NYCGA Minutes 10/11/2011

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.


Meeting Date/Time: 10/11/2011 / 9pm EST

Location: Liberty Plaza

Facilitators (F): Amanda, Mike


F: Want to facilitate? 4pm, west tree

F: Blocks are *VERY* serious. Only use if you have an ethical or safety concern re: a proposal. Modified Consensus = 90/100. Stack-taker puts you on a list and call on you. Progressive stack = under-represented voices step up. #OccupyAdvice: Keep your statements on #PeoplesMic SHORT (3-8 words).



25.1.  Agenda Items

25.2.  Working Group Report Backs

25.3.  Announcements

25.1.  Agenda Items

25.1.1.  Finance Proposal  Proposal: $2,179 budget to buy safes, money boxes, a laptop, a tablet, and a cash counter. All are necessary for finance to be able to work effectively for the group. We understand there have been many issues with transparency. We’re working on it. The issue is there is not yet a direct line of communication between finance and all the other working groups. So, we first need infrastructure to be able to build finance up, to be able to make it accountable and transparent for the entirety of the movement.  Clarifying Questions  No laptop?

Response: No.  With all the resources, how do you not have a laptop?
Response: Any expense over $100 must first be passed through the GA. So in compliance with the system, we are asking for the money to make finance transparent. The other reason is to provide a template for other groups to put forth their budgets. People just don’t know process to get dinero.  Will finance committee have a website everyone can go to?
Response: We have a tally in Google Docs for each night, going back a week. There are a few revenue streams. We are compiling them. Who’s the GA. You are! Yes, to get $100+, bring a proposal to GA.  Does every dept. have a point person, a go-to name to talk among each other – be it finance, organization, or disputes?
Response: We understand there are concerns re: transparency. That is a legitimate question. We would like to answer that but we will ask finance to clarify during report-backs. For now, we would like to reach a consensus re: this proposal.

F: Temp check on proposal. Lots of spirit fingers. CONSENSUS! YOU KNOW YOU LOVE IT!

25.1.2.  Structure and Organization Discussion  Ketchup: we are going to break the GA into smaller discussion groups. Topic: Structure & Organization, decision-making, finance, accountability. No decisions, just feedback.  Clarifying Questions  Any way for a new-comer (#NewOccupier) to get involved in a group?
Response: Join any group, and contribute your expertise  What do you mean by structure?
Response: The way the working groups, facilitation, etc, work
F: Welcome back from Spokes Council! *NEW* Dial-in to 646-666-3328 to listen to GA LIVE! Would the ConEd jackhammer kindly wait until our meeting is over? Mics project to the people behind you! Would someone over there mind projecting that way? Thank you!
F: Mic check mic check! Can anyone not hear me? I will type everything so you can hear!  Group Feedback  Hi, I’m Owen! The first thing that our group talked about was the physical space of this park. This is our living space. It is also our working space. We would like to tighten things up to make the space more accessible and useful. Second, it was our feeling that new people feel excluded. WE would like to develop ways for people to come here for the very first time and feel included and involved. Thank you!

Stack (S): Next on stack, Lex. On deck: Tasha.  Good evening all! I am Lex. I am privileged to be here. THe first matter our group addressed was the horizontal structure we wish to achieve. We think no one group of occupiers can… ought to be elevated over others. Furthermore, we were provided with a sociocracy template, which we are giving at the info desk at the end of the meeting. Please prepare yourself of one. Info is currency. All of the working groups should have computers to communicate effectively. Finance should make this their priority. A spokesperson system which employs a biological structure is what we are after. There can be many specific goals that each working group realizes. Thank you!

F: This is Jez! He is working with the structure working group. He is taking notes! If you want to continue talking about this after, or get involved, talk to him. Thank you!

F: Mic check. May I suggest all working groups making announcements first announce what working group they are with, so we understand what they’re talking about.

Point of Process (PoP): We understand everyone wants info about working groups. Report backs are going to follow this discussion.

S: Next on stack, Tasha. On deck: William.  Hi everybody! Ok, we discussed that all working groups must be made more accessible. In order to do this, all of them must have an email address. Also, there must be a white board located at info that has the updated email addresses and weekly schedules of meetings all the time. Also, this information should be updated on a collective location online. We also discussed trying to convince all working groups to post minutes online.

