This is an attempt to transcribe the GA of November 1, 2011, at Occupy Boston. We’re meeting at Dewey Square. Scroll down to the bottom for the latest stuff!
DISCLAIMER from your friendly transcriber: I know there were many important and nuanced things said at this meeting, and I tried really hard to report everyone’s words exactly. I know I missed things; people talk faster than my fingers move! This represents a good faith attempt at a transcript, but it’s not an exact transcript. Where I knew I was summarizing as I was typing, I tried to use parentheses. Where I knew I was omitting something, I tried to use ellipsis or spaces.
If you have questions you can find me @profpoole on Twitter.
A few abbreviations I’m using, apart from standard abbreviations (i.e. ppl for people, Sat for Saturday) CQ--clarifying question POI--point of information. POP--point of process WG--working group OB--Occupy Boston temp check--temperature check GA--general assembly. “Floor,” “Participant,” and “Person” are used to reference people whose names/roles I did not hear, or who did not identify themselves by name or role. Most people so noted were located in the assembled crowd, not on the stage.
This is a live transcript, done in real-time, not from memory.
These notes begin at the introduction of hand signs and explanation of consensus. It’s now 7:20.
Daniel: Consensus is a general feeling of agreement that what we’re discussing is best for the movement as a whole. We’re looking to see if everyone agrees to consent to move ahead with this proposal.
Facilitator reviews temperature checks.
First, WG announcements.
Facilitator: Facilitation is always looking for volunteers and people to help; meetings at 5 on Weekdays and 4 on weekends, please join us!
Urzula from National Lawyers Guild: The international lawyer’s guild has been a working group of Occupy Boston. I’m here to make an announcement and a proposal will come later. The announcement comes from Legal WG; we met last week to discuss options for the future of OB. Three weeks ago the city raided one of our camps and arrested over 140 activists and something like that is complely outrageous and unacceptable. The guild is now preparing for several different cases; one group is working on criminal cases, but another group is looking into other legal options we have to ensure that the movement continues and is protected. The announcement I have tonight is a lawsuit we are thinking about filing and this lawsuit will ask the court for injunction protection so the city and the police will not raid OB camps and will allow the movement to continue. So this is an announcement and as I said the proposal to file this lawsuit will be presented later. One thing I want to make clear is that if GA agrees with the lawsuit we are not planning to do it right now; we consider it a last resort, if there is no other ways for us to protect the movement we will be forced to ask for an injunction. A proposal will be made later by other Legal members.
Facilitator: And we’ll take questions during the proposal time.
Free School U (Eden): Hi we’ve got just a quick update, we had a fantastic workshop today with CT Butler and Ren on consensus, so here are some notes about what happened. Thi is about why we’re doing consensus and how to do it (gestures to whiteboard). FSU meeting is Friday at 4:30, we’ll meet 4:30-5.
Health and justice: I’m Liz, a health worker herer in Boston, affiliated with the health tent here. There’s a group of folks coming together--advocates, community organizers, etc--to form a health justice WG and we want to invite you to participate. We’re hoping to organize a day of action on 11/12, providing free services here at OB. They’re planning on gutting Medicare. Contact Liz, email@example.com, we’d love to have you, our next meeting is Thursday.
Direct Action: March at 8:00 because one person was arrested about 20 minutes ago, so we’ll express solidarity and bail her out. Also a march tomorrow in support of the oakland general strike.
Urban planning: lso urban planning tomorrow, meet by Gandhi, we want to talk about reorganizing the tents setting up a mail system, and coordinating volunteering.
Adam, Urban planning: Inreach group is being formed; we’re going to try to help individuals that might not know how to participate or to join a working group or which one to join; so we want to create an inreach WG to help individuals be more successful and integrated into this movement.
John, continuing: Basically the wellness group has been organized to seek out ppl with substance abuse problems and other problems. Inreach is about idleness; helping ppl to get involved if they don’t understand how to. Discover and facilitate a person’s involvement in the movement on as personal a level as possible. Getting to know who they are, why they’re here, and directing them where they might best go, letting them explore a bit. And we talked about the necessity of a sanitation WG; it’s more than time, please come to the meeting tomorrow at 2:30, the more people we have the better the idea pool is.
