organizations and openness

This week I went to my first meeting in weeks at a local antiwar organization I've been sporadically part of for a few years. This is an interesting group--eclectic, erratic, multigenerational, dependent on the labor of people with time: retired and unemployed folks, some students, people who work odd hours. I like that it's a kind of oddball neighborhood group. I've never been able to put as much time into it as I would have liked, although I've also always had the feeling that I would be very frustrated were I to get too invested. I've sometimes gotten very frustrated that we insist on being polite to people who rant on and on about things that are incidental to the group. But we do. This week a woman was there who discussed her theory of how poor countries need Shedd Aquariums to relieve some of the pressure of the water that causes tsunamis, and how she was writing up a proposal to this effect and was hoping that people would take up her proposal. Something about praying the rosary was in there also. Anyway, now it appears that she wants to put "homelessness and unwed mothers" on our next agenda. She's not on the email list, so her proposal was forwarded by another group member who ran into her. Another new member chimed in that she would really like to discuss "homelessness and unwed mothers." I objected strenuously to the term "unwed mothers" at some length in a response: this usage is classist, (hetero)sexist and potentially racist. Now I'm suddenly wondering in what ways the group has changed in the time I've been gone. There was a big interfaith meeting organized by some group members that may have brought in some of these new members; or maybe they've been coming for some time (it's been a few months since I've been there). Is the group being hijacked by people with a religious agenda? There was one guy there I thought might be a cop; is this group really significant enough to be infiltrated? Am I getting paranoid? Is this just the normal evolution of any leftist group that insists on a principle of openness? Is this an argument against my feeling (see below) that Space X should be more open to chance encounters?


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