NYCGA Minutes 10/24/2011

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.


Meeting Date/Time: 10/24/2011 / 7pm EST

Location: Liberty Plaza

Facilitators (F): Naiva Star


F: Good evening! We are the facilitating team and we welcome you to this General Assembly on October 24th, 2011.

My name is Naiva Star (?) I will be Co Facilitating.

For our General Assembly we use progressive stack; that means we’ll be prioritizing voices of traditionally marginalized backgrounds. For today’s Assembly we are honored to have someone doing sign language. So please keep this area clear so that those who are hearing impaired can see. Facilitation WG meets every day at 4pm at 60 Wall St. Come visit us. Join us. The General Assembly has three parts. Part One is the agenda. Part 2 is Working Group report backs. (We ask WG report-backs to keep to 2 min.) Part 3 is for announcements. (Please keep it to one min.)

F: We have hand signals we want to teach you. Hands up fingers wiggling means I agree! I feel good!
* hands straight forward, fingers wiggling, means i’m on the fence.
* hands down, fingers wiggling means i disagree, i don’t feel so good.
* this is a C for clarifying questions, i don’t understand. Need clarification. Can’t always call on these, keep it relevant. * one finder is point of information – I have a fact, can clarify.
* hands in a triangle means Point of Process it means that there is something happening right now or that doesn’t comport with the way this process is supposed to go.
* hands turning, get to the point. We understand. You’re using too many words.
* Arms up forming an X, this a block – i have serious moral ethical or safety objections to the proposal being discussed. so when we look for consensus at the end of the discussion, we will ask if anyone blocks – it’s very serious, not if you just don’t like it.



38.1.  Agenda Items

38.2.  Working Group Report Backs

38.3.  Announcements


38.1.  Agenda Items

38.1.1.  Pulse/Direct Action/Community Board Proposal

F: First up on agenda is the drum circle. this is a co-proposal, from the Pulse Working Group, DA direct action and community relations WG.  We met today at the end of the drum circle and came up with a concrete proposal: the Pulse WG would like two, two hour blocks: noon-2pm and 4-6pm. So there has been a lot of animosity between all camps, we want to use this to move things forward so we can continue to build this revolution that’s going on right now.

F: Opening stack for Clarifying Questions. If you have a Clarifying Question please come give your name to the Stack taker. mic check.  Clarifying Questions  I think that the local residents should also be giving their consensus regarding drumming. Just because we think certain things are ok we have to take into consideration those who live in this community… whatever we decide should be proposed to the local community at the community board meeting.”

F: That was a great point, just to clarify…right now we are looking for questions about the proposal for people who don’t understand.

PoI: The community board is meeting tomorrow, if we pass this proposal tonight we can propose to community board tomorrow!  Brandon: As a member of Pulse, I’d like to know more about how Pulse plans to enforce these rules. As a member of many groups and member of Pulse, I feel like some people, or some communities in other words – I think as an individual – that something is wrong…

F: It’s important when we do peoples mic that everyone participate so we ALL CAN HEAR. (agreed!)  Alice What is the current drumming schedule & how was it negotiated (or not) with the community/neighbors?

Response: John from Pulse: Originally we were drumming here ten hrs a day – we were requested to cut it down – to 4 hours – so now we want approval from the community to continue – this is a public park – we can do whatever we want. We want to make noise but we want to respect you – but we want respect too. Drumming pulls people off the street and gets people to hold up signs – we ask you to give us 4 hrs to keep the heartbeat going. The community & the community board dictates the revolution if you let them decide.

F: Just a reminder, we’re still just asking questions to clarify the proposal.

F: Stack is closed for Clarifying Questions.  Anthony – It seems that the drums want to drum a lot. We can’t make anyone do anything – so this is a good faith agreement…?

Response: Pulse: My name is Gene (?) – with Pulse – I am with the drums 24 hrs a day – at night after sessions I run lines through them – drumming hrs are between 12-2 and 4-6 – if you hear drumming at another time, it’s someone else who brought their own drums in to do their own thing.  Linda – I have a Clarifying Question. How is it that one group can claim to be my heartbeat? When I first came here, it was not from the drumming – this revolution is comprised of all of us. No group is more important than the other.

