GA Notes Week 13 - Thurs Dec 29

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GA 29 Dec 2011

Note: Held at Emmanuel Episcopal Church

Facilitators meeting: 5pm weekdays, City Place Food court

Daniel, Allison facilitating

Review of process, hand signals

“Sparkle fingers” for positive. “Puppydog paws” for neutral. “Squids” for negative.

Encouragement to do “move it on” low and slow, not up and in someone's face


Working Group Announcements

Create New Jobs: Justin Scott – new group. Mon 4-5:30 S Station mezzanine.

InterOccupy: Farhad – Help you talk to other occupies on person to person and WG to WG. E5, 7pm, Friday. Matt wants to talk to you if you're from another Occupy.

Signs & Screen-printing: Jay – Making banners for First Night, Friday. Passed proposal on Tuesday for supplies. E5, 1pm to 5 on Friday. Actions after in Dewey area. Also, if you're in WG and we have banners for you, come see me to coordinate getting them.

Screen-printing: Doing printing Friday 1-5 at e5. Looking for space to do printing on Sat. before First Night gets going. LET US KNOW OF LOCATIONS!! Contact info on wiki – Screen-print Guild. If you brought a shirt tonight, come see me tonight.

CASA: presenting from stage. Mallory – and Jennie and Tess – Event last night and open invite. 2Nd tiny tent making party at e5. Had people new to Occupy! Nice – welcoming and open. Then had new WG meeting to discuss resources, ideas, things to offer. Check out our wiki and listserv. Jennie – we're making tiny tents back here right now! If you want to take a moment to create something, we're right here. Take a template to occupy anywhere. This is a great way to decompress.

FAWG: Linda – Reminder to WGs – you can apply for $100/week. I have forms. If you have receipts come see me.

Media: Dan – New cellphone alert system. If you want more frequent updates. Used to have emergency system – don't anticipate using that. New system. Send text to 23559 – send @obupdates to 23559. What kind of updates? Not sure yet. Dependent on how many sign up. Eli knows more but he's not here.

DA: Does everyone know what tomorrow is? Our 3 month birthday! Tomorrow at 5:30, bring pillow to Fed! Rumors of march completely false, but if people all meander together . . . Not planning big action for First Night, want lots of people to do small things. Pick something fun that's family-friendly!

Info: We're doing something for First Night. Groups of people, 3-4 groups, red wagons with tents! Between 1 and 5 on Saturday. Interested? We're looking for more people. Have 2000 buttons to give out. Meeting tomorrow 6pm. Location TBD. Will update calendar. Email Community Church, Sat. 12pm is where/when we'll get going.

Inreach: Internal communication for us. Create communications hub. Collecting items of info for central database, help people get info they need when they need it. We'll be reaching out to every WG to get the info. Or take the initiative to talk to me or Farhad.

Film Screening: New WG! People talking about films related to Occupy they'd like to see. Documentary or fiction. No location yet. POI from Martin: there's already such a group! With listserv and everything. sdickers10@gmail [I think] if you want to learn more.

Ideas: Noah – meet Weds. 6pm 38 Ash St. City-wide topic based discussions on concerns that brought people to movement. Doing targeted outreach to make sure we have all voices.

Action for Peace: Remember Camp Alex tent? Doing First Night Against the Wars – gathering in Copley, giving out stickers, literature. Maybe food. Noon to 6. Need people to join us – sign up. Also a gathering with us in opposition to occupation of Palestine.

Facil: We have a printer/copier/scanner!

Decolonize Boston: Marty – solidarity and outreach continues. Fri 5pm Christ Church in Cambridge. Here to help shed European mind frame. Acknowledge we exist on stolen land. Draw connections between colonizing, intersecting systems of oppression. Our meetings cover things like planning speakers as well as education and discussion.

Facilitation: Greg – Community Gatherings are gathering steam, next opening is in Feb. Citizens United is hosting next Monday, Community Church on Boylston, 7:30pm. Then back to St. Paul's. See wiki page for schedule.

Winterization: Eric – Resolution passed a while ago for $2000 for winter things. Temp check on using that for displaced people? Temp check on closing it instead? [temp check indicates we should use it] [I failed to follow how that might affect the Mutual Aid proposal but there was some discussion]

Women's Caucus: First Night! We are not doing something small, we missed that memo, we are doing something big! In Copley Sq. 8pm! We’re being vague on purpose. NOT illegal, but we want it to be a surprise. OEB, Queer Trans, Occupy Moms, others, all working with us. Art event. From 8pm to whenever.

Individual Announcements

Facil reminder: Announcements are for things with date and time.