Anti war WG: This subject has been brought up here over and over again and we have a consensus that we’re not just greedy people about the bankers, we want world peace and social justice and equality. And we’re agreed that US fascism has created victims in and outside the US. We are creating a WG where our job is going to stop the war because the 1% are the only people benefiting from this war, for profit, and based on that we’re going to try to create a WG to expose te lies people are being told, the money being spent on war that needs to be spent on healthcare and education. Contact Siham, firstname.lastname@example.org
Tech (Dana): I’ve been working on IT stuff and pedal generators and we’re interested in facilitating the energy needs of the camp, lighting for food and medics. And we’ve noticed lots of initiatives like solar panels so I want to weave together the different ideas My email is email@example.com if you know anyone with an energy initiative--a plan or a wind turbine or whatever--please get in touch with me so we can coordinate what we’re doing. nd when the emergency happened in NY some of the MIT pedal generator people came down there which was an awesome solidarity thing between Boston and NY and now we’re understaffed here, so please help!
Street theater WG: Steve: We’re working on a lot of cool stuff. Tomorrow, Wednesday, two marches, and in between a live statue demonstration in front of the bike racks. The performers are all volunteer, needs to be you guy, tomorrow at 4pm in front of the bike racks. If you have ideas for street performance or other things please let us know! We meet Mondays and Fridays at 4pm in front of gandhi and we find a place to go from there.
Info tent WG: Kevin, Rhea, and Andrew: We’re a WG now! We meet every Monday at 7 at Info if you want to join, we’re looking for more people to come help out. Others, if you have changes in where you’re holding a meeting--if you start at gandhi but then move to south station or where ever, please let us know, because people come to us trying to find you and we don’t always know where you are!
Tent management WG, Duncan: I love seeing you so much I moved in over the weekend! And as a new resident I’ve been asked by other residents to start this WG. So this is a WG just for campers, and our purpose is to look for tents that are unoccupied, abandoned, and take them down if they’re in bad shape to clear space for new campers. And if they’re in good shape we’ll move someone in. We’re checking for empty tents with these black zip ties; if there are rumors of an abandoned tent a tent management person will put a black zip tie around the zippers--not going in your tent, not invading your prvacy. So if you see a zip tie on, cut it off! If we don’t see it cut off after a couple days we’ll know it’s an empty tent and we’ll move someone in. If you want to particiapte and you’re a camper please meet me at Gandhi after GA.
Labor and outreach: Hello brothers and sisters. My name is Tom, thi is Daniel, we’re both from Labor outreach. First, respect to the campers. I saw sa great sign that said youth are not the future, they’re the present, and I feel like the campers are the present of thi movement right now. In this WG we want to make more solidarity with labor and getting them out in force to demonstrations in support of OB; that’s the future and present of OB. First, general strike in Oakland tomorow, that kicks ass, we’re working on that, we’re not in a position right now to do that especially since we just stood in solidarity the other night with Oakland. But we do have contacts within the labor movement, we’ve gotten solidarity from nurses, from iron workers, carpenters, ibew, you can see in Dorchester if you go past their local union office they have an Occupy Boston sign there. We had a conf call with labor folks and we’re going to try to have weekly meetings here with labor folks to try to develop this connection. We’ve been reaching out to them tomorrow and I hope there will be actions to support. Wednesday, Nov 9, there is going to be two related and dovetailing actions; the big one later on is going to be at 4 or 5 o clock or something, against the austerity that will be planned by the budget supercommitte and budget cuts expected to medicaid, medicare, social security and basic social welfare measures, and that demonstration is happening to defend against those cuts. Mass Teachers Association will be endorsing a demonstration against Michelle Rhee and she’s sort of...
Crowd : Hell on wheels!
Labor: She was the superintendent of schools in Washington DC and is a major proponent of everything teachers hate, merit based pay, testing, defund schools, privatize schools, education, etc. So these demonstrations are happening and we’ll have a proposal coming up shortly.
Winterization: We are human beings and we deserve to live peacefully, safely, and remain educated to sustain a better way of life. I’m Bryan Brown and I’m working with winterization to make everyone more comfortable and safe and today I had a good meeting with MIT people and my confidence was boosted that this movement can sustain a physical presence way past winter. Their dedication and listening addressed all the concerns we had and I’m optimistic and if I can instill confidence in the campers, we ain’t going nowhere, we’ll be here forever.
