GA Minutes Tues Jan 31 2012
Note Taker: Richard
Opening Note: Stop making a mess. No parking in the alley. No smoking within 25 feet of the entrance. We have already lost kitchen privileges!
Kathy: Who are the people who are here form Occupy Wall Street? We want you to stand up so we can say thank you for being here!
Kathy: These are people who, when you get an opportunity, please take the moment to say thank you and say, what can you teach us?
Eli: “I highly recommend sharing your experiences with Occupy so they can share their experiences with Occupy, [not just Wall Street but Providence etc].”
[The facilitators take a moment to share the up-twinkle, down-twinkle, and other meeting meta-language for the benefit of those who have not been present previously. Emphasis is placed on the value of coming to consensus with those who oppose your opinion and to pursue synthesis rather than antithesis. Mention is also made of ‘Point of Process’ with two forefingers placed together - i.e., when we make a Point of Process call, it’s because you need to get back on topic and on process. It is equal-opportunity and not just about the facilitators. Also, Point of Information, which is always to provide FACTS rather than OPINIONS, and the ‘volume up’ and ‘volume down’ gestures. Lastly is the ‘resolve your monologue’ gesture, with the forefingers spinning around each other.]
Kathy: [Emphasises that the ‘resolve your monologue’ gesture should not be used to stifle dissent and that people should have empathy and acceptance for the speech needs of others. It should be used with ‘great gentleness’.]
Working Group Announcements!
Health-Care Working Group announces its existence via speaker ‘Sonia’: “Appreciation for National Health Care Plans’, @ Occupy Harvard @ Harvard Business School @ Saturday Feb 4 @ 8 AM
Food Working Group
Meeting @ 5:30 PM @ St Pauls @ Monday Feb 6th.
Lost kitchen privileges due to oversight or lack of whatever, someone left the oven on. For three days. So, that is why we lost kitchen privileges.
UMass Boston Working Group
We have received an ‘eviction notice’ but we are still there. We had a brief meeting with the administration today; they asked for demands and we deferred. They demanded demands by Feb 7th, will be at the GA @ Feb 7th, and expect demands then.
Financial Accountability Working Group
Proposal passed a couple weeks ago about formalizing payments. Someone has put a WePay button on the website about paying for the GA’s.
We are going to be dispensing cash at Tuesday/Thursday GA’s.
We did that presentation who were at the finance presentation last week when we announced that we would like to engage the community in a participatory planning/strategic vision/budgeting process, we will have more information about that forthcoming this thursday.
We will be sending out literature that will explain the process for this prior to starting which should assist.
[A summary is given of this process of participatory budgeting / strategic vision / planning.]
The following working groups have not given back receipts for the month of January. In the interest of transparency.
Facilitation: Community Gathering and E5 Rent
Direct Action: Banners.
POC Working Group: Food money.
Occupy DC / Occupy the Primary / Safety / Media: Significant sums. $600 in receipts missin’.
Nonviolence Working Group
Feb 16th 3 PM Friends Meeting in Cambridge
Donating to the Library books about Communication
Talking about organizing a workshop on nonviolent communication, if there is interest. [A temperature check ensues.]
A pair of books
First smoker’s caucus met tonight! We are going to be self-policing as regards our following If you’re a smoker, you are now part of the smoker’s caucus whether you like it or not! :D
We had a meeting about the possibilities of a spokescouncil. We’re going to go ahead and try having a space set aside this sat morning to coord between WG’s about the SPokeCouncil for some events coming up. The 6 month anniversary of OWS would be a great day of action! So come around and we’ll start looking in to how we can make this day of action look. Sat Morn 10:30 @E5.
First tactical meeting: We don’t know when it is exactly but in like 2 weeks. Next week we’ll start talking specifics.
Logistics-house still needs work done, namely cleaning. This weekend we accomplished a lot, cleaned one room, washer/dryer installed, but there are still af ew rooms that need inventory. If anyone is interested at all in supporting please contact logistics: email@example.com
We have an internet radio station and we’re going to be broadcasting tomorrow nite live starting at 6 and we’re going to be broadcasting live shows on friday starting at 11. IF you want to come to our meetings, we meet 3/week on Mon/Fri @ 7 and Wed @6. Fri is at Cityplace, others are at E5.
Safer Spaces Cluster
Saturdays at E5 at 1pm, weekly meetings of people from various working groups to discuss social justice issues at OB, formulate proposals to create safer spaces, and workshop proposals. We’re going to have a lot of props in the next few weeks! please attend these meetings!
Legal Defense Group
Mandatory meeting for all those who were arrested during the raids and did NOT take the D’A’s deal. Feb 14th.
We had to use some money from DA for the march the other night. We still have some materials - posterboard, etc. We are going to try and facilitate people making material donations; please check our wikipage, we will list the best places to get those materials at the cheapest prices. Please coordinate with Jay about how to get that to Signs group.
