Pop-Ups‎ > ‎

2017-11-11: Berkeley City Hall

Empathy Tent Pop-Up Old Berkeley City Hall 
2134 Martin Luther King Jr. Way Berkeley, CA 94704
Set up empathy Tent at 9am

below, a conservative and progressive hug after taking part in a empathy circle.

Conservative Rallies
UMCoAC: 2017 Vets Return to Berkeley 10th Anniversary Run
Saturday at 10 AM - 1 PM
This is a run in celebration of all servicemen and servicewomen. past and present and a thank you to all of our veterans. 

Saturday at 2 PM - 5 PM
Patriot Prayer is proud to have the band Yeshua and the Hightones combine the beau
ty of music with the passion of freedom.

YouTube: Empathy Tent Pop-Up at Old Berkeley City Hall. 2017-11-11
Facebook Video: Empathy Tent Pop-Up at Old Berkeley City Hall.

NBC News Bay Area
‘Patriot Prayer’Rallies in Berkeley on Veteran’s Day
The right-wing conservative group ‘Patriot Prayer’ rallied in the streets of Berkeley Saturday afternoon to discuss intolerance, issues on President Trump, racism and fascism. Christie Smith reports.

(The Empathy Tent was mentioned at the end of this piece.)
"Previous rallies have turned violent and into clashes. Those involved in the Empathy Tent have been there through it all and were back there today, They say they are trying to listen and promote dialog. "

A Facilitated Dialogue on Gun Violence and Control
A woman from Berkeley stopped by who said she was a school teacher and wanted to be able to talk with someone from the right. She felt she was living in a bubble and wanted to reach out.  I said there is a women from the right here talking to Dave, would she like to take part in a empathy circle with her? She said, OK...

Image may contain: one or more people, people sitting and outdoor
I facilitated an empathy circle between Crystal from Patriot Prayer, the political right attendee and the women for about 30 minutes or so. They talked about gun control, and gun violence. I kept them on tract to use the empathic listening process. They ended up saying they both valued love and care and they just had different approaches to get there.  They both became tearful when they talked about the shootings in Texas.

There were moments when the conversation could have gone off track, but the connection was kept going with facilitation and active listening. At the end, without me saying anything, they both got up and deeply hugged each other.

Learnings from this Pop-Up

Empathy circle with the women
The most successful part for me was the empathy circle with the women from the left and right.   

Clarity on What we are doing there.
I feel the team needs to do more empathy circles.  We need a clearer sense of what we are doing there and a commitment to doing it.

Peoples Park Set Up
I feel we could have taken the empathy tent to Peoples park and done more. If we had done some empathy circles, the media would have been able to tape it.

It seemed difficult to set up at the park. The few counter protesters seemed hard core or not very amenable to dialog in some way.  Not sure how to describe it. It just seemed difficult to set up there. However, maybe we could just set up and offer to hold empathy circles with whoever wanted them. 

The tent is not there just for people to come and shoot the breeze and socialize.  We need to be more focused on either offering listening to others or actively bringing people into an empathy circle and teaching them how to take part.   Even when it's only the team there, I think we need to be doing empathy circles and practicing and developing the process. 

Homeless Camp Empathy Circle 
At the homeless camp we offered to do an empathy circle but they were not into it. Part of it was how we approached it.  This needs more thought.