Occupy NH: Mark – Glad to be here, was here for dance party, you've changed my life, now organizing in NH. Planning really large event – occupy NH Primary. NH Primary – we're a small tiny, very white state, but all media and politicians pass through. Want as many people from Boston to join us as possible. Veteran's Park on Elm St. It's a 4 day event, 2 hr time slots for Occupy groups in region and community advocacy groups to do whatever they want. Lowell, Worcester, OWS, many others will be there. Time slots running out – Occupy Boston hasn't grabbed one yet. Come see me for more info.

Farhad: Talked with OWS today about an OWS Road trip. Getting big bus to visit other occupations to talk about actions and action planning. We're invited to join them in Wall St when they're done, in February. While it's winter we're trying to spend time to get to know each other to be better in touch when it gets time for more planning. They want team of 2-3 people here to help coordinate with them in terms of scheduling, spreading word, where to park/sleep. Want to see draft proposal they're working on? See me, Devin, Rene, Daniel, Martin for contact info and details.

Emma: Reminder: I can provide childcare – this space has extra rooms that are good for that. Hope to coordinate with others who want to help. Can be available at Tues GA for same.

Eleanor: Made Occupy Boston t-shirts. Not many, but please see me. Have kids size L, too!

Sarah: InterOccupy – going to Austin in January. Invited to do teach-in on Occ Boston, don't know where to start! Can bring tiny tents, our legal case – sure they have stuff to teach us as they've been a decamped movement. My email is on board.

Eric: Announcement about a type of oppression: use of word “crazy” in derogatory sense. Personally upset by it. Other people used to it, but please don't use it this way. Lots of people act 'crazy' when upset by other oppressive behaviors. Don't use it in a negative way.

Katie: Taking names for petition against Canadian mining company coming to tearing up medicinal plants in Mexico – affecting the last tribe that survived Conquistadors. Now facing destruction by mining. Lots of personal beefs, but if anyone else wants to write letter... see me, sign up.

Marty: Quick public health announcement: thought I had Dewey Lung, but it was pneumonia. There are bugs going around, don't ignore health problems. I had every single symptom of it. If you can, get to clinic. Get an x-ray.

David: City Life needs help on Jan 14. Have huge list of people being foreclosed on, can't reach every house. Need people to help. Talk to people, bring to City Life, help them with illegal foreclosures. Way for us to reach out to organizations. They have lots of experience. Maybe we can collaborate, occupy some homes, blockades? Meeting on Jan 4 East Boston, too – I go, but they're kinda iffy on us going in large group. POI (Katie?) - we did work with them and it was awesome. They have weekly meetings, only meeting w/people facing foreclosure, so don't want big groups. Anti-foreclosure work is something we can do more of. David: Let me know if you need more info.

Justin: In a couple minutes, we're going to be participating in true democracy. Revolution motivated by love. Remember that, will help process move along.

Ray (?) or Greg?: Visiting from Davis, CA, home of famous pepper spray incident. Here, tonight: you all must not talk over one another or have side conversations. If any person is presently speaking, you must wait until 3 seconds after they've stopped – if you fail to do that you're failing as discussants. If facils fail to enforce, they’re failing as facilitators.

Linda: I've been asked to tell you that we're taking a break between this part of this GA and the next part, proposals. Asking that you choose an ally to sit next to cause there may be difficult things coming next. Use this time of transition to move in silence. Consider past 90 days we've had together, bonds we've formed.

Facil: About to take break. 5 minutes. If you feel it would be helpful to find an ally, do that. We're going to try to take things slower. Allow things to settle before reacting. Whole FWG feels like encouraging idea that we're speaking from love, on similar mission, hope we can address the mission instead of taking everything said as personal. Reconcile things that are contentious.

Announcement that the Occupy Puppy is in the room – that means we're reconvening!


Intro to process, voting on order

Reminders of purpose and process: take proposals and make them work for group.

Reminder: concerns are about identifying something that needs to be improved on. Becomes a community concern that needs to be addressed.

Notes will be taken to try and list brief summaries of concerns. Address repetition. If someone has said what you would have said, we don't need to say it again. Notes being kept will help make sure concerns are addressed in amendments.

After concerns, then statements of support. Why keep as is, why spirit of it is good.

Then friendly amendments. Capture spirit, make proposal as good as can be – makes it OUR proposal.

Then check for consensus – will get to that process when we get there.

Now Jorge, stack monitor.

-5 rollover proposals from Tues. 2 people missing. 1 proposal tabled. New proposals added (2?). Sarah: rolling over proposal on safety from sexual offenders. Eric: rollover – amendments to resolution about mutual aid. John Ford: not here Martin: New - Propose GAs end at midnight unless physically willing/able to stick around. Noah: New - Eliminate Saturday GA, replace Thurs with outreach super planning meeting.

Noah's proposal will be heard before Martin's

Rollovers first.

