Transcription attempt for General Assembly, October 25, 2011
This GA included a lively 30 minute discussion of the financial impropriety associated with Paul Fetch/Paul Carnes' involvement in Occupy Boston.
Edited to add: DISCLAIMER: 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; this GA moved faster than my fingers can. 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.
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 “Finance”--financial accountability working group 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.
“Paul” and “Carnes” and “Fetch” are the same person, “Paul Carnes,” alias “Paul Fetch. This person was central to a 30 minute discussion during this GA.
This is a live transcript, done in real-time, not from memory. If you look at the history you will see edits made after the 25th; the only edits made after the fact involved adding these notes, and fixing typos and misspellings. (And probably not all of the typos were fixed.)
These notes begin at the introduction of hand signs.
Justin from Facilitators Working Group (announcement): Facilitators had a public WG meeting last night to discuss the proposal proposal; will be proposing the proposal at Saturday’s GA. The Facilitators WG has been short of people so people are encouraged to participate; meetings in front of Fed building 5pm M-F and 4pm Sat/Sun.
CQ: Will that proposal be posted on the wiki before Saturday?
Justin: Proposal has already been posted on the wiki.
Katie from Outreach: Two things have happened in the last week. 1. Canvassing kits! They are at the media tent, they include flyers, info, everything you need to tell your neighbors about Occupy Boston. So stop by and pick up kits! 2. We’ve been working hard at connecting to existing community organizations, labor groups, students, etc. Tremendous showing at Occupy The Hood; many people want to follow up on this. Following up involves going offsite and participating in community events, teach ins, etc., things that have been happening in Boston for a long time. Outreach is working hard to connect OB to other things in Boston. Two teach ins tomorrow: one with Food Workers’ Union on strategies for organizing; another with United Effort for Change at SCIU, near to Dewey (times not clear yet!). We are also invited to MassUnited to a rally opposing Scott Brown. For anyone who was at Dudley (Occupy The Hood) this weekend, this was tremendous. Violence was a major theme at Dudley’s speakout. Mothers for Justice and Equality (largely constituted of people whose family members have been killed—40+ homicides this year) is holding a big rally at Roxbury Community College, Thursday 5-8. It would be terrific if we can get OB people to come. See Katie at Info tent for more information.
Alex from Media: Yesterday a new WG formed called Social. Social is dedicated to celebrating OB milestones like our upcoming one-month anniversary! We’ll have a quick meeting after GA so we can make Halloween and our one-month anniversary spectacular. We’ll also be holding board game nights. Come see Alex at Media Tent so we can find out when to meet and how to get these things done.
Dan from Food: Quick announcement: we always need volunteers! If you know people outside the camp, spread the word, cooked food is welcome! Go to restaurants, give a flyer about Occupy Boston and urge them to give donations. We need hot food in the winter! Check the wiki for what we need.
Greg from Finance (with large Finance working group for support): Cash donations are now sitting in an account at Liberty Bank Credit Union. Today we deposited approximately $15,000 in this account. We also have money sitting in the We Pay accounts; we’re strategixing with tax lawyers about how to best deal with this. We might move it into a credit union or trust; we’ll decide and figure out what we’re going to do soon and tell you. We have other accounts: general fun of $22,000, bail fund, food fund of about $4,000. Rep of Liberty Bank Credit Union had come to OB last week about organizing an action against Bank of America; Rene will coordinate this over the next week or so. I like our banker, I really like our banker! When it comes to dispersing money to WGs, we’re going to start tomorrow. This information is on the wiki. Briefly: WGs have a stipend of $100 per week. For accountability we need WGs to first decide what we want then give us a few days’ notice. We’re asking you to fill out forms (located at Logistics). Finance table will be open 12-3 at Logistics tent for now (maybe moving behind Legal soon). Finance will be open every day to receive forms. Fill our the form first. Then see if Logistics can give you what you need. If Logistics can’t get it they will sign the form and you then go to Finance to get your cash disbursement; give your form to Finance and Finance gives you money. Then you need to bring back the receipt in ONE day. If the Finance Liaison in the working group doesn’t bring back the receipt in ONE day, that person cannot be a Liaison any more (i.e. can’t get money). So how do we determine who is a working group that gets money? Eventually, Finance will bring a proposal about this to GA. For the next day or two, we’re going to recognize WGs based on whether they have existing OB emails. If you need more than $100, then the WG needs to bring it to GA to get the proposal consented to.
