Weekly Email Update 10.01.18

“I have been accused of acting out of partisan political motives. Those who say that do not know me. I am an independent person and I am no one’s pawn.”
Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

“Bravery is contagious. Indeed, that’s a driving force behind the #MeToo movement. And you sharing your story is going to have a lasting, positive impact on so many survivors in our country. We owe you a debt of gratitude for that, Doctor.” 
Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT)

     This week sure has been a doozy, am I right WeCAN Family? During times of great stress or prolonged duress knowing how to care for yourself and your loved ones in a crisis becomes crucial. Here are some actions that may help you or those you love in a moment of vulnerability: 

Have An Emergency Self-Care Plan
Having a strategy in place for when you have an anxiety attack or a sudden post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) episode can help you take the steps you need to recenter. Whether it's meditation, deep breathing, going for a walk, or talking to a friend, having a plan in place can help you find peace. It might even help to let a close friend know what your emergency self-care plan is, so they can help support you.
Focus on Physical Self Care
Your body is your temple and your home in this world. When you take care of your body, it can help reduce feelings of anxiety or depression. Ask questions, like: How are you sleeping? What types of foods are you eating? What kind of exercise do you enjoy? Do you perform routines that help you start off your day or wind down at the end of your day?
For example, when feeling triggered it may be useful to hold a crystal, stone, or object in each hand and alternate squeezes. This is a modification of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy and can help to calm and refocus. Whatever your tricks may be, spend some time figuring out what works best with your body and keep that in mind. Knowing what works for you will help you build a toolbox of self-care methods that will better equip you to take on the world.
Find a Creative Outlet
Healing often comes in the form of artistic expression. You might want to write, draw, or create something of your own that doesn't have to be anything perfect or beautiful or for publication — just a rant in a blank document or email can get the feelings out. 
Find Community and Support
“If you are looking for a support group, reach out to RAINN (Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network: Call 1-800-656-4673, 24/7) or your local sexual assault center for information," says Brian Pinero, Vice President of Victims' Services at RAINN. "It’s also important to keep in mind when finding a group to look for one that suits where you are in your healing process. If it was a very recent experience, you might heal best in a group tailored toward victims with more recent experiences. Or, if you are a domestic violence survivor, finding a group with other domestic violence survivors.”
If you have a loved one who has been assaulted and you want to support them when rape culture comes to the forefront of our media, Pinero suggests reaching out in person or on the phone. You can say something as simple as, “Hey, I stand with you. I’m here to listen if you need to talk.” Pinero pointed out that it's important to be cautious of what is a personal declaration of support versus a public declaration (in other words, do not do this over social media). You want to keep the survivor, their privacy, and their self-care in mind first.
Know and Communicate Your Boundaries
Navigating sex after trauma can be difficult, but knowing your boundaries and having a partner who respects those boundaries are key aspects to feeling great in your own skin. You get to decide how much of your story to share. If you know certain activities are triggering, you can say something like, 'I don't want to be on my back during sex,' without offering further explanation — you deserve to have that boundary respected. You can also say, 'Before we sleep together, I need to tell you some things about my past trauma so that I feel safe.' Any partner who shames you for having boundaries doesn't deserve to be with your body. Period. And this is a good time to remind yourself and your partner that there isn't one particular activity that 'counts' as sex — you can explore lots to figure out what makes you feel safest.
Understand It's OK to Walk Away from a Situation or Conversation That Feels Triggering
The thing is, you have capacity for different responses in different situations. It's not your job to educate someone and it's not your job to stay calm or even stay in the conversation — do what you need to do to take care of yourself in the situation.
At the end of day, remember that you come first. Figuring out what works best for you is a huge step in your healing process. Remember that you aren’t alone and we all need help sometimes, especially when rape culture becomes a national conversation on every news channel.*

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can seek help by calling the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE (4673). For more resources on sexual assault, visit RAINN, End Rape on Campus, Know Your IX, and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center.

*https://www.teenvogue.com/story/self-care-tips-for-sexual-assault-survivors

HAPPENING TODAY, SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 30th, 2018

 

Share the Harvest
sponsored by Edible Brattleboro, A Project of Post Oil Solutions
Sunday, September 30th, 2018  at the Turning Point Garden (the corner of Elm Street and Frost Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 11am-1pm. Please bring your own bags.
Join Edible Brattleboro from 11am-1pm in our garden at Turning Point, on the corner of Elm and Frost Street (diagonally across from New England Youth Theatre) for free, locally grown veggies, herbs, and more. Please bring your own bags. All produce is free thanks to the generosity of local farmers and gardeners. We welcome donations from your garden. We also welcome donations of your time either on Saturdays or Sundays to keep the stand open through October.

