General Assembly Minutes 9/29 7PM

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Meeting Date/Time: 9/29/2011 / 7pm EST

Location: Liberty Plaza

Facilitators: Kobi and Nalini

F: Start today with acknowledgement and celebration of this great movement in 66 cities in the United States, who will join us in the coming weeks! All of us here are making history, writing history together! How many people are here for the first time? Many! Welcome to the General Assembly of New York City!

Kobi—My heart is full with joy to see so many people here tonight trying to make our future better for all of humanity!

Nalini—I have learned so much from everyone here! We have all learned true solidarity! We should all be proud of this movement. So now we’re going to go over process.

Facilitation is a process of shared power. They are not leaders. Everybody has the right to be a facilitator. Every day at 5:30 there is training by the bottom stairs. Please come to the training and participate!


13.1.  Working Group Report Backs

13.2.  Announcements

13.3.  Declaration of the Occupation of New York City


13.1.  Working Group Report Backs

13.1.1.  Press Relations—Patrick. Today we had a disturbing incident. Someone decided to mess with the press. We can’t be doing that. These people help us out, they reach millions of people every day. They spread our message. They spread our general assembly. It’s good if they like us. Try not to piss them off.

13.1.2.  Food—Amy. Last night she made a call for your kitchens. You answered! We are serving food that comes from your kitchens. Thank you, it’s awesome! Secondly, a lady named Alia let us use her kitchen, and she wrote us a wonderful poem!

13.1.3.  Media—Media has made a contact list with names, year, and skills so we basically have a full film group times ten! If you want to sign up, there will be a list at the info booth. We’ll get started tomorrow and have people editing with a continuing stream of content. The YouTube channel is OccupyTVNY.

13.1.4.  Information—Today the info stream is online! There’s now a phone at Welcome 1, Welcome 2, and the InfoHub! That means people can walk down the street, walk to the booth, talk to the booth, tell them what they’re good at, and join a working group! A couple rules: Three phones! These are not personal phones! They stay at the desk. Don’t take the phone. Someone already took the phone. But it’s back! Don’t take it again!

13.1.5.  We printed a skeleton schedule listing the meeting times for working groups to the best of their knowledge, plus GA and direct action times. Those schedules are at the tables. If you’re in a working group, please look at the schedule, and if you have anything to add, please let them know, so everybody can go to all of the meetings. Also, they will be having a meeting after the GA to get people to staff the info tables over the next few days, so we’re not missing phones and people have information, and everything goes smoothly. There is a lot of information.

13.1.6.  If you’re a working group without a set meeting time, get a set meeting time, go to info, write it down!

13.1.7.  Environment—Jesse from newly-formed environmental health committee. They will be having discussions about corporate environmental criminals whose activity directly affects people living in NYC, in particular hydro-fracking. They will also be discussing some on-site environmental activism, including a composting initiative and possibly earthworm bins. Please come join them at 4PM tomorrow at the library, and bring ideas!

13.1.8.  Facilitation—Bea from Facilitation. Facilitation is open to everyone, just join us! They will be meeting every day at 4PM at the tree at the very end of the plaza, then moving to somewhere quiet, so come on time. In the past it has been difficult to find them. They apologize. If you want facilitation training, this is separate. That will be at 5:30 at the end of the plaza. Please come and learn. They also want to clarify how you get items on the agenda. They do not want to have to make unilateral decisions, so they ask that you please bring your great ideas first to a working group, and talk to them, and work on your ideas in a small group. Draft it into something worthy of 400 people, then bring it to facilitation. You can either bring it to them any time before 4PM, so they have time to thoughtfully craft how they will bring it forth to the assembly, or they will have a box at the information table to write down your ideas after, hopefully, you have had a small group work it out with you. They will check that box before 4PM. Thank you! Again, come join facilitation!

13.1.9.  Principals of Solidarity—Amin. They are working, they anticipate to have a second draft for the GA’s consideration on further comment by Friday at the latest. Tomorrow.

