NYCGA Minutes 9/21/2011

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.


Date / Time: 9/21/2011, 1pm

Location: Liberty Plaza



F: The general assembly is about to begin. You shouldn’t be shy, you shouldn’t be far away, because it’s hard to hear people with different ability to vocalize what they’re saying. Please come closer.

F: People need to be patient with the process and each other and please come closer. Second we need two people, we need two people to act as human mic’s, one over there and one over there so people can hear.

F: On this point if you hear there is an arrest, stay where you are. It’s not helpful. Certain people that have the responsibility to help will go. But this general assembly is important.

F: Hey everybody, if everyone could move forward it will be easier to hear. So please move forward and stay seated if possible. And please keep isles.

F: I’m Katchup, and I’m Emery, and we’re facilitating. I’m a little nervous cuz it’s my first time but this is going to be great.



5.1.  Agenda Items

5.2.  Announcements

5.3.  Principles Group Presentation

5.4.  IWW Discussion

5.5.  New Proposals and Agenda Items

5.1.  Agenda Items

5.1.1.  First agenda item, some people would like to have a moment of silence for Troy Davis who will probably be executed today at 7pm. (silence) We are all Troy Davis. Next, we will do a review of the process and of hand signals.

F: Someone was just arrested, where is the legal ledger. I’m going to take care of it.

F: If you have something to say just raise your hand and you will be added to the stack by our stack-takers. Make sure that what you have to say is relevant to whatever agenda item we’re on at that time.

Point of Process (POP): Can the stack taker please stand up so everyone can see her.

Stack: Hi everyone, I’m Ashley, I’ll be doing progressive stack for this GA. That means that the minorities or those who are traditional marginalized will be put to the front.

F: Next hand signal is this, if you agree with something this will indicate that. If you are tepid, more like this. If you don’t feel good about it, more like this. Next one, this is Point of Process, if you think that the process that this assembly follows is not being followed for any reason make this symbol we will call on you and you can point that out. Next symbol is Point of Information, that means if you have specific information pertaining to something someone says you may add that information. You will be called on directly. An example of specific information for instance if someone says “Mary has been arrested,” but you know that Kate has been arrested, you may point that out. It is not for questions or opinions. Next is BLock, if the group seems to be coming to consensus and you have a major ethical or safety concern about the consensus the group is coming to that is when you block. If you merely have a concern or question there are other times for that. If you cannot hear do this (point up).

5.1.2.  Next agenda item, work group report backs. Will a rep from everyone work group please come up even if you don’t have anything major it is helpful for the GA to see who you are in case they are interested in working on your group.

F: Quick important announcement first, if you have any information on arrests that have happened today, today please take that information over there (Patrick). Names, birthdates, videos, pictures.  Direct Action – if you’re arrested shout your name as loud as you can a few times but don’t resist.  Legal – The exact same announcement as this guys is true for the legal working group. If you have any information about anybody who’s been arrested, especially documentary footage related to the arrest come talk to me. Other legal working group info will be coming.  Direct Action – Hi everybody I’m sandy from direct action. I just want to say we’ve gotten so much better from our marches, however just a reminder of our guidelines.  Don’t instigate conflict with cops or pedestrians with physical violence.  Stay together and keep moving.  Empower pacers in the front middle and rear of the march to direct the route, which is spontaneous. Final reminder, hand signals. (F,R,L,U-turn). Respect diversity of tactics but respect how your actions can affect the larger group. Take necessary steps to disassociate yourself from the larger group if you feel your actions will negatively reflect the group. There was a discussion for an evacuation plan if we are dispersed from the park. It was decided to group with legal to hash that out.  If you have some really cool new chants please see us or feel free to start them up.  It was discussed there should be new roles during marches as security people who would in the event of an arrest call out “all eyes, cameras forward, others backward” this means for cameras and legal team folks to go forward to document and others to fall back and continue the march. Our group discusses strategies for direct actions and POP if we have individual questions about what a working group is doing, see them individually.  Final point from direct action affinity groups, as in groups who want to do their own thing, please try to talk to the legal group and let them know what you’re doing in case of anything they are aware of actions you plan to do. If you feel comfortable.