Food: We’ve had a lot of cooked food so thank you! Tell people to bring cooked food--get restaurants to come in. We need more voliunteers all the time, new kitchen sink coming in a couple days, new tent coming in, we’re rocking the kitchen, but we still need volunteers to come in, wash dishes, mix salads. Come volunteer, we have meetings once or twice a week, get involved!
Library: Real quick, I’m kind of stretching myself thin, but if anyone wants to come and volunteer during the days ask me. Look at the free box over here, it’s overflowing, next week we’re going to donate a bunch to the prison book drive, but they hit the free bin fast, so, yeah, load up.
Eden invites us to do a breathing and visualization exercise; think of summer and breathe.
Signs: Signs needs volunteers, if anyone has five minutes or an hour we really need volunteers, come see me after GA at the sign tent.
Finance: Rita and Rene from Finance. Finance is happy to announce the conclusion of a successful mediation and agreement signing. All financial issues have been resolved. Last week Finance adopted a resolution and announced it at 10/24 GA disavowing Paul Carnes from conducting business on behalf of OB. The conflict was not personal. It can be tempting for people to think they can work independently. But OB is not about independence. The Finance group is working to overcome this and has disavowed [Paul and Sidney] because they did not adopt the transparent process. All papers have been transferred. We would like to put this issue behind us. Finance has adopted the following resolution. Paul and Sid have agreed to work with OB going forward. The press release and agreement are on the website now.
Rene will read the agreement: On Friday Oct 28 and Monday Oct 21, Paul, Sidney, Greg, and Rita and maybe others...all of whom met to discuss various OB finance matters. We have reached agreements: (paraphrasing) 1. Various of us have opened two bank accounts, one in the name Occupy Boston and the other in Occupy Boston FAWG. It’s confusing to have two accounts for the same purpose; we’ve closed the OB account and moved its funds to the FAWG account. 2. In order earlier to open the accounts we’ve now closed it was necessary for us to obtain a DBA as Occupy Boston and an EIN as that. We’ve executed the City of Boston’s withdrawal of DBA form and will keep it withdrawn until GA figures out what to do with the DBA>. 3. Paul and Sidney have a plan for a business to raise funds for progressive groups. Such a group’s services might be retained by OB if GA consents to it. 4. All of us are proud of OB and our movement in it. We are committed to oversight, transparency, and [other things.] 5. This agreement supersedes and nullifies the resolution of 24 October [against Paul and Sidney]. We will also try to have the resolution deleted from the website. 6. Furthermore any FAWG members making statements inconsistent with this to 7. Greg, Shane, Rene, and Rita are authorized to execute this agreement by FAWG... 8. We have satisfied our responsibilities to fAWG and occupy boston. 9. This agreement will be held in escrow by attorney David Kelstein? until we have executed some of the above.
Rita: and all the actions have been taken and executed in a cooperative matter.
Paul and Sidney come up, Rita shakes Paul’s hand.
This begins individual announcements:
Paul: I just want to thank you for letting me be here. And I know stuff hapened and I want to say that lessons have been learned on my part. My business education taught me more from a top down approach ad that’s not what this is about; this is about the people and their voice hasn’t been heard; and these people, the camp, you are the people that make decisions; we want to work in cooperation and transparently with you; we want to work in collaboration with the general assembly and ocupy boston to help move this movement forward; if you can welcome us back, we want to be here, we care about this, we care about you, please let us prove to you that we want to be accountable and transparent and we’re going to continue to push this movement forward. Thank you, Occupy Boston, thank you.
Sidney: I too have learned lessons and I want to do as much as I can to help the movement grow and if I can do anything let me know, I come from an independent family and I’ve learned to include more people into my processes, so thank you for helping me and letting me be here and help out.
Sam: My name is Sam from Occupy Worcester. sings, “did you ever know that you’re my hero...” Mayor announced his full support of Occupy Worcester including use of indoor meeting spaces which is AWESOME and if you want to come down, we have a camp, get on the train and come visit us! You’re all beautiful. This is a nie evening. I would like to marry each and every one of you to the corporation of your choice. November 10, I and OW are announcing Marry A Corporation day. There are flyers. Wedding appropriate attire is requested. One man has pledged to come in a tuxedo t-shirt and mankini. I have permits, the police are notified. I don’t know how to do street theater, someone please help me. It’s on FB, I have flyers, I have four hours right in front of city hall, just to the left outside of Union Station in Worcester. NOVEMBER 10, 2-6 PM. Arts and Signs and Street Theater, please shout to me!
