GA/Minutes/Dec182011

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'18 December 2011

5:17pm
Gregory Murphy is starting us off. THANK YOU Community Church of Boston! We are grateful for this space and the warmth. Many spirit fingers. Temp check: do we still need 5pm weekend GAs? Ans: yes, we like it at the earlier time.

We will start with working group announcements, followed by individual announcements.

Announcement: New WG called Momentum, to figure out how to tap into all the tremendous support we have locally, and how can we get new people into WGs. The WG is hosting Occupy Boston’s Open House at 138 Tremont Street at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, TOMORROW, Monday. All kinds of WGs will be there and happy to explain what they do and how people can get involved. See Eli in the back of the GA if you want more info.

Announcement: Marilyn from Action For Peace WG. Our next action for peace is on First Night, December 31, on the corner of the street at the Boston Public Library, starting at 3pm. They will stay until the parade goes by and then they will join the end of the parade. Bring banners and signs! The wars are not over - our theaters are expanding and we want all of those destructive dollars to come home and build things. Please join us.

A reporter, Dan Brielman, is here from WBZ and FOX, he’s doing a piece on Occupy Boston. He has done a piece on us before as an independent producer, you can check it out at e-awakening.com.

Info Tent will have sign ups, a cash donation box, and a schedule at the Open House tomorrow, starting at 5:30. They also want to offer WG announcements; please email anything you want them to share at infotent@occupyboston.org. Info Tent also wants a presence at First Night. Their planning meeting for this is at 7pm on Wednesday in South Station. If you want them to display things on First Night, again, email them. They don’t know where they’ll be yet on First Night.

Jay from Signs: OccupyBostonSigns@gmail.com, or @occupybossigns. Signs will be at the Open House. will try to get more info soon -------

Rachel, from Street Team, brainstorming soon for First Night actions. Sign up here at GA, or get on the general list, they have an action summit every couple of weeks. Some people are here from Occupy Albany! Many spirit fingers! They are being threatened with eviction on December 22nd. Squid fingers. Please go support them!

Mallory from creative/subversive arts WG: they make tiny tents!! AWESOME. Tiny tents can carry our message to ATM kiosks and other places that we can’t occupy (like inside very expensive handbags at stores - what a wonderful surprise!). They are having their first Tiny Tent construction party, Wednesday at E5, 5pm-8pm, come make tiny tents with us! Also, there is a Sprout Event, at 339 Summer Street in Somerville - more later too fast
339 Summer Sprout Event Monday

Linda from FAWG: Please come to our meetings!
Tomorrow, 6pm, St. Paul’s Church
Savings: $55,558.58
Savings: $25
Checking: $5732.80
WePay accounts:
General: $7000
Greenway: $5000
Legal: $3000
Wind: $900
You can see the exact amounts on the FAWG Wiki too.
Way less money is coming in because we don’t have a physical location. Please please donate to our WePay accounts!

Jorge from Nonviolence WG: still meeting on Wednesday, 1pm, South Station mezzanine

Jorge (same) from OB Radio: live on the air 5-6 hours a day! Taped otherwise. Please have a radio show! We have lots and lots of slots for more shows.
3 workshops coming up:
Tonight, E5, 7-9
Tuesday 11am-2pm, 480 Atlantic Ave
Wednesday 6-8pm E5
occupyboston.org/radio

Sasha and Noah, about the injunction case: our lawyers want us to decide about the appeal; all of them want us to not appeal (NLG, ACLU, local firm). The judge’s ruling supports virtually all of our activities, only the indefiniteness was the problem, so it seemed like a permanent seizure of land, so the city could kick us out. The ruling was a partial success and we don’t want it rewritten if it were overturned. 4 plaintiffs ‘represent’ the GA, which is weird. If the GA wants to continue this process (injunction appeals process), we can, but the plaintiffs don’t necessarily want to personally pursue this as the reps. If GA itself became the plaintiff, we would need to become a legal entity, which would bind us by a bunch of rules. Our 4 plaintiffs are pretty convinced pushing forward on an appeal won’t be helpful for Occupy Boston. Generally the temp check says no let’s not appeal, but we need to bring this up during NOT announcements. This should come up as a proposal. The legal team wants to find out whether we pursue this case, ASAP. Proposals need to happen rapidly. Noah: not comfortable pursuing this appeals process as an individual, and doesn’t think GA can mandate him to go to court to pursue it. Would prefer, if the GA wants to keep going, then someone else or the GA should do it. None of the 4 plaintiffs want to pursue this case, but seek GA consensus because they don’t want to decide autonomously.

Greg stepped in. Says this is not where we make this decision, we will talk about it offline. Someone propose a meeting space/place for this discussion. Temp check on moving on. Lawyers don’t want to come to GA to explain why we wouldn’t win this appeal. Lawyers want us to decide on this now. Would a judge even hear this case since our camp is gone? The announcement is: the convo should continue, but the 4 plaintiffs will not go forward with it. Greg suggests that we talk about this at the very end of GA. Sasha and Eric can stay for it. Eric doesn’t want to be a decision maker, he wants this to be a robust conversation.

Noah from Ideas: meeting directly after GA, location TBD, assemble in same room on the street side and decide. Will discuss the overarching vision for OB and how we want to transform our society. Will identify commonalities, host topic based discussions in the next weeks. Tonight we debut our website. We may craft a statement for the WG for the next couple months, as an outreach tool.

Jenny from Writers’ caucus: We don’t have a camp :( but we want to collect and organize stories from camp! What about the characters you met? What was your tent like? What does occupying mean to you? Word limit: 750 words. Writers@occupyboston.org. Submissions due January 1st. These entries are not graded! Jenny can help if you have an idea and need suggestions.

Marty from Faith and Spirituality: Just back from OWS! Wednesday is the Winter Solstice. A group from local synagogues is hoping to host a Hanukkah celebration at Dewey Square, we’ll host an winter solstice afterwards at Dewey Square, 6:30-9:30pm
twitter: radicaloptimist

Charlotte from Medical: We’re available for marches and actions! Email occupybosmedic@gmail.com. We had a meeting today, we want new members. We’re hoping for a ~20 hour street medic training in late January, anyone can take it. Please let us know if you’re interested.

B from Food: I’m going out to Occupy Flint Michigan, for a break! Join the food group: occupyboston.food@gmail.com; occupyboston-food@googlegroups.com. B is going to give ~$500 from Food to FAWG, if you need food funds, request money from FAWG, you have to make this happen yourself. Cheapest pizza in city is Haymarket Pizza.

FAWG hotline: 857-417-7872, if you need funds.

Ben from Inreach: looking to solve OB communication problems. Last meeting was yesterday, notes are available in hardcopy here. Next meeting is tentatively this Tuesday. Topics: solutions, to the problems we’ve discussed before. Join us!

Eden at FSU: Last GA until May :( :( but I’m doing OSF and OSeattle! Things will get online and national and exciting! We’re making an archive for Occupy Boston. FSU@occupyboston.org. Contact Rachel. We need someone who goes to GA regularly who can represent FSU in announcements. Meetings are Friday at 5pm. 6:30pm tomorrow, the film “The Take”. Find us on the wiki, twitter, facebook, youtube. Check us out at FreeSchoolUniversity.org.

Nelson and Costigan from DA: Civil Disobedience -- even if you disagree with CD, you can’t interfere, it’s autonomous and you should respect their expression.
December 30th, Dewey Square, bring a pillow. 5:30pm. It’s our birthday party!
There is an action spokes council out in JP - there are many different action-oriented groups, it’s hard to keep them all straight.

Greg from Facilitation:
Tuesday night’s GA is not at St. Pauls, it’s at the Arlington Street Church, corner of Arlington and Boylston Streets. Thursday night’s: Emmanuel Church at 15 Newbury again

6:11pm
INDIVIDUAL STACK

Zach from the Anarchist reading group: @nerdosyndical, zachsw@gmail.com

Cherie introduces Eric Freeman: related to the first person off of the Mayflower. Eric has just come in from Seattle, he’s been tortured (waterboarded, has heart problems, etc). He needs a space to sleep, he can pay a little, he has a medical condition so he wants to avoid the shelter. Who can help him out for a day or two?

