NYCGA Minutes 10/3/2011, 7:30pm

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.


Meeting Date/Time: 10/3/2011 / 7pm EST

Location: Liberty Plaza

Facilitators: Bri, ?


F: Wanted to make sure that we the people are okay with the people up front running it.

F: The people up front are facilitators. Anyone can facilitate if they get in touch with the working group.

F: Bri: Is a co-facilitator. She wants consent on weather of not we agree for them to be facilitators.

Everyone wants the one complaining to sit down.

F: Bri. Are there any outstanding concerns with them being facilitators.


Someone would want some clarifications about the objections that just happened.

He wants people to be aware that the people who are facilitating are in power and lead the conversation in directions. And they need this power with our consent.

F: We have a guest. Depoch Chopra. Would we be okay with him speaking before we start.  And would we be okay with switching up the order.

There is one concern with the celebrities speak. They want to make sure they respect the process.

F: Chopra has a previous engagement and that’s why he needs to go first.


F: Does anyone have any other concerns?

Someone is concerned that our general agenda usually takes quite some time. The working groups have a lot to get across and he is afraid that by the time it gets to that point people’s interest might not be as solid as in the beginning of the meeting.

Can we address the order of the GA after this man speaks for the sake of time?

F: No more concerns. The people want to get started.

Depoch Chopra wants to do a 2 minute meditation. Put your hand on your heart and ask yourself internally what kind of world do I want to live in? And listen. Now ask yourself, How can I make that happen? How can I make that happen from a place of love, compassion, joy and equanimity. Simple anger can only perpetuate what is already out there. It was created by greed and fear. We have to go beyond that and come from a place of compassion. Centered equanimity and creativity. Once again ask yourself, How can I be the change that I want to see in the world. THANK YOU.

F: One the topic, of the order of the GA, Let me just clarify what we were saying and then if you guys want you guys can change the order. If it looks like we don’t want that, we will stick to the normal process. We were hoping we could do the agenda first. We have 3 items on the agenda. We would like, there to be time, for concerns to be raised and discussed. Since the GAs tend to be long, when that happens at the end we are already tired. That’s why we were wondering if that would be okay to do that first. Let’s take a temp check. (most people are okay with it) Does anyone have concerns they want to voice?

Someone wants to know if it’s okay if he makes a speech about the movement.

F: That will be announced in time for the announcements.

F: Just to clarify there are a lot of important things that we deal with at the GA.

F: They are for factual statements or proposals. If you’d like to make political speeches, we do that at the end. There is a soapbox.

I just have a simple concern. The reports from the working groups. May affect the agenda. (someone agrees).

Could we hear the agenda items on the agenda before deciding on this…?

F: The 3 items on the agenda are: a proposal from Comfort, requesting funds to better arrange this base (stuff like sleeping bags). A lot of building are residential and we’ve gotten complaints. It’s about keeping quiet. Related to the first but is about creating things like a set sleeping space so people aren’t just scattered. How do we feel about moving the agenda first?

PASSED with no blocks.



17.1.  Agenda Items (Comfort Proposal, Community Relations Proposal)

17.2.  Working Group Report Backs

17.3.  Announcements


17.1.  Agenda Items

17.1.1.  The first point: Comfort budget….  Jeff: I work with comfort. We have some major concerned about people sleeping here. Mainly we need sleeping bags. Sleeping bags cost money and no one is donating sleeping bags. With that in mind we have a proposal to use some of the donated money to buy sleeping bags. We would like to request about 2000 dollars from the fund for sleeping bags. We think if we buy 100 $20 sleeping bags, that would be enough for the time being.  HOW THIS WILL WORK, we will ask for questions then concerns then blocks, then we will vote.
Stack (S): Opening Stack.

CHRIS is stack taker.  Clarifying Questions  So I just want to know how many people are sleeping here already and if it’s projected that number will increase.

Response: Someone on medical counted around 400 the other night and it HAS been increasing.  Roney: My question is does the budget requested account for taxes on the sleeping bags?

Response: They are looking into alternate ways to purchase sleeping bags. Working with store owners who can give them discounts, Craig’s List and other ways. The amount is low and rough that was requested but he thinks sleeping bags are very important because people are getting very cold and people will leave and they don’t want anyone leaving.

