NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY DAY 31
Meeting Date/Time: 10/17/2011 / 7pm EST
Location: Liberty Plaza
Facilitators (F): Eileen, Marlisa
31.1. Working Group Report Backs
F: Welcome – Eileen. Facilitation meetings are at 4pm.
F: Welcome to the one month anniversary of this movement! Thank you so much for being here tonight! So now to introduce the facilitation team. Co-facilitator: Marlisa. Next we have stack taker, Alice.
Stack (S): Hi, I’m Alice. I will be taking stack. If you would like to get on stack, come to me. I will be practicing a progressive stack. This will ensure that marginalized voices are heard. Thanks. More on stack in a minute.
F: Mic check! Ellie.
Hi I’m Ellie, with an E. I’ll be checking how people are feeling about any decisions that are made tonight.
I’m Ethan, I’ll be keeping time. On minutes, Benedict.
Our interpreter is Dave and Amy. Now a little more about how this process comes together in a conversation of respect. We use a process called consensus. We try to incorporate everybody’s voice without everybody needing to speak. At any time during this meeting, but especially when we’re making decisions, please express how you’re feeling using hand signals. [Review of hand signals]
As vibe checker, I will be checking when we do the temperature check, that there are not lots of people who are on the fence or disagree. If there are lots of people on the fence or who disagree, but we have no actual blocks, it seems that we might still need to review the proposal.
F: To bring it all together, let me tell you what a GA normally looks like. After the intro, we generally have an agenda, which could be proposals or predetermined discussions. When we break that down, we have the proposal that has been brought to us in a timely fashion. While I’m on that: proposals come through working groups, hopefully. Just a suggestion. The sheet for a proposal can be found at Information, and needs to be brought to Facilitation’s 4pm meeting to get worked on and hopefully make it here that night. Sometimes it gets pushed to other nights. So, stack exists because once a proposal is proposed, we have clarifying questions, friendly amendments, and concerns. Each of those topics is open for stack, where anyone can get on the list. We also use stack for the portion called Announcements. If you have an announcement about an event, a march, or something like that (not an opinion), we’ll take stack for that..
F: Tonight’s GA doesn’t have an agenda, so we have a lot more space for announcements. But those come after working group report-backs. Try to use the aisles to come up to Alice, or use your hand to signal her. Try to keep it up to get her or our attention. Thank you.
31.1. Working Group Report Backs
31.1.1. Arts and Culture: Hi I’m Rachel. I have four announcements about different things going on in A&C that you can help with. One is Occupy Halloween. We’re planning some really interesting things that you can learn about at occupyhalloween.org. One thing is we’re making giant puppets for Occupy Halloween at the Halloween Parade. We are still looking for donations and for help on our kick-starter. To help us, email email@example.com. You can also follow us at Twitter at @power2thepuppets. There is an artistic group called Pulse that is forming a base of information and musical storage and supplies (like strings for your guitar or a head for your drum). We are working on a proposal for financial support to increase the organization and flow of Pulse. To join or help, call Eli at 347-759-4353.Third, this is a big call-out for anyone who has access to art or exhibition space for the ongoing Occupy Wall Street Exhibition. If that’s you, email Michael.Walery@gmail.com. Fourth, we are making a flow chart version of the declaration of the Occupation of New York City. We want this to be an image that embodies our grievances without oversimplifying them. We want to make sure that this image is considered by many people before we print a lot of copies of it. If you want to help us edit it, or if you have access to silk screen or printing facilities, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much.
F: Mic check! We have a request for two iterations. That means a lot of us are in the back and can’t hear everybody else. So instead of going two mics, I’d like to try first asking everybody to sit down. Everywhere. And we’ll try to really project to each other. And if that doesn’t work, we’ll go two generations. It’s just a little longer.
F: There’s one more announcement from A&C. We also have an A&C kiosk on the ground here for hard copies of suggestions for A&C. But I don’t know where it is, who knows.