Chess club, bandstand, Monday 1pm!

Mallory: Ghandi is living in a barn right now! The Peace Abbey is right before foreclosure, they are in forebearance right now. How can we help them? They are in trouble and we should support them. Mallory@occupyboston.com, please write me so we can help them!

Zoe: We have two hours of airtime, LIVE, on Cambridge Community Television from 10am to noon on Tuesdays. Call me if you want to be on TV: 617-888-1406, email: simoneprescott94@yahoo.com. 438 Mass Ave in Cambridge, right in Central Square. Equipment is state of the art. Help us make TV!

First Night Against the Wars: we do this every year, in Copley Square. We have literature, food, stickers, we oppose the wars. We’re there from noon until 6-7pm every year, please join us! We’ll join the parade afterward. Bring whatever lit, signs, friends you’d like. Announced previously at this GA. At Boylston and Dartmouth Streets. Contact John Harris at 617-230-9382, Marilyn Levitt at 781-316-2018.

Laura: If you have kids and want them to have toys at GAs, please write me and I’ll bring supplies! les@asc.....too fast to catch

Jerry from Boston Schools bus drivers union: Tomorrow night - Occupy for Jobs, tomorrow evening 25 Colgate Rd, Roslindale. We want 30 million jobs at union wages jerryred@yahoo.com, 617-721-5347

John Murphy: Occupy Hyannis wants people to camp out on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, to bring attention to homelessness, at the Cavalry Baptist Church. On church land, facilities there, only two days.

6:27pm
PROPOSALS

Greg is explaining the consensus process.

79 people present.

Socialist Caucus proposal is being handed out. Brian from the socialist caucus has returned with an amended version of the proposal discussed at length last Tuesday night.
Brian: some folks were uncomfortable about this coming from the socialist caucus. This is discrimination, we wouldn’t be uncomfortable with proposals from Food or Women, etc.

Proposal is being read out loud.

Brian: We made this version more positive and highlighted our power as the 99%. We didn’t go after the Republicans last time and we have added sections about the Republicans. We still talk more about Democrats because our main concern is co-option. This proposal doesn’t prohibit us from making our own party, or voting for people, or other decisions. We use classic legalese as a tool of irony. This is just a condemnation of the two party system.

CQ: Is it available online right now?
A: Not yet.

POI: we should register as independents so we can vote in both primaries (unclear whether this is true).

CQ: Why is this being presented if the previous statement of autonomy is broader?
A: This specifically says we can’t be co-opted, which is important.

CQ: What about the accuracy of the line about the NDAA?
A: True; both houses DID pass it.

POI: we also have to resist co-option by other heirarchical entities, like the SEIU - they have begun to do this already.

POI: White House released a statement saying it would not veto NDAA.

POI: Last night we added to our statement of autonomy.

CQ: Why do we only blame Republicans for callous arrogance against marginalized groups?
A: We didn’t have any statements about the Republicans in the older version.

POI: There’s plenty of dirty Republican laundry we can call them out on specifically.

POI: We could use the next year to end the idea of 2-party dominance.

CQ: missed one about different parties, sorry, fast talking!

CQ: why did you include all these whereas paragraphs, why don’t we just jump to the resolved?
A: this becomes educational, you can hand it out and justify our conclusions

POI: if this passes, politicians may not come to the GAs and ask for our endorsement, this is great!

POP: let’s not support or reject this yet! Only POI and CQ

CQ: Under the first statement, does this include a rejection all candidates from those parties, or can individuals support individuals, like Alan Grayson, who has always supported the 99%?
A: this is worded to allow support of individuals, just not the parties

CQ: The Democratic Party has always been a party of empirialism and corporatism (question portion missed during hunt for electricity)
A: language about war and corporate interests is clear, but we can talk about language when the time is appropriate

CQ: I have heard doubt about your sources for the WS funding sources
A: our sources are mentioned at the bottom of the proposal

CQ: why don’t we say we don’t support any established parties? there are other parties, this leaves the door open to supporting other parties
A: we live in a two party system, we just don’t want to be co-opted by the Democrats, but please add this as an amendment and we can consider it.

CQ: following ‘be it resolved’, it states that OB doesn’t support the Reps or Dems, but if we’re the 99%, we include members of both parties, this are not compatible
A: we’re talking about the institutions, not the people in each party

NOW ONTO OBJECTIONS AND CONCERNS

C&O: this is a time waster because we still have homeless people who don’t have a place to stay, this wastes all of our GA time. It’s too soon to talk about this, we still need indoor space, this should be tabled, also check your facts because they seem suspect.

C: saying we don’t support either party is too harsh/strong - this does not reach out or appeal to the 99%, it’s going to alienate a whole lot of people.

C: Democrats may be negatively affected...point missed

C: we already have a statement of autonomy, it’s much stronger and clearer, more succinct; this doesn’t seem necessary. Nothing in this new statement feels like a contraction of our previous statement, limiting ourselves to two parties. We don’t want to be the pet project of some third party either. We should have complete political autonomy.

Now the statement of autonomy is being read so that we remember what it says.

C: members of these two parties will be turned off by this document.

O: this is redundant and unnecessarily divisive, it’s not strategic. Its language on the environment and our addiction to fossil fuels is way too weak.

C: this does not reform anything.

C: this statement seems very repetitive, having just heard the statement of autonomy. it seems too controversial and alienating.

C: where it talks about how Obama took more money from WS, that’s misrepresentative since the Republicans don’t yet have a single candidate.

C: we won’t be able to resort to the resources that the Dems and Reps have to facilitate a platform for redress of grievances.

C: this government is owned by the rich. so is the constitution. (this is not really a concern about the statement, but damn is this man eloquent!)

C: there are homeless people still! the statement of autonomy is nullified, unnecessary, we look like we’re juggling for no reason and we have other issues.

C: this seems like a personal attack on two political parties, as opposed to a firm political philosophy. any political party could behave as badly as the two main parties

C: something like this could be taken as hostile, we’re too new to be this negative.

C: it’s impossible for the average person to look up info on section 31, section 21, the NDAA bill. We need at least 3 more sentences about how awful this is!

C: this discussion is preventing us from going on to more important items, let’s stop repeating ourselves!

C: this is in bad taste

STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT

I like this proposal, the statement of autonomy is good, but we don’t address co-option in it - we should bring that up in this one (amendment?)

As a former strong Democrat, this document is clear and targeted. This is exactly how I feel. I am sick to death of them.

I am in very very strong support of this proposal, having worked on both Dem and Rep campaigns. The directness of this statement attacks their legitimacy.

This represents exactly how I feel. I didn’t know about the statement of autonomy. In light of recent events that have happened, this is very relevant. This doesn’t alienate anyone because everyone can join us, we just don’t support these two institutions.

We are profoundly disillusioned with our two party system. This statement is profound and bold and strong. It is very focused. It is a continuation of the thought, and starts a continuation of the conversation.

People have been for peace in the abstract for almost a decade. We need something clearer than the statement of autonomy, which is abstract. The earlier statement is abstract and this is direct and addresses issues directly. War protests fail when they’re just vaguely for peace.

This movement has always stood for change. We want to change the status quo. I work for Pine Street Inn - if the two parties didn’t withhold needed funding, there would not be so many people in the streets. The Dems and Reps derive their great power over us. We should not just declare autonomy, but condemn these two parties.

I strongly support this resolution. I have been at the receiving end of oppression by the Dem party. Protesters in [a previous protest] have been arrested by [some Democratic mayor]. Obama has been the president during significant Latino oppression. Warren Buffet supported Obama and he is one of the richest people in the world. The Democrats are hand in hand with big money.

Greg is waxing poetic about the level of dialogue in which we have engaged :)

AMENDMENTS

Revision actually - read out loud. written version being passed to proposers.

