GA Minutes Tue Mar 27 2012

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Announcements

WG Announcements

  • Occupy the MBTA: We're having a major action on next Wednesday, the 4th. We need a lot more people to get invovled. If you want to get plugged in come to Friday's meeting at SCIU, 6PM. There will be another meeting on Sunday, but the time and place is not set yet. Tomorrow night at Dorchester House there is a teach-in on Occupy MBTA issues at 8PM. If you have used Charlie Cards please save them so we can turn them into confetti. There are freshly printed fliers at e5, probably in the Media cubicle near the Occupier. There are over a dozen cities committed to participate on A4. They're going to release the "third proposal" for the MBTA budget in the next 24-48 hours. Come to the meeting on Friday night!
  • Reporters from London are here making a documentary. They would like to know if they can record some of the GA and take some pictures? They can.
  • Direct Action: Tomorrow night at 9PM, at City Place, there is going to be a public DA meeting. They want as many people to come as possible! If the time changes it'll be online, and we'll try to get it out via texts. Also, make sure to come to Dewey on April 1st. There's going to be food, trainings, clothings swaps, etc, and a GA.
  • Inreach: We need to get as many people as possible to come to the Open House on April 2nd. Everybody should take a flier and post a flier up! As part of the Open House, the Inreach WG is drafting a short document called the "Occupy Boston Handbook" to give out at the Open House. I'd like to pass some out and have folks write comments on them.
  • Ethan notes that this space is not very good acousticly and it would be great if people could keep that in mind.
  • Occupy Harbor Islands: I've been speaking briefly over the past couple months about having an Occupation on Thompson Island. It used to be a school for wayward children, and there's a landbridge. The goal should be to create a standard of living & self sufficient community that is apart from the entities that currently control our lives. There are some open fields and buildings on the island. The first WG meeting will be tomorrow at e5 at 5PM. Noah notes that the judge said we would be able to occupy one of the harbor islands.
  • Anti-Oppression: We're chaning our meeting schedule to Sat. 4:30-6:30PM, at Arlington St. Church.
  • Signs: We're working on all kinds of awesome stuff (banners & stuff)! We need some materials: foam, paintbrushes, acryllic paint, vinyl. Bring it to GA, e5, or Dewey on the 1st, we're have a mobile signs unit there.
  • Safer Spaces: We're hosting an hour long discussion on Thursday after announcements, and a roughly two hour long discussion on Sat (both during GA) about values and what we bring to spaces we occupy. saferspaces@occupyboston.org Also on Saturday Medics will be giving a presentation on protester safety. Safter Spaces meets 2PM on Sat e5
  • Occupemos el Barrio: They're meeting 3-6 Sat, at the Social Center near Liberty Sq. Plaza
  • FAWG: The donation containers probably shouldn't stay in my kitchen because I can't get to many GAs.
  • Occupy the Farm: this group hasn't formally met in person, but we talk a lot online. There's this cool dude call David and some Occupy Monsanto hunger-strikers who need our love. Check them out online. Tomorrow is the national day to call-in to Wal-Mart to demand them to not carry genetically modified foods. Their number is 1-877-796-1950. The decision will be made by April 1st.
  • Food: We've been asked to supply lunch for Dewey on the 1st. If you could make some baked goods or finger food and bring it, that would be fantastic. It's supposed to happen from 12-1PM.

Individual Announcements

  • Matt: Ursula from NLG called me and wants to give the OB Legal WG an award in the near future, so they'd like to get in touch with anybody who has been helped by the legal WG. You can pass along your stories or get in touch with me at mattbcarroll@yahoo.com
  • Ellen: Occupy the Burbs (Needham, Natick, etc) has been busy. We've been working on a town meeting article to get pesticides off our lawn. We're going to be showing a movie called The Chemical Reaction. We're also going to be bringing a letter to the governor around to get them to stop using pesticides on the State House and maybe other public spaces in Boston.
    • CC: Have you thought about alternatives to chemicals, like goats?
    • A: We haven't thought about goats.
  • Eric: This past weekend was the national peace conference in Stanford, CT. There were lots of folks from Occupy there. If anybody has any questions about it I can discuss with you what happened there.

Final Call for Announcements

  • Occupy Lynn: We're having a GA on Saturday in front of Lynn city hall at 3PM.
  • Greg: There's a rally & march this Saturday for Palestinian rights from Copley at 6PM.

Proposals

  • There is only one proposal on stack (FAWG).
  • Facilitaion explains the hand signals and proposal process.

FAWG Proposal

  • Facilitator's Note: we agreed (Facilitators) that in order to keep this proposal on track I'm going to be a hard ass in order to try and keep the discussion on track.
  • Background: Once upon a time, in January, there was a proposal about a spending freeze. That prop. said we'd come back on March 6th with a recommendation. Because of time contraints and FAWG discussions we haven't presented it to now.
  • OB's FAWG invites the OB community to hear FAWG's story, consider it's history, to feel it's distress, to understand it's observations and concerns, to think about OB's relationship to FAWG & to money -- and then to engage in a conversation. FAWG proposes to tell this story and to facilitate this conversation, at OB's General Assembly for 2 hours on Tuesday April 10, 2012.

