GA Minutes Sun Nov 04 2012
Minutes for 4 November 2012
Location: Community Church of Boston
Time: Approximately 4:30 - 8:30pm
Note taker: Steve Stack: Bobbi Facilitator: Carolyn
We passed one proposal: to use UFE as a fiscal sponsor, under the comprehensive model
We have 11 people to start.
Immokalee Workers (Bil). I spent the last week down in Florida, to visit the Immokalee workers. It's been my contention that the best thing that we can do is to talk with people who aren't us. I was recently at a toastmaster's meeting, and I got to spend a morning meeting with the Toastmaster president. We're having a discussion with Chomsky on Thursday, after the election. The back page of the Chomsky program will have an advertisement for our books. Thursday, 7pm @ Old South Church (tickets are $15; see http://chomskyspeaks.org). We'll have a table there, where we can do whatever we want.
Chomsky Speaks (Eden). I got enough funding to take out a half-page ad in the Chomsky Speaks program, so I took out a half-page ad (as an autonomous action).
Outreach (Eden). I have two USB drives, if you're interested in having copies of outreach materials. If anyone would like to be on email@example.com, that would be great. firstname.lastname@example.org is a public contact address. Info goes to about four people.
SEO Presentation (Eden). Sunday, Nov 11th, during SAA, from 7-9pm, "Marketing the message". KC will give a presentation on social media and search engine optimizations. At Community Church of Boston.
Strike Debt (Eden). Strike Debt is getting very active. Several of us are interested in Strike Debt's Telethon on Nov 15th 7-10pm; we'd be hosting an event, projecting the stream of their three-hour telethon, which is being held in NYC. They'll have some educational speakers, and bands, to raise money to buy (and forgive) debt. It's within the system, but a revolutionary idea. We're looking for a space.
After buying debt, they'll write to people, tell them their debit was forgiven, and ask them to (voluntarily) pay off principle. If they paid back their principle, we'd put that money towards buying more debt.
There will be a debt community gathering on Nov 18th.
Carolyn. St S17, we went to an amazing session held by a group called strike debt. We'd like to do something similar here, based on those ideas. A planning committee will meet Mon 7-9pm at City Place. We have a tentative plan to start with a few speakers, and have group discussions on debt and debt organizing. We'd use open space technology to develop more ideas. Nothing is fixed at this point. Come Monday night if you'd like to help plan.
Dana: Should we livestream our community gathering, so that people in NYC can watch us watching them?
Carolyn: great idea.
Kendra: Can we put together some kind of promotional flyer?
Eden. Is anyone interested in being on a mailing list for debt strike efforts?
Venezuela (Carolyn). Rich is in Venezuela, doing a bunch of appearances on National television, to talk about US elections. If you're interested, contact me for the website address (where you can watch the appearances). He's talking English, and the rest of the speaking is in Spanish.
No Room for Wishing (Eden). We had 35 people last night for No Room For Wishing. We made another $200 for Danny. It's a really viable fundraising idea. Mass Occupy Brooklyn provided half of the food; we'll put them in touch with our food group.
FSU (Eden). FSU will mostly be radio shows during the next six months. Email David Knuten if you know someone who'd like to appear. If you're near E5, take some Boston occupiers and spread them around.
Tuesday GAs (Eden). There's talk of changing Tuesday GAs to puppet and sign making at Puppet Workshop.
Calendar Cleanup (Eden). I'm trying to get the calendar cleaned up. Does anyone know what the Icarus Project is?
Allie. Yes, the group still exists, and they still meet. I can get in touch with the people, to see if they still get want to be on the calendar. The group was originally called Mad Pride, and they did radical mental health organizing.
Eden/Allie. Please remove Fri 6pm Queer/trans meeting from calendar.
Eden. Does anyone know about the mental health organizing? Let's take that off calendar too, 6pm wed night.
BRIC (Eden). There was a semi-secret meeting about fusion centers. Joan will probably give a report about that next week. ACLU discovered that police were collecting and retaining info on non-violent activist groups, like peace protesters. BPD held this information longer than they were legally allowed to.
