GA Notes Week 13 - Tues Dec 27
GA Minutes 27 December 2011
Note: Held at Arlington Street Church
Welcome, thanks to Arlington St. Church. Reminder to clean up.
Admin notes: Cat is taking notes; someone will live-stream, we have livetweeters, too.
Jorge wrote up schedule for future GAs:
Thursday 7pm Emmanual Church, 15 Newbury St Saturday NO GA, but Firedoglake will be doing dinner for us 5-8:30 Community Church next to Copley T Sunday 5-8:30 GA Community Church - Monday 7:30 Community gathering, sponsored by Citizens united WG. Learn more about Citizens United! At community Church Tuesday next, GA at Arlington ST Church, 7pm
Facil WG Announce: Facil wiki page has list of spaces, we're keeping track for meetings like GA. If you have a lead, add it to the wiki page. Check out our contacts, and notes. Facil WG does these meetings; we always want volunteers!! Come to our meetings, have a say in the process. Meet from 5-7 City Place Food Court, Tues-Fri - in Transp Building - weekends 3-5 same place. Get free food sometimes, great conversation! Near Boylston T stop.
If you are going to smoke here at Arlington church, keep 25 feet from doors – request from church. Put cigarettes in dumpster or trash container.
Church is welcoming, so we need to be respectful in return.
Also, we have a box for collecting donations to continue to use these spaces – they ask for nominal fee. Please contribute.
Last; sound in this room travels, so keep side convos to a minimum – please take it outside if you have to have one. Hard to hear if people having side convos.
Signs about meeting: we have a nice Occupy Boston banner. Church requests nonpartisan signs/banners! As nonprofit, church does not want to inure wrath of IRS.
(Patty taking stack) Facilitators please raise hands! People, ask these folks questions. Justin keep us on task.
Reminder: GA is nonviolent horizontally democratic process. Announcements not for Q and A, but you can always do this [demonstration of hand twinkles, POI, CQ]
Patty: We have forms for proposals! We need proposals in writing on these forms.
FOOD: Yay food! We have a lot of food prepped by a lot of people. Thank you to anyone who helped!! Soups, wraps, soup, etc. Thanks Arlington ST church for allowing use of kitchen today!!More we keep it clean, more we can use it.
Homeless Oppressed and Excluded WG: Carlos speaking - ??? [I could not hear what he was saying, was maybe just a “hey we exist” announcement?]
Medical: We want to do outreach at first Night. Lost handwarmers during raid!!! If you have any, please donate! Email email@example.com
Signs: Jay from Signs – we're doing stuff for First Night. If you want mobile signs unit on Saturday, email occupybostonsigns@gmail – coordinate – we'll be at lots of places. Making banners and banner drop. Thursday. Send email.
General Strike: Nicki Jay – First mtg for WG is this Thursday – organize and mobilize for May 1 2012 worldwide General Strike 5:15-6:45 City Place Food Court. See wiki page – General Strike – email 617strike@gmail
Occupy the Farms: Elizabeth - (has a puppy with her). OWS? [could not hear] has bunch of farms they are occupying, throwing out conventional systems, working on sustainable solutions. Boston should do this, too. Starting to reach out to farms, sent people out. See me or Martin after GA. Puppy going to farms [UH OH].
Screenprinting: Jay again. Doing screenprinting for First Night. Meeting Thursday before GA at Emmanuel Church at 6pm. OBScreenprint on Twitter. FB page Occupy Boston Screenprint Guild. Know artists or designers? See me or Anthony or Sarah, etc.
Info Tent: We are organized for First Night! We need lots of help. Going to be wearing tents, welcoming people who show up, pass out info and buttons. Go out in groups of 5 all over city. Be very festive and friendly. Community Church, Friday night to get together, decorate hats. Practice some Occupy Xmas Carols. Email infotents, get on list
CASA – Creative Actions and Subversive Art: Mallory: WG meeting is Weds 8pm at E5 after Tiny Tent construction party, which is 5:30-8. We had a lot of fun last time. We had lots of people including people w/kids. It's really great! Monica: has stickers made by Lydia for Time magazine. Stickers can go anywhere, though! Please take them! Can post these flyers, too. (flyers were printouts showing altered Time cover.)
Radio: Sarah – WWW.obr.fm – listen to us! We have lots of people interested in getting on air – WE NEED MORE PRODUCERS! Please come talk to me. I have a sign-in sheet. A producer is someone who helps get shows on radio – guide people who haven't done radio before. Press a button. Not technically difficult, mainly guidance.
DA: Thursday is our birthday! We need pillowfight flash mob, 5:30 Thursday, in front of Fed. [This was corrected later on – the pillowfight flashmob is FRIDAY] Meet at Fed, so people who can't enter a certain area nearby [Dewey Sq] can join. On Xmas Eve, we brought tiny tents to BoA HQ, police called in, evicted us! Video is online. Sounded just like real raid! We should do a ton more!!! And go back to BoA.