Point of Process (PoP): This only for questions, not statements!

Response: Pulse: We are there to tell people this is not drumming time – enforce it ourselves — make signs with posted drumming hours.

F: Opening stack for concerns. If you have concerns about this proposal – get on stack.  First, David – My concern is about the school across the street from the drums. I believe the issue is that drumming is happening while school is in session – that is a public school – they are the 99% not 1%.

Response: Pulse: The local community board originally asked us to limit drumming to only 11am – 5pm. (During school hours) They must have already considered the issue of the school.  Ashley: The proposal is for 12-2 and 4-6. That’s generally lunchtime, and after school time. Young children don’t go to bed till 7 or 8 – this is a reasonable proposal – I feel that we are scapegoating the drummers – the drilling (from construction) is much louder. And you know the media is making big deal about it. (Our disagreement about the drums, etc.)  Dan: Hi everyone – my concern is that on Saturday – the drumming went till 11pm… Or 10pm…  I have a concern – Why can they not just beat the drums?

F: That is not a concern.

F: We have no one else on stack with concerns at this time – we’d like to move forward for a consensus – do we have any blocks to this proposal – oops – I forgot the process…we will open the stack for friendly amendments.  I would like to suggest that the back area be a performance area – it would be open to all – drummers, singers, etc. This would alleviate some of the noise that people think– poetry is not that loud, so this can take place down there. (On the Broadway side of the park)

When I have watched — and so you know, I can’t stand drumming – But I have seen what type of crowds they bring in – bigger than this General Assembly. Let me mind you – I can’t stand drumming.  Friendly Amendments  Proposed Friendly Amendment: Hannah-I’d like to propose that community relations make a point of reaching out to the school across the street – in the spirit of mediation – ask for their cooperation as well.

Response: Pulse: We’re sorry we didn’t accept or reject the last amendment…. As part of the ongoing negotiations – between the community & the drummers, we are working to be able to share the space for other musical activities – the drummers fully support musical expression and freedom of musical expression.

Gene  I’m with pulse – around 11am a group of kindergartners from the local school came over and started their own drum circle – in the news we hear about schools losing funding for arts in schools.”  Ashley: A friendly amendment – The General Assembly needs to educate themselves on 1st amendment – also consider how much money it brings in – plus, indigenous cultures use drums to protest.

F: That is a suggestion – not an amendment.  Proposed Friendly Amendment: Bernadine: I’ve been paying attention to the drumming the entire time I’ve been here, I’m in communication with someone who lives in the community & is on the community board – this board is considerate – I think you should increase the amount of time on the weekend – this proposal is so way generous.

Response: Pulse: As part of the ongoing negotiations with the drummers – we are working on such a proposal – this proposal is not the “end all be all” of the drumming issue. This is just for right now to repair relations.  Proposed Friendly Amendment: Fred – I would like to propose that the initial drumming period be extended hour – it would still be within the window of time offered by the community.

Response: Pulse: We feel that the drummers are happy — the drummers are making concessions to a four hour schedule – there are many of us who would like to see the drummers drum more – the problem is that we want to show sign of good faith – please support this proposal.  Proposed Friendly Amendment: I feel and I support that four hours is not enough and unfair to ask from the drummers – because the drummers DO bring people here. I agree that hours for the weekends for the drummers should be a little bit longer – because it’s the weekend.  Also to add about negotiations, at 2:20 every day you’re free to join Pulse at their Working Group meeting at 60 Wall Street to continue…

F: At this time we have no more friendly amendments. NO friendly amendments have been accepted – the initial proposal remains – Pulse will restate the proposal and ask for consensus.  Pulse: The pulse Working Group wants 2 two hour drumming blocks 12-2 and 4-6. These guidelines will be posted & enforced by Pulse, direct action, etc. Pulse would also like to be on the agenda this Wednesday to express concerns.

F: Do we have any blocks? May I remind you that a block means that you have moral and/or ethical concerns with this proposal.  No Blocks: Consensus.