Lots of yay Worcester!
Will: I just wanted to encourage everyone to start up affinity groups with their friends. You can do whatever you want. If you like rules you can make up rules, if you like performances put together performances. You get to decide togetehr what you want to do. Thank you.
The transcriber announced Occupy Classroom. Friday at 6, talk about the Putney Debates, movement by citiszens in 17th century about connection between property and voting. Meet by the library, contact profpoole on Twitter or occupyclassroom.wordpress.com. Noncredit college course.
Kyle: Can everyone hear me? Mic check. I’m from Occupy DC> We Love you but we are short in numbers. If you are thinking of migrating at any time, come say hellO! We’re at Freedom Plaza two blocks away from the white house and we own it for four months, legally! Aside from that the Mayor loves us and he said we cannot be touched. In other words we’re there for ever! So please Come back, say hello, and by December 1 please be there so that we can finally be in control thank you! I love you! Oh, PS: I have a proposal coming up on how we’re going to win. Pleae listen and talk to me whenever you want. I love you all.
Eric: Talking about FAWG resolution. I think a lot of us lost Trust in Paul and Sidney
POP: This is individual announcement time, this is things with dates and times.
Eric: That’s later, OK, so I’m OK with coming back later.
Facilitation: We have an individual stack for personal feelings and statements that are not announcements.
???: Community groups goiing on. Occupemos el barrio, catch the blue line to Maverick in East Boston. It will be mostly in Spanish but we’ll try to arrange translation for English speakers. Occupy The hood has new events coming up; Occupy the polls on election day and get out the vote. Endorsing Ayanna Pressley and someone else; community forum on November 14 maybe, Feed the Hood, big canned food drive. But as an open announcement, there’s a lot of organizing efforts going on and we want to keep you up to date, please find me with your questions.
Terry: I just have one announcement from DA. This Thursday we have a march at 2pm, part of a historical march campaign we’ll be starting, going to the Boston Massacre site, and everyone here please check it out. 2pm on Thursday. Cool?
???: If you’re as excited as I am about getting corporate money out of politics come to a WG that will be happening after GA at the Gandhi statue about getting legislation passed in Mass legislature banning corporate money donations. Peace.
Alex: Action tomorrow, 12:30 on Student Debt and the corporatization of higher ed; we’re going to hit Bank of America, Harvard Club, State House, we’re going to hit budget cuts in higher education, labor disputes on our campuses, when it’s over a bunch of us are coming back to the campsite and do volunteer work, teach ins, etc. Kickass. Yeah.
Harry: We have a march leaving now for somebody that was arrested on the premises. We’re meeting right over here and leaving now, OK thanks.
Facilitators explaining proposal process. I’m not transcribing this because my fingers are cold. :)
Maureen and Bea: VISUAL AID to help you understand consensus process and hand signals; laminated pages; we need these to go back into the library at the end of the night.
(Transcriber editorializes: THIS IS FREAKING AWESOME!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!)
Facilitation WG is bringing a proposal.
Alison from facilitation: This is the priority proposal process and we’d like to set some context. We as the facilitators we hear all the concerns about the nature of how GA is going and we hear them personally and at the meetings. We want you to know we are always trying to hear your feedback and see what we can do. One conern we’re feeling is that folks are coming to GA with proposals that might not be ready for GA, as in we value the collective thinking and therefore for a proposal to come to GA we think it should have been through a community process. We also value autonomy so we’re not suggesting that nobody can bring a proposal to GA. We’re offering an option for people
People singing Solidarty Forever are coming to GA..”we’re gonna leave in am inute, get the fuck out of my face...” I can’t see what’s happening.
Facilitator: We’ve agreed that certain people will address the disruption...
And back to the Facilitators WG proposal.
Alison from facilitation WG: So the idea is to have proposals prepared better before GA. The idea is to give people practice with proposing and going through consensus because it’s challenging, 300-500 people down there and you can feel a little bit on the spot with people picking at the proposal. The idea is to instill the concept that once a proposal has been brought forth it belongs to everyone, not just the proposer--it belongs to the community. The more people who feel it’s a better proposal and have worked on it with you, the better it is. We’d like you to know before we brought this proposal to GA, we took it through the process we want to tell you about. We did this in our public WG meeting and it seemed helpful and powerful. When we go through the process and state concerns, then we have statements of support, amendments, then the presenters will consider what they’ve heard and make changs. What we’d like to do tonight is to hear concerns, and write down the concerns when we hear statements for support, and before amendments we’re going to restate the cocnerns as we’ve heard them so that you know your concern is being taken int oconsideration. And if you don’t hear your concern this is an opportunity to make sure you were heard correctly. Then we’ll ask for amendments, and this will let us ensure that your concerns are being heard when we do the amendments. Have copies been passed around? We have more.