Logistics: Eric – we still have blankets and warm clothing. Bringing in more tonight. Trying to bring stuff every GA. Let us know what you need, we'll bring it.
Street: David & Ben – having meeting on Thursday 5pm Prudential Food Court. Talking about First Night. Occupy the Primary in NH. Long-term goals. RNC??? DNC? G8? Don't want to step on TTTF – City Life getting together 6pm 28 Harris St – East Boston? Occupy homes being illegally foreclosed, really want to work w/us. If we can have a presence, that would be great. Have in mind some blockades, occupations at homes. Right off Maverick Station, block away, little church. [Later on David announced that City Life would prefer our support on January 14; see later notes for details]
Inreach: Ben – Tomorrow we have meting at 5 at E5. We're working on improving internal communications in Occupy Boston. Computers, phone, texting. Dedicated phone line: 617-329-5129. Central comms hub for Occupy Boston WGs – working on this. Want to be point of contact? Talk to Ben firstname.lastname@example.org
Facilitator: Stack is still open. Raise your hand if this is yer first GA. Second GA. Thanks for being here!
Facilitator: Cough drops are here to be had!
InterOccupy: Farhad – we talk to other occupys, help you talk to them. We have meetings on Friday at 7 at e5. Passed mission statement, now on wiki page! If you're from another occupy, find Matt. He'd love to talk to you! Occupy NH trying to do stuff for primaries – talk to InterOccupy or …
Women's Caucus: Leah – lots of people planning fun stuff. We're planning very visible, exciting celebration event. Copley Square, 8pm! We meet twice a week – Tues at 5:30 and Sat 3pm, check calendar/wiki. Location posted online.
Reminder from facilitator: livetweeters, livestreamers, get images of noteboards! Upcoming schedule of stuff is written on them.
DA correction: Pillowfight is FRIDAY, not Thursday
Ideas: Meeting tomorrow at e5 at 5:30, build tiny tents. 7:30 heading to Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center, 35 Ash St, discuss concerns we've collected and targeted outreach letter. Feel we're still missing concerns. Check out our wiki page!
Citizens United: Thurs 6pm rm 920A BU something Building on Comm Ave. Jan 2 – hosting Community Night. Professor from Suffolk to give overview of Citizens United. Q&A, open discussion. There's a Jan 20-21 event. Event is part of nationwide occupations going on at Fed Courthouses. An important chance to get in front of people – get money out of politics.
Occupy NH: little group. Republicans coming to town Jan 7. Will be lots of media there in Manchester. Just 1 hour north of us. Debate. Midday is gay pride march. Before debate, street theatre, planning to blanket street w/signs, get people out and visible in media area. NH is small group, has come to Dewey, would mean a lot if we can go up in force. They have a site: occupynh.org – page on our wiki, too, Occupy NH Primary. We'll arrange carpooling, bus sharing. Time on following Sunday the 8th, M-Tues, primary is on 10th. If people want to go up and speak – housing available for overnight visits.
POI: If you've never had chance to be part of NH Primary – you can get into almost any event – it is amazing.
Ocupemos el Barrios: David – Jan 6 meeting. YMCA East Boston, off Airport Station. Look around, not too many people of color here. Sign we're not doing much outreach in those communities – we need to talk about this. Jan 6, 6pm! City Life: Prefer to have our presence on 14th of January, Everett. Have huge list of people being foreclosed on. We go talk to them, knock on doors, ask if they want help. Can't make it to every house, because too many people on list.
FAWG: Greg - Looking for WG authorization forms. We have 12 or 15 now. But over 50 WGs! By mid-Jan, need them. Come get the forms! In Jan, going to start cutting groups off if you haven't turned in form. Not sure if you filled out form? Come see us! This is basedo n proposal from GA a month+ ago.
CQ: Tent census? WG census? What is this?
Facilitator: This is not in purview of announcements
Re:Facil: No calendar yet for Monday gatherings – see link on Facilitation wiki page for list of dates, name of WG, topic. Filled through Jan – next opening is Jan 30, if you/your WG wants to make presentation. Fill it out yourself, don't need to go through anyone. Link to wiki of spaces available – contact info if your WG needs meeting space.
Environment: Ellen(?) - Whole lot of issues being discussed, including Land Care, working on revisioning space at Dewey – come find me if you're interesetd so we can create something great together. WG wrote op-ed to Globe about Durban. Meets Mondays at 6pm, moving to church. Look online for name of church, address. Land Care meets after main WG at cafe nearby. Will be working with Occupy the Farm.
Media: Farhad – WG meeting 7pm e5. New Twitter: Occupybosmedia. Recruiting people – covering of First Night actions! Film, write, etc. New Occupy the Issues – investigative journalism – Greenway, Boston, national. Do some research and publish indie essays? Talk to us!
Writers Caucus: Stories – Why I Occupy. Putting together team. If you want to contribute, 750 words or less. Speak from your heart. Writers@occupyboston.org by Jan 1.