(Lots of hands in the air – fingers wiggling. Yay!)

F: Moving forward on the agenda, Next proposal is from SIS Working Group.

38.1.2.  Shipping, Inventory & Storage (SIS) Proposal  Cory: I’m with SIS, which is Shipping, Inventory & Storage – We handle the many many, many boxes that are coming thru from UPS and are in charge of receiving our donations. UPS has been wonderful with their services, however we are growing. We keep growing. So SIS is proposing that we compensate UPS for their efforts and continue good relations with OWS. Currently there is about 50 boxes a day that are received by UPS – this literally destroys this small local business.

So in an effort to compensate them fairly and to continue our good relations we propose a $500 per month agreement with UPS as compensation for their services. Normally for the amount of mail that we are receiving, they want to charge in the upward thousand dollars… however they are working with us because they are in support of the OWS movement.

F: Are there any Clarifying Questions?  Clarifying Questions Kelly – I think you guys are doing a great job – have you had to pay UPS thus far? What is or has been that amount? Will there be a signed document with UPS specifying we be obligated to maintain that contract?

Response: SIS-“The existing deal – initially we purchased a standard P.O. box – that was $40 month. There are fees for corporate P.O. boxes – that’s what we’ve become in terms of inventory… oops I apologize horrendous thing to call us. (Corporate!) A standard corporate P.O. box is $750 month. UPS is not asking for that. Part of the negotiation with UPS is our ability to renegotiate when we drop below 50 boxes a day – which I hope we never do.”  Phil- Is this agreement with UPS incorporated or is it with an independent enterprise?

Response: SIS: This is a negotiation with a small store – UPS would rather they not deal with us – they are a small store with a small staff.  Jesse: – The previous question rendered mine redundant.  Anthony- What happens if we don’t choose to give them $500/month?

Response: SIS: I have a concern about damaging our relationship with UPS – This P.O. Box address, is a highly publicized address – I would prefer we not have to change it – people send things here and we don’t want to change it. UPS has been willing to negotiate – this is the fee – this proposal has already been postponed for over a week – I strongly urge we not put UPS in the position to consider ending our contract…  Kimberly- Some people donate food, some donate clothes, some donate time – I think this is UPS donating time – so I think – or don’t you think that us giving away money that someone isn’t asking for is a little bit too much?

Response: SIS- UPS has asked us for this money. As their donation, they are knocking $250 off the price.  Mike- I was wondering if you considered using the USPS?

Response: SIS- Again, we’re concerned about changing this address that is so widely publicized. If we choose to terminate our relationship with UPS, we’ll just have to negotiate with someone else.

F: Stack for Clarifying Question is closed. Two left.  Stacy- My question is, I was here when this proposal was first proposed and I recall it being said that $500 was the lowest corporate account, because I had asked if that could be negotiated lower… So how come now you’re saying $750 is lowest and that it was negotiated down to $500?

Response: SIS- She’s correct. We tried to renegotiate – then UPS gave us their actual prices – if we drop below 50 boxes, they’ll come down lower – I will submit their price chart to the information desk.

F: No more Clarifying Questions, Open stack for concerns.  Concerns  Concern: Aton– My UPS guy gets a tip from me when he delivers a package… I’m sure he has family depend on that money. Can we compensate individuals who do the actual grunt work?

Response: SIS- Are you speaking of UPS or SIS? Because SIS is compensated with everything here –

38.1.2..3.1.  (Continued) “I meant comp UPS guys.”

Response: Yes this is a means to comp UPS.

F: next on stack  This may be a strange concern but I’m more concerned about the dialogue, why are we stockpiling things when other occupations need them –

Response: SIS STRONGLY AGREES with you! It can be discussed at SIS meetings, but not right now!  Kelly- Sorry to be a pain in the ass. I have a concern about allocating $500 every month which is dependent on us having a certain amount of donated money – I’m skeptical of corporate contracts.

Response: SIS- This is not a corporate contract – it’s a friendly negotiation with the local UPS owner.

