On Tuesday May 15th, Governor Corbett is coming to the Prince Theater in Philadelphia to address the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce. During his time as governor, Corbett has made massive cuts to education, medical assistance, and social services while he is spending $685 million on new prison construction. His recent budget alone proposes $264 million in cuts to higher education, $319 million in cuts to general assistance, and a funding change that cuts another $21.6 million from Philly’s public schools. More recently the School Reform Commission, an entity created by Harrisburg when the state took control over Philadelphia’s School District in 2001, has put forward a plan to close 64 public schools.

Governor Corbett has made his priorities very clear: Corporate tax breaks, mass incarceration and environmental devastation.

Join Decarcerate PA, the Teacher Action Group, the Coalition Advocating for Public Schools, ACT UP, Fight for Philly, and many others as we demand a different set of priorities for Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania needs quality public schools, stable housing, jobs and job training programs, health care and food access, drug and alcohol treatment programs, community-based reentry services, and non-punitive programs that address the root causes of violence in our communities. Instead of building more prisons we need policy changes that reduce the prison population and reinvest resources in our schools and communities.

Join us to demand that PA build communities, not prisons!

Tuesday, May 15th, 4-7 pm

Prince Music Theater, 1412 Chestnut Street

Join Philly Stands up in Ann Arbor on November 4th, 2011 for a Day-long intensive training and strategy session to confront sexual assault on college campuses!

NASCO Institute 2011

For decades, students and faculty on college campuses have been investing their energy and hearts into confronting sexual assault. However the systems of calling hotlines, reporting harm to campus authorities and working to shift the shame connected with surviving sexual assault aren’t solving our problems. How do we get the support we need on (and off) college campuses? How can we meaningfully prevent sexual assault from happening? How can we respond to it effectively and creatively when it happens, and do so more adequately than campus officials or the police?

In this day-long intensive workshop, we will strategize past the limitations and challenges of organizing against sexual assault in co-op communities and confront key questions of how to change our framework. This is a Call to Action, for all folks who are involved in responding to Sexual Assault in their friend networks, on college campuses, and in student housing, including student co-ops. We invite people of all genders to be a part of this conversation because campus sexual assault affect all of us. Our goal are 1) to have participants leave this full day training with practical skills & tools and educational tactics & solutions; 2) to strengthen the connections among participants and foster a national movement to end campus sexual assault and 3) to have a team of students who are invested in continuing this conversation nationally, and among campus co-ops at NASCO Institute next year!


The Cooperative Leadership Track will take place Friday, November 4 from 10 am – 5 pm.
Registration is open to ANYONE and there is no application process. Just sign up!

The fee for the Cooperative Leadership Track is $25-$100 [Sliding Scale] for both NASCO members and non-members.

To make the track accessible for those who are the most financially limited, participants with less financial need or more access to organizational resources are encouraged to pay higher fees. Registration fees for this track go toward honorariums for the trainers and their organizations.

NASCO recommends:
$100 – participants from larger co-op systems and receiving high levels or full support for Institute fees
$75 – participants from larger co-ops sytems receiving some support for Institute fees
$50 – participants with no organizational support
$25 – low-income participants with no organizational support

The following is a letter reposted from Microcosm. It felt important to repost here because of the extent to which it has become a public situation- not so much the abuse, but Microcosm’s process of struggling with accountability work.

There are some important posts from Alex about this situation, and we would like to link to them here up top (you can also see Alex’s links in the comments below). This letter without the context of these posts could be problematic, so here, here, and also here, are good places to get a fuller perspective on things including Alex’s recent response.

Philly Stands Up is available as a resource in supporting these and any radical community through the process of supporting survivors, holding people who have caused harm accountable, and helping communities in figuring out how to challenge abuse, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence using restorative and transformative justice. We know this work is hard, but it is also important that the communities doing this work are themselves accountable to their own politics and to communities of survivors.

It is through struggling to address our own problems and striving for healing justice in our own communities that we become not only informed, but transformed.


Hi all,

This statement is in response to individuals in the zine community accusing the founder of Microcosm, Joe Biel, for emotional abuse. Alex Wrekk (of Brainscan and Stolen Sharpie Revolution) and Cindy Crabb (of Doris zine and distro) have written about this, and other zinesters have requested information. To many, this may come out of left field or seem incidental to one’s relationship with Microcosm. This is for us to get off our chests, and to address silence that those involved have waited to see broken.

Staff at Microcosm earnestly care that this emotional abuse was named. We care about abuse and support, and we care for Alex, and for Joe, and for others who have been hurt by this. We unequivocally stand for those who have suffered from abuse. And we’ve struggled with where to go from there. The collective believes that ostracizing someone isn’t a healthy, restorative response, and we’ve struggled with accountability being more than a radical judge-and-jury trial.

