Session attended by: Irene, Rob, Pippa, Chloe, Beth and Nemo!

-We first talked about what it meant to be “performative” (aka retweeting a cause on twitter but not actually doing hard actions) – and how many of us debate a lot before retweeting because we don’t want to seem like we’re Allies to ‘look good’.
-This brought up ‘AUDIENCE’ – who are you being an Ally for? A bad ally is someone who is performing for a crowd?
-What Actions are you following this with?
-Are you just shouting into an Echo Chamber of people with similar thoughts on social media?
-If someone disagrees with you on Social Media, how can you ‘change’ their mind?

-If you’re the kind of person who thinks about whether you’re being ‘performative’, you’re already critical of the messages you’re spreading. Which means you’re being good ally because you want to know how best to help!
-The inner voice telling you you’re ‘being too loud’ on Social Media – is it a product of our society, effectively silencing ourselves so as to seem ‘normal’ / not a shit-stirrer?
-Social Media is about Curating what content you see. If someone doesn’t like you talking / ‘performing’, then the onus is on them, not on you.

-Is my voice unnecessary in this situation?
-When am I being helpful?
-If I’m silent, am I being implicit?
-What is my Intent?
-When am I choosing to be an Ally?

-Expectations on all sides
-Wanting to be asked, but also wanting to be left alone.
-It’s easy to help someone who says “can you help me” – when do you call out to them.

-Every instance is case-by-case
-Ally to a COMMUNITY is impossible. Ally to an Individual is real and possible.

-What if an Ally is “trying” but does harm / is misguided?
-Allies not trying because they don’t want to “fail”
-There’s no PERFECT ally – or person – you shouldn’t not TRY – allow for failure, don’t be defensive about your mistakes, everything is a learning opportunity.
-You WILL fail. A bad ally doesn’t learn from the mistake.

-Being Loud (performative?) vs. Being Supportive (listening?)
-Most in need of an Ally would prefer Support rather than Justice.
-Centering yourself instead of the problem.

-Minorities being a minority in a space for “minorities”
-Bad Allies take this space for themselves as a learning excersize?
-These spaces are intrinsically oppressive
-Being shamed for “self-segregating” instead of supporting safe spaces where people can thrive.

-Usually less for Allies than for Minority groups.
-The excuse of “ignorance”
-“I didn’t know” isn’t good enough in 2018, especially for larger figures (the media)

-Minority in-fighting
-Not thinking that Minorities need to be allies to one another’s causes.

-Allyship vs. Other Power Dynamics
-Not being an Ally because doing so risks your job/personal safety/security
-Who is less able to be an Ally in Public? (usually minorities/ less privileged!)
-HR departments – who are they, who populates them? Mostly privileged people?
-Unions – Almost an institution in themselves now – terrifying, not always #woke
-If you can’t go to your Boss… who do you go to?
-Does quitting/walking out change anything? Or are you just leaving all the shitty people in power?
-What’s your responsibility to ‘educate’ your co-workers about social issues?

-Who is this person? Personal Contact? Twitter Troll?
-‘Accidental Courtesy’ – Black man befriends individual KKK members to convert them. Dodgy political message (in Nemo’s opinion) – similar to the ‘talk to a school shooter’ movement that arose out of the Walkout.
-‘My Week as a Muslim’ – Brown face, you get to walk away at the end of the week, you don’t have to literally walk in someone else’s shoes to empathies with a situation.
-What conversations CAN we have?
-Is it easier to ‘convert’ a family member?
-Do we have a ‘moral obligation’ to engage with Twitter Trolls? Hope vs. Frustration

-Facebook Group for local area. Rise in women being attacked. Group of men set up a ‘I’ll Walk You Home’ response.
-Feeling from the group: misguided allyship.
-Their intent isn’t to beat the problem, but to ‘protect’ – a sort of vigilantism
-More about Ego (I’m a Good Man) than about ‘Our Society is Bad’.
-Some people also more likely to be seen as a “threat” (black men, people wearing hoodies, working class people) – these people have to change their behavior daily to be perceived kindly by society.

-An Ally is NOT a Saviour.
-An Ally is a friend. A support.
-It is not always ‘taking the bullet’
-It is not ‘protect and serve’