Proposal re:sex offenders


Sarah: I received amendments on steps, plus emails – thank you to everyone except one who was nasty, everyone else was constructive and helpful. Passing out copies, sorry about typos. Hoping with amendments, people feel like I kept spirit and listened to what group said. Here is a photo of the printed proposal, without the last-minute additions that were read

Received letter from attorney about criminal actions that could be taken by NOT notifying people of presence of sex offender.

Email says: Occ Boston's civil liability is murky because of our legal status. A nonprofit could be sued for negligence. But we're not a nonprofit, so status to be sued undetermined. Corporations can sometimes be charged with crimes, fined, but whether Occ Bos can be held liable beside the point. Individuals can be held criminally and civilly liable for allowing children to be endangered. Whoever fails to take steps to reduce risks to children can be jailed. Reckless behavior that would allow sex abuse or harm of child. Crime is misdemeanor – could be jailed, not put in prison. [summarized as best I could; see Sarah for full email]

Here is the law about reckless endangerment. 803 CMR. Here is the law that is “guidelines pertaining to the registration and classification of sex offenders” Includes definitions for all levels of sex offender. PDF. Parts of this were read at various points of the discussion.

Clarifying Questions and Points of Information

CQ: Believe proposal you read is different than what's on paper. Didn't catch all changes. Do you have them, can you read the changes to us again? Yes, reread even the typos.

[Sarah reads differences between her marked up copy and the print-outs]

Does 1.a. Apply to anyone?

Ans: Yes.

CQ: You named 3 different groups as having quite a bit of work. Did you talk to these groups? Do they have the time to take on this responsibility?

Ans: Safety was in from start. Spoke to Safety members. They didn't express concern. Survivors' WG asked me to add them in. Women's Caucus – amendment, asked for. Didn't ask Wellness – that was an amendment from Tues. too.

CQ: Did the attorney say the “up to 2.5 years” if someone knows?

Ans: If someone has knowledge of level 3 at event and does not speak up.

CQ: Is that if something occurs, or just knows?

CQ: Could it be per an incident that you know is going on? That could turn into 15-20 years for allowing an offender to attend meetings? Could affect multiple people?

Ans: Yes.

POI: Occupy Boston is not a social services agency. Woefully and completely unequipped to deal with tricky matters.

CQ: In terms of criminal and civil liability, did we talk to attorney in terms of criminal and civil liability about other types of assault? If you know if you have a violent person here, does that change anything?

Ans: he only sent me info relevant to sexual nature.

CQ: I'd like to know – it should be “if you feel unsafe” period.

POP: that's an amendment

CQ: So can we find out if it's the same?

CQ: If there's anything – doesn't seem to be in proposal – anywhere – 1a – where accused provided opportunity to defend themselves?

Ans: Felt should be case by case scenario, that's why Mediation, WC, Survivors, a part of that. These groups deal with these issues, can deal with.

CQ: When you say “if a member find that another member is offender and poses a threat and is ENTITLED” do you mean they have option or are compelled to?

Ans: I feel should be compelled from moral stance. It's a legal issue to notify a community but I can't say they must. Last time – Tuesday – when that language was in there that caused conflict.

CQ: “Any Occupy Events” - you mean any Occupy or just Boston?

Ans: just Boston.

CQ: Don't have question, last GA, my amendment – if it's discovered ...documentation....

POP: Bring it up during amendments

CQ: Is Safety same as during encampment.

Ans: as far as I know.

CQ: We had level 3, was addressed, left on own. Was during encampment. We brought it to medical, police, verified online and with cops. So we got rid of em.

CQ: Are level 3 not allowed around people at all?

Ans: Not allowed around children. That's state law.

POI: Women's Caucus willing to take this on.

CQ: Unclear on what process will be. If I'm feeling unsafe, I talk to safety then what?

Ans: People from named groups get together to work with you, get story, then go to accused ask them to leave while case is presented to GA. Then do research based on your statements, other person's statements. They can get in touch with other people, other information.

CQ: What is the Mass. Law here?

Ans: MGL c.26513L re:reckless endangerment of child. [note that I have a bad cold and may have misheard or mistyped this]

CQ: If this not accepted, we'd all be criminally liable if child here and level 3 and none of us made rest of us aware of that.

Ans Don't know if they'd charge everyone...

CQ: Heard you read statute, heard it referred to “where there's a duty to act,” heard that with every section. Did you consult lawyer about that specifically? Studying law, difference between specific duty to act vs general duty to act. Did you discuss with attorney?

Ans: Did not, seems pretty clear to me, might be wrong.

CQ: Fact, I believe – situation is, if you're in place w/lvl 3 and also child, and you're aware of person's status as level 3, then you're liable. You have to be in know, right?

Ans: That's how I understand it.

