Sunday, November 28, 2010

NO VOTE Starts Tomorrow

Despite its claims to the contrary, the tentative contract that the UAW bargaining team signed with the UC administration is bullshit -- it would lock academic student employees (GSIs, readers, and tutors) into a salary cut in real terms for the next three years. But there's one good thing about the contract: it reveals clear lines of solidarity, dividing friends and allies from enemies. We see these lines in not only the concessions made to the university and the union's striking lack of transparency, but also in the bargaining team's adoption of the UC administration's own rhetoric of crisis:

While there is some difference of opinion about whether or not to agree to this contract, or to hold out and keep building for a strike in hopes of winning up to another 2% each year on wages, the majority of us believe that this a great contract. Especially in context of the economic devastation occurring in California and across the country (i.e., double-digit official unemployment, including huge numbers of public employee layoffs; skyrocketing healthcare costs; cuts to education and other public goods and social services), it would be unwise and ineffective to prolong the contract campaign. While we respect the rights of individuals to advocate that we hold out for more, we believe that protracted escalation and a possible strike could undermine the gains we’ve already reached agreement on with UC and weaken public support for our contract.
California's economic devastation has little to do with the UC administration's decision to impose austerity on the university. One of the most important goals of the protests on UC campuses last year was precisely to combat this rhetorical maneuver, to focus attention back on the administration. It's hard work -- politics is synonymous with government, and so it seems that the natural outlet for political protest is Sacramento. But Sacramento is everywhere. The regents, the administration, the built environment of the university itself. Not that it was necessarily our goal, but the protests last year caught Sacramento's attention -- they were the "tipping point" in the state government's decision to allocate hundreds of millions of dollars more to the UC in this year's budget. But as we've been saying all along, more money from the state is irrelevant without regime change in the administration. And, effectively, we've been proven right: this year the regents came together to raise our tuition once again.

The union leadership has taken sides: they have opted to be behind the barricades, behind the lines of gun-wielding riot cops, to stand with the administration. We know where they stand. They stand for business as usual, they stand against strikes and work stoppages. They stand against us.

To build for a strike, the next step is voting down this bullshit contract. Voting starts Monday and goes til Thursday. At Berkeley, here's where:
- Monday-Thursday 8am-4pm: North Gate and Sather Gate
- Mon 10am-2pm: Barrows Hall
- Tues 10am-2pm: Evans Hall
- Wed 10am-2pm: Moffitt Library
- Thurs 10am-2pm: Kroeber Hall
Now, voting NO on the contract doesn't mean that we're going on strike. All it does is send the bargaining team back to the table to start negotiating again. But this time they'll know we're mobilized and we won't put up with any shit. And if all goes well, maybe we can get some sort of strike off the ground. After all, a strike seems like the best way to connect the GSI struggle with the broader struggle against privatization in the university at large.

For more info, check out Those Who Use It, which has been covering this issue well. Some more links are here.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Solidarity from California

The police van that was stranded in the middle of the kettle of student protesters in London.The Guardian is liveblogging the education protests in the UK. Real-time map of university occupations. Lists of and links to the occupations here and here.

[Update Wed 2:17pm]:
Students in front of police van

Sunday, November 21, 2010

ACLU Open Letter to Chancellor Birgeneau on Student Conduct

The ACLU of Northern California has written a new letter to the UC Berkeley administration regarding the flawed student conduct prosecutions that the university has been carrying out against last year's protesters. Last spring, the ACLU wrote a similarly biting letter regarding the cases of protesters who faced arbitrary suspensions for their alleged involvement in an incident at Chancellor Birgeneau's house on December 11, 2009. The university, stated the letter, "has imposed extremely restrictive suspensions on students without meeting the requirements of constitutional due process and in violation of constitutional guarantees of privacy, freedom of speech, and freedom of association." Although the letter was very specific to that one particular case, it suggested that similar problems would continue to appear if the university did not fundamentally alter its Code of Student Conduct and the procedures by which it is applied.