We need donations of fabrics, ink, etc.
Tomorrow at UMass we have an event.
Signs has a weekly meeting @ Tuesday from 3 to 5.
Occupy the MBTA
Last night, good meeting @ Community Church. [Many organizations] were represented there.
Feb 13th, there is a hearing at BosPubLib at 6PM. We are going to have something similar to the Unity Rally at that time. Our plan is to mic-check, do street theatre, sing-alongs, etc to come together at Copley Square for a ralley which will last from 4:30 to 6:00, where there will be actions at the hearing itself.
A lot of you have been using the Calendar form on the website; please use it if you have not. Likewise the webforms for mass texts. Use the webforms. Use the webforms!
If you are in a Working Group, and you use Twitter - PLEASE KEEP DOING THAT! PLEASE KEEP USING IT CREATIVELY! That is a thing that works for us! We do not have the capacity to tell the world all the amazing things you are doing but you do, and we will retweet you!
You do not even have to @ us! We are WATCHING YOU CONSTANTLY. Every tweet you send goes to MY CELL PHONE.
Occupemos El Barrio
Meeting is now Feb 4th, Saturday instead of Friday. Time is from 1 to 3 @ the YMCA at the Airport Station.
Is there anyone here from the Three Strike Law Working Group? (None are present.) We need to coordinate.
Gender and Sexuality Direct Action
We were @ a birthday party and wasted and asked, why do we not have a queermarch? Then we decided, hell, let’s go nuts and have a whole campaign! [paraphrased to retain tone] Gender and Sexuality Direct Action is just the first thing that came off the top of my head!
Friday 8:30 City Place
Not a part of the Queer/Trans Caucus because that is just for Q/T’s, where as this is for everybody but to be very radical and direct-action-y!
MBTA info: Feb 1st, 200 Heath Street Jamaica Plain, 6 to 8 PM, hearing on the imminent MBTA fare increases at the start of the fiscal year in July.
BY LAW THE T HAS TO HAVE A BALANCED BUDGET BY APRIL!
Please come to share your thoughts on the imminent fare increases and the impact they will have!
To remain idle is to accept that we cannot effect change. To be active against oppression is to realize that none can subject us to negativity and silence our beliefs.
Occupy Oakland sends their thanks for our support, which has helped their spirits.
When you go home, go to occupy.net. There are some awesome tools there:
1. A non-Google search.
2. A non-Google docs program, ‘Notes’.
3. A non-Google maps program indicating events and locations.
Third: Eli will be attending a 20-hr Street Medic training in Ithica to increase her value to the community. Also community wellness training etc. However, we are currently in a spending freeze, so, if you could help me finance the trip, that would be fantastic.
Knock Out Barstool ‘By the Common Man, for the Common Man’ - we want to mess them up because they are awful misogynistic rape culture.
They are having ‘Blackout Parties’, for example a Northeastern Blackout Party, and portraying themselves as semiofficial.
We’re gonna have a march and a rally on Thursday. We’re trying to get Northeastern to come along and respond to this. Rally at the freshman quad. Then we’re gonnna march to the House of Blues, have a short rally there, and then march away for our own safety.
It’s Alex’s birthday! :D ‘it’s also James’ birthday!’ [hootin’, hollarin’, applaudin’]
Full-day long skillshare event on Thursday in Northhampton. I’m thinking of going just for the day, and I could probably transport a couple other people.
[I am writing a musical of the Occupy movement and it looks like it might actually be completed. However, this is a daunting task and I would like some assistance from those who can offer it.]
Contact Info: IngramMI6@gmail.com, IngramMI6@twitter
Darin, from Mass United:
I hear y’all kicked ass yesterday. Thanks for that.
Next event: Tomorrow. We’re goin’ after Bain Capital. We’re gonna position em’ as a Job Killer.
Tomorrow @ Bain Headquarters we’re gonna have a funeral for jobs. Minister’s gonna give a eulogy. Let’s piss off Mitt Romney. 200 Clarin Street, noon, right durin’ lunch hour.
Senor David Lamoso:
We’re gonna do a Sanmudra sand painting a month from today, at E5.
“Mike and I”:
We will be filming a documentary called OccuNation. We figured you might want to hear about it. We’re going to be traveling the country in a car. Find out more @ OccuNation.org. Please, come check it out, we’re very excited about it.
Beer Summit, Leisure Caucus - we’re gonna head out after GA tonight to grab some booze and some grub and some socializing. Meet at the stairs at the outside of the church after GA. We’ll have a nice time.
SAA Action Planning Meeting
“How many people have heard or been to an action assembly so far? Okay, not bad.”
“Here’s what’s gone on.”
“35 the first time. 45 the second time. Then 60. Then close to 80.”
