In this meeting we began by discussing social media and outreach strategies. We decided it might make sense to have different people post on Twitter/Facebook at different times to keep the accounts “active”. We also decided to organize a training for social media engagement.
We then discussed showing solidarity with international students against the Trump administration and ICE’s efforts to deport students attending schools with entirely online programs. The administration has backed down right now, but we are remaining vigilant. Some members attended a rally at the MA state house put on by HGSU-UAW and GENU-UAW student worker unions. We discussed getting more engaged with these unions.
Next we discussed the work with tenant organizations to identify the landlords of multiple properties to facilitate organizing. We reached out to MAMAS (Mutual Aid Medford and Somerville) and came up with two main initiatives:
- Link public database of LLCs to properties (along with their violation history) and link those to actual people (i.e. landlords)
- One specific research question: “Is there a correlation between landlord name and violations?”
We identified that a tenant association in Philly might have a website framework to use for the final tool. We decided to reach out to the mailing list to continue this work and identify useful skill sets among our membership.
Next we discussed the OccupyPharma campaign. We are thinking that the #FreeTheVaccine campaign may be too narrow a focus. We decided to think more deeply about our involvement, whether it’s a merging of campaigns or coordination. #FreetheVaccine’s goals are:
- Sustainable priced
- Free at the point of sale
- Universally available
While our OccupyPharma campaign goals are more:
- Free Vaccine
- Medicare for All
- Breaking alliance between scientist, doctors, lawyers and marketing
For now, we’ll be focusing on a few initiatives:
- Sign the #FreeTheVaccine pledge
- Sign the Bernie Sanders petition about free vaccines
- Forming a team to help plan a creative direct action, or writing an op-ed about the need for a globally-available people’s vaccine, please email us
- Leveraging contacts in support of FreeTheVaccine and OccupyPharma
We also discussed our Fall event for training scientists to become activists. We will begin inviting representatives of various organizations to give short talks. More materials will follow.
Finally, we discussed the reading: It’s time to take the ‘great’ white men of science off their pedestals. We find it very problematic that scientists who espoused racist views or committed racist acts are still being venerated. Science is a collective effort, not the effort of great men. We also discussed how patents and the capitalist system is not amenable to real progress and the development of effective medicine.