NYCGA Minutes 10/28/2011

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.

NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY DAY 42

Meeting Date/Time: 10/28/2011 / 7pm EST

Location: Liberty Plaza

Facilitators (F): Facilitators: Marina, Nelini

 

Process Review/Opening Comments: 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.

 

AGENDA

42.1.  Agenda Items (Open Source and Legal Proposal, Structure Proposal, and Occupy Melbourne Discussion)

42.2.  Announcements

42.1.  Agenda Items

42.1.1.  As many of you know FDNY and NYPD took our generators we are working with legal to gain representation to issue a letter to get them back.  I can’t speak further; I can come back and give you an update.  Is that ok?

Point of Process (PoP): What’s your proposal?

Response: It was going to be to approve legal representation, but they’re not quite ready.

F: Open for concerns.

42.1.1.1.   It was going to be a proposal to approve specific representation, but I have not coordinated with legal, but I am going to do that now.

F: Proposal will come back after structure.

F: We have the structure working group for the fifth time.

42.1.2.  Structure Working Group Proposal

42.1.2.1.  Structure: first, congratulations on what this movement is today.  It’s national and international and it all started here.  The GA has been the heart of this process. This is a place for everyone to have a voice. We are now facing a problem.  Many of you are having difficulty plugging in.  Structure is proposing Spokes Council.  This has been a long process. We’ve received great feedback.  Especially since last Friday. This is the latest version, with a few major differences: #1 No clusters, they lead to confusion. #2 We will change working groups and thematic groups to operations and movements. #3 The GA can dissolve the Spokes Council.  The GA has the power to make movement wide financial decisions, like Oakland.  Tonight we give you the latest version.  Spokes Council model is a draft.  Widely used by many movements, and we are lucky to have members of these movements with us tonight.

42.1.2.1.1.  Lisa: For the last thirty years, I’ve worked for many movements that used the Spokes Council model.  The anti-nuclear movement, which shut down nuclear plants, and none have built since the 70s.  This is how ACT UP organized to bring justice to people with AIDS.  Throughout the 1980s, using the spokes council model, 100,000s stopped the US invasion of Nicaragua using the spokes council model.

42.1.2.1.2.  We’re talking about spokes council for operations and movements. If it’s successful we will consider using the spokes council model for action and using affinity groups.  Many are active as individuals; this is a way to organize effectively using direct democracy. I know you have a lot of questions, but I urge you to move to consensus for this movement.

F:  This is what we are going to do. (In Spanish then English): We’re going to break into groups of ten to discuss and come up with questions.  Groups can raise hands and someone from structure will come and clarify.  Then we will come back together to see if we can reach consensus.  EACH GROUP has a scribe who will turn their questions in to structure who will confer for 10 minutes and return to answer the questions to the group as a whole.

[Twenty minute discussion followed by time for the structure working group to discuss the questions brought forward by the GA]

F: … and they will then answer the questions in one group to the whole, so keep talking, except for your scribe who should come here to Structure.  If anyone else has questions for your group please bring it up to the Structure working group, because it is a way to get all the questions addressed so individual questions don’t have to be addressed later.

F: We have another announcement. Evan from Open Source come meet Legal if you haven’t already for the second proposal. Thank you.

8:23 pm

F: Mic check-mic check. The Structure group has responses to all of the questions, are we ready? Also can we please sit down again so everyone can see and let’s give some twinkle fingers for critical mass.

42.1.2.2.  Structure: Hello everyone, thank you for all of your questions.

42.1.2.3.  Clarifying Questions (raised during group discussions and given to Structure to read and answer)

42.1.2.3.1.  Will distribution of resources begin honest fair and transparent?

Response: So in the proposal it states the spokes council must produce a budget and minutes, which will be posted on nycga.net.

PoP: Where and when will the first meeting be?

Response: spokes council must announce where and when it meets on nycga.net tentatively the first meeting will be this Monday of Tuesday if it passes tonight. Also, the locations and times will be available at Info for the first meeting the location is still undetermined because we are searching for a space large enough and the reason Monday night is not finalized is because it’s Halloween. It does state in the proposal that all meetings must be in an indoor space that is highly publicized with amplification so we can all hear each other better, and live stream!

42.1.2.3.2.  The next question is about a delay in the agenda, I think. I’ll try to answer it. The spokes council agenda could be set before or during the spokes council meeting?