Dated November 18, the one-year anniversary of the attempted occupation of the Architects and Engineers building ("Capital Projects"), the ACLU letter focuses in on two particularly significant procedural violations that have characterized the operations of the Office of Student Conduct (OSC) in its attempts to punish student protesters:
First, the University has violated the strict timelines in the Code. Over 60 charges resulted from the November 2009 incidents, and yet not a single student who requested a hearing received one within the timeline set forth in the Code. Second, the University has applied a patchwork of versions of the Code, including provisions nowhere set forth in writing and a version adopted after the conduct at issue occurred. We are troubled by the University's systemic violation of its own disciplinary procedures, especially, the express requirement set forth in the Code that the University hold hearings within 45 days of the notice of charges. The Code, published by the University and distributed to students, provides the basis for the charges that the University has brought against the students. But by denying students the protections guaranteed by these very same guidelines, the University is breaching its contractual obligations to students and violating basic principles of due process.
Each of these violations, in and of themselves, warrant the immediate dismissal of all conduct charges, and of all sanctions already proportioned to the few students whose hearings have taken place. After all, the ACLU writes, "[t]he University cannot seek to hold students accountable to the promises set forth in the Code if it is unwilling to be held accountable itself."

As lawsuits begin to be filed against members of the panels that oversee the conduct hearings, the support of the ACLU becomes increasingly important. The arguments laid out in the letter form the foundation of the lawsuit that will eventually be filed against the university itself.

Full letter is below the fold.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Faculty and the UC Protests [Updated]

There's an interesting conversation developing on twitter right now around faculty participation (or lack thereof) in the protests around fee hikes and budget cuts at the UC. It started with this post by Angus Johnston, who noted parenthetically in a discussion about the protest at yesterday's regents' meeting, where a cop drew his gun on unarmed students and pepper spray was used indiscriminately, that "The faculty, meanwhile, have mostly stayed silent and disengaged." Check out @studentactivism, @javierest, @reclaimuc, @santacruztacean, @dettman for their thoughts.

Here's an email that speaks to this discussion. It's a little old, and obviously is not really generalizable, but it's nevertheless a fairly striking statement on the interest, energy, drive, and engagement of the faculty. In part, this is because of who wrote it: UC Berkeley professor Ananya Roy, the star of that (in many ways problematic) New Yorker article from last winter about the student movement in the UC. The email comes in response to discussion on the faculty listserv about whether to hold a teach-in on October 6, the day before the October 7 Day of Action. In 2009, faculty led a teach-in on September 23, the day before the massive walkout in which 5000 people participated. The teach-in in the Wheeler Hall auditorium was packed to capacity, so much so that many of those who couldn't get in held their own teach-in outside on the steps. Clearly, faculty engagement contributed to the massive turnout in September 2009. Contrast that with Professor Roy's take on the situation in October 2010:
From: Ananya Roy
To: Saveplus
Sent: Tuesday, September 21, 2010 6:30 PM
Subject: Re: Re Oct. 6th teach-in

Dear Barrie [Thorne] and friends,

Thanks for the update. I teach a large undergraduate class this semester - as I did last Fall - and the difference is palpable. Only 2-3 students out of a class of 700 have spoken to me about Oct 7 or seem actively engaged in the planning for it. Our class midterm was scheduled for Oct 7 and I moved it to Oct 5 but I did so because I wanted to have the flexibility to honor a walk-out if one takes shape rather than because of a call by students to do so. I think there is very little energy or enthusiasm among the general student body about Oct 7. It is not that these students don't care about what is happening to public education in California - they do and they are experiencing it first hand. But I am of the opinion that the activist students, even brilliant activists like Ricardo [Gomez], are engaged in conversations with themselves - within SWAT, within the General Assembly. The task of building a popular movement seems to have collapsed. And perhaps this year we (faculty) are not as willing as we were last year to serve as mediators or interlocuters. I will honor Oct 7 but I am not sure what that will mean. But I am also quite convinced that a teach-in will not draw the students who most need to be energized and that a teach-in on Oct 6 is terribly late in the game to build momentum for Oct 7.

One way to read this would be that Roy is just being realistic -- the state of the "movement" was very different in October 2010 than in September 2009. But what's hard to reconcile is the sense that faculty are standing on the sidelines, observers of what is essentially a student movement. They are bystanders. It is the fault of the students that the movement is dead, and there's nothing faculty can do to change that. All they can do is wait for students to organize something -- but really, those students aren't even doing a decent job of it. They're talking to themselves, they're not getting anything done. They've failed. So much so that the faculty should not even put together a teach-in to mobilize for October 7.

