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M17 action spokes council mar 4th

Introductions: Present are DA (DA), Queer DA (QDA), Health Justice Beantown (HJB), Feminist Activist Brigade (FAB), Medics (M), The Naughty Ns (N), Facilitation (F), Research (R).

Going over principles, structure etc.

QDA: CQ How does it work, people behind spokes who want to go to a different spoke.

Allison: You can move around and it shouldn’t be interpreted at “nefarious.”

M: Last week we decided you could de-spoke yourself and move behind another spoke but not spoke for anyone else.

We are discussing spoking and who can spoke and how many times.


F: Nick asked me to bring this up, not sure why.  Think we should have a presence at a breakfast on St. Paddy’s Day.

M: I have the notes from last week (reads them)

Questions about the GA and if we needed to report back

QA: I said I would bring a proposal RE: the GA on M17, but didn’t. Nothing brought back

HJB: Suggestion of creating

FAB: I think we’re relying on Allison too much to facilitate—we should be self-facilitating


Allison: Agenda items? Okay here is what the agenda is:

  1. Report Backs

FAB: We’ve created an action and have chosen a subject and spot.  We are getting information put together and should be ready. We would like to switch out on stack so we can confer.


F: We knew from the beginning this action would be on a day we would have a GA.  We don’t want to dress up though!  We also need them to know if we’re not using CCB that night.


DA: Scouted out a few spots that would be good for us: Boston Massacre, have GA at St. Paul’s (F: POI it’s not available)


FAB: Requesting State House from 3-5 pm on Sunday.  Doing radical street theatre including a fake congressional hearing and illuminating of the minds.


HJB: Really into the Tour idea. Small Pox hospital thing I was reading about, and I’m really enthusiastic.  If I can’t find anybody, I’ll be out there myself!  We could choose the burial ground bc that has something to do with health.


M: Bring research of HJB and do a little of my own and hopefully we can look up something. It would be awesome to be at burial ground.


R: Into that idea


DA: Area between Great Hall and Marketplace. Fairly big area. Area at Faneuil Hall.


GA: On the Common.  Sugg. Bandstand area?


HJB: Yeah if FAB is doing something 3-5, what you say seems to make sense and maybe we should consolidate.  I might be interested in participating in your (FABs) action and then the natural move to the Boston Common.  Lifting that up as an opportunity.  I’m not hearing any other groups that have solid plans for the Radical history  Tour.


M: Would be nice if people compile info together so people can take something away to learn.


FAB: POI, that’s what we’re doing.  FAB would like to propose an alternative process to GA that night, like the MLK Day community gathering.  It should be a more accessible process for the public. Cool with the Common location depending on time. 


QDA: I just wanted to respond to HJB.  We don’t really have anything to report back.  We have a number of actions we think would be great but don’t want to talk about them right here right now.  We have a packet of literature that’s awesome.  I apologize for my silence, that’s the only reason.  We do have some great literature.  We are flexible on location


<some meta discussion, note taker changed>


FWG:  Fac wants more input from FAB about alternate structure. We want to model horizontal democracy. What would that look like?


FAB: FAB needs to confer. Fab would like to see an alternate process, like the MLK community gathering, rather than a normal Tuesday night GA


Meta: there’s a discussion about having something other than a straightforward GA, but are we going to miss an opportunity about how to show the horizontal process. Do we want to have a discussion about this?


DA: I think we’re dragging along right now – it’s 9:20, we only have an hour and 1 minutes left. Lets set times for each topic to make sure we don’t run out of time. If we don’t get something finished this week, we’re screwed going into next week.


Meta: Next agenda item is training session [more agenda items, missed some] we have 5 more agenda items


HJB: What is in-reach?


Meta: Improving intercommunication among OB


Meta: We need to bring the proposal to the GA


Fab: We’d like to propose that it be more of a community outreach rather than a mock-proposal, maybe do something more theatrical.


Meta: do we need more time on this? <consensus on 15 minutes with a temp-check for more time> FAB is suggesting something without proposal


NN: What would the topic be?

FAB: That’d have to be the GA’s decision

DA: We, as spokes, need to have a proposal

QDA: We suggest announcements, then open discussion

HJB: That sounds like a different suggestion than FAB’s. I like FAB’s suggestion, I really liked the MLK event, I thought it was fantastic. It captured a mixture of entertainment and education. It was to me, letter perfect. It seems like it would be a nice cap to the day.

DA: Along the lines of the MLK event, would be to talk about how Occupy it similar to other social movements, tie it into the revolutionary war vs. now.

QDA: I’m a little confused, I heard that FAB suggests something like MLK, but now I’m hearing something different, showing presentations from different working groups, which is a little different from MLK – are we talking about celebratory history, or what’s up in our movement?

FAB: is there a reason it can’t be either, or, or both?