Response: That is not addressed in the proposal, but it could be an amendment later on. Just like just a few nights ago the GA decided that all proposals like this one have to be submitted to facilitation at least twenty-four hours in advance.

42.1.2.3.3.  Question is to clarify the difference between operations and movements

Response: Operations groups are much more to do with the actual logistical and budgetary decisions and workings of this occupation, the OWS occupations movement groups are much more involved with broader issues that effect that broader occupy moment and the visions for us all. An example of an operations groups is food or sanitations, media, they either provide services right here in the occupation or support the occupation directly. An example of a movement group might be visions and goals, which has a much broader focus, or Think Tank, ect

42.1.2.3.4.  Question is about an organized block in dissolving the spokes council.

Response: To clarify the GA has the power to dissolve the SC with a week’s notice. A block which we already use here is for a very serious safety or ethical concern. If you block you are recognizing the decision would not be good for the group as whole.

Entire GA: What does democracy look like? This is what democracy looks like! (in response to a group trying to disrupt)

Response: (continued) I think the question also had to do with people showing up to prevent a 9/10th consensus on dissolving the spokes council. This is possible. It’s also possible on any decision in the GA.  These important logistical decisions and financial decisions that affect us here can’t be blocked by organized groups who just show up to stall our movement and stop our GA form making decisions that affect us.

42.1.2.3.5.  In the proposal the spokes council has the ability to decide what operations groups and caucuses will be a part of the spokes council.

Response: Keep in mind that the spokes council is comprised of operations groups and caucuses. So the people who already know each other and know who each other works will decide which groups go together. Additionally for a group to be kicked out for being seriously obstructive or for violating solidarity obviously relies on our principles of solidarity which has to do with our broader movement.

42.1.2.3.6.  The next question was to clarify if caucuses are included in the spokes council?

Response: They certainly are, it’s written in the proposal, the reason I did not mention it earlier, my bad, I was clarifying a change. Last week we had Working Groups, Thematic Groups and  Caucuses now we have Operations groups, Movements Groups and Caucuses. Since caucuses didn’t change i didn’t mention it verbally, but it’s in the proposal.

42.1.2.3.7.  Question is about whether spokes can be recalled mid SC meeting?

Response: Yes they could because you are sitting together in your operations group you could decide why spoke who is speaking isn’t reflecting your feelings or concerns, the operations groups and caucuses would come to consensus on removing he spoke mid meeting. That could happen.

42.1.2.3.8.  Clarify how finical decisions are made for Zuccotti Park and for the movement as a whole?

Response: So to restate all financial decisions that affect OWS, different from Occupy Brooklyn or Occupy Oakland are handled in the spokes council. all financial decisions that affect the moment as a whole, like sending support to other occupations or receiving support from other occupations are handled by the GA.

42.1.2.3.9.  There was a question about how we define operational groups?

Response: So in the proposal it states the spokes council have the ability to ask operations groups to leave if they are continually disruptive and going against the guiding principles of solidarity that we decide in GA.  GA gives political guidelines for the spokes council and how we operate. Spokes council is a large body of all operations groups, causes and occupiers which are defined as an operations drops would interpret the GA def. of what is obstructive or what doesn’t follow the principles of solidarity, so we’d be making this decision together.

42.1.2.3.10.  Relationship between SC and GA, with regard to transparency

Response: The SC has to report back to the GA with regard to meeting minutes and budgets. Meeting minutes and budgets of the SC will also be posted on NYCGA.net.

42.1.2.3.11.  Whether or not decisions made by SC could be overruled by GA?

Response: Difficult question because the GA and SC serve different functions, one is not a higher body than the other, so the GA would not be able to overrule the decisions of the SC and the SC will not be able to overrule the decisions of the GA.  One is logistical and financially based here in this particular occupation and one is much more broad and movement wide.

42.1.2.3.12.  The next question and I think the last question is about why SC’s aren’t meeting the weekends, the question was about how to be inclusive of people who work or have limited time to dedicate to the moment?

(mic check)

Response: In this proposal we are suggesting that the SC meet Monday, Wednesday and Friday at 7pm so that people who work during the day can participate, we wanted the GA to happen Tuesday, Thursday and the weekend so that people who work during the week can participate in both SC and the GA and so that people who come in to visit on the weekend can participate on the GA but won’t get bogged down by operations decisions, so like tourists who want to see what we are all about can participate in the GA but are not going to participate in the SC.