In the end, a teach-in happened, and it was supported by SAVE and the Berkeley Faculty Association. It was much smaller than the year before, and only one professor spoke. The walkout the next day seemed large considering the level of mobilization on campus, but it too was still far smaller than the previous year's. Anyway, the point is not that there's some causal relationship between Roy's email and the smaller numbers on October 7. Rather, it provides a sort of snapshot of a faculty view of these protests -- student protests -- about their horizon of possibility, and about the ways in which faculty can (and cannot) participate.

[Update Thursday 12:04pm]: @javierest tweets, "worth noting:faculty leaders. TJ Clark: retired. gone to london.Nelson Maldonado:on leave.recruited away? wendy brown and judith butler: also on extended leave. pos leaving. who's left?"

In fact, from the Wheeler occupation on, almost all of these professors have had a highly ambivalent relationship with student protests. I'm going to copy some of the things that they've written here below the fold, so you can get an idea of where they stand. Of course, they've also said and done other stuff, so what follows shouldn't be taken as an across the board rejection of faculty support (although often the faculty seems to be condemning student action).

A Report on the Protests at the 2010 Fall Regents Meeting
On November 17, as the UC Regents met in San Francisco to discuss a proposed eight percent undergraduate tuition increase, as well as a reduction in pensions for university employees, a group of over 300 students and workers from across the UC system gathered at the site of the Regents meeting. As the regents arrived, protesters formed picket lines at all entrances of the building, such that police officers ultimately had to forcibly break up protest lines in order to allow individual Regents to enter the building. After the Regents had been escorted into their meeting, protesters massed on the east side of the building. They pulled down a police barricade, and began marching toward the east entrance, hoping to enter into the Regents meeting and interrupt a process that promises to delay their retirements and cast them even further into debt. Students and workers were attempting to reclaim their futures from the Regents, whose austerity proposals appear to be little more than unjustifiable ends in themselves, as the stabilization of state funding has rendered such measures unnecessary.

Protesters were initially met at the east doors with police who wielded billy-clubs as bludgeons, and with a brief dousing of pepper spray. Pushed back once, students and workers massed a second time in front of the police line, and began again to walk towards the entrance. This time, the police coated them with an extended, indiscriminate blanket of pepper spray. People who were more than ten feet away from the line of police needed treatment for the burning sensation in their eyes and on their faces caused by exposure to this chemical weapon. Those closer to the police required intensive treatment, and were, in some cases, still in pain over an hour later.

After these incidents on the east door, protesters moved around to the other side of the building and attempted to enter into the Regents meeting through an attached parking garage. A number of protesters were able to enter into the interior foyer before being beaten aggressively with batons, pepper sprayed at close range, and, in some cases, arrested. Again, those who were sprayed required intensive treatment. During this confrontation inside the parking garage, UCPD officer Kemper pulled his gun on students without provocation. Concerning this incident, spokespeople from the UC administration and from UCPD have claimed – despite conflicting video evidence -- that a student took officer Kemper's baton and beat him on the head with it. Video of the incident shows Kemper losing control of his baton as he rushes students, and then -- without provocation -- unholstering his gun. An open letter has been released calling on the UC and UCPD to account for their public misrepresentation of this incident -- an incident that has severely frightened students and workers, who recognize that one further false move on the part of officer Kemper could have resulted in serious injury or even death.

At UC Berkeley, concerned members of the campus community will meet tonight to respond to the fee increases and to the police violence faced by students and workers at the Regents meeting. We will be meeting at 6pm in Dwinelle 370. Please join us in carrying forward the protests against educational privatization and police violence on our campuses.


* For an account of how the Regents could reduce undergraduate tuition and treat UC employees fairly, even in the face of recent reductions in state funding to the UCs, see Bob Meister's latest report:

* For another extended account of the protest, which includes links to video, see the Informant's article:

* Open letter demanding that UCOP apologize for false statements regarding officer Kemper:!/note.php?note_id=437696762184

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

UC Regents Meeting: Day 2 [Updated]

Behind the fee hikes, a line of riot cops... with guns drawn.

(photo from sf chronicle, more details at occupyca, some analysis here.)

... pepper spray too.

