At Goethe House: present: Ina, Begonia, Susanna, Vicente, Melanie, Antonio, JanetM, Marcos, JanetK

Decision to meet every week until forum: next meeting Sat. Mar. 2, 4 PM Goethe House, 5 E. 3rd Street (at Bowery).

Title of forum: Building the Commons, but Vicente suggested Weaving the Commons, which some people felt was a closer description of what the MW forum wanted to do.

Finding a place for the forum on Fri/Sat., Mar. 29-30. Friday from 6 to 10PM, Sat: 10AM to 8PM.

Note: The Abrams space at Henry Street Settlement is now not available. 16 Beaver St. seems unlikely, Brooklyn Commons is closing—soon to be up for sale, church on Clinton St. had a fire. Idea debated of renting a space tossed around, but raising funds and organizing a fundraiser was nixed. Best to reserve spaces as soon as possible, leaving no more than few days to decide which space to select.

4 possible locations: callers for each location should check if location has a kitchen, how many people space will hold, if it has extra rooms for workshops.

Preference for Manhattan given that OWS, or commoning is less likely to attract as many people as a year ago.

1. 1199 (hospital/healthcare workers union) office at 310 W 43rd St. David A. is contact for that.

2. Amalgamated at union square? is this the Amalgamated Bank at 10 Union Square or the union headquarters at 275 7th Ave (between 25/26th St.? (extra info: Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees—formerly ILGWU merged with Amalgamated Textile workers and later with Hotel Employees and Restaurant Employees Union (HERE) to form UNITE HERE) Marcos will call.

3. Greenpoint: Church of Ascension (127 Kent St.): Melanie is contact person.

4. Sunset Park: St. Jacobi Church (55th St and 4th Ave) Begonia will call.

Program for forum:

Possibly 4 sessions: 1 on Fri, 3 on Sat.

Please see photo image of the diagram drawn up at meeting for details.

At center is 1. SPACE (a physical space): there will be several groups invited (see diagram). Meeting discussed how many groups will present and what kind of presentation. Decided that it would take up too much time for several groups to each make presentations. Instead MW will provide a very short sentence describing each group (taken from groups’ websites or from their short self description that they send to MW prior to forum). Proposed that MW prepare a set of questions for the groups. Either several groups will respond to a set of questions MW presents to them (in a confined amount of time, say, 5 min tops per group), or just a few groups will respond and the other groups will join in discussion time.

2. TOOLBOX: these are the practical means groups organize and sustain themselves: legal, internet, (see drawing) Sharing toolbox info. will happen especially in the workshops

3. The area of CARING, culture, education, safety, mediation (see diagram)

4. NETWORKS: Meshworks, darknets, different groups of people or workers organizing that haven’t previously organized or formed lasting organizations: including domestic workers, migrants. But “networks” might also be the new connections to be formed between commoning groups:

Briefly discussed: the “commons” as the space between the “public” and the “private.” In this view, “public” and “private” are seen to be controlled/regulated by the state/legal apparatus; the commons is the terrain outside of state regulation or control.

Questions for the invited groups: just as the meeting was going to discuss a few questions to formulate, Goethe House was closing (7PM). I left the meeting then, but maybe more discussion occurred elsewhere?

(One suggestion re. question: MW could ask the groups themselves to send in with rsvp what kind of questions they would like to ask other groups?)