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so, this may be a silly question but it's genuine, :boost_ok:

is there like a guide or tips somewhere for finding meatspace leftish community for socially anxious people who don't know their local area very well? how does one "get involved with their community", and also, what are warning signs/red flags to watch out for?

@nisima I don't know how helpful this would be for that SPECIFIC subculture, but if you're anywhere remotely near college aged, you could ask around at a local college secretary's and see if there are any relevant clubs where you could ask the officers for recommendations?

I've also heard good things about meetup.com? Stuff like hiking groups are low pressure ways to meet folks.

Also, I suspect it's highly regional, but for example in Baltimore, the local swing dance community is excellent.

@eleanorkonik that is a good point! unfortunately I am pretty far out of college, but going out and meeting people in general is at least a start!

@nisima I've also had great luck with independent bookstores and comic shops and such. Once you "become a regular" you almost inevitably wind up meeting people just from reading the signage for events tips, but it's easy to be low key if you're more of a wallflower type like me.

But again, highly regional. If you were anywhere in the mid-Atlantic I could give you a billion recommendations, but statistically speaking, you probably aren't 😅

@nisima volunteer. It's a good way to help people in need, you get involved in your community, and it's a good way to meet other people, even if those people might not be leftists.

Other than that I've been trying to anonymously advertise for a socialist club of some sort in my school (by dropping little index cards with a link on them) but that hasn't really been working

@nisima also for your other questions, the library in my town is basically where all the community stuff happens, it may be good just to look at the pin boards there for announcements

And although a leftist space for socially anxious people is kinda specific, I'm in an art club @ my school and there's a lot of overlap lmao

Hope this helps

@nisima are there any radical spaces (cafes, organizing halls, etc) in your area? If there are maybe checkout if they have an event board and look for a smaller event. If they don't, then check and see if there is a Food Not Bombs in your area. It's just a picnic in the park with leftist people. Start small and find a small group.

Be weary of people who boast about illegal actions and/or try to push you to do them. Other than that it's the same risks as any other space/community.

@nisima for Food not Bombs you can usually just search for "<your town> food not bombs" and find some events

@polymerwitch the chances are reasonably high that there are, but I don't know how to go about finding them outside of I guess Google Maps. there does seem to be a Food Not Bombs! I'll make a note of that.

@nisima try looking up a mutual aid group here: mutualaidhub.org

I don't know if you use facebook or telegram, but there are volunteer/activist groups you can look up. Like look for [your town] BLM, or trans rights, etc. You can also check out foodnotbombs.net where they feed the homeless vegan meals. The info may be dated on that site.

As for red flags: easiest thing I can say is if you feel uncomfortable with the vibe of the group, then you're free to leave them.

@nisima@plush.city finding a left-leaning nondenominational church is my favorite way. (For me, nondenominational means invites pagans and atheists.) The church will then organize volunteering and stuff.
It does take some time and test visits. I have snuck out midway through a number of services.

@nisima depending on where you live, e-mail-lists (you could look here as a start lists.riseup.net/ ), local event calendars or, well, facebook groups might also be a thing.

I have more to add for warning signs: if they make you feel like you're not enough, they're probably the problem, not you. Like you don't have an impressive-enough history or like you haven't read enough theory or like you don't stick to their specific flavour of doing things enough. Sure, sometimes it just feels like that when actually someone is pointing out something you might want to think about, but.... strictly uniformed groups that have all read the same things and want newcomers to prove themselves are not fun, probably.

@nisima red flag: if no one you see there has been involved for more than a year, it is probably an org that burns people out

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