GA Minutes Sat Dec 11 2011
GA Sun Dec 11 2011
Taken from GA_Dec_11_2011_PM.txt
Matt (Co-facilitator): Welcome again to the General Assembly of Occupy Boston. This is the decision-making body of OB. And by decision-making body, I mean you. We decided to go back to the normal structure and format for General Assembly for tonight, and reorient ourselves back to this movement. That means we will have Announcements, Proposals, and Individual Stack. As always, we will have Working Groups before Individuals for Announcements and Proposals.
Matt explains the hand signals used in Genernal Assemblies (For more information on this, see: http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/General_Assembly)
Matt introduces the Facilitation team for the evening:
Co-facilitators: Matt and Anasstassia
Site Monitors: Anna and Pattie
Floor Aides: David and Greg
Process Aide: David
Matt (Co-facilitator): If you have questions about the process we use in General Assemblies, please see David or Greg.
Working Group Announcements
(1) Outreach Working Group http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Outreach
Katie: Although the decompression process is vital, we need to start discussing action and next steps. This announcement from the Outreach Working Group is about some specific actions coming up this week. City Life/Vida Urbana (http://clvu.org/) has confirmed that they want to organize reoccupations and actions with Occupy Boston over the next week. As we, Occupy Boston, were recently given a notice of eviction, we should stand in solidarity and support of others who are being forced out of their homes. We got evicted, but people all around Boston are getting evicted every day. We need to organize around this. (Also, we, Occupy Boston, need a space. There is a proposal later on this).
Monday (12/12): City Life, along with other organziations, will be staging a protest at Government Center against HUD, who is releasing a report that shows the lack of affordable housing in Boston.
Wednesday (12/14) NOON: Burbank Apartments Tenants Association is protesting their landlord. A notice was just sent out informing tenants that their affordable housing is being converted into luxury condominiums. Residents can't afford to stay. They have asked Occupy Boston to show up to show support. WEDS 12/14 at NOON at 151 Tremont, near corner of West Street: RALLY and MARCH. For more information: http://on.fb.me/t9ZuZp
(2) Writers' Caucus Working Group http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Arts/Media/Writers%27_Caucus
MEETS Wednesdays at 7; location TBA
Jennie: Who's got a story? Hopefully, all of YOU! The writers' caucus meets to help with, encourage, and share the telling of stories. Contact me (see above) for more information on where and when we will be meeting.
(3) Socialist Caucus Working Group http://www.facebook.com/pages/Socialist-Caucus-at-Occupy-Boston/137292236378604
Joe: In one sentence, the Socialist Caucus believes that capitalism is a problem. Revolutionary transformation is necessary and socialism is the solution. Tomorrow is the first day that this city, controlled by the 1% goes back to business as usual since they closed down the camp, or so they think. The socialist caucus was just meeting today at 4pm. We considered making the following a proposal, but as our aim is to be as united and inclusive as possible and to work with others about this, we chose to make this an announcement.
TOMORROW at 4pm at GOVERNMENT CENTER: SPEAK OUT, MARCH, and RALLY. We will build critical mass using an open speak, then march through the financial district to Dewey Square and back to the Commons. The march will be at 5pm. We will speak out about the following three things (but not binding demands). These three things I imagine have been on our and your minds: (1) Point the finger at Menino for this eviction, (2) Shame him for his actions, and (3) to express solidarity and support with all occupations that have been evicted across this country, and especially with the West Coast occupations that, as we speak, are organizing to shut down ports from Oakland to Seattle. I meant to bring a book about the 1934 West Coast Waterfront Strike (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1934_West_Coast_waterfront_strike) but forgot to bring it over! Let's bounce back on this first day of "business as usual" tomorrow!
(4) NEW WORKING GROUP Town Hall Working Group
Martin: We all like democracy! To that end, we have formed a new working group to spread the idea throughout the entirity of the city of Boston. In the second week of January, we'll be hosting a town hall meeting with many other community organizations, likely located at the Old South Meeting House. If you'd like to join in the planning of this event, come see me or email me at email@example.com.
