GA Minutes Nov 10 2011 Evening

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DISCLAIMER from Matt, who took minutes: Notes were begun by hand on a wet notebook in the middle of Working Group Announcements. Most everything below is paraphrased, and incoherence or omissions are due to slow hands or poor penmanship. Brackets work like stage directions in some places but designate especially heavy paraphrasing in others and in general represent information not explicitly stated. These notes give only a rough idea of what went down on a wet night in Dewey Square.


Jorge: [Standard introduction to the GA, facilitator introduces members of tonight’s facilitation team:

            Jorge: facilitator

            Siham: stack aide (NOT “stack master”)

            Matt: floor aide]


[Jorge the facilitator begins Working Group Announcements]

Climate Action, Sustainability, and Environmental Justice or CASEJ (Katherine): This is a new working group just getting off the ground [meeting time not recorded].

Info Tent: The Info Tent will conduct training this Monday at 6PM.

Facilitation (Daniel): The facilitators will be holding a workshop at 4PM tomorrow in the Federal Reserve Plaza to test a new consensus model. There will be coffee or hot chocolate or something and food, so come have some and work out the process with us.

Faith and Spirituality (Marty): Faith and Spirituality could use more participation and general help.

Safety (Marty): Safety is severely understaffed. Meetings occur every night at 6:30 in the Library tent. Ideally individual Safety members will work eight-day shifts with four days in between.

Indigenous Solidarity and Outreach (Marty): [Reproduced from flyer: The 42nd Annual Day of Mourning will be observed on Thursday, November 24, 2011 beginning 12 Noon on Cole’s Hill (the hill above Plymouth Rock) in Plymouth, Massachusetts.] Members of Occupy Boston will be traveling to this event. Contact for more information. There will be many native speakers, but representatives of Occupy Boston will not speak.

Occupy Boston Globe: The Occupy Boston Globe will undergo a name change due to legal issues with the current name. The new name will likely be The Boston Occupier. This is okay, we don’t need to ride on anyone’s coattails to produce a quality paper.

Outreach: There will be canvassing this weekend with City Life/Vita Urbana and a march on November 21st in Springfield. Ocupemos El Bario will meet tomorrow at 6PM, and the location will be posted in front of the Media tent. Also, participants can gather in the GA area at 11AM tomorrow for the Veterans for Peace march. [Dan from the Food tent interjects: Vets for Peace can no longer rally at City Hall due to an incident there a couple years ago.] [Question from a representative of the Info Tent, not recorded].

Ideas (Tess): Ideas will hold a community discussion on values tomorrow at 7PM. The location will be announced.

[Jorge the facilitator announces Individual Announcements]

Justin: is a seriously modified wiki for creating documents in an inclusive, democratic manner. It’s a good way to try collaborating on a document [The transcriber has tried it, he thinks it’s cool.]

[Jorge announces Working Group Proposals and explains consensus]

InterOccupations of Boston (Robin): [presented without request for consensus due to spare crowd and thus this is an informational discussion only] This is a new working group which represents various Occupy groups. A couple Boston University students involved in Occupy the Hood have proposed a march for December 3rd. [Reads proposal].

CQ (Siham): Are you only including the communities listed in the proposal [for this march]?

Answer: No, we’re including anyone who wants in.

[Robin states she has an announcement to make that was missed during the Announcements portion of GA.]

Women’s Caucus (Robin): [actually presented during the Working Group Proposals portion of the GA] The Women’s Caucus will hold its first march on December 4th. Planning is in progress.

CQ (Daniel): Is [this march] open to men?

Robin: It is open to men, but we ask that you respect the purpose of the march.

CQ (audience member): Who suggested it?

Robin: [Not heard]

Amendment (Daniel): You should try collecting signatures.

[Noah asks for quorum, is told this is not a proposal aiming at consensus. Another audience member asks if we had quorum, is told the same thing Noah was told]

[Jorge the facilitator moves GA to Individual Stack]

Noah: I’m afraid we don’t have enough people for quorum. We would have quorum with our current quorum system. And I think that would be okay, because everyone knows when the GA happens and it’s not even raining. Calling this a GA is bogus, but if we’re here [in Dewey Square] we should be able to call what happens here a GA. We shouldn’t let rogue, offsite GAs claim authority, that would be bad. We do need to figure out a way to include more people, that’s a problem. We can work on this at the Nov. 19 summit. And we do need a message. We need a Statement of Purpose beyond what we have right now. The Statement of Purpose as it stands is inadequate for our purpose. We need a Mission Statement. We need to be able to tell people what we have in common. We do have things in common and it is not kowtowing to the media to state this in a document. Next meeting [of the Ideas group working on these things] is tomorrow night at 7PM here in the GA area.

Audience member: I think the Mission Statement should say something about protecting democracy as it was originally written in the Constitution. [Things said but not heard by the transcriber] We need to combat misconceptions.

Another audience member: There is a street team that has just formed [addressing some of the issues raised by the previous speaker].

Noah: I’m interested in moving beyond what the Mission Statement already says. A phenomenon is emerging with lots of people coming up with the same ideas at the same time. The process [for producing another statement] needs to be as inclusive as possible if it is to pass GA. So come to the meeting.

Eric from Allston: I was at Occupy DC for four days. There are two encampments, Freedom and McPherson. Rev. Jackson spoke about the example of non-violence set by Dr. Martin Luther King. Rev. Jackson’s particular concern is with the poor, he thinks we should help the poor as much as possible. We want to contact Congress to get them to reinvest in the United States of America. [Many more things not heard by the transcriber] [Eric gives an account of a portion of Rev. Jackson’s speech.] [Eric states he will post film of the speech and other materials from his trip to DC on the wiki.]

Justin: This is pathetic, it’s not even raining, we need to shake the apathy out of people around this camp.

Matt (not the transcriber): I think we should not count this as quorum, that’s fucked up. I’m also opposed to picking a Mission Statement now.

Audience member: Come to the summit if you want to fix this.

B: We need to encourage people active in Working Groups to come to GA, to tell them how important this is. We appreciate work outside of camp but they need to know they should come and participate in the activities of the camp.