13.1.10.  Labor—Jackie. Speaking for Labor Support and Outreach Working Group. More good news! Today they found out that the most militant labor union in NYC, the one with the guts to break the anti-strike law and strike…….. Transit Workers Union! Local 100 TWU endorsed Occupy Wall Street! She will just tell us about the things that are coming up in the next day or so because the labor unions are all banging down our door, looking for support. So tomorrow you are invited to go to a picket line for the phone workers, the Communication Workers of America at 1 West Street at noon. And at 11AM people will gather at the red sculpture to plan and get ready to carry out a very creative direct action in support of the phone workers. Tomorrow we need a bunch of people for that one, she hopes people will come. Tomorrow 5:30 at 1 Police Plaza there is a rally in support of Occupy Wall Street, by a lot of different rank-and-file trade unionists, especially from her union, the Faculty and Staff at City University. After a rally, they will march to Liberty Plaza.

13.1.11.  Arts and Culture—Finisa and Libor. They meet at 6PM every day at a tree at the end and circled by a bench. Tomorrow at 9PM by the library there will be an open poetry forum. Please tell all your spoken word friends and poets to come and share some poetry. On Monday there will be a zombie march at noon! If there are changes, they will let us know. What they are doing is dressing as zombies, bringing play money, fake blood, fake teeth, and march around like zombies eating money! Please meet at the library Monday at noon. Next thing planned is a helium balloon bonanza, slightly covert. If you’re interested, email them at We need administration help, so if you’re interested in helping please email them at that same email. The last thing is a big musical surprise! It’s such a big surprise, that everyone will shit in their pants! They can’t tell us until tomorrow. They are going to announce who is coming to play for us at noon tomorrow. They will not announce it online, so you have to be here, and bring your friends. The surprise will start at 4PM and probably last till 6. It is really really big, so you might want to cancel some plans you have. Sorry! Please be here a little before 3PM.

13.1.12.  Safer Spaces—Amy and Pam. We all want this to be an amazing experience and opportunity for everyone involved, and we recognize we all come from really different places and have very different backgrounds and language for talking about experiences. Everyone entering these spaces is asked to be aware of your language and behavior and to think about whether it might be marginalizing or harmful to others. This is not a space for language or behavior that perpetuates oppression including but not limited to: racist, age-ist, sexist, trans-phobic, bi-phobic, heterosexist, homophobic, size-ist, able-body-ist, or classist behavior or remarks. This is a space for learning, sharing, exploring and celebrating, not a space for violence on any level. Please be open to everyone’s beliefs and try to be actively aware and accountable for any privileges you may have. Examples of privilege include but are not limited to: white privilege, gender privilege, economic privilege, class privilege, sis-gendered privilege. Make your best effort to check assumptions about others such as economic background, survivor/perpetrator status, disability status, etc. Be aware of everyone’s comfort levels, emotions, and body language. Keep in mind that the way someone dances or dresses may be sexy, but that does not necessarily reflect boundaries or desires of any one individual. The person who you may want to touch does not necessarily want to be touched. Paying attention to body language and getting explicit verbal consent to touch, dance, or sleep next to someone is very important. All community members are empowered to ask someone to leave who is making others feel unsafe. Please speak out if you feel unsafe. Help keep each other safe, and be responsive and validated. People with pink arm bands are the Safer Space Committee. Please talk to them if you feel weird or triggered. If you are in an accountability process, please check in with your accountability team before coming to the park. In short: Don’t be a jerk! Be respectful! Take care of each other! Have fun an make new friends! On the note of preferred gender pronouns, if this is expected to be a space that encourages equality an inclusive process, then those who do not identify within the gender binary must be given consideration and respect as equal members of this political body. Do not assume anyone’s gender identity or preferred pronoun. Ask! Respect the gender pronouns and names of everyone. If you are in an interactive and there have not been a pronoun-name-sharing activity, please be empowered to speak up and suggest one. We encourage expressing yourself with your PGP.