F: We have a lot of people but we need to layers of people’s mic. How that works, we will say things, surrounding people will repeat and then far out people will repeat…

F: We try to make that work J  Sam: In order to maybe call some concerns ball park figure, how much money is in the account? Where is finance???

Response: That will be a question for the finance group, find them.

This morning Victoria from finance said the ammount was 35 grand!

APPLAUSE  David: How long will 20 dollar sleeping bags last with winter coming up? Not very.

Response: Great concern, we have none currently they are the most asked for item. We’d rather buy cheap ones now. We also have more blankets than sleeping bags so you can use blankets in conjunction with sleeping bags.  LUKE: How many requests for sleeping bags do we get every day?

Response: He doesn’t know off the top of his head an accurate number. But he would guess about 100.  Should we not just buy fabric? And construct sleeping bags?

F: These questions need to be information only. We will be closing stack now and take concerns after.

S: Would anyone else like to be on stack?  He would like to know are there any other things that 2000 dollars would go to better for comfort first?

Response: At the moment NO! Perhaps blankets but we have blankets and we have 0 sleeping bags.  My question is this: Maybe more difficult, but more effective if we figure out how to create our own sleeping bags, cots, etc… And pass on the information to the occupations in the rest of the country.

F: That was a great concern, it is now time for information questions.

Response: He is going to address that last concern… They are discussing many different options. This proposal is an emergency need right now! We will continue to discuss alternate bedding options.  Alberto: This is the place to be, and he Is very proud of everyone here. Regarding the sleeping bags and so forth there is an easy way to do this. I’m gonna tell you how I feel. We all have a lot of things in our apartments that are not being used. Simply grab them and bring them on down.

Response: Let me address that: We have gotten 3 or 4 sleeping bags donations. We are trying to get the word to the people that we need sleeping bags. Let me repeat this is an emergency proposal. Because it’s COLD and it will get COLDER!

S: Stack for concerns- Is now open.  Concerns  Roney: How will we maintain the hygiene of these sleeping bags?

Response: The hygiene of the bags is up to the people using them, but we are trying to organize laundry runs.  My concern is distributing these sleeping bags and then having people take them, so maybe there could be a system where these bags need to be returned every day..

Response: We are discussing a similar system for distributing and keeping track of the sleeping bags.

POI: Coming medical a lot of them are sick. I don’t want any of you using the sleeping bag that I was sneezing in. I don’t think that’s a good idea.

Response: We are also discussing assigning sleeping bags but we need to figure out a way to do that.

POI: This is a time for concerns. To address concerns, not to discuss them.

F: Concerns are held by the group and addressed by the group.

Concerning the point that our friend from medical brought up… Just kidding. He will speak to them later.

S: Any more concerns???  Justin: I’m concerned that buying new sleeping bags is against the principles that people came here for.

Response: WHY?

Justin: I was under the understanding that there is an anti-Capitalist part of this movement and consumptions when we feel emergency need is how we deal with issues in Capitalism. Should we address issues the same way.

Response: ON that point, it has been brought up before. On the point of consumption, it will be next to impossible for us to operate without buying some of the things we need. We try to balance our principles with our need without making it too difficult.

I’ve been visiting Salvation Army’s stores and buying as many sleeping bags as I can. So I believe it is possible for us to get our supplies from charity stores and the like.

Response: He believes people here now might get sick or more sick if they are subjected to the cold. He would like to see them move on.

S: Are we okay with closing stack? Which means we hear the four concerns that are left and then see if we can reach consensus if we don’t have blocks.

S: STACK IS CLOSED  I think it’s really important that we get the sleeping bags. As far as how to distribute them I think that can be figured out after we get them. As far as buying material and making them ourselves making a sleeping bag a warm one for under 20 bucks is gonna be real difficult.

Response: If pneumonia sets in, the movement is dead.  Retailer: I buy things whole sale. We’ve got to buy these whole sale. Maybe not the first wave, but we have 80 cities to think about. And there are ways we can get them very cheaply. So I would like to start working on that.


F: Do we have any blocks?