Clarifying Questions & Points of Information

  • CC: Will there be time for questions and discussions?
  • A: Yes
  • CC: Is there any truth to the idea that FAWG is going to dissolve itself?
  • Facil: That's not really related to the proposal. This is kind of what I wanted to avoid.
  • CC: Will this discussion include info about what other Occupies have done in this area, or should people should do research on this area in preperation?
  • A: If the community would like we can add that to what we tell people, the little bit that we know.
  • CC: Had you considered coming tonight with this discussion tonight? I thought we already scheduled a discussion time at a previous GA?
  • A: It feels like it has been a while since that agreement so we thought it might be good to renew it, also, members of FAWG are having a hard time scheduling.
  • CC: How do you see the format of the discussion taking place?
  • A: A 20-30 minute sharing of the issues listed, then FAWG would facillitate the conversation (NOT lead it). We envision a lot of small group discussions. The floor would be pretty open.
  • CC: Would this be aimed at reaching some kind of resolution?
  • A: There were some of us in FAWG who wanted to present issues and propose resolutions, but we decided to step back and present the issues and see if OB wants to reach any particular resolution that day.

Small Group Discussion

Statements of Support

  • SS: I support this proposal because we need to do this sometime.
  • SS: It moves us towards some kind of agenda setting. I also think it's an example of when a WG is reaching out to a larger group of people to say we need the community to think about this.
  • SS: I think we need to take better care
  • SS: I think this will help us make better informed decisions
  • SS: Sometimes it feels like it's a small group making decisions
  • SS: With our work schedules not everybody can make it to every GA, so it's good to know in advance that there is a date when something important is going to be discussed. This discussion has been attempted several times and been superceeded by other things.
  • SS: it seems like this is a step in the direction that I think we want to go in where a WG has quite a bit of power handling money and to say that we should all decide together.

Statements of Concern

  • NOPE

Friendly Amendments

  • FA: Is there any language on forward thinking in the proposal? If not I'd like to see it added. I'd like to see some kind of evaluation process at the end of the discussion process.
  • CC: What day is the 10th?
  • A: Tuesday.

Propoers Consider the Amendments (Individual Stack)

  • Bil: I think Jay & I were the only ones here who took part in the 3 Strikes action. Does anybody want to see 2 minutes of video from that action? [Shows the video]
  • Mike: I saw a documentary last night on PBS, I forget the exact name, something like "Finding Your Roots", about the ancestry of some famous people. I was struck last night about what I saw with John Lewis (politician from GA). We complain about police in NY and BPD, but we aren't facing anything like old school civil rights police. It was very moving when he found out that one of his ancestors was a freed slave who voted two years after the Civil War. I plan to vote, because people have fought and died for the right to vote.

The Amended Proposal

  • The following text was appended to the proposal:
    • FAWG will take minutes of the conversation, capture key comments, ideas, issues and concerns on easel pad paper, all of which will be made available for review on FAWG's wiki page. FAWG will ask for evaluation and possible next steps at the end of the meeting.

Clarifying Questions & Points of Information

  • NOPE

Small Group Discussions

  • NOPE

Statements of Support

  • SS: I like that my amendment was semi-included.

Statements of Concern

  • NOPE

Friendly Amendments

  • NOPE

Blocks

  • The facilitator recants the definition of a block.
  • NOPE

Consensus

  • The proposal passes.

Individual Stack

  • Patrick: I need somebody to help me put the chairs back up when the GA is done.
  • Alex: We have a bad bad habit: waiting until the last minute to plan events. Pretending anything on the calendar more than a week away (w/o the number 17 in it) doesn't exist. So I'm going to harp on July 4. I want to rip apart blind nationalism, and I'll do it wherever they'll help me. I'd like that to be Occupy Boston. I'm gonna be bringing it up a lot. Hope you guys help me.
  • Matt: I'm going to be making a two week break from Occupy. I just need to be a little hands off for a bit.
  • John: April 1st is less than a week away. If you have any clothes that are collecting dust bring it to Dewey Square. If you have an books you don't want bring it to Dewey Square. If you have anything you think you could give away, bring it to Dewey Square.
    • POI: Queer DA is doing a clothing swap at Dewey where people can bring/get clothes.
  • Ellen: Tomorrow is call-in to Wal-Mart about GMOs and about how you don't want them to carry them. 1-877-796-1950 is the number.
  • Patrick: I was the national anti-war committee forum this weekend, and I brought some literature back. If anybody wants to hear what's going on, get at me.
  • Rich: In the spirit of what's going on in future GAs, I just wanted to bring up that on Thursday and Saturday we're going to be talking about possible future Occupations.
  • Dana: A few weeks ago some folks came from OWS with a new publication with a letter to OWS from protesters in Cairo. [Dana reads the passage, sorry too quickly for me to note it.]
  • Patty: Jorge hit the 300 mile mark on the trail today. trailjournals.com/halfmoon2012
  •  : If anybody wants to do some activities on April 1st we have a big huge open space and some times. We're also going to have lunch, a march, livestream training, media training, games, etc. If you have any more idea just do it and let people know.
  • Patrick: A bunch of us went to DC, Occupy the Capitol is coming back on Friday, the 30th. I've got a ride down with a few seats left.
  • Ridgely: The Brandeis students for justice in Palestine did a mic check, who voluntarily left, but the police felt like they needed to make a statement and made one arrest. She's got bruises, and we've got pictures. We may have a lawsuit against the Newton Police. The mic check is on youtube.
  •  : We still have a ton of food left. Help yourselves.
  •  : We want to do a large scale event for Earth Day.
  • Alex: One occupier who hasn't had a change to be around is really concerned that we haven't talked about what it means to be a part of this movement. She feels that we can't really move forward without having that conversation. I think at some point we should try, even if it's at a person 1-on-1 level, to address.
  • Rich: I just wanted to share a quote that I found in a text from the 60s: "We won't ask, we won't demand, we will take and occupy."
  • Glenn: I'd just like to recommend that if you have a proposal give us an advance notice so we know what's coming up and then we'll have bigger GAs.
  •  : I just wanted to recognize the good humor of the facilitors and croud.
  • Deb: I just wanted to support Alex about doing something big on July 4th. Just look how much fun we had on first night. If we start planning now we could have even more fun.