F: Mic check. This is a general assembly. It is big, and we want to respect everyone. So if you could smoke outside of this group, that would be appreciated.

S: Mic check. Next on stack: William. On deck: Chuck  Hello, My name is William. It is an honor to speak to you. In general, our group likes the way the rules of order have evolved. Louder! We have two suggestions. And of course it’s about the working groups. We would like easier access to information about the working groups. A possible suggestion would be a dedicated webpage. The second suggestion, a better way to identify those taking a more active role in the working groups. A possible solution: colored clothing for each of the groups. That way, those without internet access or phones or technology can identify those who can help us the most. One final thing: as a favor to one of our members, whose asked that we find some way to include more Latinos in their involvement in our community. Thank you very much!

S: Next on stack, Chuck. On deck: Samantha.  Hi! I’m CHuck! From New Jersey. Our group likes the structure of the GA. But! We have a few suggestions. #1 There should be an orientation for new visitors to the GA. #2 Expand the information desk to answer general questions about the movement for visitors and newcomers. #3 Make the park more inviting for visitors. Thank you!

Point of Information (PoI): Although it is not considered an orientation, at 5:30PM you can learn process at Intro to Facilitation down slope of the park by the tree with the benches.

S: Next on stack: Samantha. On deck: Dan.  Hi I’m Samantha! Our group felt that daily report backs are really important. There should be a report back from each group at each GA, or at least recognition that that group is absent that night. These report backs should include information about new involvement. For example, our new volunteers meeting. In what capacity are they meeting? What time to they meet etc. It’s better to err on the side of honesty about involvement than have someone show up to a meeting that doesn’t exist. The white board at info booth should have info about time and location of meeting eveyr day. We’d also like to pose the question of whether that info should include the contact info of a point person for the WG for that day. Lastly, we feel there should be a brochure/pamphlet handout with concrete practical steps about new involvement. For example, check the white board, contact this person for example.  Our points have already been echoed by many other groups. I will wait a moment. The points that were mentioned included access to working group information. For new working groups that want to form to have a pure idea of how to get started. For people seeking to join groups to have a clearer idea how to join, and for the information booth to be more clearly highlighted on the website as a primary source of information. We also suggest a Wiki that explains the general assembly process and how working groups contribute to it. Thank you again general assembly! One more thing–likewise, as many other groups echoed, we believe the agenda of each working group should be made transparent, either through a document at the info booth or other means. Thank you.

S: Next on stack Eden, on deck: Gabe.

F: Mic check. About the translations on the website of the official statement of occupation, except for Spanish, nothing else works. There should be a translation working group.
PoI: It’s coming/developing. There is a translation working group. If you want to get on the email, I’ll try to get the email to info tomorrow.

F: When GA meets, it’s hard to hear if you’re not close the activity going on outside the circle of general assembly makes noise. Maybe only during GA, the only thing that happens is general assembly. I’m done.

S: Next on stack: Dave. On deck, Jack.  Mic check–I’m Dave. We discussed a few things, most of which we’ve heard from other groups. But I’m gonna repeat them anyway! The number one concern is that there are many of us here now, and some of the confusion may be inherent. Especially with a horizontal process we are implementing. There was discussion of improving communication between the working groups, possibly through email. We have easily outgrown our space, ultimately a solution that was suggested may be to have a number of people, possibly 200-300, set out and lay down roots in other areas of the city. It was also presented that these people may have to be willing to be arrested. Finally, the importance of how we solve these challenges was discussed as we are aware, and we are being watched by all the other occupations in other cities and much of what we adapt will also be adapted at the other locals.

S: Next on stack, Jeff.  Namaste! WE have a series of suggestions. First of all to form a spokescouncil that would be comprised of spokes people from each working group. This spokes council could be empowered to make some financial decisions. Next, we support a central bulletin board both physically and online to centralize communication and minutes of the working groups.
Next: we support shorter report backs in GA, which would be achieved by posting proposals and minutes before the meeting. Next: We consider mapping out physical space and considering restructuring physical space. Next: form a working group to study other democratic structures throughout history, such as in SPain and Athenian democracy. Also to create liaisons to other Occupy movements in other cities. Thank you!

PoI: We are currently working on networking all occupations! And we already have a structure working group. THey’re taking notes now.

PoI: The think tank WG would be excited to post research and discussion on these exact topics.

F: This is the end of our discussion. We’re gonna move on to WG report backs.