Response:  Hi, I’m Casey – I signed for the original mailbox, for the UPS P.O. Box – and under that contract we paid $39 a month for the box and for package delivery. Part of the contract is that they can choose to increase the amount we pay dependent on how many packages we receive – there was no specific amounts, we have increased in packages since then, but there’s been no increase in the amount we pay, I anticipate the next contract will be the same.  Danny-Who will be signing the new contract and how will we insure the bill be paid

Response: Casey- “It will still be in my name.

F: at this time – there are no more people on stack for concerns.

F: We move to friendly amendments – mic check. The human mic has been getting a little quiet – please everyone participate! First, Kimberly.  Friendly Amendments  Proposed Friendly Amendment: Kimberly-You have to be very clear when you come in front of the General Assembly – one person says $39, one says $40. Last week you say $500, this week you say $750… How about we pay $500 every other month – so we can get this thing passed – then you could revisit the monthly fee.

Response: SIS- UPS remains unpaid… The longer we negotiate, the longer the more we risk damaging this very important relationship. We feel it’s a fair proposal – we are damaging the resources of this local business.  Dale- I was just wondering if we could at least check at the post office if it might be significantly cheaper.

F: Reminder – this is for friendly amendments.

Response: SIS: We encourage you to come to the SIS meetings. To reiterate – all things can always be reconsidered. But for now, lets work with what we have – this address is out there – I am afraid to change it.

F: There’s been a question directed to SIS. Are they open to friendly amendments? If they can’t renegotiate & there’s no room for amendments, we can stop there.

Response: SIS- We are open to amendments – not to changing the offer – if the amendment is added that we continue to look for other boxes, we will fulfill that amendment.  Melanie-My friendly amendment is that Casey does not take all this on his shoulders. Don’t we have a 501 that could be the signatory?

Response: SIS- We can discuss that with finance. We can discuss who signs the contract. But it would help to have a concrete proposal — To clarify – I think we need to make this decision as soon as humanly possible.  FA: I’m wondering if it’s possible that we could see that you will continue to look for other boxes – if they are significantly cheaper and more convenient – that we will go with that option.  FA: I propose a friendly amendment – tip the guy who delivers the boxes!

Response: SIS-WE pick them up and deliver ourselves!! That’s what SIS does!!

F: Last friendly amendment  FA: I propose that we accept this amendment, by asking UPS to reward the local franchise – to compensate them – making everyone whole in this situation.

Response: SIS- We will consider it.

F: At this time we’re done with friendly amendments. Temperature Check  The Proposal: SIS is requesting $500 a month to pay for fees for the UPS P.O. Box that we are currently using. This fee is all-inclusive and includes an option to renegotiate once our daily intake falls below 50 pkgs per day. We will continue to seek out better boxes, and switch if appropriate.”

F: Any Blocks to this proposal?

F: Although we have a process – I have been hearing a lot of lagging questions on one topic – We are unclear on length of contract.

Response: SIS-6 months

F: With that added clarification… are there any blocks?  Consensus.

Response: SIS says thank you

38.1.3.  Peace Council Proposal

F: Next, a proposal from the Peace Counsel. Peace Council, where are you?? mic check. Peace council? Are you present? Moving on.


38.2.  Working Group Report Backs

F: Opening stack to Working Group report backs – 2 min. limit – get on stack.

38.2.1.  Hello my name is James – I’m a medical student – here to announce – allied for the 99% – We will have a peaceful protest at 3pm on Wednesday, if you cannot make that time, join us at 5th Ave. & 16th st. at 5:30 pm. We will end the March at St. Vincent’s community hospital at 12th St. & 7th Ave. The march is in support of OWS – 3pm look for the white coats & clenched fists…”

(Commotion behind me – didn’t catch it all)

F: Next we have Nicole from Safer Spaces.

38.2.2.  Hi I’m Nicole from Safer Spaces – is working to make OWS an anti-oppressive space for everyone. Especially people who have been traditionally marginalized, including people of color, women, trans gender, disabled. There have been several incidents, oppressive comments – made known to Safer Spaces – we are working with security, mental health, mediation – If you’d like to know more, meet by the pink blanket after GA – Tonight we’re having a Safer Spaces Sleepover! For those of you who haven’t felt comfortable to sleep overnight (at the park), tonight is the night! After General Assembly by the pink blanket!