CQ: Confused about legal requirement. Am social worker. 30 years I've been told legally mandated to notify [couldn't hear]. Certain people legally mandated to report – teachers, doctors, social workers. Feel this is murky area. Suspected abuse – never extended to known level 3? Confused, need experts on law.

Ans: Have full section of law here, can read it all.

Facil: let's bring that up again in concerns.

CQ: Are there requirements for reporting in terms of other levels of sex offense?

Ans: Section I got was specific w/level 3.

CQ: So we're only concerned with 3?

Ans: point 1a – if you feel uncomfortable – that could include someone who doesn't have level 3. If you were touched inappropriately, raped, that would encompass 1a. People have complained about inappropriate touching, wanted that added.

CQ: POI – regarding nature of level 3. Designation: given to sex offender when risk of re-offense is high and danger to public is substantial so public safety is served by public dissemination of information. Contrast to 1 and 2 where risk of re-offense is moderate to low.

CQ: Can you explain – what is rationale for – in large public place, because level 3 in room, is that a threat?

Ans: Putting child in environment around person.

CQ: Is it contagious?

Ans: If I’m up here, child is back there, person back there could lure my child outside. Or in next room with babysitter. “Hey your mom wants you.” In a march - things happen, people get separated. Sometimes I look away and kids get away. Parents aren't perfect, not their fault.

POI: that section of statute nothing to do with level 3 – risk to child of sex abuse by ANYONE. Know of level 3 may raise risk, but is ANYONE who might put child at risk. Knowingly putting child at risk is problem.

POI: Majority of rapes committed by people they know and trust. Allowing people in allows offenders to build trust.

POI: Sex offenders not even allowed to be in churches where GAs are. So they shouldn't be here anyway.

Ans: This has happened. Level 3 has come to Gas in church, post-Dewey.

CQ: Was something done?


CQ: So they're going to be here regardless.

Facil: That sounds like concern or amendment.

POI: Offer to explain concepts: “reckless endangerment” has a specific meaning in my profession. Someone knew or should have known of risk and had actions they COULD have taken and did not, that resulted in harm. Does not require actual knowledge of, goes by so-called 'reasonable man' standard. Which is “knew or should have known.”

POI: Does anyone know what “grooming” is? Offender will groom anyone to trust them. Will entrench themselves in your life, whether target is adult or child. Build trust in community so they can get close.

[some dude is downtwinkling this statement about grooming. WTF?!]

POI: Working group for people to join – I've been trying to get it going for months. This is beginning of long conversation, shouldn't end with this proposal, lots more for us to do than this. Regardless of passage, doesn't mean there aren't other people here who could be the same danger.

Facil: we're trying to control this process and prevent responses that upset people.

CQ: 1b – language provided by lawyer. May be concern or amend. “If member learns of level 3” - 'and FEELS that member is threat” does that read...?

Ans: Open to amendment to fix that wording.

Facil: Sounds like you're concerned that doesn't match legal requirement – we can tell people what legal requirement is but we can't tell people to follow it.

CQ: If there precedent in other Occupy?

Ans: heard that Philly working on similar, haven't passed yet. Know that DC has something similar to 'friendly neighbor' statement we had. Action from that is “shunning' process that people here are opposed to. That's why I left it open to GA to decide how to proceed if person doesn't voluntarily leave.

POI: Have been part of other radical collective groups, came to consensus around sex offenders – Lesbian Avengers – did ban level 3 as well as folks that committed domestic violence against other members. Similar process of people meeting with small group, esp around DV issue.

POI: Occupy Philly – they have at least asked one person to leave based on incidence of assault. Part of prop they're working on, not how to ask people to leave, but how to have transformative justice for person to become member again. Not sure how they're dealing with state classification.

CQ: If you go back to lawyer – ask if they have legal responsibility to self-report as offender to any group they'd join, similar to moving into neighborhood, if they have to advertise that

ans: Yes if moving into community near school. As far as Occupy Boston, because we're not nonprofit, non incorporated, really murky, untested.

CQ: Since no formal organization, no member list, requirements, etc., by saying “member” if I then vote for proposal, am I somehow join organization in some legal capacity? Is there legal implication to word “member?”

Ans: If there's amend to change “member, that's fine.

CQ: Want to be clear on legal issue that's all.

CQ: Emailed Google group of DC people and other Occupations. DC, LA, Minneapolis – no, nothing like this.

CQ: Back to 1b – think wording needs to be adjusted. Don't understand about the “feeling” that member poses threat? Either someone poses a threat or they don't.

Ans: Open to rewording in amendments

CQ: Is section 1 necessary? Anyone can report anything to Safety. Issue is what Safety will do about it.

Ans: Feel like if I skipped to 2, would be missing part of process.