F: There is a block.  Blocks  Chris: Blankets are cheaper than sleeping bags.

F: I want to clarify what a block is. A block is if you have a serious ethical concern with the proposal (or a factual check) remember, if we reach consensus despite your block you are choosing to walk away.

Consensus does not exist if there is a block.

F: I’m sorry, we use a system of modified consensus. So it is a 9/10 majority.

POP: However there needs to be an attempt to address the block before we go to 9/10. Cause we are trying in good faith to reach consensus.

POP: It is very hard for us to hear all the way back here! Therefore would some people up front in the first round if the repeating mic be willing to turn around and repeat?

Did we address the block?


F: Any other blocks?

F: The proposal has PASSED

F: We have one more agenda item left.

F: 3rd item will addressed tomorrow.

17.1.2.  Community Relations Proposal  Justin: Community relations committee: I want to make a proposal to modify quiet hour based on conversations this week and last week with local residents and campers here. They have expressed concern about loud noise in the evenings and are our current time if 11pm for quiet hours. I’d like to propose 2 things: We move quiet hours up to 10pm but allow mic checks until 11pm as well as acoustic music and other quieter activities. We ask the community board to show us support by endorsing our request for an amplified sound permit. That is my proposal.

S: Stack for questions is now open:  Clarifying Questions

POI: City law sets 10pm as quiet time.  Ethan: I just wanted to ask about quiet time. Maybe also spread through the day, so that during the day conversations can coninute to accure in the square.

Response: How we’ve been handling that is that when a group is distracted by sound during the day they usually meet and then move somewhere quiet.
S: NEXT ON STACK  Echo: My questions are to can Friday and Saturday be an exception so that 10pm is Sunday through Thursday, also, can we or have we directly address nearby home owners and home owner associations to reach out to the residents effected.

Response: We’ve now met twice with the local community board which represents residents of this area. This is a very residential neighborhood of mixed income.  I’m wondering why we are talking about applying for any type of government permit.

Response: Decisions like that effect the whole group. Unless everyone agrees to break that rule, that’s not something we would do. Normally we encourage individuals to act autonomously but not on matters that would impact the entire group. If we decided to make sound without a permit that could get us kicked out pretty fast.  I would like to ask a question is it possible seeing that appreciate the drummers role here, especially during the marches, if we could include them in this conversation.

POI: Issues that address the group are addressed at the GA. If you choose not to participate in the GA we can’t help you.

Response: If to be allowed to do anything we decide to ask the authorities for permission.  As someone who was arrested and given a ticket for using a megaphone I never asked permission from anyone but I also understand the importance of partnering with local residence in order to be able to stay here, which is why I propose that we ask them to support us in our request to the police.  Would it be possible in light of everyone hearing each other to address the drummers and request that they join us or play more softly during the GA.

Response: They were playing right there I told them that we were starting a GA and they responded: By moving as far away as possible.

S: CLOSING STACK for questions
S: STACK IS OPEN  Concerns  Being that this agenda point relates to the drum circles, while they are always invited to GA have they been told that this agenda item would be brought tonight?

Response: I’ve just been over before addressing you and told them about the proposal. (so yes)  It seems that this proposal is two separate proposals. Many may accept one and reject the other.

Response: JUST TO CLARIFY as they are two proposals they will be voted on separately.  I have two concerns. Normative times are when people are supposed to sleeping and working. If we want to wait for the state to legitimize this illegal occupation let’s go home now.

Response: Just a brief response: Many of the local residence have spoken in solidarity about what we are doing but they don’t need and we won’t give them any authority over us and they understand that.

I’d like to address concerns about asking for permission. We should pick our battles.

If we have the option of keeping friends we should.


F: WE HAVE CONSENSUS on the first.

F: WE HAVE CONSENSUS on the second.

I just want to thank the GA for helping me and my committee build positive relationships with the local resident.

F: Now we will move on to working group report backs and then announcements.


