GA Minutes Week 15 - Jan 8 (1/2)

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GA Sun Jan 8 2012 (1 of 2)

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GA begins 1716

Facilitators tonight are David and Matt. Keori is notetaker. @axb21 is livetweeting on@DeweyGA. David and Matt go over hand signals. Working group announcements:

1717: New working group forming for Mental Health Justice meeting Saturday at 1400, will be on calendar.

1720: Rachel from Community Wellness Monday at E5 at 1630 open forum regarding safety proposal.

1720: FSU announces upcoming classes. Friday the 13th at 1500 at St. Paul’s Cathedral is a class on how to start a nonprofit. Sunday the 15th 1300 at E5 there is a talk on “getting things straight on Iraq.” What’s going on in Iraq post-US “withdrawal.” FSU is starting a regular radio hour on OB Radio starting on the 18th. First guest 7-8 pm, Barry Friedman, Prof of Econ at UMASS Amherst. FSU WG meeting Friday Jan 13th from 1500-1700 470 Atlantic Ave in community room.

1724: Faith and Spirituality asks for 30 seconds silence to center.

1725: InterOccupy talks about two national movements. #J17 (OccupyDC, OccupyCongress) has asked for OB involvement in Washington, D.C. If anyone wants to be involved, please email Farhad and Matthew can help you get hooked in. OWS is coming to Boston 1/27-2/1 on a road trip. Friday 7 pm E5 is the normal InterOccupy WG mtg time.

1728: Sexual Assault Awareness WG forming, meeting Sat 1/21, time and location TBA.

1728: Jay from OB Signs. Signs sent a bunch of stuff to Occupy The Primaries, there is physical presence there now. OB Signs is in need of donations so they can stop using General Fund/Stipend money. Twitter account and FB accounts, pics are on the Wiki. Asking for photos of signs and events.

1730: Jay continues from Screenprint Guild. Asking for donations to become self-sufficient and eventually be able to put money back into the General Fund. OWS screenprint guild came up here and it’s been a big hit. Please donate fabric, t-shirts.

1731: Jay continues from Spaces WG. We are looking for physical locations to replaceDewey as a home base. Next meeting at E5 at 1730 on Wednesday, will discuss potential properties, and how to best finance that. See Jay or Greg with questions.

1732: Consensus WG (Anthony) had its first WG mtg today at noon at Cityplace. Good discussion, still getting ramped up on Wiki, no next mtg date/time yet. Email, twitter is @obconsensus.

1733: David from OEB up. OEB consented to a proposal against expedited deportations, bringing it to OB. David working with Kade from ACLU on it, and it looks good. Original one already posted on wiki, if latest version with amendments not on wiki, it will be shortly. Friday 1/13 at 1730 is next mtg at E5. CityLife/Vida Urbana explanation. Meetings are at 1800 at 28 Harris Street. Meetings are open. Speakout on Wednesday at 1 pm in front of City Hall to protest proposed bills affecting illegal foreclosure victims. If you live in a bldg, and it’s being foreclosed on. On the 14th CL needs people to canvass in front of houses being foreclosed upon. Meeting place is Dunkin Donuts 524 Broadway at 10 am in Everett.

1737: Jorge for Facilitation WG. DA is presenting at St. Paul’s 1/9 1800-2030. Facilitation meets every Tuesday-Fri at City place. GA Tuesday is 135 Boylston at Emmanuel.

1738: FAWG announces that at Jan 26th FAWG will have a 90-minute major accounting of finances. Also, anti-oppression WG announces that on Saturday 1/14 from 1200-1500 Linda Stout will do a visioning session.

Individual announcements:

1740: Zach: Reading group meeting on 1/14 1300-1500 South Station mezzanine mtg

1740: Mike talks about Oakland’s “Fuck the Police” march against police brutality and misconduct. Cops in full riot gear reacted as expected, ran protesters down with vehicles, sent people to hospital. Anyone who wants to push for action against OPD, see Mike for contact info.

1741: Back at Dewey Dennis taught at FSU on anarchism, psychology, and the law, and the underpinnings of anarchist theory in OB’s structure. He would like to start those classes again. Anyone interested please see Dennis or

1743: Jennifer up, talking about three strikes law, asks ppl to please call their state senators and reps and email, tell them to not vote for it, that you support the Black and Latino caucus in voting against the bill. There will be an action this week, listed on David speaks in support of OTH and OEB in this action. OB has a responsibility to stand with OEB and OTH against this racist law. Anna has POI; we’ve already done actions against this, we can do this again.

1745: Anna announces that she can help do tech support re: email list admin stuff.

1746: Mark and Justin are starting a new WG for the intention of raising public awareness about the Occupy movement’s positions on issues. Possible names are Guerilla Information, Eggs of Knowledge. Meet 1530 Saturday at City Place.

1746: Trisha has stress relievers for people who need them during tonight’s GA.

1747: Bradley and Noah and others have put together a proposal to plan action summits. Forming a WG around a weekly mtg for action planning. SPAA (strategic political action assembly). First mtg is soon, TBA.

1748: Bil Lewis announces the appearance of the elephant at OccupyThePrimary, asking for anyone going back up to NH to please carry some stuff back up that way. Proposal prioritization: Three new proposals.

1750: Anastasia summarizes her proposal. Women have been threatened at OB. Solution: strong acknowledgement of obvious, that OB does not support. Asking for a resolution against sexual violence.

1751: Carlos from Peace Nobel Nomination WG proposes that American people benominated for Nobel Peace Prize (notetaker note: hard to understand, something to do with Ron Paul? Is this meant to be ironic?).

1752: Andy from Citizens United WG announces that on Jan 20th in conjunction withanniversary of Citizens United decision, actions will be happening nationwide. Proposal to express solidarity and for GA to endorse those actions.

