Goals Meeting #1 6/11/07
Minutes by Alan
Questions we discussed included:
-How do we define freeganism?
-What is the relationship of freegan.info to the broader community of participants in the Freeganworld discussion list? To freegans in general?
- What are our personal visions for what we see as the ultimate goal of freegan.info's work.
- How in practice do we see the organization doing this?
-What are points of unity?
-Where can we compromise?
-What constitute irreconcilable differences?
What is freegan.info? What motivates our involvement?
Darcie:Helping people spend less of their hard ernec money and free themselvesEMPOWER AND DESTROY CAPITALISM
Sima: reclaiming wasted goods and help reduce waste and to be around like minded people. REDUCE WASTE, MEET PEOPLE, SPEND LESS
Christian: help reduce waste and help the environment and social issues. Help satisfy need to reduce waste and meet like minded people. Share skills and learn from others. HELP THE WORLD BE SUSTAINABLE AND SHOW OTHERS
Janet: natural progression to diving, living like a freegan for most of her life. Always conscious of waste and pained to see it. Wants to help reduce it. Like to build and support the local community and support each other to feel less as an oddity. Wish to show that it is a movement and to show a way to resist. SHOW COMMUNITY, REDUCE WASTE, CHANGE VIEWS ON ACQUISITION
Madeline: o longer wishes to support the capitalist machine. Civil disobedience to a consumer economy. Reissit marketing. ARNOLDO! BOYCOT CAPITALISM AND ENCOURAGE OTHERS
Adam: primany reason is to in the long term to build a form of resistence to world problems in a way that many people can relate and easily join. And help redefine the status quo. Take back control of defining their own survival in ways that are in line with their own values to allow a defense and way to combat the powers that be while doing it concurrently. GERMINATE REVOLUTION & NONVIOLENT LIVING
Alan: to help reduce the waste and show a way out of the consumption machine and subvert the capitalist regime. BOYCOTT CAPITALISM AND LIBERATE THE PROLES
Marisa (by email): I really believe in this cause, and being that i can help w. the website it seemed like a natural match.
What is freeganism and how do we identify with it?
Darcie: using things that are being wasted. cutting down on waste and in turn changing typical actions of people; not buying into capitalism
Madeline: reuse items. Not stealing but savng things that our society says has no value. breaking the link between money and value by finding value in all things
Adam: any activity that breaks the barrier between profit and need and that resources should serve need and serve and the community. Anything that embraces community and builds and community of sharing. Community gardening. holistic commitment to minimizing all the ways our lives reinforce oppression in all its forms and to live well at the same time. A visionary ideal that promises to transform entire societies. Identifies through relationship with concern of harming others and the planet and that one perswon only does so little; has a promise to grow as a mass movement.
Alan: many ways it can be defines and developed b ut essentially a way of living that attempts to reduce ones impact in the world or on their wallet.
Janet: diving is important as we need it to live, essential for survival. We don’t need to do everything for monitary returns. a lifestyle that is a consciousness on one’s impact and viewing the inate value in all things. A life of mixed feelings; identifies through feelings
because it is the right thing to do.
Chrisitan: finding waste and creatively using it. recycle and recognize values and reach out to others, identifies by feeling more people should know how to live.
Sima: recognizing the link between product and value.
Marisa (by email): For me freeganism is a great alternative lifestyle. A lifestyle that i
was already a part of with out knowing the correct name.
What is our vision that motivates our involvement?
Alan: helping people break from their consumption habits and helping creatin
Adam: a revolutionary strategy to elinamatate destructive world and build a community to support each other to resist. Harmony is the best way to. Freegans break the fuel (capital) that keeps the machine going. Shows a way to break away and live their own life and not one in the interests of corps. A revolution that effects our individual lives. Challenging the sanctity of private property and challenge the production of the earth into commodities and turn animals into items. Live the most simple life against domination when we live with the capabilities of great destruction.
Sima: reexamine private property. Show by example rather than by force.
Darcie: help people question everything they are told. Think outside of whats cheapest and walmart and the idea the things should be owned privately
Janet: an option to the easy comfortable lifestyle and to show how miserable rich people can be. Money cant buy happiness. Get people away from being rapped up with money. Change to a more sustainable society, better transportation and larger communities. Better families growing into a better communities. Society and the earth over the individual.