(5) Media Working Group (http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Media)
MEETS Wednesdays at 7pm at E5 (http://bit.ly/uFgVdr)
Eli: ON emergency voice and text systems: (1) Join our emergency voice messaging system (you will receive pre-recorded messages in the case of an emergency): TEXT @OBvoice to 23559. To join our emergency texting system, TEXT @occupyboston to 23559. (2) Working Groups: Media is exploring ways to use this system to help improve internal communications within working groups. If you or your working group would like to work on solutions utilizing this/these systems, come find Eli.
Farhad: ON Occupy Boston calendars: (1) In this post-Dewey Square era, old meeting times and locations of working groups may no longer apply, so PLEASE UPDATE YOUR CALENDAR INFORMATION. If no one in your working group has or if someone needs calendar access, please come see me or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. (2) [Someone asks about calendar being updated to include actions taking place/scheduled]: If you are involved with actions, please update the calendar with them or talk to media to discuss adding actions to the calendar.
(6) Ocupemos El Barrio (www.facebook.com/pages/Ocupemos-El-Barrio/286888601344993)
MEETS TBA currently on hiatus for two weeks due to holidays (http://bit.ly/t9Y03C)
David: Enthusiastically and warmly invites all of us to come to the meetings for Ocupemos El Barrio. NOTE: There are translators for when others are speaking in other languages, so don't let that stop you!
(7) People of Color Working Group (http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Decolonize_Boston_-_People_of_Color)
MEETS Sundays 3-5 PM at E5 (http://bit.ly/uFgVdr)
Current concerns: NEED donations of business attire for people for job fairs and interviews. Details on size and specific needs TBD. Also needed are warm winter clothing. Currently in progress is an attempt to form a council of elders with experience in civil rights actions and community building. Also, the People of Color working group will also be using Occupy Boston Radio for efforts. TOMORROW 12/12 from 2-4pm the People of Color working group will be on the radio to discuss why the nonwhite community is crucial to the occupy movement.
(8) Ideas Working Group (http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Ideas)
MEETS Wednesdays at 6pm and after GAs on Sunday at South Station
Justin: Ideas focuses on building consensus among the occupy movement. As we move forward, this will become more and more important. We hold discussions based upon input from members of the movement; this input is going to be the mirror of our movement. We will collect and reflect and build consensus in this manner. We have collected values, and now we are collecting the concerns and societal problems that drew you to the movement. Tonight, I will be analyzing these in order to host discussions in the future. You can TEXT your concerns to (617) 942-0492. Please join the Ideas Working Group! Email email@example.com or join the mailing list firstname.lastname@example.org by going to https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/ideas. There are great discussions on the threads there and we'd love your participation.
(9) Non-Violence Working Group (http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Nonviolence_and_Civil_Disobedience_%28Working_Group%29)
MEETS Weds at 1pm at the Gandhi statue* (He was at the intersection of the paved and pebble-strewn walkways on the WEST end of Dewey Square).
We had come together in the spirit on non-violence, promoting the dignity of every human being, building community, and affirming the beloved nature of each and every one of us. And not just within the non-violence group, I see these principles at work in all the working groups of Occupy Boston. I also see it embodied in some of our institutions, like the library, the meditation and spirituality tent, the kitchen, and other services that modeled offering openly and freely the resources that people have to the entire community. The Non-Violence Working Group has offered trainings which relate to both issues about arrest, but also some trainings fundamental to building community. There are two more trainings scheduled on the website.
Even though he's not there in his bronzeness, he's there in spirit and so will we be. Once we gather there, we will move to South Station.
(10) NEW AD HOC WORKING GROUP NDAA Working Group
Anthony: Because congress recently passed a bill to allow the indefinite detention of American citizens (see http://www.aclu.org/indefinite-detention-endless-worldwide-war-and-2012-national-defense-authorization-act), we are gathering at Dewey Square at 12:15 on Thursday, December 15 to march against this. The wide-reaching effects are self-evident. The City of London Police has listed Occupy LSX (London Stock Exchange) in the same document as al-Qaeda as a terrorist/extremist threat (see http://occupylsx.org/?p=1924).
