30th September 2017 – Second Meeting Summary

Summary of minutes from 30th September meeting. Thanks everyone for attending!

The group decided we want to BACK UP:

• Surround Yarl’s Wood Demo on Saturday 18 November – most people from the group are keen to support this and have a FWFC presence at the event. Coaches have run from Birmingham in the past, no news about coaches yet but any info to be fed back to the group. Sisters Uncut Birmingham and Feminist Action Birmingham (FAB) will be attending, FAB will be holding a banner making workshop in the lead up to the demo, more info will be circulated. https://www.facebook.com/events/262159867623100/?acontext=%7B%22ref%22%3A%22106%22%2C%22action_history%22%3A%22null%22%7D

• Women’s refuges in the region: one member is planning to meet with Birmingham and Solihull Women’s Aid to talk to them directly about what kind of support or help would be most useful for us to offer. BSWAID may have a good overview of services and so felt like a good place to start with supporting women seeking refuge, fleeing domestic abuse and also homeless women and families. She is also planning to research some initiatives for girls taking place in other parts of the country, in relation to SRE work in addition to following any development in this area. http://www.girlscircle.co.uk/about-us/

We want to ELEVATE:

• Local feminist groups taking action: We were given feedback from a member who attended Sisters Uncut Birmingham meetings and also the Plan C and Feminist Action Birmingham Women’s Strike planning meeting that took place on 28 September. Sisters Uncut Birmingham are planning an open meeting: Sisters Uncut Birmingham Mental Health Action: Planning and Information Meeting on 14 October, 11am – 1pm at Rope Press in Birmingham. The meeting will further discuss and research the direct action they are planning for next year. They are targeting mental health services, cuts to them and access to them, as this is an area that affects many women and transgender people. https://www.facebook.com/events/153444051911704/. Member also attended the Women’s Strike meeting; there will be further planning meetings to discuss the form the strike / protest / march will take and also the aim and focus of it. The strike is planned for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2018.

We want to ORGANISE:

ESOL and support for asylum seeker, refugee and migrant women: A friend of a member is planning to start an event from her home in Birmingham for women to improve their English through general conversations over tea and cake. This will hopefully start in November, and it is the sort of model that could be replicated elsewhere. More info will be shared nearer the time. Attendees were also interested in supporting this group, through ESOL support or organising joint socials.

Pass It On Feminist Library: We have set up a Pass It On Feminist Library – the idea is to read and share a feminist book / text / essay / feature / comic / zine (anything really) and to pass it along to someone else, as a way of circulating feminist ideas and thinking in a generous way. If you’d like to bring anything along to the next meeting please do (print outs and photocopies are fine to contribute!) we’ll make a note of title and author etc., and add that to the website as a reading resource, and give out hand made sticker / stamps for your contributions.

Zines / Posters / Flyers: We talked about making and distributing zines, posters and flyers by anyone in the group who would like to, promoting feminist messages, raising awareness of issues etc., in a creative way, to be distributed in toilets, library books and other public spaces.  If any does produce anything, if you are able to scan it and send it to the group as a pdf, it can be distributed by everyone and spread far and wide!

Fundraiser: We talked about having a social fundraising event in Birmingham, it would be great if people can have a think about a particular cause, organisation or charity they’d like to support and bring ideas to the next meeting.

Uber: We had a good conversation about Uber, and the recent news about their licence is London ending soon, in part due to sexual and violent assaults on women by Uber drivers going unreported and not taken seriously by the company. We talked about the many reasons not to use Uber, but members of the group brought up the fact that they use Uber because it feels safer than black cabs and private hire and is the quickest way to get home. Getting home at night is a real issue, if anyone does come across a good female only cab company, please do pass on details, in the meantime we hope Uber will get on board with the changes they need to make to ensure their service is safe for women to use.

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