F: Two things, on the process in case you missed it, this is the fifth time we are discussing this proposal, it has changed because the structure group has had meetings and discussion every day for two weeks to try to address all questions and concerns. Just to clarify how we got here. What we would like to do as facilitators is ask to respect the process. We are going to ask for a straw poll, it’s not a vote, but it to get a sense where each of us going or feeling about the proposal , so we are going to ask if people feel good about the proposal (many hands). Now look at the group to get an idea of how we feel.  Now we are going ask if people don’t feel good to raise your hands (fewer hands).

F: Now we are going to move forward to a consensus process, and to clarify we tried to get all the questions through the groups, if you have a question that must be clarified that wasn’t please raise your hands. Stack takers are coming!! If you have a question, raise your hand.

F: We are closing stack very soon.

F: Mic check. When we do stack we use progressive stack who means those voices are historically marginalized communities; we try to prioritize so we get a mix of people. Right side stack.

42.1.2.4.  Clarifying Questions (this time asked by individuals)

42.1.2.4.1.  I have more of a concern than a clarifying question. My understanding was that we move from clarify questions to concerns, my concern is that although I’m very happy with this proposal it did occur to me from the discussion that there is not a mechanism to deal with potential conflict between the SC and the GA. although the GA can dissolve the SC I imagine that is an extreme situation. We need to develop a procedure to deal with disagreements between the two bodies.

F: Stack is closed on this side. Structure will respond to the concern.

Response: We recognize that could be potential for conflict and that is not adequately dressed, I would love it if you came to our next structure meeting so we can come back with another proposal, an amendment to this proposal to address that concern

42.1.2.4.2.  Lisa: my concern is that a lot of people have not been aware that this has been discussed online and that are getting here without knowing there has been a process already in place to discuss the spokes council.

Response: Structure response: I personally live in this park my computer is at my parent’s home in Syracuse. My only internet access is at Staples and Burger King so I’m hardly in the website and really don’t know how to use it and like everyone else have trouble getting information of meeting times and places. SC will help rescue all operations groups are there and accounted for.  Even though we’ve been at 60 Wall Street all week and we’ve had four GA’s about this, there’s not many better ways to get the information out.

42.1.2.4.3.  Sage: just for the record I want this to go through, like all of you I was sold when the experienced voice spoke about this. Community meetings are usually described people are fighting for their ability to survive the winter, people are fighting for access to funds, people are fighting for the ability to sleep in one spot so because they are passionate are they going to be deemed as unsolidarity people?  I have experience that, people down this hill have experience that.  Dissent is patriotic so I just want passion and powerful disagreement to be respect in these meetings.  And I don’t want people to cry out that this isn’t a safe space.

Response: Thank you Sage, nothing in this proposal is about removing people from this park.

F: We have a brief soldiery statement from Australia and simultaneous action at 9, they are watching, they want to hear us.

Mic check

From Australia: Occupy Melbourne! Occupy together! Occupy Melbourne! Occupy together! Occupy Melbourne! Occupy together! Occupy Melbourne! Occupy together!

F: So we have two more questions, then consensus process.

42.1.2.4.4.  Daniel: I have one question, just to clarify the process for groups coming to consensus or blocking in the proposal. It’s a little vague where it says that groups bring proposals and blocks and a whole.

Response: So in the SC you have operations groups and caucuses. They decide amount themselves using consensus process how they want to voice their sentiments in the SC. The spoke reflects those sentiments, so that’s what it means by the group deciding. And also it would carry over with the same modified consensus that we currently have in the GA, so a 9/10s consensus if there isn’t perfect consensus.

42.1.2.4.5.  Fritz: Since and explicit power of the SC is to exclude WG’s my initial concern is about what will be in the initial groups joining the SC was never properly addressed. Also since the GA is more about inclusiveness, I think the SC should raise their own funds for their own exclusive organizations.

Response: So both the SC and the GA are inclusive and open for participation. The SC does have the power to exclude groups that continually disrupt and go against the guiding principles of solidarity. The intention is to ensure that all the groups present can get work down and continue move forward and also the budgetary converse given to the SC only effect the operations here. So if someone is donating to Zuccitti Park and they want that to be used for these operations it makes sense that it is decided by operations groups and not movement who do not had finical obligations here. And to reiterate the principles of solidarity are not determined by the SC but by the GA.

The first meeting of the SC will be comprised of all the existing operation groups and causes should apply to operations groups and give a mission of the kinds of work they do when they meet and how people can get involved. And they give this info at the first SC meeting and we all decide if they are an operations group or a moment group and we come to consensus together.