(10) Logistics Working Group (https://twitter.com/#!/OBLogistics)
Rene: We have all the stuff! [Break for cheers]. Also, we need and want to hear from you for next steps if you are [list of hands-on skills and occupations follow]; e.g. people who like to get shit done!
(11) Food Working Group (http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Tent_City_-_Food)
B: There's no food tonight, but that's not food's fault! [Crowd corrects with Points of Information- we have cookies, sweet potato rolls, PB&J sandwiches]. My bad! I had bad intelligence! [Laughter]. Next time, let's all try to bring things to eat and to share when Occupy Boston gathers. WE ARE ALL THE FOOD WORKING GROUP NOW. Monetary donations are not needed at this time, FOOD is needed.
(12) Free School University Working Group (http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Free_School_University_%28FSU%29)
Eden: (1) Meetings for this week are: Wednesday from 12-2p on Occupy Boston Radio. Go to occupyboston.org, click on radio, and participate via IRC chat. The second meeting is on Friday from 3-5pm, two blocks away from Dewey. Email for specifics. (2) Also, Free School University is going national at freeschooluniversity.org. You can start your own website there also. By spring, freeschooluniversity.org will be an actual online, interactive school. (3) Last, Eden is leaving Boston in a week and Free School University working group will need a point person to handle some smaller details. Please join and email Eden for more information. "Education is a weapon of mass construction!"
(13) Signs Working Group (http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Signs)
Jay: Will be at Dewey on Monday by the old GA area if it's possible. If not, on the sidewalk next to it. If that's still not possible, then across the street. If there's a march tomorrow, then I'll be there. If you want mobile signs, email OccupyBostonSigns@gmail.com or tweet @OccupyBosSigns. The current location of the "Mobile Unit" signs group will be constantly updated on the signs twitter. @OccupyBosSigns. There's really only me, so if you want help, I'll try my best to make it. I'm really tired, but I'm not going to stop. We're everywhere now! Well, maybe, maybe not. Come see me.
More: The signs tent has now become a Mobile Unit due to the raid and loss of the Dewey square camp. The Mobile Unit is a Radio Flyer wagon filled with sign and banner making materials. It is really awesome! We will be constantly moving about the city to various actions and marches. If you would like the signs Mobile Unit to be were you are having an event please email us at OccupyBostonSigns@gmail.com and let us know. We want to be with and for the people so let us know. This invitation is open to all working groups as well as other Occupys in the area and also community groups.
(14) Gypsy Squad Working Group
Gypsy: My name is Chaser. Around camp people called me Gypsy because I am a gypsy. I started Gypsy Squad, which is a working group where we took part in everything and anything in camp. We took part in everything, like food. We made and served food, did dishes, and everything else. Whatever was needed we helped with. Now, without the camp, we have been decimated to two members. We are recruiting more members. Without the camp, the Gypsy Squad feels useless because this country and this community was built by gloves and boots, not suits. We hope to expand these ideas into actions and to expand into communities and work amongst them. I implore you to come find me so we can stretch out. Remember: even though we no longer have a camp, we will continue our work amongst our communities because people are what's important. Thanks.
(15) Radio Working Group (http://www.occupyboston.org/radio/)
Radio LIVES! Tomorrow, a show from 2-4pm from the People of Color Working Group explaining where they are coming from and why we need to be much more connected to the nonwhite community. Tune in!
(1) Community Cuppa
MEETS Mondays at 5p at Uno Duo Go on Winter Street
Jorge: The Facilitation Working Group has a proposal for where to meet in the future for our General Assemblies coming up. The Community Cuppa is important. It's important we continue to meet as a community as often as we can. And the Cuppa is an event where we can meet and get to know each other.
(2) Tiny Tents
Justin: We are forming a Tiny Tents Task Force where we make tiny Occupy Boston tents to occupy every space throughout the city. If you'd like to help, please email@example.com. A demonstration on how to make the tents is planned near Dewey Square and will be announced soon.
