GA Minutes Thu May 03 2012

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Working group announcements

  • Ridgely: There's a teach-in coming up a week from saturday during GA about Wall St.
  • FAWG: Just a reminder for everybody that they should come to the "community decision making day" which is a follow up to the conversation we had a Camp Charlie. We're going to present back what happened there and we're going to hopefully make some decisions. Maybe cookies. May 6th, 1-4 Hope Church in JP near Green St. If Wake-up the Earth is rained out on Saturday we might reschedule.
    • CC: Is what you decide coming back to GA?
    • A: Yes.
  • Safer Spaces: We don't have a meeting on Sat, and I don't know when the next one will be. A couple people want to move it to a different day, so we're taking suggestions. We have a couple other projects going on, so stay tuned.
  • Climate Action: We're having an event at Bedford on May 5 at 11am. Part of the connect-the-dots campaign. It's a walking tour of a cemetary which is on the nation historic register. Also on May 5, 2PM is a large twister game at the bandstand on the common. There will be a forum about the links between BoA and Climate Change, "The Real Cost of Coal" Sat. in Sudbury at the Memorial Cong. Church, and Sun, at 3PM at the UU in Cambridge (3 Church St.). Climate Action is co-hosting the community gathering on Monday at St. Pauls at 6:00.
  • Radio: We have twelve programs that are Occupy produced coming out of the studio. Check out the website at obr.fm. Also, there have been some issues at e5, so I justed wanted to read a note. The door has been locked recently and they wanted to explain their position, because they really do love Occupy. "At e5 we are adamant about our support for rising movements... As a result of the recent upsurge in activity and foot-traffic, e5 has encountered several abuses. Responsibility is hard to pinpoint. The abuses include: disrupting the computer lab, eating in the lab, printing excessive documents, leaving trash behind. Sleeping in the common area, loud during quiet hours, leaving trash in common errors, using resident's offices and phones, overusing toilets, flushing paper towels, causing overflows, hanging out, theft, and individuals attempting to remain after closing hours. We ask everyone to respect the space by reserving meeting times on the e5 websites, keep your voices down, do not leave trash, food, or belongings in the common areas. There cannot be no overnight stays in the building, this behavior risks our tennency as a whole. (This is the most important). Leave the space as you found it." (Abridged) The computer lab in e5 is currently closed temporarily and the door will be locked. If you need to get in please get in touch with a resident (Like Radio or ex-Media).
  • Chess: Chess takes place Monday at 4PM on the schedule. If anybody wants to play wiffle ball get in touch with me.

Individ. Announcements

  • Matt: The MFA guards had a meeting Tuesday. Tomorrow is an event at the MFA, and people supporting the guards would like to do something there. We can get tickets to get people into the museum, get in touch with me if you want to do that. mh@occupyboston.org. I don't have details yet, but it will be sometime tomorrow evening. Also, I was going to put up a poll on the website asking about GA dates, which days work best with everybody. My proposal that we cancel two GAs will probably come back Tuesday night in a modified form and it would be good to have some kind of poll data.
  • Bil: I'm going to be turning another year older on Wed, and I've rented the Out of the Blue art gallery to have an Occupy the book release party. I'd love it if everybody could come on Wed.
  • David: On Sat, earth day, I want to encourage people to go to egleston square in front of the YMCA so we can march with the POC. Get ready to dance. 10AM. 3134 Washington St, JP.
  • Anna: We are organizing the first ever action debrief, coming up as part of Monday's community gathering (7PM). We'll be debriefing on May 1 and Camp Charlie. We really need facilitation, probably somebody with experience. So if anybody knows somebody who might be interested please let me know.

Thankful Thursday

  • Patrick: for the feeling of excitement I get at Occupy.
  • Anna: that people show up for small and big GAs, and summer.
  • Linda: for the lentil soup and the food that always appear at GA.
  • Justin: I love olives, and I'm thankful they exist.
  • Ethan: I am newly aware of the challenges that people face with underemployment and unemployment and am thankful for new gainful employment, unicorns.