POI: I participated in group elsewhere with similar process, adopted zero tolerance policy for any allegation of sex abuse. If you got called out, you were GONE. That was effective, it worked. People worried it wouldn't.

POI: If you or neighbor feel tense, we have tents! And a puppy.

POI: Back to removal agreement, even though our removal was about specific people, we had statements that any individual person removed had right to enter into program for reentry. Might want to add that in.

CQ: Says group will ask person to leave for 1 week, then go to GA to decide about permanent removal... does victim have to be present at GA?

Ans: In terms of research, need to get statements from both parties, then other research regarding crim record, police reports. Can also work with victim to find out best thing for them. Some might want to speak to GA about what happened, some may want anonymity.

POI: Chapt 6 section 178n Info in sex offender registry [I can't follow this, too fast, sorry, but it was a legal statement about how if you misuse information in the registry, you can be punished legally]

Ans: Spoke to lawyers. Any community group or gathering can make own rules, regs, not discriminatory to ask level 3 to not be present.

CQ: Will accused have chance to address GA before they make decision?|

Ans: Yes, or they can have someone from Safety, WC, others, to speak for them. Oh, misunderstood. Asked for them NOT to be here. Feel Safety, others, can speak for them. Feel wrong for both parties to speak publicly – not right to force victim to face abuser.

CQ: Does this mean if level 3 offender is not engaging in harmful behavior, they will not be asked to leave? Only if they engage in threatening behavior?

Ans: No, if anyone finds out someone is level 3, they go to Safety, groups go to GA, name person at GA, then GA votes on actions.

CQ: So if person hasn't done anything it doesn't matter.

Ans: Right.

CQ: Part c, vote is dismissed, what do you envision process will be in reintegrating person who was accused, safety concerns?

Ans: Safety and Mediation can deal with that, that is my sense they can work with this.

POI: You cannot tell whose a child legally by looking at someone. In the law about level 3 not allowed around children, by children is that persons under 18?

Ans: Believe its 13.

POI: If they're a minor you're supposed to be protected. It's statutory rape to have sex w/16 y.o you believe is 19.

CQ: If person accused feels they want someone to speak on behalf at GA, allowed?

Ans: Yes.

CQ: Just Mediation involved, haven't had lots of training, medical has training.

POP We're not in concerns yet.

CQ: Can accused ever come forward?

Ans: I don't feel that it's right to have someone who is a victim and their aggressor together and go back and forth. I thought Safety and others can get statement and read it to GA.

CQ: What if person voluntarily declines to attend meetings, wants to participate online or go to meetings where no children (bars)? You took out stuff about shunning, but what about specific other things?

Ans: I feel very strongly that any victim should not have to work anywhere, any time, with someone who attacked them.

CQ: In 1b, person who's reporting this potential threat, this person is not the victim.

Ans: As a mother, I don't want to work with someone who has hurt a child in a sexual manner.

CQ: But your explanation is that you don’t expect victim to appear with accused, but in this case, there’s no victim.

Ans: Can add amendment that if level 3 hasn't hurt anyone here, can speak for themselves.

Facil: Save for amendments.

POI: Not true that it's illegal for people to be in churches. Quakers have sex abuse prevention policy similar to this.

CQ: If level 3, was victim a child?

Ans: No, could have been adult.

CQ: Are there level 3s who never touched anyone?

Ans: Child porn.

[crosstalk, missed some stuff]

Ans; Everything I've read, has to do with extreme violence.

CQ: Way back in Somerville, NAMLBA, priest online, child porn online [can't hear everything], that's level 3, without touching or anything.

Ans: Have list, none of it mentioned pornography. Would it help if I read list out loud?

POI: Level 3 have their crimes listed on their information sheet.

Ans: It's not that level 3 banned immediately, info presented to GA, GA will vote on what to do.

POI: Child porn still indirectly abusing children!

POI: Rate of re-offending 5-6(something)

Ans: I don't have numbers, I see numbers as high as [something]

[TOO MUCH DAMN RUSTLING FROM PEOPLE WALKING and making tents; I am sitting too close to the stage]

Facil: Re-offense rate as high as 6%

CQ: How is it logical to allow such offender to allow offender around kids? Seems like stupid idea?

Facil: Let's take silent break for a bit.

CQ: Have you looked at registry?

Ans: Haven't looked specifically.

Facil: Some people have. Raise your hands if you have.

POI: About precedents. I'm on faculty at community college in the area. Bunker Hill has had to deal with this problem. Anyone can come in and become student. Anyone from community can come in and use facilities. We want people there to be safe. We have a lot of survivors of assault on our campus. We post, very publicly, info on level 3 and I believe level 2, on campus. We have 1 Strike policy. If person does anything inappropriate, any sex harassment, violence, they are out and no longer allowed on grounds. This info is relevant because it's how another open community has dealt with members who might be disruptive to safety. Also useful because one of level 3 offenders who's been present here has been student at Bunker Hill, was ejected from our campus due to our policy.

