Work in progress

 Food for thought:

Accomplishments and failures over time

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"It's amazing what you can accomplish if you don't care who gets the credit."

           - This quote is (ironically and aptly) credited to about two dozen different historical figures


The struggle for students independence from the CFS has made the CBC National News.

I feel giddy. The report is extremely topical, and fails to mention the nuts and bolts of why people want out but, at least it's coverage.

It also doesn't mention SFU, the UVic. Grads, Cape Breton or Kwantlen.

We helped start this beautiful mess.
Titus Gregory has just completed his critical analysis of the Canadian Federation of Students.

At 339 pages in length it has, 1134 footnotes.

Thus far, he has received two legal threats.




For me, January will be a month of closure.


On the 6th, I finish transition. (and begin bruising in uncomfortable places)

On January 20th, Bush leaves office and will be replaced by a member of homo sapiens.

On the 29th, we see the CFS elders in court.


Closure. Yes.



And while this gender/volunteer/trans stuff is interesting, I want other things in my life.
(But not so much enough to sellsword myself out as an anti-CFS consultant, as has been suggested)

So I get back into reading. I design a rules-lite RPG system for math-phobics. I rent documentaries on Rennaissance Italian Warfare and growing up in a Maoist Household in Vancouver. I read speculative fiction set in Vancouver. I dance a bit. I hit queer events (that aren't so trans-focused). I try to network-up a roomate.

I bicycle too. Today I tried to take Spinning Wheels (I guess that's her name?) to Main and 45th but I hit a big piece of glass. The tire went flat and I only noticed when it got bumpy. So I'm getting it fixed.

A bump. A disruption. A repair. Some learning. An alternate route. Returning to pick it up and ride it again.

The wheel keeps turning.
I've been trying to cultivate a better sense of compassion of late and I'm impressed by its value. I don't mean it's ability to be all lovey and healing, but in it's more quantifiable applications. Or maybe I'm confusing it with empathy. Or maybe compassion is empathy with a little analysis and practice thrown in.

Seeing people as whole individuals with motives and stories, trying to understand them and where they're coming from, is great for:
My sleep is returning to normal. It'll take a few days, but I think it will be more regular, and I won't wake up in an anxious wreck. I'm dreaming a lot, as if my brain needs to catch up. Even the gender in my dreams has become more congruent, as if it was a few months behind and is now too catching up.  Furthermore...

...waitaminute...

Oh, look. This post isn't under a friends-only cut!

That's right, FUCK YOU CFS*. FUCK YOU BC-CFS "TREASURER" JAMES BOWAN. GOODBYE NOW! GOOD LUCK IN COURT!**

I'm going to have my journal back now, and I'll say whatever I want in it, and show it to whoever I see fit. People who need a gender resource will be able to get it again. It's too late for you to run a smear/intimidation/harassment campaign now. And the Peak wouldn't print the letter that Andrew Ferguson sent in. Too bad, it was so informed, and the writing style was so familiar, it was almost as if someone much more lucid wrote it for him.

Yeah. We're out now. You played dirty, but we won. By a lot. Actually, your antics helped us prove our argument.

I'm leaving the student union and I think the threats to blacklist me from the progressive sector aren't worth much, seeing as not only are people paying attention to your organization, but even the uninspring bipartisan-spawn that is the BC-NDP is getting around to disowning you.

Buhbye!

::Waves::

*By "CFS," I am of course referring to "the people who run the CFS**" as detailed on page thirty of this week's Peak.
**The sort of luck that is generally found in Greek deus-ex-machina-reliant epics and Star Trek Voyager
***i.e. into the ground
WE ARE OUT

We won.

67% No.

33% Yes.

That's roughly two "No" votes to every "Yes" vote

Despite being outfinanced and outswarmed by out-of-province "volunteers." Despite harassment of our volunteers and smear leaflets. Despite legal threats. Despite the fact that this took fifteen months.

Or maybe because of these things,

We are out.

If you volunteered; if you voted; if you took the time to get informed; if you told your friends; if you gave a shit; you helped make this happen. Thank you. You have changed your campus.