F: There is one more comment and I want a temperature check. Do we want then to move towards a test for consensus? Stack is closed after this last question and concern.

PoP: In consensus process it’s very important how the question is formed, and what the default when there is disagreement. It’s necessary for the group to come to consensus.

F: The group has to come to consensus to block or 9/10ths consensus to block, this prevents a few people from obstructing the process if they cannot get others in the working group to recognize their serious ethical or safety concurs.

Structure: If you wanted to amend that you could do that within the structure we are proposing. This is a living document. There will be many tweaks made by all of those in the SC.

F: We didn’t know as facilitation that three more people are on stack. We’ll take those three and then move to consensus process. Anthony, Sam and finish up with Dorge.

42.1.2.4.6.  Anthony: this process has been going on for a long time, many meetings. In the beginning it was my understanding as it is today thought it’s buried under four pages. The only thing we are empowering the SC with is financial decision making abilities the rest of the powers of the SC come from the individual working groups that participate in the SC.

Response: We already have close to seventy working groups and causes. They are doing a lot of work autonomously. The SC enables them to communicate and coordinate better than they already are. It also enables them to make collective decisions about finances that are related to the operations of OWS. The GA will still make some financial decisions, if it’s for the whole movement.

42.1.2.4.7.  There has been a request to clarify.

Response: This is a living document and if you want to help amend it you can join the structure working group I’m really excited because after this week of teach-ins and discussion the structure group is join got get very big and we will keep working on this and other decisions

42.1.2.4.8.  Sam: my question is what is the role of the Structure working group in the SC and who facilitates the council meetings.

Response: The Facilitation WG would become an operations group and they would be part of the SC. The Structure WG would do the same. We would have to propose our description just like any other group. Why we are about when are where we meet and how people can get involved.  So all the other working groups will decide if we can become part of the SC. The SC will be facilitated by the Facilitation working group, if it’s accepted by the SC.

42.1.2.4.9.  Dorge: in my understanding that consensus must be reached to dissolve any decision, therefore if some kind of people’s assembly cannot dissolve specific decision of either SC or GA than what we will have democracy purely it could evolve into a spokes council-ocracy.

Response: Interesting term. So the spokes council is constituted of operations groups and caucuses and the occupiers .  Occupies are an pertains group is operations groups. So anyone who lives, or works here can participate in any meeting.  The SC only governs this space, people who lives here or works her. So i don’t see how it is excluding anyone who is working or living here.

Dorge: I did not understand that any occupier is part of the Occupiers working group.

F: Temperature check: people want to test for consensus. Since we have gone though many discussions, and because this is a living document we are going to ask to only take blocking concerns, you feel that the proposal stated will seriously undermine the movement. For example if the proposal was to start a fire in the middle of the park someone could block it because it would mess up the movement. We are asking for those types of blocks.

Structure: This is open for continuous discussion. If you don’t love it we can keep talking. But for now the proposal is to see how it would work.

F: Blocking Concerns, if you have a blocking concern raise your hand so I can get your name, thank you and remember progressive stack, so this will translate into progressive block taking.

42.1.2.5.  Blocks

42.1.2.5.1.  Hi everyone, I will be speaking for my sister who lost her voice. My concern is about the proposal the definition that is stated regarding the behavior and such of the serious violations of the GA principles of solidarity. The group must produce a written statement how people can be involved, my concern there are not rules that describe what this new group or whatever they call themselves, they need to state exactly what they consider as violations.

Response: The principles of solidarity are always being added to by the GA, it’s a living document so as the GA continues to change so does the SC. We do not outline this proposal exactly what would have to open for someone to violate the guiding principles of solidarity. We want to leave that up to the operations groups and caches to decide. We didn’t feel it was our place to get into those kinds of entails. We felt it would give us too much power.

F: Did that address your block? Do you still hold that block?

42.1.2.5.2.  Aton: I support the previous block. It takes the GAs power and places it the hands of the SC, small groups will have disproportionate power.  The GA has the power to dissolve the SC, which is unlikely….(hard to hear)

Response: Thank you for that statement. We are not taking power away from the GA and placing it in the hands of the SC. What we are doing is evaluating what kinds of power each body should have so the SC will be comprised of people who have a stake in this occupation while the GA will be comprised of stakeholders in the movement. So if you are part of the greater movement and want to be a part of the political dialogue to bring things to the GA, because the GA doesn’t have to spend its time discussing our laundry bills or sustainable trashcans or every night’s meeting request for funds over $100.