F: Announcement – Mariel has been released.  Hi everybody, I’m Camile, I’m from the food working group. We have redesigned the kitchen area so be mindful of the three medians because we’re trying to keep a working space. If you’re not in food crew, do not enter the space. The median that’s parallel with the food needs to have all personal items removed from around it so that we can turn that area in to a donation drop of spot and a craft center. Another point, be mindful, try to keep the area clean, save your water bottles, label your bottles, soon we will have water to refill. On a happy point, we will have a special surprise for everyone tonight.

F: I may not have made it clear, can a rep from every working group please line up here.  I’m a rep from legal. We need things like folders and envelopes and notebooks, if you have any give them to me. Also really if you see an arrest, come and tell me because the people arrested might need witnesses in the future if they feel that the police used excessive force and they will need to contact you. So if you see anything related to an arrest talk to me. We will have a table set up right by media.  Media – most of what we’re doing here has to do with media. Some of the videos of the arrests have passed 50,000 views. Those videos are our biggest opportunity to spread the message. Please find me an we’ll make a sign that people can post their ideas on how to most effectively use the unfortunate circumstance of an arrest. Also we are going to make a sign that directs people who have videos of arrests that are getting thousands of views to link our donation pages to those videos. In closing find me if you have any media related ideas, thank you.

F: Quick update on my previous announcement, Mariel is coming here now. Please let her speak when she arrives.  Live Stream – I’m part of the live stream media group. My name is Luke, we’re having many issues. If anyone is capable of capturing and logging footage we need help, I’ll be right over there. I’m fucked with the stream team, anyone with a phone that can download the quick app and can sign up or an account of can help us stream this properly. We have editors in three cities that are mixing our live streams in to one channel, join us.

F: Quick announcement. Each working group now has 60 seconds. When your time is up, I’ll come tap your shoulder.  Medical – I’m from medical, your help is important. If you have any cuts, scrapes, or anything else wrong see the medical table. Also if you have any medical training please see us.  Town planning – Robert, town planning. Welcome to your town. Lorenzo in the red hat and I require a plan of this park if you find one on the internet that shows benches.  Hi everyone I’m Lizzy. I’m one of your comfort care coordinators. Will the rest stand up and make yourself known. These are your comfort care coordinators. How are you all doing? Do you have what you need to be comfortable? Not looking so good. If not please come see one of us. Your comfort center has moved and in doing so many have displaced peoples’ bedding that was left out. If your bedding is missing it may be located there, which is to the left of medical. And speaking of abandoned bedding I would like to request that as soon as you get up from sleeping, please bundle your sleeping gear and place it in a nearby pile with other peoples’ bedding unless you are okay with your bedding becoming someone else’s. Finally we have lots of donations for your comfort arriving daily and if you care about everyone’s comfort come see one of us.

F: Okay, we’re having some hearing problems. We’re going to have a pause for her to share.

(Mariel talked about what happened.) “They claim I was arrested for interfering with my brother’s arrest.”

F: Okay as I was saying before it is helpful for hearing if people move up an consolidate. Also can I have two volunteers to stand here and here and be especially loud peoples’ mic’s.

F: We were tasked by the GA to synthesize the things that you thought and wrote down as principles of solidarity. We’re the working group that’s synthesizing the thoughts that came out of you so that we can consolidate them for you to discuss further. We’ve made great progress, we will have print-outs for you at the next GA at 7pm to discuss. These points of solidarity are about us getting together to know how we think and for it to lay the foundation for demands by you.

F: The legal team will be meeting at 3:30 over there if you would like to join at 4:00 there will be a know your rights training.

F: We made a working group to come up with a mission statement for our group. This is what we came up with. “we are a collection of people with diverse beliefs using a direct democratic process in a GA open to the public to discuss, find solutions, and mobilize ourselves to create a better tomorrow. We invite people of all beliefs and backgrounds to join the struggle at Liberty Plaza.” It’s on the agenda to talk about further.


5.2.  Announcements

F: People with announcements, like working groups you’d like to form, or other things related to the whole group please come up.

5.2.1.  Hey guys, my name is Regan, I’m checking on the vibes. Feeling a lack of enthusiasm over here, wanted to check how we’re doing. Let me know if there is anything I can do for you I love you all.

F: We are doing progressive stack. We have a very long list of males already, just be aware.

5.2.2.  Kristen – Hi I’m Kristen and I’m trying to set up child care. We have a space over there in front of the medical table so if anyone wants to help, come see me.