 

Edible Brattleboro is in Need of Volunteers!
Sundays through October at the Turning Point Garden (corner of Elm and Frost Street, diagonally across the street from NYET, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 11am-1pm.
We need 4 volunteers every week - 2 on Saturdays to glean at the Farmers Market and 2 on Sundays to operate the stand. New volunteers are always paired with an experienced person. If you are interested, please email Marilyn (ediblebrattleboro@gmail.com or reply to this message).
Fresh veggies, herbs and more are available for F*R*E*E every Sunday thanks to the generosity of our local farmers and gardeners. Please bring your own bag.
PLEASE HELP US KEEP THE STAND OPEN THROUGH OCTOBER. WE ARE HALFWAY THROUGH THE SEASON AND NEED MORE VOLUNTEERS IN ORDER TO CONTINUE.

 

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HAPPENING THIS WEEK, MONDAY, OCTOBER 1st, 2018-SUNDAY, OCTOBER 7th, 2018

 

Youth Vote Public Hearing 
Tuesdays, October 2nd and 9th, 2018 at the Brattleboro Municipal Center (203 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 2nd Floor, Suite 212. 6:15pm. 
The Youth Vote is a ballot initiative that will appear on Brattleboro's March 2019 ballot. It will allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote on town issues, serve on school boards, and serve in Representative Town Meeting. These dates are the two public hearings required for ballot initiatives. The Youth Vote will be one item on the 10/2 agenda, and be the subject of the entire 10/9 forum. There is no Selectboard vote involved; the hearings are for the people to hear from each other. Come voice your opinion! More information about the Youth Vote can be found at http://www.brattleborocommonsense.org. 

 

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350 Brattleboro Strategy Meeting
Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018 at the Brattleboro Food Co-op (2 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in the Community Room. 6pm-8pm.
Please use the 7 Canal Street Entrance.
On October 3rd we'll be gathering at the Brattleboro Co-Op Community Room from 6 to 8 pm to strategize about our upcoming transportation campaign and we need you to be involved in it. You don't need to be a longtime campaigner or some sort of policy genius. You just need to be someone who has a vision for a Fossil Fuel Free Future. RSVP here so we know how much pizza to buy!
Vermont's transportation system is responsible for the the largest proportion of our greenhouse gas emissions and because of our sparsely populated state it's a tough nut to crack. Come out on Wednesday and let's get thinking about the kind of changes we'd like to see.
Maybe you're in favor of establishing a public transit network that actually works for us, or maybe you're more focused on making biking and walking easier and safer. Maybe you'd like to help establish a local carpool network or set up a vanpool at your workplace. Or, maybe you have some other brilliant idea! All ideas are welcome and for those of you that can't commit to long-term campaign work we'll also be recruiting for smaller volunteer opportunities.
If you don't live in Brattleboro then don't worry. We still need you! Our group has members from Putney, Marlboro, Guilford, Newfane, Dummerston, Bellows Falls, Westminster and Wardsboro and we'd love to help you get to work in your town. Come out on Wednesday, or email us and we'll arrange a meeting where you live.

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Protest Vigil at TD Bank
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Friday, October 5th, 2018 (and every Friday) at TD Bank Brattleboro (215 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT). In front of the building. 12pm-1pm. Signs will be provided
TD is a major investor in Tar Sands. TD helps to fund the Dakota Access Pipeline. What You Can Do (besides attending the vigils): If you’re a TD depositor, change banks! Founded in 2005, Post Oil Solutions is a 501c3 community organizing project in Southeastern Vermont whose mission is to help empower the people of the Central Connecticut River Valley bioregion in this era of global warming and climate change to develop sustainable, resilient , collaborative, and socially just communities leading to a self- and community-sufficient post petroleum society.

 

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Abolish Columbus Day
Friday, October 5th, 2018, Pliny Park (corner of High and Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 5:30pm-7:30pm.
Saturday, October 6th, 2018. For location please email rlpolk@gmail.com. 9:30am-3:30pm.
Contact rlpolk@gmail.com for more information. 
Many states and cities around the country have opted out of celebrating Columbus Day and instead remember Indigenous resistance to colonization, Brattleboro included. Changing the name is an important step, but is it enough? How do we resist the legacies of Colonization? How  do we build a world where all humans have what they need to live healthy and happy lives?
Join  Indigo Institute Oct 5th and 6th for a weekend of opposition to 500 and more years of white supremacy, exploitation, and accumulation of wealth. 
On Friday from 5:30 - 7:30pm, Brattleboro Solidarity will host an evening of community conversation in Pliny Park. What is the legacy of colonization? What should be our collective resistance? And how do we stand in solidarity to Indigenous struggles? There will be short videos projected in the park and a place to discuss Indigenous People's Day, collective resistance, and the abolishment of Columbus Day.
On Saturday from 9:30 - 3:30 for  Spark Teacher Education will be hosting a Teach-In: the Pedagogy of Indigenous Resistance and Solidarity. Join us for a day of thought and actions inspired by indigenous resistance against the legacies of colonization. This will be a dynamic day of sharing resources, collaborating, educating and organizing. For more information or location, please contact rlpolk@gmail.comProfessional development credits available through Spark Teacher Training. 
The Indigo Institute deepens knowledge of the world. It makes connections by creating learning experiences for schools, universities, and community organizations. Participants focus on reflection and action. 

