There were about 20 people there and we first talked about the play a little, then did a go around sharing stories of times we'd called the police, or avoided calling the police. Meg from CAAC was also there and shared insights about transformative justice and her experiences with CAAC.
Things that came from this discussion include:
- suggestion that housemates/friendship groups have intentional discussions among themselves about things like when they're comfortable or not comfortable calling the police, how to deal with potentially legal situations, and what roles people are willing/able to take in conflict resolution or emergency response. The idea is that people often call the police when they don't know what else to do, and police often escalate situations and bring the legal system into our lives. If we make some agreements before situations come up our actions have foresight and planning, and we might be able to
- Training in de-escalation and conflict resolution so that more of us have the tools we need to resolve conflicts and deal with situations without needing police interference.
- Training in mediation and support for survivors of assault and sexual assault.
- Self-defense / martial arts training.
We felt very good about these discussions, appreciate everyone who participated, and look forward to acting on these suggestions and following up with each other.
We've decided to start by having a follow-up / discussion circle at our next event (June 11th) where we talk about next steps and how we can all support and learn from each other.