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In organising this gathering, I (Ryan) feel we should have been more up front
and transparent about a few things. First of all, I’ll give a full
breakdown of our costs and where our money came from through the
weekend, then I’ll say a bit about food.

Our highest individual cost was St Werburgh’s Community Centre. It was
wheelchair accessible and situated near enough to the centre of
Bristol both for people coming across the city and from out of town.
It was also the best location in terms of where our crash space was.
Also, compared to all the other suitable venues it was the least
expensive.

Of the rest of the money, the bulk of it was spent on food. Around
half was bought in bulk from the Essential Trading warehouse, a local
whole foods workers’ coop. The majority of the rest was bought from
the local Easton supermarket Sweet Mart, and the bread came from the
local vegetarian bakery Breadolution.

Various groups and individuals fundraised beforehand, and the rest of
the money we raised throughout the weekend. We also had a fundraiser
in Bristol before the gathering which lost money, resulting in one
member of the collective being down £85 of their personal funds. We
repaid this temporarily as a loan to the individual, but the
individual is committed to raising this to pay back to the gathering
at a future fundraiser in June.

We now have a surplus of £119 minus the cost of replacing a broken
cafetiere which was loaned to the gathering.

This money will be kept in Bristol until we can decide as a network on
a suitable project for it, but as a collective we are committed to it
going towards furthering anti-racist work.

Here is more of a breakdown:

Money in:

Manifesta (leeds) 107.5
Ladyfest London 150
Feminist Activist Forum 100 (50 donation, 50 loan)
FAG club fundraiser 40
Drunk Granny tour 38
Donations at event 697
donation towards food & drinks at kebele 18

Total 1150

Money Out:

St Werburghs 466
Photocopying 12
Resources (zines, pens, paper, etc) 70
kids’ space 10
veg 9
donation to kebele for space/kitchen hire 18
repaying travel expenses for asylum seeker participant 20
Food 291
Repaying FAF loan 50
Loan towards personal fundraiser loss: 85

Total 1031


VEGAN FOOD:

I also think it is worth talking about why all the food we provided
was vegan, as I find it problematic that we didn’t explain this
beforehand. I was coordinating food, I’m vegan for a number of
reasons, including personal health, animal rights, and land
use/sustainability. But this isn’t the time or place to talk about my
individual reasons, if you’d like to know more, email me
(aveganhaggis@gmail.com).

We tried to make this event as participatory and DIY as possible, but
when planning the food, other than providing tasty, nutritious food, I
also felt it important that we did as much prior preparation as
possible so that we could minimise the time people had to take out of
workshops to prepare food. Two of us (with occasional additional
volunteers) worked all day Friday to prepare the bulk of Saturday’s
meals plus the cake, and I chose jacket potatoes for Sunday as an
easy-to-prepare (well it would have been if the oven was working)
meal.

First off, we used Kebele for preparation, as it was cheap, local, and
had the necessary equipment, which St Werburghs didn’t (the kitchen
had very few utensils). Kebele is a vegan kitchen, so regardless of
our individual tastes, we had to respect that. Food hygiene is easier
to maintain with vegan food, as there is no risk of
cross-contamination with meats, eggs & dairy, and there are also fewer
worries in terms of storage temperatures.

It’s important to emphasise that vegan food is accessible to people of
many different cultures. Some cultures don’t eat particular types of
meat, some object to killing of animals outright, some won’t mix meat
and dairy. Vegan food is a safe bet, and covers all but those with a
particular intolerance, and where necessary we provided alternatives
for those with a wheat intolerance.

However the culture of veganism, or at least vegan catering, comes
from quite a specific background. I would guess that a large number of
the weekend’s participants came expecting vegan food, while for others
it would not have occurred to them, and this situation can be quite
alienating for individuals who are not “in the know”. So, what I’m
saying is that unless we want to appear to be an exclusive club that
you can only join if we are catering future events and serving vegan food,
we need to be up front about it and explain our reasons.

For more info on veganism:
http://vegansofcolor.wordpress.com/
http://www.vegansociety.com

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10 Comments

  1. Thanks for this, Ryan. Very nice and transparent! x

  2. Thank you Ryan, your work was great and you helped me a lot in this wild week-end 🙂

  3. So you had money left over? Why all the demands for donations?

  4. I didn’t demand for donations and I hope that it didn’t come across as this. When I made announcements I tried to always make the line clear that was on our publicity – “nobody turned away thru lack of funds”, which was what the collective agreed. I’m sorry if this wasn’t made clear enough.

    We did, however, stress to everyone that putting on an event costs money. None of us are being paid for this but if we lost money, we would have had to cover it from our own pockets.

    We didn’t expect to have a surplus, and only realised we did on Sunday evening. Put in context tho, the surplus was around 10% of the overall cost of the gathering, which for a DIY event is not a very high margin of error. If you’d like to discuss this issue more with me, drop me an email.

    We welcome suggestions for positive projects we can put this money into in the future.

  5. Some of us who attended the gathering are getting on with the Whiteness Monitoring that was bought up in the anti-racist audit. We would like the money left over from the gathering to go towards this. Please email me (Laura) at highonmoralgrounds@hotmail.com about this.

  6. What we discovered in the anti-racist audit is that many people of colour found the gathering extremely racist. This means that the surplus is a profit that has been made from racism: that people have profited from racism. I find this personally embarrassing, and agree with the previous poster that the money go to the anti-racist strategy that came out of the gathering i.e. the whiteness monitoring.

  7. thanks for the great tasty food and transparency. x

  8. i agree with sol & Laura that the money should go to the whiteness monitoring development .

  9. I agree with the above post…profit from racism should go to the whiteness monitoring.

    • raceprivilegeidentity
    • Posted May 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    There is a meeting taking place on the 23rd May to divide up the surplus money from the not-for-profit gathering.

    Currently projects are:

    * Whiteness Monitoring Resource
    * Lambeth Women’s Project Renovations
    * Remembering Olive Collective

    If you have any other projects that need funding, please contact raceprivilegeidentity@riseup.net by the 23rd May.


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