The General Assembly is a Occupy Boston wide meeting, held several evenings per week. General Assembly has three main sections: 1) Announcements - working groups and individuals have the opportunity to make announcements to the larger community, 2) Proposals - working groups and individual members can make proposals for the community to decide upon, 3) Individual Stack - an opportunity for members to share thoughts, opinions and feelings, relevant to Occupy Boston.
General Assemblies are open to all
Occuy Boston believes that every voice is equal, and the community has agreed upon a procedure to try to ensure that possibility. At this time, Occupy Boston uses (what some call) a modified consensus process. Calling it consensus is a bit of a misnomer, because votes are held at General Assemblies, and if a community is asked to vote, the community is not practicing consensus. Many members of Occupy Boston realize this and are discussing the best way to move forward. For a detailed description of the current General Assembly process, please view the Facilitators' draft of Occupy Boston's Consensus Process.
- Explore the archive of GA/Minutes.
- The General Assembly meets from 7:00 to 10:30 PM, on Tuesday and Thursday, and from 5:00 to 8:30 PM on Saturday.
- Action Assemblies, to plan for Occupy Boston actions, meet on Sunday, 5:00 to 8:30 PM
- Community Gatherings are held on Mondays from 6:00 to 8:30. - These events are set aside for Working Groups to host evenings of learning, dialogue and examination of issues and topics relevant to the greater occupy Boston community.
- See the Occupy Boston calendar for Assembly and Gathering locations: Calendar
- Additional special purpose discussions may occur on other days, and will normally be announced at a prior GA. Check the Calendar for all events.
There are no 'governing' authorities at the General Assembly, but there is an established process that is directed by a number of trained facilitators.
- Facilitators are trained to guide the assembly without imposing their personal views. Training is offered regularly for anyone interested in volunteering in this role. Check the calendar or listen for announcements of training times.
- Floor monitors help participants determine the correct method and time to speak.
The People's Mic serves as amplification when there is no bullhorn or microphone. It is typically initiated by repeatedly yelling "Mic check!" until the crowd repeats in unison. The speaker then dictates a few words at a time, pausing for the crowd to recite each phrase. For larger crowds, there may be a second echo of each phrase by those farther out in the group. This method was designed and employed on Wall Street because electronically aided amplification was not allowed. In addition to being more fun than just listening, the People's Mic has been invaluable to the movement because repetition promotes understanding.
To informally assess the crowd's support for an idea, the Facilitator may request a Temperature Check. Assembly participants can show either 1. agreement, by wiggling their fingers upward ("twinkling" or "jazz hands"), 2. disagreement, by wiggling their fingers downward ("squid fingers"), or 3. neutrality, by wiggling fingers horizontally.