(2) Show of Support for those arrested on Indigenous People Day
MEETS ONCE: FRIDAY 12/16 9am 24 New Chardon
B: About 20 people were arrested and plead not guilty to unlawful assembly and trespassing on Indigenous People Day. It would be really wonderful if Occupy Boston came out in force to support these defendants. Also, if you are involved with other organizations like Ocupemos El Barrio or Occupy the Hood or Occupy Allston (etc), we need your statements of solidarity. Please submit them to firstname.lastname@example.org by Wednesday. It would be really helpful, because we expect press, to demonstrate mass solidarity for these people.
(3) March 20 Interoccupy Convergence in Washington DC
MEETS Wednesday, December 14 at 7pm at Commons Bandstand
Noah: Upcoming will be a proposal for a 3-4 month plan to give us something to work towards throughout the winter. We are really interested in a national action to reflect a nationally-based consensus process on what needs to change in our society in order to make us just a little bit more happy. So the proposal is going to be something like an endorsement and mobilization for a proposed March 20 convergence on DG and issuing a challenge to occupy movements throughout the country to come to consensus on basic things that we can demand our elected officials to do. This is not meant to hijack or compromise our Diversity of Tactics. Personally, I feel exhausting every open route to have our current elected officials to address our needs is necessary to any strategy we have; even those outside that system. There's a lot of discussion that needs to happen about what specific actions to endorse and move forward with. Please come to our meeting December 14, Wednesday.
(4) Walkupy (https://twitter.com/walkupy)
Linden: There are a contingency of people who have walked from Wall Street to DC and are now walking to Georgia. Linden is meeting up with them on Tuesday to walk with them. If you can walk 20-30 miles a day and know your own limits, please consider joining Walkupy.
David: People with nowhere to go tonight- if you have nowhere to go, please raise your hands. It's too late now for a shelter. If you can help, please talk to them.
Franklin: Moving forward, if you don't have space for the night, please come to the Commons bandstand at 5pm every day. I have some contacts, and I can try to help put you in a place for the night until we can find a place for us all.
Working Group Proposals
Anasstassia explains proposals process. (For more information on this, see: http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/General_Assembly)
(1) Outreach Working Group http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/Outreach
Katie: Proposal for space available starting tomorrow. The proposal is space three days a week between the hours of 6:30 and 8:30. With some reasonable stipulations about safety, self-policing and a small donation to cover janitorial services.
Text of the proposal:
My proposal is that we take them up on this offer for the next week and potentially for the next month until we find a permanent home. The second half of my proposal is that we allow the financial working group to work out the details of what a reasonable donation is. And we let the outreach and the financial working group to work out the stipulations for the use of the space which is available mondays tuesdays and fridays from 6:30 to 8:30.
Part of this proposal would involve shifting the nights that we do GA. We would not be able to have super-long meetings. St. Paul's Cathedral has been extremely supportive and they also have a working kitchen.
Clarifying Questions and Points of Information:
(1) Clarifying Question: In supporting this proposal are we committing ourselves to the maximum number of GAs? What does our new GA situation look like? How many meetings should we have? Are there other spaces available for Thursday? Response: I believe other offers have been made, but they are not concrete offers to start this week. I am also very much in favor of not shifting the location of the GAs.
(2) Clarifying Question: How many people can attend a GA at St. Paul's Cathedral? Response: St. Paul's Cathedral can accommodate as many as 200 people.
[Small Group Discussions]
(1) In our group, there was specific information that there might be a possibility of switching from Friday to Thursday. There's a group that meets on the top floor that meets on Thursday nights. They end at 7:00. They might be able to use a different room.
(2) I'm concerned with the time limit. We began discussing this proposal at 6:27. We began at 5:00PM. We also are concerned about potential attendance at Friday GAs.
(3) I just wanted to confirm that this covers Monday to Fridays and it does not exclude weekend GAs.
(1) I strongly support this proposal. It's very cold. It will be getting colder. I think it behooves all of us to be flexible regarding timing and number of GAs during the week. I'm personally flexible about these parameters as long as they can be held inside.
The Reverend Jeff Street, who is the dean of the Cathederal, will negotiate on timing as to the length of the meetings during the week. Saturday the Cathederal is closed. Sunday is God's day.
(2) I support this proposal and the days proposed. It's different from our schedule, however, I support having weekend GAs in another location. I think we should pass the proposal as soon as possible.