25.2.  Working Group Report Backs

F: Working groups–if you would like to get on stack, come talk to Dori. Mic check, if you are trying to get on stack to give a Working Group Report Back, go to the front and talk to Dori or line up by the front. Other announcements will follow after.

S: First on stack, People of Color working group and Women Occupy Wall Street. On deck: Community Outreach.

25.2.1.  Hi! I’m Rena. The People of COlor working group is meeting tomorrow night at 6:30PM under the red thingy. So please join us if this is a group that concerns you.

25.2.2.  There’s a new group! Called Women Occupying Wall Street, or WOW. We will be meeting tomorrow night at 9:30 at the Cube. This is a women-only group. Please, women join us, it’s very important. The safer space group that is a part of the women’s group has designated a safe sleeping space right over there near the donut stand. This space is for women to sleep tonight and every subsequent night. It is a safe space for women, and right next to that we are open to gay/lesbian/or transgender people.

PoI: This afternoon, a group from Occupy Wall STreet in espanol met at the red cube and were informed that they could not have meetings in that area. My suggestion to be safe, speak again with your group and get another location. Thank you.

S: Next on stack: Community outreach, on deck: direct action.

25.2.3.  Hi! I’m so happy to see you all here! My name is Melina from Community OUtreach. Right now we are trying to emphasize outreach to the subways, and so from today to next week, we would like to gather as many of you to bring our voices out to the greater city, to the burrows, to our neighborhoods, as possible. SO if you are interested at the outreach desk, there is a piece of paper to put your information, and someone can be in contact with you. Thank you!

S: Next on stack: Direct Action. on deck: Medical.

25.2.4.  I’m Christine from Direct Action. We have three items to report: first, direct action will no longer facilitate the daily march at noon. We will still facilitate the daily march at 5:30. Second, we have established a subcommittee to facilitate future marches. WE need more volunteers to keep marches powerful and safe. Third, this Saturday the 15th is going to be a big day for actions. We encourage you to make small affinity groups of people you trust and plan creative actions. If you put together a well thought out action, send us a delegate so we can support you. We meet Sun-Fri at 2PM at the red thingy and move to a new location. Thank you!

S: Next on stack, Medical. On deck: Trade Justice

25.2.5.  Hi everybody! My name is Steve. Medical is working on a whole bunch of things to keep everyone healthy so we can do this FOREVER. However, as I’m sure you’ve heard it’s about to get really wet. Our doctors are concerned for all of you. So anyone who has any umbrellas, or tarps, or ponchos, or if you can get the giant umbrellas like they use at media, the more of those things we can get here, The longer we can stay dry, and the less likely we are to get sick! So reach out to your friends and neighbors, and get as many of those things that you can, have your neighbors bring them down and stay a couple nights. Thank you!

F: Mic check. We know that report backs are really important. So we would like you to try to keep them to one minute. Thank you!

S: Next on stack, Trade justice working group. On deck: OWS in Español.

25.2.6.  Hi, I’m from Trade Justice! Tomorrow Congress will be voting on three new free trade agreements, with Columbia, Panama, and South Korea. Like NAFTA, these agreements will export jobs while destroying local economies and the environment in many parts of the world. Tomorrow at 9AM, we will be going to Rep Caroline Maloney’s office to let her know we oppose these deals. She is on the fence, so it is very important that we let her know our opinions. Meet there at 9Am at 93rd st and 3rd ave. Or here under the red thing at 8:15AM.

F: Report backs are primarily for reporting back from something done before today. If there is something coming, please save it for announcements. But feel free to add at the end of a report back, meeting space and time.

S: Next on stack, OWS en Español. On deck, Principals of Solidarity consolidation.

F: Mic check. I would like to apologize for being so confusing. Report backs should involve what led up to future actions. Feel free to make an announcement as part of a WG. But please, remain concise and explain briefly what led to this action. Mic check.

25.2.7.  My name is Hector, I’m from OWS en Español. Sunday we met briefly under the cube, and we had a pretty good sized crowd. Then we find out that we do not have a general meeting tomorrow. Therefore, I find it important to let folks know that we do not have a location as of yet. I wanted to bring this to the general assembly and ask you if we can hold our meeting in this area from 5-6:30. The reason I ask for that, I am not sure what the size of the crowd will be. It has been massive outreach, the media has been cooperating with the Latinos, and I don’t know where to place this meeting. I will say that in Spanish. Mi nombre es Hector, estoy de OWS Español … (sorry/lo siento!) Que si nos dan la autoridad para hacerlo aquí en esta área.

