’?
- How do we talk to people who are against a TJ process happening? Or who want rely on courts, …?