Facil: Only hearing from people we've already heard from.

PIO: There were rapes at Zuccotti. Policy was “you’re out.” pictures were posted. Had photog follow to get picture so they'd never come back. They did try to come back – there were swarms of people to run them out because of pictures.

CQ: Did Bunker Hill admit and then eject because of 1 strike?

Ans from previous: Yes. Admit. Then if any harassment, disruption, on campus or I think in community, then you're out.

Facil: Language clarification: may be better to say “crimes they've been convicted of”

POI: We had definition in of level 3 on Tuesday. Read again: indecent assault on child under 14. On retarded person. On person who is 14. Rape. Rape of child under 16 of force. Assault w/intent to commit rape. On child. Kidnapping of child under 16. Open gross lascivious behavior. [lots of details and more items on list I couldn't follow, sorry]

POI: Anything in proposal about people providing childcare would be informed?

Ans: Everyone would be informed at next GA after Safety informed.

POI: Definition for open and gross lewdness is just exposing yourself I think.

POI: Juts looked up – references. Ask me later. Recidivism rates: 2.5% of convicted of sex crimes. By far lowest rate of any type of crime. Highest 40% for drug offenders. Claims that illness cannot be cured – studies show evidence based programs can reduce recidivism, by 30% after prison intervention.

Ans: Recidivism rates includes all 3 levels? Includes drunk peeing on sidewalk?

POI: All 3 levels.

POI: Only includes reported data.

POI: Since we're applying statistics. Avg amount rapist rapes is 7 times. FBI information. [I think? Too much walking around and noise for me to hear clearly]

Facil: Break into small groups.

Facil: And we're back.

Facil: we have a little more than an hour left. How about we structure our remaining time? Half an hour for concerns, half for support? Gives proposers time to come back to next GA with stronger proposal. Temp check – looks like yes.

Facil: Will roll this to Tuesday, proposer okay with it. Instead of happening at a GA on holiday weekend.


Facil: Obviously we all have strong feelings. We need to hear everyone. We only have an hour. Ask people to be mindful of hearing people.

Moving on to Concerns about proposal discussed tonight. List concerns, not debate them. Listen respectfully, that's what we do here, consider them as community's concerns, build consensus, move together.

Facil: There are people here who are incredibly sensitive to yelling, feel traumatized by it, have long recovery time from it. Try to state in regular tone without yelling, please.

Facil: feel free to write in this notebook about Occupy, being passed around.

Taking stack:

C: Would like chance to read Bunker Hill and Quaker policies before going further with amending this policy. Find it helpful to use examples of what others did, no need to reinvent wheel.

C: Think we have to acknowledged in step 4, setup similar to court except accused has no chance to speak, even our flawed system allows accused to speak for selves, feel this is medieval.

C: Concerned as member of Comm Wellness, talked with Safety, concerned w/o talking to WGs, extensively, immediately putting this in puts pressure on them. Way set up, someone could come to us right now and ask us to deal with it. I have no clue how to do that.

C: Factual information presented, maybe contradictory [can't hear everything], level 3 live in your neighborhoods right now. I like parts about process for when people feel threatened. But level 3 condemnation assume legitimacy of state's system. If you talk to lawyer about people who go before board, can tell you what actually happens. Have been exposes about process in Mass. These are things that should be looked into. Really significant groups we trust in other areas have problems with accuracy of sex offender registration. Research reveals registration, notification, residency restriction are ill considered and may cause more harm than good; over-broad in scope, over long in duration, requiring people to register who pose no risk; states should limit access to online registries (Human Rights Watch report). People moving more to evidence-based research rather than total condemnation of group of people.

C: Concerned about safety and security for women and kids, would like to see security team to be at GA and watch things [I think?]. We’re in here but things are going on outside.

C: Language used – accuser and accused. One is victim other is alleged perpetrator. This puts too much on victim.

Prop: What do you want?

C: Want victim and offender. 2Nd concern – do not think GA has authority to audit survivor experience. Do not trust Occupy Boston to respectfully deal with sexual assault. Occupy Boston has allowed threatening people to remain at Dewey. Has resisted efforts to make safe space. Heard people state that women should be more assertive and children should learn karate. Heard that rapists are part of 99%. Heard that parents need to take better care of kids. Then over an hour of concerns and not enough respect for survivors. Rape has defined my life – sexual assault lead to my activism. Most rape committed by person you know and trust. [something about false accusations being rare] What is bad for survivors is when community asks people to prove they've been raped, when community turns their back. 1 in 3 women will be raped; all will experience unwanted sexual contact/harassment. Men get mistreated too. Occupy Boston not trustworthy in how they deal with this. I have no patience with group that won't support survivors. Heard more concern about legal liability than rape.

