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Creating Stronger Community in Toronto & Elsewhere
"Conversation Cafes" are an excellent initiative that is helping to create healthier community in Toronto and many other cities and towns. They offer a quality of interaction that cannot be found at most other social gatherings and events. For more information, and to find a conversation cafe near you, see the links below. They're always looking for people to host new cafes and offer excellent training. Their host manual is available on their website; they also offer a training workshop.
Create Community Anywhere

www.planetfriendly.net/community.html#anywhere (scroll down to sections B and C)


Conversation Cafes www.conversationcafe.org

Host Manual www.conversationcafe.org/hosts.html

Overview www.conversationcafe.org/hosts_agree.html

Turning to One Another (book & resources) www.turningtooneanother.net


Talking Circles www.vision-nest.com/btbc/kgarden/tscircle.shtml

www.google.com/search?q=%22talking+stick+circles%22

Listening Circles www.co-intelligence.org/P-listeningcircles.html

www.google.com/search?q=%22listening+circles%22

Wisdom Circles www.google.com/search?q=%22wisdom+circles%22

Discussion Techniques http://schools.spsd.sk.ca/DE/PD/instr/strats/discussion/


PlanetFriendly.net and Stronger Community
Much of the work we have done at planetfriendly.net has been aimed at creating stronger, healthier community. I welcome any ideas and offers of assistance to help sustain and develop Planet-Friendly in this role. (Post them here or send me an e-mail: people@planetfriendly.net ).
At the moment, we're in the early stages of creating some online discussion forums at planetfriendly.net. See: www.planetfriendly.net/forum/
One of them is about "Creating Stronger Community", www.planetfriendly.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=18 . Another is dedicated to *Good* News and Success Stories, with the hopes of providing some much-needed inspiration: www.planetfriendly.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=10 (it will be formally launched in the P&PF list and elsewhere). But local, face-to-face community is even more important.
Several other parts of PlanetFriendly.net focus mostly on real, face-to-face community:
* Calendar www.planetfriendly.net/calendar/

* How to Make the Most of Events www.planetfriendly.net/eventtips.html

* Learning Centres & Places www.planetfriendly.net/learn.html

* GoodWork www.planetfriendly.net/goodwork.html

* The Community Page www.planetfriendly.net/community.html

* Effective E-mail www.planetfriendly.net/emailtips.html

* Discussion Forums (brand new) www.planetfriendly.net/forum/
Memorials, Gatherings and Talking Circles
At the memorial gathering and afterwards, I hope we can create a space for people to express themselves, share their grief -- but also stay inspired, positive and connected -- as Tooker would want.
Most activist gatherings and events offer very little support or quality interaction. The usual format is talking heads; followed by task-oriented discussion; and maybe a so-called "social" with live entertainment. Even supposedly social gatherings tend to be cliquey and offer very limited quality interaction.
The talking circle technique, by any name, is of immense value. It could be very worthwhile at, or following, the memorial gathering.
A couple of years ago, Lyn Adamson and I started an "Activist Support Group" in Toronto. About twenty of us met several times, having potlucks and deep, wonderful Talking Circles (adapting the aboriginal technique). It was very moving and supportive, but fell apart when I pulled out my organizing energy that spring. Tooker was a participant.
I have resources on Talking Circles and creating community: www.planetfriendly.net/community.html#anywhere

as well as my notes from the group and an old e-mail discussion:

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/activistsupporttoronto/
Please share your thoughts, ideas and needs for community...
I invite you to participate in three newly-created forums at planetfriendly.net:
Creating Stronger Community

www.planetfriendly.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=18


Activist Support Forum

www.planetfriendly.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=21


*Good* News and Success Stories

www.planetfriendly.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=10


- Peter Blanchard

www.planetfriendly.net

people@planetfriendly.net
Tooker: www.planetfriendly.net/gomberg/

Daring to Care: www.planetfriendly.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=82

Create Community Anywhere:

www.planetfriendly.net/community.html#anywhere


"A loving person lives in loving world. A hostile person lives in a hostile

world: everyone you meet is your mirror." - Ken Keyes


Last edited by Peter Blanchard on Wed Jul 13, 2005 9:04 am; edited 4 times in total

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BarbAllard

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2004 12:44 pm Post subject: creating stronger activist community Reply with quote

Thanks for this wonderful venue for us all to console each other.
I agree with some of the authors - the activist community in Canada - at least in Edmonton - is a piss-poor excuse for a community.
We are WORSE than Hollywood for using people up when they are in their prime and then, when they are down and out, have kids, have a breakdown, get into trouble with the media, get old or get sick, discarding them like maggoty old meat (or tofu as the case may be).
At least in Hollywood, people make a lot of money in their heyday and don't tend to be alienated from their mainstream family and friends for being who they are.