Microcosm began as a very small, very personal project. We honor that the zine distro seen today developed as a joint effort of Joe and Alex. After their relationship ended, the organization eventually moved to Bloomington, IN into the new house of Joe and his partner at the time. Both partners were talented collective members with deep investment in Microcosm, and after their separations, the organization struggled for a meaningful, respectful way to acknowledge their involvement. In this highly personal nature of the organization at the time, how to provide support and accountability was something the collective has seen differently and fallen short on.

We believe that we’ve been ill-equipped to address emotional abuse and support on an organizational level. We’ve struggled with how to provide that space and forum in Microcosm. As abuse creates cycles of hurt, it’s been easier for those involved to put up a wall for personal protection rather than create resources for healing. We’ve sincerely wanted to transcend this, but focused primarily on day-to-day matters to keep this business afloat. And our long internal discussions have remained within the organization, resulting in more disappointment from that lack of transparency.

For the past nine months, Debbie Rasmussen (former publisher/director of Bitch magazine) has offered pro bono facilitation creating an “organizational refounding” and discussing proposed accountability processes. While the movement is gradual, there have been many organizational changes in the past months. Joe stepped down from being a collective member, and Microcosm will be collectively owned by the remaining members by the end of this year. The collective is working to create a Resource Council, an independent group of volunteers to offer support and mediation to Microcosm. Our hope is that an external ring of support could offer help with personal conflicts that fall outside of our Non-Adherence Policy and assist in maintaining a compassionate Safer Space Policy for the non-physical space that is Microcosm.

We can’t expect to bandage anyone’s wounds. We do sincerely hope to open the conversation and aid in creating the resources that may someday help others. Please feel free to contact us at
inquiries@microcosmpublishing.com. We’re excited about a healthier, stronger Microcosm, and we wouldn’t be here without all of you. Thanks for your support. Expect to hear more from us soon!

The Microcosm Collective

Rio, Jessie, & Adam

Rehearsing Community Accountability
a workshop with Philly Stands Up
@ the Allied Media Conference 2011 in Detroit

our workshop description

So, you are sitting down with a person who has perpetrated sexual assault. You are across the table from each other. You are ready to move forward with the accountability process. Now what?

This workshop will dive into the concrete details of how to plan, facilitate, and communicate during an accountability process. Facilitators will act out different scenarios while participants help pause, rewind, fast-forward, and decide what skills, strategies and tactics to try in different situations. This workshop will be a fun, interactive and skillbuilding space to go deep on how to hold someone accountable. Please note: This session has great potential to be triggering for participants. We suggest that you remain self-responsive to your well-being. Support people will be present.

PSU is helping to organize a Sustaining Safer Communities “Science Fair” for the Allied Media Conference in Detroit this weekend. The Science Fair is a dynamic forum for groups throughout North America to share projects that they have created to end violence in their communities.


Audre Lorde Project/ Safe OUTside the System
Creative Interventions, “Every Ho I Know Says So”
Lusty Day
STOP (Storytelling and Organizing Project
CUAV (Communities United Against Violence)
AQSA zine
Philly Stands Up!
Toronto Learning to Action Transformative Justice Study Group
Oakland Sister Circle
Young Women’s Empowerment Project

This year’s Science Fair will build upon the overwhelming success of last year’s session by taking hands-on learning to the next level.

The Science Fair is designed to equip attendees with tools, resources, and connections to inspire, launch, and sustain transformative anti-violence initiatives in their own communities.

Attendees will learn skills from innovative anti-violence projects that use arts and media in their work, network with artists and media-makers, and experience videos, websites, and other media (available free or for sale)!

The event will also feature “science fairies” who will facilitate the session, more opportunities for exchanges between presenting organizations, and invitations for participants to spotlight their own amazing work. Feel free to drop by at any time during the session.

Posted: April 25, 2011 by phillystandupper in events, networking & movement building, Uncategorized

silent auction, drag show, DANCE PARTY

Dear friends, allies and comrades,

On Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, Philly Stands Up Collective in alliance with NASCO, is proud to host a 3 day intensive Transformative Justice Action Camp to Confront Sexual Assault, in our home neighborhood of West Philly.

This Action Camp is for individuals who are involved in alternative justice and anti-sexual assault work in their communities. We view this as an opportunity to explore and push past the challenges of doing community accountability work by deepening our understanding of Transformative Justice. We will share and develop strategies and practices for supporting our own healing and safety. And we will relate the ways in which our work intersects with other movements.