Bil. A number of us have FOIA requests in to BPD, in conjunction with NLG.
Dana. There was an article in JP about this, and it was quite lengthy. The BPD was categorizing anti-war protesters as criminals and terrorists.
Ruby: I got a mailing from Scott Brown. He says that Elizabeth warren is bad because she's involved with those "radical" occupy groups.
Linda. Sorry that I'm late, I was at Harvard meeting about BRIC surveillance. (BRIC stands for "Boston regional intelligence center"; it's a fusion center). There will be more meetings about this. And possibly some lawsuits and direct actions.
Anarchist Book Fair (Allie). This weekend is Boston Anarchist Book Fair. It's Fri - Sun at Simmons college. If want to go, you should go. It'll be awesome. There will be tabling, a film festival, and a march. Email email@example.com if you want more info.
At 7:30pm Friday,I'm playing a show with my band at the School of the Museum Of Fine Arts. There will also be rappers, other bands, and a puppet show. Google "Boston anarchist book fair".
Venezuela (Steve). I went to an E5 talk about the Venezuelan presidential elections. They're more serious about fair democratic elections than I ever remember the United states being. If you're intrested in reading about it, wrote a post on http://voices.occupyboston.org/steve/blog/democratic-triumph-in-venezuela.
Mayfirst Members Meeting (Steve). Last weekend, several people from OBIT went to Mayfirst's members meeting. Mayfirst provides hosting for us, and over 600 other organizations. They do this on a budget of less than $95k/year, which is pretty amazing. They're an activist group.
Street Medics (Linda). The street medics are still trying to get together. There may be a potluck this weekend. They're trying to organize to go to NYC for Sandy relief. There's some kind of meeting 6pm Thursday night.
It looks like we have just the FAWG proposal for this evening.
We're up to ~ 20--22 people in attendance.
Are we starting the discussion from scratch today? Yes, we're starting over from scratch. We'll talk about the proposal, and make sure everyone understands it.
Allie provides an amusing recap of the discussion proposal process, to get us all on the same page.
Linda (proposer). FAWG recommends that OB approve a fiscal sponsorship with UFE, following the comprehensive model. UFE would do bookkeeping. We'd have 2--3 liaisons to communicate OB decisions to UFE. UFE would disburse money. This would protect people from income tax liability and from litigation. One organization charges 9% of money held; UFE is amenable to working with us in this model, but we haven't talked about specific terms. 9% is a ballpark.
The money would be in the hands of a 501c3, and would be subject to IRS restrictions on the use of 501c3 money. But it seems like those restrictions wouldn't affect us much. We couldn't support political candidates, and we'd be limited in amount of legislative lobbying we could do. There are other possible scenarios, but this is the one that we recommend.
Pre-approved re-granting is another model. We'd give funds to a fiscal sponsor, and the fiscal sponsor would give it back to us. We'd then manage it. We'd need a bookkeeper, a check writer, and a system of checks and balances. It would be similar to what we're doing now, but would cost 7% of money held. This is the approach that OWS uses.
Hiring a bookkeeper is another option. Three people have their names on Occupy Boston's credit union account, but with the understanding that it would be a temporary measure. I'm not willing to accept this as a long term-option, but I can't speak to the other account holders.
(We're up to ~ 25 people now.)
Kendra: What about insurance and liability during events?
Linda: I'm not sure. It might be part of the comprehensive model (at least for indoor events). We still need a letter of agreement to sort all of these details out.
Giving the money away is another possible course of action. But we'd also have to decide what to do with funds coming in. Money still comes in, albeit in small amounts. GA could make a decision about what to do with new money.
There's the possibility of forming a 501c3, but that option hasn't been very popular.
There's about $29,000 left in our account. I haven't really touched the books since taking over. I've established a new ledger, and am keeping track of (new) transactions since I took hold of the money.
There was a bunch unspent money from past proposals. I'm not sure what part of the $29k that is. For example, we allocated $14,000 to tactical for re-encampment, and I don't know how much of that has been spent.
Last year, we also had dedicated greenway and wind turbine funds.