Madeline: reduction on waste in 1st world countries both privately and corporately
How can freegan.info accomplish that goal? Long term and short term?
Alan: show people how to break away, then growing into larger commuities that are closer knit and then to a mass movement that has the power to create major change. Examples: protests, involemnt with actions not just leafleting, FNB type actions, things beyond just diving
Janet: education . consciousness, conscience, conscientiousness. Involve with homelss feeding, getting stores to waste less, community centers andsharing societies.
Darcie: build community
Adam: build resistence culture, bring waste problem to light and its implications, build community and anticapitalist projects, challenge expanding capitalism and idea of higher technology, build a global network of freegan people and projects and centers. Mid: shift population to iving outside money economy, get freeganism accepted into lower income communities, get corporations to cut waste, spread memes, popularize a needs based way of living, direct action defense of community projects, militant actions on machines of death, revolution. Long: regreen urban areas, build sustainable permaculture and evolution of the states, evolution of community using indigenous cultures as a model.
Sima:different name to reflect our locality
Marisa (by email): Long term I see the site both w. a media usage and community usage. A place where a novice and a 10 year freegan can both go w. different goals and achieve them. Updated perhaps daily w. download loadable pds
of calendars and press kits.
Who do we really represent, community or just our group?
Madeline: locally in nyc only
Darcie: not try to represent anyone really but to just show the way of living
Christian: we cant represent everyone but we carry the light and should be open to anyone.
Sima: should only be local. But still tell people they can do it.
Adam: its not our invention, we should read up on thers freegans and show face for the community because we are, currently, the media spotlight. We take the responsiblilty to freegans by representing them as a whole, not just as our group. We should communicate and pass on thoughts.
Janet: we should speak for the community as a model.
Global or local?
Sima: just a local chapter
Alan : depends on website or media. Can be a local chapter but at times will be presented in broad freegan terms to represent the whole.
Adam: must set a model as a chapter to eventually build to a larger global community, each.
Janet: we didn’t invent this and shouldn’t reinvent it. Be sensitive to how we will be preented in the media and how we should present ourselves. Eventually build more chapters
Where we disagree? Fundamental goals that cant be compromised? Long term
Freegan webvolunteer Marisa Corrado submitted these comments by email:
FRI, 6/16: Goals Meeting Part 2
Minutes by Samara
-Review of new comments submitted by email.
-Points of Agreeement
-Points of Disagreement
-What can be compromised? What can't?
-Mission and Vision Statements
-Long-term action planning
our goals: points of agreement
(in the words we used at the last meeting)
-reclaim wasted goods
-creatively use waste
-save things our society says have no value
-break the link between money and value
-recognize the link between product and waste
-bring implications of waste to light
-get corporations to waste less
-help the environment
-change to a more sustainable society
-re-green urban areas
-build sustainable permaculture
-build community to support each other in resistance
-redefine status quo
-help people question what they're told
-concern with harming others
-holistic commitment to minimizing how our lives reinforce oppression
-challenge expanding capitalism
-show a way out of consumption machine
-help people break from consumption habits
-break away to a life that doesn't support corporations
-get people away from being wrapped up in money
-build a mass movement
-speak for the freegan community as a model
-serve as model as a chapter in global freegan community made up of
-support/facilitate creation of new chapters
-get freeganism accepted in lower-income communities
-direct action in defense of community projects
-support local community
points of disagreement
-reduction of waste in 'first world' countries
-build resistance culture
-build a form of resistance to world problems
-grow into larger, closer-knit communities
-anything that embraces community and builds sharing
-changing typical actions of people
-eliminate destructive world
-show people how to break away
-spend less money
-show that this is a movement
-locally in nyc only
-we don't rep anyone else but demonstrate way of living
-we cant rep everyone
-we are face off whole freegan community bc we are in the - spotlight
-just a local chapter
-eventually build more chapters
-build a global network of freegans & freegan projects
-show by example rather than by force
-militant action on machines of death
-revolution that affects our individual lives
-a visionary ideal that promises to transform entire societies
-subvert capitalist regime
-breaking the fuel (capital) in the machine
-not buying into capitalism
-shift population to moving outside money economy
-challenging sanctity of personal property
-re-examine private property
-expanding families into communities
-evolving community using indigenous cultures as model
-survival on one's own terms
-getting stores to waste less
-in the shadow of great destruction live the simplest life possible
-food not bombs stuff
-feed the homeless
-breaking barrier between profit and need
-society and earth more important than individual
-challenge idea of higher technology
-freeganism as an act of civil disobedience
Goals Meeting #3 Minutes
(did I forget anyone?)