And now to look forward to an SFU with a real student experience based on student organizing for students. It's up to us from here. Fortunately SFU students have proved that we're more than capable of organizing for change.


To independence, autonomy and accountability,

- Amy
External Relations Officer, Simon Fraser Student Society
45 hours until polls close.
This feels less like a weekend, and more like a brief respite from ongoing madness. This is acceptable: I can pull one of these no-real-weekend things once per crisis. At SFU, the Federation is everywhere. Thirty-plus people flown in for this occasion. It's like my own campus has become a hostile place. This said, they're greatest success to date has been in pissing people off.

Highlights and lessons:
- I hate flyering on a fundamental level. It makes my sleep even more fucked up than it has been this week. Fortunately, we really need someone to put up posters for hours at a stretch, so I can go do that instead.
- CFS people following SFU student campaigners around
- Started this thing in December 2006.
- Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Done.


Dreams have been messed up. Angry. Frightened. Abrupt.
Tyler had some good advice for people in a bleak mood. Sort of an alterative to shrinks and counselling.

It was something to the effect of:
        Sort out what you do that makes you happy. Do more of it. Do less of the things that make you unhappy.

Smart guy. I adopt this as my strategy.

The Federation flew in a couple dozen people, and campus is swarming. Many of them don't have a clue what's going on in BC. It's poster-and-flyer time. All day. Every day.

Eight more work-days of this CFS shit. Then the gruelling time-consuming part is done. The last fifteen months of work is done. Then things look up a bit. Things look up a lot. I'll even have a chance to pursue some of my pet administrative projects (i.e. accessible washrooms!). Or take some time off and get knee-deep into research.

But there is a slog between now and then.

Will we win? What if we lose?

I have an inkling of how to handle it if we lose. Namely, it would be a hard lesson in democracy, and why going off and doing your own thing might be a better idea than trying to convince everyone to do it with you.

This said, I don't think that will be necessary. I really do think that we can win, and that we are going to win. We're down volunteer numbers relative to them, but I think that we have skill, a strong argument, and the sentiment of campus leans in our favour. Plus I don't think that the CFS volunteers will hold up well. Whereas ours seem to get more enthused as time goes on.

After this. Nevermind "after this." I'm having trouble thinking about "after this." Howabout This will end. Soon. Then there will be other things that are more enjoyable.
In case you're wondering what I do at work, here's 80% my job in three links

1. How the CFS fails at social change
2. How the CFS plans to keep us in (and a link to the document in question)
3. Our solution

I also do other stuff. But not much of it right now.
I have an awesome jacket, and it's probably older than I am, but there are three problems with it
1 - it's too big
2 - it really needs repairs
3 - it's not mine

I was looking around for one like it, but having no luck. This was exascerbated by the fact that I don't know how to describe clothes, having only recently learned the difference between "a blouse" and "a shirt." Fortunately, a friend's glib comment to the effect of "It would go well with flight goggles," makes we realize what to call it, and google images agrees

It's a pilot's jacket!

The key features are
- a zipper
- sizable pockets
- ribbed cuffs that fit my wrists

(Plus, when combined with cargo pants, it enables my habit of dressing like a sci-fi extra.)

So. Anyone know where I can get a good one in a very small size?

**

For those of you wondering why this is friendlisted and not public, it's because the CFS will use apparant contraventions of dietary requests (i.e. "vegan please") as political ammunition. I am not making this up. Since we're already on the road to kicking their ass, I'd rather not bring any more stress into my life.
Until Wednesday the 28th, my cousin will be here; I will not.

CFS conference in Ottawa until the 25th.
Every time I go, I get stronger; they, less relevant.
And I bring back something worthwhile.


Quickly over to Boston. Even quicker over to Toronto. Then home.

Be well,
Years after the sustained bullying at the hands of my classmates, I have still not acquired the knack of putting up with a room full of people intent on tearing me down.

No wait.

What I lack is the ability to try to do productive work in a room where a fair number of people are intent on giving me shit, a few blame me for the fact that others are giving me shit, and the remainder are split between just letting it happen so long as it's to someone else, or just don't know how to stop it.