Allie. A very small part of $14k was spent during Camp Charlie, but most was not spent. I also understood that greenway and windmill were in We-pay accounts, separate from the credit union. At a prior GA, the feeling was not to give money to the Greenway Foundation, after seeing how corrupt they were. The windmill fund was discussed during a GA; I think we could refund that money to the donors.
Dana. The liability of handling money is a hot potato that people don't want to hold on to. We don't have a list of people volunteering to do this. They could be sued, like Paul Fetch sued Greg Murphy and the former members of FAWG.
Ariel. You said we couldn't advocate for candidates. Are rallies against candidates subject as well?
Linda. We'd have to clarify that. In talking with UFE, we deliberately discussed how protest activities would impact them. UFE was fine with those kinds of activities.
Kendra. That was point I was trying to make earlier. There'd be no liability coverage if people went out and did stupid stuff in the street.
Ariel. Very little to no funds were spent on Camp Charlie. One person paid for most of the encampment, and this person was never reimbursed.
Dana. If we approve this proposal and UFE provides bookkeeping service, will UFE take care of disbursing funds?
Linda. The liaisons will be responsible for going to UFE, and asking them for the money. If we want UFE to do more stuff, we'll have to negotiate that in our letter of agreement. For example, if we want UFE to go over past accounts, that will need to be spelled out, and it will probably affect what we have to pay them.
Dana. If passed, when would this go info effect?
Linda. Depends on how quickly we negotiate the letter of agreement.
Ruby. Why could we not do that work ourselves?
Kendra. Nobody wants to serve as a bookkeeper, accountant, and lawyer. In some cases, it's better to pay someone to do a job professionally, and just get it done.
Linda. We tried doing the bookkeeping ourselves.. People have said they'd do bookkeeping work, but never followed through on those commitments. The volunteers didn't work out.
Carolyn. Why don't we know what percentage?
Kendra. We talked. One model is 7% and one was 9%.
Eden. We don't have an exact amount, because the relationship hasn't been written up yet.
Ruby. It sounds like the amount could be more than 7 or 9%.
Linda. That's correct. It's in the details, and we haven't worked out the details yet. The 7-9% are ballpark estimates. UFE wants to work with us, and they'll do what they can. They don't want to make money off us.
Kendra. Often, these deals are negotiated for 15%. So, 9% is a good rate.
Eden. I'd recommend that we talk about the proposal. Don't talk about budgeting; budgeting should be a separate discussion.
(We break up into small groups for discussion. Small group discussion ends at 18:05.)
Group Report #1
We started out discussing how to spend the money, which really isn't part of the the proposal. This was met with a concern that it would take too long to figure out how the money would be given away, and giving the money away doesn't reduce anyone's liability.
We could create a sense of crisis to spend money quickly, but couldn't figure out how to do this.
There was a sense that we're not good at giving out resources that have been given us to us.
Everyone was sympathetic to need for this not to drag out. We shouldn't let this become a bureaucratizing proposal.
There was concern about a worst case scenario. If GA dwindles to nothing, can we put something into the agreement, so that UFE could give it away.
Q: did anyone volunteer to do legwork behind giving money away?
We felt that these things could work in conjunction with each other. The UFE proposal could be a bridging measure to getting rid of the money.
Group Report #2
This GA isn't representative of the OB movement. But it's the quorum we have now. Perhaps a larger meeting could be held to distribute the money. There is a sense of urgency to reduce liability for signatories.
There was some strong support w/in our group for this proposal.
Spending the money is a large decision; it doesn't avoid a large decision.
Doing fiscal sponsorship wouldn't prevent us from disbursing the money; it just takes the liability off the signatories. This is just a bag for OB to put money in. Afterwards, we can decide what to do with what's in the bag.
Group Report #3
There seemed to be consensus about going with the full umbrella package, because of the issue of liability. Full umbrella was only one what took care of liability as soon as possible.
Tides suggested that we work locally, which would be UFE.
Using UFE allows people to donate to OB tax free, which is a good thing.