 

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Civil Rights for All Banner Raising on Indigenous Peoples Day
Sunday, October 7th, 2018 at the corner of Main Street and High Street (Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 8am-9am. 
RSVP: woodyandsusan@gmail.com  or call 802 464 3154.
The Fire Company will raise the "We Celebrate Democracy/Civil Rights For All" banner over Main Street on Sunday the seventh of October.  The eighth is Brattleboro's Indigenous People's Day.
Democracy is our problem, and the answer to our problems. You can stand up for democracy on the 5 occasions each year when the banner goes up over Main Street.  Show up on the 7th, and you will be making a very important public statement: We want democracy and civil rights for all people. The Works will be open. Bring a song to sing, words to speak,  a sign to hold. Please do not block the sidewalk or the street. We hope we will see you there. 
For info or to donate go to https://www.gofundme.com/Indigenous-Peoples-Day-Banner
positive nonviolent public action for democracy and equal civil rights for all people.

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Share the Harvest
sponsored by Edible Brattleboro, A Project of Post Oil Solutions
Sunday, October 7th, 2018  at the Turning Point Garden (the corner of Elm Street and Frost Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). 11am-1pm. Please bring your own bags.
Join Edible Brattleboro from 11am-1pm in our garden at Turning Point, on the corner of Elm and Frost Street (diagonally across from New England Youth Theatre) for free, locally grown veggies, herbs, and more. Please bring your own bags. All produce is free thanks to the generosity of local farmers and gardeners. We welcome donations from your garden. We also welcome donations of your time either on Saturdays or Sundays to keep the stand open through October.

 

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UPCOMING EVENTS

 

Brattleboro Democracy Forum: Jump Start the Peaceful Revolution for Democracy
Wednesday, October 10th, 2018 at the River Garden (157 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301).  12pm-1pm. 
Things you can do for a new day of Democracy and Civil Rights. Woody Bernhard, host of the Brattleboro Democracy Forum, and organizer of the We Celebrate Democracy / Civil Rights For All main street banner, will share his inspirational song "I Pledge Allegiance" and his ideas about what we can do ourselves, right now, to begin the peaceful revolution and get back on track to a democracy which respects and includes all people. This is a continuation of Woody's 7/25 presentation by the same name. Please join the discussion.WE CELEBRATE DEMOCRACY/CIVIL RIGHTS FOR ALL, WCD/CRFA,  POB 6231, Brattleboro VT 05302 
positive nonviolent public action for democracy and equal civil rights for all people.

 

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Public Healthcare Forum with Windham County Candidates for State Senate
sponsored by the Healthcare Is A Human Right Campaign of the VT Workers’ Center
Wednesday, October 10th, 2018, at the Centre Congregational Church (193 Main Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301), in the Parlor. 7pm-9pm. Childcare and language interpretation are available upon request to windham@workerscenter.org or 802-257-4436. The event takes place in a handicap accessible space. Information about health care will be available and doors will open at 6:15pm for people to check out the information and enjoy light refreshments.
Members of the public are invited to attend this forum to learn about the candidates’ views on healthcare concerns of people in Windham County and to ask questions of the candidates. All Windham County legislative candidates have been invited.  

 

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The Putney Huddle
Sunday, October 14th, 2018 at the Putney Public Library ( 55 Main Street, Putney, VT). 1:30pm-3:30pm.
The Putney Huddle is excited to welcome guest speakers from our local NAACP, candidate for state representative of District 1, Sara Coffey. Join us in a Local Love Brigade Post Card Action and hear the latest from our Southern Vermont Sister District.