CQ: Could you let us know how we know who you are, what your names are and what your past experience is?
Greg: We’re going to put that on the wiki. We’re also going to run background checks on everyone in the Finance group and make that info public.
CQ: How do you get large expenditures approved (over $100)?
Greg: Bring it to GA. Tell GA, “Our Working Group wants to buy this, here’s how much it is, here’s why.”
CQ: We need to winterize the camp now!
POI (John from Winterization): Winterization meets tonight.
Greg: The third announcement is a resolution we want to meet publicly. Be it resolved that any action taken by Paul Carnes is not sanctioned by the Financial Accountability Working Group, including
This is a resolution that Finance passed yesterday. This is also on the Wiki. We invited Mr. Carnes to respond if he wants. Finance has banned Mr. Carnes from being on the committee.
Paul Carnes: First of all I don’t know why GA is being hijacked by Finance; this is not what it is about. This is not what the process is about. Our camp has been infiltrated by undercovers. One of our friends at camp was arrested by an undercover and they are trying to charge him with domestic terrorism. Finance, too, has been infiltrated.
POP from Aria: This is an individual announcement (referencing Mr. Carnes). This is not a working group announcement.
Paul Carnes: So what’s our solution, how are we going to fix this. Also, we are having a one-month party at Dorchester on Saturday at 11:30. Spots are limited—150 spots available. Come see Paul or Sid.
POI: Mr. Carnes, AKA Paul Fetch, entered the Financial Committee
Paul: (interrupting) Helped start the finance committee.
Facilitator: Point of process; if you have an individual announcement please get on stack.
POI: Mr Carnes came to finance using an alias. He has acted unilaterally and without the consent of the Finance Committee or the General Assembly. That is what this is about.
Site monitor?: That was an individual announcement; everyone is welcome to get on stack for individual announcements.
Paul: If you are concerned about this issue please come see me.
Facilitator: If anyone has an individual announcement commenting on this.
CQ: This party was just announced: how is it paid for? Is it paid for with our funds?
Paul: No, it was a contribution that was raised by donate Occupy in support of this movement and sponsored by the Boston Teachers Union.
POP: This is not a Q&A, this is individual announcements time.
CQ: Why don’t we use the money that was given to us to buy lots of food and have it in a place where all people can come?
Carnes speaks: the transcriber cannot hear this.
Previous CQ: You didn’t answer my question.
Facilitator: We are going to move the GA forward right now. If you’re not part of Facilitation please get off the ramp area in front of the state; we need people
There’s a lot of people in this corner that are not very happy with that. And I believe that’s breaking process as this is a consensus process.
Facilitator: This is not a consensus process; there is no proposal being presented to GA. I’m going to do a temp check to move on to the next individual announcements; if you want to continue to talk about this then
Vibe manager recommends that we take a break from GA and move to formal group discussion. This is not GA, and this is not a consensus process. We want to have a group discussion about this.
Facilitator: everyone, take a minute to talk please together. Mr. Carnes will also be able to talk.
(Time is spent in which Facilitators and others confer on stage. One Facilitator invites GA participants who are participants to come to the front of the group. A member of Finance calls for members of Finance to gather.)
Finance: Finance will be at the front to answer questions you might have.
Angela: I am part of Facilitators. I believe this conversation about finance and the differences between onsite occupiers and the rest—it has to happen now. I am suggesting to the facilitators group that we take 15 minutes to have some kind of facilitated conversation, not a whatever, so that we can let people talk about the concerns and upset. I’ve tried for three hours to find Finance today and I couldn’t find it. I’m going to turn it back over to Facilitators; considering suspending GA process to have a conversation. (Angela amends the transcription to ask that Maureen also be noted on record as part of this intervention.)