Proposals

Consent Bucket

  • All new proposals start out as items in the consent bucket. They can be passed as a group of items. If anybody wants to discuss them further they will be pulled out of the bucket and go throught the whole process.
  • We'll read the proposal first, if anybody has reservations they'll be removed from the bucket.
  • Occupy JP: Reembursing me and Joe for money we spent on art supplies, ink, etc. Recepeits attached. $345.67 total.
    • CC: Is it for OJP or Wake up the Earth?
    • A: Wake up the Earth
    • CC: What is it?
    • A: balloon animals, hats, etc.
  • Occupy JP/Decolonize: We propose that $1k be set aside for working group photocopying to be accessed on a first come first serve basis. Any WG that would like to access this funds contact FAWG.
    • I want this to discuss this one.
  • Ethan: This is a discussion proposal. An agenda should be planned for the 5 May assembly for Wake up the Earth.
  • Daniel: This is a discussion proposal. What is the relationship between the GA and OB as a whole.
  • Linda: To refund the mutal aid-fund with the amount of $300 for T passes.
    • CC: Linda, are you offering to manage that money?
    • A: no.
    • CC: are these T passes often?
    • A: this is for future funding. people have been seeking them.
    • POI: this would be the fourth time there's been a MAWG proposal.
    • CC: How will people get access to the money,or the passes?
    • A: I think the way it's been done is to approach FAWG.
    • POI: The people managing the MAWG fund have been approaching FAWG, but then the MAWG people hand it out and buy passes.
  • Gregg: To spend $60 to pay the Harriet Tubman house for the meeting that happened there last night.
  • The JP Reembursement, the MAWG, and the $60 for Harriet Tubman house remain in the bucket.
    • The MAWG proposal has been removed for discussion.
  • The OJP Reembursement and the $60 for Harriet Tubman house pass.

Ordering the remaining proposals

  • There is one rollover proposal that we will start with. A discussion on goals and objectives of us as a movements. On the original proposer's suggestion we're going to throw this discussion into the regular stack.
  • POP: One of the discussions is time sensitive.
  • The proposals will proceed in the following order:
    • Wake up the Earth
    • Relationship of the GA to OB
    • Mutal Aid
    • The goals and objectives of the movement
    • Photocopying

Wake up the Earth Agenda

  • This is a discussion proposal.
  • Ethan: Aria, Joe, and Ethan here representing OJP. Seeing that OB has passed a proposal to have Saturday May 5's GA at WutE we would like to plan the gathering around three large agenda items 1. Introduction/update to Occupy 2. Ideas discussion 3. Action planning/mini SAA. These items should be subdivided by this discussion, and for the discussion to help craft closing comments, actions and announcements.

Clarifying Questions & Points of Information

  • CC: I'm confused about what the categories mean.
    • A: we imagined that the GA on Sat would be broking into three parts, one to introduce the GA to the public, introduce the proccess, etc. The second part would be an ideas discussion, and the third would be action planning. We don't have specifics of those because we want to leave that up to this discussion. So what I think is going to happen that night is there's going to be 200 "basically uninitaiated", but very curious and eager people there. I thought it would be good if the first part could help fill those people in. Then, I think there are two kinds of people, those who want to talk about ideas and theories in small idea, and those who want to talk about actions. So maybe there'd be a middle part with breakout to talk about idea, then an action part.
  • CC: So there wouldn't be any proposals discussed?
    • A: I think there could be. I think that's what this discussion should flesh out.
    • A: If there were going to be proposals I would think they should be in that first, kind of businessy section.
  • Facil: The point of this discussion process is that points don't come to GAs fleshed out already, in the small groups you're going to try to come up with solutions to some of the broad topics brought up.
  • Joe: We're hoping that this will be one of the first GAs in a while with a lot of new folks. We'd like to make it a really interesting and engaging and good GA, so they'll say I want to go to some more.

Small Group Discussions

  • Facil: We're going to break out into small groups, probably no more than five. The groups should be coming up with a proposed solution to the discussion, so perhaps you'd map out how the day should look for WotE. We also encourage facil and note takers in every group so we can't report back any significant discussions. If any of the groups think they've come up with a solution before the time is up, come find up (facil). Groups should read back the notes and make sure that the notes are good and representative so the report back doesn't leave anything out or misrepresent anything.
  • CC: how much time will we have?
    • A: The GA decides on the time. Let's start with 15 minutes, we can add more.

Report Backs

  • We had concerns about over planning. We also talked about continuing the theme of the jubilance of signing and marching and dancing and not saying "shit's all fucked up". One of the things that would help carry the theme over would be to have ice cream or something lighthearted like cupcakes (but mostly icecream). Ice cream was our big idea.
  • We had a number of discussions. We consensed on 6 issues/action items. The actions that we wanted to discuss were the MFA guards, the keep immigrants together rally on the 6th of May, and the BoA protests on the 9th. The three discussion issues we talked about would be a discussion on immigrant issues. David has some contacts who might be able to come talk. The general topic of what we as OB have as issues. Finally, what can OB do for you, JP?
  • We didn't have full consensus on every issue. Generally starting with the GA at 5pm in 3 sections. 1. Introductions, report backs from WGs and groups from the JP community. 2. Open ideas and values based discussion of some kind, but we were split 50/50 on whether we should have a focused discussion on a specific theme, or have a totally open discussion. 3. An action session where we meet and plan specific direct actions that could happen as soon as possible in an SAA type manner.

