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Advocacy, Sanctuary, and 501c(3) status

Are you up for it?
Advocacy
33%
 33%  [ 5 ]
Sanctuary
33%
 33%  [ 5 ]
Education
33%
 33%  [ 5 ]
None of the above.
0%
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 15

Author Message
UnMeilleurReve
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 542


Location: Las Vegas

Post Advocacy, Sanctuary, and 501c(3) status  Reply with quote
Alright, so it took me a short while to write this, but it's a bit lengthy. Hopefully it's not too terrible to read Wink Here goes.

An advocate is a person who is the first on the scene that is entirely there to support the person that they arrive on the behalf of. I'm certified (though not yet trained, admittedly, because of many complications) as a Trauma Advocate, my primary job being showing up and helping my client by letting them know what is happening in regards to their situation and then finding out how they want to proceed and giving them the resources to do so.
An example I can give off hand (from training) is a domestic dispute between two people. An advocate is called in by neighbors who say that the two people involved are often in domestic disputes and are loud and angry sounding. This time, however, it sounds like there was a physical fight. When the advocate arrives and knocks on the door, the door opens and both people look disheveled and both have red marks on their skin. The girl looks clearly upset and the guy says that this sort of thing just happens, it's not that big of a deal, and they don't need an advocate. In a situation like this, a possible plan of action is to grab two advocates, separate the people into two separate rooms, and talk to them about what happened. If either person wants an advocate to help them, the advocate's job is to find out what sort of help they want, be it counseling, legal intervention, a pastor/priest, somebody to talk to about the situation, etc.
Another situation that is a bit less hazy is if somebody gets raped. An advocate can be called in by the victim (ideally) or by first responders. The advocate's job in this situation is to be the first-responder in a psychological fashion by providing support. A rape victim can often feel bewildered, assaulted, alone, guilty, or a plethora of things that cause them to close themselves off. By having an advocate on hand to support the victim and try to counteract these sorts of behaviors the chance of the person being traumatized to the point of PTSD or Acute Stress Disorder (from those self-same behaviors) is reduced. The advocate then finds out how the victim wishes to proceed (pretty much the standard procedure, but not as easy as it sounds). The victim of a rape will often be taken to a hospital and have an assessment (there's a technical term for it, but advocates usually call it a “rape kit” when away from their clients) to collect evidence of the rape for prosecution. Even in the case of a rape kit and prosecution, though, it needs to be the victim's initiative to do so. An advocate usually asks the victim if they know how they want to proceed, and if the victim says they don't know what their options are, the advocate can ask if they'd like a general list of things they can do and provided it if the victim wishes. Counseling, legal action, support in general, and a wide array of other options are often available to the victim dependent on the area (emergency shelters, witness protection, in the Boise area even a total blueprint of their home and an alarm system installed that instantaneously calls in the SWAT team to the victim's home in case the perpetrator returns). In some cases the victim might reject advocacy, in which case the advocate usually just leaves their card and some information on what an advocate can do for them if they want it and then leaves.
Sometimes a person just wants somebody to talk to, or is dealing with trauma from childhood (which is especially common in colleges or universities) that bring up a case of PTSD, or has a stalker, etc. Sometimes the situation is something totally new and the advocate has to wing it. The main thing to keep in mind is that advocates are there to be on the side of whomever calls upon them in good faith.
For example, in good faith the rapist or abuser or perpetrator will desire an advocate. While indeed rare, the advocate performs the service of trying to help the perpetrator amend their mentality, behavior, etc., that brings them to do such things. While this in no way absolves them of what they've done, it does provide a unique opportunity to turn somebody from a chronic destroyer of their community into somebody who genuinely tries to do good. This isn't always successful, and has the risk of enabling the perpetrator, but the case of success does a whole lot of good.

For the commune, I have a new notion of what advocacy can be, especially coupled with an on-site emergency sanctuary. Anybody who read this is probably one of the intended members, and as such has anarchist or radical leaning ideals. A lot of the things that a victim can do to empower themselves and do something about their situation involve reliance upon gov. courts, gov. law enforcement, etc. While this is fine and good for typical citizens who support government and piggies and such, it isn't that great for radicals, anarchists, etc., and it also brings to the table the fact that there isn't really a conception of what can be done about these sorts of problems.
What this all goes to say, and practically demand, is that there needs to be some sort of option developed to empower people who don't want to rely on the government for dealing with these sorts of situations. Victims need a solid support network that is willing to be personally involved and supportive, and perpetrators need to be located and dealt with, especially in the case of repeat aggressors. As of yet there is no conceived of way to do this. While we can, as a commune, easily provide sanctuary, providing advocacy and empowerment is another issue entirely. I personally feel that it would be a great thing for us to provide. However, advocacy for bourgeoisie is the easy part. Providing it for radicals that wish to stay true to their ideals is another story entirely, and I would propose that it be part of our goals (once we have gone well on our way to self-sufficiency) to develop a means to provide empowering advocacy to those of our own ideological persuasion, even if this means developing an empowering means to deal with the “undesirables” that continually wreak havoc on the psyche of the surrounding community (possibly especially if this means: think of the development we'd have contributed to practical radicalism!).