(Tech/media/facilitators confer. Audience members conferring.)
Aria: Temp check on moving forward. We are proposing that we have a 15 minute group discussion out of GA process. We are not in GA right now; we are out of process. We propose to have a 15 minute discussion about this topic. Anyone with a question that is not personal may ask a question. Same for points of information, etc. Mr Carnes and Finance will both get to speak.
GA temp checks; consents.
Aria: If you are not part of Finance, and not Mr Carnes, please get off the ramp area in front of the stage to give people enough space to speak and not fel threatened.
Person: Can we get a rep from Finance rather than having the entire finance team?
Finance member: All of us have different opinions and things we’ve seen.
Person 1: It looks like it’s just one guy versus 15 of you.
Finance member: That’s the same as what it is.
Person 2: I have my sources. There is one person who has stolen. That person better leave the camp right now before things get worse.
Person 3: Can someone from the financial group tell us what their grievances are in respect to Mr Carnes.
John calls for temp check on that.
Eric from Finance: As a group we have voted to not allow Mr Carnes to represent himself with spemnding money and with fundraising on credit union accounts. We lost trust in him, we asked him if he would respect consensus process and he said no. He said he would not respect the consensus process of GA. Iw ill also answee the specific question of what the grievances are. Mr Carnes spent over 500 dollars in military fatigues without approval of GA and outside of the framekwork of the financial accountability working group. We don’t like this.
Person 4: Sketchy!
Eric: Paul Carnes and Sidney who seem to work together sometimes are the sole signers on the credit union account. I would not like to be on the same account with these two. Because they’ve lost my personal trust and they’ve also lost the trust of the entire financial acocuntability working group. And we are here as a working group to bring this loss of trust to the entire genersal assembly.
Greg: The credit union account hat Eric referred to is not the account with the 15,000 in it. It is the acocunt that Mr Carnes did open on behalf of Occupy Boston. Ever since he opened that account he has not allowed any other member of the Finance group to access to that account, and he has never shared any of that paperwork with us. We have ben working with Mr Carnes and Sidney since last Thursday to try to resolve this issue. He has been uncooperative, he forced our hands.
Angela: Who’s keeping time? Livestream manager offers to keep time.
Aria: We are now going to let Mr Carnes have 2 minutes to respond to that statement.
Sidney: My name is Sidney and I would like to say that if anyone asks me a questions--any questions--about the way finances were being handled--I answered them. People needed things. People were trying to break into a locked donations box, banging on the info table, for emergency needs. There was nothing in place for that. We saw that need and created a system that was agreed upon in the financial group. People from that financial group asked me questions about the system. I answered them. They seemed fine with it. In regards to the credit union account, Paul and I set up the credit union account as per the financial group. When we got back we found out that Paul’s tent was broken into and all the money was taken out. We then could not trust the financial group who broke in to said tent with any of this information.
Angela: You’re really over time. CAn you at least step back for a moment?
Aria: OK, now we’re opening to Questions and Point of Information.
Angela: Just remember folks we’re trying to work this out.
POI for Direct Action: He told us he was our financial representative. We never voted on that. We never chose him, never. He came to us, he told us there was no process for taking out money, that he’d give it out when we needed it.
Aria: Please get off the ramp.
Sidney: It was a three person group that removed the money from the tent. They videotaped the transaction so you could see what happened.
Brian K: Two weeks ago I got a call from Occupy Cleveland. Do you know of a PAul from Boston they asked. He seems disruptive and sketchy they said. Then I get a text from Occupy Cleveland saying that Paul is being called back to Occupy Boston yet couldn’t identify his and informing Brian of picture, facebook, and info about Paul. Cleveland rep says to Brian that he has a history of disrupting Cleveland. (This is an incomplete transcription.)
Paul: I just want to address what happened in Cleveland...
