NYCGA Minutes 10/18/2011

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NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY DAY 32

Meeting Date/Time: 10/18/2011 / 7:13pm EST

Location: Liberty Plaza

Facilitators (F): Johannah Thompson, Morgan Steele

 

Minute-taker: Hannah Appel (ha2315@columbia.edu). Facilitators: Johannah Thompson (from Occupy Miami) & Morgan Steele (from Occupy Ashville, NC). Stack Taker: Ethan. Stack Greeter: Jack from Occupy Boston. Time Keeper: Travis for Occupy San Francisco.

Morgan goes over hand signals: I agree/ I feel good; I’m unsure; I do not feel good/I do not agree. 
Point of process, to return us to process; Point of information if you have a fact to share
 Wrap it up if someone’s being a little too lengthy
 Block – if we’re trying to pass a proposal with which you have an ethical or safety issue. The block is a very serious thing. It should be used sparingly. The block means that you are willing to remove yourself from the Occupy movement if the proposal goes forward. You will be asked to support your block.
 Speak up; C is for clarification – if you have a question or need more information.

F: Everyone sit down. We also need to make sure that we have space on both sides so members can come up and get on stack. The last point that I’d like to review is step up step back. That is put in place so that we can include all types of people in the GA. That means you personally acknowledge your privilege. If you recognize that you are someone who is speaking too much, you have to consider stepping back and allowing someone else to step up and present their point or position. Can we agree that we will use the step up step/step back
 Not everyone can hear. Can we do a double echo? Think we got it! Let’s proceed.

 

AGENDA

32.1.  Agenda Items

32.2.  Working Group Report Backs

32.3.  Announcements

 

F: Temperature check on the agenda: looks good

Point of process (PoP): When asking for temp check, please pause to take account for social momentum. And please don’t tell us how to feel. Ask us, wait, we’ll think about it, and then watch us.

F: I’m going to ask again, and listen. Can we get another temperature check? Looks good…

 

32.1.  Action Items

32.1.1.  Stop and Frisk Working Group Abraham: We know that Wall Street and corporations put profit over people. We know that this profit imprisons our democracy. But Wall Street and corporations also profit from incarceration and arrest of human beings. This industry – the prison industry – violates our constitutional rights, degrades our justice system, legitimates police harassment, profiling, destabilizes our communities, and continues the legacy of racism and oppression sponsored by the state.

Amelio: I too am affiliated with the Stop & Frisk. “We the Occupiers of Wall Street wholly challenge the New York City Police Department’s unconstitutional, racist, and inhumane Stop & Frisk policing practices.”

PoP: Sage: this sounds like a solidarity statement that you are asking for, now being broadcast over People’s Mic. I personally agree with 99.9% of what you’re saying, but using people’s mic in this way is not proper for the process. I’m sure that if you give us a chance, and ask us if we want to say a solidarity statement with you, we’d probably say it. That’s not people’s mic, or an announcement. My name is Sage. I’m with the Loyal Opposition.

F: We would like to take a temperature check on this point of process. We have another point of process.

PoP: This is an agenda item to come to consensus for support of a statement. It is my understanding that the proposed statement is now being read so that we can come to consensus on it.

F: Can we take a temperature check as to whether or not we can proceed with hearing the statement from the Stop & Frisk WG.

PoP: Sage: I am here, people who live in this park, have a very special relationship with the police. There’s a bit of a difference between the GA and the people who live here and sleep here day in and day out. I don’t feel safe repeating statements about the police that I haven’t already read myself. Please understand my concerns.

F: We have heard Sage’s concern. Again, can we take a temperature check as to whether or not we can proceed with hearing the statement. Please proceed.

32.1.1.  (Continued) Stop & Frisk policing practices voice our opposition and challenge this policing practice at the Stop & Frisk rally on October 21st, 2011 in Harlem @ the 16th national day of protest against police brutality, repression, and the criminalization of a generation. On October 22nd 2011 we will march in solidarity at 12pm from Liberty Park. We will be meeting at 11:30am right under Joie d’ Vive
F:

Emergency Announcement: police are mobilizing on Hudson & Dominic street at the Skylight in Soho where 150 protestors are waiting for Andrew Cuomo. We need reinforcements from Zuccotti. If you feel like you need to go you can leave GA. We’re going to leave from this corner.