F: Do you still keep your block? Yes.

PoP: Daniel: We have moved straight from questions to blocks, we have skipped concerns and friendly amendments have we not?

F: Unfortunately people came when it was time for questions and stated concerns. We were rolling along what was happening. We are a lot so we didn’t ask for them. Also as facilitators and a team of facilitators and there are eight of us, we are observing with temperature checks and the vibe to test for consensus.

PoP (continued): Daniel: are you positive that if you were to ask for concurs after receiving a positive temp check that no one would have a concern? And finally even if you took concerns, you didn’t take friendly amendments.

F: We broke in small groups, proposed this to the GA five times and took that into consideration and also to clarify this is not an action but a living document that’s open to change. It’s a different sort of proposal than a direct action. Do you have a concern? Yes… I think stack should be open for concerns in case anyone else has one.

Structure: This is the proposal has been here five times and we have already taken many friendly amendments. We took three major ones form last Friday and many minor ones form the Thursday before. We actually took some of your amendments throughout that process.

F: We would like to move to a vote, which is what we do if we can reach consensus.

PoP: Daniel: So you accept breaking process? The Facilitation does not set process.

F:If you have concerns you should raise your concerns, as the facilitators and the stake keepers, they have seen no other hand….

F: There is one more block at least. As proposals come to the GA with no friendly amendments added, it is to my knowledge the Structure group does not want to seek friendly amendments not, but in their next working group meeting. The last blocking concern.

42.1.2.4.3.  Before I bring this concern I’m trying to understand that last comment, how do blocks brought now relate to friendly amendments brought tomorrow?

Response: The Structure working group is open the process of the SC is ever changing. By its nature it’s open to friendly amendments. The next meeting of the working group is Sunday at 6pm at 60 Wall Street. We usually meet at 6pm every night but to be honest with their process we are burnt out so we won’t meet every day, but we will post our meeting times and locations. We a will do a better job of communicating with everyone. Also in the process itself there is a section for decisions made by the SC. In that sections it states the spokes council can amend itself.  So there is a question of process, sorting internal as to how the SC works. It can amend itself only in ways that don’t affect the GA.

F: For process, in the consensus process we continue to take concerns until we each consigns. In this case there are three blocks. Those three people maintain their blocks, because of the blocks and people are stingy with their blocks. Process then is to  move to a vote.  The reason to have concerns and to continue to have concerns is to reach an absolute consensus. We cannot reach absolute consensus without…

F: Please state your actual block.

42.1.2.5.4.  I am concerned about a process excludes working groups from the process even if the SC deals only with administrative matters rallying to the park decisions have impact on groups doing work in the park that is not logically based but is about organizing about issues. Which is ultimately what we are here fight for social justice. I am concerned we are creating a system that puts administration above the about …I am an anarchist and I am concerned we are creating a hierarchical system.

Response: I am also concerned about the rise of bureaucracy. The process we are using now is incredibly bureaucratic, it micromanages WG’s to such an extent that it is ultimately undemocratic because it prevents people that directly connect to these groups from making decisions. We need to be self-governed.

42.1.2.5.5.  I agree that it makes sense to have a body to address logistical decisions; my concern is the exclusion of that body of a very large segment of the groups doing working here.  I do not see what the SC cannot include groups that are now apparently called movements.

F: We are going to take a temperature check for 9/10s vote.  This does not close the debate but it allows us to move forward.

PoP:  In the past with every decision the GA has made, the Facilitation team has asked anyone with a block if they have any friendly amendment that will alleviate their blocks. Because blocks are serious, its means you are willing to leave. I propose we ask for friendly amendments to appease those blocks before 9/10s vote.

F: We can ask those blockers to make suggestions but it is only the group proposing that can decide if it is friendly.

F: We will start with the first block, do you have any friendly amendments to remove your block?

42.1.2.6.  Friendly Amendments

42.1.2.6.1.  My FA is very simple, I want whatever the process about solidarity by removing the groups to state the laws or relations about the principles of solidarity and my second amendment is to clarify how they are going to manage the finances?

Response: There already is a finance working group, so that group just like all the other group, just like all the other groups would have to bring forward a description about what they do.

42.1.2.6.2.  Is spokes council going to take away financial decision power from the current finance group, or will SC and fiancé both be responsible for finance decisions?