F: Next – Direct Action

38.2.3.  Hi I’m Zack! I’m with Direct Action! We would like to make Oct. 29th a Day of Occupy the Hood – the official march of that day Starts at noon – in South Jamaica Queens liberty Ave. & __ blvd. We are meeting at 10 having a subway party on the J to Queens.

(Missed some info…)

F: Next -Facilitation

38.2.4.  I’m Angelina from Facilitation – the Working Group is working on a proposal that we will present to General Assembly tomorrow night. That we make a 24 hr. feedback period for proposals. During this period, anyone can review the proposal on the website or here – and comment with Clarifying Question, Concern or Friendly Amendments – this would change the General Assembly process – it would provide opportunity for feedback – before the proposal goes to General Assembly – so you’ll have more time to think about it before General Assembly – also the presenters will present stronger clearer proposal from the feedback.

F: Alternative Economy

38.2.5.  Hi guys – I’m Dale Alternative Economy – We started a sub groups dedicated to starting a working coop – we need someone who has experience with offset printing press, just come to the table that is right over there, this side of the kitchen. On Sunday we are meeting at 5:30pm at the Atrium.

F: Next Occupy Halloween –

38.2.6.  Everyone wearing a costume is invited to the World’s Largest Halloween Day Parade – we encourage to organize costumes for your group– 1pm Battery Park rehearsal – need volunteers for a staged Super Hero vs. Wall Street showdown – Monday morning at 10am. More information on any of this at or email

F: Next, Town Planning

38.2.7.  I am going to take you back to Week One and say Thank You for honoring one of the consensus we did that week – that nobody puts anything or walks in the flower beds! Thank you to everyone who has cooperated while I tell this to the new people – Don’t put anything in or walk in the flower beds!

F: Next up, Principles of Solidarity

38.2.8.  Peace family my name is Luke – we are working on Principles of Solidarity – that means how we treat each other – so it’s very important were trying to make the process even more inclusive. Hopefully this week we’ll be able to have working groups, breakout groups, to further establish how to take good care of each other and have solid ground to stand on as we move forward. If you are interested, we’ll be talking for the next 30 minutes by the People’s Library.

F: Next Vision & Goals Visions & Goals… is V&G around?

F: Moving on to Principles of Solidarity

38.2.9.  Hi everyone my name is Tamar (?)- I’m working with the Prison & Detention solidarity group. We meet Tues. at 7pm. Tomorrow we’ll be at 60 Wall Street writing letters & sending copies of the Occupied Wall Street Journal to those who are incarcerated – share your messages with them and let’s bring their messages to us.

F: Women Occupy Wall Street

38.2.10.  There seems to be a misunderstanding, the Women’s Caucus is not same as Women Occupy Wall Street. WOW is a safe place for female identified individuals – meet red structure after the General Assembly. Thank you.

F: Next & Last, Divine Feminine

38.2.11.  Devine Feminine is a group for female identified & female bodied people. Meet at the red cube at 10pm for a meeting tonight, there you can decide if you want to join the Safer Spaces Sleepover.

F: Just wanted you to know – that facilitation and you and you and you – we mess up names, get things wrong, we’re doing our best, and appreciate your patience — thank you!

F: Thank You!

38.2.12.  Facilitator Working Group meets every day at 4pm at 60 Wall Street

F: One more addition to Working Group report backs before general announcements…

38.2.13.   Yosara – I attended what the group believes to be WoW – there seems to be some misunderstanding that still needs to be clarified – as to whether or not WoW and Women’s Caucus is one in the same or not – the WoW meeting decided through process of consensus they would be limited to those who are female bodied and or female identified. 2nd agenda item we addressed, we’re getting together a sub committee for a Feminist Woman Day of Action. This would include some prominent speakers – if you’d like to be in that sub committee, and you identify as a female contact The next WOW and/or Women’s Caucus meeting will be at the red cube at 4pm.