‘rep party continues to practice arrogance’ - what about corporate personhood? strip anthropomorphizing.

we should say instead that we are conservative independents

we should seek to unelect every single one of [NDAA voters]

it’s impossible to understand the [NDAA]if you’re the average joe - we should address this in the proposal, as “activism eliminating, apathy enabling”

add gender and gender identity to the classes and communities to the list of oppressed groups

amend to address any political entity not associated with the two parties, don’t let them co-opt either

we should say ‘does not support impenetrable domination’ of dems and reps

I view the ‘whereas’s as negative and superfluous - all of them should be eliminated

let’s bring this together with the statement of autonomy, make them one

write instead: OB does not and WILL not support Dems and Reps, we’re independent from them and all established parties

we further declare that we are not in the business of forming or supporting any political party

the simpler we make it, the easier it will be - we don’t need to get into the details

we should make clear that we are not saying that other people should stop voting Dem or Rep, just because we are saying we don’t support them. we don’t want to discourage voting

support for the amendment that Dems and Reps are listed but that we also mention other established parties

OB doesn’t support the Dem and Rep parties or their candidates, and we declare their independence from them

put in some “rip-snorting” language for parties being “servile and supine to corporations”

84 people currently in attendance

New proposal coming up (while we wait for the first proposers to re-write)
- prioritizing proposals for future GAs
- funding an OB family in need

quick moment for the passing of former Czechoslovakian president and revolutionary

INDIVIDUAL STACK while we wait for socialist caucus to rewrite

OWS had super high spirits yesterday, even after many arrests, the energy is great!

Eden from FSU: will return in May, reading us a poem to leave us with. Many “occupy”s in it :)

Alex Ingram: I’ve been stressing out! At times we need to step back. Let’s ask ourselves. Are we absorbing negative energy? The email list is NOT THE PLACE to share every bad thought or emotion you’ve ever had about a person, place or thing. Oh my god I love Alex Ingram. He continues. It’s okay if you type these things out. Just don’t click send! Call your kids! Deal with your emotions productively. HAVE QUORUM IN YOUR HEART. Don’t be angry all the time, deal with things constructively. Yay!

Martin: we have a TV show, we have a radio show, a newspaper, a writers’ caucus, there are so many outlets! Tap it! email me at m2@occupyboston.organd I will plug you into the appropriate media. And vote for Alex 2020!

Marty: We need to build a system that makes the current system obsolete. Read Naomi Klein’s piece. We just went through phase 1. Phase 2 is building a new system. Check out the article.

WGBH (radio) tomorrow morning during their morning edition will do a bit on Occupy Boston!

Siham: Thoughts about the post-Dewey era (we’re still waiting for the first proposers to finish their amendments). When Dewey happened, I realized that there are people like me, who are moral and have faith in the world, and I am so proud and humble to be a part of this group. I miss all of you, I hope we reoccupy. You will never ever ever disappear from my life, and I really do actually love you all. You have changed my life. Thank you.

Noah: I want to reoccupy. If we can reoccupy with some specific things, that would be a new option of our movement. I like the idea of an American Spring. We have a system that we should drive a spear into with specific, actionable things that we can rally around. I will bring a proposal soon.

The original proposers are ready!

Brian: Thank you for your instructive and stimulating feedback! We’ll address your concerns and objections.
- the statement of autonomy is great and broad. this new proposal builds on and adds to it. we should add the two together by adding this one.
- as of October this year, Congress has a 9% approval rating, less than BP during the oil spill, and Nixon during Watergate!
- we need to declare our independence from the Dems. they’re already moving to the left! let’s force them to react to us.
- the whereas’s -- if we take these out, it’s just going to look like a big long essay. this isn’t a manifesto. there are specific facts that we want to bring to a large audience.
- we didn’t add anything that specifically endorses voting because we want people to make up their own minds, we just want to bring attention to how gross the parties are.

Now the amendments will be read.

the fifth paragraph has been edited: instead of callous and arrogant, “unresponsive, elitist and condescending”

added “fueling the drive toward climate catastrophe”

missed next amendment--

and next one --

added: “gender” and “gender identity” to the groups listed

“we are the 99% percent and we intend to bring about a horizontally democratic world, based on freedom, justice and equality”

TIME FOR BLOCKS

There are two blocks.

1) domestic torture is not included in here.
-why wasn’t this brought up as a friendly amendment?
-the wording includes torture in the states
-argument about adding an amendment after the fact
-people suggest adding the term “foreign and domestic” in front of the word “torture”
-second block (from same person) says that one of the statements is too weak and our movement will fall apart if it’s so weak
-amendment proposed by original proposers, to add “at home and abroad”, to include domestic terrorism
-second block rescinded, there was a misunderstanding

2) very serious block, first block of this blocker. we gain our power from a multiplicity of voices. we can’t in good faith alienate so so many people by condemning popular parties. we are closing our movement to them by disregarding and thus silencing their voices, which is exactly what we fight against. this can damage our movement.

Block is voted principled.

Block is supported by well over 10% of the GA.

Proposal is tabled. Some people are unhappy about this. The blocker says it would be great if the proposers rewrote and brought it back.

PROPOSAL

64 people in attendance.

Robin: We should prioritize proposals that are emergent, in the beginning of the GA. We don’t see each other as much now, and we’re always time limited. At the beginning of GAs, summaries of proposals are read. They should be no longer than 2 minutes. Temp check to see if we should rearrange proposals, and the ‘hottest’ proposal goes first, after all of the announcements. Once we have open-ended GAs we can vote to drop this, or at any other time.

CQ: How can we do this if we can’t summarize in just two minutes?
A: 2 minutes is plenty! Otherwise you must be talking about multiple proposals, surely

CQ: how does this reconcile the priority process proposal? this has been available to WGs for a while.
A: I didn’t know that that existed

CQ: can this be amended so that proposals are posted online?
A: you are offering an amendment

CQ: how do we count?
A: recount temp checks if we’re unsure. also we don’t know about marginalized groups being maybe repressed. or maybe if you get tabled ‘x’ times, you should be allowed to go for sure at some point.

CQ: For proposals that aren’t reached that night, do they get priority the next night?
A: not necessarily, sometimes we should break process, some things are a waste of time (pantyhose example)

CQ: will this mean that all the new proposals need to be identified in the beginning of the GA?
A: yes, it needs to be ready at the beginning of the night, no making up a proposal in the middle of the GA

CONCERNS AND OBJECTIONS

C: this could be used as a way to keep unpopular or silly proposals from the top of the stack, but who decides this? possibly oppressive, this should not be used as a weapon against free speech.

O: this does a round-about on the priority proposal process, which has been widely publicized and frequently used.

C: roll-over proposals could be continued to be rolled over. this system can be played.
A: this is already happening, people make fake WGs to get their proposals passed earlier.

C: not enough people have collaborated on this

C: certain people do everything, be more inclusive so that you don’t do everything, twist some arms and get some help

C: this could resemble consensus, people may vote for it implicitly when deciding its emergence, could lead to tyranny of the majority

C: this doesn’t make the process more efficient

C: we have not grown up enough as a movement, we need more experience in GAs before we’re ready to vote on this

C: could be temporary, but might not be, not definite time limit; also, isn’t there already a process for emergent proposals?

Greg steps in and reminds us about the process for proposing.

Robin asks how the vetting happens.
A: WGs advertise it and vet it themselves, and then publish it, and advertise the date of the proposal.

CQ: is there a mechanism for urgent proposals?
A: facilitation decides

POI: the homeless keep getting pushed back! why isn’t that an emergency?!

C: in the transition from camp to no camp, we can’t publish things to people without public access, so even the current system is deficient.

POI: proposers can beg other proposers if they can go first with an emergent proposal.

C: this may not be strong enough and fix all of our problems

STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT

I support this because we all know that the proposal process needs help.

It’s common for people to consent to the agenda. Consenting on the order of proposals seems like a natural extension; this is not radical.

I hate the priority proposal process so this is way more awesome. And it will keep the mass of people for the most important proposals.

This will make meetings shorter and increase attendance

Each GA is distinct, we can change past votes

I like the experimentation part - we should always be trying new things, it may work really well.

I went to Rockefeller College, I am a public policy major, I think this is great and I want to bring it back to Occupy Albany.