13.1.13.  Legal—Three announcements:  Defendants… people who were arrested in the past twelve or so days and are going to trial, they are going to have a meeting with all the lawyers to discuss your cases. These two meeting options are Friday 11AM and Sunday 2PM. The address 132 Nassau St Ste. 922.  Some people have been considering filing complaints with the civilian complaint review board. Just a reminder, that body works of the NYPD. They will ask you questions that you have to answer. Not only are there legal implications, safety implications in this process. Not saying you shouldn’t file complaints, just talk to legal to talk about it and consider your options.  A couple days ago we decided by consensus not to have a police liaison. If you’re confused about that, come talk to her. But as a reminder, if you’re feeling like taking on responsibility to talk to cops about what you’re doing, it’s not only unsafe, but it goes against what we decided as a group would be best for everyone.

13.1.14.  Outreach—We are all outreach! Folks are riding the subway, going to schools flyering, and going to local neighborhoods. Continue to do so! We were at a meeting after the GA in the corner, hope to see you there. Also, it will be a great week of solidarity across the nation! October 5 student walk-out here and all over the state! Also, labor march! Also meeting us here! Everybody get ready, save your voices, cause we got a big week ahead!

13.1.15.  Comfort—May is in the group, it’s way behind medical at the far left end of the park. Showers are important. We know everyone needs one! We had some people volunteer, and we’re organizing a list to accommodate you all so that you can be clean and comfortable and smell good. We have a volunteer who will allow two women per day after 7PM to come and use her shower. There are a lot of people, and it will be time-consuming. Creating a first-come first-serve list. Still compiling a list of other volunteers, so we can accommodate everyone. Will have the list by the comfort station. If you’re in need of a shower, write your name down.  Laundry, towels, sleeping bags are disorganized right now. Have agreed to work with sanitation so that all items, including donated items can be nice and clean. We need some things to be donated, so if you can spread the word, that would be great. Need towels, clothing for larger-bodied people… sweatpants, hoodies. It’s going to get really cold! Nobody likes freezing their ass off, please help out! Looking for large to XXL sizes.  Been very difficult in the past few days with one person on comfort and all of us. Five volunteers have been doing a great job. We don’t want anyone with pneumonia. Need volunteers for clothing, tarp, towels, etc. When you guys bring in tarp from the rainy night before it’s a process of waiting all day for those tarps to be dry, and a lot of times they are not available the next night. So there’s a subgroup of people to come dry off the tarps. If you’d like to come help out, it would be greatly appreciated it. It’s not hours of drying tarp, but if you can contribute an hour, that would be great.

13.1.16.  Medical—Kevin. We have Francis Fox Piven here, amazing! If people are having trouble sleeping because of noise, there are earplugs in great supply because you guys need your sleep. There are plenty of vitamin supplements, so feel free to come by to keep up your immune system in case of rain. On board with Comfort and keeping away pneumonia. If you had a dressing change done for any blisters, cuts, burns, etc. please come over to get it changed. You can try to do that at least twice a day. Keep it clean, keep it dry. If you have blisters, please don’t be a martyr! There is plenty of stuff, and they want to make sure it doesn’t get infected. Come on by. Hydration is important! If people have sweatshirts, please try to bring them down. Get out of wet clothes into something dry if possible. If you feel out of sorts physically or out of sorts mentally, come to them… they have trained people with psychology degrees and social work degrees. Come to them, they can talk to you.

13.1.17.  Planned Global Action on October 15—Statement has been circulated, has been endorsed by a lot of GAs, in the Middle East and Spain. In its original form it was endorsed by Noam Chomsky​ and others. This document that was sent to Liberty Square for our consideration is in English, Spanish, Arabic, Italian.  Global democracy statement: On the 15th of October 2011, united in our diversity, united for global change, we demand global democracy, global governance by the people, for the people inspired by our sisters and brothers in Tunis, Cairo… Palestine, Israel, Spain, Greece. We too call for a regime change, a global regime change! We will not come to global institutions hand in hand begging for policy change. Today we demand replacing the G8 with the whole of humanity. The G7billion… The rest of the statement will be posted. True global democracy now!  The statement is circulating globally. We are part of this global movement. We would like to get a vibe check about how we feel about this statement. REAL GOOD VIBES! With your permission, we will put this, not today, but tomorrow, as an agenda item to be endorsed by this body.