This Action Camp will be about story sharing, strengthening our strategies, and building up our skills. It’s an opportunity to meet, connect and network with two dozen people doing different versions of this work all over the country. We’re so excited to strengthen alliances, meet new friends and see where this moment of movement building takes us!

This is our first attempt at an Action Camp like this, and we apologize that participation for this event is extremely limited. We are asking folks who are interested to fill out our on-line application so that we can get to know you better and make informed decisions about who will be at the camp. We will try to ensure that many facets of our movements are represented, but we hope this will only be the first of ongoing Action Camps. Please don’t let our space limitations discourage you from applying!

The deadline for application submission is December 1st and we’ll let you know by December 5th. Fees for the Action Camp will include 7 home cooked locally sourced meals, housing, child care, and materials to take away. We encourage everybody to read our grassroots fundraising tips to tap into local support toward your registration and travel costs. A limited amount of transportation scholarship funds will be available through Philly Stands Up. You can e-mail us with *any* questions, suggestions or concerns at phillystandsup[dot]safe[at]gmail.com.

In solidarity!

the Philly Stands Up Collective

[please forward widely!!]

philly stands up action camp

more info at our underconstruction, but pretty functional new website.

Hope to see you in West Philly, January 15-17th, 2011!!!

Thank you to Everyone who participated in our workshop, and to all of you could not be with us in person but sent delegates or communicated by email. We’re pumped to share the notes from Detroit with you all. Stay tuned for our next steps and calls to action.

We came up with five areas for a Sexual Assault/ Transformative Justice based network to build up, based on the needs of those of us in the visioning session:

1. communication
2. tech web
3. education training
4. gatherings
5. resources list

create understanding that sexual assault (SA) is not acceptable
awareness of growing infrastructure that will not ignore SA

campaigns to end SA and the violent perspectives that perpetuate it
dating violence protective orders in all 50 states

memory of processes that have been initiated in their communities and where they have gone so that if I call some chapter and say “hey this person just rolled into town, I’ve heard things, what can you tell me?” they might have something to say

commitment to not use state violence to “solve” interpersonal violence while recognizing that until we build effective community-based alternatives to the state, use of state violence may be a survivor’s best or only option, and they are not “bad radicals” for doing what they can to be safe

better internet assault-laws awareness that internet stalking involves a lot and is mostly totally unprotected

organizing at universities– policy and attitude changes

collective strategy

preventing violence before it happens

develop anti-oppression analysis

regional meetups
connections to other programs and resources: trainings, financial, knowledge
keep track of perpetrators
keeping communication around safety in transitory social scenes
shared analysis/ points of unity
end goals/ collective vision
caucuses/ identity groups
regional news
movement documentation
outside “objective” guidance
network lends credibility to local groups
develop anti-oppression analysis
consistent point people
analysis of successes and failures, public process for reflection
compile process stories
identifying allies

caucuses/marginalized identities
contact list
message board

skills for healing, expanding the idea of individual and community health
accountability process successes
sustaining community health
step-by-step process
skills for personal healing
gender analysis for parents
sensitivity trainings for professionals/healthcare workers
healing and transformation of people doing with work (body-centered)
how to talk to those who aren’t on our page (non-activists)
working with/pushing mainstream orgs
how to support people who are both survivor and perpetrator (bust the binary)
how to reach different communities/build bridges
how to get perpetrator’s invested in process
popular education strategies
how to deal with gossip/conflicting narratives
support the survivor supporters
how to involve all genders

Transformative Justice (TJ)
incorporating SA response and TJ into any organization

RESOURCES (for perps, survivors, and organizers)
place for survivors to go to find automatic allies, support, and resources
getaway location people can go in order to heal outside of conflict. folks would dedicate time to caring for and processing with survivors
workshop guides
organizing tips
words of advice
how-to guides/toolkits
concrete tools/working examples
testimonials/ accountability success stories
newsletters (web and hard copy)
terminology/ shared language/glossary
zine library
models for doing work without a collective
healing and transformation of people doing with work (body-centered)
dealing with secondary trauma
strategies for confronting/dismantling CJ system
regionally/geographically organized (mapped)
critique of punitive justice
supporting the survivor supporters
network of therapists for referrals
event calendars by region
for youth
research on effectiveness
faith-based analysis

a radical voice to more traditional orgs
to isolated/rural people doing with work
to groups still in punitive justice
pop education on DV and partner abuse through churches and schools
introduce TJ to diff age groups and communities