Angela: No, you can’t speak yet.
Paul: This is my first GA...
Lots of talking. Calls from floor to let him speak.
Daniel calls for temp check on Paul responding to this concern.
Paul: So I did go to Cleveland and I set up a tent in Cleveland so they could hjave what we have. They didn’t get it. I don’t understand process so please forgive me; this is my first GA and not how I wanted to introduce myself.
Someone: Why is this your first GA?
Floor: I’m fucking leaving if this asshole keeps talking.
Lots of wrap it up gestures.
Floor: How are you on the finance committee if you don’t know the fucking process?
Facilitator: Everyone take a quick second to breathe. We have agreed to a process and it’s only fair; democracy is a two way street.
Floor: I’ve been here seven days and I’ve never seen you.
Paul: I’ve never been to GA; this isn’t what I do. We saw there was a need; there was a system put in place; fatigues were bought for veterans who wanted to protect us from the police if they went rogue. That’s what the fatigues were bought for. We talked in Finance about protecting the donations. We were making an investment in the safety. RIght now money is locked up and we were distributing it to the people on the ground who sleep here and care about the movement 24/7. Sidney and I and people in camp, those are the “we”, the people who are out here every single day.
Paul: Actually, the McDonalds went really fast.
Aria: It has been two minutes so we are opening up POI and CQs. To give you an idea we have two minutes left in this 15 minute discussion. Temp check on increasing that time.
Lots of twinkles. Aria and Floor identify consensus.
We are extending the discussion for 15 additional minutes.
POI: We have from the city of Boston Office of the City Clerk withdrawal certificate. There’s a 40 dollar finance fee so if we take care of this, we can get the money aay from Paul Fetch and get it back where it belongs.
Greg: On behalf of Finance we asked Carnes yesterday to sign that form to release all this information from his name. He said no.
POI from Finance: Because Paul filed a Doing Business As for Occupy Boston in the city of Boston, we can’t. He has a bank account only for him that can accept checks made out to Occupy Boston. This is why we’re so upset. ANd he began to do fundraising with outside groups and people without telling anyone.
Aria Facilitator: Stack Person is moving to front to collect stack.
POI: A while ago when we took the first break I approached Paul and asked him about the two different names and which one was on his birth certificate, which was Paul Carnes. I asked what the other was and he told me it was his revolution name. Which made me really concnered about the 500 dollars in fees.
POI: I’ve been here seven days. I haven’t eaten anything but peanut butter and jelly. Thank you.
Joey is next on stack, says Bea the Stack Person.
Facilitator calls for temp check on returning to GA. Do we want to move into individual announcements? I think a lot of them are regarding this.
No, say people in assembly.
Joey: I guess we’re against corporations taking our money. So why are we using money here at the protest when we’re supposed to be protesting against the money they’re taking. Donations are material things. So is money. But there’s a big difference on how it was made.
Mike from Fundraising: I was briefly involved with Paul; I come here after work and try to do what I can. I met Paul last week and he asked me if I wanted to be involved in Fundraising. He asked me to meet with unions and talk to people about Fundraising. In the last one he started talking about planning a party for donors. I asked him if he was going to propose this to GA and he said no, he doesn’t care about GA. I flipped out and said he was being the one percent of the occupy movement. I went to Finance and told them what happened and they said they wanted me to make an announcement.
Brendan: I know there’s been a lot of talk about this and if you’re here for GA for the first time I want to say we usually talk about more productive things. But in regards to Paul: in my experience, I’ve been here since the very first GA and I didn’t see him until the day after everyone was arrested, and I saw him acting in an authoritarian way, making unilateral decisions, and I told him about that and he expressed a lack of care for the consensus process. And I said this is really wrong and I’m going to bring it to GA, and he threatened me and said “I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” I personally think we should know about the possibility and reality of infiltrators since we’re doing something revolutionary. there was an infiltrator named Anna and I’m pretty sure she worked for the FBI and bought guns and army stuff and left town and made it look like people were going to do something violent. It sounds like something like that was in progress. I don’t think we have the power to exclude anyone, but we can shun. And we can get people out of working groups. The list of things about this person could go on and on and this is just the beginning.