5.2.3.  Andrew – It’s come to my attention that we need a sign committee. Some of these are slightly opinionated. We have a schedule for the GA so when agenda points are made they can be listed chronologically so if you have something you want to talk about, you know when to be here. We need a sign with the donation page links, a sign directing people with groups to their facilitators, requesting donations, creative action signs, especially when arrests are happening, finally for purchases. You can find the materials over here near the signs

5.2.4.  Kat – hi I’m Kat. If anybody would like to be in the topless dancing committee I can choreograph a simple line dance so we can all look wicked-badass. Come find me.

5.2.5.  Media working group quick announcement about people who are on the fringe, both literally and metaphorically in the group. They say things that supposedly represent our views but in reality do not. The media working group wants you to be aware of these people and stay far away from them.

5.2.6.  Hey everybody how ya doin? I see hundreds of cameras taking thousands of pictures, I don’t have a camera but I would like beautiful, empowering pictures of this space. I suggest if you have a camera you find other people with cameras and talk to each other and take thousands of pictures and make them in to a smaller selection of amazing pictures. For example, when I lived in Cairo during the revolution a Facebook album of women participating in the Egyptian revolution, went viral. It is one of the most inspiring things I have ever seen. I encourage you to do something similar or completely the same.

F: Two announcements, thirteen minutes left for announcements. So I’m gonna cut people off with a tap after one minute. Second there is a Troy Davis march and vigil today in Harlem – 125th , Adam Clayton, Fowel Blvd at 6pm til 9. The march will leave the state building and go to Saint Mary’s church at W 126th st. Let’s be there and show solidarity. Second Patch Adams called me yesterday to say that the revolution needs to be fun and humanizing and he’s with us, congrats.

5.2.7.  Hi I’m Ray, I just wanted to remind everyone that we have a schedule right there that you can add stuff to. I would recommend that you add meeting places for these meet-ups or announce when they are happening. Feel free to add your stuff

5.2.8.  Nathan – You may know that this is not the only occupation being planned in the US for this fall. There’s a place in Washington, DC, called Freedom plaza, sound familiar? Starting on Oct 6, a group is planning a massive occupation there and they want to be in solidarity. They are having a fundraiser tonight at the bowery? Poetry club in NYC at 6pm. It will be comedy, if you want to come with me let me know. DR this is also happening in San Fran, CA along with us right now, look it up.

Point of Information – Paris too, people were just arrested at the stock exchange. (a few other mentions of similar actions)

5.2.9.  Daniel – I just wanted to make sure everyone was aware that there was also a group or bike blocking to utilize bikes to further our cause.

F: We have only males from here. We want to check in with the ladies. Feel free to join the stack, we have room for a few more speakers.

5.2.10.  Drew – Hello I’m from the internet committee. If you are live blogging or would like to add to the GA website see me or Kelly.

F: We’re going to close stack on announcements.

5.2.11.  Beautiful people, happy international peace day. I’ve seen many people here who are aware of and who support our brother Bradley Manning. I have an announcement, there is a rally this Friday in Union Square at 6pm, SW side of the square by the stairs. The rally is organized by many peace groups including Code Pink, world can’t wait, Brooklyn for peace, vets for peace, NY committee to stop FBI repression. Please join us Fri 6pm Union Square, southwest side. Support Bradley Manning, the alleged WikiLeaks whistleblower.

F: Real quick, I would like to encourage the people in the back to move forward.

5.2.12.  Justin – I’m starting a new committee for community relations. It is a committee to establish and nurture positive, empowering relations with local business, something, and wall st workers.

5.2.13.  Holly – I am here to represent women. This country has put a war on our reproductive rights. There is a war on the people. There is a war on drugs. On civil rights. And we are gathered here today to show them that we have a voice. To show them that we can protest for our rights. For all the women in the city, stand up for yourself and support planned parenthood.

5.2.14.  Alex – I have a new group that I’d like to propose if I doesn’t already exist. Is there a clean-up crew? We all should be responsible every day to make this space better, cleaner than it was when we found and occupied it. So please do your individual part and talk to sanitation if you’d like to help. Sweep, wipe off surfaces, thank you.

5.2.15.  Rachel – I would like to start a group if there isn’t one already. Yesterday me and another protester sat in Starbucks for 4 or 5 hours with signs attached to our laptops for other works to see. If you’d like to do something similar see me.

Point of Information: See outreach.

F: Urgent message. I got an e-mail from Noam Chomsky. Comrade Chomsky is standing in solidarity with our movement. He is currently on tour in Europe but he said he will mention our cause and movement during his speeches.