F: Mic check! Can we have a few volunteers to act as human mics around the edges of the crowd so that everyone can hear? And for everyone in the front to stay seated. Thank you. Also, we normally keep report-backs concise and sweet because agenda items and proposals can take a lot of time. Tonight we’re not. We don’t have an agenda item so we’re letting people speak. Just so you know how it goes.
F: The next working group report back is Visions And Goals.
31.1.2. Hi I’m Mel, Hi I’m Ketchup. We are from the Visions & Goals Document Group. We are an exciting new group, and our goal is to continue collecting, refining, coordinating, and working toward publishing the outline for Liberty Plaza’s vision and goals. The document we’re working towards will be released only with the consensus of the GA. This document already has the input of over 200 people. We are meeting tomorrow over by the Red Cube at 12pm to craft a statement explaining the process by which we will beautifully and creatively reflect the goals and vision of this group. We will also be discussing potentially a proposal that working groups for this movement need to follow consensus process as discussed by the GA for the GAs. One more thing: the statement we’re working on about the larger document we’re working on will be proposed at tomorrow night’s GA. To get input on this statement, meet at 12 at the red cube. Now Ketchup will also give a working group report back for Divine Feminine.
31.1.3. I have a schedule that has on it the meeting times for three groups. One is the Divine Feminine Discussion Group. We’ll be meeting tonight at 10pm by the Cube. It’s an open discussion group for female-bodied and female-identified individuals. Also on the schedule are meeting times for Women Occupy Wall Street (WOW), the women’s caucus. Also for the Speakeasy Caucus which is open to both male-bodied and female-bodied individuals for the purpose of discussion for how to make this community a safe space for everyone to have their voices heard truly equally. These schedules I have a few (there’s like 800 at Info).
F: So I’m going to check, how’s that back group, can you hear us? Vibe check!
Point of Process (PoP) here was not to tell you guys how you’re feeling. I hear that point, I’ll watch it. My bad. Also he suggested we slow down the momentum so we can all check in and see how you really feel before you report back to us.
S: Any more working groups that have things to share that haven’t gotten on stack slowly make your way up.
S: The next working group report is Alternative Currency. I don’t know where they are. Alternative Currency.
31.1.4. Sage from Lost and Found: Hey everybody, we don’t have a Lost & Found, I’ll actually be representing Thieves Work Group tonight! We’re really grateful for your feelings of safety. That’s helped us out a lot. We know that a lot of people here support wealth redistribution. We’ve been doing this a long time, we appreciate your participation. We also like Security, making you people feel secure. Whatever you do, don’t tell people about Thieves’ work group, we’ll take care of that.
31.1.5. Hi I’m Sage, I’m here to represent Religious Support Group for ancient religious, philosophical, and chemical affiliation. I’m also here to represent gluten free breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you have a sensitive stomach, and are afraid of contamination, please see me. I will take you to breakfast, lunch and dinner, or give you a Whole Foods gift card and send you on your way. I’m all over the place, but you can check in with Info to find out where I am locally.
S: The next working group report back is from Think Tank.
Mic check, my name is Audrey! I’m kind of confused about the first announcement that the previous gentleman made about the Thieves working group. I couldn’t tell if it was a joke or if he was serious about there needing to be some kind of clarity around things being stolen. Could we ask Sage if he’s joking or not. Sage? Question: are you joking or not? -Those work groups definitely exist. It’s important that you love them and not think they are crazy, because they work very hard.
F: We’re going to move on.
31.1.6. Hi everyone, my name’s Elana. The Think Tank is a group that collects your ideas and solutions, and organizes them. The Think Tank connects people that are passionate about the same solutions. We host discussions every day from 12 to 6. Look for our table in the middle of the square, with the big sign. You can also email your ideas to email@example.com. Our announcement is if you organize a teach-in, you should email the notes from the teach-in to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you organize a working group that’s focused on solutions, you should also email the notes to email@example.com. This will help us collect all your brilliant ideas. Thank you very much.