This is just my proposal to integrate an advocacy program into the commune alongside an emergency temporary sanctuary. When it comes to the actuality of making this happen, the story looks a bit different. Onto the technicalities.

What we'll need for the sanctuary, both materialistically and organizationally:

Sanctuary
1.Secure rooms and a secure location.
2.A secure means of transportation.
3.A means of contacting whoever is operating the sanctuary at all times of the day.
4.Protocols preventing infiltration by disgruntled aggressors. Procedures such as not releasing information as to who is at the sanctuary, how many, etc. Procedures such as preventing victims from being easily seen whilst on our premises and trying to make their lives still function.
5.Temporary emergency sanctuary implies that we'll need to find them a more permanent situation. This either means removing the threat to their well-being or finding them an alternative sanctuary or permanent abode.
6.A means for super-secure record-keeping so we can analyze, research, and develop methods and protocols that are even better than before.

As for the Advocacy program:

1.A means of 24-hour communication to reach an advocate.
2.A means of transportation.
3.A method of educating and training advocates so as to make them effective, prepared, and experienced (which we might be able to get from my former college and a lady named Pamela Coleman Smith).
4.Materials and super-secure storage for information so as to have files on the people we help to make interaction with our clients more effective and to facilitate research and development of methods, training and education materials, etc.
5.People willing to be advocates.
6.Security culture and confidentiality.

It might also behoove us to consider acquiring weapons for self-protection. If somebody draws a weapon on us, we'd better be able to defend ourselves. I mention this to make the next point much more deliberate and illuminated: this is not an easy endeavor. I propose it because I think it would give an additional purpose to the commune that will integrate it into the surrounding community and create something for radicalism/anarchism in general that is very needed. We could send advocates (and maybe even one day psychologists and counselors) to consultas, protests/riots, direct actions, etc. and help people who end up having some sort of problem with being beaten, yelled at, cornered, covered in tear gas, etc., or with the problem that has arisen during some mobilizations (namely, people have been raped in the camps, etc., during mass-mobilizations and domestic disputes are everywhere: minimizing the damage from these helps and de-stresses everybody).

I also don't really want this to be something that we do alone, on our own, and be the only people with experience doing this. Each community and culture or subculture has different needs and different ways of dealing with and interpreting situations and would benefit from having an integrated advocacy program that is tailored and adapted to suit their unique situation. Thus, it would benefit us to create other advocacy programs outside of our own so that we aren't the only source of support.



I feel that by providing a definite support network in the form of advocacy, sanctuary, and an established radical community in the form of a commune, we will draw radicals and anarchists to the surrounding area and make a truly expansive and healthy community, mutually benefiting and improving our situation and community and that of those that comprise the surrounding area. It won't be easy, and it isn't a quick fix, but it is definitely something that I hope will be a consideration. Additionally, it would make every aspect of our commune a necessary part of our non-profit organization, making it so we can be a 501c(3) and acquire a tax-exempt status. Of course, it would benefit us to have it so that people seeking sanctuary in our commune also receive some sort of therapy in the form of enabling them to learn more about self-sufficiency and self-empowerment by being involved in the various aspects of the function of our commune, such as planting, growing, harvesting, constructing, reusing/recycling, and so on. In doing so, we'd add education to our already extensive list of non-profit services we provide.

All in all, I think it will be pretty freakin' nifty. I mentioned this whole project a while back, and now I'm curious to know who all is interested.
Sun Jun 13, 2010 5:26 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
vov35
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 553



Post Reply with quote
Provide training!

_________________
I have an american dream--
...but it invovles black masks and gasoline
Sun Jun 13, 2010 6:37 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
Zeerahks
Dirty Hippy


Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 311


Location: Minnesota

Post Reply with quote
I like it, a lot.  And I'm willing to be involved completely, in any aspect where I'll fit.