Aria: New people: this is not usual. But what you should know is that in consensus we are trying to create an environment where people are not fearful to speak their mind. We want to let people express their opinions without feeling threatened or pressured. Screaming over someone talking is not our vision of democracy in general assembly. I hope this is a learning experience for all of us including facilitators!
Timekeeper: 2:45 left in the 15 minutes.
It’s now 8:15.
Greg from Finance: I want to clarify what happened when Sidney said we broke into Paul’s tent. This was Thursday. Per the proposal we’re going to clear cash donations. We agreed last Wednesday to clear the site of cash every day; that was put on our agenda for Thursday. Finance came up with a plan and an inventory of where there was cash. We tried in conversation with Sidney to get Paul to come to the meeting, get Sidney to come to the meeting, they never came. We cleared the site of OB cash that nght as planned, including in Paul’s tent.
Sherry: I’m just hearing what’s going on and I want to give my opinion on the idea of someone taking money not theirs. I left a job because hundreds of dollars were stolen. The management was under the delusion that the guilty employee didn’t know the combinations. When they finally arrested him they discovered he had been taking money from customers, petty cash, etc left and right, including check fraud. I lost respect for management that they allowed this person to keep working there and just waited until he stole money from a customer to confront him. There’s a lot of anti authority here but I hope you will prosecute Paul for what he is doing because you will lose respect from many people, including myself, if you don;t.
Finance WG member: I am from the Finance working group and in the process of getting this signed we need a notary or JP to oversee the signing. So I’m seeing if there is anyone here with that authority. Is there a notary in the house?
Facilitators: If you’re a notary come see Finance. The discussion is over.
Facilitator: OK, discussion not over, one more person on stack.
Jason: That situation will be dealt with, we’ll make sure it’s dealt with, that’s not why we’re here though. Yes we need things, but let’s not let this guy--I won’t call him an asshole--let’s not let this situation discourage us from why we’re here. The problem is much bigger than one asshole disrupting us for an hour and a half. Let’s stay focused. Whether he’s a con man or infiltrator or whatever, we’ll deal with it. Let’s move forward from this and stay focused. Also I don’t care who is drinking or smoking what, but let’s try creating an NA and AA meeting. I volunteer to run those meetings (I’m sober). Our homeless brothers and sisters are here and part of us; they didn’t wake up one day and decide to be homeless. Many of them have survived traumatic experiences, rapes. If someone needs help, we will help them--social workers, etc., people who are good at helping people and not looking down on people we need to counsel our brothers and sisters. They are an equal with everyone. I don’t care if you’ve got a PhD from fucking Harvard or you’re a fifth grade dropout; we’re all equal. Don’t call them junkies, that’s dehumanizing, just like a racial slur or any other slur. We stand in solidarity with everyone here irrespective of where they came from and help them when they are here.
NOW INDIVIDUAL ANNOUNCEMENTS BEGIN, approximately 8:15.
Angela: This is an announcement that another person and myself are starting a regular 12 step meeting for anyone who would like to attend. We want this to be an umbrella thing including AA, al-anon, OA, and any other 12 step program and if we find a need to then break into more specific programs. We are suggesting to begin with that we will have a Wednesday, tomorrow at 2:45 meeting. Let’s meet right here tomorrow. If you have never been to a 12 step meeting, this will be what is referred to as an open group meeting. Please feel free to join us.
John: I took a walk around this place with the fire captain and have been raising my concerns to people and groups. Concern 1 is the hay: this is a fire safety hazard. Someone could take the whole place out in one minute. It leaves us too vulnerable. Next is the sign tent; it’s an invitation for someone to end this too quickly in a deranged way. I’d like to entertain anyone’s suggestions on fire safety. We need a thousand fire extinguishers--please tweet this and promote it! One more suggestion: I would like to see some creative person reword the 12 step program to include finding and fostering individuals purpose within themselves as opposed to a theological bent. We need to get people who are floundering active in the community. If you’re not part of WGs or GAs you need to ask yourself what you’re doing here in this community.