(3) I support this proposal because I think we can be innovative in how we present announcements such as posting them by the door and things so we can make better use of our time.
(4) I support this proposal because right now it's 34 degrees. It's not raining, snowing, or windy. It could suck a lot worse.
(1) I suggest that if we have space more than two days a week that we have it more than two days a week. That might also allow for shorter GAs to work because we can set agendas for specific days.
(2) I think we should continue to use the Cathederal on Monday for working group meetings Perhaps once a month or every two weeks we have a much longer GA on a Saturday or a Sunday.
(3) Ridgely and Larry from Info suggests that from 5:30 to 6:30 we hold big signs in front of South Station, "You can't evict an idea" Silently hold them for one hour. There is a banner with that message. We've been advised to get in touch with the media. Media will do it.
Restatement of Proposal:
Our proposers are ready to return: The restated proposal: "We propose that this Tuesday's GA from 6:30 to 8:30 and tentatively Tuesdays going forward be held at St. Paul's Cathederal. We propose to make arrangements to use the space on Mondays and Fridays as well. And we propose that we initiate a larger conversation on how we want to do GA and where we want to do GA on Tuesday."
(1) Clarifying Question: The church has a kitchen. Can we use it? Response: It has a stove, no oven. Has a microwave.
(2) Clarifying Question: Is the Thursday option being explored? Response: It is.
(3) Point of Information: Many people are just getting out of work at 5.
(4) Clarifying Question: Are there several rooms for working groups to meet? Response: There are three rooms that could accommodate no more than twenty people.
(5) Clarifying Question: At this meeting, would it definitely be discussed how to use the space at the Church? Would this proposal have us continuing to have weekends outside? Point of Information: Several people looked forward to having a shorter GA. Response: My proposal is in two parts; 1) We accept offer of space for M-Tu-Fri. 2) Tuesday's GA at St. Paul's Cahedral.
[Anasstassia explains blocks in the proposals process. (For more information on this, see: http://wiki.occupyboston.org/wiki/General_Assembly)]
Proposal passes with enthusiasm.
(4) Gandhi Statue
Rita: Occupy Boston has a reputation of taking care of our own. We have people from Occupy Boston who have been here since Day 1 who don't have homes. We need to welcome them into our homes. If you would like to do this, you can meet over here.
Text of the proposal:
Ghandi Phase Two: Phase One has already passed GA. Ghandi is going to be bronzed to stay forever in Dewey Square with a plaque that says: "We honor Occupy Boston." The Peace Abbey says that they would be willing to bring the statue of Ghandi to the courthouse for the trial if the GA requests it. The Peace Abbey will deliver Ghandi and Ghandi misses us.
Clarifying Questions and Points of Information:
(1) I strongly support this proposal and it seems like an obvious one. The best place for this statue is right there in the courthouse. I believe that the statue was specifically commissioned for purposes like this.
I was at Dewey Square and the Peace Abbey brought the statue along with the kids, it was very moving.
Restatement of Proposal:
(1) 857-417-7872 is the number for working groups to request money.
Question: As I recall, there was a Greenway restoration fund. What is the status of that fund now that we are no longer in Dewey Square?
Response: We are discussing this via email. We will not make a decision until we consult the GA. The money needs to be given for its original purposes.
(2) For people who don't have homes, I will be over there. I want to see us taking care of our own.
(3) John: As you all heard earlier. There's a mobilization at 4:00PM in City Hall Plaza. We're going to be giving our two cents to Mayor Menino. We're going to be showing our solidarity with evicted homeowners and solidarity with the port strike on the west coast. We're going to be there until at least 6:00 and then we plan to do a march to Dewey Square. Then we may decide to march somewhere else
(3) David: Are you cold? I want to propose to go to a bar have a few drinks so we can mingle? Is there an affordable bar close by? Some people are not 21. The Red Hat will allow people under 21. There are people here who can't afford to buy themselves even one drink. Let's buy pitchers for people.
(4) Pattie: Wants to give a huge shout out to the text and robocalls that woke me up to tell me about the raid.
General Assembly Concludes.