Response: What you just stated sounded more like a question rather an amendment, but I will answer your question. Someone from finance is here.

Bobby from Finance: we have no financial decision-making power In a little while we have this document we made, I’m going to describe it.  If you ask for money you get it. If it’s really high it goes to GA and you get it.

Structure: The difference is that some financial decisions, those that include that day-to-day operations will be made by the SC. To clarify, the Finance working group will be accountable to the SC and to the GA instead of like right now where we are just accountable to the GA.

F: Does that appease your block?

Blocker: No.

F: The question and amendment proposed now, that they are good in faith, meaning that you are really trying to come to a conclusion right now, otherwise there are continuous meetings to discuss this.

F: EMT announcement: We need 10-15 people who have been trained pin de-escalation to meet at Comfort to help with an escalating situation.

42.1.2.6.3.  I think it’s really important that the group making this proposal to commit to formulating and agreement to deal with balance of powers between SC and GA. While this formal promise is good, it is not enough.  I think Aton raised important concerns.  I have the greatest faith in the people who formulated this proposal, but history is related with tragedies that occur despite the set of intentions.  I am very afraid that while this movement is on the right track now….  we might run into something they ran into during the French Revolution…(hard to hear)

F: So we lost a lot of people from the GA.  We are all in this together, we are making revolution happen.  So let’s be peaceful in this process.  It’s always difficult when we cannot reach total consensus. and that is why we have the 9/10ths voter we can go to when we can reach it. Since this is the fifth discussion on this proposal and any people have left. we want to go now to a vote. To make it clear some with blocks are still staying with their blocks. What that means is friendly amendments will not change the face that we will not reach full consensus. When we cannot reach full consensus, we move to a vote. This proposal is still open and ever changing.

F: I know that we had a friendly amendment over here.

42.1.2.6.4.  In respect to the overall will of the group lll drop this block but it should be recognized that the role of moment groups are left extremely vague and left underpowered. As this proposal moves forward this concerns needs to be address explicitly within the structure of the proposal.

F: We still have more than two blocks. With that in mind we’d like to move to a vote. Those people who still have friendly amendments should bring them to the Structure who continues to say that it’s open for friendly amendments all the time.

42.1.2.6.5.  Daniel: I have a friendly amendment that pertains to my block.

F: If there are more than two blocks we can’t reach consensus. In the process you take friendly amendments so people withdraw their block and we can reach consensus. We cannot reach consensus here, but we might get 90%. The facilitator’s process opens conversation when there is block. When that block remains the conversation stops. As facilitators you inspire us to keep the conversation going. There are three people who are frustrated, there are hundreds who are frustrated and want to vote. As facilitators we need to go with the vast majority when we can reach consensus. We are calling for vote: all those in favor of a flexible SC document that will be put in place this week. It might be easier to start with those opposed, all those opposed.

F: The number opposed is fourteen. The numbers in favor please raise your hands. As people’s hands are raised I want to recognize someone had a block.  When the vote is over we will give him voice to his block out of respect, but we will continue with the vote.

(~10 minutes for Counting Votes, Stack Takers counted raised hands)

F: As a point of information and in Oakland they had a vote for the SC and for the strike it was a little awkward. In San Francisco they have a SC, from what I hear it was challenging.  Democracy is not always easy. The beautiful thing is that there are so many different people here. Can we have a moment of silence so people can count?

42.1.2.7.  The numbers are seventeen against, 284 in favor.  (Many cheers!)

F:  The next point on the agenda is the proposal. Before it goes the person who had a block and concern, I thought it was someone who hadn’t spoke.

42.1.3.  Legal Proposal

F: The next proposal is Evan. Can we please sit down so we can continue the rest of the GA, also there is a whole bunch of space up front. We have a proposal, a second proposal.

PoP: I think we should acknowledge how difficult it is to facilitate these deeply democratic meetings. Thank you facilitators.

42.1.3.1.  My proposal is that the OWS Legal working group be empowered to consult and work with the National Lawyers Guild NYC chapter in an effort to get out generators back. The first step is that the laws are going to write a letter to FDNY and the city asking to return our generators and tell us the reasons they were taken in the first place. No lawsuits will be filed without consensus from the GA as per the proposal as by the GA 10/20/2011. We will provide an update to the GA tomorrow night. Everybody is working as fast as possible to get this resolved.