I’ll read it off: (not exact, this is fast):
To strive for an inclusive and informed and prepared process, to help OB participants plan to attend specific GAs to vote on proposals of interest and better the likelihood of passage, the Facs WG recs a proposal process. We strongly urge people to make proposals, esp oppressed folks. Emergency proposals will continue to get immediate attention.
The following steps to achieve priority status at GAs for your proposal. 1. Decide whether you want priority status. Groups and individuals can do this. Prearranged, preproposed proposals that got consensus at public meetings will get priority status. Ppl can still make proposals without priority status, they just won’t have priority status.
If you want priority: 1. Post on the wiki and put copies in the library. 2. Schedule and post onlike the date of the GA where it will be presented. 3. Do outeeach to WGs for input. 4. Schedule with 48 hours notice a public meeting at which the proposal will be taken into consensus process; on non GA nights facs will be available to help with all these steps. 5. Announce ASAP at GA that you’re proposing a proposal and the date it will be at GA 6. Conduct a full consensus meeting where you state the need the proposal is addressing, assess whether it needs GA consensus, document objections on a public list so that if the proposal is consented to the community still knows there are objections to address. If proposal has passed consensus, present at GA. If proposal did not reach consensus, announce at GA whether it will be presented or not.
Call of RAINBOW--distress signal--from to the left of the GA folks.
Some dispersal. Discussion for 1-2 minutes.
It’s now 8:30.
Quorum check: do we have enough people here to speak for te movement? Raise your hand if you think we have quorum.
Does this look like 75%? In that case we don’t have quorum, we won’t proceed on this proposal.
CQ: I think that this proposal should follow this process and that it be posted and brought up in four days and distributed to the WGs so we can have more input.
Alison Facilitation: We announced it 10 days ago, we don’t have a priority status because this prtoposal hasn’t been enrolled obviously, but it was put on line and reviewed at a public meeting.
POI: So we can go ahead with discussing proposals but we can’t vote and adopt proposals if we don’t have quorum. Do the proposers want to discuss without voting? Yes. So this is a discussion period because we don’t have quorum.
CQ; If the scheduled GA does not get to the priority proposal does the priority proposal move into the stack for the following GA?
Alison: if you have gone through the process and gotten priority you get first on stack; the idea that it’s scheduled ahead of time you would be able to know. But yes, our standard practice is still that whatever’s left of the stack becomes the first of the stack the next day?
CQ: That sort of interferes with the goal of letting people predict which GA to come to.
Alison: That’s true, that’s a piece of the process that we’re trying to let people plan; at the same time if you qualify for priority if for some reason we have five priority proposals and we don’t get to it; it seems fair that they could go the next night or reschedule.
Mike (proposer): If there is anyone out there who could furnish a better idea we’d appreciate it in the amendments.
CQ: Are we doing the full proposal process now?
Facilitator: So there was a quick quorum check so we are continuing with the process as it were but it will not result in a vote.
Points of information.
Concerns and objections
Concern: I don’t have an objection just a concern which will lead to an amendment. My bigget concern is prioritization; I see this as a conflict with representation, one thing to look out for is how will this affect the representation of ourselve, what goes first, working groups. I’m concerned with some individuals not being up to date and I’m seeing that GA meetings people are seeing them not go the way they want to go and they feel like they don’t have a voice because they’re not up to date. You talk about working groups but maybe let’s find a way to update folks who aren’t part of working groups.
Support: I agree that a supporting structure to help people prepare their proposals would be really nice.
Supprot Eden: I also agree that if 12 or 30 people reach consensus on a proposal that GAs and proposals will move faster and I strongly support that.
Proposers: Concern I hear is that we need to ensure people are not shoved below the priority line if you’re not in a WG.