[Update Wed 5:17pm]

[Update Thursday 4:59pm]: There's a lot of bad news coverage out there, where reporters repeat word for word the absurd story that the chief of police came up with. Cops lie. There's some better coverage and analysis at Student Activism, SF Bay Guardian, and the Informant.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

UC Regents Meeting: Day 1

In the early morning of November 16, students blockaded California Hall, the main administrative building at UC Berkeley. Heavy police presence made it difficult to maintain the blockade, and by 9am they had opened up an entrance to the building. But we're just getting started.

(photos via occupyca and thosewhouseit)

(critical analysis here)

Monday, November 15, 2010

Statement from Berkeley Law Organizing Committee

From the email, an open letter to Boalt law school Dean Christopher Edley:
No More Futile Discussion With Administrators. Action. Disruption. Reclamation.

Dear Dean Edley,

We sincerely hope that in the moments leading up to tomorrow's UC Regents meeting, you took time to pause and consider the real human impact of the Law School's privatization program. Before we came to Boalt, we considered ourselves to be human beings and were attracted to this school in our capacity as such. Now we know that everything we were told about Boalt is an empty promise and that we are in fact nothing more than biological collateral for federal loan dollars being spilled into ill-conceived expansion projects that have little to do with the quality of our or anyone else's education.

As you write to invite us to another Student Town Hall, we submit that our participation within this institution is now, just as it has been, barely a courteous formality. The one hour meeting offered by the law-school administration, we are told, provides “an opportunity for the community to discuss the overall state of the law school as well as student fees.” At least you are honest enough to concede that nothing we say at the Town Hall will have any effect on how the law school is actually run.

There is nothing to ‘discuss’. If privatization is a certainty, then so is insurmountable student debt, the evisceration of workers’ rights, the subordination of human need to the logic of the market. This is a future we will not accept. Privatization in an economy with rapidly decreasing real wages and insurmountable loan debt is guaranteed student death. We refuse to die. Since the administration has already implemented its project of privatization, our only choice is to halt its progress and work to destroy the process itself. So on November 16 and 17, 2010 we will.


Bob Meister's back with a new article that rips apart Yudof's "Blue and Gold" plan. Enjoy the whole thing. Here we've posted just the part dealing with B&G.
You have also recognized that financing higher education through increased personal debt is a growing problem for many students. That’s why you argue that UC tuition increases will not deter attendance provided that the Blue and Gold program, which relieves families from paying tuition, is available to a wider income band. Much of the press and the public seem to have bought your claim that higher tuition can actually make UC more accessible by extending UC’s Blue and Gold program to families with annual incomes of up to $80,000. But the high tuition burden still falls disproportionately on those just above this cut-off, so you mitigate this obvious problem by giving students a one-year reprieve on tuition increases if they are otherwise eligible for aid and if they come from families with incomes of $120K or less, after which they will simply have to borrow more. You then claim that higher tuition would leave the majority of UC students (55%) with undiminished or improved access. This claim is based on two assumptions: first, that the incomes of UC graduates will continue to grow -- and to grow much faster, than those of other Californians, much as they did during the high tech boom; and, second, that Blue and Gold means that most UC students on financial aid will need to borrow less in order to attend.

According to your own, internal, financial aid studies, both of these assumptions are false. The first assumption is false because the income of UC graduates has not increased at all for the past ten years, and neither has the willingness of most students who borrow to take on greater debt. As a consequence of their growing debt-resistance, UC has a growing middle income access problem -- it seems that students in the income band that takes on the greatest proportional debt are also transferring down within the Master Plan scheme -- and that 70% of Community College transfer students now go to for-profit institutions. So, we now have a Master Plan that seems to operate in reverse.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Schedule of Actions for November 16-18 UC Regents' Meeting

From thosewhouseit:
Once again, the Regents will meet to increase fees, decrease access to the UC and give themselves big bonuses. Let’s stop them!

Nov. 16: Early morning picket of California Hall. Be there at 6:30 AM so we can greet the senior administrators as they come in to work. We’re demanding that they actively oppose the fee increase, abandon Operational Excellence and its 200 layoffs, end the repression of student protesters via the widely-criticized Office of Student Conduct, and endorse and help negotiate a fair contract for GSIs and other staff in contract negotiations. Please arrive at 6:30 AM. We will be there all morning. Rally @ 12 noon.