F: Should we open stack for questions and concerns? Or, do people feel as though we can take consensus on this proposal. Does anyone have questions? If so, come get on stack.

32.1.1.  Clarifying Questions

32.1.1.1. Q: I just want to know, where you will be marching?

A: I will clarify two points. First, our proposal is to stand in solidarity with the marches on the 21st and on the 22nd, and to adopt the statement you heard. Second: we will be marching on the 21st in Harlem @ 125th & Adam Clayton Powell. On 10/22 we will be marching from Liberty Park to Union Square. We have fliers, thousands of them.

32.1.1.2.  Q: I feel like there were too many interruptions for us to discern the difference between the statement and the general announcement of the march. I don’t believe that I can make a decision based on the fragments of the statement I heard.

A: this person is going to speak because we don’t need to take consensus on a call to solidarity. Therefore, we’ll be doing that, and anyone that wants to be part of this or discuss it; we’ll present more in the soapbox.

32.1.2.  Collaboration between Medical & Food WGs: Howdy! My name is Niklas. I’m here because I love you all and want us to be strong together. The project I’m proposing is called the People’s Cup. It is collaboration between Food and Medical. We want to offer hot tea and herbal brews fresh and at all hours. We need to stay warm, healthy, and strong. We are asking for public approval to spend $1400 from our fund on equipment and supplies. How do you feel about this?

32.1.2.1.  We are now opening stack to questions and concerns.

32.1.2.1.1.  Q: I was wondering if that money includes herbs and whatever you need for the herbal tonics.

A: there have already been lots of herbs and teas donated. Within this proposal is a small amount to buy more supplies, but we’re also counting on donations.

32.1.2.1.2.  Q: how long do we suspect that the $1400 spent on our tonics will sustain us?

A: most of the $1400 is for physical equipment to make bulk teas. We have supplies for maybe five days. And with the $1400 should bring a few more days’ supply. The way the funding works, we can have an operating budget of $100/day without needing another GA approval. I suspect after this proposal, we’ll have hot teas and herbal tonics for as long as we want.

32.1.2.1.3.  Q: can we have coffee too?

A: absolutely!

32.1.2.1.4.  Q: I’m concerned there’s not enough focus on specific objectives of this currently peaceful revolution.

A: some of us might agree, but I don’t see the application to tea.

F: we see that there has been a point of process from some in the crowd. Let me remind you that the point of process is used so that we can stay on process. We respect our members’ issue, and we would like to come back to that issue during soapbox. Can I take a temperature check on that point of process?

PoP: The person presenting should not be facilitating.

32.1.2.1.5.  Q: how do I go about donating supplies for tea or coffee.

A: let’s talk directly after this. I’ll go to the carts over here.

32.1.2.1.6.  Q: Can we be assured that any tea or coffee that is purchased with our funds is certified fair trade.

A: Absolutely.

32.1.2.1.7.  Q: $1400 out of how much?

A: In response, this is not a discussion about the public’s finances. The last I heard, it was up around $300,000. And I’m asking for $1400 please.

32.1.2.1.8.  Q: Can we have the timekeeper move this along please. I’m not here for a tea party.

32.1.2.1.9.  Q: very quick question: have you considered approaching the unions for discounts on stuff like this?

A: this person asked if we could move a little quicker. Can I get a temp check?

F: Is it possible that we take a general consensus about the proposal on tea and coffee and then if there are other…

32.1.2.1.10.  Q: will there be refrigeration for dairy supplies?

A: And I’d like to stick for hot beverages for now.

32.1.2.1.11.  Q: can we get an answer about the proposal to approach the unions for discounts on supplies?

A: that’s a great idea, and I’ll approach the unions first thing tomorrow.

32.1.2.1.12.  Q: what are you doing with all the cups?

A: my proposal includes funding for ceramic cups so we can reuse them.

32.1.2.1.13.  Q: Is there a consensus on whether people think that coffee is healthy? Because the point is…

PoP: Who is facilitating this meeting?

A: I am one of the people co-facilitating the meeting; and I am the other person facilitating the meeting. Stack is closed.

32.1.2.1.14.  Q: I would like to thank everyone for their serious cooperation on the establishment of the composting. Please take that to soap box. Can we please have …

PoP: Can I just remind you that it’s good to ask for a temperature check before consensus, and then you move to blocks, and then you would ask for a consensus.