F: Can we do a vibes check? Vibes check lets everybody know how we’re all feeling! Thank you!

S: Next on stack, Principals of solidarity consolidation, on deck: facilitation.

25.2.8.  Hi I’m Kelly from PSC. We’re still working on it! The document has been posted as a Google doc online, and our group has grown, hopefully we’ll have a meeting soon. I will let you know when, and hopefully we will also have an email address. Stay with us, we’re working on it really hard!

F: We are now closing stack. If you would like to get on stack for a WG report back please come up now, then we are closing for good.

S: Next on stack: Facilitation. ON deck: media.

25.2.9.  Hey everybody! Who’s new tonight! (many hands) Welcome! If you want to learn more about this process, come back tomorrow at 5:30PM, go to the bottom of the park to the statue of the man with the briefcase. There we will have Intro to Direct Democratic Process. Also at 4PM, the facilitation WG meeting is at Charlotte’s Place, 109 Greenwich ST. Two, tomorrow at 9PM at 16 Beaver on the 4th floor, there will be a WG coordination meeting. This is for people with or without jobs who couldn’t make the 9AM working group coordination meeting. This is especially for people from Outreach, PR, Media, People of Color Caucus, Queer Caucus, or people who stay up too late to come to these meetings. I want to shoot out an apology to the women’s caucus whose time conflicts with this caucus. We’ll get you all in the next two days, I promise.

S: Next on stack: Media. On deck, Comfort.

25.2.10.  Hi! Dave from media. Today we talked about a few things dealing with livestream. They are separate global revolutions. Livestream, and the NY livestream are now two separate things. But we still work together. WE hope to have sixty cities on the global revolution livestream. Also, we talked about financial stuff. And we decided to fast track a new things that we really need for the Oct 15th march so we can adequately talk to people all around the world. Let me remember what else we talked about. We are still trying to streamline the process of the voting. Also, we talked about having a space for media that has been donated. I can’t remember what else. Oh! Tomorrow at 11 is another meeting, if you’d like to participate, right over here 11AM. Thank you!

S: Next on stack: Comfort. On deck: Minutes WG.

25.2.11.  Hi! I’m Josh with Comfort! Over the next three days you will receive many inches of rain. Prepare yourselves, and keep your belongings dry and talk to comfort. Thank you!

S: Next on stack: Minutes Working Group. ON deck, Human rights.

25.2.12.  Hi, I’m Stephanie from the newly-formed minutes working group. There was a lapse in minutes from October 5 to October 9. We have corrected this now, but if anybody has minutes that they took on their own for those days, please email them to Thank you!

S: Next on stack: Human rights, on deck: Speak Easy caucus.

25.2.13.  I will be speaking for Adeline because she lost her voice. Hi I’m Evelyn from Human Rights. Those who have expressed an interest in joining me as a committed member please meet right after the GA. Thank you!

The question is where Human Rights will meet after the GA.

The women’s group, WOW will still meet at the cube at 9:30 tomorrow night, and if we have to move we will decide to move to another space then.

25.2.14.  The speak easy caucus will meet at the library tonight at 10:30PM. It is for a wide spectrum of individuals from female-bodied people who identify as women to male-bodied people who are not traditionally masculine.

F: This is the end of WG report backs. We now open stack for you to make announcements. Please come over here and line up this way. Don’t forget that we have soapbox after announcements. Please keep your announcements to one minute. Thank you! Mic check! Those who are in line will be added to stack, but we are going to, in consideration of everyone’s time close stack after this. Please use the soapbox after. You will not have a time limit. Announcements are factual information. Thank you!


25.3.  Announcements

Mic check. For anyone who wants to meet at the tree of life for a full moon meditation, full moon is at 10PM.

PoI: We all want to be involved, and that’s great! But that should be reserved for announcements. So if someone would like to make something similar, please get on stack.

S: First on stack, Josh. Mic check.

25.3.1.  Hi, the National Lawyers Guild is providing free attorneys to everyone who has been arrested at Occupy Wall Street. If you’ve been arrested, it is important to contact us at 212-679-6018, or visit us in the park from 5-7PM to fill out an intake form. Tell your friends. Also, sanitation and comfort, and all of us will be having a community clean up party! Friday! Thank you!

