Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Shanti Sena (Peace Keepers) PEACE WINS!

My goal in Wyoming for Shanti Sena was to do basic workshops/circles every day at Dinner Circle. Due to my involvement with the Front Gate and a lot of Cop Walks, I didn't achieve a nightly Shanti Sena workshop as I didn't make it to Dinner Circle that often, but the Shanti Sena workshop did happen a few times. In each case, I announced the workshop/circle while people were eating and we circled in the meadow and talked about each person's experience with Shanti Sena and how different techniques may help a situation.

For those of you who missed the workshops, here is a short version of what we covered.

Q. How high is too high?
A. We need to look out for our family who may be high and wandering about alone. The Wyoming Gathering was cold at night and it was easy to get lost in the woods. A high lost person can get hypothermia easily and die. So when you see someone who seems to be too high and unable to make good decisions about their safety, either hang with them or get them to a kitchen where the person can hang around a campfire until they are a bit more focused.
Sometimes people need to be restrained lovingly so they don't dance in the fire, jump off boulders and crash through people's tarps, or harm themselves in some way. NEVER DUCT TAPE ANYONE. Hold people down with strong and loving arms in the least restrictive manner possible.

Q. Neighborhood disputes
A. When you're camped in your camp and you notice some of your neighbors not getting along, take the time to talk to first one and then the other separately, find out what the issues are and see if you can come up with a solution that meets the needs of everyone. Don't wait until the screaming and yelling starts. However, once that happens, trying Oming. Oming is a general purpose calmer for a variety of situations. I have been in many situations where Oming made the yellers realize how silly they were being. When in doubt, Om. The more people who Om the better. Sitting down and Oming is less confrontational.

Q. Radios
A. Having a radio doesn't mean a person has a clue. Don't put all your trust in people with radios just because they have a radio. Some people with radios are experienced in Shanti Sena, some are not. If in doubt, go to INFO or CALM with a major problem.

Q. Cop Watch
A. See the long post I wrote a few months back on Cop Watch. READ IT! That being said, here's the short hand version. NEVER CIRCLE THE COPS. Give them a way out of every situation. A scared cop shoots. Get people to sit down and OM. Oming de-escalates the situation. Keep your back to the cops and back our family up (some of us aren't as good at the peace vibe as others). DON'T YELL! Keep the video cameras rolling. Be the peace we want to see in this world. Don't interfere with their arrests. One or two people taken to jail can be dealt with by lawyers. Keeping the peace will minimize the arrests.

Q. Lost Kids
A. If your kid is lost, get to a person with a radio and get a description out ASAP. If you find a lost kid, take her/him to Kid Village.

Q. Keeping the Peace
A. Walking. Walk the gathering every day and observe what is where, stop at all the camps and kitchens and talk to people. Get to know what areas may be a bit sketchy before a problem erupts. Prevention is the best medicine. Walk the gathering at night looking for family who may need some gentle nudging to get them to a kitchen with a campfire and some good music. Come to Shanti Sena Councils/Circles/Workshops so you can meet other people. When a situation erupts, it's awesome to know who you're working with.

1 comment:

Ms Quick said...

Q. Cop Watch
A. See the long post I wrote a few months back on Cop Watch. READ IT! That being said, here's the short hand version. NEVER CIRCLE THE COPS. Give them a way out of every situation. A scared cop shoots. Get people to sit down and OM. Oming de-escalates the situation. Keep your back to the cops and back our family up (some of us aren't as good at the peace vibe as others). DON'T YELL! Keep the video cameras rolling. Be the peace we want to see in this world. Don't interfere with their arrests. One or two people taken to jail can be dealt with by lawyers. Keeping the peace will minimize the arrests.

I'm re-posting this one because this one seemed really important to learn and use this year's lesson for next year's gathering.