F: As a facilitator of this GA, I was trying to get to that. I was trying to get to that. I was continuously interrupted. Do we have any friendly amendments? Stack is open for friendly amendments.

32.1.2.2.  Friendly Amendments

32.1.2.2.1.  Amendment – I propose that an inventory of what is purchased be made transparent for everyone to see either online, or posted somewhere here.

Response: I’ll do both.

32.1.2.2.2.  Amendment – I propose that the concerns that were raised and addressed and agreed to be specifically placed as friendly amendments to this proposal.

Response: Sounds great. So far I’ve got – contact unions for discounts; transparent inventory; fair trade.

32.1.2.2.3.  Amendment – friendly amendment to include creamer.

Response: I can’t promise to have any creamer, but I’ll give it a shot. I can’t run a fridge.

F: Can we get a temperature check on this proposal? Are there any blocks?

F: Consensus

F: The next proposal is from the Internet working group. Correction – it’s from the open source WG

32.1.2.  Open Source WG: I propose that the GA disperse $1500 for the construction of a freedom tower, which is a powerful mobile hot spot and VPN uplink. Such a tower has been operating near medical for the past 5 days. That tower is the property of the Free Network Foundation. It is needed for demonstrations. So I built that one, and I’d like to build one for all of you to have Internet.

32.1.2.1.  The floor is open to questions and concerns.

32.1.2.1.1.  Q: cost?

Response: the cost of the materials is $1500. I will donate my time.

32.1.2.1.2.  Q: my question is about power outlet availability in relation to construction of an Internet tower. Will people have access to electricity as well?

Response: I have been running a Honda 1000 as much as possible for the past 5 days. It is currently providing power to medical, comfort, and nicotine. The plan is to continue providing the same service. We may have to move the cell phone charging station so that it does not block the egress to and from medical. The second function is that of a VPN Uplink. VPN stands for virtual private network. My collaborators at the Free Network Foundation have been working for the past several weeks to build a national site-to-site VPN to connect Occupations nationwide and globally via secure and encrypted channels.

F: Stack is closed. There are two more.

32.1.2.1.3.  Q: First – will the Internet provided through the tower really be enough bandwidth for all of us? Second – who will own the infrastructure in the terrible event that this occupation finishes?

Response: At present, the tower gets its upstream bandwidth via multiple wimax connections. These provide an aggregate of 30 mega bits down and 10 mega bits up. This should be enough as long as people don’t stream tons of high def video.

PoP: We’re typing here. We can’t hear because of the construction. Particularly over there. Shout louder.

Response (continued): To the second question: as to the ownership of the tower, it would belong to the GA.

32.1.2.1.4.  Q: question about security – we have a problem with surveillance. Will this tower increase our vulnerability to surveillance?

Response: To the question of security: the plan is to run the network as an open network. Open networks are by design vulnerable to surveillance. There are counter-measures. If you are concerned about your privacy, and you should be, you must use https and ssl. If you have questions, about how to do so, we will be happy to help you over by the freedom tower.

F: can I please open friendly amendments to the proposal on the freedom tower.
 Can I get a temp check? Are there any blocks? Consensus.
 The network ID is “The Free Network”

F: Now we’re moving on to Working Group Reports. If we have any reports make yourself known to the public.

 

32.2.  Working Group Report Backs

32.2.1.  Comfort: my name is Sparrow and this is Sarah. And we are part of the comfort community. As you know, winter is coming. And the situation in this park has become a humanitarian crisis. Comfort has been working very hard with the community … we would like to invite the community to the comfort meeting on Thursday at 7pm. Comfort is located in front of medical, near kitchen, in the corner.

32.2.2.  Direct Action: Hi I’m Alex. Today we proposed and passed a new structure for Direct Action. To make our group a more horizontal hub for affinity groups. Our new structure goes like this: working group coordination – report back – roles – share experiences with direct action – what we hope to get out of direct action. Then we break out into groups and discuss our plans based on mutual interest and action. Then we have a check in with the entire group, announcements, and brainstorming. Everyday Direct Action meets at 2pm under the red structure and moves offsite. Before coming to Direct Action, we encourage you to attend a training that happens everyday at 1, which is a direct action training. And at 4pm, which is a nonviolent direct action training so you can more productively participate when you come.

