[Ansteorra] Freedom in the West

willowdewisp at juno.com willowdewisp at juno.com
Sat Jan 26 14:01:03 PST 2008

Dear people Greetings from Duchess Willow
You are allowed to play with any group you want to. The rules that let you be officersin a group have been known to  change. Some times it is allowed and sometimes it isn't. There is no way to tell what the policy will be at any time. You are counted as Joseph and Mary were in the area of your birth. The is for the same purpose as it was in the Roman empire --simplifying paperwork. The last Crown and this Crown has given you only two choices. Your membership and your money will go to one of those choice unless the BOD changes the ruling. 
I have been faced with that in my own personal situation. I realized that my only choice was to let my membership lapse. But I can tell you from bitter knowledge such a protest goes unnoticed. As far as I can tell being a member really doesn't give you any rights but not being a member takes some rights away. 
I don't know what you should do. but here are some options
Drop your membership and play anywhere you care to, but this means you can not  be an officer and you can get your membership time in as an officers so you can fight in Crown. This also mean that the Western Alliance has less people on the books and this would hurt you in the future.Also one of you hopes is to get people to work themselves up to important positions in the Kingdom and make changes. For that you will need membership and patience. 
Keep your membership. Don't worry were it is counted and play where ever you want and work for restating your regions and groups under a future Crown. Please remember what one Crown does another Crown can undo. Especially with things that only exist in the kingdom or the BOD allows the Crown lots of power with. I can tell you if the BOD ends up making and unmaking shires in the West over and over again they will step in and make some kind of policy. Of course you might not like the policy you end up with. I also know this from personal knowledge.. 
Also you can petition to the BOD that your zip code not be assigned to anyone. There are many areas that have zip codes that are in no group. I have no idea if they would go along with this but this would keep you zip codes unassigned and would make it easier to form a shire in that area at a future time.
Keep your membership and  talk to the groups and see if can't get a good deal for your membership. If you are fighter or a consort of a fighter who "might someday" want to fight in Crown Tourney remember that you need to put your time in as officers to qualify. With the cutting down of officers getting an office might be hard. Make sure that the group that you are going to agreed to put you into the rotation of officers. 
Also talk to them about doing non calendar sanction events. Your area can still do your events just they would have to off calendar. You would have to buy Black Star space but it looks that at the moment you can put your events on the Web calendar. Make sure you get some kind of deal abut use of your money. You want to make sure the establish power group will set up conditions that will allow your membership some control over their funds. Also talk to the group about the future. Would the group allow you to try for Canton status in the future when more helpful people are in power. One of things I like about the SCA is power groups are always changing. Every four to five years is a new game. I have heard talk that there May be changes in the Laws that might make the requirements of Cantons less than that of shires. It doesn't change the number of officers but being a Canton under today's rules would let you have your name and events. You would need to keep your membership up . 
Remember that there is nothing to keep you from going from Canton to shire to barony. Why should you be going for a Barony status or for Principality status. they are harder for the Kingdom to disband. At this moment the Kingdom has full power over shires and cantons and unmake them on a whim. As far as I can tell it doesn't matter if you are following kingdom rules. The Crown and officers can wake up one morning and disband you without and due process. The same is true for regions. The same is not true for a barony or province. There  are proceeding that the Kingdom must do. A principality give an area even more protection from action from the Kingdom. to get to Barony or Principality status you will need to keep your membership up and work with the people in you groups and region.
Remember while the kingdom might not recognize you as a group the group that become part of can recognize you. This was Arron's "household" theory. Please remember that the word "household" is a catch phrase in the SCA and covers many different  organizations. "Keep" is another word for household so your home group could us the work "Keep" to mean the territory that was your group.Our they could use "hold" or "dale" or a word in another language which mean a territory group. In fact you can call yourself almost anything as long as you are not "the shire of ".  Depending on the agreement of the home group you can keep your identity in the bigger group. Remember everything changes all the time in the SCA so establish strong customs right in the beginning. You will have no legal protection so you must rely on customs and traditions to protect you.  
The kingdom officers stated at Bonwick that they would establish policies to allow you some Independence. Talk to them and get the best deal you can.

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