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OBIT Meeting (6/21/2012)

Bio Conference Recap

Eden Summarizes this week's Bio-Conference activity.

  • On Monday, there were 30-50 people at the Mass. Convention and Exhibition center. The demonstration was organized by NOFA, Occupy Monsanto, and the LEAH Collective. Occupy Monsanto was great to work with.
  • We had a State House rally on Tuesday. There were about 15--20 people.
  • Wednesday's activities were sponsored by cyclovida. There a group of cyclists who do seed swaps. The world health organization estimates that 250,000 people die each year, due to pesticide poisoning.
  • There was a speak out Thursday morning, at Dewey Square, followed by flyering as the Bio-Conference let out.

Prep for Friday's Technology and Democracy talk

The talk will start at 7:00pm. We expect people to arrive between 6:30 and 7:00. We'll have light refreshments available.

The talk will last 20--30 minutes.

After the talk, Kendra will introduce open space technology. (see http://www.grunt.ca/engage/assets/OST.pdf). We'll break up into ~ 4 groups. We'll explain that materials from open space discussions will be collected.

Follow up. We'd like to keep in touch with the people who come to Friday's discussion. We can have future meetings to continue work on technology and democracy. We'll get a temp check on this Friday night.

Movement Resource Group Grants

For background, see http://movementresourcegroup.org/?page_id=348

There's too much resistance to submit a grant for all OB media. Kendra plans to submit grant applications for subsets of media. Kendra's working on a grant proposal for the Occupier.

We could do a separate grant proposal for OBIT, based on using technology to support activism.

Questions on the grant proposal:

  • Is there a specific date that this project needs to occur on?
  • Short Executive Summary
  • Total Amount Requested
  • What goal of Occupy Wall Street does this project address?
  • How will this project move us toward achieving the goal stated above?
  • What message will this tactic send to the target of the action, the public, the media, potential movement members, and existing movement members?
  • What groups will be involved in this project?
  • How many people do you estimate will work on this project, and for how many hours total?
  • What does success look like for this project?
  • What is your project's estimated timeline?
  • Proposal Details
  • Then a whole bunch of questions about budgeting

Grant proposals are due on June 28th.

For the Occupier, the goal is continuous publication, and doing education through publication. Kendra's asking for a 15-20k grant for the occupier.

What could we make a proposal for?

We could do a project around drafting legislation, and getting those drafts in front of legislators. We'd need to include an educational component, e.g., how laws get passed. This is a twist on ALEC's tactic; citizens would draft model legislation, rather than corporations. There's precedent for doing this at the local level (e.g., Citizen's United resolutions passed by cities and towns).

Perhaps the proposal project depends on how we see the goals of OBIT. Which brings us to the third agenda topic:

What are OBIT's objectives for the next 3-6 months

We see OBIT as:

  • Providing technical education to the OB community
  • Providing common resources (occupyboston.org, wiki, email)
  • Helping to connect people with technology

We provide some tech resources, but we don't have to provide all tech resources for everyone. For example, Occupy MBTA and the Boston Occupier have their own web sites.

Individuals in OBIT have provided assistance to outside groups. For example, http://www.bostonoccupybanks.org/ (Dana, for Bank Actions) and http://www.occupyarlingtonma.org/ (Steve, for Occupy Arlington).

We should teach people how to do tech stuff, and not necessarily do everything for them. That's a more scalable solution.

We manage some central resources: wiki, occupyboston.org blog, email. We should continue to support these.

There's a range of opinions on how to go about using and supporting technology. Steve likes building and maintaining systems. Jeremy likes creative uses of technology to support activism. (Hmm ... maybe Steve should maintain systems for Jeremy :)

Question: we've advertised obit@occupyboston.org as OBIT's contact address. Does anyone know who's monitoring this address? If people are using obit@occupyboston.org, we don't want it to be a black hole.