GA Minutes Tue Apr 17 2012
FWG – Thurs GA outdoor. Proposal tonight to set future GA locations.
Food – Camp Charlie was a success for food WG. There were a lot of donations. We'd also like to thank the “foraging” department for getting some food. Since deliveries are scheduled a week in advance, we cannot change our locations immediately. We need notice to be prepared.
Matt C – There's going to be a funeral for Capitalism 8pm, May Day. Every saturday till then we're going to make puppets from 4-10.
John Murphy – 4/20 is coming up. Some civil disobedience. Boston Common on the top of the hill at 4:20 pm. May 1stfliers for events coming up. Last night, 12 of us slept outside of the Bank of America. There's a march today that we passed a solidarity statement, but there's only 5 of us there...that's embarrassing.
Matt C – Wish this had been announced so more people could have been there.
John Murphy – This was an affinity group thing.
Bill – Tea party rally sunday I have video.
John Murphy – I went home b/c I was burnt out by this movement and people not doing things. The Occupy group in Hyanis is planning an event on May 20 to shut down the Pilgrim Power Plant. I will be bringing an proposal to get solidarity for this.
Discussion of the Tea Party Rally – We were protesting specifically the anti-gay aspect of the event, not specifically the tea party.
POP (John Dwyer) – I don't want to set a precedent for showing videos as announcements
Brian – POC has been trying to set up to have GA meetings once a week in Roxbury. Trying to transform the racial composition of the movement. Be more accessible to POC. Weird that we didn't have a presence in the tax day march today. POC are working on this, building connections, and growing in communities of color and communities that are most affected by these issues. Joint meeting (w/ decolonize) this weekend, Sunday, 3-5 @ First Church in Roxbury, 10 Putnam St.
Food – We can get food to wherever the meeting is.
Chris – To make GA more accessible, we should be outside. With the weather I don't see why we're inside. Can we have a temp check.
POI – We have a proposal coming up about that.
POI – We're in announcements right now.
POI – We've taken a temp check to decide this.
The Occupier – We're printing tomorrow. Will be color. Will have May Day proposal. Will try to be done by 2pm. Will try to bring some to GA thursday. Tomorrow afternoon we'll be distrubting on the T. Will have camp charlie on the front. There's also coverage about Trayvon Martin events and Noam Chomsky
[Person] – We've had some discussions here about how we spend a lot of time talking w/o doing a lot. And we need to reach out to POC populations. This event today would have been better about this. We dropped the ball.
[review hand signals for new people]
FWGproposal – Need to move GA scheduled locations.
Move Outside – Never mind, mine will work with FWG.
Tricia –Please one person at a time talking. It's hard to hear and disrespectful.
[explain process for proposals]
FWG proposes these changes:
Tues – Starting May 1, all GA outside on Tues. In Boston Commons. Last GA in church will be one week from tonight.
Thurs – Ended relationship with church. All future Thurs GA will be outside in commons.
Sat – At Community Church to ensure at least one indoors per week.
We are working with Community church to see if there's other days if we don't want Saturday.
CQ – Brandon – Is there a reason why tonight is not the last night in the Church?
A – Want to give the church some warning. Also want to give food some warning.
CQ – David – Was the reason for having one indoors for accessibility reasoning or weather or, what?
A – Yes, all of those. Good for food, accessibility, weather, etc.
CQ – Any discussion for extreme weather events (downpours, etc)
A – We're trying to work with Community Church to see how flexible they are. We could try to have indoor or we'll have to deal like we did at Dewey.
POI – Greg – The church would be fine if we said tonight was the last night.
CQ – Deb – Food would like to know if the GA would like to continue to have food at GA. [positive] In that case, then we need advance notice for logistics reasons if you want us to keep providing food.
CQ – Chris – IS there an amount of time we can let the church know if we want to be here.
A – That's something we'll have to talk to churches about. Community church seems to be most flexible. We would do our best to find an alternate space, etc.
CQ – Brian – Was there a reason why the outdoor location was the Commons vs a more symbolic location or vs community locations.
A – Some people are opposed to Dewey b/c they are barred from it. Otherwise, that's why we said temporary, and we can test other locations.
POI – Can't get more symbolic than the first place where free speech was allowed (the commons)
POI – John – Has FWG considered shuffling the dates.
A – Our problem is the WG meetings. That's a longer discussion. As of tonight we have to tell this church and give them an answer.