13.1.18.  Open Solutions—They are the Free Libre and Open Source​ Solutions Group. The revolution will not be copywritten! If you know what Free Libre Open Source means, raise your hand! Their mission is to make sure everyone’s hand will be raised around the world. FLO means you have the right to use, modify, improve, and share the solutions that you need to make the world you want. If we all collaborated on solutions we could not be victims to anyone with “the answer.” Apple and Google are not Open Source! Linux and Wikipedia are open source! We have a listserv now! You can find it at We also meet every day at 3PM at the library. Ted is going to tell you about a few amazing solutions. There are many more that will make you poo your pants.  Right now we are working on independent internet infrastructure, RGA. So we can make our own cell phone calls on our network, not their network! YES! Right now we are beginning to figure out how we can coordinate all of our groups with open source solutions. One of the first takes they have taken on is to figure out a list of demands, using effective open source solutions. We would like to consult with the Anarchist group, with all the other groups about how these demands and visions will actually reflect us all. These will be non-conditional demands and actions. We will always BE HERE! One other small thing is an open source map of Liberty Square so we can organize like a grid system everything we’re doing!  We are also looking to the future and the power of open source, and we want to start discussions about how we create an information age of open source economy. Ask “them” how they want to participate with us!

13.1.19.  Finance—Victoria. She needs some help. If you’ve been looking for her and couldn’t find her, it’s because there’s one of her and many of us. Wants to extend an offer to any of us to help with finance. It’s not as scary as it seems. Most of the tough parts are worked out. Few steps away from an account at a credit union. We’re close! In the meantime, she requests that all the working groups be patient when asking for finances or proposing budgets. Much still needs to be discussed in front of the GA. Also, many of you made purchases for the occupation before we had money. If you are holding onto receipts and are waiting for reimbursements, we are ready to reimburse you! Please find her so we can figure this out. Also, if people are unclear about how to donate or how to tell people how to donate, all their info is now online at This includes our physical address and the UPS store. If you have any questions, look for her. There will be more members soon, of course!

13.1.20.  Direct action—Ari. Tomorrow we will be marching in solidarity with the CUNY professors who will be marching in solidarity with us! 5:30 marching to 1 Police Plaza!  Direct action will now be meeting at 2PM every day underneath the red sculpture before moving off-site. Please be on time!  A friendly reminder that we will be holding pacer trainings before each march. They will be occurring twice a day at 11:30AM and 5PM by the red statue.


13.2.  Announcements

13.2.1.  Francis Fox Piven—Glad to be here! So glad that we are here! We are amazing! A lot of us are young, have energy, imagination, guts. We could start a movement in the United States, maybe across the globe! We have come to the right place to kick off that movement—WALL STREET! Wall Street is the center of the neo-liberal cancer that has spread across the world! You’re heard people say, “they’re greedy.” And they are greedy. You’ve heard people say they are thieves. And they are thieves. But they’re also CANNIBALS! Because they are eating their OWN! US! They have managed, over the last fifty years, to push all the taxes on our backs and to virtually eliminate their own tax. And then what do they do? They say, “oh the deficits, they are the big problem.” They are a problem. Because big business and finance has stopped paying taxes. And then what do they do? They insist on attacking public education! They insist on firing teahers! They roll back pensions! Does that make sense? They don’t even care if they live in this country. They’re going to suck it dry and move, I guess, to Dubai. Can we reverse that? Well—the people have reversed corporate greed and madness before! So maybe this is the beginning. There are movements and occupations like this in LA, Chicago, Boston… we’re going to re-occupy our country! And to do that, we have to link arms with poor people, with black people, with working people, with unions, we have to all be together because this is going to be the fight of our LIVES!

13.2.2.  I had a long speech, but she said everything! How courageous and inspirational we are, the seeds of a revolution. It touched his heart. She talked about Wall Street, unions, social programs, education, and the class warfare being waged on the poor and the middle class. The fact is, our problem, at least our number one problem is the corporations and the special interest groups that are more important to our politicians than the people. The lobbyists, the money, gotta get out of Washington! I should pay more taxes. If I can’t I’ll give it away. We must rebuild democracy! Many news outlets say we don’t know what we want. We have to tell them one thing: we want freedom from the politicians, the corporate ownership, their lies. Get the money out of Washington!