25.3.2.  We are planning on 11/11/11 one month from today Occupy Central Park! We are going to have a three day camping trip to get out of this concrete jungle! If you would like to help plan this, meet by the red teepee tomorrow at 3PM. Or search occupy central park on Facebook. Thank you!

S: Next on stack, quilting. On deck …

25.3.3.  Mic check! A group of artists from Brooklyn have gathered donations in order to give away business suits for men and for women, to anyone who wants them, right here. Saturday morning. Bright and early first come first serve. We will have stylists there to help you look professional, I said “professional” Subversive camoflogue because business people only listen to other people if they are dressed to other people if they are given a suit. If you still need your own shoes, shoes are very important. Also if you live nearby and there are suits you want to donate, please bring them to comfort thank you.

S: On deck: Jay.

25.3.4.  Hello, my name is Seth. I’m a comic book artist and with your permission, I will be presenting a slideshow of my comic strips right here after the general assembly. Do I have your support?

PoP: With such a proposal, that should be an agenda item. Because we have do consult with media. Because right now we have minutes for people who couldn’t hear before. But if you talk to media, they’d probably be happy to put it up.

PoP: I already spoke to them, and they’re cool with it.

S: Next on stack, Jay. On deck: Stephanie.

25.3.5.  Hi guys! I’m Jay! As much as I like Zucotti Park, myself, and a few others, hopefully some of you–will go down to Battery park tonight as a trial run for occupying that space! Can I get a temperature check? Not too warm, but I’ll take it. The idea is, there’s more space there, there are bathrooms, there is sunlight there, and it’s in view of the statue of liberty.

From what I heard, this is illegal to camp there. Do you know if …

PoI: By camping at Battery park, you are participating in civil disobedience, and as such are risking arrest. We will be equipped with cameras to hold police accountable.

S: Stephanie on stack, Michael on deck.

25.3.6.  Hello, I’m Stephanie! I also will be holding space for a full moon ceremony with at the tree of life at 10PM. We hope you’ll come. Thank you!

S: Next on stack, Michael. On deck, Austin.

25.3.7.  Constitution working group! We would like to use our state and federal constitutions to end wars and to restrain corporations bansk and politicians. If that appeals to you, please join us tomorrow night at 6PM at Charlotte’s place. That’s 109 Greenwich st.

F: Mic check. If you can, please sit down. Thank you. And help us use the people’s mic. Thank you!

S: Next on stack, Austin. On deck: Kelly.

25.3.8.  Hi everybody, I’m Austin! I’m starting a new working group! It’s called philosophy and ethics. I will be working with great people like you, as well as professors, and other interested people that are already involved. We will be questioning our current process, future movements, and its alignments with our movements political philosophy. If you’re interested in joining, I will be under the red structure, taking down emails, and setting up future meetings. Thank you very much.

S: Next on stack, Kelly. On deck: Ted.

25.3.9.  Hi, I’m Kelly. I have some notes from a guy named Abe who was here at OWS a few weeks ago and has been following, or trying to follow, the movement online. He’s been having a lot of problems following the movement online. He recommends we post minutes of GA each night online, film entire GA, make a YouTube channel for all the GAs and all the occupations… And I have colorful leaves from new England if you want one they’re on this table.

S: Joe, then Ian.

25.3.10.  Hi Everybody! Thanks for being here tonight. Earlier someone requested that there be a Wiki form about procedure and events going on here. I’ve been told a Wiki already exists at If you know of an alternate wiki, please tell me. Thank you!

25.3.11.  My name’s Ian. I’m making an app to help everyone hear! At general assembly. It amplifies my voice through your phone. If you want to try it, call this number. When you hear the rock music, put your phone on speaker phone. 646-666-3328. Everyone else, be quiet. Mic check. If you want to help, message me at twitter @manyspeakers.

S: Next on stack, …

25.3.12.  Hello! I was in DC over the weekend. I have a message from organizers there. the permit On freedom plaza ran out yesterday, but it was extended for another four months! they have food, tents, water, people, something i can’t read, an invitation for everyone here to go visit them in DC, camp out, participate in actions at the freedom plaza group in DC. thank you!

F: We are now done with the general assembly! Thank you for staying with us! Please stay for the soapbox! WE would like to continue hearing your voices.

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