“We use this space to brainstorm actions and campaigns: the Occupy the T. The Citizens United mobilizing. The Queer Direct Action Group.
It’s far from perfect, but we’re working to make it better. We’re asking you to continue to give us the ability to experiment with this space.”
“We’re going to dialog and discussion. If we get 80% consensus, we’ll continue indefintely; otherwise we will need Assembly consensus to continue.”
[A person notes that he had activist burnout for a month, came back, and bounced directly in to planning meeting; expresses immense happiness with it.]
[Another person stands up and asks the planners how they feel it’s been doing; they express general satisfaction and believe it to be a necessary thing, although continuous improvement is both needed and expected.]
[A third person expresses support for the Action Planning Meeting; only complaint is that it would be interesting to experiment with different methods of facilitation.]
The facilitators express support for the idea of more experimentation along those lines.
[A fourth person expresses support for the SAA’s so far. Notes the value of the different sort of ‘action-oriented’ crowd which they attract.]
[A fifth person regrets her inability to make it to any of the SAA’s thus far, but expresses enthusiasm for the idea.]
The facilitators explain that they occur on monday’s after the community meeting. They apologize for not making the time and place sufficiently public.
[A sixth person notes that the ‘place has been great’, and draws parallels between the space and Dewey’s open environment. They encourage it to continue.]
[two people are not listed but express support]
[A ninth person expresses support. ‘We should keep doing them, they’re amazing!’]
[10th: ‘I haven’t been to one yet, but I’ve heard great reviews. I’d like to go try one, so let’s keep it going.]
[11th: “Provides an incredible opportunity for that collective brainstorming...”]
[12th: As one of those who were originally not thrilled with this, the first one that I attended I was really pleasantly surprised at attendance and the kind of groups that came out. I joined a new working group (which hasn’t met yet). I also like that we don’t have to facilitate it.]
[13th: Yes, this is good, good yes excellent fantastic.]
[14th: How does the time lag feel for these last few? Do we need them to be longer, shorter?]
No, they seem like they take less time. We might try ending the next one with open workspace.
[15th: SAA may be better for new people than GA’s.]
One quick note before temp-check: We’ve been doing pretty well considering the space we’ve been using. But we need a larger, more multi-purpose space! Please let us know if you know a better one.
[There is a brief kerfuffle about ‘temperature check’ versus ‘straw poll’, followed by a brief discussion of withdrawing from the voting process wholesale to ‘abstain’. The measure passes with more than 80% of the GA supporting.]
New Proposal: Barstool Sports Have Harassed Boston Activists; posted information and put harassment on to them. So boston area schools (northeastern and BU) are organizing against this. My proposal is a brief statement of solidarity with these organizations and their stand against rape culture.
1. Concern: Knock Out Barstool didn’t really ask for this and they are absolutely not prepared for us to jump the gun here, nor are they prepared to get entangled in this.
1. Statement of Approval: Ruthlessness should be met with ruthlessness.
2. Statement of support: Screw these guys! God!
3. Statement of support: These guys should not be making money off of this.
4. Proposed Amendments:
- Ariel: Still workin’ it out how to make this something that doesn’t entangle us
- Stephanie: Similar
- Richard: “Support, not solidarity.” (Some negative reaction.)
1. The proposal is rephrased, and receives no statements of concern and many statements of support.
2. Proposed amendments:
- Ariel asks to switch some of the lines around a bit.
Four Rollover Proposals
1. Logistics proposes a budget of up to $450 a month for storage space.
- Current storage space is $260 for 10x20 indoor heated a month.
- It’s possible we can downsize significantly before we move.
- Once our storage needs are finalized we’ll come back.
- VERY T accessible. (T Stop: Red Line Wallaston.)
- Very cheap for the size.
- Open from 6 AM to 9 PM. (Our stuff will of course BE there 24/7.)
- We’re gonna put those carts in storage, ideally.
- We’re gonna publish the inventory somewhere visible and public. It’s mostly done but not complete yet.
- Room for expansion is not included in this proposal. There are no bigger units at this space; we’d be using other, smaller spaces to expand.
- We have trucks that we can use to transport TO the storage.
- We would not be sharing any of the space with any third parties.
- None of the ‘volunteer’ storage space was actually viable; that’s why we’re coming to the ‘spend a lot of money’ option.
- No, we don’t have (or need) any particular protection from police poking their nose in there with a warrant.
- Sarah says y’all can use space at her house. [she is interrogated on the internet]. Re-emphasized: biggest issue is access, and this place is someplace we would have continuous and uninterrupted access.
- Sarah clarifies that it is 10x15 feet, but it is sadly not enough; there are spaces which will not fit. However, she may be contacted for spillover.
break in to small groups
1. “What happens if this proposal is not passed?” “We throw everything out.”
2. “We trust that you have thought this through.”