M: If we frame ourselves as An American Revolution – this is what’s happening now in the American Revolution. <lots of uptwinkling>

Meta: Lots of enthusiasm for that

M: Frame the activities as a continuation of activities that have already gone by

FWG: I like the direction this is heading – facilitation’s concern was that the MLK event had outside speakers, and we wouldn’t have a lot of time with that. If we can get Noam Chomsky to talk?

NN: Or rich levy?

DA: Or Monica Poole, or Sam Christianson

FWG: so we could do the working group announcements, and then how do we transition to this other phase? It’d be nice to have someone who was really informed on history.

Meta: Do we wanna check for consensus on medic’s framework of understanding? <consensus>

FAB: FAb puts forward we have WG announcements, working group announcements, then explain proposal stack, progressive stack, and then instead of going into proposals have the WGs get on stack and present

M: I’m not sure about bringing in an outside speaker / vs working groups. We could have an expert on revolutionary history facilitate or co-facilitate. We can transition by explaining hand signals and saying here’s what we’re going to do next

DA: We find an internal speaker to be preferable, as opposed to an outside speaker. We could possibly print the announcements on old-style paper

FAB: We agree that it’d be better to have internal speakers like Monica Poole if she can commit. It would b e better outreach to have people from within the movement rather than coming in from the outside.

M: would other groups be willing to prepare a 1 minute description of their working group in the context of the American and also worldwide revolution

FAB: POP – fab is not comfortable having a spoke coming into the middle of the meeting

M: Is there a reason why you’re uncomfortable

DA: We’ve done this before

FAB (NOT THE SPOKE, rather, anthony): I go to OBIT meetings and I don’t think that randy represents them

OBIT: They chose me and charged me with specific things to say

<missed some of it, sorry>

M: I think that if members of the working group don’t like what the spoke is saying they can recall them. I am not sure if this is process issue or a personal issue

Meta: The process thing for me is that we can’t add items to the agenda, if you have a specific mission then –

OBIT (interrupting): I just came from the meeting where we discussed what our perception of what you were doing here was and whether we have a place in it


M: I would like to suggest that this is not the time to discuss precedent and expectations of what kind of things can happen in the spokescouncil, and that’s a thing for the spokes working group

Meta: Does OBIT have an agenda item they’d like to add

OBIT: Obit is interested in the alternative freedom trail tour. We’d like to make a presentation on the FSF.

DA: That would come in reportbacks. I’m not comfortable changing the agenda mid meeting

Meta: I feel like the resolution to this for the moment – no group is being denied the opportunity to put something on the freedom trail tour. If OBIT needs to coordinate, then that has a place here. There might need to be outreach after thie meeting or on the spokes mailing list.


(Robin now the note taker; missed some things during the transition)


Consensus on continuing the discussion past the 15 min timeframe about the M17 GA


Medic: could pick a location, but doesn’t feel strongly about it. Does anyone else have an idea?

DA: suggests the Common. Good central location; near FAB’s action. Irish Heritage Trail and Freedom Trail Food Tour are happening that day as well and they are on the Freedom Trail, so the Common is centrally located in a good way. GA is at dinnertime.


Hot temperature check on having GA at the common.


Health Justice: (to DA) what will you bring to the GA?

DA: we could, but this is a group discussion.

(clarification among DA, Health Justice and Medic about what exactly we are discussing and what we are bringing to GA)

N2: can I bring an amendment? How about Faneuil Hall? It’s central. The common is out of the way.

Direct response from FAB: because it’s at dinnertime, people will be going in and out of Faneuil Hall and we will be seen by more people. Also, historical precedent.

FWG: needs to confer w/ WG. May have changed minds about the common.

DA: also may have changed minds about the common.

Facilitator: we need to clarify some things. What are we bringing to GA? Also, can we consent from our WGs tonight, or do we need to take things back to WGs and come back next week?
Queer DA: maybe we could consent to a basic structure and location tonight, then empower people here to do some reporting back (things like progressive stack, old timey announcement things, etc). But we can end tonight with location and basic structure in place.

(temperature check: high and meh fingers)

DA: proposal to GA needs to be very well-written. There will be 9000 questions at GA, and amendments. If we don’t have a location and a reason why and a structure in good details and why, it won’t pass. People will get very angry.

QueerDA: I don’t feel that we can take amendments. Unless all the groups from Spokescouncil will sit at GA and take questions and amendments, how can one or two people agree to take on amendments or not?
DA: if you don’t accept someone’s amendment, they may block it.