POI - There's a whole bunch of proposals talking about the bigger issues. This was something that had to be done right now.
CQ – Deb – Has consideration been given to having fewer GA?
A – There has been a LOT of other discussions. But this issue is critical right now.
POI – Greg – Confirm that we would move into churches until we change it.
POI – Patti – We pay for spaces, even if we don't use. IF we move outdoors saves $160/week if we move outdoors.
CQ – What does community church charge us?
A – They charge us hourly. So we can meet there just for food, etc. Other spaces are flat fees.
CQ – Is CC more flexible for weather?
A - That remains to be seen. So we can try to ask in advance, and hopefully they'll be able to accommodate us.
POI – Carolyn – There was one time where they were double booked. So we can't assume we can ALWAYS get the space as needed. Based on availablility.
SOS – Dana – I support this because it is a clear stop gap solution to what is coming the next few weeks.
SOS – John – People donated money to us outside when we were protesting at BoA. Might bring funds and more participation.
SOS – Rich – Good idea. Short term. Gets us a range of people who might be more comfortable with a range of differences. (Though I don't see this as a main way to recruit.)
SOS – Well crafted and simple. There's a lot of other conversations we can have, but let's have them later.
SOS – Because last GA outside on common joined us and checked out what was going on.
SOS – Lynn – It's spring, it's beautiful out, let's go.
SOS – Greg – I like that we're being considerate of the Churches that hosted us.
SOC – Daniel – Concerned that there are indoor GA on the proposal. We need to brainstorm ways to do outdoor GA that is accessible, inclusive, etc that allow us to stay outdoor always.
SOC – Tricia – Worried about food WG logistics.
SOC – John – That we've taken so long to make this decision.
A – Brandon – Next week GA outside too.
A – John - May 1stGA canceled. GA Saturday, Fanieul hall infront of Samuel Adams statue. Better visibility. Thurs and Tues @ 6:30 boston commons.
A – Deb – Every tuesday GA on state house steps unless POC is ready to change.
A – John – Everyone w/ a cell, get on emergency text system and use it to announce change.
CQ – How do we proceed when ammendments conflict. (Proposer decides)
Individual stack – Brandon – Our web services are hosted with Mayfirst. Here's an email that Mayfirst sent out last week. There have been bomb threats at the Univ. of Pittsburgh. We. at about noon, FBI agents visited Mayfirst offices. ECN, hosted at Mayfirst, runs an anon. Mail server; FBI alleges that it was used to send bomb threat. We have no information to share, and even if we did, we wouldn't. We opposed that kind of activity. But, the interet was created for free and open communications. Mayfirst passed this information along in the interest of transparency.
Tricia. During announcments, people talked about how unfortunate it was that we didn't have a good showing at tax day. Felt bad to hear that over and over. Whe should have done more in advance to communicate and plan. We need to have better showing at events. Not play blame game.
Dana. In proposal discussion, we excited about moving GA to dudley sq area. Would be good to do outreach in preparation. There are other places we could have GA: Central square, faneuil hall.
Brian. TO build on what Data just said, we discussed having two gas/week. Having GA in different places as an outreach tool. Would be great if we had a group of people thinking about GA in general. (Planning, model, schedule etc). Straw poll for interest in that sort of things? A few hands go up.
Daniel. Informal straw poll. Thu GAs are the smallest GA. What do people think about cutting GAs on Thursday? One concern
Mike. We know what the ballot looks like in Nov. The choices are not inspiring. We, as OB should be supporting more ballot access. More 3rdparty, 4thparty, 5thparty. We need more choices. Something that we should start thinking about more often. In other countries, 4—5 parties are normal. We need to get on the ball now.
Brandon. Apologize if people thought I was rude before, when I was trying to get people to be quiet.
Aaron & Anthony from OWS. Today's our 7-month anniv. Slept out at BofA last night. We'll do it again tonight. Anyone talk to NLG/ACLU about what happened? To my knowledge you could sleep on sidewalk, as long as you don't stop traffic. Does anyone know for sure what the laws in boston here. We're here to network, so we can work together and do some more awesome things. This movement belongs to all of us, everyone. NYC GA is not the spoke for the movement. There are a lot of affinity groups, NGOs, etc that feel like they're part of the occupation. You can do whatever you want. You don't need NYC GA's endorsement.
Mat C – We can look up the laws in the state to double check these things.