3. Friendly Amendment: “Raise the value to 800!” (negative response)
4. FriAmen: “If this proposal were to pass, and there is valuable stuff that doesn’t fit, maybe we can just e-bay it.”
- $200 one time authorization for fees and transportation. Any remainder will be returned to the general fund.
- Likewise if we don’t spend the full $450 per month we are going to be returning it to the GA.
- We consider this ‘semi-permanent’. If we re-occupy we may downsize.
2nd Proposed Amendment:
- Payment is explicitly to be done with debit card. (positive response)
- Formal sales option (negative response)
The proposal is amended with the debit card clause.
Safer Spaces Cluster.
- A large quantity of the crowd bails just before this proposal gets voted on, probably the back 30%.
- 90 minutes out of Saturday GA to workshop on boston version of Safer Spaces Community Agreement prior to a public meeting to workshop the same proposal on Feb 5th, which is a Sunday. This is just for workshopping, not for consensus processes.
- Do we have quorum? We checkin’ for quorum. Do we have quorum to make this specific decision? Need 75% consensus - and we do not have it.
- The proposal is tabled for now, due to lack of quorum.
- FREEDOM. FREEDOM! FREEDOM.
“In Aug of last yr got op to go abrd to go UK for Youth Climate Coalition. Dur that time Occupy happened! Cool to watch hapn while away. Caught in Edenborough while I was there, they still doin’ it, talking to people daily. A lot of people heard about London but Edenborough is still going and going strong. Good to be back and meet you guys!”
Depression, suicide in our community. They can strike at any time! Hell, birthdays suck for me. I been feelin’ really weird and I don’t know how to deal with it and I hope that I could go to you as individuals and talk to you about my feelings to work out what’s goin’ on. How do we coalesce and live together in this stressful environment? How do we change the world when we can’t change the clock on our microwaves without getting stressed out?
I am open as an individual and as a member of Community Wellness to talk to. I’m gonna try to plan some fun things for us to do, like a basket ball tournament once it gets warmer.
We could take some cash and volunteer to have a 3v3 or 5v5 vs BPD to donate some cash to charity, but the winner gets to pick the charity. :D
I AM THE SANDWICH LADY. I reveal that because I am sad to hear that we lost the use of the kitchen here! I brought two loaves of sandwiches and they were gone in under ten minutes. That’s hungry! Anyone who can, when you’re coming to a GA or a big working group meeting, make a loaf of sandwiches. It’s a detroit thing to do. Loaf of fresh bread, you make peanut butter and jelly, and you put each sandwich in a sandwich bag in the loaf. No one has to air any shame this way.
My two loaves of sandwiches were gone in ten minutes, and I am absolutely certain that some people were still hungry. The superpower of sandwich-making I hereby gift to you all!
I am standing here because I am angry at UMass Boston. I am 18 yrs old, working on my GED. I went two nights out to help out, at [lost track of what he’s saying. seems exhausted, tired. Leaves afterwards. Somber moment.]
The tech team is planning a guerilla action around internet re-direction
meeting at 3pm encuantro 5 in china town. The warning is that if you aren’t super interested in hacking routers maybe it’s not for you.
Trying to work on solidarity proposal--for the green revolution--between occupy and them--need to try and find ways out of conflict with iran--saying”we don’t believe it’s in the best interest for the US” or “we believe that the people of Iran and the people of the US have more in common with each other than we do with our governments” -- want to make sure that it is accurate with history and the people--time is not infinant--shit could go down--
we ahd a really great moment where a proposer and someone from the GA got together to collaberate on writing a proposal--that was great1
OB sat 10:30 Encuantro 5 spokes
queer trans caucus is interested in having a meeting --talks alot about it --get at gunter if you want to have a meeting
we are having trouble talking over each other--i don’t know how to handle (mass exodous of people) --what does quorum mean--why do we pick 75%? --there is so much stuff that we do --
WHO’S NOTEBOOK IS IT!
there is a lots notebook
erica --a greatful dead notebook --let’s find her
quorum is looking around at who is in the room and saying “is there someone here who should be here?” if they aren’t then
Close out - positive things about meeting:
Ethan - Hi. I’m Ethan. I love you all. thought that collaboration b/t proposer and ga went really well. Like that we have a warm space and we can make buttons and have conversations.
i had a lot of fun --we moved smoothly--
we passed two proposals
things that could have gone better *******
being aware of when we need to direct our attention --
there seems to be a problem and dissagreement about what quorum
there needs to be a break time --i am not able attend a lot of wg meetings and this is where i connect with people --let there be a break time
i realized how loud our side conversation was and
i hate that we put this part at the end because i work a lot on the process--i wish we could better inform --i don’t like that we did a temperature check at some point--that took away my right to block-- someone came in and didn’t know where we were and because we didn’t take time to start on time they were confused about where we were--
reading of a 13th century poem