F: Anyone else who wants to speak up and soapbox, please come get on stack after the GA.
F: One minute each. Fifteen minutes.

13.2.3.  Tomorrow at 3PM will be running with a few other people a nonviolent direct action 101. Maybe some people have never participated in anything like that. She proposes we join her at the assembly spot at 3PM and do role-plays on what to do if confronted by police, how to take care of each other. If you’re touched or arrested by police officers. Will talk about non-violence and what that looks like tactically. We will be really active tomorrow and have fun in the park.

13.2.4.  Green Party—Green party people have contributed materials to this square. Green party has never taken corporate money. The greens want to do more! Greens have invited Outreach to table with us at Atlantic Avenue Street Fair this Sunday. Will be able to talk to thousands of NYers who do not know about this movement. They are organizing to provide kitchen space, clothes, gear, and organizing contingents for the actions globalized by and with this assembly. The Greens still want to do more! So when you see a Green banner, please come up and share your ideas for how our local Green chapters and green candidates all around the country can express solidarity with this movement in the streets, into the banks and in the media! Thanks for your time and energy!

13.2.5.  Matt—A group is organizing Slut Walk. Marching Saturday at Union Square. It might be good to invite them down here.
13.2.6.  Wants to start a group dedicated to civil disobedience. How is that different from direct action? This group will only focus on forms of civil disobedience and how to effectively plan, organize, and carry out non-violent civil disobedience. If you’re interested in such things, they will meet at the library right after GA.

13.2.7.  Mustafa from Egypt—He’s seen winners before. He sees winners again! He’s very glad he’s here. It brings back the wonderful feeling he had before. Some advice: Please make a list that contains a few demands, a few solid demands, unbreakable demands, and be sure that the beginning that the first step… It’s time for our generation to lead the world all over the world! We will do it! I will pray for you, thank you!

13.2.8.  Dmitri—Require three volunteers to close the kitchen at midnight. If interested, show up at midnight!

13.2.9.  Rich—Been working on goals and plans with his wife and friends who think he’s crazy. Spent several hours putting together a simple straw-man platform for the group. It does list what he considers some of our beliefs, goals for the movement, means to attain those goals, and the end point. They are just suggestions to start people thinking, just as one of the speakers mentioned, it is very important that we bring this down to something concrete, and it would be nice to do that sooner rather than later. Would like to pass out some copies to generate copies after the meeting.

13.2.10.  Kelley—Planning a march to DC. A woman has been organizing a march about bringing awareness to GMOs, so if this is an issue of particular interest to you and you want to join them on the march, they are leaving this Saturday, walking to DC. They will get there the 15th. The Route is on their website for more info. She’ll leave it on the table at the front.

F: Can we move the rest of the announcements to after the meeting and move onto the Call to Action agenda item?

13.3.  Declaration of the Occupation of New York City

[Note-takers note: The document is a page-and-a-half. They read it out and offered people to email them to get a hard copy to pose amendments and concerns. They didn’t want to take up time in assembly.]

[edit: link to document online]

13.3.1.  It was done with transparency with the working group. To avoid taking up too much time, let’s read the document together. But first there’s pretty exciting news about how this process was formed!

13.3.2.  Eric—First of all, if you want a copy, you can send an email to  We had about ninety emails from last night to now. We sent about eighty-five already. We had good responses from everybody, with responses from across the nation from Tucson, Illinois, Colorado, Tampa. They have emails with support and wish to share this document and start a new revolution! Mexico, Frankfurt, United Kingdom, New Zealand, and Sydney! The world is watching! This document reveals what we are pissed about! Not what we know. But with this we can say with clarity what we really want. He proposes that in order to save time, everybody with a copy read it together. We all read the statement out loud in unison.

