Post convergence

We need to think in terms that a convergence isn't just the event, there is a bellcurve of activity / issues leading up to \x93the event\x94 and then trailing off afterwards. There have been many convergences where they happen and only the folks that were there know about it, follow-up and debrief are important, case in point the miami imc and the documents produced recollecting the FTAA Miami COnvergence.

SPACES
  • housing: \x96 post: the folks that stay after the main convergence would be responsible for clearing and cleaning the housing that was obtained. This is usually done in good faith, so the persons that used their legal names to secure the space, and sometimes their own money for the initial deposit, do not lose out on the negligence of those that remain.
  • Space \x96 post: the main imc space would also have to be cleaned and left the way it was found. This usually means finding local organizations to donate equipment to, or securing a way to move all equipment from the convergence space to wherever it will now be homed.

WEBSITE / TECHNICAL
  • documenting the experience with as many input streams as possible
  • Website \x96 post: depending on the convergence and the websites use, it should either be archived as a topic page on a local imc, relevant topic imc, or the global imc. If the issue is large enough to warrant a topic imc, the folks that are passionate about have such a site should continue it as an open and democratic open publishing project. *setup mailing list \x96 post: if the lists that are setup are not going to be used again, mail a request to imc-listwork to disable the lists so they do not become spam traps. Alternatively. When setting up your lists, excepting the fact that we may win, set the lists up ambiguously so if the event happens yearly the same list can be used next year.
  • setup wiki or groupware collaboration software as center for all docs -- post: update the wiki with all relevant information, wrap up the wiki with some thoughts about what could\x92ve been done better, or what worked really well, so that a strong theme of \x91building a culture of support and resistance\x92 exists.
  • setup online meetings -- archive these meetings
  • return hardware where necessary, and donate the rest / put it to good use. order / obtain broadband internet access \x96 cancel the broadband, ship / transport hardware to convergence space -- humanely remove the hardware, via donations or recycling or taking it with you.

COMMUNITY
  • giving a voice to the places of silence
  • the \x93why\x94 of a convergence -- reflections on goals
    • post: After the convergence, you will have time for reflection of action and processes. Speaking directly with the parties involved, the direct action contingent, the liberals, and the local power organizations. This, contrasted with personal experiences, will offer a monumental picture of how things went. With the imcistas that you worked with, and other folks you had become close to, you can start to reflect on the overall goals of the convergence, that was come to in the pre-convergence. In Miami, one of our goals was to leave Miami with the seed to start a new imc there. After the convergence some of the imcistas that came to Miami remained to oversee and help with the first two meetings of the Miami IMC seed. Today, they have an indymedia site of their own. Having such a goal, a goal to give back, also helped to bring a voice to the silent masses.
  • after the actions, work with the local community and activist groups to provide a well rounded follow up to the events and to create a stronger with people and media and ideas that anyone can produce their own media and that their stories are what is important.


A convergence never really ends, not until we win. IMCistas coming from out of town can see a very clear beginning and end, the days of action, however the host community and the activist and community support groups will be dealing with the issues for some time to come. Therefore it is important to initiate and maintain good relations with the community you will be serving, this includes the affected neighbourhoods of convergence as well as the out of town activists.

It is tantamount to relay to the affected communities, if we want to build a strong network of support, you care and reasons for being part of this convergence. In Miami we recieved enormous community support from the local businesses that we patronized and the community around the convergence center and our living space.

After many of the activists had come and gone from Miami, a few IMCistas remained and developed 'out-of-action' relationships with the people around us and made friends. WE made ties so that when we had to go back to Miami we would have a support base. And we left a seed. The seed was the Miami IMC.

One of the original goals and intentions of setting up in Miami was to generate support in the community for and indymedia site and make it possible for the folks there to use it productively.

After the convergence, you will have time for reflection of action and processes. Speaking directly with the parties involved, the direct action contingent, the liberals, and the local power organizations. This, contrasted with personal experiences, will offer a monumental picture of how things went. With the imcistas that you worked with, and other folks you had become close to, you can start to reflect on the overall goals of the convergence, that was come to in the pre-convergence. In Miami, one of our goals was to leave Miami with the seed to start a new imc there. After the convergence some of the imcistas that came to Miami remained to oversee and help with the first two meetings of the Miami IMC seed. Today, they have an indymedia site of their own. Having such a goal, a goal to give back, also helped to bring out the voice of the silent masses.

Some important things to accomplish, after 'the storm' has moved on is that there exists a community that we just descended upon, and what have we or can we give back to them. THere are a few button up type of things, with the spaces especially.

The space that exists as the IMC convergence needs to have the broadband cancelled, the phone lines disconnected, the hardware removed or donated, and all of the extra furniture and equipment humanely removed.


Post Manifestacion

After the main convergence, there is still much activity to be documented and important community ties to be solidified. Paramount is following through the visioning of the convergence and discussing what worked and didnt, and reflecting on the goals set up prior to the convergence.

In Miami we had a pre convergence goal to leave the community there with an indymedia center. After the main demonstrations, a few imcistas stayed in Miami for a couple of weeks to help along the budding IMC seed, walk them through the principles of indymedia and help facilitate their meetings, answered questions and tried to leave them with as much information and equipment as possible.

It is important not to descend 'whirlwind' style on a community where we come, take the resources, and leave. THe new focus of convergences is to really leave something behind and create stronger networks with the folks that we meet and the folks that we work with.

This is direcly dependant on having folks in the communities as early as possible and working with the activist and community organizers
Topic revision: r5 - 20 Feb 2005, GarconDuMonde
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