Aaron – Can some one do that?
Deb- Check a law tonight, go to the mass trial court law library online and look it up there.
[back to proposal]
Going through ammednments
A - Tues outside – we went back and forth b/c weather is supposed to be iffy. Temp check if we should be outside next tues?
A – Cancel May 1stGA – Accepted, too much else going on.
A – Move to Fanieul Hall – Not addapted. It's too busy w/ street performers w/ permits, etc. We'd be competing w/ people with permits and we don't want to do that. Also VERY hard to hear.
A – Time change to 6:30 – Didn't see how it's different. Decided to keep it for now.
A – Tues @ State House – It's a separate issue we can think about in the future. We might get hassled if we keep going there. There might be other locations that can be more accomodting that we might want to consider and it was kinda loud there. But again, some one else can bring an different proposal in the future
A – Text alerts – FWG will seek access to text system and website to communicate that. But we dont' have access right now. Sign up is encouraged but not required.
CQ – [missed]
A – Prefered location on the hill that we did before. There weren't a ton of people. But I guess we won't be guarenteed to have that space and those benches. But we CAN always have that as a meeting point
CQ – Brandon – Mentioned iffy weather Tues.
A – Start of next week is colder 51 and raining.
POI – We spend $80 every time we're here. We can always buy ponchoes and umbrellas so that we don't have to hide.
CQ – Which text service, there's two
A – Yes, there's two lists. One is OccupyBoston is for emergencies (dewey being squared). The other is OBUpdates, which is for more general use. We'd have to decide which is appropriate.
CQ – Greg – As far as cancelling May 1stGA, any thought of coordinating w/ May 1stactions.
A – Because there's a funeral march right in time of GA. Thought better not to squeeze GA in.
[skip small group]
SOS – I support this
SOS – I support this
SOS – I support this as is w/o changing Tues.
SOC – Brandon – I originally suggested changing Tues, now because of the weather,sI'm concenered about being outside.
A – John – Cancel GA if if the event falls on the same date as a major event or solidarity event. Etc.
Pattie – Not taking ammendments. Will NOT be outdoors Tues.
[reread main points of prop]
Patti – Thank everyone for finishing this. I am glad this got done. My individual stack is about Media. I've heard that there's some push on media about possibly disolving. I disagree with that. They've been amazing. People google us to find out info. Media takes care of that, our face to the community online. IT'd be a shame if media wasn't recognized for everything they were done and instead were told they were some how too powerful. I dunno who else could/would step up and do what they do if they stope doing what what they do. Media, like the rest of us, volunteer and do this b/c we want to. I don't think anyone should be criticized.
David – Occupy Quincy – We meet once a week Friday night. 6:30 – 8pm. Normally, proposals are submitted and passed around. With each topic there's a time frame. We're involved w/ talking and discussing them. We are flexible as need be. We usually end on time. If you have one place great. If you're moving around, it's hard for new people to get involved. Frustrating to figure out where it is. Can't text the new person. They may not come again. That's why we meet in one place. It's efficient. We vote, etc. We always hit the whole agenda. I know peopl ewant to move outside. Everyone has their own opinion. That way you can put it on literature if you're in one spot. Don't want some one to get frustrated if they missed meeting. – On the political candiacy issue, both parties have problems. They might handle some of the small issues, but won't tackle the issue of the 1%...the ultimate goal. They have the money, but we have the numbers. – Their meetings are at IHOP
Eric – I was at 4 events today and Occupy wasn't represented hardly at all. We need to work more towards being at these events. We need more representation. Spring time is here. We need to support other demonstrations. We need to have better communication to get out there. We have stimulated this activity from Dewey 6 months ago. Bu we weren't present these past few days at events. We need to organize and mobilize to be there. Support DA
Q: Any one her from Outreach
A: They don't exist any more
C: That explains it.
Aaron – I'm OWS outreach, I've got numbers I can give you contacts.
Matt H – There are lots of things going on, lots using OB slogans and “ideologoy”. Need to be aware we're not an army. We're lots of little platoons. We need to develop ways to better respond, but I also don't feel like we HAVE to have presence at every march and every rally if we can't step back and think about long term vision, strategy and goals. Some times we need to step back too and continue this work too. Can't always feel bad if we're not there. We need to get bigger so we can do this. We need to discuss how to get bigger. We need balance and perspective.