F: And now we’re going to have a message from the coalition for public education.

5.2.16.  My name is Radio Raheem. I’m one of the pioneers of the conscious hip-hop movement. We don’t need an amplifier, we are the amp. My ancestors bought and sold as stock right on Wall Street. I am here today to stand in solidarity with young students here. I have a message from some of the founding fathers of conscious hip-hop starting with the last poets. All the way from Paris they are getting your live stream and are totally in support of this movement. I brought here with me one of our giants in the community. He has stood with our people struggling to show our corruption and mis-education system. You can find him all over Google. I know we don’t have much time so he’ll be brief. His name is Jituweusi. Thank you.  Thank you brother Radio Raheem. Thank you young people. I feel grateful to be here this afternoon. In 1968 I stood in the halls of Columbia and address the students that had taken over the university. You remember 1968! You remember the world was in revolution in 1968. Young people were in the streets all over this country. Just as they were in the streets in 1968 I want them to be in the streets today. You are leading the way, sending a message. Continue to conduct this movement and move it forward. Thank you very much.

F: Okay we have one last time sensitive announcement

5.2.17.  I’m Jack from Seattle to form a short-term group for Troy Davis. Tonight the state of Georgia will murder him and his main crime is being black.

F: How’s everybody feeling? Is there anybody that’s not feeling good?


5.3.  Next agenda item is principles group, please come up.

5.3.1.  I’m part of the principles of solidarity group. I’m working with a bunch of people on the principles that you guys gave us two days ago and I’m working with another group as well. I’m going to staples right now to get print outs of what we’ve done. So this evening we can talk about what we’ve done synthesizing the principles. Earlier we broke out in to a bunch of subgroups where people broke and a noted what they cared for. There was a lot of redundancy, what we’re trying to do is eliminate that and put it in to language that is accessible to everyone. I encourage everyone in order to be a part of this movement to participate in that discussion.

5.3.2.  Mission statement group – due to a conversation with the principles I with to retract the idea that what I said was a mission statement our group will meet with their group to coordinate to come up with a better idea of what to call what we were coming up with. Anyone with ideas on that look for the principles group.

5.4.  Next up we have the IWW. I would like to introduce. Joseph Sanchez of the IWW.

5.4.1.  Hi everybody. I’ve been out here a few nights, I’m glad you all are here. I came out here today to talk about our advertising, workplace justice campaign. Maria Corona was a worker who worked there, it’s a sweatshop located in Brooklyn. She will speak about her experience and Diana will translate.

5.4.2.  Good morning. I worked for 5 years. I used to work for 75-80 hours. They never paid me overtime or vacations or sick days. I didn’t have the right to celebrate July 4th cause my boss said I wasn’t American. I had to work or go home. And for wanting to join the union he fired me and 22 coworkers. And now we’re united with the union and we’re fighting really hard but there is no strength without the union. We have to remain united to accomplish justice. I think we’re going to win because there was a lot of injustice there to the coworkers. He used to pay us $4/hr or $3.75/hr and thanks to the union we have opened up and we’re going to fight together. And we need to open our eyes because sometimes they think they can do what they want. Because our brothers and sisters must fight united for our rights as people. We are mothers and fathers and we must fight for the future of our children. Thank you all for the invitation.

????? so tomorrow we’re calling on tenuva? To honor the rights of its distribution workers. We’re going to their headquarters in NJ and we’re asking you all to put on your agenda items to give tenuva? A phone call tomorrow. I’ll make leaflet with phone #’s and I’ll come by tonight to distribute. Thank you everyone.

5.5.  Okay next up if you have a formulated proposal like with a working group now you may raise your hand to get on stack to propose new agenda items. Anyone?

F: Announcement stack is being taken by a new person.

5.5.1.   ACLU has handouts about what to do if you’re stopped by the police. There’s another handout about knowing your rights when you’re demonstrating in NYC. You can also get that from them.

5.5.2.  I spoke to you earlier about fringe elements, I want to add that I was warned about a specific individual who was doing what I said. That’s all.

5.5.3.  If you’ve been here in the evening you might have seen a projector and a screen which projected thoughts that people here and across the world. So if you see it tonight come up and participate and also the app that runs it (vibe) is useful at other times.

5.5.4.  One more thing, the chance of rain is 60%, be prepared.

F: That’s it. Love you guys, thank you for participating.

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