FRIENDLY AMENDMENTS

we can’t compare proposals linearly - the temp check should be taken after we hear all of them. and proposers should be given the option to step back so that someone else gets priority.

we should use the same rules from progressive stack.

change it to 1 minute, from 2.

if people get pushed off due to time limits, let them roll over. don’t let this push off roll overs, start the stack after the roll overs.

emergency human needs should always be the first priority over the proposal.

we should keep the priority process intact, and keep roll overs intact, which leaves barely any room for this process.

you should still allow things to be stacked during the GA.

this amendment has been offered by someone watching the livestream (omg awesome): we should be able to skip a proposal at any time if we take a temp check to jump forward to the next one. anyone is allowed to call for a vote to see whether it should be addressed. if the GA thinks it’s bogging down the GA, call a temp check to move on.

let’s try it and then vote on it again in two weeks.

amend to leave the priority process as is, then follow it with this new rule.

turn this into two proposals:
start with brief summaries
--missed it--

proposers should get together and vote as a group at the beginning of GA, they may organize themselves

how about just take a temp check about 1 or 2 really important things IF they come up in a GA, reorganize on the fly, instead of codifying it - give Facilitation some ‘empowerment’ to encourage the GA to prioritize something

prioritize things once a week so that it only happens in one GA a week

POP: it’s 9pm, did you write this down on real paper?

amendment: have amendments meet Robin and change things with her

[alright, amenders are joining Robin to fix things, individual stack is open]

John Murphy is taking names of people who want to occupy Hyannis for two days.

Greg has cash and disbursement forms!

omg someone is making a live action occupy-themed nativity scene.

Eddie from Albany: on December 22nd, Occupy Albany is going to be evicted. Occupy Albany maybe evicted, because we decided to ask for a permit. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We want Bostonites to be there! Help us out. email: eyadalkurabi@gmail.com, 518-944-3355

Alex is talking some SERIOUS NONSENSE, he’s going to leave us for a while on vacation (Rhode Island). He hates Georgia. Now he’s talking about basketball, and Duke, and camping for basketball tickets. OccupyDuke - the original occupation?

Aaaaand now the proposer Robin is coming back.

56 people are present.

Amended proposal: we’re going to try this on Tuesday night and see how it works. It is just in effect for Tuesday night.
1 minute summaries
then we do temp checks
priority proposal process goes first
then rollovers
then high to low temp check
emergencies can come up each time if necessary
we’ll revote on a separate proposal if Tuesday goes well

No concerns or objections, one statement of support
One amendment, test it both Tuesday and Thursday

Ready for consensus? Yes

We have reached consensus! Proposal passes.

46 in attendance.

Cherie’s proposal: we should set aside $5000 from the General Fund for members of OB who are facing hard times and have limited or no income at all. The use of these funds are specific: they are for reimbursement of hosts for food and utilities, as well as T-passes, winter gear that Logistics can’t provide, and undergarments. Also, $50 for ‘non-essential’ items, that could go toward cell phones or parking bills or whatever - just the once. The individual receiving funds needs two sponsors to verify that they are part of the movement and they do have this specific need. This protects privacy (though FAWG of course would also know). The individual’s name will not be revealed when listing how money is spent. This will also allow people to get appropriately fitting clothes for interviews, including alteration. Also, WGs can help out with their stipends.

CQ AND POI:

CQ: where did the number $5000 come from? do you know how many people will use this?
A: no - I’m thinking about the winter, we could have a lot of surprise issues.

CQ: do you need to be houseless to ask for the money?
A: no - you can be sheltering someone (with two people to verify)

CQ: is $5000 just a one time amount?
A: yes, it’s intended for the winter.

CQ: who qualifies?
A: anyone in the OB family in need

CQ: the bit on WGs using their stipend - is this in addition to the $5000?
A: yes.

CQ: does this include specific allowed items? you mentioned parking passes.
A: the ‘non-essential’ bit is for expenses like that.

CQ: you need two sponsoring people for just the inclusion in OB, or two verify the need as well?
A: to help verify the need as well

CQ: who makes the decision if the expense brought forth is covered by this proposal?
A: that should be decided in the working group. we should develop that further.

CQ: Is there a process to establish a need? would these two sponsors know someone’s true financial situation?
A: that’s why there are two people - but it would have to be limited to the OB family for that reason. hopefully the sponsors know the person well enough to justify these costs.

POI: a group already does this, for the transgender community, perhaps we can get all this info that they use so that we don’t reinvent the wheel. I can help you with those contacts so they can help.
A: awesome!

CQ: can’t many of these needs be met by groups in the city?
A: don’t you need to fall into certain categories to qualify?

CQ: can you give us a number of people who will need this?
A: no

CQ: would there be a cap to each request? to how many one person can make? is there an end date? what happens if you need more money?
A: end date: April 1st. non-essential stuff is capped at $50. t-passes aren’t capped. clothing and gear are a one time thing.

CQ: can someone see if these needed items can be gotten by other means?
A: yeah I can look for these other ways, I’ll make a list of places that can help

POI: this has a high chance of being tabled, so we should break down into groups and try to fix it right now in the next hour so that it doesn’t get pushed back again.

Facilitation is seeing how we should proceed.

Okay we are all breaking into small groups to discuss this proposal.

Alright, we’re coming back to the GA.

43 people are present.

Cherie wants to table it but first get more feedback from the breakout session.

POI: a couple of GAs ago, a proposal passed that OB would help folks who were houseless to travel to other occupies, good for one round-trip ticket. We have spent already $3000 to help people leave Boston.

POI: this is so much more important than lots of what we do, and we spend money freely, and Cherie is carrying water for a lot of people here.

C: $5000 will be spent so so fast. This doesn’t solve problem, it just patches things.

Amendment: GA should have a $100 budget, so that the homeless can eat. WG should have $150 a week so that they can take care of their members who need help. Those who need it get a bus pass for a week or a month. Lastly, we should stop all actions and cut off all WG funds until this problem is fixed. Why don’t we have a building yet? We should have a warehouse already! This is our biggest problem.

C: we have to watch our language, and not trivialize the very real needs of the houseless.

Cherie gives some background on problems that can happen to anyone.

POI: shelters are like prison - OB is freedom from that prison, and we want to treat all of our members with dignity and respect

CQ: at the houseless meeting, we talked about advocacy and long-term fixes. this isn’t about that, it’s much more immediate. can you be clearer about how to define members of the community?
A: I’m going to work with Gunner on this!

POP: lots of questions can’t be answered. it would be better to make a list of concerns to hand in to Cherie.

POI: people are missing from these meetings because they have to cope with other issues. We have discouraged people from coming, and they sometimes don’t have the means either.

CQ: why can’t winterization use that money for this?
GA: GA apportioned that, GA would need quorum to re-apportion it.

CONCERNS NOW

C: $5000 is not even close, especially since we don’t have an idea of how many people would use this. The idea of a timelimit is better than a money limit.

C: the proposal is too long and has so many parts, it could easily be abused, it would give FAWG a full-time job for reimbursement. are we even looking for a building? is this a temporary step?

C: having worked in homeless shelters before and with homeless people, and knowing that there is no membership barrier to OB, this could be exploited. people can just join OB or trick sponsors to game the proposal for support. a permanent place is the solution.

C: I did the math, if we just do the housing stipend for two homeless people, the money already disappears.
A: I lowered it to $15
C: it still won’t be enough. there are so many resources that is covered and done better than what we can do. I don’t like social work stuff but here it sounds like we’re throwing money at a situation that really requires care and attention. It would be better if we knew who needed what, and knew what the needs were upfront, this would be way more transparent and longer lasting.

POP: we have 20 minutes before we have to pack up.

STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT

as a member of the People of Color WG, I know this would help some of our members. this is a great step.

FRIENDLY AMENDMENTS

we can set up a fund on the website for houseless/underemployed people so that people can donate specifically to it

work with the org. that G'
18 December 2011

5:17pm
Gregory Murphy is starting us off. THANK YOU Community Church of Boston! We are grateful for this space and the warmth. Many spirit fingers. Temp check: do we still need 5pm weekend GAs? Ans: yes, we like it at the earlier time.

We will start with working group announcements, followed by individual announcements.

