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Another prespective on the ISO CSAW conference
by Jamila jamaliaafrendika@yahoo.com (jamaliaafrendika [at] yahoo.com)
Thursday Nov 15th, 2001 3:52 PM
it was just too much
This weekend was such a strange thing for me. I have no political affiliations. I consider myself to have socialist views when thinking about certain issues, but I have always refused to join any organizations.
I don't know exactly what happned or where the breakdown of communication was, but I have to agree with many of the others who have spoken out so far that the conference did posses and did have an extreme domination by the ISO. I know now for the first time they are trying to downplay their numbers, and making it look like they were quiet and good the entire time but that was not the case. I overheard conversations that they were having with one another, I saw the way a few of their "leaders" that I know were acting and reacting to people. At one point when the young middle easern lady who was speaking during the process point and saying that she felt left out, I saw a group of ISO people sitting in front of me poking one of their ISO members who was middle eastern, urging him to speak, a few seconds later that middle eastern ISO memebers hands went up.
I also sat back and observed this man who had introduced himself to me earlier in the day named Todd who come to find out later runs the west coast ISO and is paid by the ISO. I watched how he never sat down, at the start of the conference he was all the way up front talking to the moderator for a very long time, and talking to the speakers, and during the conference he would march between both enterances and never sat down, like he was watching and just guarding the doors.
It's was just an odd scene and very odd conference for me. It was sexist, racist towards not just my middle eastern people, but towards many people, it was homophobic. I know a group of students from humbloldt were sitting next to me, they were not delegates and they told me that they couldn't believe this was happening, but said they were not allowed to speak, and were scared to speak anyways.
The entire atmosphere was one that was extremly tense and frustrating, you could see all of the people that were annoyed and felt like they would never be called on. I saw so many raise their hands never to ever be called on.
I try to stay an unbias observer, I never not once spoke during the conference, I didn't even walk out. I just watched and listend, and from what I saw I saw a true devestating extreme white power and dominated event unfolding. The domination in the room was extremly thick and suffocating at times. 10 men would speak and only 1 women would stand up. Someone kept calling all of us middle easterns Arabs and that was becoming upseting.
The entire structure was never explained, I think that peoples naieve state of mind was taken advantage of, and that it was used and abused.
I personally will not be attending any of these forums, I don't think they'll miss me. One more middle eastern person that they don't have to worry about having to let them know how she feels. Im sure they know exactly what to do to help us become civilized organizers, and Im sure they know what to do to help us poor poor people who can't have an opinion, who can't have a voice, and are in such desperate need to be helped and saved by the charity of the amazing liberal left in this nation. Thank you Berkeley for your kind efforts to help my people, thank you for letting us have a voice.

If you couldn't tell, yes I was being sarcastic.
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Vanguards need to talk amongst themselvesVal KarieFriday Nov 16th, 2001 4:01 PM

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