13.3.3.  Our movement has now a reason, now we work in the action! Solidarity! It is our proposal to release this document to every other Occupy Movement, to put it on the internet as a beacon to those who are incredibly angry and want to do something about it, even if they can’t be here.
13.3.4.  QUESTIONS  Open source has been vigilantly working on a document, and they request that the Open Source document be reviewed in parallel and as a companion to this document.

Response: There’s nothing stopping Open Source from going through a similar process.  Could there be a statement clarifying that the list of grievances is not all-inclusive?

Response: Yes!  This is brilliant! Clarification: “It is up to the individuals to protect their own rights and those of their brethren.” Isn’t that what created a problem in the first place? Of people looking after only their own interests. Maybe wrong interpretation?

Response: That statement is in support of what we’re doing here. The system has stripped our rights, and we’re here in support of ourselves and each other.  Could she suggest adding onto that to clarify that this is a collection of individuals to make that statement more clear about what’s happening here?

Response: Let’s speak and work it out to make it more clear. Not their intention to do anything that does not represent this movement.  Can we add “and relieve suffering” at the end so it reads “They continue to block generic forms of medicines that could save people’s lives and relieve suffering.”

Response: He invites anyone to approach them with small edits. They will be here to for people to approach them. That sounds like a great idea.This has been an ever-evolving process. They have edited because of concerns and questions and are open to more. They want to propose that they can publish this to other GAs and people.  Would like them to clarify the proposal and add the official method for people to contribute what they have already begun to say. Perhaps to avoid confusion of adding further amendments we could possibly add something that states that this is a living document. Believes this is a very strong document and, furthermore, brevity is the soul of wit. It is important that the thing we produce is understandable and important to the people who read it. He proposes we make sure this thing does not get out of control.

F: Please, questions only!  What is the process for adding grievances to the document?

Response: email them or come to their working group. They meet at 6PM most days, or email them, and they will let you know if that time has changed.  What’s the email address?

Response: Also available at Info Hub.  Would like to know if this will remain a living document that can still be modified after it is send to the other groups.

Response: We have done a lot of revision on this. Ketchup has proposed what he thinks is the best solution—that the list of grievances is not all-inclusive.  Where do you meet at 6PM?

Response: Been jumping around, but the final meeting place seems to be the library. If that changes, they’ll let you know in an announcement or email.  How do you foresee or intend for this to work with the existing list of principals moving into the future?

Response: We have had a lot of conversations with the facilitators, specifically those that propose our principals of solidarity. It is their intention for this document to co-exist with those.

One will not be more important than the other. It is important for us to get messages to everyone. We want people to know what we’re thinking.
13.3.5.  CONCERNS  I’m concerned that there’s no mention of the destruction of workers’ organizations. Will you raise workers’ grievances? Will they address those grievances through their unions? She thinks we should condemn union busting. There will be no trade union movement if they continue as they have been in the last few years.

Response: We have addressed corporations stripping people of the right to negotiate, etc. It’s a matter of semantics.  There seems to be a lack of concern for animal cruelty and the sustainability problems that it currently represents. This is very important to a large number of us.

Response: Brother could draft agreements specifically relating to animal cruelty.  Age, color, gender, sexual orientation are mentioned only as problems as how people are treated in the workplace and negative environmental issues.

Response: Wanted to keep this document specifically related to issues in the corporate sphere. It is a huge issue, we agree, that extends way beyond the workplace. For the sake of the document and making it coherent for the workplace. They have tried to address environmental issues, through talking about energy, food supply, donating to politicians that should be regulating corporations. If you have a semantical amendment you’d like to see, email them.

F: Closing stack.  Trangendered people are the most discriminated group in the workplace. They would like to propose that we add gender identity to the statement about workplace discrimination.

Response: We accept.  One concern is there is no mention of corporations that are part of the prison-industrial complex that are profiting on the mass incarceration of our black and brown brothers and sisters. This is destroying communities of New York and across the country.

Response: We accept.  Unions—consult semantics on Jackie.

Response: OK.  Oceans, forests, etc. should get mentioned.

Response: If you have such concerns, please approach them or send them an email.  My concern is relating to the prison-industrial complex. There is nothing here about the war on drugs perpetuating the existence of drug cartels and imprisoning people wrongfully.

