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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Notes On Our Sixth Meeting

Date: Saturday November 13th, 2010
Time: 1pm-3pm
Location: South Texas College, McAllen, TX
Attendance: 14

The Rio Grande Valley Zeitgeist Movement held its sixth general meeting on Saturday, which was primarily focused on our first major project and other activism events. We began by screening the trailer for the upcoming Zeitgeist Moving Forward film. We decided as a group that securing at least one venue and screening this film during the exclusivity period will be our first major goal. We also had preliminary discussions for the upcoming Z-Day event in March, and decided to make more immediate plans for the upcoming McAllen Art Walk event on December 3rd. In addition, we had a discussion dealing with criticisms of the movement and how to argue and discuss common concerns we might come across while interacting with the public. Finally, we decided that due to the popular holiday weekend which our next meeting is scheduled for, we will not hold an official meeting, but will possibly hold an informal gathering sometime between now and December 1st.

As I mentioned, the first major discussion was regarding our decision to hold a screening of the next film. The first order of business, as I understand it, is for our group to become an official chapter of the movement. It is generally unclear as to what we must do in order to meet this level, and the lack of a Texas state coordinator means that I have asked Jen Wild, United States coordinator, directly what we must do. Beyond that, we must secure a venue for screening the film and sign a contract with Peter Joseph in order to secure a copy of the film. The distribution and screening process of this film is radically different from other mainstream films, in that individual chapter coordinators are going to be responsible for a large part of it and not a major distributor or theater chain. We discussed a variety of venues, most significantly the available screens at South Texas College and UTPA, as well as Cine El Rey. Both Armando Lopez and myself will make efforts to learn more about and attempt to secure these venues, and we ask that anyone with the ability or experience of securing these venues to come forward and assist us in these efforts. The general idea of the exclusivity period is that chapters would be able to generate revenue to help cover expenses of activism and the upcoming Z-Day events.

We had preliminary discussions regarding the upcoming Z-Day events which will most likely be in March. It will likely be an all day event that will involve screening of the various movement films, lectures and associated media. In addition, we could have other presentations and lectures that are given by ourselves and that can relate directly with issues we face in our local community. We discussed some possible venues and ideas for that event, and we will be discussing them in greater detail as we go forward.

Our most important discussion was regarding the upcoming Art Walk festival which is held on the first Friday of the month in McAllen. Several members indicated that they had great success previously in distributing flyers and noting that a great deal of those they talked to had already heard of the movement and were surprised and interested by the existence of a local chapter. We encourage all members who are able, to design and print flyers, informational pamphlets and banners so that we can have a presence at this event and inform and reach even more people. In addition, if you have the ability to design or decorate your clothing to promote the movement and our website, this is also encouraged. We will have more details posted in this space and in our new groups platform as we near the date. We will also discuss this during the next official meeting.

We concluded the meeting with a bit of mock argument and criticism discussion. We covered some of the major issues that people bring up and accuse the movement of when we attempt to share our goals and ideas. We covered the issue of a lack of monetary system, and discussed that we need to bring up the current problems that the monetary system possesses. We also discussed the accusation of our movement advocating communism, which we concluded were projections of old fears into a system that is completely different. We need to encourage people to be more specific in their terms, as the idea of communism is usually brought up as a vague and ill defined idea. We closed with a discussion on the decision making process, the idea of dissent within a resource based economy and personal responsibility. We ended with our customary group photo which will appear in this space as soon as it is now available!

We are fortunate enough to have a recording of this meeting which is being hosted by our friends at RGVNostate. I hope that it is a valuable resource to those who are unable to attend our meetings and would like to keep up to date and learn more about how we operate. Thank you for your time and attention.