S: Before I announce the next working group, I just want to let you know…[indistinct]…
31.1.7. Nonviolent communication: Our vision is coming together… There are many good ideas, and some confrontations might happen because of getting too overly excited. If you want to get some skills to deal with conflict peacefully and patiently, to get your good ideas across, you might stop in tomorrow to a class given at 60 Wall Street, on nonviolent communication skills. The time is 10:30 am sharp! Tomorrow! Thank you.
31.1.8. Lightsource: Yesterday after the GA we had our first meeting for Lightsource. Lightsource is a low-profit company of the revolution. Our mission is to unite tools to make sure life on Earth flourishes. Our first project is a massively multi-person real life game. People’s powers in the game are based on what they’ve contributed to the movement and the local community. If you’d like to find out more, I’ll be meeting by the red cube after the GA. Thank you.
S: Next up: Medical.
31.1.9. Hi everybody, my name is Steve! Medical would like to thank you. Our first month has been pretty safe. We would also like to thank you for bearing with us during our move. Thank you. As you may have noticed, it’s starting to get cold again. We just want to remind you to try and keep warm. Stop by if you’re feeling sick, or sad, or just want to talk. We’re here for you. Thank you.
Question: where has Medical moved to?
Response: We moved about 10 feet that way. We are up against the plants by the sidewalk. We have a big green tent with red x’s all over it. You’ll see us.
31.1.9. Minutes: Hi, I’m Stephanie from the newly-formed Minutes working group. There are only two people in this group, and that’s a lot of responsibility for taking all the minutes for all these General Assemblies. If you can type, please help us! We only need you to commit to one night a week! Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: Why were there a few days where the minutes weren’t posted?
Response: There are only two of us. If someone can’t show up for a meeting, we miss that day. That’s why we need help.
31.1.10. Alternative Currency: I’m Dan, and ever since we put our eye into a telescope, we felt we were very small, so we got insecure. So we used our money to make big tall buildings inside of cities, where we could not see the stars. Next Monday we are having a meeting all day to discuss money, where we can see the stars again. At Charlotte’s Place. (109 Greenwich St.)
F: How are you guys feeling? Cold!
S: There’s actually two more working group reports. Next is Media.
31.1.11. Media: To be a part of Media, to pool resources and footage, visit the nycga.net media committee page. There’s a link to a Google Doc where you can put your suggestions for documentaries or things you want to shoot. Then people with the technical skills can sign up to help execute. There will also be a signup and suggestion sheet at Info, and I think there should be one for every working group. We need an interface to replace this Google Doc that’s more fun and self-interfacing to help these ideas and suggestions rise to the top, so if you can help with this, go to nycga.net. We’re also going to be proposing a “coat check”, a revamping of security. We’re soon going to be proposing break-out session on the GA for everyone to brainstorm how to more effectively spread everyone’s message of solidarity.
Clarifying question: What if I have footage that I want to donate? -Go to nycga.net, contact the emails there, and we’re days away, if not hours away, from being able to accept footage here at Zuccotti and offsite locations. For now reach out to the emails on the media page of nycga.net.
S: The last working group report-back is Livestream. Where are you?
31.1.12. Mic check! I’m Luke! Livestream is a sub-group within Media. Say hi to the camera, there are people watching. We need some help. If you are skilled in Media production, or you would like to learn, please be a part of our team. The easiest way is to come see me with some contact info and we’ll get you plugged in. I’ll be right there by the camera.
F: Okay, now we’re moving to Announcements. If you want to make an announcement, come get on stack by coming back around. Let me clarify, Announcements are important, but still, they’re not opinions, or your personal important thoughts; they’re more about information, like marches, rallies, safety issues, working groups starting up, ways to have communication and conversations like this, etc. Soapbox – that’s opinions, and the passion behind them, and the expression in you, and it happens here, every night after GA!! It doesn’t have a time limit – as long as you can get people to listen to you and do the people’s mic, it’s your soapbox. Now to important Announcements.
F: Please use small parts of sentences… Thank you for your patience, you’re really beautiful and I know it’s chilly.