We talked about giving away the money. Doesn't make sense at this point, but we could see giving the money away at some point. People have donated to us; if we repurpose their donations for something else, then we need to contact original donors and make sure they're okay with that.
We've used funds in important ways. We financed a workshop for street medics. The streetl medics have been going places. We put money into S17. We couldn't have done these things if we had given the money away. We'd like to do good things, to get people un-liabilitied, and to allow people to give us money tax free.
I think flexibility is what we really want; the comprehensive model seems to provide that.
Allie. This is really hard for me. It's bringing up a lot of things for me that have been difficult to deal with for the past year. I'm really against the 501c3 sponsor, if it represents another form of the status quo for occupy Boston. Occupy, for me, was really a moment in time, it was something that happened, and in my mind, it's over, and it no longer exists. Occupy was one phase of a movement that's been going on for decades. We've built a lot of skills, but there's a lot of cruft that's been getting in the way. There are a lot of incredibly difficult intrapersonal things, and we just don't have the skills for dealing with them. Shit falls apart. I think that OB has gone through several different phases of existence. 95% of the work I've put in hasn't been productive to the outside world, although it's been beneficial to me. There are useful things that have happened. I came into this space thinking Occupy is Dead, and then I hear about stuff that people are doing, like the debt strike. That's really productive; where you don't come into a space a butt heads. I want to talk about how to make the world better, and not how to deal with each other. We should give the CCB money for this space for a year in advance. Give the food group some money. Give OBIT some money. The 501c3 relieves liability while we figure out how to work this out. Logistics has all kinds of stuff sitting in a storage space, and it could be put to better use. Our mode of dealing with resources, we're not really dealing with them. Some people deal with them, get shit done, burn out and leave. The movement is really powerful. We're not good at organizing. I don't want this to become an even bigger sink. I'd be okay w/sponsorship, if it was a stepping stone to disbursing money, to autonomous working groups or whatever, to get the money out of an account.
Charlotte. I'd heard that we couldn't access logistics space because it was unpaid. I apologize for saying this if I'm wrong. I did hurricane relief work during the last. The beauty is in our networks, and being able to mobilize people whenever needed. I want to hear some reactions. We could approve this fiscal sponsorship, with a goal to spend down or decentralize the money, so that UFE is holding $2-5k, and the rest is going to projects, working groups, or organizations that advance what occupy wants to advance.
Linda. Eden had asked before that we limit consideration of budgetary questions, and to stick to proposals that are before us. I've seen people get burned out on OB, and then try to come back and say "Occupy is dead" because its not living up to their expectations. There are still new people coming to GA and SAA. There are still actions planned. There are people who still feel that it is still a community. Others, who've decided that the community is not for them, should not try to take it apart. There's a bitterness when people are disappointed when things don't measure up. And it seems like people are trying to hurt. I've felt like people are trying to hurt me because I've been hanging in there.
?. These decisions are reversable. If we go with the comprehensive model, we get rid of liability, and have freedom to decide how to use money. If we want fiscal stability, we can't just spend, spend, spend. I'm more like save, save, save. Sorry if I sound like a republican.
Bil. I'd like to see us make the decision to take the liability off of people. Charlotte, are you against the proposal?
Charlotte. I'm not sure if I'm against it, or would stand aside. I don't want to see people assuming liability. I'd like to hear from people who don't like the sponsorship.
Dana. Sometime, we have the dynamic of discussing several things at once. Passing this is the first phase. Disbursing the money is the second phase. I'd like to see us pass the first part, and address the second part later.
Carolyn. Is there a consensus for passing comprehensive model without further stipulations?
Kendra. The process for spending money won't change. We'll have better management of money, so that our bills get paid on time: Mayfirst, storage space, Quickbooks. That means we wouldn't get charged with (more) late fees. That's completely separate than the process of deciding to spend $200 on funky hats for some action down the road. Having people take care of money gives us more freedom to do actions with funky hats. Next week, if people want to spend $29k on a trip to Disneyworld, then that's the end of it.