Eric: This is based on email conversations I've seen – all email lists are open to anyone who wants to join, be aware. If you have a personal dispute, reminder they may be on the list, email might be forwarded to them...might be elevating tension. Think productively.
Stanley: Visiting from Connecticut. Last occupation – New Haven – 30 tents. Last big event, march – filled up City Hall – Occupy New Haven, labor council, anti-violence group – marched thru city for hour and a half w/1000 people! Main activism – TV show. Cambridge and Boston stations included. Million+ people viewing YouTube. TheStruggle.org.
Addendum from Rachel: New Haven welcomes anyone who wants to set up a tent! Talk to me.
Bobbi: Have forms for free food, community services, clothing. Resources. Copies of Homeless Bill of Rights for states that have them. Working on getting one for Mass.
Emma: Childcare provider/nanny – wish more kids here! Means more mothers and families...will be at GA Thursday for childcare! If you know parent who needs childcare – tell them to come! We have separate room for childcare. Anyone else want to help, come find me!
Stephanie: There are 4 autonomous actions at First Night – “that is the shit” - shows we have good ideas. Guerilla projection, sound, spread the good word! Offering the ability to come up w/own slides. Have 500 watt projector, overhead w/acetates – doing video and projections. Got images, videos, poems, want to make own acetate – send us raw pdf, we'll take it. email@example.com Or talk to me. Mallory, Alex, Noah. Start of mobile projection WG perhaps. Travel around Mass, elsewhere. Our own drive-in theatre!
Ellen: Remember Gandhi statue? Came from Peace Abbey. I go there regularly. Great place to meditate, they offer a lot of things. Sad time for Peace Abbey – probably going to be, not foreclosed upon, but may have to sell. What might happen? Starting WG to come up w/ideas. Wrote quick thing for Sunday blog. Peace Abbey has supported this sort of stuff like we're doing for 40 years – love to see us Occupy them! Lots of potential. Concerned, care, want to do something... Occupy is not Gandhi's first experience at protest – went to Goldman Sachs a year ago! Have info from Peace Abbey. Anything we can do would help. Come find me, need creative ideas!
Alex: This is a printer! About a week ago, we made a proposal about printed proposals. This came with a totebag!! It is awesome! Have your stuff written down! I did not get paper, unfortunately . . . If anyone is interested in how to connect wirelessly, I will tell you!
Mallory: Laura and I are training for Boston Marathon – Occupy the Marathon! Want to join?? Running as Black Bloc would be awesome... Join us or just come cheer us on. Only 1% of population has run a marathon. A way for us to become the 1% for a day! Email me: or just start training and show up. Monday in April – Patriots Day.
Elizabeth: Did some traveling recently. Anyone going to OWS, talk to me before you go so I can tell you where to eat, sleep, etc. firstname.lastname@example.org
Charlotte: Who are the WGs going to First Night? Could one person from each WG meet w/me right now so we can try to collaborate/coordinate?
POI: Announcements also on boards, will be posted.
Greg: Didn't bring enough money and there are groups looking for money. Going out to get money, will be back soon.
Patty: There are 5, written – any more, give them here now!
Process: GA will determine order of proposals. Have one that rolled over, so number 1 is set, Economic Equality. 4 other proposals. Wait, 5 other proposals. Order must be determined. Proposers will give 1 minute or 2 sentence summary. Hear all 5, then straw poll to determine order.
If you gave a proposal to Patty, she can read your summary or you can provide other summary.
5 proposals in addition to roll-over. Vote as many times as you want.
1- From Eric re: Mutual Aid WG: amendments to 5k proposal passed last week. 2- Economic Equality WG: only the interest earned on Occupy Boston cash assets can be used for real estate acquisition and meeting space. 3- Safety proposal – issue w/certain individuals. Process, how to deal with level 3 sex offenders, safety of children, women, men, to ask them to leave. 4- Signs – money for banner materials for First night 5- Alex – want to go to NYC Jan 6 on behalf Occupy Boston to bring certain individuals back from NYC and DC 6- John Ford – A tool for group to table proposal after 15 minute discussion
Think about whether time sensitive, is it a quick proposal or long one?
When I say it, if you want to hear it, put your hand up!
The order: first the prior proposal from Sunday, Econ Equality.
2: Level 3 sex offenders 3: Signs, money for First Night 4: John, tabling proposals 5: Amendments to Mutual Aid proposal 6: Alex, people coming back from NY, DC
Reminder of process. Consensus-based, hear all voices. Point is for the group to come to decision we can all live with. State proposal. Then CQ, POI. Point here is to clarify info in proposal. Then 5 minute small group discussion. Then hear concerns, support. Then friendly amendments. Proposers get chance to restate. Redo. Then either move to consensing OR table.