Sage: I thought it would be a nice idea to have a little pumpkin festival on Sunday so we’re going to try to get a donation, maybe a thousand. If you want to help come talk to me. It’s the day before halloween, we can carve some radical jack o lanterns.
Erin: I am from Salem MA. Yesterday me and a group of 7 people got togeter for Occupy Salem. We’re hoping to bridge with Salem State Uni as well. We need someone to help us with a facilitation procedure in GAs, we want our first GA to happen after Halloween because halloween is crazy in Salem. Can someone from Facilitation come and help? Also can someone from Legal come and give us a contact to help us with Legal, esp legal issues concerning protests?
Siham: Just to lighten things up a little because we all want to rip Paul’s ass off and all that stuff--I agree with you on that, but I am proposing, I do this as a hobby, and I’d like to set up a tent for Moroccan night, and if women want designs on their hands (displays poster...beautiful, looks like mehndi) let me know. Just for fun.
Sage for winterization: Winterization working group is going to have a meeting at 9 tonight. Meet at Gandhi. That’s it.
Brian K: Ladies and gentlemen, I think that one of the things that’s great about this is that you never know what lesson you’ll learn each night. I think tonight there is a lesson about state repression and infiltration by the feds. I’m not accusing anyone of being an agent provocateur but I want us to be aware. I want us to know about counterintelligence program; this was created in the 1950s and its sole project was to infiltrate and discourage progressive movements; they infiltrated black panthers, communist party, etc to try to divide and discredit the movements. Please GOOGLE IT YOURSELF, COINTELPRO, counter intelligence program. You’ll see this as a history of repression of dissent and activist movements. Now we don’t want a culture of paranoia and distrust because “Oh no, everyone might be an agent.” That will undermine our movement because our movement is based on solidarity, so don’t undermine ourselves with culture of paranoia. But the powers that be, 55 rich white men in Philadelphia who set up our government--no women, no black men, no natives--they set up a government for themselves and have maintained their power ever since then. And they are still using that power to try to shut us down. You might have heard about Occupy Oakland, big police crack down, 800 SWAT team police, cleared the square and destroyed everything. We need to be aware of how the government can repress our movement. I want to work with anyone about developing teaching materials about that movement for the public and for us internally. But for now be aware: if anyone starts asking you weird personal questions, you don’t have to tell them anything. Be aware that the FBI is trying to infiltrate us. Be smart. I wish I had more evidence; we’ll be putting that forward in teach in.
John (POI); They used tear gas, high frequency speakers, rubber bullets at Oakland. Harsh measures described.
Broadway: We need to make an evacuation plan to show city officials about how we’re organized in case of fire or other emergency. Suggests that we post these at entranceways to notify people at Dewey about evacuation plan. We can tell people at the city how this works--fire safety, etc--to show them how well we are organized. Also if you’re going to smoke please smoke outside the encampment. We want everyone safe. You guys have more support than you believe. Reach out to Tea Party people; they want the same thing as us; we all want to be able to provide for our families, pay the rent, pay the mortgage, we all want the same thing, just going about it in different ways--not the wrong way, we just focus on what we want to accomplish and we’ll get there.
Wagner: Was going to talk about COINTELPRO and habit of infiltrating movements. Right here in Boston and Cambridge we started a movement against bombing in the Central American wars in around 1980. You know how Vietnam war was started? They sent military advisors--what’s a military advisor, anyone know? And before you know it it’s a full blown war with bombing and bombing. So then the movement developed in the US. And then we have all these agencies--FBI, NSA--spy agencies that WE are paying for! You know what they do? NSA have satellites spying in the sky. You know they have satellites trying to spy on us to see if anyone is going to bomb us--who’s going to bomb us, we have the bombs. So we’re paying kids from big universities like MIT and Harvard to watch us--that’s what they get paid for, spying. And spying on what? What are you gonna spy, a fly in the sky? Who is attacking us? Al-Qaeda! Al-Qaeda was created for what, the Saudi family to coalesce.
