Herstory 11 (scp.2 House1) A house meeting

This is from one of the places squatted during the over year long process of getting a new social centre in Helsinki, after Siperia burnt down.

The man facilitating at this meeting, was the same man who had also physically assaulted my flat mate at capoeira practice. In general, during my pre-ban time with the squatting scene, what I’ve witnessed at meetings have been the same as with this man. The one facilitating either being in a strong position already, being one of the ones with power, and therefor using the time facilitating to speak most of the time themeselves. Or that it’s someone who’s not in a dominant position who just hands out the speaking turns in between the dominant ones. And if there’s some unwanted opinion mentioned, then the facilitator has lost their status to interfere, and the dominant ones take charge of the meeting, and speak in whatever order they please.

I’ve never seen a facilitator encourage silent ones. [some people attend meetings and stay silent for years. in general there’s the idea that it’s wrong to “force” people to speak. and that even asking would possibly make someone feel so uncomfortable, that they would be discouraged from attending any meetings in the future] Nor have I seen a facilitator asking dominant ones to step back.

Facilitation is very often talked about as a wanted skill, but there’s never really been any effort to introduce it properly as a regular practice at meetings, where the facilitator would actually have the role of helping the meeting to move forward, instead of just being a tool for the ones in power to use. (i would be willing to help out in this process. but am unfortunately no allowed to do so by the dominant ones. my skills are unwanted at the social centre.)

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