John – I”m in the same vein of eric and mat. We need to up our game. WE don't want to badger ourselves and peer pressure. I think it's OK if we became a bit more comfortable w/ peer pressure. I stayed at Camp Charlie every night. What amazed me is the # who stopeed at camp and then they split. NO one HAD to go home, they just did. NO one pusehd them to stay and encouraged them that each head count could have made a difference. WE could have had 100 people there every night. Last night was an affinity group. We didn't announe it b/c we didn't want cops shuttnig it down. We had lots of people come and chat but then leave. What's gonna happen in the spring? Nothing if we don't MAKE it happen. If we're gonna save the world, we gotta change the country. Think about how important you are and try to give a little more.
Alex – I was gonna talk about something else, but the climate forces me to talk about something else. When I was gone in Jan. I went to a TON of other Occupies and talked to Quakers, etc. I went everywhere I could. Caution against the idea that you should have been there, you should have done this. It has ruined other occupies. It has teared groups apaprt. People have lives. People have desires. Not everyone is the kick downthe door type or the sleep on the sidewalk type. We each have own interestes. NO shame to want to go home and do something normal. Do what you feel comfortable at any given time to do to further the movement. You should be happy to do what you can. Your commitment should come from yourself. IF you're gonna push yourself, it should come from YOU if YOU feel you've got more to give. Do it in your own time and do it as you can. I'm not saying it's not OK to ask some one to come, but it's not OK to make them feel obligated. Sometimes we have other things to do.
Matt C – This is a LONG fight, can't make big change in a month or two. We're not building so much as reacting. We need to find balance. Reacting is important, but w/o organization, we won't get shit done. Long fight, not sprint. Need to find self balance that can sustainable. People burn out a lot. I'm still here b/c I've learned to sustain myself. Be as involved as you can be and still sustain yourself. People have different comfort levels and you won't last if you push yourself too much. We need to be nicer to eachother.
Lori – who was at decolonize community gathering? I had the opportunity to go to rights of ??? conference. Report back. I did go and I don't wanan say “represente” but I let them know we were hereI've been working on idiginous rights since “forever”, my entir adult life. It was extraordinary experience. People there from different first nations from all over country. The struggle of indigenous people is parallel to what we're doing here. They're having the same kind of discussions. It was a phenominal experience. They want allies. They made a plea for allies. Before Occupy, I had a concept of doing a website that would be like allies and elders. I want to quantify who the allies are and create a rapid response system so we can support them. Great platform Nation Builder that can hyperlink w/ social media. We'll set up website and coordinate all of the decolonize occupies nationally. Lots of video, multi media and see hwat the struggles are. Navajo just lost their water rights so water can go to fountains in Sedona. Their struggles are crazy but we rarely hear about it. Come see me for more info. IF you think there should be meeting with more formal reportback if you want. I will be doing bigger project with them around “rights”, they're still under the paridime of the larger society. I was asked by an elder to try to faciliitate a way to describe the indegenous concept of their relation w/ mother earth and find some common ground.
Brian – I keep coming u here, sorry. I want to thank you all. I haven't been to GA for a while. I appreciate there's pple who go to GA frequently. You get criticize for white privilege for having all these hours, and there's truth to that, but you're using that to choose to be hereand hold the line. SO thank you for that. We shouldn't take criticizms or critiques personally. It's more of a general feeling that we need to do more outreach to other organizations. At this event, there were ALL KINDS of people there, pretty much anyone in activist boston. The fact we weren't there, ti felt like a gap.Individuals were, but as a group we weren't there. We need to work on our oorganizations and try to be there. Something we need to work on. Let's grow and learn from this.
Aaron – These people all believe they're part of the movement. Talk to them. Invite them in. Go to their events. Go. Show up. Get phone numbers. Organize events with them. IT's easy. That's it.
Ethan – Each time they faciilitate they realize they need to do it more to get better at it. A concern raised by events of this weekend...actually about what Brian said. It's hard to learn not to take things personally but it is a tool to use in their arsenal that is helpful. Hat I wanted to talk about...I'm an effiminate gay man. Gender is something I think about on a day to day basis. I want to raise our consciousness. IT's difficult talking about people, we're not we're always reminded about gender. We make MANY assumptions as we're talking. It's hard to talk about it when people are making these assumptions. When I see a person who I percieve to be a person of color, but they might have been raised in an aryan area. Apply that to gender too. Don't always assume. Please be mindfu ofthat.