Joe. A decision about what to do with the rest of the money should come up very soon. Paying for this space a year in advance is a great idea. We have a ratty old bag to hold our money. We just want to put it into a nicer bag. We shouldn't link two different, contentious decisions together. I couldn't imagine a GA where people tried to spend $29K. I hate arguments about money. I think the comprehensive model will allow us to have fewer discussions about money. As far as committing at the same time, we can't force any person to come in and spend the money. I could recommend that we spend the money faster. Let's pay for things a year in advance. Spending $29k at once is a much bigger, and much more unauthorized decision.
Bobbi. I think that occupy is doing things. I went to NYC and I saw all these other occupy groups getting together and talking about their accomplishments. We're a part of the community. We're stronger. With the hurricane, we had networks up in a day, and could get shit done. Is there still a lawsuit against our members. (No ... the suit was dismissed). I don't think that we should give away the money to autonomous groups. Things might come up, like hurricane Sandy. I have two questions: will there be statements of funds going in and coming out? Will there be accountability? I understand these models have been used with other occupy groups. How have they worked out for the other Occupy groups.
Kendra: We got the idea to do this from OWS. They suggested different organizations, so that we had options. We modeled the FAWG proposal after what OWS is doing.
Carlos: Occupy was born as a social and political movement. I oppose giving all the money to one group. Movements go up and down, but I want to see the conversation keep going. Maybe we can fund working groups. I proposed in Dec. that that funds should ... so that we can continue, and so that other groups can rise up.
Jen. I'm kind of going both ways. I got this general impression, maybe, that others are going the same way. I feel like, yeah, we need to take pressure off signatories. We do need this sponsorship, for now. We need more responsibility in raising money ourselves; I don't see that. I would like to have seen more participatory budgeting. I'm disappointed that never happened. I'd be in support of sponsorship, but only to take load off signatories. We can discuss what to do with the money later, and have GAs on other things.
Carolyn. We're having GAs on this proposal, to deliberately allow people in to weigh in.
Bil. I hear everyone saying "we want to take pressure off signatories". I want to hear from people who want to say "no" to this proposal. I'd like to pass this, to take the pressure off.
Justin. I'd like to see us come to a more concrete proposal.
Bobbi. Once we get in, how long do we have to stay with it?
Linda. As soon as the sponsor takes the money, then it's forever characterizes as 501c3 funds. There are constraints. That doesn't obligate us to give future money to our fiscal sponsor. We can't use the money for electoral politics, but can be used for lobbying, up to a 10% of UFE's total budget.
Kendra. For example, we couldn't give money to Elizabeth Warren's campaign. UFE has a $250k operating budget. So, we couldn't spend more than $25k on lobbying. We could give money to groups that do charitable and educational work.
Carolyn. Can we assume that the range of activities that OWS does would be available to us? Would something preclude, say, another S17 action.
Linda. No, nothing would preclude another S17.
Eden. We don't become a 501c3. Everything we've done in the past is acceptable under this model.
JSD. Since money managers are working for us, are we obligated to report on how we're spending the money?
Linda. If we pass a proposal for $10k, then we go to UFE and say "give us a check for $10k". And they cut us a check.
Kendra. UFE will keep track of our expenses, make sure bills are paid on time, and keep on top of IRS regulations.
Linda. UFE said they don't have a problem with OB doing illegal stuff. But UFE needs to maintain their 501c3 status.
Bobbi. Is there a cap on how much money they can handle.
No, there's no cap.
Carlos. What about a 501c4, that has the ability to do political things? We are a political movement. Our mission is to change the system.
Joe. This is a way that we don't have to become a 501c3. UFE will take the money we give them, and put it towards the kinds of things that occupy would do. As far as I understand, every thing we have done in the last year, we could still do in our relationship with UFE. We can still do all the political activities and actions that we've been doing.