- agenda and facilitators were approved
- Arnaldo stated the purpose of the meeting (see long form agenda) and facilitated discussion of the 4 choices for each of the goals where at the last meeting we appeared to disagree. The options were:
1. Agreement: the problem is merely semantic
2. Compromise: need to find a middle ground to move forward
3. Omission: idea not fundamental to freegan.info’s goals
4. Disagreement (referred to later as “in the box”): differences not reconciled in the allotted time, and people at strongest ends of dissent agree to discuss separately to get the item into one of the 3 categories above. (For further process, see long form agenda.)
- We reviewed the previously-agreed process for “consensus minus one”, including the limit that blocking consensus could only be done by someone “active in projects”. For the purpose of this meeting, we agreed
- We agreed that note taking and timekeeping would rotate.
Notes on discussion questions. (Steph facilitating, notes by Darcie, timekeeping by Madeline)
Are we an anti-capitalist group?
Arnaldo: I am not anticapitalist but will participate with group that calls itself anticapitalist (i.e. stand aside)
Janet: the wording “anticapitalist” is offputting, perhaps dangerous
Madeline: Capitalism is the root cause of the problems we are addressing; even if we don’t put the word in the mission statement the concept is fundamental.
Sima: soften the wording.
Adam: We have an unprecedented opportunity to denounce capitalism. It is my number 1 motive for involvement in this group.
Proposals: Critique capitalism positively, not using the word “anticapitalist” but using expressions such as “rampant consumerism”; articulate what is wrong with capitalism; describe alternatives to capitalism without denouncing it explicitly.
Conclusion: this item is “in the box”. (Note from Madeline: further action needed. Did Sima and Adam, the 2 people the furthest away from agreement, agree to discuss and come up with a solution?)
The word “sanctity” seemed to be the hot spot. With rewording is it possible to agree?
Sima: language is too vague. What would replace private property?
Wendy: how about “economy based on sharing”?
Cindy: the concept of private property is not relevant to our activities (dumpster diving)
Adam: it’s important for squatting, guerilla gardening, etc
Other options suggested:
- “Re-examine private property” (Adam disagreed if that is the only statement)
- “Challenge private property and wealth to provide for the needs of all” (Sima disagreed, saying private property does not equal wealth)
- “Reduce the need for and dependence on private property, refocusing our efforts toward shared resources”
Consensus was reached on the above (3rd) statement, if there can be additions to it.
Consensus on basic concept of distributing food; also on working to change uneven distribution of food and other resources.
Arnaldo: Charity is a façade. Teach homeless/hungry people sustainability instead of perpetuating dependence.
Adam: build egalitarianism, non-discrimination
- Work cooperatively with hungry and homeless people to provide for the needs of everyone, create strategies that would build empowerment and mutual aid as a co-functioning group.
Consensus was reached on this principle.
(at this point Janet took over on note taking)
List of community values was read. Steph: what is missing?
Arnaldo: we don’t mention children or their needs, and the responsibility older/experienced people have to younger.
Stephen’s suggestion: add “respect”
Cindy: the list is scientific/offputting in its complicated vocabulary; would prefer simpler statement. Also, need to define terms to agree to them.
Wendy: there is redundancy. “egalitarian” is basically the same as “non-hierarchical” and is clearer.
Adam: “egalitarian” would have to be clarified of redistribution of power, not just resources.
Sima: redundancy of “resource sharing” and “communitarian”
[Time constraint. Group agrees to keep working on existing list]
Sima: words reflect our feeling from last meeting
Adam: words came from brainstorm of Arnaldo, Adam and Steph
Cindy: friendly amendment: we are agreeing to the feeling, but not necessarily all words, and the sense of anti-oppression, nurturing, and loving.