Amendment: I propose that the facilitators group maintain on the wiki and in the library a rolling list of what the priority proposals are stacked up and when they’re scheduled to go so that if the schedule gets messed up people have some way to anticipate what might occur.
Amendment: Taking the open source model like Ubuntu. Someone will implement code and post it online and others will vote the priority of what gets implemented first. Have a function online for post the proposal, people to comment and make a living document, and then have a poll so that if there are 4 or 5 proposals going through we can have people vote for which ones they think are most urgent and should get priority.
Amendment: So I’m a little concerned if people have time sensitive or important proposals that I would still like to see those going forward so that if we can have something in this about facilitators using their own discretion about time sensitive or important proposals to go before GA before something in the works for a couple of days.
Amendment: I believe it would be very easy for GA to have its own listserv the same as working groups and that would solve the issue of getting the word out for a huge proportion of the population as well as in the library.
Alison: is that a suggestion that we create a GA listserv? Yes.
Amendment: Not sure exactly how to do this but with section 2.c outreach to working groups maybe have a little more detail on what that outreach is, whether it’s simply sending an email or actually tracking down someone to have a conversation and also because there are a lot of working groups maybe something about only working groups that are relevant to the proposal.
Amendment: I have two amendments. One that we have a pre-vote or pre temp check for the proposals so that if everyone already agrees we don’t have to go through the whole process. Two, that outreach to WGs is very difficult, there’s so many, and there’s no consolidated information so we just have a GA listserv that could just ottally replace the WG thing plus you don’t want to have WGs wasting their meeting time talking about all the proposals that want to get on the priority.
Temp check--occupy the hood announcement!
Jamarhl: (Tr. ed. YAY!) Greetings! Just want to let you know about upcoming events and ways that you can be engaged in Occupy The Hood. First, you can ee some of our contact info, firstname.lastname@example.org. If you go to that site you’ll see our calendar of events, you can go and share the link with friends. Couple of things coming up. Electoral politics; we have goot relationships with elected officials and voting is a high concern in our community, so between now and election day we’re working with get out the vote efforts with NAACP and other efforts, and we’re lending our support to specific candidates. On november 11 we’re organizing a Feed the Hood day, a community food drive to collect food and distribute it, please get involved. Go to the calendar too to find out. November 14, town hall public meeting at Dudley library, please refer to the OTH calendar. OTH was created on the cusp of two significant day in black history, October 15 1966, Black Panthers, October 16 million man march. So OTH was to create and address issues in communities of color. And what we’ve discovered here is a critique of lack of diversity in Occupy movement. We’re suggesting that Occupy Boston create a day set aside for people of color. Now everyone who hears it tonight you are now deputized, you are ambassadors for this, talk to people about this at Occupy and push for thisl we’ll be reiterating this to DA, Outreach, Media, to put this on the agenda for OB to set aside a day strictly dedicated to issues for people of color. We also too--did people get the Occupy Boston Globe off the ground in print? Not yet. Also, we do a newspaper, last check was 8,000 collected on kickstarter; the prices we get is about 1000 dollars for 10,000 papers, a straight resource, just fyi. OTH will be raising money to get going, flood the communities with this information, create a newspaper. The original OTH statement, all these issues of Occupy, my people (of color) are disproportionately affected--prisons, drugs, guns, mortgages, etc. Blackstonian.com/occupythehood. Check the calendar on there, tweet, FB, etc. email, email@example.com. See the sign in front of the library and all that information is on the flyer from the Oct 21 Occupy the hood event. Now back to your regularly scheduled program.
Faciliator: We’re showing that OTH and OB are all one movement, solidarity. Now back to the process. More friendly amendment on the proposal proposal.
Amendment: I want to add to the previosu amendment about editing a document online, the suggestion that there is a software available called WiWrite.com that was proposed by some guy and it is designed to assist in group editing of a document that might be useful.
Amendment: Poll the people assembled at GA about which proposals they want to hear first when mukltiple proposals are on deck.
Alsion: we have a process challenge; we can’t modify the proposal that’s online because it’s passed consensus in our working group, so we can’t modify them in response to your concerns and amendments. But we can think about them and bring them up as we keep talking about them. So because the proposal has been passed by a public working group we can’t edit it right now.
Fac: now the proposers will go over concerns and amendments. We can now proceed to other proposals; legal had a proposal. We’re moving on to individual stack and the people who had proposals tonight have been moved to the top of individual stack so we’ll now call on those people.