C: Two concerns: Seem to have a lot of folks here who, while might be well intentioned, want to make Occupy Boston a place where everyone is welcome and will somehow find way for everyone to be here without bringing necessary resources and expertise here, may expose people to criminal negligence. Some of wording in first paragraph is very broad. Have been members who [something] weapon against occupy Boston. Charged statements “person is dangerous” - used as weapon against people.

Facil: please add this to amendments

C: [continuing] We are setting up a system that mirrors judiciary system in which everyone gets heard, but in ours, the accused gets short end of stick, and we're not organized. Giving a lot of power back but. Last, giving folks who want safe environment a lot of power.

C: Support, but have concerns. If someone approaches someone and sexual harasses or make advance – does not mean person is an offender. See that as a problem. Also, in wording, no mention of documentation being brought forth to prove person is an offender. Doesn't state you need documentation. Another part is that if there is documentation that is discovered that needs to be brought forward before anyone approaches anyone. Think it is essential that if you have documentation that needs to be part of process.

C: Main concern – it's clear that failure of Occupy to deal with these issues in our history adds to sense that something must be done. Intent of proposal to make people feel safer. Concern, don't think this makes people safer. Feeling safer without being safer is false confidence, means haven't really dealt with problem. I like the parts of proposal about dealing with people who have acted in dangerous ways. Relying on legal definitions is problem, too.

C: If we don't take a stance in some fashion we will not be seen as movement of change. We have to protect most vulnerable. The way registries are set up don't always protect people they're meant for.

Facil: Concern is supposed to be about what in proposal doesn't work, this is statement of support.

C: God forbid we end up w/tyrannical government. Don't think will happen, have been sexually coerced – it ruins people's lives. Worst thing he did was convince me I consented – concern is – most of us know the person this is in regard to. I looked them up and did not find name. Confronted person.

Facil: Proposal not about specific person.

C: Do not feel safe going through this process as someone who's been harassed would not feel safe [too much other noise] Don't feel it protects rights of either person. Doesn't protect person who brings claims right to privacy, doesn't protect right of accused to tell story. Trying to do something with proposal that we need to do with extended WG process that needs to come up with Occupy Boston justice system. We need experts, be state of the art.

POP: Sounds like amendment?

C: No, we need to take more time before we adopt this as a proposal. We need a justice system that lets people deal with offenses and reintegrate, can't have our own means by kicking people off the island. Shameful constriction of our imagination. Need to integrate people with checkered pasts.

C: In general I think society moving in different direction. Reform recently passed where people with records … direction is to reform and allow reintegration. Proposal reminds me of Minority Report. There's a separate system in place, saw people thrown out of camp rather quickly. This is entirely different, where person hasn't done anything. Issue of alleged offender getting to address GA I guess was clarified. Seems there's a group of people who can be legally scapegoated – used to be black people, now it's class 3 sex offender. I think this is a witch hunt against a group of people in society.

C: Want to emphasize survivor consent. Any incident should be handled as survivor wants. Worried about popularity contest.

Facil: Sounds like amendment.

C: We should get a lawyer to let us know what we can and can't do. If we do wrong thing, someone will pay price. Need legal advice. We're tried to throw 2 people out and at GA they were allowed to stay even though people knew they were violent and abusive. People in camp wanted them out, but people in GA who weren't staying in camp said they could stay. Need legal adviser to tell us what we can and can't do.

C: This harps on issue at Dewey: we don't have training for these types of issues all the time. Need more human service people who are sensitive to perpetrators and survivors.

C: 1a and 1b seem like they're very different. 1A – person feeling unsafe and raising concern. That's not super clear – could be anything from harassment to rape. Very different things. 1A and 1b very different. Seems like steps 2-5 are more applicable in many cases to 1b than 1a – have an amendment for later to clear this up.

C: Not a lot of accountability. People have harassed me and nothing was done when I pointed it out. Needs to be addressed. Have shown we can't handle it ourselves.

Facil: Moving on, time up.


S: First, don't think that just because we're not at camp, assault can't happen. Reference to Catholic Church's record – abuse can happen in “professional” environment. Don't turn blind eye. I have seen assaults, sketchy stuff at Dewey. Man hit a woman 1/3 his size in a tent. Problem towards end with a guy zipped up with underage drunk girl whose parents were looking for her. We need rule to handle this. Can't pin it on Safety team. They didn't know what to do – everyone needs to be responsible. Everyone has power to shun people. Not give food, attention, money.