Announcement: New WG called Momentum, to figure out how to tap into all the tremendous support we have locally, and how can we get new people into WGs. The WG is hosting Occupy Boston’s Open House at 138 Tremont Street at the Cathedral Church of St. Paul, TOMORROW, Monday. All kinds of WGs will be there and happy to explain what they do and how people can get involved. See Eli in the back of the GA if you want more info.

Announcement: Marilyn from Action For Peace WG. Our next action for peace is on First Night, December 31, on the corner of the street at the Boston Public Library, starting at 3pm. They will stay until the parade goes by and then they will join the end of the parade. Bring banners and signs! The wars are not over - our theaters are expanding and we want all of those destructive dollars to come home and build things. Please join us.

A reporter, Dan Brielman, is here from WBZ and FOX, he’s doing a piece on Occupy Boston. He has done a piece on us before as an independent producer, you can check it out at e-awakening.com.

Info Tent will have sign ups, a cash donation box, and a schedule at the Open House tomorrow, starting at 5:30. They also want to offer WG announcements; please email anything you want them to share at infotent@occupyboston.org. Info Tent also wants a presence at First Night. Their planning meeting for this is at 7pm on Wednesday in South Station. If you want them to display things on First Night, again, email them. They don’t know where they’ll be yet on First Night.

Jay from Signs: OccupyBostonSigns@gmail.com, or @occupybossigns. Signs will be at the Open House. will try to get more info soon -------

Rachel, from Street Team, brainstorming soon for First Night actions. Sign up here at GA, or get on the general list, they have an action summit every couple of weeks. Some people are here from Occupy Albany! Many spirit fingers! They are being threatened with eviction on December 22nd. Squid fingers. Please go support them!

Mallory from creative/subversive arts WG: they make tiny tents!! AWESOME. Tiny tents can carry our message to ATM kiosks and other places that we can’t occupy (like inside very expensive handbags at stores - what a wonderful surprise!). They are having their first Tiny Tent construction party, Wednesday at E5, 5pm-8pm, come make tiny tents with us! Also, there is a Sprout Event, at 339 Summer Street in Somerville - more later too fast
339 Summer Sprout Event Monday

Linda from FAWG: Please come to our meetings!
Tomorrow, 6pm, St. Paul’s Church
Savings: $55,558.58
Savings: $25
Checking: $5732.80
WePay accounts:
General: $7000
Greenway: $5000
Legal: $3000
Wind: $900
You can see the exact amounts on the FAWG Wiki too.
Way less money is coming in because we don’t have a physical location. Please please donate to our WePay accounts!

Jorge from Nonviolence WG: still meeting on Wednesday, 1pm, South Station mezzanine

Jorge (same) from OB Radio: live on the air 5-6 hours a day! Taped otherwise. Please have a radio show! We have lots and lots of slots for more shows.
3 workshops coming up:
Tonight, E5, 7-9
Tuesday 11am-2pm, 480 Atlantic Ave
Wednesday 6-8pm E5
occupyboston.org/radio

Sasha and Noah, about the injunction case: our lawyers want us to decide about the appeal; all of them want us to not appeal (NLG, ACLU, local firm). The judge’s ruling supports virtually all of our activities, only the indefiniteness was the problem, so it seemed like a permanent seizure of land, so the city could kick us out. The ruling was a partial success and we don’t want it rewritten if it were overturned. 4 plaintiffs ‘represent’ the GA, which is weird. If the GA wants to continue this process (injunction appeals process), we can, but the plaintiffs don’t necessarily want to personally pursue this as the reps. If GA itself became the plaintiff, we would need to become a legal entity, which would bind us by a bunch of rules. Our 4 plaintiffs are pretty convinced pushing forward on an appeal won’t be helpful for Occupy Boston. Generally the temp check says no let’s not appeal, but we need to bring this up during NOT announcements. This should come up as a proposal. The legal team wants to find out whether we pursue this case, ASAP. Proposals need to happen rapidly. Noah: not comfortable pursuing this appeals process as an individual, and doesn’t think GA can mandate him to go to court to pursue it. Would prefer, if the GA wants to keep going, then someone else or the GA should do it. None of the 4 plaintiffs want to pursue this case, but seek GA consensus because they don’t want to decide autonomously.

Greg stepped in. Says this is not where we make this decision, we will talk about it offline. Someone propose a meeting space/place for this discussion. Temp check on moving on. Lawyers don’t want to come to GA to explain why we wouldn’t win this appeal. Lawyers want us to decide on this now. Would a judge even hear this case since our camp is gone? The announcement is: the convo should continue, but the 4 plaintiffs will not go forward with it. Greg suggests that we talk about this at the very end of GA. Sasha and Eric can stay for it. Eric doesn’t want to be a decision maker, he wants this to be a robust conversation.

Noah from Ideas: meeting directly after GA, location TBD, assemble in same room on the street side and decide. Will discuss the overarching vision for OB and how we want to transform our society. Will identify commonalities, host topic based discussions in the next weeks. Tonight we debut our website. We may craft a statement for the WG for the next couple months, as an outreach tool.

Jenny from Writers’ caucus: We don’t have a camp :( but we want to collect and organize stories from camp! What about the characters you met? What was your tent like? What does occupying mean to you? Word limit: 750 words. Writers@occupyboston.org. Submissions due January 1st. These entries are not graded! Jenny can help if you have an idea and need suggestions.

Marty from Faith and Spirituality: Just back from OWS! Wednesday is the Winter Solstice. A group from local synagogues is hoping to host a Hanukkah celebration at Dewey Square, we’ll host an winter solstice afterwards at Dewey Square, 6:30-9:30pm
twitter: radicaloptimist

Charlotte from Medical: We’re available for marches and actions! Email occupybosmedic@gmail.com. We had a meeting today, we want new members. We’re hoping for a ~20 hour street medic training in late January, anyone can take it. Please let us know if you’re interested.

B from Food: I’m going out to Occupy Flint Michigan, for a break! Join the food group: occupyboston.food@gmail.com; occupyboston-food@googlegroups.com. B is going to give ~$500 from Food to FAWG, if you need food funds, request money from FAWG, you have to make this happen yourself. Cheapest pizza in city is Haymarket Pizza.

FAWG hotline: 857-417-7872, if you need funds.

Ben from Inreach: looking to solve OB communication problems. Last meeting was yesterday, notes are available in hardcopy here. Next meeting is tentatively this Tuesday. Topics: solutions, to the problems we’ve discussed before. Join us!

Eden at FSU: Last GA until May :( :( but I’m doing OSF and OSeattle! Things will get online and national and exciting! We’re making an archive for Occupy Boston. FSU@occupyboston.org. Contact Rachel. We need someone who goes to GA regularly who can represent FSU in announcements. Meetings are Friday at 5pm. 6:30pm tomorrow, the film “The Take”. Find us on the wiki, twitter, facebook, youtube. Check us out at FreeSchoolUniversity.org.

Nelson and Costigan from DA: Civil Disobedience -- even if you disagree with CD, you can’t interfere, it’s autonomous and you should respect their expression.
December 30th, Dewey Square, bring a pillow. 5:30pm. It’s our birthday party!
There is an action spokes council out in JP - there are many different action-oriented groups, it’s hard to keep them all straight.

Greg from Facilitation:
Tuesday night’s GA is not at St. Pauls, it’s at the Arlington Street Church, corner of Arlington and Boylston Streets. Thursday night’s: Emmanuel Church at 15 Newbury again

6:11pm
INDIVIDUAL STACK

Zach from the Anarchist reading group: @nerdosyndical, zachsw@gmail.com

Cherie introduces Eric Freeman: related to the first person off of the Mayflower. Eric has just come in from Seattle, he’s been tortured (waterboarded, has heart problems, etc). He needs a space to sleep, he can pay a little, he has a medical condition so he wants to avoid the shelter. Who can help him out for a day or two?

Chess club, bandstand, Monday 1pm!

Mallory: Ghandi is living in a barn right now! The Peace Abbey is right before foreclosure, they are in forebearance right now. How can we help them? They are in trouble and we should support them. Mallory@occupyboston.com, please write me so we can help them!