So, legal? Do you want to speak?
Labor: Labor is organizing a march next Thursday about issues of medicare and social security. Labor is bringing a proposal that OB officially support this--proposal to happen soon.
Legal: Hi! I’m Carl Williams with the NLG and our legal support crew. We’re not having proposals. The legal WG has been working with ACLU and NLG and the guild and ACLU are looking for ways to use legal means to protect and defend what’s happening here at OB and in Occupy movements all over the country. We have a resolution you can think about for some time and we’ll reintroduce it sometime. Resolution: The legal WG and NLG working together to protect OB in the form of a potential lawsuit, if Boston plans to carry out arrests/raids of Dewey Square. So this would be an injunction, basically a legal stop sign. There would be a court order against mayor and law enforement against breaking up the camp--that is if a judge granted us an injunction--which Occupy Tennessee just got one of these! Not that the law is here to save us--the real power here is justice and people power! But there’s a legal tool! Sometimes you can use a hammer and slam them in the toe! We want to get support of GA and we’ll be back before you to present it that way and hopefully reach consensus. Safety?
Ren: Magnificent! I am the magnificently dreadlocked Ren Tuatha according to the Phoenix! (laughs) I’m from Occupy Baltimore, and I’m here with CT Butler and we’ve been doing workshops on consensus and facilitation and it’s been amazing to create an ongoing relationship with you. We’ve collected a lot of informstion and we’re available to come back for trainings, extended trainings, and be of whatever support we can in your process. We’re doing this all over the country--this is a first stop in a bus tour. We don’t have the bus yet, we’re working on it. We want to help you do what you do better in the process; though we have specific ideas, we don’t want to tell you what to do. We’re taking trainers all over the country. Our proposal, requests that OB give a donation of 5,000 for the bus tour. You can shrink it or add to it, but to be specific we decided on 5,000 dollars to support our efforts. So that’s our proposal.
And back to facilitation’s proposal WHICH IS STILL INDIVIDUAL STACK, we’re not voting. [Just no time limit on this, as it was the frst proposal...?}
Fac proposer: We encourage you to come to GA on Saturday where we’ll propose this, to bring these amdnemtnes to GA to incorporate them there. This is an edited document we’ve consented on in the WG so w can’t modify it right now. One amendment: to maintain a rolling list, we’re going to work on that. On starting a GA listserv, we can kill 2 birds with one stone, we can send blast emails from Facs WG listserv, disseminate information and maintain a rolling schedule. Another bit about online living docs, to be collectively edited: we had concerns about the digital divide, but one major concern is that any person who might not be part of this movement--if any person can contribute to proposals they might sabotage proposals and that wouldn’t be in line with our horizontal democracy. It could also be hard to present if ppl edit it right before GA.
Mike proposer: A thing I hear all the time in person and online and at our meetings is that no one feels as if they are being properly heard in comparison to everyone else; we essetially have three groups. Campers, who have extremely limited access to computers and net. We also have people who are not often here who are participating through email and watching on the livestream and their opinion is that all the action is here and they don’t have a voice. And then there are people who are here often and are also at home and at the office and who are participating in person and online both who feel completely overwhelmed and people in camp are coming at us saying there’s too much power on line and the people online are saying there’s too much power in the camp. So we’ve heard this for weeks on end and we’ve incorporated it into our proposal. We believe it’s a balance that can keep everybody reasonably happy and if we put a document online or we allow a priority vote online a lot of the people online won’t even be here to be a part of our proposal process, and all the people in camp who don’t have access who will be here in a process that marginalizes them. I think everybody has to be aware that everyone else feels as if their corner of participation is being marginalized.
Proposer: Prevoting on which we want to hear first at GAs, or prevoting on whether we even want to get the process happening--the process is to hear people’s voices heard. On voting on whether we want to hear something, we run the risk of if we prioritize whether GA wants to hear the proposals we marginalize folks who might not have support at GA.
Alison proposer: On outreach to WGs: the idea is not to have work go on related to this proposal but to be informing them that a public working group meeting of your will be happening so that as many people who are interested can be there and participate; so it doesn’t make sense to just visit the WGs you think are related; the idea is that we want more people involved in building things together; the outreach isn’t asking everyone to do work, it’s just informing them the work is happening. So getting on the schedule at info tent, getting on the schedule online, pushing emails to WGs, etc. Also you can get help with this at facilitation WG.