1755: Prioritization votes: after rollovers, Anastasia’ proposal first, then Citizens United proposal, then Carlos’ proposal.

1756: Matt explains proposal process

1757: Tonight’s first rollover (Sarah’s safety proposal) is a bit different; it’s already been amended, so first proposal will be read as its most recent iteration. Other rollovers onstack are the ad hoc SPAA group to eliminate one GA per week, FAWG’s proposal on stipends, Will’s proposal re: decision-making.

1759: Marty brings us through visualization exercise to center before the safety proposal.

1802: Matt: in the interests of facilitating this proposal, we wanted to have both a man and a woman, but no one was ready. We apologize.

1803: Sarah is up with safety/SAA proposal. Lots of amendments, lots of work on it. Wanted to let it be known that the second part taken out is not gone or tabled, but will be a separate proposal. Was not meant to be a divisive proposal, but it became that. Glad to have started the conversation, it needs to be continued. Hoping to use this to come to better understanding of everyone in community.

1805: Sarah reads Sexual Assault Awareness proposal. [link on wiki]

1807: Matt announces 15 minute breakout. Jorge raises point of process, that no other proposal has ever been through 3 rounds of amendments. Matt says that we have notagreed on 3rd round. Some confusion, GA will enter the breakout session.

1809: Request for Faith and Spirituality to come back for another centering exercise after breakouts.

1810: POI from Greg: Dan has always been a facilitator, seeing him as a proposer is weird and unsettling. Dan announces that he has not been facilitating lately so as to not have a perceived conflict of interest. Sarah POI: Dan has not been offering any amendments to proposal.

1811: CQ: can we have copies of proposal? No, the printer is not here. Proposers will make themselves available to breakout groups for questions.

1812: POI: there is a 24 hr Kinko’s nearby.

1812: Medic announces availability for psych first aid.

1812: CQ: Is this online? Sarah is trying to get online, Dan volunteers his mobile network.

1813: Jorge apologizes for his method of POP, it was not non-violent, and he is sorry for stressing people out with that.

1814: Discussion about getting the doc on wireless vs. hard copies, tweeting a photo.

1815: POP: the rules say that proposal must be written, no rule that it must be on paper. It IS written, it IS available, just online and not on paper.

1816: Will begin 15 minutes momentarily, if needed, we will have more time.

1816: Sarah reads proposal again.

1820: 15-minute breakout.

1822: Patti announces the link to the online proposal so people can bring it up on computers, mobile web

1825: Monica R. becomes disruptive, screams at people about the proposal and is taken aside by facilitators. Others voice concerns about her habit of this behavior, verbally assaulting people with whom she disagrees, and using violent language and behavior. She continues to scream at Facilitators. GA members note to Facilitators that her behavior makes them feel unsafe.

1837: 15 minutes up, facilitator asks for temp check on 5 more minutes in small groups. Temp check asks for 5 more minutes.

1845: Marty from Faith and Spirituality leads another grounding exercise.

1849: Facilitators call GA back, will begin blocks. Explain process of a block. Points of information, explanation of voting on agreement with blocks.

1857: Monica R, Paul Shannon, Anastasia, Bob, and one other block.

1858: CQ: are we using progressive stack on blocks? A: we can.

1859: Anastasia, first block - it’s important that we recognize that many people in the OB community have been victimized, mostly women. It IS systemic. However, I feel that this proposal is shortsighted. We need a process for addressing violence. But this proposal is a blank slate modeled on a punishment system in this country. This proposal does nottransform the culture. This needs to be re-proposed in the future or come up with a new perspective using restorative justice model.

1904: Vote on whether this fits the definition of a block. Vote fails. This does not meet the definition.

1908: Bob next. His first block, hopefully his last. After discussion w/ group he changed his mind because once you label a person, no matter whether legit or not, it stays withthat person. If someone sexually assaults another person anywhere in OB, then he thinks that person should be arrested and prosecuted.

1913: CQ about stand-asides. A: If you want to stand aside from a vote, leave the room during vote count.

1914: Vote on whether this fits the definition of a block. Vote fails. This does not meet the definition.

1915: Next blocker is an older white woman (unable to hear name) who admits that she hasn’t been here before, but came here specifically for this issue. Speaking as a woman and a nurse. People feel strongly about this, there needs to be consciousness-raising in every generation. She feels that this proposal isn’t in line with the community.

1918: Vote on whether this fits the definition of a block. Vote fails. This does not meet the definition.

1919: Paul Shannon stands up to block. He is concerned about the path that this type of decision takes us. His understanding (says he is not an expert) is that level 3 choosing process is illegitimate, that many level 3s are not actually a threat. Also concerned that proposal only addresses classification, not behavior. We’re saying that the US CJ system is messed up, but not on this. It’s messed up here, too. Human Rights Watch and other groups have shown that offender registries do not keep people safe. Main objection is that this approach is the opposite of what OB is about. POI not raised in GA: Paul Shannon is the founder and Director of an organization that calls for the elimination of sex offender registries, Reform Sex Offender Laws ( ). He failed to disclose this professional affiliation when he joined the GA specifically to block this proposal. This violates the Occupy Boston statement of autonomy, consented to by the General Assembly on 11/11/2011, which specifies that professional activists should disclose their affiliations at the outset of their involvement with Occupy Boston. The RSOL website states that RSOL was formed in 2007 and lists Shannon as a “long-time activist.”

1923: Vote on whether this fits the definition of a block. 71 vote that this is a principled block

1924: Vote on whether people join the block. If 10% join the block, proposal is tabled. The number is 18. Proposal is blocked.

1925: @caulkthewagon announces that she is leaving GA to protest the block of the proposal. Approximately 25 people join her, including three livetweeters, the notetaker, and six media team members. Change in notetaker.