Zoe: We have two hours of airtime, LIVE, on Cambridge Community Television from 10am to noon on Tuesdays. Call me if you want to be on TV: 617-888-1406, email: simoneprescott94@yahoo.com. 438 Mass Ave in Cambridge, right in Central Square. Equipment is state of the art. Help us make TV!

First Night Against the Wars: we do this every year, in Copley Square. We have literature, food, stickers, we oppose the wars. We’re there from noon until 6-7pm every year, please join us! We’ll join the parade afterward. Bring whatever lit, signs, friends you’d like. Announced previously at this GA. At Boylston and Dartmouth Streets. Contact John Harris at 617-230-9382, Marilyn Levitt at 781-316-2018.

Laura: If you have kids and want them to have toys at GAs, please write me and I’ll bring supplies! les@asc.....too fast to catch

Jerry from Boston Schools bus drivers union: Tomorrow night - Occupy for Jobs, tomorrow evening 25 Colgate Rd, Roslindale. We want 30 million jobs at union wages jerryred@yahoo.com, 617-721-5347

John Murphy: Occupy Hyannis wants people to camp out on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, to bring attention to homelessness, at the Cavalry Baptist Church. On church land, facilities there, only two days.

6:27pm
PROPOSALS

Greg is explaining the consensus process.

79 people present.

Socialist Caucus proposal is being handed out. Brian from the socialist caucus has returned with an amended version of the proposal discussed at length last Tuesday night.
Brian: some folks were uncomfortable about this coming from the socialist caucus. This is discrimination, we wouldn’t be uncomfortable with proposals from Food or Women, etc.

Proposal is being read out loud.

Brian: We made this version more positive and highlighted our power as the 99%. We didn’t go after the Republicans last time and we have added sections about the Republicans. We still talk more about Democrats because our main concern is co-option. This proposal doesn’t prohibit us from making our own party, or voting for people, or other decisions. We use classic legalese as a tool of irony. This is just a condemnation of the two party system.

CQ: Is it available online right now?
A: Not yet.

POI: we should register as independents so we can vote in both primaries (unclear whether this is true).

CQ: Why is this being presented if the previous statement of autonomy is broader?
A: This specifically says we can’t be co-opted, which is important.

CQ: What about the accuracy of the line about the NDAA?
A: True; both houses DID pass it.

POI: we also have to resist co-option by other heirarchical entities, like the SEIU - they have begun to do this already.

POI: White House released a statement saying it would not veto NDAA.

POI: Last night we added to our statement of autonomy.

CQ: Why do we only blame Republicans for callous arrogance against marginalized groups?
A: We didn’t have any statements about the Republicans in the older version.

POI: There’s plenty of dirty Republican laundry we can call them out on specifically.

POI: We could use the next year to end the idea of 2-party dominance.

CQ: missed one about different parties, sorry, fast talking!

CQ: why did you include all these whereas paragraphs, why don’t we just jump to the resolved?
A: this becomes educational, you can hand it out and justify our conclusions

POI: if this passes, politicians may not come to the GAs and ask for our endorsement, this is great!

POP: let’s not support or reject this yet! Only POI and CQ

CQ: Under the first statement, does this include a rejection all candidates from those parties, or can individuals support individuals, like Alan Grayson, who has always supported the 99%?
A: this is worded to allow support of individuals, just not the parties

CQ: The Democratic Party has always been a party of empirialism and corporatism (question portion missed during hunt for electricity)
A: language about war and corporate interests is clear, but we can talk about language when the time is appropriate

CQ: I have heard doubt about your sources for the WS funding sources
A: our sources are mentioned at the bottom of the proposal

CQ: why don’t we say we don’t support any established parties? there are other parties, this leaves the door open to supporting other parties
A: we live in a two party system, we just don’t want to be co-opted by the Democrats, but please add this as an amendment and we can consider it.

CQ: following ‘be it resolved’, it states that OB doesn’t support the Reps or Dems, but if we’re the 99%, we include members of both parties, this are not compatible
A: we’re talking about the institutions, not the people in each party

NOW ONTO OBJECTIONS AND CONCERNS

C&O: this is a time waster because we still have homeless people who don’t have a place to stay, this wastes all of our GA time. It’s too soon to talk about this, we still need indoor space, this should be tabled, also check your facts because they seem suspect.

C: saying we don’t support either party is too harsh/strong - this does not reach out or appeal to the 99%, it’s going to alienate a whole lot of people.

C: Democrats may be negatively affected...point missed

C: we already have a statement of autonomy, it’s much stronger and clearer, more succinct; this doesn’t seem necessary. Nothing in this new statement feels like a contraction of our previous statement, limiting ourselves to two parties. We don’t want to be the pet project of some third party either. We should have complete political autonomy.

Now the statement of autonomy is being read so that we remember what it says.

C: members of these two parties will be turned off by this document.

O: this is redundant and unnecessarily divisive, it’s not strategic. Its language on the environment and our addiction to fossil fuels is way too weak.

C: this does not reform anything.

C: this statement seems very repetitive, having just heard the statement of autonomy. it seems too controversial and alienating.

C: where it talks about how Obama took more money from WS, that’s misrepresentative since the Republicans don’t yet have a single candidate.

C: we won’t be able to resort to the resources that the Dems and Reps have to facilitate a platform for redress of grievances.

C: this government is owned by the rich. so is the constitution. (this is not really a concern about the statement, but damn is this man eloquent!)

C: there are homeless people still! the statement of autonomy is nullified, unnecessary, we look like we’re juggling for no reason and we have other issues.

C: this seems like a personal attack on two political parties, as opposed to a firm political philosophy. any political party could behave as badly as the two main parties

C: something like this could be taken as hostile, we’re too new to be this negative.

C: it’s impossible for the average person to look up info on section 31, section 21, the NDAA bill. We need at least 3 more sentences about how awful this is!

C: this discussion is preventing us from going on to more important items, let’s stop repeating ourselves!

C: this is in bad taste

STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT

I like this proposal, the statement of autonomy is good, but we don’t address co-option in it - we should bring that up in this one (amendment?)

As a former strong Democrat, this document is clear and targeted. This is exactly how I feel. I am sick to death of them.

I am in very very strong support of this proposal, having worked on both Dem and Rep campaigns. The directness of this statement attacks their legitimacy.

This represents exactly how I feel. I didn’t know about the statement of autonomy. In light of recent events that have happened, this is very relevant. This doesn’t alienate anyone because everyone can join us, we just don’t support these two institutions.

We are profoundly disillusioned with our two party system. This statement is profound and bold and strong. It is very focused. It is a continuation of the thought, and starts a continuation of the conversation.

People have been for peace in the abstract for almost a decade. We need something clearer than the statement of autonomy, which is abstract. The earlier statement is abstract and this is direct and addresses issues directly. War protests fail when they’re just vaguely for peace.

This movement has always stood for change. We want to change the status quo. I work for Pine Street Inn - if the two parties didn’t withhold needed funding, there would not be so many people in the streets. The Dems and Reps derive their great power over us. We should not just declare autonomy, but condemn these two parties.

I strongly support this resolution. I have been at the receiving end of oppression by the Dem party. Protesters in [a previous protest] have been arrested by [some Democratic mayor]. Obama has been the president during significant Latino oppression. Warren Buffet supported Obama and he is one of the richest people in the world. The Democrats are hand in hand with big money.

Greg is waxing poetic about the level of dialogue in which we have engaged :)

AMENDMENTS

Revision actually - read out loud. written version being passed to proposers.