31.2.1. First Announcement from Brian. Hello I’m from Security. I believe that we all need to police our own. I just confiscated an entire stash of alcohol. This is the kind of stuff that could get us kicked out of this park. That’s my announcement.
31.2.2. Christina. I would like to announce the 16th National Day of Protest to stop police brutality. We will be marching on Saturday Oct 22, beginning at 2pm at Union Square. At 2 pm there, there will be a teach-in and a rally, and then a march. Please do not misunderstand this movement. We do not promote violence in any form. Some people think because we are against police brutality, somehow we promote violence during our marches. This cannot be further from the truth. This is a peaceful protest against police violence in our communities and also this community.
31.2.3. I’m Christina, I will be speaking that day and I would like to invite you all to join us there. At about 11 Am, since we always start late, I would like to meet here to make signs for the rally, and then whoever wants to join us for our march uptown to Union Square, we will be leaving here at about 12PM. I hope you guys can all come. Thank you.
S: Next from Lamont.
31.2.4. Mic check, mic check, My name is Lamont Oyewale, I’m a member of the Malcolm X grassroots movement and also an organizer for Picture the Homeless. We believe in housing and not wear-housing. The shelter system is not sustainable. It’s not humane. If you are homeless and you want to get involved, we have civil rights meetings on Tuesdays at 2PM and housing meetings on Thursdays at 6pm. Our address is 2427 Morris Avenue off of Fordham Road in the Bronx. Take the 4 train to Fordham. If you’re homeless and you want to get involved, I’ll be standing by the halal truck with more information. Thank you.
Clarifying question: can you help if you’re not homeless?? -You can volunteer, so talk to me about coming to a campaign meeting.
F: There’s a little more space up here, so if the people back there can’t hear, please come forward. It will make the conversation a little more intimate.
S: Next announcement from Harry.
31.2.5. It is a pleasure to address the GA. We have established an Article V working group. Article V of the US Constitution allows citizens to bypass the Congress and pass amendments including a democracy amendment that will put the majority of citizens in charge of approving all legislation, all executive orders, and all judicial decisions that impact the majority. It’s called democracy! This movement is the tip of the spear of this amendment. We can accomplish this and the bankers won’t be laughing, because we’re coming after them legally, by the organization you have created here. Consider this a constitutional convention! Thank you. Cheers We are here every day, over by the posters at the top of the steps next to the Big Red thing. Please come and help. Thank you. much applause
Question: What time?
Response: From noon till we leave.
Next announcement from Thomas with the Sanitation working group.
31.2.6. Hello! Mic check! Good evening! I would like to thank you for helping keep this park clean! But, we are still having a problem with Sanitation, specifically in the morning and at night. We are all still Sanitation. We must remember to always do our best to all be a part of Sanitation. If you see something dirty, if you see something on the floor, please pick it up, please clean it up. Remember, first appearance is everything. Sanitation needs your help. We must stick together! Yes we defeated Bloomberg, but it is not over. They are looking for an excuse to throw us out of the park. Give them no reason! Stay clean, stay sanitized, stay unified, stay together! Thank you! Cheers.
We have a question! Mic check: Please don’t forget to recycle! Let’s reduce the garbage going into the landfills! It’s going to help our planet, and we have recycling here, so help us out and recycle: paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, and glass. Thank you.
PoP: That was not a clarifying question, that was not even a question. If you have an announcement, please get on stack. If you have a point of Information, use the Information hand signal.
31.2.7. But since it’s out, can you tell us where the bins to recycle are? There are bins next to many garbage cans, but the central recycling station is over the north side of Kitchen where the new sustainability table is located. It’s been there for a couple days or even a week, so please keep your eye out for the main recycling station, over there! Thank you.
31.2.8. Community Relations: We have an emerging and urgent situation where our good neighbor policy is under scrutiny. So I want to remind everybody, if you have not read the good neighbor policy, please pick up a copy of this, and please in addition to the amazing Sanitation presentation, do not pee or poop in public doorways! I cannot emphasize how emergent and urgent this situation is! We are under major attack from city council people and the community board. It’s going to take everybody to watch noise and sanitation. Thank you.