17.2  Working Group Report Backs

17.2.1.  I’m with sanitation: I wreally need to find JAY. Jay where are you???

17.2.2.  OUTREACH: Alaina: We’ve been working on some FAQs. And also Answers. We are posting a draft in the working groups, Google groups, Google docs folder. We ask for you to look at this draft and offer any comments suggestions or questions by tomorrow afternoon. Ideally we would have hardcopies of this back for Wednesdays march. So please take a look at the draft. We also have hardcopies, for your perusal. And this is a working draft! It is not final. We need your input! Outreach is also wanting to meet with all of you dis discuss setting up outposts in the Outer Burroughs. If you are interested meet after GA at the RED THING.

F: I’d like to announce that working group reports will be kept to 2 minutes. I will be cutting you off at 2 minutes! SO keep it brief.

17.2.3.  Prita: I’m with the people of color working group. We will be meeting on Thursday at 6:30 under the RED THING. We also set up an email address. UNIFIED.OWS@GMAIL.COM We also have a website POCOCCUPYWALLSTREET.TUMBLR.COM We invite all interested persons to come and join our group. We plan on working with the other working groups, like outreach, media and education. So email us if you are part of a working group and want to contact us.
17.2.4.  MEDICAL: STEVE: And medical has a couple minor concerns to share with you. 1. Unless you need medical attention please avoid walking through medical. It gets very congested. 2. When a march is going to leave PLEASE make sure you have medics if we aren’t there and someone gets hurt we can’t help. 3. Please don’t smoke while in medical. We are making all the medics smoke elsewhere. So join them! If you have things in the medical station and you aren’t a medic we’d ask you to move them. So our staff has a place to put our own things so we can get to them quickly if someone needs attention. Last thing! If the people at the smoking table, would not mind, the medical team would really appreciate it if it could be relocated to this area at least at night. For consideration of all people over there.

17.2.5.  FINAL CALL for any working groups that still want to get on stack. Also, to clarify, medical Is over there.
17.2.6.  Political Intellectual Reform: Hi, I’m with PIR. It’s what it sounds like. We are just getting started we meet every day at 6pm by the library. We just had a great meeting. Come and join us! We are also requesting that we have more diversity cause we don’t want it to be a white dudes like me. Thank you!
17.2.7.  SANITATION: Hi! Jordan: Sanitation has a few basic concerns. People are not picking up there trash. Please everyone pick up your own trash. If there is trash around you PICK IT UP! Pigeons are unsanitary. Do not feed them, do not leave food out for them and discourage them from being here. (damn birds). A lot of people are concerned with recycling. We are working on it! That’s about it.

17.2.8.  OUTREACH: Josh: We forgot to announce that after the meeting we hope to have a lot of flyers here at the outreach table for everyone to come take some to distribute back home or anywhere else to get people to the march on Wednesday!

17.2.9.  Informal Working Group: Bike Block: Joe: Just wanted to announce that if you’re interested in riding a bike in support of OWS every Friday we will ride, first we will gather at 7pm the meeting locations I would recommend and have started to publicize are follows: This coming Friday the first Friday of the month at 7pm bikes will gather at union square north. This is first Friday critical mass. And I’m sure the mass will be happy to come down to Liberty Square. Especially if you’re there. Second Friday Williams Berg Bridge. Third Friday 7pm Liberty Square Cirtical Mass under the RED CUBE (THING). If anyone wants to be involved in Bike walk FIND ME (JOE) tonight and give me your contact info. He’ll try to hang out under the RED THING (CUBE).
17.2.10.  FACILITATION: John: We need more facilitators to help with this beautiful process. So if you’re interested or know anyone that is. We have two meetings the first leaves at 4 oclock at the bottom of the park at the circular marble benches and then find the quietest spot. SO BE ON TIME. The second meeting is called introductions to direct democratic process. That is a basic explanation of what goes on here. In this assembly. We want your support. So beautiful people please come and join us. THANK YOU
17.2.11.  SAFER SPACES: Matt: Don’t film me. I want to clarify that is SAFER SPACES! We are working a process to deal with certain individuals that are participating in the Occupation that make people feel unsafe. This could be for histories of snitching, sexual assault, spousle abuse and any number of other things. We have these pink armbands (or tape) if you want to find us. We hope the general assembly will respect the processes that we come up with to deal with individuals that are a threat. Thank you  When do you meet?

Response: We will meet after the GA by the open Philofal truck.