FWG: 2 things. FWG is split on location. Faneuil Hall and the common both have good reasons for having GA there. Concerns: there are groups like Decolonize, POC, Anti-Oppression who may have opinions about these things (location and structure). However, we can only deal with what is here. At the very least, we can have a proposal at GA to change the location of the GA. Maybe Spokes needs to meet before next Sunday. Maybe Wednesday.
DA: We could bring a proposal. That’s a good idea. We can bring a proposal for a location change, and in that proposal set aside a spot on the agenda in the proposal stack where we can come back and bring the format of the GA so we wouldn’t have to go on stack w/ new proposal.
FAB: would it be a good idea to offer up both the Common and Faneuil Hall as proposals with pros and cons, if we offer GA a choice, that has the chance of people buying in.

(clarification btwn Medics and FAB)

Health Justice: can we do this in a week’s time to get approval from the cops?
N2: we don’t need that.

Medic: everyone has the right to the Common. You can feed your cow on the Common. (laughter) Lots of street performers book the space, so we should check that out.

N2: the back side of Faneuil Hall. An Abercrombie and Fitch and all that shit. (laughter)

QueerDA: prefers the Common, but will go along with any extreme popularity for Faneuil Hall at GA. But we prefer the Common.

DA: sunset is at 5:38 that night. GA will be going on for an hour before it’s completely dark. That’ll give us that extra time in daylight. POI: it’s almost 10 PM now.

N2: never mind. It’s irrelevant. Is actual Faneuil Hall still under construction or not?

FWG: it’s still under construction.

DA: the great hall is open.

Medic: it’s $300/hr.

Facilitator clarifying what the proposal before GA is/will be. One thing: sounds like it’s being split into two parts. 1- approval to move GA to a new place for the night. 2- changing the format at GA that night to a new kind of assembly. The first one sounds more straightforward and may buy more time to do the second part, but I am not hearing buy-in from the table.

Medic: I don’t love the idea of bringing forward 2 proposals. (twinkles around the table.) The Common is our preferred location but we are willing to pre-authorize amending to Faneuil Hall if the GA prefers it. However, I have concerns about street performers. But I prefer the Common.

FAB: if we have GA on the Common, we may want to change the time from 5 to 4. (FAB pulls spoke back for discussion.)

Street Justice: I thought we weren’t having a traditional GA?

(discussion around the table about what we are calling that evening’s assembly and what it’ll consist of.)

FWG: POI: women’s caucus brought a prop to take over the GA this Thursday, gave no details about what they’d do, and changed the place autonomously. I don’t think we need that many details. We give a loose structure and format. There’s precedent for this.
DA: I think it’s good to give details b/c myself personally, I’m kind of pissed that they changed their location autonomously. No offense to women’s caucus.

QueerDA: would we be comfortable with changing GA location if it seems the group can’t consent to changing the structure? Are we willing to have GA in public if they don’t consent to our program for the night?
FWG: no.
Medic: no, but we need to maintain transparency, so maybe we should do that. Maybe people will be on their best behavior.

DA: don’t count on it.

QueerDA: QDA didn’t love the old announcement thing, esp without having Decolonize here. Maybe give groups 2 or 3 minutes, not 1, to plug upcoming events. But also we get to hear how what we do relates to the American Revolution.

Medic: I amend. We give extra time like Queer DA suggests.
DA: you want to give every group 5 mins? There are 86 groups.

Medic: they won’t all be there.
DA and N2 at same time: yes they will. (laughter in the room)

Health Justice: how do we tie this into what we are doing? Not just announcements.

(DA changes spokes)

DA: we are wasting too much time on the details of the GA and not focusing on the Freedom Trail actions. We need to encourage people to come to the GA by doing that on the Freedom Trail.

Medic: is there a time limit?

Facilitator: there was.
FWG: (to medic) will you amend your proposal?
Medic: how long do we have to work on what it’ll look like? I like the format that we’ve worked out here. Question is, announcements or no announcements? If people want to take the proposal, I won’t say that I own it. If people want to take it with just the location, that’s fine.

N2: change location, maybe time, maybe format. That’s it. Keep it vague.
Facilitator: do we want to simplify this proposal here and say that’s what we want to bring to GA?
Health Justice: I thought Jay said the reason he didn’t go to GA is b/c he didn’t have details to give the GA. My proposal is, you read the details of how you want to modify the details of GA, put it in the minutes, give it to Jay to present. I’ll go with him, anyone else? Let’s get this done.

Facilitator: what do we have on the table?
Medic: what if we said we’d like to change the location and have the authority to change the format in order to make GA more welcoming to newcomers.

(Temp check)

(Facilitator asks for consent)

(we have consent)

(discussion about when to bring proposal to GA)

Medic: are people okay with me presenting that?

FWG: there’s a rollover proposal that goes first on Tuesday. No, there’s two. No, there’s three.

Facilitator: as Spokes WG Spoke, if we brought a prop to GA, it’d already have support of WGs at Spokes. Shouldn’t WGs go to GA to support this proposal?

QueerDA: I’m willing to stand up with you.

Medic: I’m a loudmouth and can do it alone, but I’d love to have people.