Whole GA Discussion

  • Facil: Does anybody have something that they would like to propose for something they'd like to happen at this assembly.
  • There was a lot of overlap between the groups, at least what I heard. One large cluster of issues was related of what Occupy might mean to the people of JP, and the other was related to immigrant related issues, and we can have two things, we don't have to choose between them.
  • I think it wasn't quite what it (Occupy) means to JP, but what they'd like to see us do in the community.
  • Facil: Is anybody opposed to this happening on Sat?
    • Maybe instead of what can we do for JP, what would JP like for us to discuss with them?
    • Maybe a good way to word it would be, what does JP want to see from Occupy.
  • Facil: it seems like we have consensus, how about we do those things on Sat.
  • If ice cream were something we wanted, we could flesh out that, and potentially other donations. We have potential donations for ice cream.
  • Bringing Ice Cream might be a logistical challenge, so if we do it I want to make sure we have people who can commit to it.
  • As the person who talked about ice cream, I would like to make ice cream an autonomous direct action
  • We can also make ziplock bags, milk, ice, and salt, and shake it up and make ice cream.
  • Facil: what do folks think about the original idea to have an intro section to the GA?
    • We talked about having report backs about stuff that's been going on in OB and stuff that's been happening in JP.
    • Would that be announcements?
    • No, there's a distinction between announcements and report backs.
    • I'd like to propose that we do both.
    • We could invite any WG that wants to, could you give us a minute or two about what you've been up to.
    • I really like the idea of having like 5 minutes, what we've been doing recently, and then announcements at the end. I'm not sure we want a section of 40 minutes of announcements.
    • CC: Would we have people assigned in advanced to do those report backs?
    • I'd like to maybe second that thought that it shouldn't be passive information. I like the popcorn style. Maybe it could be a two minute popcorn stack, and we can make it known beforehand.
    • CC: What does popcorn mean?
      • A: I talk, you talk, they talk, talk here, it's like popcorn jumping around in a cooker. Anybody can talk right after eachother. Talking without calling on people.
    • I think people aren't going to know what we've been doing, so I don't think it's going to be good enough to just say a few works.
    • There should be pictures. Can we put together a panorama of pictures and videos?
    • There's going to be a couple info tables there for OB to make use of.
    • Facil: I'm not hearing any concerns about having a section for announcements and report backs
      • I have a concern: I think it's a really good idea to engage people right away, and just talking at them is not a good way to do that. If we do it let's have it at the end. They're going to want to discuss stuff with us, and I want to discuss stuff with them.
      • I agree that I want people to engage us as quickly as possible. But I do think it's also important for us to dispell any myths about us that might exist. I think having an announcement section makes us look more legitimate. I think there should be some interplay there, a lot of the time our announcements last really like.
      • I'd rather show people we're an active movement by show people, not by talking at them.
      • There's already going to be an occupy table with lit on it, we can have it setup during GA as 'go look at this to know what we're up to', but I also agree that we should have some brief consice thing where we show folks what a GA might look like.
      • I agree it's not just occupy boston, it's all of the 99%
      • How about we give announcements/reportbacks 15/20minutes? In the beginning of the assembly.
      • Facil: are there any objects to that?
      • Yup.
  • It seems like a no brainer but since we are having a GA, what are we going to do about Facil.? I would like there to be two, and for them to not be from the usual people.
  • Can we do it by, like a diversity quorum thing like NY does? They have one person, like a woman or a non-cis person and then one person of color.
    • CC: Were you saying that both facilitators should fall into that category or just one?
    • A: Just one.
  • I just want to say like whoa, you were talking about gender identity and sexual identity and those are not the same. I think that suggestion is something to aspire to, but I kind of think that's a goal that we can't consistently fulfill. Perhaps this one time, but not on a regular basis. That does feel good, but we have work to do before we can do that.
  • My understanding was that this wasn't a general thing, but just for Saturday. David said he's also help with doing some translation into spanish.
  • Facil: temp check on having two facilitators at GA, whatever they look like?
    • [seems positive]
    • Can we have facilitators take turns?
    • CC: Are we going to have regular proposals?
      • We haven't consented to anything like that yet.
      • we could have more facil. if we're doing small group break-outs and such.
  • I think maybe the most conducive way these discussions can take place, so I'd like to suggest we use the format of breaking into small groups after the introduction of these topics.