32.2.3.  Arts & Culture: The EG Arts & Culture has its open meeting every Tuesday – Sunday 6pm @ 60 Wall Street in the atrium. There is now an arts & culture kiosk on the north side of this park. The Occupational meetings are at 60 Wall Street on Mondays at 6pm. There is an open call for musicians to perform on Friday between 8 and 10pm. A & C is looking for rehearsal and exhibition spaces. Contact: michael.walery@gmail.com

32.2.4.  Sustainability: I’m Allison. I’m Lauren. We have a sustainability table right next to sanitation. If you visit we have a new, exciting thing: We have our first bicycle generator. So please come visit us and check it out. And if you’re a working group, please come to us and we’ll do an energy assessment. We also need help with recycling. We’re working on a better system now, and we need volunteers. If you want to volunteer to help us recycle, please come to our table or email owssustainability@gmail.com

32.2.5.  Radio: I am Danny. A group of us have been working with media to get a radio station going here. A lot more details will follow in the days to come. And we will be putting out an open call for all … this is just something to keep in mind if you make radio. For now, if you’re interested, you can email us at owsradio@gmail.com. One more thing: it’s going to be called People’s Mic Radio.

32.2.6.  Mediation: We think it’s very important that our movement develops nonviolent and transformative ways to deal with conflict. Therefore our WG offers three things: we have an empathy table that is right behind the kitchen where you can come and just be listened to; second, we offer trainings in nonviolent communication and in mediation everyday from 12-2. We strongly recommend that we all come and learn about these things to improve our skills. Third, we offer professional mediation if you have a conflict in your WG, or between WGs. Just come and see us. We also mediate, for example, between the drummers, the neighbors, and the GA. If you’d like to get in touch with us, come to the empathy table behind the kitchen or to one of our meetings: Wednesday 6pm, Sunday 3:30. We need people who want to contribute.

 

32.3.  Announcements

32.3.1.  Hello everyone. Comfort needs someone who is in the carpentry union. Also, it is going to rain tomorrow. If you do not have a tarp, you need to get it now

32.3.2.  My name is Mo. There are people on this square who have taken it upon themselves to police the square. Last night, I had a fairly bad experience with one of them. I feel that I was bullied and violated within the square. I feel these issues need to be addressed. I feel less safe in the space. I don’t want to live in a police state.

PoP: this is for announcements. Please state clearly at the … This is not about “I feel” and “you feel” … my life last night/my security on this square… I don’t feel safe living in a police state within a police state.

32.3.3.  Sarah – I’m from the sex workers outreach project. I want to tell you about a screening Monday 10/24, 7pm @ Blue Stockings. The subject is resisting police brutality and criminalization. Short films about sex workers’ rights.

32.3.4.  Daniel: Earlier today I formed a WG. It’s currently just myself, and I’d like to invite all of you. It is meant to review and possibly revise, or propose revisions, of the process that we use to ensure that it is and remains to be as consensual as possible. If you want to meet with me, I will be right over here after GA for a couple of minutes so we can choose a time to meet. If you can’t meet then, you can have my email:

32.3.5.  Martha: I’m from Grandmas for Peace. We are having a demonstration this Saturday at 12 noon at the central library, grand army plaza, opposing the longest war the United States has ever been in, and demanding the repatriation of our tax dollars for schools, libraries, senior centers, etc. We would welcome your participation.

F: Please move forward… so we can hear each other better.

32.3.6.  Moveon.org sent an email that really made me angry. Those of you who don’t receive their emails, I’ll sum it up. They are trying to raise money for their independent campaigns using Occupy Wall St. I would like to get a temperature check on issuing a denunciation of this practice through the Working Group – the declarations committee. Temp check/ point of process – are you proposing to bring such a proposal to the GA? A: no. This is a temp check to see how people feel before I waste my time writing such a thing and going through the process. This is not a proposal. It’s just a gauge to see how people are feeling.

32.3.7.  Craig – the police in Atlanta murdered a young black man unrelated to Occupy Atlanta. Occupy Atlanta protested this act and they are threatened to be shut down on November 7th. They need support. They need numbers. They are on our side. 2: I have started a queer caucus WG. Our first meeting is tomorrow @ 9pm @ red cube. I have colorful fliers with more information. If you’re interested, come talk to me

32.3.8.  Occupy San Francisco also needs your solidarity. On October 15th OSF expanded its base from the sidewalk in front of the Federal Reserve to Justin Herman Plaza, 2 blocks away. Since Saturday’s move, there was a police raid resulting in arrests and hospitalizations. There have also been a heightened police presence and continued threats of another raid. OSF needs your solidarity to continue growing this peaceful protest movement. So please encourage anyone who can to join OSF’s camp so they will remain strong.