______________


Peter, I would be honoured if you use my quote to help initiate discussion about the topic of creating a stronger activist community. I'd like it noted, though, that I was in a highly upset state when I wrote that. (I don't normally rant at strangers in emails). I am actually feeling much more peaceful today.
- Barb Allard

lesliemenagh


Joined: 12 Mar 2004

Posts: 1

Location: Peterborough

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:49 am Post subject: supporting each other in peace making and problem solving Reply with quote

I've stumbled across the following words...just wanted to share them.


Quote:

We are not alone. We are not what we have, what we do, what

others think of us. We are divinely connected to [each other, to the

greater Good, and to all of its] creations, and consequently each of us

has an unlimited inventory of resources available for the purpose of

helping us to a state of peace and problem solving.


Wayne Dyer, There's a Spiritual Solution to Every Problem
With love,

Leslie
lesliemenagh at yahoo.com

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Peter Blanchard

Site Admin

Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 1:10 pm Post subject: Inspiring and hopeful quotes and resources Reply with quote

Leslie,
Thanks for these thoughts.
Here are some resources and quotes in the same vein...
Wayne Dyer's website www.drwaynedyer.com Related Links Wayne Dyer Quotes
Spirituality and Faith Links and Organizations for Activists and Environmentalists

www.planetfriendly.net/living.html#faith

(scroll down to section 20, Faith & Spirituality)
Creating Stronger Community www.planetfriendly.net/forum/viewtopic.php?t=56

www.planetfriendly.net/community.html#anywhere

- esp. (B) Create Community Anywhere and (C) Community & Group Process.
More Quotes
Speaking of inspiring, hopeful quotes, here are a few of my favourites...
"Nothing dies forever,

Something always remains,

from which something new grows.

So life begins,

without knowing where it came from

or why it exists."

– Antonia (from the film, Antonia's Line)
"What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.

Build anyway." – Bishop Muzorewa


"Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.

Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that."

– Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Whatever occurs from love is always beyond good and evil."

– Friedrich Nietzsche


"Powerlessness and silence go together. We...should use our

privileged positions not as a shelter from the world's reality,

but as a platform from which to speak. A voice is a gift.

It shoud be cherished and used." – Margaret Atwood


"A key is just a bunch of little angles, in the right combination"

– JP Warren


"Neither certain nor indifferent"

– Jostein Gaarder describing Socrates, in the book "Sophie's World" http://directory.google.com/Top/Arts/Literature/Authors/G/Gaarder,_Jostein/

http://directory.google.com/Top/Society/Philosophy/Philosophers/Socrates/
– Peter Blanchard

www.planetfriendly.net

people@planetfriendly.net

Chris Benjamin

Guest

PostPosted: Fri Mar 12, 2004 10:11 am Post subject: Tooker Reply with quote

Tooker
Read it on the email

From cyclists inc.

Through the unruly

anarchistic same

The informal networks

were buzzing first

As is their way

Mez confirmed the rumour

Before I'd heard it
It hit me on my heart

It too is circulatory

But medieval folks

Knew it right

It's where hurt lives
I didn't really know him

But we all knew him

I heard about him

On the email

When he ran for Mayor

And I was in Makassar


I met him face to table

At a meeting

About energy

He had more

Than the rest of us

Striving for small winnables

While he stood alone

Against the juggernaut

Until iron filings clung

Onto his magnetic

Speed-dialing on his cell

Saying 'it's awful,

What you're doing

to Kirkland Lake'

And that one too

Became a winnable

Thanks to Tooker's cell

And 400 calls a week


He told that story

To a small group

Of laughing high schoolers

I told them about Margaret Mead

Tooker showed them what she meant

And I admired him for it

Wished I walked like that

His gift was that in doing so

He had you believing you could too
I see him with his megaphone

Knowing it must be different

Without the public

knowing of his struggle

but not much about it

I can see him riding

To the middle of Angus MacDonald

Taking off the helmet

Placing it on his handles

Falling into the sledge

(The kind he didn't want)

Like my childhood nightmares


Perhaps all he did

Looked too small

Next to the real world

But it wasn't

It wasn't what he did

It was what he valued

And how he showed it

Unabashedly


I hope he's transcended

Somewhere better

But more importantly

I hope we can achieve

A world more like what he wanted

Somewhere better

Right here
- Chris Benjamin
Peter Blanchard

Site Admin

Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:05 pm Post subject: Where to send donations: The Tooker Gomberg Funds Reply with quote

Where to Send Donations
Donations can be made to either of two funds, both of which will serve to support Canadian grassroots ecological and justice work.
Organizers of at least some of the gatherings have requested that no flowers be purchased. Instead, let's support Tooker's legacy by donating to the funds!
More information can be found on Tooker & Angela's website:

www.greenspiration.org


- Peter Blanchard

www.planetfriendly.net

activist

Joined: 08 Mar 2004

Posts: 1

Location: Edmonton

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 10:48 am Post subject: EDMONTON & Western Canada memorials/events *REVISED* Reply with quote

Tooker Gomberg

1955-2004
One of Canada's brightest lights has passed away.
Here in Edmonton, to pay tribute,

we ask you to please join us for

An All in Black Critical Mass
When: Friday, March 26th, 2004
Bring your bike, skateboard, or other sustainable means of transportation

and meet in front of City Hall at 5:00 p.m.