First proposal- Economic Equality Carlos/David: (started to read) PoP – this is not the same as the proposal from Sunday night. [sorting out confusion]
Facil/Patty: thought Carlos' proposal was same as from Sunday night when we lost quorum, but this is completely different/rewritten. Did not read correctly. Now need to vote on this one to sort out order.
Proposal: only the interest from our cash assets should be used for real estate, ownership, lease, etc., by Occupy Boston.
Now we're going to vote on interest in hearing it.
Results of vote - will be after Amendments to Mutual Aid, and before bringing back people from NYC.
Proposal – Sarah, re:how deal with level 3 sex offenders. Passing out paper copies.
Sarah: Before I start, this was extremely difficult for me to do.
[reading out proposal]
Sarah: Have spoken to people in Legal, no clear answer, but there are penalties for misuse of sex offender registration list. I feel it is right to keep level 3 sex offender away because of children being around.
CQs and POI:
POI: Said individual is not registered. Is in violation of court mandate.
Proposer: Don't want to discuss one particular person, but a process.
CQ: Is there an offender here?
POP: Not about individuals, about process.
POI: I believe this process – bothered by shunning – POP this is not a POI.
CQ: [can't hear but might be concern or amendment]
Proposer: [explanation of level 1, 2, as not really dangerous]
POI: Other Occupations – Philly asked someone to leave for similar reason
POI/CQ: [could not hear]
Level 3s not supposed to be around children.
POI? CQ: If you know more details about 1 and 2, want to know. Why focus on level 3 being around children? Rather than in general?
Proposer: Because I'm a mother. Level 3 includes people who have not hurt children, but if you have hurt child, are level 3.
POI: level 1 – prostitute. Broken sex law. Public urination. No rapists. Level 2? not sure about. Level 3 – rapists. All child rapists.
POI: any sex offender registry will tell you what info is. Sex offenders usually never get better.
CQ: Is there existing law preventing level 3s from being in presence of children? How is this needed if there's already a law?
Proposer: did research, is not clear on whether there is such a law. Cannot be in certain distance of school, but we're not a school. As a group who meets in public spaces, don't know?
CQ: Is there law that already covers?
Answer: Has to do with our resources, how we make them available.
CQ: [could not hear]
Prop: group of people make decision – psychiatrists. Independent, not state-paid. Has to do with original crime, tried by jury. Decision by 1 person. Level 3 difficult to get unless crime pretty violent [could not hear]
CQ: [could not hear]
POI: As an adult woman – laws don't help you in prosecuting a rapist as much as laws help children. Level 3 bad. Want to shun them.
POI: this proposal includes refusing funding, clothing, food, and other needs. Being level 3 limits one's access to things like shelters. My ability to source this is limited by not speaking of specific people. My understanding – this population is limited in accessing basic needs.
POI: issue of protecting our status. Policy like this protects organization in case something happens. Important to realize that policy and law enforcement different things.
POI: Lvl 2 or 3 – Some housing places in Boston do not allow them. At camp for over 2 months, end of that, visited police station, saw photos. Individual was serving food, offense was against teens, had teens present...
POP – sounds like this is a concern now.
POI: Do not have to commit a crime to be convicted.
Proposer: If people have concerns, go to Safety team. Did not mention background check.
POI: Safety has a process. Open to amending if concerns about lvl 2 come up in future?
Answer: anyone can bring amendments later.
POI: Limits on resources – resources paid by tax dollars. Doesn't apply to nonprofits, other charities, private funds. There are funds that specifically help those individuals.
CQ: What policies already in place to deal with sex offenders? Is there a direct response to sexual assaults occurring in this space? Or is this the first?
Proposer: We have general good neighbor policy. That is all.
FWG: No specific policy re:sex offenders. Had safety team, community wellness, medical – dealt on case to case basis in Dewey.
POI: Researched w/Sarah – level 1 low risk to reoffend. Level 2, moderate reoffend risk. If in sentencing guidelines, it would require disclosure. Level 3 requires disclosure to all sorts of services that serve children, women, vulnerable adults. In guidelines, individual can be required to stay away. Must stay away from elderly. Federal law about registry – see Gunner for more info.
POI: Emotional issue for people...let's take a breath.
POI: If you are registered level 3 that is public info, online, in books in police stations. Have requirement to report that to certain people if asked. We don't need to do background checks.
CQ: If levels determined by potential for repeat, not nature of crime (consensual vs not), then person who has been hooking knows no other way of making money... are they level 3?
CQ: Any level 3 shunned, period? March, meeting, anything?
Proposer: anything in public space with us. So yes.
CQ: Proposal states “high risk level 3”? Is there a “low risk” level 3”
POI: Livestream says: reckless endangerment of child is felony.
CQ: Is it legal to ostracize?
CQ: Have we thought about engaging community in ways to protect ourselves to be more aware? Think about ways women can be more assertive – have had harassment. Might be other way to go about this. Have you thought about ways to be more proactive?
Prop: What is question?
CQ: [sounds like should be amendments]
POI: Info is online. We would be held responsible if let person be around, according to what livestream lawyer says, right?