Facilitator: are we done with this discussion?
FWG: POI: we have 4 proposals at least on rollovers. We probably wouldn’t go up until Saturday.

Medic: Whose proposals are they? I’d like to email them.

DA: discuss this after the mtg.
Facilitator: Are we done with this point on the agenda?
(consensus reached)

Medical Justice: how can we know how to train people?

(consensus reached on skipping that part of the agenda)
(Facilitator reads the rest of the agenda: note taker missed it all, but it’s a long agenda)

Facilitator: did we want to put Occupy The St Patrick’s Day Breakfast on the agenda?
(low temp check)
FAB: we need to have another mtg between now and next Spokes. We have too much to do.

(FAB spoke consults with WG)

FAB: Wednesday or Thursday?

DA: Wednesday same place 6 PM?
Health Justice: should we raise hands for Wed and Thurs?
(High temp check for Wed.)
Facilitator: Randy, you have to vote.
Medic: stands aside.

(Consensus reached for Wed spokescouncil mtg.)
(Discussion about where to have the mtg.)

Queer DA moves.
DA: E5.

Facilitator suggests a church in JP.

DA: so many WG mtgs downtown on Wednesday: it needs to be more centrally located.

Facilitator: 7 PM E5 is on the table. Temp check?

(high temp check; medic stands aside.)

FAB: yes, with the caveat that we can get a space at E5.

Facilitator: asks that everyone here get on Spokes WG listserv so we can make sure we can meet at E5.

(FWG switches spokes)

FWG: is that the Spokes WG list or is it a different one re: M17?
Facilitator: Spokes WG list. Do we have consensus?
(consensus reached)

Facilitator reads agenda (note taker missed it)

Facilitator: it’s 10:20. Should we table the rest of it until Wed night? Is there anything we NEED to discuss this evening?
FWG: what’s the inreach discussion?

Facilitator: reaching out to groups within OB. How to communicate with Decolonize and POC Caucus, especially.

Health Justice: If people know how to get speakers, is anyone able to work on getting speakers for this GA? We can discuss more on Wednesday but we may have to start looking for people.

FAB: POI: we had these discussions about inreach several Spokes meetings ago. We should look back and see who agreed to do inreach. Second, if we are proposing at GA on Tuesday, that’s a good time to reach out to other groups.

QueerDA: I would like to have a rundown of things that need to happen btwn now and our next mtg.

Facilitator: proposal to spend rest of time (8 mins) discussing that.

(consensus reached)

Facilitator: tasks btwn now and Wednesday. Give us a list.

DA: we need to talk about the trail.

Multiple spokes: that’s too much in 8 mins. That’s what Wed mtg is for.

DA: we need a timeline/trail to bring to GA. People need to have an idea of what they are doing.
FAB: we propose that you go back to your WGs, pick an action, pick a spot, and, to be blunt, get your shit together. We did that already.

DA: if medics and health justice want to take the graveyard, we’ll take (note taker missed this)

Facilitator: anything else btwn now and Wed?

QueerDA: I don’t want to write the proposal.
Medic: I’ll do it and bring it Tuesday. Please all be there to vote for it.

Facilitator: can you make it a google doc?
Medic: sure.
FWG: we need to make the Spokes announcement on Tuesday to invite people to the Wednesday meeting. Someone needs to step up and do that.

DA: I’ll do it. Wait, no I won’t. I’m facilitating on Tuesday.
Pattie: I’ll do it.
FAB: POI: our mtg is on Tuesday. We’ll try to have someone represent at GA, but we can’t guarantee it.

FWG: there’s a slim proposal that the Spokes proposal will be up on Tuesday night. There are lots of rollovers.

Medic: do people want me to check in with the other people with proposals up and see if they’ll wait on the proposal stack?
(high temp check)

Medic: okay, I’ll do that.

Facilitator: anything else before Wednesday?

Pattie: I have a question. (question is about what she’s announcing at the next GA; question answered)

Facilitator: are we done listing tasks?
(high temp check)
Facilitator: everything else is tabled for Wed night. Any feedback for Spokes WG to consider? My facilitation role feels too prominent and I think that I need to step back.

FWG: low attendance at Spokes WGs recently. Who’ll be there?

Facilitator: 8:30 City Place.

OBIT: City Place is hard for people with hearing problems.

(discussion about Spokes WG mtg time being bad)

GA: this time sucks, too. We need a better time next time we plan an action with Spokes.

(talking among the group)

Facilitator: anything else? We are officially done. We need a facilitator for Wed night. (explanation of what that means) Can we have a volunteer for Wed night?

N2: nominates Will.

(Will steps up and will facilitate Wed Night)

FAB: I am speaking as myself and not FAB. If your WG wants to show up at this point, NO. We can’t explain anything else to people.
(Low temp check)


And we are done!