Allie. I'm already a signatory. It's really hard for me to explain why. I recently joined a union. We have membership cards; being a member is a defined concept. Occupy has no defined concept of membership. Like Joe said, no GA could tell another GA what to do. Allison doesn't come any more, and she feels really betrayed that others try to do things with money. If you don't show up, then you don't have a voice. That's very undemocratic. You have to show up, and sit through something that you may be very opposed to. Organizations must have a defined sense of membership. People need the option of being abstentionist without being present. I think that protesting by non-participation is necessary, and we don't have that here. I'm concerned that this step into the same rut we've been walking in. Occupy 2011 was an insurrection. I feel like becoming a charitable organization is damaging the movement. I'm fundamentally opposed to doing this, without committing to fundamental changes. I think the decisions are linked; I don't think they should be decoupled.
Eden. I'd argue that we're not an organization. We're a participatory movement. I support that. I support GA being whoever shows up. If people want to change GA, then I'd support that too. OWS's funds are frozen, because they have no GA. I'd like to come to GA, get $50 for outreach, and go out and do it. I think the idea cannot be evicted; it goes beyond an encampment. How can you say that occupy is dead, if you are here? If you're here, then you care enough to be here. We can continue to be an anarchist, self-organizing, participatory thing. This is a new thing. We're role modeling it all over the country. I think it's really important to support this. I support the proposal. We can decide what do to with the money later. There are great reasons to save, but that's a whole other conversation. And we're probably getting past the point where we can stay focused.
Ruby. A 501c3 sponsor doesn't make us a charitable organization; we're just under an umbrella. And UFE does some amazing work. Electoral politics is the only restriction. A hurried decision into the money leaves us vulnerable. Signatories have to be covered by us. If there's a lawsuit against the signatories, we have to be able to cover them.
David. I wanted to apologize for my behavior. I can't stand the oppression that's in this church. There are very few people of color here. I'm sorry.
Steve. We've been insurrectionary. If having a sponsor allows us to use the system in a way that gives us more freedom to be insurrectionary, then I think that's a good thing.
Dana. The name "Occupy" was a mistake, but the tactic of the encampments was a success. The state suppression shows it was a success. I think we're in a holding pattern, to find a new tactic. This isn't a domestic movement; it's an international movement. I don't like to talk about money. I want to see people get out from under it. We can give it all away next week. We shouldn't talk about money. We should talk about next revolutionary tactic.
Ariel. I hear that people are pushing for this to pass. I feel that if we take away the urgency to make a decision, then I feel that's detrimental. I agree with what Allie said. I came here with my opinion, but I tried to listen to other people. This is connected to the reason I don't want separate proposals, because we have to change the way we handle money and treat people. Today was a sad depiction.
Linda. There's a perception that people who've stayed engaged and coming have some homogeneity, and that we're happy with dysfunction or lack of vision. I take exception to that. I wish that people who haven't been present wouldn't make assumptions about people who have stayed present. There are difficult interactions which make it hard to try and keep coming back. I've experienced ageism, sexism, and colorism, and different forms of oppression. To me, taking my ball and going home is not an option. The only way to handle oppression is to tough it out, step on each other's toes, apologize, and tough it out. Each person who's' been a part of FAWG, since the beginning, has felt that. Taking this action is a sign of maturity. We can acknowledge that there are things we haven't done well, and can move on, share control, and do them better. If the money we give UFE is characterized as 501c3, new money won't be. We can sever the relationship at any time. I'd ask that we approve this and stay engaged. I see people I haven't seen in a long long time, and I love you. I'm sorry I haven't lived up to the revolutionary camaraderie that we hoped for. Please give me another chance.
Carolyn. Do we still have block level concerns? I'm not trying to railroad anybody; I'm just trying to see where we stand.
Charlotte. As we've been talking about organizations, networks, and umbrellas, I started to wonder if words were getting in the way. I had this thought -- I'm hearing concerns that OB goes under an umbrella, the spirit of what we do changes, and we get stuck in a rut. What if we called this thing the Dewey Square fund. People don't want OB to go under umbrella of 501c3. The beauty of Occupy is the network, and the capability to spring up and get shit done. That's very much still alive. I'm more interested in making people who are uncomfortable, more comfortable.
We do a show of hand signals, and there is a block.
Carlos. I think this is committing economic suicide. We need another meeting, and we need to discuss this more.