POI/CQ: Is it possible for any of us who have not committed offense, could we be felons for NOT instituting policy?
CQ: Legal – sent email responding, to this issue.
Prop: Had conversation w/legal – it was not same as email response. Felt did not get clear, legal, clarifying answers.
Facil: Murky legalities dealing w/Occupy Boston. We do not have a legal opinion at present.
Facil: Any more?
CQ: Sign security guarantee?
POP that's amendment
CQ: Do we have data on percentage of level 1 move to level 2, 2 to 3?
Prop: Don't unless reconvicted of another. Can go down if no repeats. Every 6 mo, can appeal level, try to get moved down. Have to commit new crime to move up.
POI: We are the 99%. Have concern
POP THAT IS A CONCERN.
5 minutes small group discussion.
Now on Concerns.
C: There are states [can't hear] no matter how well-intentioned, gives me great pause. Need policy on safety, but policy on shunning entire classification of people is very extreme
C: Think we can have other way to deal with violent people. Proposal is how to deal with people who The System has classified, not people we have seen as dangerous due to specific behavior we've seen. System makes mistakes. Legal system gets rid of Occupy by charging us ways that are unfair – this unfairness is throughout legal system. Most offenses not committed in large groups – if we need system to manage people, lets do that.
C: Torn on this. Sympathetic with idea. Want Occupy Boston to be more family friendly, more friendly for everyone. Practice of shunning – originated with Menonite, other religious communities. Makes them very exclusive, harshly so. Concern: don't want us to be like Amish. Concerned about practice of shunning.
C: Share concerns. Secondary concern – past life worked at homeless shelter. Known social workers with lots of experience...when you deal w/complicated issues, deal with them as community – of people trained – people who are correctly classified by system . . . Concerned that 1 single mishap ruins entire person's life, other people's lives.
C: All about shunning assholes. Concerned about deferring to sex offender registry. Don't listen to judges.
C: Concern that something happened, what we're proposing is way to get to solution. That's okay. We don't call prisons prisons, call them rehabilitation. . . emphasis on why we don't have rehab – it's expensive. In wider context, putting concern towards recognizing bad shit happens, how we can address that.
C: Safety issue as well. There are other people who come from other areas. Look at other areas not just Boston.
C: Looking at these 3 points (legal points). It's not necessarily that offender abused a child. Have a duty to protect children. But first 2 points – rape is act of violence. Making mark of demarcation, but not differentiation between rape and other acts of violence. Concerned about slippery slope. In system we have, people do not always get punished, we're only selecting some of them. Occupy judging people in front of them.
C: A lot of men making excuses. Lived in neighborhood where everyone knew father raping son, but no one did anything. Movement is about dealing directly with issues. Knew shelter worker at level 3 who raped someone. Easy for people to get jobs –
POP this is statement of support.
C: Going to lose women if this goes on.
C: I'm a woman and I'm opposed, I will block. It's shocking we're considering. We're here because we feel the process of US Govt is corrupted. Now how come when we get to the offender registry do we trust it? Legal is stacked against people on trial – can't afford lawyer, cost of trial. Punished by long trial. No trust in any convictions. Even w/in system, usually flawed process. Supposed to serve time and then be out. Sex offenders – people are punished far beyond sentence. For us to leap on top of this civil rights problem is corrupt, disappointing, sickening, unacceptable. In favor of children learning karate.
C: Missing point about discrimination – college students getting away with things others aren't. [this was in response to someone being misheard earlier when stating that young men in college get away with sexual assault when others do not]
C: Don't want to see witch hunt. This repeats old fucking system. I'm here to break old systems down. We're proliferating system that is broken, broken, broken. This did need to be brought up, but there are flaws. There are serious safety concerns. But this is repeating old system. Not going along with movement – 99%.
Prop: why didn't anyone email this to me when I asked for feedback?
C: This relies on systems outside of Occupy, system we know is faulty. Does not provide for any verification of any incidences that happened within Occupy. No way to turn this into a restorative justice process. We all know this is important issue. Not best way to go about it.
C: Wanted to start this conversation a while ago. Group here is like “Why can't we agree rape is wrong?” The 'sex offender' is really tricky – could have an amendment – think we should have case by case.
C: If we don't pass something like this – we have a very flawed legal system. Someone who is level 3 sex offender, is deeply in disease.
POP this is not a concern.
C: How are you going to look at yourself if you let something happen? Issue takes years of counseling to deal with.
Facilitator: If your concern has been stated, please don't speak up and repeat same thing.
C: What does this say about prisoner reformation in general? Not just sex offenses. Are we as community educated enough about levels of offense and justice system to make proposal like this. Web search indicated age levels – under age 12 – but have also seen under 16. Does this mean 17 y.o dating 16 y.o. Is problem? I don't feel I have enough knowledge to make blanket proposal. Deeply understand need for safety. Will bring amendments.