would be good to have an international alliance of groups and link in with self-defense instructurs (NWMAF)
how can groups not necessarily doing TJ work, incorporate TJ into their group processes
How to have relationships with existing systems/groups doing TJ work
Make sure the network doesn’t turn into an “expert” body since folks are the experts of their own communities
Co-optation by the state/ mainstream DV/SA orgs; gradual assimilation/loss of radical analysis
Exclusion of non-radical groups
Ensure confidentiality of survivor and perpetrator

how do you address a perpetrator’s behavior when survivor shared information with you in confidence?
What do you do when perpetrator refuses to engage in a process
What to do when the community doesn’t seem to care (or enables perpetrator)
How do you deal with community trauma (community members being triggered/traumatized by assault that didn’t happen to them)
How to avoid TJ turning into support for perpetrators above survivors. how to guard against this and talk about it
How to engage people who feel accused right off the bat (typically white cis-men) of being “typical perpetrators.” How to help everyone realize that it is all of our jobs to change our actions and keep spaces safe
What do we do when unaccountable perpetrators are involved in accountability/SA prevention projects in their political work
How to challenge/work through a community that’s lost faith in accountability processes
Primary Prevention techniques outside of school settings (ex. bystander intervention models for local communities)
guarding against TJ becoming perp ally

PSU at the U.S. Social Forum, June 2010 in Detroit!

Posted: April 20, 2010 by Sunshine Superboy in Uncategorized

We have proposed a special session at the 2010 US Social Forum as part of a plan to launch a national network of groups doing grassroots transformative justice work. Our plan is to collaborate with other groups in organizing this workshop, as well as participate in session at the Allied Media conference (Also in Detroit the weekend before the Social Forum), and build off of that work in our Movement Building session.

Holla at us if you have a group (at any stage of development) and would like to join us in Detroit!!!

FAQ for our social forum proposal:

* What ideas do you want the participants to take away?

As individuals with experience working around Sexual Assault in our communities, we are ready to synthesize our scattered skills and isolated resources into a functioning national network for confronting Sexual Assault with Transformative Justice (defined by Generation FIVE as “The dual process of securing individual justice while transforming structures of social injustice that perpetuate such abuse.”) In this workshop/plenary we will brainstorm the needs of a national network — our short and long term visions for what a network would provide: monetary resources, training and skills building, a website for smooth and cohesive communication, and anti-oppression and alternative justice analyses. Our participants will walk away from the workshop with lots of ideas for participating in this new network, crucial questions to ask their organizations and communities in an effort to transform their work into Movement Building, as well as new friends and comrades to connect with and share support.

* How will participants be engaged?

Participants will be invited to give testimonials to the group about experiences, feelings, and thoughts they have around the work they do with survivors and perpetrators of sexual assault. Philly Stands Up Collective members and members of other invited groups will form a panel to answer and ask questions about their experiences doing this work for years. We will facilitate questions between the panel and back to the group to learn about participants’ needs, hopes, and lessons learned. Additional Pop Education games and tools will break up the plenary to creatively foster a dialogue about what is needed to build a national network. Some of the topics we hope to include: doing internal self care work, knowing when to step back from situations, setting clear boundaries, keeping a focus on Transformative justice in the middle of crisis, clamping down rumors in a community, making safer spaces accessible, understanding that accountability processes are ongoing. (We look forward to co-facilitating with other experienced groups; we’ve already begun reaching out to potential co-presenters.)

* What alternatives do you propose?

A smooth and cohesive National Network, which will connect all groups who serve survivors and work with perpetrators of Sexual Assault. This network will offer an alternative to the ways in which Left communities reproduce the punitive, alienating responses of the Prison Industrial Complex and Criminal Justice System in dealing with this pervasive and often silenced problem. We want to develop solutions that challenge these systems of violence and strive for lasting and meaningful justice; healing processes that strengthen communities rather than tearing them apart. Building this coalition will empower us to support one another, respond to a fuller spectrum of sexual assault, and proactively build a culture of consent.

* What strategies do you propose to achieve these alternatives?

We propose two main strategies. The first is to link up groups who are doing the work.This plenary is a precursor to an exciting Anti-Sexual Assault Action Camp which will be hosted by Philly Stands Up this coming fall. The Action Camp will be an important base-building opportunity for individuals and groups interested in joining our network to do skill sharing and to fine tune our vision and capacity to move forward. Additionally, we plan on hosting a Safe Space Dance party at the Social Forum, which will be a fundraiser for our new Network Website — a key tool in linking people together, sharing resources and building community. The second strategy is much broader and more ambitious. We are working to create a cultural shift toward sexual responsibility and communication. By pooling the educational resources of our network, we expand every group’s capacity tobring this movement home and fortify their communities.