 

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Two Workshops with Sherri Mitchell, Indigenous Rights and Environmental Justice Activist
sponsored by Post Oil Solutions
Healing Our Collective Trauma and Reconnecting with Our Spiritual Source + Healing Our Divisions and Biases and Unifying Our Movements
Saturday, October 27th, 2018 - Sunday, October 28th, 2018 at the Winston Prouty Campus (209 Austine Drive, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) in Croker Hall on the 4th Floor. 9am-5pm. Handicapped accessible. Updated location/instructions to follow closer to event. We will only accommodate the first 50 people that register, with a wait list beyond. The minimum participants are 20; we will cancel if we get less than this, and reimburse registrants accordingly. People are encouraged to bring a bag lunch and snacks for themselves, or to share. Registration: $125.00. Write & Mail Check to Post Oil Solutions, P. O. Box 431, Townshend, VT  05353, (note “Sherri Mitchell”  in memo line). Please include e-mail address and phone number.
Healing Our Collective Trauma and Reconnecting with Our Spiritual Source
Description:
This one-day workshop will take participants on a journey into Native American mythology and cosmology, as a means of healing our collective wounds and reconnecting with spiritual source. We have all been impacted by histories of violence. The oppressed, the oppressor, and the witness alike bear the wounds of our collective past. Together, we will look at the psychic and spiritual wounds that we all share and learn how we can untangle their hold on our hearts and minds. Participants will be asked to look at the history that led to this traumatization and explore how it continues to impact their lives. We will also learn how to hold sacred space for one another while our trauma is present. In this process, we will learn that there is a safe space for us to occupy together, whole and intact. Then, we can begin the process of healing our divisions, so that we can go back and claim a new future for all living beings.
Healing Our Divisions and Biases and Unifying Our Movements
Description:
This one-day workshop provides participants with an opportunity to look at the divisions and biases, including hidden biases, that have been built into our societies and ideologies. We will look at the divisions created by our shared history, the biases informed by that history, and the ways that they prevent us from joining our movements. We will learn how to find interest convergence points that enable us to work with one another across these divisions, and how to manage the intersectionality of the emerging movement of movements. 
REFUND POLICY FOR PARTICIPANT CANCELLATION: People can get a refund of the full price if they cancel 10 days prior to the event; after that they can get 50% up to 5 days before the event. If they fail to cancel before that time they will get a 25% refund up to 48 hours before the event and no refund within 48 hours. 

 

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RESOURCE FOR WeCAN: Rapid Response Text Alert System
When WeCAN began Song & Solidarity set up a Rapid Response Text Alert System for WeCAN Groups. Directions for signing up are on WeCAN's website, here: https://www.wecantogether.net/rapid_response We were reminded of the Rapid Response text alerts system as President Trump moves towards firing Mueller. In the event Mueller is fired, MoveOn is planning a nation-wide simultaneous protest. The trick will be to get the word out fast if/when the time comes. We are grateful to Song and Solidarity for providing this service.

 

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STANDING REGULAR MEETINGS

 

Lost River Racial Justice, Black Lives Matter-South, and People Of Color Caucus Regular Meeting
Reoccurring racial justice organizing meetings every 2nd Monday at The Root Social Justice Center (The Whetstone Studio of the Arts, 28 Williams Street, Brattleboro, VT, 05301) on the First Floor. 6pm-8pm. Childcare provided. Fragrance & nut free space.  

 

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Youth 4 Change
Meetings are held on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of the month from 5:30pm-8pm. 
For more information please contact Youth 4 Change at youth4changeaction@gmail.com.
Agenda:
5:30pm: Drop in homework time and art making
6:00pm: Food
6:30pm: Meeting and Organizing
Youth 4 Change is for local-area youth 12-22 interested in political organizing around local/state/national social justice issues that are important to them. Brattleboro area advocates and educators are holding a space, and assisting youth in building a strong personal tool kit to organize for change.  Using a variety of creative methods, we aim to enable youth with tools for resilience, courage and compassion, while fostering their ability to speak up about issues that matter to them, and to take action in the name of love and liberation for all people.  Come explore issues of racial, economic and gender justice through art, movement, first-hand accounts and contemplative practices. Connect with area youth around the issues that matter to you and strengthen your tool kit for action! 

 

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Alternatives to Suicide 
Every Wednesday, 6pm-7:30pm at the Hive Space (24 Flat St, Suite 202, Brattleboro, VT, 05301). Second Floor, up one flight of stairs.
Alternatives to Suicide is a mutual support group open to anyone who has experienced thoughts of suicide. The group is guided by a charter of values provided by the Western Mass Recovery Learning Community. The group is non-clinical and does not link suicide with illness.  Participants are free to talk about and find meaning in their experiences in/on their own terms. 

 

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ONGOING EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMING 

 

Indigo Radio
Sundays at 12pm on Brattleboro Community Radio 107.7FM
To stream live: Visit www.wvew.org 
Indigo Radio, deepening understanding and making connections! IndigoRadio is a group of area educators seeking to learn through engaging with others in our community and throughout the world. We will be talking about educational and social issues both globally and locally and connecting them to our lives and Brattleboro community. Find us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/indigoradiowvew/. For archive recordings of past shows: https://soundcloud.com/user-654648353.

 

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Thank you, friends, for your courage to speak up and speak out for justice this and every week. Your raised voice is more important now than ever before. 

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