C: We have no right to ban anyone from public spaces. By banning individuals from GA, the hub of our new government, hypocritical to our process, what we're trying to do. Saw a person, known offender, on street, in cold. How can you reform if you only show asshole of society? Only going to make it worse by being cruel to them. If people want to make positive change, their past not important to me. Don't want to see people pushed aside to margins. System can't be trusted. Can't ban from public. Would support 'no sleep overs.' Need new policy to deal w/people w/criminal backgrounds. If we're going to be justice system, then we need our own court. I'll block this.
C: This is a nonviolent movement, in course of this discussion, have heard a lot of violent statements about killing/castrating offenders. Please reconsidering how you're discussing this. Some of language of proposal doesn't match goals. Agree we need safety, but shunning doesn't provide this. Crossing from safety to retribution – hearing retribution – is not “we need to be protected.” Slippery slope – drawing line around some group 'these are undesirables” - what could that lead to down the road.
POP? Heard same voices multiple times, this is amplifying concerns.
C: Safety important. But lots of things get passed “for the children.” Leads to lack of rational thought. [having hard time understanding]
C: This not only affirms existing power structure, extends scope of it. Not allow people in children's events, elderly – this goes beyond the court order. Shields us from problem rather than dealing w/problem on one on one. I’ve approached one of these people. Suggest you talk to people you’ve developed relationships with. Need policy to try to shape what we have going forward in exemplar society we want. If this passes, will we be closer to exemplar society?
C: This issue has been a vulnerability from early on. Not a distinct event, whole stream of events, concerned that we don't know if agents of government have been exacerbating these problems to tear us apart. If we accept as a standard for disciplining someone something that is administered by government, agents of government could use that against us.
C: We don't know all facts. Acting like we do know. Viral process, undermines reason. Be really careful about what we know/don't know, what knowledge is suspect. Re:legal details, people are ill cannot be cured. People were put into category that they were not aware of how they'd become member of that, limited ability to change. We're being irresponsible with letting emotions undermine basic faculty of reason. We assume this would protect people but I don't think that's clear. But it is clear it would stigmatize and humiliate people, would bring hostile atmosphere to community.
C: Some people are referencing a specific person; I don't know anything about this specific person. This is about sexual assault in general, right?
C: We don't have a justice system yet. Big gaping hole in movement. We need it because we need to protect ourselves and community. Only option we have is referring to existing system. Need to immediately develop alternative or people will be hurt. We need to protect people now, not wait until to late. Maybe until we have alternative... but concerned that reference to registry makes people feel unhappy because of existing system. Concerned we don't have our own process.
C: Proposal that excludes everyone – will fill people w/fear, prejudice against people. Movement not about excluding people. Don't know if offense happened when person was teenager. More appropriate rather than exclude people from public, make people aware of past. Exclude from all public – nothing's going to happen in public like a GA.
C: This is really divisive issue. People are shocked that people here would condone rape or include rape, I don't think that – just because we don't support this proposal doesn't mean we condone rape or sexual violence.
C: We are doing what we do often, looking at things at either or, not at possibilities – both/and. Need to consider both/and solution.
C: This might take some time. This concerns present moment, Occupy movement. This is difficult for me. I don't know much about this topic. I've been attacked, I'm aware of people making passes. Whether that qualifies me to speak I don't know. There are people here who have been targeted. Prejudices can infiltrate movement.
C: GAs are all public, everything we do is public. Anyone could show up. We can't prevent a sex offender showing up cause we don't know everyone.
Statements of support
Facilitator: It's getting late, people have strong feelings, please assemble your thoughts.
POP: Wait, NOW you're telling people to keep it short?
S: Proposal isn't perfect, but it is well meaning and important in one sense: I would rather inadvertently exclude someone who might be salvageable but is dangerous than raise level of fear of people here who might be vulnerable. Want inclusiveness, but important that people feel safe. Lot of problems with proposal, but in favor because of people who might be hurt if we don't exclude people. Has to be a way for GA to make assessments of this nature in less than a century.
S: Address concern of shunning. If you're not shunning sex offenders, you are shunning women and children even if you don't acknowledge it. Would love there to be a away to have everyone, but we don't have resources.
S: Support this. Keep hearing concerns about broken system - yes, system that allows offenders to walk away. Rape kits in storage cause no one wants to spend money on it. Offenders manipulate situation, become friend so they can get close to your or your child. Get OFF the stranger thing. White man attacked me. White men get away with crap. Lets not forget Catholic church – shuffled pedophiles around. Don't want to harbor people who could harm adults or children. Can't sit here and make excuses about the system. Case where woman reverses statement because men who went to prison were innocent [unclear if this is accurate; did not follow entire statement]. Law passed where can't ask 'what were you wearing?' Costs $500 to run DNA. Only reason cases become circumstantial is money, that's why cases get thrown out. System broken because of money. Favors men. If they are the aggressor. Lots of men and boys abused, too, but macho shame prevents them coming forward. We need to distance ourselves from people who are offenders. Level 3 has high chance of reoffending, but we're looking for place for us to live? Do we want people like that living with us? So much crap going on. If you're apathetic, movement not for you.