42.1.3.2.  Clarifying Questions

F: First on deck is Frank.

42.1.3.2.1.  Frank: it seems like anybody who had their generator stolen in the night by the police would have valid lawsuit against the city, and the best way to prevent that from happening again, would be to file a lawsuit and file and injunction against the action from happening again.  so my question is if someone has this type of lawsuit do they need to come to the GA?

Response: Your question applies to a previous proposal; the GA came to consensus that any lawsuit against a person or the city must go through the GA. It’s in the minutes.

F: Stack is closed.

42.1.3.2.2.  Was it initially, is it illegal to have generators in the park, and if so what legal action can we active?

Response: I am not qualified to answer that question. I am not an attorney.  I suggest you join the Legal working group to answer that question.

F: Any more questions? Are there concerns? Last call for concerns, stack is closed. Do we have consensus? Are there blocks? No.

42.1.3.3.  Consensus.

 

42.2.  Announcements

F: We are done with the agenda. Please keep announcements to one minute. This has been a long GA and we want to respect everyone’s time.

F: Dance: jump up there is revolution is this town, jump up get down there is revolution in this town. Dancing!

F: Can everybody please sit down and I think our brother over here is first on announcements. Is either side ready to start the announcements? Last call for stack.

42.2.1.  Brea: I’m Brea from Financial and I’m Bobby we are doing one of our first general report backs there are some people walking around with these documents we are going to read a brief statement and we will be around for questions. Today the OWS Financial working group on behalf of the OWS GA wants to release our financial details as part of our hope that we can be transparent and accessible. Our statements will be realized frequently and we want to hold open meetings for people to speak with Finance. We’d also like to say the GA is completely in charge of financial decisions.  OWS has spent about $55,000. The single largest cost has been for food, medical care, and laundry at Zuccotti Park  A total of about $22,000. The cost of communication systems is second at about $20,000. OWS has raised about $450,000 in public donations and has about $400,000 on hand! That’s our announcement.

42.2.2.  Jack: Longshore union on the west coast, bringing solidarity greetings form the long shore workers and from Occupy Oakland. The GA in Oakland has decided to call for a general strike on Nov. 2nd. Longshore are attempting to shut down the ports. We will be calling on other workers in other ports to join us. At the same time that the occupation movement is taking place, there is major attack against workers in  the ports. If the international shippers, who are lined to Wall Street lintiest attempt to break the long shore union on the west coast. We will call on port workers in this country to shut for a history strike. Victory to the working class, here and internationally, going with me in the long shore slogan, an injury to one is an injury to all.

42.2.3.  LIza: I wanted to talk about the general strike in Oakland as the gentlemen said its Nov 2nd, three points that were presented for the general strike. 1. Complete Strike. 2. Walk outs. 3. Slow downs. i would like to purpose that the occupation here in NY declare their solidarity with the general strike not only for Oakland but for NY also, call for strike, call for slow down, call for walk outs on Nov 2.

PoI: Direct Action working group has an ongoing conversation regarding just that. At 2pm on Sunday we will meet at 60 Wall Street. There will be a breakout group to talk about Nov 2.

42.2.4.  The students of CUNY and their allies will march tomorrow afternoon from Union Square to this park in solidarity with the global movement. We demand from the city and the state more money for higher education. Tell your family, friends and neighbors join CUNY on the march 1203 14th Street, Union Square. We have a permit from the city, they know we are coming because we want them to ensure our students safety in solidarity with CUNY on the march.

42.2.5.  Hi everybody, I’m Lauren from the Sustainability working group. I have exciting news. We’ve been working very hard with the power constraints. We’ve been doing outreach to get bike power now, with previous approval from GA. Right now we are picking up five bike powered generators from Boston who donated them to us, they will be here late tonight and hopefully be fully operational tomorrow. Thank you Boston!!

42.2.6.  Arts and culture announcements: On Halloween, we have been officially invited to participate in the largest Halloween parade in the world at 60 Wall Street at 1pm, so please come if you would like to participate in the parade. Thank you!

42.2.7.  Manissa: Quick, POC working group Sundays at 3 in the Atrium.

42.2.8.  On Sept 29th the GA came to consensus on the declaration of the occupation of New York City. You can find it under resources at NYCGA.net. Media has put together art work pamphlet collectors addition bring them on Monday and I would encourage every day to take a few and pass them out.