I think that very few people have this knack.

"Just ignore them."

It's hard to do. It's hard to watch my body shake from hours of sustained attack.

But I pulled it off during the renaming! What was different?

The renaming was a mix of rational debate and blatant unfairness, while the CFS meeting deliberately blurred the lines. Considering that past CFS meeting rhetoric borders on the Orwellian (to paraphrase only slightly: "when the bylaws say that elections are in 'Fall,' they mean that they should be held in the Spring.'") you can see how this could occur.


Good. Good. Another tough lesson.

What does help is knowing that there is a world outside of CFS meetings, where the people I know are supportive, rational and kind, even when (or especially when) they disagree with me.

You know who you are. Thanks.



That reminds me. I've got to finish off the renaming. I'm tired of my supernature/religious narrative telling me that I'm still "dead." Conveniently, spending time at the CFS meeting will allow me to take a day or two off sometime this month.

For those of you who are here in this personal-trust-relationship, here is the context. This is not public information for official bodies.

This CFS meeting was by far, the worst to date.

Sadly, we did not have enough time to discuss membership issues (i.e. so why are SFU and Kwantlen students angry?). Funny how we always seem to run out of time before this occurs.

When we arrived on Saturday, we were presented with loyalty oaths which, it was decided, we would have to sign as a condition of our prior ratifications to the committee being honoured. I believe that this was an intimidation tactic, and it may be illegal. A multiple-hour session of veiled accusations against myself (and, to a lesser extent Capilano's representative) ensued. Titus avoided a nasty confrontation by, at the last minute, pointing out that I'd been appointed in February for a one-year term.

On Sunday, without any kind of warning or discussion, the Treasurer of the BC-CFS printed up a screenshot showing the three prior entries of my journal (too bad this didn't include the equinox greetings!) and handed them around the meeting. I became very angry at him in public. He then relied only on the most recent entry (as opposed to the other cfs-related entries?) as a pretense to have me barred (very likely illegally) from the financial portion of the meeting, and likely future confidential sessions as well. Enough of the Executive Committee and Staff cooperated with this to make this the case. The Chair of the meeting did nothing to stop him. No-one objected to publicly airing my personal gender/sexuality/emotional information in an act of alleged oversight.

I refused to leave, so they took the meeting elsewhere.

I think that this shows a step across the line separating professional conduct from personal attack. I am not happy about this. I don't know how to respond, or whether it's worth my time and thought. I could go on, but I don't feel the need to defend myself or further illustrate.

Still, I felt, and to an extent still feel, helpless, humiliated, intruded-upon, shocked/disappointed, and disgusted. I don't know what other personal information they will go through. I am very angry.

Now. Food.
[The original of this was less precise. It did not include paragraphs 2, 3 and 6. It said only "I hate them" when asked at the CFS meeting about what "I hate them" means, paragraphs two and three flew out of my mouth. It seemed worth writing down.]

I'm off to another CFS meeting. This one starts at 11 am in Kamloops on Saturday, and finishes on Sunday evening. The will cover overnighting on Saturday/Sunay, but not at any other time. Thus we are expected to both leave and return to Vancouver at odd hours with not enough sleep to drive properly.

I hate them; the people who make the decisions. The people who steer the meetings so that they creep along at a snail's pace whenever critical people attend, and, as soon as the only people there are ill-informed enough to trust them, switch tracks to see to it that the meeting is fully "productive."

I hate it when people take a trust relationship and pervert it. I hate the people who have undermined the idea of a student movement.

For a while, I was worried that the anger that I felt towards the CFS-elite was ebbing. But it's come back in a calmer, more comfortable format. I think it's because I'm still mad, but I'm not afraid of them anymore.

I feel confident that we are going to fuck them up.

We'll fix it and expose them, or we'll leave it.

It seems that SFU is not alone

I'm impressed by the suggestions that we orchistrated this as a cunning manuever- I was surprised that SFU managed to get the necessary signatures, let alone that four other schools pulled it off too.

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August 2017

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