Positive Pressure to Protest: 2018 Winter Forum Summary


2018 Winter Forum Summary

Topic: Positive Pressure to Protest

Conversation led by Roberto de la Riva (Inquilinxs Unidxs por Justicia)

Attendance: 11 members of the community, including several other neighborhood organizers and leaders

Resources to keep thinking on this topic:

Freedom Dreams by Robin Kelley

The Crack in the Wall by Subcomandante Insurgente Galeano

Roberto de la Riva, Angela Conley, and Tabitha Montgomery are all smiles greeting each other before the forum.

Key points and topics of discussion:

The Hole in the Wall as a metaphor

Protest can bust holes into systems of oppression and we talked about that as a mechanism for change, but we also talked about the ways that the nature of those holes can shift, change, or be closed up.

Protest = Pro + Testify

Protest is when we speak and share our stories, and experiences, toward a common goal or interest

Protest vs. Resistance

-Protest can be hope, but protest can also be angry, hopeless, joyful, and necessary.

For some, protest can bring a powerful sense of hope, joy, and community. But there are also times when protest is an expression of pain, anger, and hopelessness. Both are true.

-There’s never an end

Even when we win, there’s more work to be done. When you win, work begins on constructing a new society.

-How do you determine what is truth/fact vs. what is fake news?

We can all acknowledge that people experience their own truths (filtered by their lived experience, skin color, gender, etc.). Sometimes, it can be helpful to consider whom a particular piece of information benefits or what reality the information supports. Also, we talked about the burden that sits on each of us to seek out the truth. Look for it; ask for it; fight for it.

At the end of the conversation, everyone was asked to share what they are holding with this conversation and what they are taking from this conversation. Here are a few:

  • Holding: An admiration for those who stay steady in the fight

  • Holding: Different community perspectives

  • Holding: compassion

  • Holding: pain

  • Taking: Protest → process → endurance → resistance

  • Taking: building up is harder than taking down

  • Taking: perspective

  • Taking: hope, love, and faith

  • Taking: persistence in my protest for policies that include love of people

  • Another small step towards being in my whiteness, my white privilege, using that power productively for and with those that don’t experience that privilege and are constantly violated by it.

  • Be careful with what you do with the pieces of the wall


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