‘rep party continues to practice arrogance’ - what about corporate personhood? strip anthropomorphizing.

we should say instead that we are conservative independents

we should seek to unelect every single one of [NDAA voters]

it’s impossible to understand the [NDAA]if you’re the average joe - we should address this in the proposal, as “activism eliminating, apathy enabling”

add gender and gender identity to the classes and communities to the list of oppressed groups

amend to address any political entity not associated with the two parties, don’t let them co-opt either

we should say ‘does not support impenetrable domination’ of dems and reps

I view the ‘whereas’s as negative and superfluous - all of them should be eliminated

let’s bring this together with the statement of autonomy, make them one

write instead: OB does not and WILL not support Dems and Reps, we’re independent from them and all established parties

we further declare that we are not in the business of forming or supporting any political party

the simpler we make it, the easier it will be - we don’t need to get into the details

we should make clear that we are not saying that other people should stop voting Dem or Rep, just because we are saying we don’t support them. we don’t want to discourage voting

support for the amendment that Dems and Reps are listed but that we also mention other established parties

OB doesn’t support the Dem and Rep parties or their candidates, and we declare their independence from them

put in some “rip-snorting” language for parties being “servile and supine to corporations”

84 people currently in attendance

New proposal coming up (while we wait for the first proposers to re-write)
- prioritizing proposals for future GAs
- funding an OB family in need

quick moment for the passing of former Czechoslovakian president and revolutionary

INDIVIDUAL STACK while we wait for socialist caucus to rewrite

OWS had super high spirits yesterday, even after many arrests, the energy is great!

Eden from FSU: will return in May, reading us a poem to leave us with. Many “occupy”s in it :)

Alex Ingram: I’ve been stressing out! At times we need to step back. Let’s ask ourselves. Are we absorbing negative energy? The email list is NOT THE PLACE to share every bad thought or emotion you’ve ever had about a person, place or thing. Oh my god I love Alex Ingram. He continues. It’s okay if you type these things out. Just don’t click send! Call your kids! Deal with your emotions productively. HAVE QUORUM IN YOUR HEART. Don’t be angry all the time, deal with things constructively. Yay!

Martin: we have a TV show, we have a radio show, a newspaper, a writers’ caucus, there are so many outlets! Tap it! email me at m2@occupyboston.organd I will plug you into the appropriate media. And vote for Alex 2020!

Marty: We need to build a system that makes the current system obsolete. Read Naomi Klein’s piece. We just went through phase 1. Phase 2 is building a new system. Check out the article.

WGBH (radio) tomorrow morning during their morning edition will do a bit on Occupy Boston!

Siham: Thoughts about the post-Dewey era (we’re still waiting for the first proposers to finish their amendments). When Dewey happened, I realized that there are people like me, who are moral and have faith in the world, and I am so proud and humble to be a part of this group. I miss all of you, I hope we reoccupy. You will never ever ever disappear from my life, and I really do actually love you all. You have changed my life. Thank you.

Noah: I want to reoccupy. If we can reoccupy with some specific things, that would be a new option of our movement. I like the idea of an American Spring. We have a system that we should drive a spear into with specific, actionable things that we can rally around. I will bring a proposal soon.

The original proposers are ready!

Brian: Thank you for your instructive and stimulating feedback! We’ll address your concerns and objections.
- the statement of autonomy is great and broad. this new proposal builds on and adds to it. we should add the two together by adding this one.
- as of October this year, Congress has a 9% approval rating, less than BP during the oil spill, and Nixon during Watergate!
- we need to declare our independence from the Dems. they’re already moving to the left! let’s force them to react to us.
- the whereas’s -- if we take these out, it’s just going to look like a big long essay. this isn’t a manifesto. there are specific facts that we want to bring to a large audience.
- we didn’t add anything that specifically endorses voting because we want people to make up their own minds, we just want to bring attention to how gross the parties are.

Now the amendments will be read.

the fifth paragraph has been edited: instead of callous and arrogant, “unresponsive, elitist and condescending”

added “fueling the drive toward climate catastrophe”

missed next amendment--

and next one --

added: “gender” and “gender identity” to the groups listed

“we are the 99% percent and we intend to bring about a horizontally democratic world, based on freedom, justice and equality”

TIME FOR BLOCKS

There are two blocks.

1) domestic torture is not included in here.
-why wasn’t this brought up as a friendly amendment?
-the wording includes torture in the states
-argument about adding an amendment after the fact
-people suggest adding the term “foreign and domestic” in front of the word “torture”
-second block (from same person) says that one of the statements is too weak and our movement will fall apart if it’s so weak
-amendment proposed by original proposers, to add “at home and abroad”, to include domestic terrorism
-second block rescinded, there was a misunderstanding

2) very serious block, first block of this blocker. we gain our power from a multiplicity of voices. we can’t in good faith alienate so so many people by condemning popular parties. we are closing our movement to them by disregarding and thus silencing their voices, which is exactly what we fight against. this can damage our movement.

Block is voted principled.

Block is supported by well over 10% of the GA.

Proposal is tabled. Some people are unhappy about this. The blocker says it would be great if the proposers rewrote and brought it back.

PROPOSAL

64 people in attendance.

Robin: We should prioritize proposals that are emergent, in the beginning of the GA. We don’t see each other as much now, and we’re always time limited. At the beginning of GAs, summaries of proposals are read. They should be no longer than 2 minutes. Temp check to see if we should rearrange proposals, and the ‘hottest’ proposal goes first, after all of the announcements. Once we have open-ended GAs we can vote to drop this, or at any other time.

CQ: How can we do this if we can’t summarize in just two minutes?
A: 2 minutes is plenty! Otherwise you must be talking about multiple proposals, surely

CQ: how does this reconcile the priority process proposal? this has been available to WGs for a while.
A: I didn’t know that that existed

CQ: can this be amended so that proposals are posted online?
A: you are offering an amendment

CQ: how do we count?
A: recount temp checks if we’re unsure. also we don’t know about marginalized groups being maybe repressed. or maybe if you get tabled ‘x’ times, you should be allowed to go for sure at some point.

CQ: For proposals that aren’t reached that night, do they get priority the next night?
A: not necessarily, sometimes we should break process, some things are a waste of time (pantyhose example)

CQ: will this mean that all the new proposals need to be identified in the beginning of the GA?
A: yes, it needs to be ready at the beginning of the night, no making up a proposal in the middle of the GA

CONCERNS AND OBJECTIONS

C: this could be used as a way to keep unpopular or silly proposals from the top of the stack, but who decides this? possibly oppressive, this should not be used as a weapon against free speech.

O: this does a round-about on the priority proposal process, which has been widely publicized and frequently used.

C: roll-over proposals could be continued to be rolled over. this system can be played.
A: this is already happening, people make fake WGs to get their proposals passed earlier.

C: not enough people have collaborated on this

C: certain people do everything, be more inclusive so that you don’t do everything, twist some arms and get some help

C: this could resemble consensus, people may vote for it implicitly when deciding its emergence, could lead to tyranny of the majority

C: this doesn’t make the process more efficient

C: we have not grown up enough as a movement, we need more experience in GAs before we’re ready to vote on this

C: could be temporary, but might not be, not definite time limit; also, isn’t there already a process for emergent proposals?

Greg steps in and reminds us about the process for proposing.

Robin asks how the vetting happens.
A: WGs advertise it and vet it themselves, and then publish it, and advertise the date of the proposal.

CQ: is there a mechanism for urgent proposals?
A: facilitation decides

POI: the homeless keep getting pushed back! why isn’t that an emergency?!

C: in the transition from camp to no camp, we can’t publish things to people without public access, so even the current system is deficient.

POI: proposers can beg other proposers if they can go first with an emergent proposal.

C: this may not be strong enough and fix all of our problems

STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT

I support this because we all know that the proposal process needs help.

It’s common for people to consent to the agenda. Consenting on the order of proposals seems like a natural extension; this is not radical.

I hate the priority proposal process so this is way more awesome. And it will keep the mass of people for the most important proposals.

This will make meetings shorter and increase attendance

Each GA is distinct, we can change past votes

I like the experimentation part - we should always be trying new things, it may work really well.

I went to Rockefeller College, I am a public policy major, I think this is great and I want to bring it back to Occupy Albany.