S: Fear is best weapon of police state. Presence of people – offenders – creates climate of fear – intentionally or not we're aiding and abetting the system. Provocateurs or accidental provocateurs, makes no difference to me. Might be able to empathize. But can't sympathize. Our job is not to deal with this issue – other agencies can who are experts. Our job is to reform system. Don't think proposal goes far enough. I think it makes us safer; I feel safer. Go on record for non-tolerance. Don't give damn about recidivism rate.

S: If you don't know, we couldn't keep Dewey safe. Do not feel this makes us safe. You can go to safety already. Anyone can speak at GA. I don't see anything new, don't see anything in this to be bothered by. So what are we going to do.

S: I support. We shouldn't hold off for perfect. Disagree about lack of expertise; we should all learn and know. Survivors have expertise. Other people here have expertise. Disrespectful to say no expertise. Organizations want to work with us. This is part of economic injustice, when rape, assault, predatory behavior happens to people with no power to speak up for themselves. Have to start somewhere. Hope we don’t' drag this on.

S: Something like this long overdue. We've passed statements of solidarity but none for solidarity with survivors. Support because this requires us act in solidarity with victims, parents who trust us to help them. Will help reduce risk that people who've never been abused will be abused while with us.

S: I support even though it needs more tweaking. We are going to do it, we're doing it now. We're not trying to set up whole justice system. Not just about survivors. If I were aware of someone posing threat, whether I was personally assaulted, this is about survivors. We're not trying to deal with every issue, just really obvious threats. Someone has to act to ask people to leave – that is this body. Last, but most importantly: we need to encourage children to be more involved, get their voices and wisdom. It's beyond anything like “crucial.” We're trying to change world for and with them. There are self-directed institutions where everyone has voice – children too. Have to actively encourage kids. Can work on as long as we need to, but need to do it.

S: Address concern that Safety and other WGs aren't yet adequate to deal. Is incumbent on us to build up organizational strength and although that WGs are not yet ready to do this we’ll we need to build skill set. Way to build is to demand it from community. Support despite sharing that concern and other. We should not be afraid of passing a good proposal just because this isn't all the way there. Build from something.

S: Hope we pass this tonight. It's not perfect, there will be amendments, look forward to them. We do have named WGs in place. But not the same for 1 person to hold someone accountable as an autonomous action. Important for us as community to adopt procedures. We do have skills, I’m lawyer and professional mediator. Have worked with domestic violence and assault on minors cases. We can do this.

S: Strongly support spirit and part is that if we don't pass a proposal like this, spaces we've created will for me, personally, be spaces that I am comfortable in that people who don’t share my privileges will not be comfortable in. Want other people without my privilege to feel safe, too.

S: If we want to have people on Safety and DA [wtf?] - this falls on everyone here. Rape is less forgivable than murder, should take every step to verify.

S: Temp check that we're all against sexual assault.

Looks like yes.

S: If we can get amendments by Tuesday, it's 90% to awesome.

S: I will support this because while registry not perfect crime has to be really grievous. Proposal is a start, shows people like me that my experience counts. First pass to building trust which has been broken.

S: Concerns about specifics and amendment, but what I deeply support is finding away to make this a SAFER space. Is there ever a safe space? No. Space we think is safest is often not. What I support is that we are trying. Take a step to make a space that is less oppressive and less dangerous. While there are problems with registry, proposal from 1b downward is pretty damn good, offers a way to institutionalize what we see in the system. Not just taking it as given, saying we need to confirm these things as a GA. Powerful political statement. 1A has issue, can be beginning of another proposal to make safer.

S: This conversation has been going on longer than any of us has been alive. Very important step. [could not hear rest]

S: In regards to statements that people who commit assault are part of 99% - using and violating another person just for pleasure and power is incongruous with who we are as movement, we don't need them.

S: Support because I was harassed on-site continually by one individual and when I talked about doing something like removing them, I was told to just ignore them.

S: Absolutely support this. Might have a few flaws,definitely much needed first step for developing policy. That we haven't had one yet is ridiculous, Federal government has better protection for women than we do.

S: I'm standing in solidarity with women, parents, others who feel threatened. If they feel threatened, movement about to crumble, I'm not ready to let it crumbles. Amendments can be brought later. We should all stand in solidarity with this. This should pass. Bring later amendments later.

Facil: Only have 15 min. left, need to leave sooner than that. Need to be out by 11. Only have 5 min. Reminded consensus means finding something everyone can live with. We can find way for amendments to be known if they are emailed in.

Facil: Can we take 5 to hear amendments now? If people help clear some stuff now get extra. Clear that we can't get through more tonight.

[We didn't hear amendments. Proposal will be brought back on Tuesday. Temp check to determine if people want to get to a vote on Tuesday – VERY STRONG SUPPORT for this. GA ended]