Linda. The money will still continue to be available, to do all of the things we've been doing. It will free some of us to do more things like direct action; I haven't been able to do this.
Carlos. We've been talking about different things. What's wrong with doing a 501c4?
Joan. OB still exists as a community. There is a nostalgia for Dewey. 501c3 sounds mainstream, but it's really just a transfer of the books. It won't change us as a community.
Ariel. I don't care about money being put under 501c3. I think we should spend the money. It seems to me that you're saying we need more meetings. But I'm not sure if I'd come to more meetings.
Carlos. Earlier this year, we had a bunch of meetings about sexual violence. I just want another meeting to debate more about this. I don't want to rush.
Carolyn. I'd like to suggest a different process. And I may be out of line. This failed under the new proposal process. How would people feel about doing it through the old proposal process. Or, we could schedule our next GA and do this all over again.
Bobbi. Are we avoiding feelings? Are we rushing into something that will hurt people's feelings, or are we forcing ourselves to have more meetings that will hurt people's feelings.
Justin. In the new proposal process, the proposer is allows switch over to the old process, at any time the proposer wishes to do so.
Joe. I don't think that we'd get this much of attendance at another meeting.
Kendra. We've been discussing this for six months. We have to stop not doing things because we can't make decisions. I can respect the blocker's position, but if he wants something else, then he needs to step up and do some of the legwork.
Carolyn. Do we want to switch back to the old process?
Yes. Let's switch to the old process.
Any points of information or clarifying questions?
Any statements of support?
Joe. This a very good idea that takes weight off our shoulders, gives us flexibility, and is something we can change our mind about.
Statements of concern?
Justin. Things have trajectories. Our movement is in process. There were points about this space being self-selecting. Governing structures in self-selecting environments tend to be very myopic.
Kendra. People should be aware that this is not the end of our discussion. If people decide that they're unhappy about it, we could end relationship with UFE, and ask that the money be granted back.
Do we have consensus? Yes, we have consensus. Proposal passes.
Carolyn. Anything else?
Kendra. If I walked away the first time that someone offended me, I would have been gone in October 2011. I saw racism, classism, sexism, the first day I stepped into Dewey Square. You have to have thicker skin. These are issues that you have to work on for years. It's not about the moment.
Dana. If someone attacks someones, or make an overtly racist remark, I think we need a way to defend who was being attached.
Kendra. You have to be able to defend yourself.
Carolyn. It pained me that people came tonight and wanted to say that occupy was dead. I didn't think it was useful to engage about that. I think that was an unfortunate misdirection. Voluntary organizations are the people that come to them. You don't have to cater to those that decided to censor themselves. I'm not in favor of giving all the money away; that would not be a compromise that would work for me. It would de-legitimize us.
Bil. I was down in Florida last week, to talk to the Immokalee workers. Because we've been involved in protests, their lives are better. There are people who see the world differently because of what we've done. People see that they're getting screwed, and they're getting sold out. We are making the world a better place.
Charlotte. I have a great deal of empathy for people who feel the need to be absent because they don't feel safe here. As life goes on, and you continue to encounter that kind of shit, some people may become more immune to it, but some may not. I feel sad when we malign people for ... I don't know what I'm trying to say right now, sorry.
Bobbi. There's definitely a fracture. Different people that have different ideas about what this movement should be.
Linda. I was glad to see so many old faces here tonight. Occupy isn't just who shows up to GA or SAA. People are doing the work the best way that they know how. If we can find ways to have supporting communities together, then we should that.,
Ridgely. In Maine, occupy is doing good things, and are alive and well. I'm angry that one person is able to derail a meeting. One person should not be able to stop the moment.
Joe. I was glad to see people show up tonight, even if they didn't support the proposal. We chose not to be a membership organization. There was a group called safer spaces. I wish there were a person at meetings who could deal with racist, and intrapersonal attacks, and make people feel safe.
Bobbi. I think it sad. I feel that sometimes when we've got really important things to do, then a certain troupe will come in to circumvent things. There are still passions here, whether they are negative or positive.
Eden. I'd like to have a party on Wednesday night.
GA ends, sometime around 8:30.