Question: Where is the information?
Response: I believe that these are at the Info desk.
Why are there no porta potties?
Point of Process: that is not about this announcement. [murmurs… why isn't it?]
The next announcement is from Occupy Central Park.
31.2.9. Happy 1 month anniversary everyone! We have grown, that is clear. What’s happening right now, a lot of people who want to be here with us can’t be here. They feel very intimidated by the amount of awesome people that are right here. That also a lot of chaos when we try to get things done. People are wondering what’s our next step, where are we going? That is why on 11/11/11, the global day of solidarity, we are planning a three day gathering in Central Park. If people are wondering, that is illegal, we are not allowed to camp there – we have an answer. We are the people, Central Park is our park, and we have the right to gather there. We want to see people from all across the world come together in place that can accommodate all of us for one weekend, so we can build community with each other. Some people want to start teaching people about self-sustainability. The only reason we hate Wall Street is because we depend on it. We don’t have to depend on it, we can be our own government. So on 11/11/11, everyone be at Central Park. Start telling everyone about this. If you want to join, go to occupycentralpark.org. Friday on 11/11/11, the global day of solidarity, where nobody goes to work and gathers in the park, everywhere, globally, all day.
Clarifying question: What part of Central Park? -We are designing a new map of Central Park. For right now we are planning on meeting by the band shell (72nd), but we are hoping that there will be so many people that we will meet everywhere in Central Park.
F: I just want you to know that this is a little different from how things normally go because the agenda took a break tonight. We don’t normally take a lot of clarifying questions, we find each other. We try to keep things tight. But that being said,
31.2.10. I’m Amanda. I’m with 1199, the Health Care Workers Union. Tomorrow we are having an action because nursing home workers in NJ have been fired for forming a union, and in Connecticut have been fired and re-hired for forming a union at the same nursing home chain, Care One. We are having an action because Daniel Strauss, their very rich CEO, is buying buildings from the Wiki museum for $95 million. He is trying to get development rights for luxury condos on the Upper East Side. Tomorrow we will have a street action. We will come here at noon with our theatre troop. Please join us. We will march to 1 Center Street to greet Daniel Strauss. Thank you.
S: Next announcement from Goldie.
31.2.11. Hi, I’m from Direct Action! There’s a pipeline for fracked gas being built right now in the West Village. Anyway, we can stop this. We have a few direct actions planned this week culminating with a march on Thursday from here. Jay’s taking it. Tomorrow at noon we draw attention to the pipeline by staging a roaming die-in starting at Washington Square Park by the fountain. And Thursday by decision of Direct Action we march to the pipeline hearing to ensure democracy. Starting here at 5pm. For more information about fracking or about the pipeline, see me over at the environmental table over there. Thank you very much. (or the Info desk.) Thank you very much. I’ll be here for the next hour, hour and a half.
S: Next announcement from Ben.
31.2.12. Hi everybody, I am a member of the steering committee of an organization called People’s Music network for songs of freedom and struggle. We came to consensus last week to officially endorse Occupation Wall Street! People’s Music Network was born out of the occupation of the Seabrook Nuclear Power Plant by Clamshell Alliance in the 70′s.
F: Hi everybody! Lots of space down in the front, so why don’t we all stand up, stretch a little bit, take a few steps forward, and then sit down again.
31.2.13. Hi I’m Paul Powell. I was here all night last Thursday night. Hi I’m Erica, I cleaned Thursday night. On Thursday October 14th, Mayor Bloomberg and Brookfield Realty instructed the NYPD to evict us from the park under the ruse of cleaning it. A dangerous confrontation was avoided when Manhattan Borough president Scott Stringer intervened in support of OWS. Mr Stringer is an elected official who stood up for our efforts for our First Amendment freedoms, against the mayor and Brookfield. If anyone wants to thank Mr. Stringer, dial 311.
S: Next announcement is from Craig.