Response: Before our facilitator speaks, there are a lot of things our government is doing that we really don’t agree with. The war on drugs is one of them, however it’s a really thin line separating government issues from corporate issues influencing how the government is run. This is an ongoing document! He would like to pass a friendly amendment and move to temperature check on this proposal as an ever-living document, and people can submit their edits to the email.

F: Any blocks? Two blocks.

13.3.6.  Blocks  If we’re going to say we’re the 99% we have to stick with issues the 99% of this country agree with. He is an anarchist, bisexual environmentalist, against the war on drugs. This is not 99% of the United States. We are at an impasse where this can be symbolic or substantial. If we embrace all the causes the majority of us believe in, this will be a symbolic movement. If we focus on Wall Street and corporations, we have a chance of changing things and getting the 99% behind us.

Response: This document we wrote specifically refers to corporations and things they are doing, and the way they use money to influence our lives and control us. Your concern seems more suited for the demands group, rather than a list of grievances and corporations.  Doesn’t want to block, really, but could we consider changing brethren to “all peoples” because it’s patriarchal. And could we make the statement about individual rights clearer?

Response: Yes.

F: Any other blocks? Anyone can see them about editing! Blocks should only be for serious ethical or safety concerns! Take the time to write an email to these lovely people if you want to edit this document.

F: Both blocks retracted.  Block 3—There’s been a coordination problem. Open Source has been working in parallel doing focus groups, taken input from over 70 people, working on the process in parallel. Before we go much further we have to meet and resolve how our two documents can be presented together.

Response: Concern already addressed. Ethical and safety issues only.

F: May I suggest these two groups work together moving forward?

F: Third block retracted.  On the fence about blocking. Why not go through another round of edits before publishing? There are a lot of people here making suggestions and having issues. One more round at least would be extremely beneficial to the process.

Response: Just to explain why we would like to get this done tonight—we’ve had responses from around the world asking to disseminate this. People on Twitter have been disseminating the last draft. This needs to get out there because there’s always going to be people not here. We want those people involved. There’s no reason any proposal ever proposed in this GA can’t go through one more edit. It’s a powerful document that affects a lot of people, and there will never be a perfect group of words to satisfy everyone. We want contributions. It’s a living document. Everything is not included, this will be noted. It shouldn’t be a major ethical concern to release this around the world as a template, a rallying point, for people who want to get out there and make a difference.  Block 4—Grievance in supporting a document that claims that my oppression on the basis of gender, sexual orientation, religion, and things not mentioned on this document are something that happened formerly and not in the present day.

Response: This can be addressed. The document says that these divisions have formerly happened. We know they happen now, that’s why we’re writing it this way. This document is saying “we want to leave this shit in the past where it belongs to create a new America, world, new society, where everyone is equal.” We do not mean to ignore present-day issues. It was drafted so we can leave that behind.  Block 5—That phrase erases so much history of oppression, it is idealistic, not realistic. We still think it should be changed, and we think it’s an ethical issue.

Response: Rephrase, “formerly divided” so we can have what you would like to see written. Then the working group can decide whether we want to move to consensus without it.

F: Let’s all relax!  We appreciate the process, we appreciate everything you’ve done, we want a small verb change, we feel it is an ethical matter. “As one people, despite divisions of color of our skin…”

Response: We’re fine with that. Let’s meet after and decide which phrasing to use.

Block withdrawn.

F: We’re going to take this to a straw poll. Given that it is a living document that can be edited and we all can contribute on the website.

Short break.

F: Big conversation just happened with friends at Open Source. Their concern is that they have a big document with protestors in Washington, and they want it to come out as the same time as ours. They understand that, but they’ve been working on this for a long time. We can still pass this and coordinate with Open Source. We don’t need to waste time. “Brethren” being changed to “all people” is accepted as a friendly amendment.


F: We will vote on that now. Straw poll. Looks good!


F: Please email them with concerns or edits or come find them.

F: If people still have announcements, come over and announce them.


16 Responses to “General Assembly Minutes 9/29 7PM”