FRIENDLY AMENDMENTS

we can’t compare proposals linearly - the temp check should be taken after we hear all of them. and proposers should be given the option to step back so that someone else gets priority.

we should use the same rules from progressive stack.

change it to 1 minute, from 2.

if people get pushed off due to time limits, let them roll over. don’t let this push off roll overs, start the stack after the roll overs.

emergency human needs should always be the first priority over the proposal.

we should keep the priority process intact, and keep roll overs intact, which leaves barely any room for this process.

you should still allow things to be stacked during the GA.

this amendment has been offered by someone watching the livestream (omg awesome): we should be able to skip a proposal at any time if we take a temp check to jump forward to the next one. anyone is allowed to call for a vote to see whether it should be addressed. if the GA thinks it’s bogging down the GA, call a temp check to move on.

let’s try it and then vote on it again in two weeks.

amend to leave the priority process as is, then follow it with this new rule.

turn this into two proposals:
start with brief summaries
--missed it--

proposers should get together and vote as a group at the beginning of GA, they may organize themselves

how about just take a temp check about 1 or 2 really important things IF they come up in a GA, reorganize on the fly, instead of codifying it - give Facilitation some ‘empowerment’ to encourage the GA to prioritize something

prioritize things once a week so that it only happens in one GA a week

POP: it’s 9pm, did you write this down on real paper?

amendment: have amendments meet Robin and change things with her

[alright, amenders are joining Robin to fix things, individual stack is open]

John Murphy is taking names of people who want to occupy Hyannis for two days.

Greg has cash and disbursement forms!

omg someone is making a live action occupy-themed nativity scene.

Eddie from Albany: on December 22nd, Occupy Albany is going to be evicted. Occupy Albany maybe evicted, because we decided to ask for a permit. We don’t know what’s going to happen. We want Bostonites to be there! Help us out. email: eyadalkurabi@gmail.com, 518-944-3355

Alex is talking some SERIOUS NONSENSE, he’s going to leave us for a while on vacation (Rhode Island). He hates Georgia. Now he’s talking about basketball, and Duke, and camping for basketball tickets. OccupyDuke - the original occupation?

Aaaaand now the proposer Robin is coming back.

56 people are present.

Amended proposal: we’re going to try this on Tuesday night and see how it works. It is just in effect for Tuesday night.
1 minute summaries
then we do temp checks
priority proposal process goes first
then rollovers
then high to low temp check
emergencies can come up each time if necessary
we’ll revote on a separate proposal if Tuesday goes well

No concerns or objections, one statement of support
One amendment, test it both Tuesday and Thursday

Ready for consensus? Yes

We have reached consensus! Proposal passes.

46 in attendance.

Cherie’s proposal: we should set aside $5000 from the General Fund for members of OB who are facing hard times and have limited or no income at all. The use of these funds are specific: they are for reimbursement of hosts for food and utilities, as well as T-passes, winter gear that Logistics can’t provide, and undergarments. Also, $50 for ‘non-essential’ items, that could go toward cell phones or parking bills or whatever - just the once. The individual receiving funds needs two sponsors to verify that they are part of the movement and they do have this specific need. This protects privacy (though FAWG of course would also know). The individual’s name will not be revealed when listing how money is spent. This will also allow people to get appropriately fitting clothes for interviews, including alteration. Also, WGs can help out with their stipends.

CQ AND POI:

CQ: where did the number $5000 come from? do you know how many people will use this?
A: no - I’m thinking about the winter, we could have a lot of surprise issues.

CQ: do you need to be houseless to ask for the money?
A: no - you can be sheltering someone (with two people to verify)

CQ: is $5000 just a one time amount?
A: yes, it’s intended for the winter.

CQ: who qualifies?
A: anyone in the OB family in need

CQ: the bit on WGs using their stipend - is this in addition to the $5000?
A: yes.

CQ: does this include specific allowed items? you mentioned parking passes.
A: the ‘non-essential’ bit is for expenses like that.

CQ: you need two sponsoring people for just the inclusion in OB, or two verify the need as well?
A: to help verify the need as well

CQ: who makes the decision if the expense brought forth is covered by this proposal?
A: that should be decided in the working group. we should develop that further.

CQ: Is there a process to establish a need? would these two sponsors know someone’s true financial situation?
A: that’s why there are two people - but it would have to be limited to the OB family for that reason. hopefully the sponsors know the person well enough to justify these costs.

POI: a group already does this, for the transgender community, perhaps we can get all this info that they use so that we don’t reinvent the wheel. I can help you with those contacts so they can help.
A: awesome!

CQ: can’t many of these needs be met by groups in the city?
A: don’t you need to fall into certain categories to qualify?

CQ: can you give us a number of people who will need this?
A: no

CQ: would there be a cap to each request? to how many one person can make? is there an end date? what happens if you need more money?
A: end date: April 1st. non-essential stuff is capped at $50. t-passes aren’t capped. clothing and gear are a one time thing.

CQ: can someone see if these needed items can be gotten by other means?
A: yeah I can look for these other ways, I’ll make a list of places that can help

POI: this has a high chance of being tabled, so we should break down into groups and try to fix it right now in the next hour so that it doesn’t get pushed back again.

Facilitation is seeing how we should proceed.

Okay we are all breaking into small groups to discuss this proposal.

Alright, we’re coming back to the GA.

43 people are present.

Cherie wants to table it but first get more feedback from the breakout session.

POI: a couple of GAs ago, a proposal passed that OB would help folks who were houseless to travel to other occupies, good for one round-trip ticket. We have spent already $3000 to help people leave Boston.

POI: this is so much more important than lots of what we do, and we spend money freely, and Cherie is carrying water for a lot of people here.

C: $5000 will be spent so so fast. This doesn’t solve problem, it just patches things.

Amendment: GA should have a $100 budget, so that the homeless can eat. WG should have $150 a week so that they can take care of their members who need help. Those who need it get a bus pass for a week or a month. Lastly, we should stop all actions and cut off all WG funds until this problem is fixed. Why don’t we have a building yet? We should have a warehouse already! This is our biggest problem.

C: we have to watch our language, and not trivialize the very real needs of the houseless.

Cherie gives some background on problems that can happen to anyone.

POI: shelters are like prison - OB is freedom from that prison, and we want to treat all of our members with dignity and respect

CQ: at the houseless meeting, we talked about advocacy and long-term fixes. this isn’t about that, it’s much more immediate. can you be clearer about how to define members of the community?
A: I’m going to work with Gunner on this!

POP: lots of questions can’t be answered. it would be better to make a list of concerns to hand in to Cherie.

POI: people are missing from these meetings because they have to cope with other issues. We have discouraged people from coming, and they sometimes don’t have the means either.

CQ: why can’t winterization use that money for this?
GA: GA apportioned that, GA would need quorum to re-apportion it.

CONCERNS NOW

C: $5000 is not even close, especially since we don’t have an idea of how many people would use this. The idea of a timelimit is better than a money limit.

C: the proposal is too long and has so many parts, it could easily be abused, it would give FAWG a full-time job for reimbursement. are we even looking for a building? is this a temporary step?

C: having worked in homeless shelters before and with homeless people, and knowing that there is no membership barrier to OB, this could be exploited. people can just join OB or trick sponsors to game the proposal for support. a permanent place is the solution.

C: I did the math, if we just do the housing stipend for two homeless people, the money already disappears.
A: I lowered it to $15
C: it still won’t be enough. there are so many resources that is covered and done better than what we can do. I don’t like social work stuff but here it sounds like we’re throwing money at a situation that really requires care and attention. It would be better if we knew who needed what, and knew what the needs were upfront, this would be way more transparent and longer lasting.

POP: we have 20 minutes before we have to pack up.

STATEMENTS OF SUPPORT

as a member of the People of Color WG, I know this would help some of our members. this is a great step.

FRIENDLY AMENDMENTS

we can set up a fund on the website for houseless/underemployed people so that people can donate specifically to it

work with the org. that Gunner knows, as well as the protest chaplain, to figure out what resources exist. also, emphasize the dire need of getting a space, because that would fix many of these issues.

people who get help have to attend meetings and have to contribute to OB.

WG money should be for the WGs and not be shifted to helping the homeless.

No more amendments, proposal tabled. Please help Cherie work through this before Tuesday because it’s very important.

GA is over.

Goodnight,

Morgan O’Neillunner knows, as well as the protest chaplain, to figure out what resources exist. also, emphasize the dire need of getting a space, because that would fix many of these issues.

people who get help have to attend meetings and have to contribute to OB.

WG money should be for the WGs and not be shifted to helping the homeless.

No more amendments, proposal tabled. Please help Cherie work through this before Tuesday because it’s very important.

GA is over.

Goodnight,

Morgan O’Neill