32.3.9.  My name is Rick. I’m a nurse. I work medicine. I am also a mountain climber. This winter, is this revolution’s valley forge. We must persevere this winter. The mountain climbing community would like to help and will provide assistance with dress and equipment and how to survive in the cold. We will work with Medical and with Comfort care over the next several weeks to provide professional groups that will teach you all how to dress in the cold. No matter how cold or wet or windy it gets. We’ll be here in the Spring. AND then, it’ll grow even bigger. We’re unstoppable.

32.3.10.  Sage: if anyone has any stomach-specific needs – like gluten free. Come see me. I take people to breakfast. You can live here even with a sensitive immune system. I work autonomously from the kitchen. But at least I don’t get sick.

32.3.11.  There is one man on Wall Street our presence really scares. To salvage justice for all, there is one man we can still send to jail for what happened during the financial bailouts. My group I am starting is called the Lloyd Blankenfein group. I will answer it. Who is is Lloyd Blanenfein. We should all know who he is. He is the CEO of Goldman Sachs. Announcement: I propose to build a dummy with a suit I brought as a symbol that our government understands that we are knowledgeable in who should be held accountable. He lied under oath. That is illegal. Let’s send him to jail.

32.3.12.  Occupy Democracy – West Harlem chapter. Thursday at 6pm. If you want to go, and live up there, or know someone who does, please invite them. I have fliers at the OWS en espanol table.

32.3.13.  Women’s sleeping space in front of the bright food vendor. So bright, nothing sketchy can happen. Also, there have been unconfirmed reports of arrest at a house …

32.3.14.  White hat – I run the projector. After GA and after the soap box we’ll keep the projector running for comments and announcements that anyone wants to make. Just come up to the projector as long as you see it on. It’s called People’s vibes. (?)

32.3.15.  Connie: In solidarity… unemployment insurance… anybody can wind up like us. There are 7 million 99ers in America. We don’t want any of the 99% to wind up like us. Therefore, for everyone who is jobless, I am starting a working group to help find solutions to the rampant unemployment in this country. If anybody wants to come to the group, we’ll meet on Friday at 4pm under the big red X. If anybody has questions, I’m here all night.

32.3.16.  TW100 – John Ferreti – our union has pledged it support to OWS. As a rank and file member of local 100, I demand that support means hundreds of thousands of bodies. This is a worker’s fight. The central labor council will meet, and we will lethally outsized. Rank and file workers and occupiers demanding a mass demonstration on Saturday November 5th. The demands are that working people shouldn’t pay for a crisis they didn’t make. No to layoffs, budget cuts, and service cuts. Create jobs and infrastructure with a federal program of public works. Stop police harassment of the OWS. 5:30 – 6:30 @ 216 w. 14th street between 8th & 7th. There are fliers at the labor union table.

32.3.17.  Hello brothers and sisters. I’m Train and I’m Paul. New WG focused on streamlining our concerns to create concise objectives so we can strike more efficiently, beginning with removing corporate money from politics. Our group will meet tomorrow at 10am under the red thing. We have fliers if you are interested. Our email is: objectices4ows@gmail.com. We have more fliers behind the kitchen at the free empathy and millions against Monsanto tables.

32.3.18.  Mediation has been talking to businesses asking if they have any concerns. McDonald’s has expressed a concern about people loitering in the rain. It’s been affecting their ability to do business. Prepare for the rain.

32.3.19.  On Thursday, when we were going to be shut down, the Lost & Found that was kept at Info was moved to Coat Check and then Info went to Coat Check to retrieve it. Nobody knows where that went. Anybody from Info, please come see me, or if you were involved at any time in that process, come and see me.

One Response to “NYCGA Minutes 10/18/2011”

  1. Jack Lebowitz

    Wow, I’m very impressed with the minutes of the GA in the form they’re being transcribed now. This is a light years improvement from the primitive minutes of a couple of weeks ago with were rough notes with lots of typos and misspellings. I especially like the sequential agenda item/discussion numbering and the indication of whether the speaker is a facilitator or audience member. Good job!