Also, I can provide a measure of self-defense training to anyone who desires it.  Another thing to consider is having advocates work in teams of two, the advocates proper and (for lack of a better word) their bodyguards.  The advocates should have a small measure of self-defense training, but having a bodyguard frees up their time to be used for training as advocates rather than as fighters.  This also allows the bodyguards to focus completely on their training as well.
Also, having that type of responsibility separation means that we can attract two different types of people to our organization, rather than only the one.  For example, I myself would probably fail at being an advocate, but I'm a pretty vicious bodyguard.  Very Happy

_________________
"The words work...sometimes."


They say one shouldn't shit where one eats, but there are more types of shit than feces, and we consume much more than food.
-- Black Iron Prison


Fuck competition.  LOVE IS COOPERATION.  And I like being loved. Very Happy
Mon Jun 14, 2010 4:20 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
UnMeilleurReve
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 29 Apr 2008
Posts: 542


Location: Las Vegas

Post Reply with quote
I rather like it, so long as there are no visible weapons on the bodyguards and there are both male and female bodyguards. There are bunches of complications that that could bring in, lol. And the bodyguards would need advocacy training so they know what to say and not to say. All in all, providing training and having bodyguards (and possibly a very small paramilitary unit? We could capture perps and turn them in to the piggies. "We don't want you, here, the piggies can eat you.") are two very good suggestions.

And I'm glad to see support so far Very Happy
Mon Jun 14, 2010 5:51 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
vov35
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 553



Post Reply with quote
You know, it's pretty fucked up when we're turning people in to the pigs. I mean, most of us ares some form or derivation of anarchist.....

But training for a paramilitary unit of sorts... could be useful... think of the possibilities some well trained anarchists can have. both to teach others and to apply advanced direct action. For example I've been interested in... sports focusing on personal mobility: cross country running; biking; parkour; rock climbing; etc.   I think between us there is enough expertise to really produce some skilled individuals.

_________________
I have an american dream--
...but it invovles black masks and gasoline
Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:00 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
Zeerahks
Dirty Hippy


Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 311


Location: Minnesota

Post Reply with quote
I love all of these ideas; the closely mirror my own goals.

I'd suggest working in teams of four; two advocates (male and/or female) and their bodyguards (female and/or male, respectively).  Perhaps clients, etc can request a specific gender pairing, if that's an issue.

The bodyguards would be mostly trained in hand to hand combat and (ideally) some form of stick training, for which they can use expandable batons (concealable, relatively cheap, etc).

The whole list of their training should be hashed out (including but not limited to deescalation skills, crowd control, etc).  However, that should probably be done in private sessions (offline).

_________________
"The words work...sometimes."


They say one shouldn't shit where one eats, but there are more types of shit than feces, and we consume much more than food.
-- Black Iron Prison


Fuck competition.  LOVE IS COOPERATION.  And I like being loved. Very Happy
Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:22 am View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
vov35
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 553



Post Reply with quote
As I said, I'd like to make a small elite body of paramilitaries for other purposes, but I think we can share training/origins here. I have the fullest intentions of participating in this commune effort, but...
I'm not exactly a pacifist: I believe in the value of direct action.

_________________
I have an american dream--
...but it invovles black masks and gasoline
Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:33 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
Zeerahks
Dirty Hippy


Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 311


Location: Minnesota

Post Reply with quote
I agree with you there, Vov.  Very Happy  This does give us a good base of operations though.

_________________
"The words work...sometimes."


They say one shouldn't shit where one eats, but there are more types of shit than feces, and we consume much more than food.
-- Black Iron Prison


Fuck competition.  LOVE IS COOPERATION.  And I like being loved. Very Happy
Wed Jun 16, 2010 4:25 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
Selkie
Dirty Hippy


Joined: 17 Jul 2008
Posts: 225


Location: California :(

Post Reply with quote
I like the idea, just so long as it is open to anyone who needs it and not just radical leftists. I'm not sure there's going to be many taking up the offer though, unless the community is directly within an urban neighborhood.

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What he said.
Sat Jun 19, 2010 4:24 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
vov35
Dirt-Under-The-Nails Hippy


Joined: 24 Apr 2008
Posts: 553



Post Reply with quote
To the best of my understanding we WILL be in an urban neighborhood, and the concept is to make our program open to helping all.



_________________
I have an american dream--
...but it invovles black masks and gasoline
Sun Jun 20, 2010 12:30 pm View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail AIM Address
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