Q: (So are they together? Or separate? I am still confused.)

F: Moving to announcements – 1 min announcements –


38.3.  Announcements

38.3.1.  Hi. I’m not formally here to report back from Visions & Goals Working Group – we had a contentious meeting today of when the heck we’re going to meet – it took all day! So if you’re interested in Visions & Goals we meet at 60 Wall Street on Monday, Wed. & Friday at 5:30pm. Also Thursday and Saturday and Sundays at 12 noon.

38.3.2.  Rick – I put together a booklet called Revolution Made Easy – 4 Steps To World Domination. It explains how we can leverage this movement to have everything we want – in short when we do it to work on one issue that supports all the issues we want – constitutional amendment that says corporations are not people and money is not free speech – move forward to change the way we run elections, such as instant run off voting etc and then we will have in place the people we need as our politicians beholden to people and not corporation and we’ll make all the other changes we want!

F: This is the end of General Assembly we’re all tired – keep your announcements to one minute. Can we move in a little? I’m lonely.

38.3.3.  Cindy – Good evening, my name is Cindy. I am a small business owner. This is Jasmine my friend. We have a new Working Group called Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs Supporting OWS. We will be meeting tomorrow, Tues. at 5pm, at Charlottes Place, 109 Greenwich Street behind Trinity Place. The middle class is the merchant class. We must end the power & corruption of the corporate elite. Small Businesses & Entrepreneurs create jobs…come talk to us under big sculpture. We are working on an article with the WSJ with an economist.

38.3.4.  Aton– I’m an anarchist. I speak for myself. I’m gathering together people who love this system who love this General Assembly and are in opposition to the spokes council proposal – any loving and loyal people – we hope for a stronger and better and unified community that serves everyone’s needs. Reach me on the web __?.net or under the sculpture.

F: Last call – for announcements

(Word of possible rain is spreading)

38.3.5.  Linda – Hello I’m a Montessori trained teacher – Maria Montessori intended for her methods be available to children from disadvantaged backgrounds – if they have nothing else, they should at least have a feeling of self-worth and freedom. Public School Reform Working Group will be meeting every Sunday at 3pm at the People’s Library. Every child deserves the best start in life. Education Reform Working Group Sunday at the Peoples Library at 3pm.

F: Stack is closed, five more announcements

38.3.6.  Dallas – Last week Michael Moore was here. He suggested we have a movie night – and he offered to make popcorn! He will be here Wednesday night showing “Capitalism: A Love Story”& “V for Vendetta”– and he is making popcorn.

38.3.7.  Some of you may have noticed unsavory behavior in the park – theft, drug use & assault are among these behaviors. Behaviors that are threatening our movement. We propose a Peace Council, a Community Watch – all of us, all eyes all over this park. We are doing a training on this – 6pm on Thursday at 60 Wall Street. Thank you! Come along and join this initiative.

38.3.8.  Doris – Hi. I’ve noticed there’s lots of Working Groups – that’s great – it’s one world in which many worlds fit – lots of groups about resistance & reform. I’d like to suggest another group about alternatives – specifically a group of organizers of a free society, a society we embody here, everywhere. Let’s meet on Wednesday at 2pm by that tree, behind that guy with the cool hat. Wednesday, 2pm Free Society Working Group.

38.3.9.  Jonathan – We have a new Working Group – called the Fight (?) Working Group – about boosting morale. We’re meeting Wednesday; it’ll be our 1st meeting – underneath this very ugly red structure. It’s not ugly. 3pm. I’m sorry I forgot I got excited – I forgot to give new name of Working Group – red circle and line thru it. (huh?)

F: Last announcement

38.3.10.  Peter – I’m sick & can’t speak loud. I’m a modernist person. Born here. And I wrote a book about the Bush Administration and I didn’t think it was possible that something like this could happen? In honor of a small contribution to this movement – starting the __observatory – I’ll make available to you – 2000 yrs. thinking about this movement…

(It was really hard to understand what the last person, Peter was talking about…)

F: At this time, General Assembly on this kind of cool October 24th day in the year 2011 – we are adjourned!

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