What: Ride your bike from City Hall to Gazebo Park

(aka 103 & 104 Streets and 82 & 83 Avenues).


To be followed by a candlelight ceremony.
We hope The All in Black Critical Mass ride will be one of several held throughout Canada.
Please circulate this message as widely as possible.
This memorial is in addition to the service being held March 15 in Edmonton. Please mark your calendars for both now.
[Editor's Note: The March 15 service is private. Details on the public memorial on March 16 can be found below: see "wordsmith's" reply below ]

_________________

Mimi Williams

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Peter Blanchard

Site Admin

Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 11:05 am Post subject: western Canada events & Critical Mass everywhere Reply with quote

Western Canada events & Critical Mass everywhere


Thanks for letting us know about this event.
If you hear about memorials in western Canada, feel free

to post them as a reply to this message.


For more Western Canada activist and environmental calendars,

see our "Directory of Calendars" across Canada:


www.planetfriendly.net/calendars.html#westerncanada
For more info on "Critical Mass" in cities across Canada

and around the world, see:


Critical Mass Links, Organizations, Calendars: link
Green & alternative transportation groups, organizations, links:

www.planetfriendly.net/living.html#transport


- Peter Blanchard

people@planetfriendly.net


Last edited by Peter Blanchard on Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:42 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Grant Neufeld

Guest

PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2004 9:40 pm Post subject: CALGARY - Tooker Critical Mass in Calgary Reply with quote

CALGARY - Tooker Critical Mass in Calgary
We're joining the rides across Canada in honoring Tooker:
http://calgary.activist.ca/view.php?id=0-11185

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everything louder

Joined: 09 Mar 2004

Posts: 1

Location: Edmonton

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 1:07 am Post subject: Reply with quote

Where and when is the memorial on the 15th?

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Michelle

Guest

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 2:21 pm Post subject: Celebrating Tooker Reply with quote

Hi Mimi and all Edmonton Critical Massers


I wish I could be with you all, but will be thinking of you from Nelson. Tooker was an energetic inspiration. His life had incredible meaning as he always worked for the benefit of us all. I feel fortunate to have met him and have known him the little bit that I did. He always made Critical Mass extra fun. I'm sad to know he's not physically with us anymore, but he certainly left a legacy.
Take Care

Michelle M.

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Velorution


Joined: 07 Mar 2004

Posts: 39

Location: Montreal, Qc.

PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2004 11:45 pm Post subject: Memorial tribute for Tooker @ Riverdale Hall, Mon 15 March Reply with quote

Angela told me yesterday this is the location for

the Memorial tribute for Tooker in Edmonton...
Mon 15 March in the evening
Riverdale Community League Halls 780-421-1357
9231 100 Avenue NW,

Edmonton, AB

T5H 0A4
Jean ...like Tooker says

"Take care & take cake of each other"

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angry_eH

Guest

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:48 am Post subject: the critical mass all over Reply with quote

The thought springs to mind of a fellow activist in orgeon who was dying of breast cancer. Insted of the sympathy she used to always say"Don't mourn. Organize!"' Seems to me that is what tooker was trying to get across while he was alive. I dont mean to rain on the critical mass, however we need to keep that in mind as well as why the ride is dedicated.

This world needs many more folks like Tooker. But so many people are reluctant to take the torch and spred it around.

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Velorution

Joined: 07 Mar 2004

Posts: 39

Location: Montreal, Qc.

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 1:26 pm Post subject: LOOKING for RIDE Vancouver to Edmonton(a.s.a.p.) Reply with quote

LOOKING for RIDE to Edmonton(a.s.a.p.)

by Jean • Tuesday March 09, 2004 at 10:22 PM

I am going to Tooker Gomberg's MEMORIAL in Edmonton Monday 15 March in the evening


I need a ride leaving Vancouver by Saturday or Sunday morning...
The ride can also be a partial one like: to the Okanagan, to the Shuswap, to Revelstoke, to Quesnel, to Nelson or to Calgary, any fair distance at least 1/3 or 1/2 of the way on a main road..
please contact me

Jean (voice mail)604 682 3269 ext: 9521


I can sometimes be reached directly at

Pumpkin Patch(Peter's): 604 215 7478

or Merlin's: 604 738 2860
E-mail: sylph@canada.com
or: velo_rution@riseup.net
www.planetfriendly.net/forum/viewforum.php?f=19

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Peter Blanchard

Site Admin

Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 8:42 pm Post subject: Celebration/Memorial, Edmonton City Hall, Tues. March 16 Reply with quote

Celebration/Memorial, Edmonton City Hall, Tues. March 16


From the Edmonton Journal, Wed. Mar. 10:
Quote:

A celebration of Tooker Gomberg's life will be held at 4 p.m. on [Tuesday] March 16 in the City Room at City Hall. Organizers request that no flowers be purchased. Information will be available on how to contribute to a memorial fund in Gomberg's name. For more information, call Earth's General Store at 439-8725.