Nov. 17: Early AM protest at the Regents’ Meeting (UCSF, Rutter Center). Let’s shut it down! We need as many people as possible at the Regents Meeting as early as possible. From the East Bay, take BART to the downtown San Francisco Embarcadero Station and then transfer to the MUNI T-Line. There are some buses leaving from UC Berkeley. You can reserve a seat here.

Finally, here are links to some inspiring news from London, where 52,000 people have mobilized in defense of education and against austerity. It’s nice to be reminded that we are part of a global anti-austerity movement:

The Lawsuits Begin

The other day, we reported that the UC administration appears to be feeling some heat on the legal front for the many reprehensible procedural violations it has committed in the course of subjecting student protesters to conduct hearings. But another target is feeling a more direct form of pressure. As thosewhouseit notes with regard to the second half of the conduct case for one of the Wheeler Hall occupiers:
In fact, the math professor chairing the commission was served with papers at the hearing tonight. Our comrade is suing him in small claims court. From now on we will take anyone who participates in this charade to court!
At the very beginning of the hearing, as the panel members were filing in, the chair Paul Vojta was served with court papers. According to the Campus Rights Project, Vojta had also chaired the panel of the previous hearing. Apparently, a suit has been filed in small claims court against him. In other words, the university itself is not liable, but it could be an effective tactic in terms of pushing back against those members of the university community who are complicit with the administration's repressive apparatus.

For further reading, check out Vojta's ratings on Rate My Professors.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Contextualizing the UC Conduct Hearings

From occupyca:
BERKELEY, California -- Last Fall saw a 32 percent tuition increase in the UC system, but perhaps equally memorable was the array of occupations throughout the UC and CSU systems. At Cal, dozens of occupiers, now better known as the Wheeler 43, took over Wheeler Hall on November 20, 2009. Only now, nearly a year later have we seen any judicial proceedings on the matter -- albeit, proceedings in a kangaroo court. Laura Zelko opted and fought to hold her hearing open to the public; even after 12 hours at the initial meeting that continued past midnight, the hearing panelists were unable to decide the verdict. This case will continue today at 5:30pm. (SF Chronicle published a story on Ms. Zelko’s case.)

According to ReclaimUC, the possibility of a lawsuit potentially being brought against the UC Berkeley Office of Student Conduct is unnerving the administration a little. Additionally, Cal is now paying tens of thousands of dollars on merely technical and staffing aspects of the hearings, let alone legal costs potentially yet unreported. So far, the sanctions against student protesters include such things as 7-month suspensions and reflective essays that serve more to “re-educate” protesters on the the proper protocols of innocuous political demonstrations than actually provide insightful ruminations. Seemingly, the high cost of punishing demonstrators is well worth it for the UC administration as long as it’s able to push its political will onto campus. With the coming 8% tuition increase and a slew of mini-crises hitting the UC -- including the troubling police and judicial repression of protest to the pension fight of low-paid workers to the contract struggle for teaching assistants -- it’s a wonder the university isn’t splitting at the seams.
Update [Wed 11/10, 12:25 am]: @reclaimuc live-tweeted the hearing. OSC recommended a sanction of a 1-year suspension. The panel's final recommendation, however, was:

Now the only question is whether the UC administration will once again arbitrarily impose a harsher sanction, as they did in the previous hearing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

The New UC Fee Hike [Updated]

Earlier in the year, there was talk about a 20% fee increase in November, along with a number of student protests across the campuses. Now that we’re closer to the fee proposal being released, the fee increase will probably not be in the ballpark of 20% -- word has it that it’s in the low 10s or the single digits.
The fee hike will be announced later today. Stay tuned.

[Updated Monday 12:09pm]: The magic number is 8 percent.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


The UC Berkeley administration is looking scared of the possibility of a lawsuit regarding the Office of Student Conduct's procedural violations in their prosecution of student protesters from last year, as well as the arbitrary nature of the process in general. Associate Dean of Students Christina Gonzales's comments are particularly revealing. (Gonzales, by the way, is directly implicated in all of this: she's the one who, as Associate Dean, improperly suspended the student conduct timeline, something that only the Dean can do.) She acknowledges, in the first place, that the fact that the administration arbitrarily upped the sanction is extremely rare, suggesting that the decision to do it in this case is purely political. Second, according to Gonzales, the answer to arbitrariness is more arbitrariness: the student can always, uh, go talk to Chancellor Birgeneau, or something. This from the Daily Cal, whose reporting on the issue has been great:
Frustration is growing among students charged with misconduct for their involvement in last November's protests after one student received harsher sanctions Monday than those recommended at his hearing, increasing talk of a possible lawsuit against UC Berkeley.