17.2.12.  Quick clarification with FACILITATORS: Direct democratic process meets at 5:30 at the bottom of the park. And stays there.
17.2.13.  LABOR OURTREACH GROUP: Two quick announcements: Tomorrow Tuesday at 4pm at City Hall. DC 37, which is a public employees union is having a rally to protest any possible and imminent lay offs that are happening to mostly teachers. We are asking people to show up. The labor group will also be handing out flyers inviting people at that protest to come back down here. On Wednesday there is community labor march that starts at city hall at 4:30. They are then going to march back down this park. We are also handing out flyers to tell them to come to this park. We are handing out a flyer that lists all the unions that have endorsed us and telling rank and file to ask there unions to endorse as well.



17.3.  Announcements


17.3.1.  Michael: I’m with a coalition of professional coaches who have come together to support and empower all of you. Staring tomorrow we will have an area set up near the comfort station. You can talk to us about issues related to the movement. Developing the vision, how to keep this community peaceful and running smoothly or what your personal role in this movement should be. We’ll be starting tomorrow.  WHAT TIME?

Response: Around 11AM and will continue for days after.

17.3.2.  LUPE: Good evening everyone! I’m a member of the people of color working group. Right now we are working on bringing more people of color participation for people who don’t relate to occupying because this base has been occupying sense 1492 and people of color labor have been exploited sense the beginning of time. So we don’t want to recolonize that occupy. Please find me or Ingrid to part of the working group. GRACIAS.


17.3.3.  ECHO: I hereby declare that each I is WE the we is the whole earth and that this is a sacred event. I was joyous to find an altar in the middle of the drum circle. I would like to see and anyone who would like to join my working group for I and you and you are we to build an alter here as ongoing as more accumulate. Possibly where flowers have been trampled. For those in ear shot and would like to discuss this possibility and make it a reality come join me by the flowers over here. After the GA.

17.3.4.  NAMESTE: JJ: Most people know that two days ago JP Morgan Chase gave the NYPD 4.6 Million Dollars and I feel like we should do something about that.

17.3.5.  STEVE: 1. Consent: Unlike me who only turned down one interview, it was fox news. Not everyone here wants to photographed or video taped, so always ask. Same goes for touching. Not everyone here wants to be touched. So always ask. 2. Pertaining to the mic, wait to repeat until the person is done speaking.

17.3.6.  BEN: Forming a working group. We are making Occupy Wallstreet video game. It will be an online browser game. We have a game designer. We have a game programmer. We need an artist and sound designer and game testers. If anyone wants to help. We need you to. I can’t be here during the day, so after the GA meet me at the far end of the library or email me. This game will be sweet and it will help spread the message and it will instruct people how to participate.

17.3.7.  CARL: I want to propose a working group or rather a virtual discussion about alternate systems of banking. I’m a big believer in the pilitcal principle of show don’t tell, that by creating change…. Best way to create change is to construct a new reality. To change Wall Street by making an alternate financial system. This is no small undertaking, however, it can be done. In Holland. There was a successful bank boycott. And what I’m thinking is we can start movement for people to withdraw their funds from big banks and put them in a new bank. I want to discuss what that new bank should consist of. Please send me an email at CARNE@CARNEROSS.COM. Thank you …I’m particularly interested in hearing from people with financial experience particularly in running banks.

S: We will now be closing stack. Any last announcements?

17.3.8.  I want to remind every working group, to send on informed rep to the coordination meeting tomorrow at 9am. The meeting will be right here. Also, this place needs to get organized in terms of the physical space. For people who want to help plan the space 11pm tonight. 11AM tomorrow.

17.3.9.  Hello everyone, I have lost my voice over the weekend. For those of you I haven’t had the honor of meeting I am Brian. I just want to say one thing in regards to our health. I’ve noticed, not a lot of people drinking water regularly. It is VERY important to stay hydrated!

17.3.10.  HI! DAN: Not to get all conspiracy theory-ish. And I know everyone is being helpful. But when you take baked goods, maybe be careful. We just know that supposedly nice people want to give us treats. I have been informed that majority of the food is cooked by the kitchen staff in a kitchen. NOT THE PIZZA.

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