Full story: Link to Edmonton Journal Article
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wordsmith


Joined: 11 Mar 2004

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Thu Mar 11, 2004 9:06 pm Post subject: public memorial events - Edmonton Reply with quote

Two public memorials will be held for Tooker in Edmonton:
A celebration of Tooker Gomberg's life

Tuesday, 16 March at 4 p.m.

in the City Room at City Hall.

Organizers request that no flowers be purchased.

For more information, call Earth's General Store at (780) 439-8725.
For information on memorial contributions, please see:

http://www.greenspiration.org/


An All in Black Critical Mass

Friday, 26 March 2004

Bring your bike, skateboard, or other sustainable means of transportation

and meet in front of City Hall at 5:00 p.m.

Ride your bike from City Hall to McIntyre Park (Gazebo Park)

(103 & 104 Streets and 83 Avenue).

A candlelight ceremony will follow.
A clarification - the memorial to be held on Monday, March 15th is a private gathering.
Thanks to everyone who has cared & shared in this terribly difficult time.

It is heartening to see the concern & support displayed here, especially bringing people together. Tooker woulda loved it.


Lotta Light to Everyone. Peace

Peter Blanchard

Site Admin

Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 8:23 pm Post subject: Montreal Gazette obit. and where to send donations Reply with quote

Montreal Gazette: obituary and where to send donations


As printed in Montreal Gazette, Tues March 9:
Quote:

GOMBERG, Tooker Richard Daniel. On Wednesday, March 3, 2004.


Dearly loved husband and companion of Angela Bischoff. Cherished son of Dr. Charles L. Gomberg and Bayla Rosen Gomberg. Loving, caring and inspiring brother of Frank, Ben, and Avi. Dearly loved uncle of Noah and Jessie and many nieces and nephews.
A creative pioneer for the welfare of the environment, who had great hopes and dreams to better the world.
A memorial service will be held at Paperman & Sons, 3888 Jean Talon W, on Wednesday, March 10 at 3:15 p.m. Shiva at 42 Terrasse Les Hautvilliers, Outremont.
Donations may be made to the Tooker Gomberg Greenspiration Fund, c/o The Montreal Bicycle Education Society, (514) 843-0077. We have lost a unique human being.
Revised info on donations:
Donations can be made to either of two funds, both of which will serve to support Canadian grassroots ecological and justice work.
Organizers of at least some of the gatherings have requested that no flowers be purchased. Instead, let's support Tooker's legacy by donating to the funds!
More information can be found on Tooker & Angela's website:

www.greenspiration.org


Hugs to all who knew or were inspired by him,
- Peter Blanchard

people@planetfriendly.net


Tooker Gomberg Memorial Discussion Forum

www.planetfriendly.net/gomberg


Tooker & Angela's Website

www.greenspiration.org


Last edited by Peter Blanchard on Thu Mar 11, 2004 10:10 pm; edited 1 time in total

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walter chiyan tom

Guest

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 11:19 pm Post subject: funeral Reply with quote

Hi everyone,
I just attended the funeral ceremony for Tooker today and the love, emotion and respect for Tooker was overwhelming. There were at least 400 people from mainly family, friends and a few familar activists. I spoke to Angela afterwards and she said that there will be another memorial with the Montreal activist community in about 2 weeks, with more details to be posted in their Greenspiration website.
Inspiration, humour and insight were the themes so eloquently attributed to Tooker by his brothers, Frank, Ben and Avi. Finally, Angela's tribute to Tooker was heart-rendering and courageous.
Although I only knew Tooker through his family members and from the time of his arrest at the 2001 Quebec Summit ( I was one of the probono lawyers who manned the help phonelines for detainees and their families), the loss of Tooker moved me to tears, and reminded me all too painfully of the fragile existence of those who struggle daily for social justice.
Take care of yourself and of others.
Peter Blanchard

Site Admin

Joined: 20 Apr 2003

Posts: 218

Location: Canada

PostPosted: Wed Mar 10, 2004 6:21 pm Post subject: Tooker's last column for Alternatives Journal, now online Reply with quote

Quote:

Hi Peter
Tooker's last "Stir It Up" column for Alternatives is



hot off the press and now on the web at:

www.alternativesjournal.ca/special/tooker.htm




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