S: Mic-check: 1 in 3 women will raped in lifetime. 60% will never report. 1% of rapists will ever spend day in jail. [mic-check ends] Spent Xmas alone because family wanted to spend day with man who raped me as a child. I've been raped more than I've had consensual sex. Talk flawed system? Consider women who are raped, children. Police asked me what I was wearing, almost charged me with assault cause I hit him. Had to sit here and listen to people talk about 'the system' and not ME. Am I your value? If we allow level 3s, we will leave. Can't believe I have to say this. Want to fix system, talk to judges about low cut shirts, put sex workers in jail. Rape is not accidental. Kids can't fight against adults even w/karate. I fought back once – broken ribs, concussion. This is my life, this is our life, this is our movement. My exemplar society does not include rapists. This is one crime that is mostly done by men. If this does not pass – this is not a society I want to be a part of.
S: Do not let perfect be enemy of good. I let my child come here than found out people here know about lvl 3 and didn't tell me after my child had interacted with known offender. I've been threatened with violence at GA while facilitating and we wouldn't even shun that person. We're talking about categorizing things exactly properly, oh my god we don't want to deny people? This first step in proposal is to talk to person. Every time we go through this process you're telling me you don't really care about people. I will go public if this doesn't pass. How many social workers therapists, etc. are here? In therapy I went through I learned that you don't cure sex offenders and narcissism. Those usually come together, don't have capacity for empathy. Don't tell me you're going to develop a system to fix that.
Someone leaves after statement: Been working 30 years, offended by statements that cure not possible.
S, continuing after person left: important to pass some version of this proposal. But make a statement that you care, please.
S: Support this. So many incredible points made. If we pass this and inadvertently exclude the wrongly convicted, better than letting person be hurt.
S: Level 3 only a rapist. Murder is more forgivable. Cannot excuse rape. In prison, cut your fucking balls off. Legislation [somewhere, could not hear] against pedophiles - castration. Understand that conspiratorial people - counterintelligence - conspire to jail people on fallacious charges. Know person being talked about - person we're discussing...
S: Reiterate what others have said. We have shunned people here for theft, have crossed that bridge. We are fighting system of abuse of power, strong against weak. Sex offense is about powerful abusing weaker. Recognize compassion for people in flawed justice system. Welcome amendments and changes to proposal. Don't let perfect be enemy of good. Every proposal is living, can be adjusted, amended. Support this as is.
S: May need amendments but. We spent a lot of time not talking about victims. Current system not perfect. What we have is not perfect. Have struggled to find restorative justice - not much out there for sex offense. If we're going to encourage children, families, need accountability. There are names attached to movement, so some of us individually have accountability, could be held accountable since we'd don't have insurance as a board or anything. We're acting as legal entity even if we aren't one. Need to protect people.
S: I've been raped as kid. Over and over - it doesn't stop unless you do something about it. We have public bathrooms here - [implying that bad things can happen 'in public'] Need to protect people.
S: At GA, heard comments from women there. One a victim who was approached at encampment. If this goes through, needs adjustment. Woman being approached by people who weren't level 3. People need to have more respect for each other. If we're in encampment, level of safety needs to be addressed. Can't expel people, thieves, violent people.
S: Went to all women's college. Can't tell you how many times I heard about rape, women I knew were raped, men I knew raped people, kids I work with. Issue is prevalent. I support purpose, entirely support reasoning of proposal. Not sure this is direction I'm comfortable with. Referencing one specific person- remember there are people out there who have not been charged, who we don't have system in place for. Systems for everyone are broken.
S: Is actually doing something to address problem. Otherwise all the time "how do we deal with this?" If not exactly right, will bring us something. More rape victims in world than rapists. Affirming victims' rights. Would be vicious and rude to not have some policy in place for dealing with this. As a movement we've done nothing but affirm what rights we DO have - if asserting rights some DON'T have, this is good place to start.
S: Support. Also support restorative justice. I'm a practical idealist, believe we can have both. Offer amendments. Support having safeguards, as many as possible, to protect most vulnerable. Every time seen people step up and speak from experience - all these philosophical statements are telling other side with direct experience "we don't care."
S: Support in spirit. Not sure of wording. Was harassed at camp for long time. Spoke up, told others it was okay to speak up. Was not informed of anything.
S: Maybe shunning is only way, maybe.
S: My sisters are crying out for us to support this. If we don't, I'm probably going to leave. I'm sorry we're getting sidetracked, as community we don't have skills to deal. I assume Allison just found about our child - tell me why you didn't tell me? I'd like to understand what the fuck is going on.
S: We know system is broken, no need bring it up. General public, media, pretend world is perfect. We have nothing. If we're going to have women and family and husbands live in this movement, we should support this, if you don't, amend it. If it does pass, bring up more amendments. Should pass as is.