31.2.14. My name is Craig. I would just like to announce that I will be starting a queer caucus. This is an open group for anyone, regardless of sexual orientation. It is about education, it is about empowerment, it is about inclusion. If you’re interested in joining, our first meeting will be Wednesday night at 9pm at the Red Cube across the street. Also, Friday and Sunday at 9pm at the Cube. One final thing, rule by a majority means that there is an oppression of a minority. Please remember that. Thank you.
S: The next announcement is from Hobby.
31.2.15. Hi from Berkley California! Imagine secondary school students all over the country considering and debating the same choices as the GA and the working groups here, in their own classrooms and student groups. As soon as the issues come here, it can happen. We met today and have a plan. I’ll pass out the draft of the plan in an hour at the Info table. Please join us for a session on moving to bring this plan into action, tomorrow at 10AM at the orange sculpture. Thank you.
S: Next up: Mark.
31.2.16. Hey, I’m Mark. Good news. Last week I wrote to the author of a book I find personally very inspiring, and told him that we are all here, trying to fight against some pretty big enemies. The book is called Philosopher’s Notes and it summarizes and synthesizes ideas from philosophy, positive psychology, and it’s pretty cool. I asked for one book for the library, and he sent me 40! If you want a free book, come here after the GA I’ll be at the red thing. Thank you.
S: Next is Kelly.
31.2.17. Hi I’m Kelly. I had a great impromptu conversation on the subway last night. There’s a man named Kevin, he organizes weekly events at the PIT. He wants people from OWS to start participating in these events. I have his contact info if you’re interested. And if you’ve maybe been here for a little while, meet me over here after GA. Real quick, GAs are also happening at Washington Square Park at 5:30 pm every night this week until Monday.
Clarifying comment: PIT is People’s Improv Theater!
S: Next announcement: from Ellie
31.2.18. Hi. There is a woman’s sleeping space in front of the thing on Cedar St side of the park. We usually have a sign. It was created to address a problem that women who were new here felt intimidated sleeping next to people, men specifically, that they didn’t know. I would encourage you all, if you’re not feeling safe in this space, and don’t identify as a woman, to potentially create another space, to come and talk to us, because we’re pretty open to different ideas.
S: Next announcement: Kevin
31.2.19. I’m working on a public database of police officer profiles. We want accountability of our public servants. We need photographers. If you can help, I’ll be at the red cube after the GA. Thank you.
Is there a Brian who wanted to make an announcement? No? OK… Giana. No? Okay.
31.2.20. I have an announcement, it’s the last announcement. On October 21st, there’s a National Day to Stop Stop & Frisk. This is when police illegally stop people. It’s mostly black and latino youth. On Friday, people are walking out and going to Harlem to the Federal Building at 125th. If you want to stand with our brothers and sisters that face this, I’m starting a working group to build for this. We’ll meet right there every day after GA till Friday.
F: Okay… there were tonight a lot of people who wanted to say a lot of things about how we can make a better world. This is very good, and good for Soapbox. So stick around after the meeting for that!
F: Just one or two more things: our friend Dick lost his phone. We can help! He’s going to describe it to you. I know you’ll find it and get it back to him.
Hi I’m Dick. I came here Sunday. Yesterday I lost my phone – Ikea, a blackberry knockoff. Somebody called from my phone on Sunday morning to a friend of mine, in the contacts, so I know someone has my phone. They said it would be at the Info table, or maybe they were at the Info table. It’s not there, so I’m hoping we can help solve that. If it gets found, Info table.
F: To end this meeting I want to thank everyone. You’re all amazing for being a part of this direct democracy. If you’re new here, please get involved! If you want to join a working group, you can find information about all different kinds of working groups at the Info table and online at nycga.cc. You can also ask the people around you. That’s what we’re here for. We’re trying to build this thing together! Thank you all.
F: Thank you all, I appreciate you letting me be part of the service. Now it’s time for Soapbox. We won’t facilitate so it’s up to you all to mic for each other, to speak to each other, and hopefully to listen to each other. Goodnight!