The student, who did not want to release his name for fear of retribution by the Center for Student Conduct and Community Standards, received a letter Monday morning from Dean of Students Jonathan Poullard's designee Steven Sutton imposing two sanctions - disciplinary probation and a reflective writing assignment - according to Daniela Urban, a student at the UC Berkeley School of Law and member of the Campus Rights Project, which has been advising students.

Urban said the sanctions are significantly harsher than what the student's hearing panel recommended in mid-October, which was a reflective writing assignment and a warning letter.

"I was shocked because on the one hand, I was expecting the sanctions that the hearing panel had recommended," the student said. "It blows my mind. Why did we have a hearing if the dean, or in this case his designee, was going to arbitrarily impose whatever sanction he wanted anyway?"

According to Christina Gonzales, associate dean of students, the sanctions initially proposed by the panel are only recommendations. Under the campus student code of conduct, the dean of students or his designee may impose different sanctions, taking into account factors including the alleged behavior the student was found responsible for and the impact to the campus community, she said in an e-mail.

She added that instances of the dean or his designee changing sanctions recommended by the panel are uncommon, citing only three or four such changes in the last four years.

While the decision on sanctions is final, concerns regarding the sanctioning process, alleged procedural violations and decisions made throughout the conduct proceedings can be appealed to Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Harry Le Grande within 10 days of receiving sanctions, according to Gonzales.

However, the student said he is "skeptical that (his concerns) are going to be heard."

"There is no recourse within this system," said Neil Satterlund, a campus law student and member of the Campus Rights Project. "We are very close to believing that there is no longer any reason to participate in this process."

If the student's appeal is rejected, as the student said he predicts it will be, taking the issue to court is an option.

"We've talked about filing a lawsuit against the university," the student said. "I hope that happens. The only possible way that anything good can come of this situation is by going outside and levering some sort of external pressure against the university. They won't listen otherwise."

According to Gonzales, without a student actually having gone through the appeals process, it seems too "speculative" to state whether it would be rejected.

She added that going outside of the campus should not be necessary because should an appeal be rejected, there are still officials -- including Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost George Breslauer and Chancellor Robert Birgeneau -- who would be willing to sit down and "talk about the issues."

"Whenever a decision is made, if there's anything that wasn't appropriate, there is always some policy that can assist a student, staff or faculty member to go to another route or bring up these issues," she said. "They shouldn't have to go outside of the university."
They shouldn't have to go outside of the university. Please don't go outside of the university! They're finally starting to feel the pressure.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

SF Giants Win the World Series!

(more at occupyca)

Spokescouncil #2, Thursday Nov 4

Second spokescouncil to get organized for the regents' meeting will take place on Thursday, November 4 from 6-9pm in 370 Dwinelle Hall. Here's the description (from Those Who Use It, copied from Facebook):
People are frustrated with the General Assembly model... so we’re trying something completely different!

Not a decision making body. It is a non-hierarchical means of communicating between/across affinity groups.
A spoke (or representative) of an affinity group goes to the spokescouncil to represent the intentions/plans/skills/offerings of their AG and sees how they might or might not collaborate with other... AGs... The spoke takes info from the spokescouncil back to their affinity group.

Small group of people that acts/organizes/makes decisions together, that trusts each other, and takes care of each other.

Unaffiliated people are welcome.

AGENDA FOR THURSDAY: coordinating for the Regents mtg
People were happy with the first spokescouncil and called for a second one. Please come prepared to talk about your group’s plans for plugging into action on 11/16 and ideas for 11/17.

Last week some groups sent a spoke while other groups came as a unit. You’re free to do either, but this time let’s try to give priority to having the spokes speak and the rest of each group (if present) hang back…


All: feel free to use the comment section below to add to this loose description/report/agenda...