Floor: It was the name of a CIA database that was turned into a terrorist group.
Wagner: So it was created by the US to give us an enemy. Lockheed Martin, JP Morgan--thank you.
Rod: Just a few points: if these interest you please talk to me. Tomorrow morning and most every day some of us stand in front of South Station to meet commuters, 6-9:30 AM. Thousands of commuters go past here and that’s more of a readership than many small newspapers. If you want to join us holding thoughtful signs and doing outreach please do. Then there are other places--North Station, overpasses on rts 2, 9, and 1, where we might be able to meet traffic with good results. After 9:30 tomorrow we will head out for walkabout with small signs. Better to do this in teams of two. We’ll go to neighborhoods who don’t see us much--like Beacon Hill. In the event that we do get dispersed by police or other efforts, we should havre a plan B, C, etc. to get back together somewhere else and continuing to be an effective occupation, even if not only in one place. Not sure how to go about that but let’s get together to work on that. Finally regarding our efforts as a civic activism camp, I hoped we might train each other up on points of fact pertinent to our advocacy issues. I don’t know enough about facts concerning our issues to be able to call into a radio talk show like I want to. Perhaps we could train each other up in advocacy.
Darren Howell from Occupy The Hood: Thank you for coming out on Friday! I wanted to clear the air about questions about what Outreach announced about tomorrow’s action against Scott Brown. 500 executives are awarding him in Danvers tomorrow at 6 for his performance on jobs. But we all know what his track record is on jobs. Mass United (Darren’s org) does actions against candidates who don’t adequately represent the 99%. We’re looking for a small contigent from Occupy Boston to help us go kick Scott Brown in the ass. We will provide transportation. We don’t know what the results will be but we think it’s important. Please see Katie at Outreach or me.
CQ: are you risking arrest and when are you leaving?
Darren: We don’t expect arrests, this is a peaceful protest. We’ll be leaving from here at 4:30.
Matt McLaughlin: From Save our Somerville. We represent working class and struggling people in Somerville. But this movement has made us realize the global importance of what’s going on where we are. We’re totally pumped about what’s going on here. I had 200 people from Somerville come down here yesterday and explain their struggles. Unfortunately general assembly was closed that day because I wanted you to know we’re down for your cause. Unfortunately people who were here, some didn’t want to listen. One guy in particular actually insulted me and questioned our motivation and dedication to this cause. We got 200 people who if we didnt ask them would never have come here. And we lose those people when people question each other’s motives. We’re all here for different reasons but we’re all here for the same reasons too. So I’ll leave it at this and just say we’re trying to form a coalition of working class people around Bosotn. Come down and join our cause. If you’re interested please come and speak to me for a minute. Thank you.
Jason: While all the previous people had some great ideas, unfortunately it will all be for naught. We don’t have to worry about COINTELPRO because Occupy Boston is killing itself. Our outreach to the indigent and homeless is overwhelming us. We’re faced with the same problem of any neighborhood but we’re under a microscope. We won’t have to winter because we’ll be gone by Saturday. While we were discussing finance people very high up in state government were planning how to get us out of here. There was a mention of the National Guard coming in here. And this is all because of what the mass media has put out there--isolated incidents magnified and blown out of proportion, and because we haven’t done anything about it we are at risk. OB will not be here on Saturday if we don’t turn this around immediately. This is a crisis; you might think it’s not that bad but really it IS that bad. Our priority needs to be to clean up our own back yard before we go knocking on our neighbor’s door. We need your suggestions; your voice matters. I have social workers coming in--an army of social workers--to help us with this problem. We are ill equipped, the state is ill equipped, to face this problem . We need to start talking openly about this and shine a light on it. A few bad apples spoil the bunch; I know who you are and what you’re up to and I will pull your covers. We need more volunteers for Safety because we are ill equipped; this is a crisis situation.
