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WORKSHOP ON PARTICIPATION AND DECISION-MAKING


DRAFT PROPOSAL


At the Babels’ meeting in Brussels we drafted a document which tries to establish some guidelines which Babels coordinations can use in order to decide who to work for and under which conditions. The following is what we’d like to propose:

WE WORK FOR...


- Social movements which are networks (not single organizations), work on a horizontal and democratic manner and respect or comply with the Charter of principles of the WSF.

IF...


- We can be part of the process and establish a quality relationship with the organizers based on respect and compliance with Babels’ needs.
- Our help is requested with enough time to organize it. Roughly, this should be 6 weeks for small meetings (less than 50 interpreters), 3 months for medium-size meetings (less than 150 interpreters) and 6 for bigger events.
- We can decide, together with the organizers, which technical means should be used (Nomad).
- There is a budget which guarantees that the following work requirements are met:

WORK REQUIREMENTS


- The interpretation of the event must be 100% voluntary.
- The interpreters and Babels must be considered part of the meeting.
- There must always be a minimum of 3 interpreters per booth for full-time meetings and 2 for part-time events.
- The interpreters must have their expenses covered: this includes travel, accommodation, food, transport, water while working and the amount necessary (as decided by the national coordination) or organize before, during and after the event.
- Timetables and breaks must always be respected; otherwise, the interpreters will have no obligation to continue working.


About decision-making:


Babels has been working as a network for years now, and until now we’ve never decided on a way to take decisions which respects the spirit of the network and is based on mutual trust. This means that we’re only beginning to address an issue which is crucial, and of which we’ll have to talk about many, many times before we find the way to do it.

As a way of starting this process, we propose the following:

- Information is key and the basis for the internal democracy of Babels; therefore, all information must be shared through the mailing lists and the forum. All actions taken by any national coordination must be open for discussion.

- Ultimately, the national coordinations will have the final word, and, respecting the basic principles of babels, are free to take part in any event they decide. However, we have to bear in mind that all our decisions affect the whole network, and therefore we should ensure that the participation of a national coordination in a specific event is not strongly opposed by other coordinations.

- Babels is a network based on the national coordinations, therefore, no one can speak or attend a meeting in the name of Babels.

- No matter how good our decision-making process is, mistakes will be made. In such cases, and in order to ensure that there is debate inside Babels and that we can learn form our mistakes, we will have an annual meeting of Babels, paid for by the 5% surcharge which should be included in all budgets in order to ensure the survival of Babels between events.
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