S: It is general knowledge that average rapist will rape 7 times. Will help prevent repeats in our community.
S: Important for morale. Defend most vulnerable. Need to pass ASAP. From there, seriously discuss how to deal with large range of unacceptable behavior we're going to experience. I believe this is an inclusive comm, but don't have to accept dangerous behavior. Pass, continue to amend going forward.
S: Have been struggling with this. Worked in system for 7 years - lost faith in it after "resisting" charges against occupiers. If we don't deal with this, society won't either. Society has let us down. Locks people away or claims "cured." If we know there are those among us who are level 3 - system is broken, but it's what we have. Step 1 is to talk to people and ask them to leave. If they say no, ask why. If people want to stay, means have identified victims. This is as good as it gets right now. Can amend. Respect vulnerable people. Give some level of protection.
S: Might not be perfect thing. From my own experience - you should fucking do everything you can to protect a child. So many of us wish someone had this conversation when we were kids. This is important for Occupy Boston to discuss. Discussing is part of the healing. Important to read about it... books not written by system. Contentious issue. False accusation horrible thing. People who have committed crime deserve food and help, but we're not the agency to do it. Hope and pray they get it, but spending our time safeguarding constantly at Occupy...knowing some of these folks were approaching children.
S: I support this because people who've been hurt support it.
S: Part of us occupying is us bringing change to world. Sex offense is part of world being fucked up. Going to lose people if we don't support. Can't afford to lose people, need to gain. Strongly support.
S: Agree with previous reasons. Re:concerns about relying on registry. Yes it's flawed, but we're trying to create new society inside old. Two ways to do: separate from existing systems completely or sometimes work w/what we've got. Think this is the latter. Don't have better option than registry. Let's get beyond unrealistic ideals for this issue.
S: Had issues as kid. Am convicted felon. Been around a lot of sex offenders. They don't get better. Very slim percentage get better. Fact that people even in something like this turns my stomach.
S: When my laptop was stolen, cops trying to bargain with me by providing name of offender. Will provide info to manipulate us.
S: May not be entirely new statement. If we insist on creating exemplar society - run a risk. Takes time. Time in which someone could be hurt. Get good amendments. Get something.
[around this time we moved outside and I stopped taking live notes. What follows are my summaries of what happened. I can't remember if we did more statements of support outside]
There were amendments read. Proposer took notes as best as possible in the rain. After some process discussion, we decided to have this proposal roll over to Thursday. Proposer will take amendments over email.
Next proposal [I think]: Up to $300 for Signs to make banners for First Night. Will include banner drop at church at Copley Square. Need to buy paint, canvas, balloons.
Some concerns that I can remember:
Balloons – environmental problem.
Spending money when we're no longer getting many donations (very little since eviction), not really being financially responsible.
Can't this be done cheaper with donated materials or thrift store acquisitions?
Support and additional stuff:
Someone on livestream has theatre backdrops and acrylic paint to donate.
Someone at GA has large vinyl banners from South Station ads. Please take them out of my apartment!
We need our banners at First Night to look good – the church is really really visible, will be a million people in Boston for First Night. Need to put on good show, have good looking banners. Need visibility now that encampment gone.
Where can donations go? Answer: E5, Jay has to be there to accept, cannot store much – costs money.
Support because Jay has experience with Signs, knows what he's doing, trust him to not overspend.
There was an interruption following one statement of support because of Point of Process: This statement came from a co-proposer – we're not supposed to permit statements of support from proposers! Facilitator asks if we want to have a long conversation about process right now.
Eventually the proposal passes – amended to remove balloons, lower max amount spent because will not be buying balloons.
John's proposal about tabling proposals is not heard because he has left.
Next up: Eric with amendments to Mutual Aid Working Group proposal to buy people T passes, warm clothing, food, stipend for people housing people.
Will have working groups buy T passes, inexpensive phones, for members who need them. Proposal includes budget for $1000 for clothing (later in process, explains we buy from thrift stores as much as possible, and are getting good discount from local store for certain other items). Phones are necessary for safety – if you don't have permanent place to sleep, how do you contact someone if you're locked out from place you plan to stay? Also allows people to be more productive activists, if they have communication. Census was done to determine what people need – T passes biggest issue. About 20 people turned in census. About 90% need T pass.
Explains later that part of reason for having working groups get budget for T passes and phones is so WG can verify the person with needs is active in community.
Concerns that this proposal might lead to $5000 being spent all in one month, rather than over 3 months as in original. Concerns that this method of distribution doesn't seem to add up to $5000, might exceed.
Eric unaware of discussion happening via Google docs – concerns that without knowing what other people have been working on, this amendments proposal will have to go through another round, because issues raised in the Gdocs not addressed.
A 2nd call for quorum came up – we do not have quorum (first one came during discussion of sex offender proposal- we did have quorum then). Eric stays to continue discussing.