Proposers, do you want to go through round 2? No, they’ve had enough feedback. If you have more to add please have a conversation with the presenters.
Facs: We’re out of our regualr meeting, we’re on to individual stack still.
Kyle from DC: I love you! Can you hear me? Yes. I don’t like microphones. I have a proposal for how we can get the gears really turning, we put the lube in the gears and they’re ready to go. We need numbers. On December 1, we need as many people from all the Occupations to come meet us at DC and when we leave on Dec 1 at DC, we’re going to head south, away from the cold, like birds! We’re going to go south and stop in every town and city in groups of 12, affinity groups--a medic, a cook, legal person, 2 people with cameras in each group, and 3 people willing to risk arrest, and 4 people hanging out spreading the word as an outreach committee. That’s how you grow to hundreds of numbers and plant an Occupation in every town and city until we get to Florida!
Is this someting that Occupy DC is planning as a whole or is it you and a subgroup?
Kyle: Proposal I offered to Occupy DC and Occupy DC consented to it; it’s my idea and it’s an idea that’s supposed to be morphed, I’m offering an idea that you can morph any way you want as long as it helps the movement in general. Go to FB, look up Societal Progression and see this document and how it’s planned out and subgroups, five pages long, that’s all. The other idea is that we continue to migrate through the south until we get to California on March 1 and we start to march from every occupation to the east coast where power is held. We bring 100,000 vehicles to every city, centring locations and occupy every city on the east coast in a united occupy movement on April 1. And the greatest prank ever to be pulled: we park 100,000 cars blocking off all traffic except to our location and detour it to our location so we shut the system down and occupy the world. That’s about it. If anyone wants to hear more let me know...I’ll be here until 10, Love you and have an amazing life.
Rene: I want to talk about something NY is doing. A big concern is that people come to GA to talk about the issues and what they see are things like a proposal for safety, camp things, things that don’t concern them, not about the movement. And NY has seen the problem. And when something involves the camp or WGs, they use a Spokes Council. This is a separate meeting with reps from WGs on how to do camp things--winterization, safety, things that don’t concern the larger movement and the big issues. If you’re cool with this idea we should talk. Go to their website nycga.organd look it up there. I think it’s a good idea and we should do it.
POI: We’re restarting camp GAs 2-3 times a week for ecactly that purpose.
Rene: I’ve seen camp GAs dissolve into nothing. I’ve seen how we’ve tried to reboot morning GAs and that’s a problem. I think the idea of the Spokes Council is that it involves specifically the WGs, it is for the WGs to dicuss things togehter in a Spokes Council--so WGs can talk together.
Eric: Hi, I wanted to speak about the Finance announcement regarding Paul and Sidney. I think one of the concerns for Finance and GA is that the DBA and EIN were in Paul’s name--and the lack of accountability and transparency there. We had mediation, I wasn’t involved specifically with that, we had a legal mediator here and in that mediation Paul signed over the DBA--not sure that was clear earlier in the Finance (FAWG) statement earlier. We now have the DBA and GA can decide what to do with that. So that was the crux of the issue regarding that. The language in my eyes--I still don’t entirely trust the transparency and accountability of Paul and Sidney but it was a bit of trust when they did give back the DBA; I still don’t have trust in them and they have to work that out. It was a small token of trust and tht was the biggest issue for me and I think that was a big issue for OB and the GA.
CQ: Do Paul and Sidney have the ability to raise funds for OB or Occupy with oversight?
Eric: with GA approval, yes. As for nationally, we don’t have authority to say so. We can disseminate what we know and occupy movements elsewhere can do what they want with that information. He gave back the DBA and that’s a little bit of trust, but I think there’s a lot of work to do to rebuild that trust.
Gunner: Announcement about art show, November 6 1-4 in South Station area. Why are we doing an art show? Because some people express politics through art. It will brng new people to our conversation. There is a theme to it, we did ask artists to do things around we are the 99%, what justice looks like, what democracy looks like. We have 5 folks signed up now and we need more artists! We’ve restarted the art committee; there’s conversations about puppets, street theater. We’ll work on figuring out a regular time for the arts committee, firstname.lastname@example.org I hope to see you all Sunday at the art show!
H2 was going to announce that he wants a car to go out to Bedford to pick up donations but he’s gone back to food tent to make that happen.