  • I wonder if we could have one discussion and then the next one, rather than saying let's talk about JP or immigration.
  • Suggestion for topic: now we can make the 99%'s voice more heard. I think that's really really general, and it's something that we should actually have the conversation about, and we haven't in a while. It will also get new voices in on that conversation.
    • That's a broad topic, but not too broad that it gets meta or heavy. It's something that we can engage in.
    • Facil. temp check on adding that to the discussion.
      • [positive]
  • We might have to have an open space for the people there to put things onto the agenda. Perhaps open space technology.
  • I like open space technology, but I also think we should have individual stack between the things, and encourage people who have not spoken before speak.
  • Can we encourage progressive stack and limit to one minute, and maybe give a prompt like "talk about something that you care about or something that makes you happy".
  • Facil. temp check on including 1min progressive stack
    • I would advocate no prompt
    • People arent' going to have any context for "get on individual stack", so if we say "talk about something you care about" or just something to make sure people don't think they have nothing to say.
    • How many people are we going to allow? Five minutes between everything?
    • Facil. temp check?
      • [seems positive]
  • Can I propose 30 minutes for each discussion topic and each action thing.
  • We haven't consented on having an action planning thing.
  • Before somebody mentioned there might be actions happening that evening, so maybe we should have the three discussion things then one action thing at the end.
    • I thought we were going to do this SAA style, and they could all be happening at the same time and people could vote with their feet on which one they want to.
      • Yeah, that's what I mean for the actions
  • Facil. can we get a temp check on having an SAA style thing
    • [positive]
  • Can we make the discussion topics maybe 20 minutes, instead of 30 minutes, because we're already looking at two hours before planning any actions.
  • I thought we would have action discussions with the relevant discussion topics.
    • That's not the SAA style.
    • Maybe we could break the action part up into parts
      • That seems a little arduous to me.
    • I think we need to reconsider having parallel discussions and encouraging people to move between them in the interest of time.
    • Maybe we can consolidate some of the discussion topics, the 99% topic and the JP topic.
    • Facil. temp check on consolidating those items and having two discussions.
  • Did we resolve how the action part is going to go?
    • My strong feeling on this is that too many options is confusing and we spend a lot more time going in circles. I think we're better off by saying "here's the things we'd like to discuss"
    • Inclusivity can be found in individual stack, and being present in the discussions.
    • We should run the action section like an SAA style, no preset list of action, but have people there with ideas.
      • Facil. Temp check on that
        • [positive]
      • Do we need different facil. for that?
    • I think the way SAA typically ends might not be ideal for this situation because we usually know we're going to see eachother again.
      • Yes, and we need somebody to encourage people to maybe take emails and follow up.
  • CC: Do we have any email lists which aren't awful? Maybe community forum? A new list?
    • A: Community forum is fine.
  • If there isn't an action that people can go off to at the end we should have a closing thing
    • What about "what are you thankful for" closing stack
    • Something drum-circly, musical, dancy. Something like that. Were we can have a few minutes were people talk about their experience in that space.
  • Facil. POI: It's been two hours. Maybe we want to focus on formalizing it, so we can come to consensus.
    • I say we close with a 4 minute open stack for about how people felt in that space.
      • I think people will use that space to hash out arguments
    • We should end with an action happening.
    • We could end with a dance.
    • We could end with a march around JP.
      • A march should be contingent on numbers and enthusiasm for a march.
    • We're going to have a couple of floats. There's a site on s. huntington ave were we could take the floats and leave them, so we could have some kind of procession down there.
    • Drum circle under the big full moon!
    • I think we should just end it and it will be OK.
    • We should just end it, then individuals can autonomously propose actions and things.
    • Facil. temp check on ending after the action assembly, and maybe autonomous things
      • [positive]
  • So we're going to spread the individual stack thing out between other things? Announcements, indiv., discussion, individ. etc.
    • temp check positive.
  • I think myself (B) and David would like to facil.
    • [positive]

Consensus

  • (using the new process method)
  • The agenda passes

Individual Stack

  • Ethan: I want to thank everybody for participating in this process, I know it can be very arduous. This chocolate is really good. I might call for quorum.

Quorum

  • No quorum!

Individual Stack

  • Joe: On 2 June, Sat, the Mass Democratic Party is having a convention in Springfield, we could go mess with them and have an encampment outside.
  • David: Group hug!