Announcement: legal people please go up to the Gandhi statue for a meeting.
Facilitators: Do we have quorum? Do we have enough people to make decisions?
Facilitator: Announcements don’t usually take this long and because of the 30 minute discussion we had it has come to our attention that we want to get a temperature check on whether we have quorum to make decisions for our movement. So: DO WE HAVE QUORUM TO MAKE DECISIONS?
Consensus is not evident.
Floor question: could we have a 5 minute recess to get more people?
Facilitators: We no longer have quorum. Now we’re moving to individual stack. We’re having discussions now, not decisions.
INDIVIDUAL STACK BEGINS
Eric: Winterization meeting starts right now at logistics.
Zoe: I know you all are leaving and I’m going to try to keep your attention for a set of proposals, like Occupy Wall Street’s.
I’m going to go through the proposals one by one and please do something with your hands.
1. Abolish electoral college, replace with popular vote.
2. (not heard)
3. Proportional representation rather than winner take all district model in Senate elections.
4. Proprietorships and individuals are prohibited from giving money to political candidates.
EMERGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT: Someone’s scooter is going to get towed SOON, please take care of your scooter.
5. Return to article 5 of 14th amendment; a person is a human being and only a human being.
6. Legalize recreational use of marijuana.
7. Legalize LSD and similar.
8. Legalize mushrooms for recreational.
9. Legalize and regulate prostitution to guard against STI spread.
10. Cities and districts are encouraged to mint their own currency and encourage people to use it within districts, but the US dollar will still be accepted. They did it in Ithaca.
11. Any HS graduate with a 3.0 or graduate with a 3.5 in your senior year can attend undergraduate university for free.
CQ: Are we talking community college, state schools, private?
Zoe: it would have to go through the state school because private schools are private.
POI: Not all schools have a GPA.
Zoe: we may have to work into some form of equivalencies--a person who gets some form of grades, straight As, will find some complementary equivalent to suit that.
POI (Sherry): This would leave out learning disabled kids who might be doing better if their school were more supported.
Zoe: obviously the language needs to be broadened so it enfranchises the entire scale and scope. Most people have at GPA scale, most understand how it works.
12. A single payer nationalized health service. Given that the thriving of a society is a measure of its health, we’ll start medical education earlier, in high school.
13. Horizontal distribution of property taxes to transfer money from wealthier to poorer districts; this is because public schools are principally funded by property taxes.
14. Open migration. Everyone in the world can emigrate anywhere.
15. Queer marriage and GLBT federal hate crime protection.
16. Tax ceiling of 32,000 per year for wage earners and holders of sole proprietorships.
Thank you for sticking it out, it’s been a long meeting. I want to integrate this in a proposal with the ideas committee, this way we have a measure to add things to it, a living document, we can add things to it, we can strike things to it. Let’s meet tomorrow by the sign tent, tomorrow, 12 noon. Actually if you’re interested let’s meet by that tent right now.
Facilitator announcement: New York person trying to put together carpool.
Bob: I’m starting the independent media group; it will allow us to all voice and write articles and papers within reason. You have to have been in camp for about a week or more to be part of it. So please meet me at the Gandhi statue tomorrow.
EMERGENCY ANNOUNCEMENT (Robin): Occupy Oakland is under siege AGAIN. Now there are 500-700 protesters under siege, rubber bullets and tear gas are being used. Women, children, pregnant women, the elderly, are being targeted. Text Oakland people right now. Three arrests so far, batons are swinging, it will get really bad. They are in front of City Hall.
Announcement: (Why are we here? What change do we want to see in the world? Let’s get a temp check on discussing this--having an open discussion of these issues.)
Announcement: (complaint that we have too few GAs; this is a revolution, it’s not about camping.)
t’s now 9:15. The Facilitators have opened the mic to talk about exciting things related to any camp matter.
And at this point, your friendly transcriber is stopping to look at Occupy Oakland. Go look at the Twitter hashtag #occupyoakland.