42.2.9.  Verge: tomorrow Meditation working group has agreed to go to 60 Wall Street at 5:15 to help any individual. Politely request some kind of agenda to the SC about how and when all donated and or purchased food and drink supplies will be distributed to the community body. If anybody has an opinion about this request you are all invited to join Kitchen working group and Mediation tomorrow at 5:15, 60 Wall Street at Kitchen working groups meeting.

42.2.10.  Nel with Wow (women occupying Wall Street): WoW is open to anybody who is female identified or female bodied Sunday at 4pm next meeting. We meet at the cube and then usually go to the atrium.

42.2.10.  Tim: Hi everybody, I’m Tim. I’ve been live tweeting every GA since Oct 12th.  I am getting wierded out by how many followers I have on twitter. I want to start a Live Tweet Team, I’ve worked with PR to sort of make it real, so we are going to have a meeting Sunday at 5 at 60 Wall Street if you want to help. I’d really love that.  I’d like to take a day off.  It’s really fun. you get all to a feedback from people all over the country. And trying to do it in their own communities and towns. (650 followers)

42.2.11.  Ben: From arts and Culture. I’m working on OWS video game, I’ve been working on it for a few weeks now, but we still need people. We need action script programs 2d, sound designers and testers, if you are interested in helping.  occupygames.org

42.2.12.  I’ve been roaming for the last month or so documenting some of the wonderful and not so wonderful things here. for the most part i think you are visionary and salt of the each type people. i want to invite you to see what I’ve seen on a website side anthonyalmeidaphotographer.com.

42.2.13.  Sussean I’m with Direct Action working group. We have few announcements. 1. We are going to be putting clipboard for people who want to participate in upcoming DA, email list to keep you guys updated on wants going on. 2. Much more exciting, OWS is marching in solidarity with the Occupy the Hood in Jamaica in Queens in order to reclaim vacant homes. Allowing the rightful owners back inside. We are leaving from Liberty Square at 10am tomorrow. We are taking the subway so we are providing passes for those who need be can’t afford them. Meet at the red structure. We will be passing out fliers with a map. Come see me. Last stop on the E.

42.2.14.  Hi I’m Aaron: concerning the formation of a group that will focus on strategy and analysis and the indent analysis of the occupy moment locally and worldwide in order to prepare recommendations for use by participating working groups.  we will meet at the atrium  where there will be a rep available form 9am-9pm anyone interested should come.  Anyone with experience in anything should come. Our direct thought tank to elaborate on issues that need development. Atrium 9am-9pm strategy and analysis

42.2.15.  Adam: from the Trade Justice Working Group. We had an action a Charlie Rangels office to call him out for voting for Panama and Columbia Free Trade agreement he was on tv and had to answer questions and defend himself. Next week is day of solidarity and  we are going Staten Island to visit Representative Grimm who voted for the Columbia Free Trade Agreement, which lead to the death of unionists we are bringing grim reapers. We are marching form the park and marching to ferry have a funeral procession.  Tuesday at  noon. we will have fliers tomorrow. If anyone wants to work on this we want it to be festive and elaborate. Talk to me later.

42.2.16.  If you’ve been arrested participating in this occupation. we invite you to come to a meeting on Sunday 5306-630. We will be discussing legal political strategy. At 630 lawyers will show up. 55 Washington square south.

42.2.17.  Hello my people, my name is Eddy.  Sometimes the NYPD is not too friendly with us. We are looking to target the systemic practices and policies of the NYPD. They are racist, intimidating unconstitutional. this has been happening in many communities for decades. We don’t want Tony Baloney  to get punished alone. We want to take this fight to Kelly, who is a front runner for the next election. We believe the battle is rotten. See me if you have a story we are collecting narratives for people who have been abused.

42.2.18.  Sage: It’s important that you all stay here. Because of the large gathering there was a shadow, my friend who weighs 100 pounds got hit in the head with a bottle. It was fine until my friend got hit in the head with a bottle.Aat 11 there will be an “ohm” line that will say the sound ohm and walk around this park. I don’t believe in violence but I’m confident in the potency of love … we’ll reach in to the hearts of violence and remind them of those who are violent. If they choose to be offended and choose to leave I think it’s better than security forces. It’s easy to stand in from of a building when you know the people will not come out and rush you, but can you stand in front a table of drug deals and ohm them the fuck out. We’ll be there letting them know they can stay. Ohm is a universal symbol of light peace unity and love.

F: And on that note with peace in love in all of hearts that is the end of the General Assembly.

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