Consensus was reached on this amendment.
[We took a break; we resumed with Madeline facilitating and Arnaldo timekeeping. Janet continued as note-taker.]
Discussion of using the terms “revolution” and/or “revolutionary” to describe our goals
Sima: what is the idea behind the revolution?
Arnaldo: the basic idea of our friendly activities (dumpster diving, dinners, etc) is revolutionary.
Cindy: “revolutionary” fine but not “revolution” which brings up the sense of violence. (Sima & Janet agree; Adam says it depends on context)
Adam: It’s wrong to think the current system can’t be reformed. We’re trying to use a commitment in order to challenge and take down the whole system.
Steph: I like “reclaim our time”, which creates a new economy, and forging a new society here and now.
Stephen: example of a society we’d take as a current model or goal?
- Cindy: we addressed that in our discussion of community values
- Arnaldo response: perhaps Bhutan, small communities
Madeline: I want revolution in fact, but the word evokes a recent Ford SUV ad
Darcie: I agree with concept but am not sure if use of the word is appropriate
Wendy: The word “revolutionary” reminds me of communist propaganda
Agreement: we mean fundamental change, and the rest of the discussion is semantics only. We like the concept but not the use of the word. There are specific manifestations of “revolution” that we might not agree upon.
Getting stores to waste less
Arnaldo: I’m opposed. I eat what the stores throw out, rely on that for my lifestyle.
Darcy: we need to look at reasons for dumpster divingÐis it for social change or to continue our lifestyle.
Adam: When we tell media not to name stores, we serve our purposes and help others who eat from their waste
Madeline: waste from stores is horribly destructive for the environment.
Cindy: The discussion is tactical, it’s not an either/or choice at this point. Most of the wasted food is not used. But starting public pressure campaigns against stores is another question.
Wendy: it’s not about getting stores to donate more (soup kitchens even throw food out) but about wasting less. It’s about attacking the system that creates such waste.
Adam: we’re talking the talk but don’t want our rhetoric to be effective. Do we want to let stores keep wasting for our own benefit? Would the stores simply donate more, thereby perpetuating a charity system? Complicated question.
Sima: There’s no way charities could manage all the food wasted, based on what we collect. In Edmonton, sell-by dates block a food collective from distributing food, creating waste.
Steph: We should get stores to waste less. And even if we do, there will still be waste.
Evelyn: if stores donate to dumpster divers (skip the dumpsters) and not food banks, it’s a lot of food
Janet: the waste is outrageous, we want to get stores to waste less.
Arnaldo: As we add more people to our group, less people are playing the corporations’ game. We have to get more people to think that way. Taking advantage of the waste is revolutionary.
Sima: You will still be able to eat if they waste less, there’s such quantity.
Cindy: we need to define as short term, getting stores to waste less; long term, not being dependent on stores (gardening, foraging, etc).
Conclusion: “in the box”Ðneeds further discussion
We are agreeing to disagree (option 3Ðirrelevant to our goals as freegans)
Adam: Can we acknowledge to media that there’s a diversity of opinions among freegans?
Madeline: It’s a bad media strategy to comment favorably at all.
Adam: we’re a spokesgroup for the entire freegan community. The pro-stealing people are willing to compromise, so should the anti-stealing.
Cindy: It’s a matter of semantics. How do we address the question when asked. Some people feel that stealing is a viable challenge to the capitalist system.
Madeline: For media, we can say that stealing is irrelevant with all the waste that exists.
Sima: Saying stealing is OK is bad for media, but perhaps people can speak for themselves on it.
Arnaldo: I don’t support stealing but I shoplift for my own reasons. Adam has been pointing out my actions are freegan.
Darcie: distinction between shoplifting from corporations and stealing from individual people.
Adam: underground railroad was stealing. Liberating animals from labs is stealing. People can articulate when asked that there is a range of opinion on the subject.
Sima: stealing a game or CD cannot be equated to underground railroad
Adam: everything I’ve stolen was based on subverting existing exploitation.
Steph: call for consensus to omit “stealing” from our statement.
(more discussion, but no more notes were taken on Janet’s departure)