Well, we did it! With about six weeks of notice, we pulled together a meeting of at least 100 individuals who responded to our call.
The fact of the matter is that a lot more people came than we were prepared for. As of the day before the meeting, we were expecting about 50 people total. When more and more people came, we were forced to improvise on our schedule, on the arrangement of tables and chairs in our meeting room at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, and our plans for lunch. With the great help of some participants and the cooperation of all, we managed to pull it off.
To make a long story short, the day mostly went off as planned. One big exception to that was that Loren Goldner, an Insurgent Notes editor and a scheduled speaker for the first session, was unable to attend because of health problems. In the time since the meeting, he has posted an article that summarizes what he would have said.
We believe that the audio recordings proverbially speak for themselves and we encourage people to listen to the presentations and discussions and to respond. We would like to emphasize again that we had no expectation that the conversations on February 5 would lead to political agreements or decisions. We were opening up the needed discussions, not ending them.
In that context, we need to note that the small Insurgent Notes Collective has not yet arrived at political agreements on any number of the most pressing issues that were raised at the meeting and that we are currently involved in intensive, and hopefully productive, discussions about them.
We would like to thank all of those who presented. We know full well that when you put your ideas “out there” that there are going to be reactions. In our judgment, the presentations did what we wanted them to do—to challenge people to think and to imagine acting in new ways.
So, what now? We don’t know. Along with this summary, we have posted audio recordings of the main sessions of the meeting. We invite and look forward to receiving comments. We’re in touch with people who attended the meeting to find out what they might want to do in the future. Towards that end, we invite people who were not with us on February 5 to get in touch.
Lest we be mistaken—we are not only about interpreting the world, we are about changing it. We are especially interested in hearing from others who agree.