11/25/2011 Operational Spokes Council Minutes

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Spokes Council Minutes.


Date / Time: Friday, 11/25/2011 / 7pm

Location: Liberty Plaza

Facilitators (F): Sam, Marlena, Tashi



70.1.  Introduction and Ground Rules

70.2.  Working Group Report Backs

70.3.  Discussion Group

70.4.  Solidarity Proposal on Amending the Bail Cap Raise Proposal

[Pre-game conversation] I know there is a couple of working groups that doesn’t have admin access yet to NYCGA.net. See me in front afterwards.


70.1.  Introductions and Ground Rules

F: Let’s gather into our spokes. Is mediation anywhere? If everyone could get your seat and bring your conversations to a quite satisfactory pause that would be really good. And if we could also have the folks who are on the facilitation team come to the front for a moment that would be really grand. Everyone else please, take a seat so folks behind you can see. Is it possible to make more of a circle so we can see where the spokes are? It seems like we have enough room in the space. Everybody let’s look around the space and see if we can expanded circle, the spokes sit in the smaller circle and they sit next to each other. Thank you.

Mic Check! If you don’t have a sign please come and see me so I can make a sign for your spoke, thank you.

F: Clap once if you can hear me! Clap twice if you can hear me! Clap three times if you can hear me, clap four times if you’re really happy to be here. Okay, so that was kind of our default way of starting the meeting and one thing that we do when we start the meeting is we ask one person to talk at a time. The second thing that we are actually going to do first in this meeting is we are going to say that the next two spokes councils next Monday and next Wednesday are also going to be at the location that they were this previous Monday and Wednesday, which is 56 Walker Street near Canal street, and if you don’t know where that is you can ask me after the meeting and I will help you.

Raisa: Hi everyone, my name is Raisa and we are allies of the Brecht forum. The Brecht forum was founded back in 1975 as New York Marxist school and as of today the Brecht forum is still the New York Marxist school but so much more. The Brecht forum is a cultural, a political, it’s a holistic space for everyone on the left, for everyone in the movement, for everyone dedicated to social justice, for everyone. Dedicated to what I call common sense. So that’s what the Brecht forum is and we are more than happy to welcome all of you here tonight and to support you in the work that you do. So if you guys have any questions about the space, so at the front when you entered there is a small table there and that table contains a little bit of information about the Brecht forum. So the Brecht forum till this day houses various events, various classes, various things, art exhibits dedicated to the various things that are being done to support this perpetual movement that we are a part of. So we hope that you will sign up on the mailing list and if you would rather not we can hope that you come back here and continue the work that you do. Thank you all.

F: All right, hi everybody. So I haven’t facilitated one of the spokes councils yet and I’m a little bit nervous, so I would love it if everyone would breathe with me for a second just to calm us all and get ready for what is going to be a really simple and exciting process. So if we could breathe in for a count of three. Hold it for a count of three. And let go for a count of three. And do that maybe twice. Yeah, okay, ready, breathe in.

All right, thank you. So now we are going to introduce the facilitation team for tonight and I’d like to do a little bit more introductions then we normally do. I’ve been noticing that I say hey I’m Sam and then we go around to the next person but we don’t actually get to know each other any better. So I’m going to ask the facilitation team at least do a little bit of who he they are and maybe why you’re here. How about that? Why they are here not just what they do and I’m Sam. I’ve been around a lot and working on training and I really care about trainings and I’m going to be facilitating with Marlena.

F: Hi everybody my name’s Marlena (FM). I wear a lot of different hats here and I’m co-facilitating with Sam and I’m here because I love all of you individually and collectively and I love this movement. And I want to recognize two things just about myself in this space. One is I’m pretty sure that like probably during this meeting is when I’m going to start my monthly bleeding so so I feel like really and it’s also the new moon tonight and those two things and I’ll, ah, try to stay calm.

F: My name’s Tashi (FT). I’m German so I speak funny English. I’m trainer in communications and I’m in the mediation working group and I’ll be running to get questions and proposals tonight with Patric.

F: I’m Patric (FP) I’m from Brooklyn, Bay Ridge Brooklyn. I’m an artist from there. I’m here because I support the ideas and the people of this movement and I think it’s very, very important so that’s why I’m here.

F: My name is Ellis (FE). I support the idea of the second American revolution and I’m here for that.

Sam: And what are you going to be doing on the facilitation?

Ellis: I will be taking stack.

F: My name is David (FD). I’m a social worker. I’m here because I was having this conversation on a

listserve with some colleagues about three weeks before this movement actually happened. We were talking about the same exact issues and I’m going to be taking stack.

Justin: HI I’m Justin I’m in the part time working group. I help setup the space and I help wherever needed and I’m from Bed-Stuy.

F: I’m Christine (FC). I would like to try my best to advise tonight. I’m from Maine. Many of you drink our water. That’s great and I’m here I work a lot with facilitation because I feel that I have a skill for it and I do a lot of activism in my free time.

FM: So we have a few things just before we get started. The first is before the meeting started we walked around with some paper and pens and we did that because in the last spokes council meetings there’s been a lot of side conversations and we really wanted to give you another medium to communicate with each other and your spokes beside talking and whispering, because when a lot to people talk and whisper it gets really loud. So if you feel that if you don’t have a pen and paper and you want one please raise your hand and we can give them out. And there is also a lot, if there is a lot of side conversation, we might come around and give out paper and pencil. So now do you want to review the agenda?

FS: Sure um do we have our community groups anywhere? Can you pull those up ground rules okay?

I’m going to trust folks so enough to say if you remember one of our ground rules please share it with the group.

A: No name calling.

FS: No name calling. That is one of our ground rules, another one?

A: Wait: why am I talking.

FS: And before you open your mouth hopefully thinking those things other ground rules.

A: Don’t disrupt the facilitation process.

Q: I don’t think that’s a rule.

A: No gossip about other working groups.

Q: Do not gossip about other working groups?

A: One mic one voice.

Q: Say it louder.

A: One mic, one voice.

Q: Another?

A: Step up step back.

F: Step up step back. That’s like a term we throw around. I don’t know if everyone hears that all the time if your someone who feels really comfortable speaking or you notice that you speak a lot, take the time to step back because even if you don’t notice someone stepping up, they might if you make the space if your someone who is traditionally marginalized or you doesn’t feel as comfortable jumping up in front of this group. Push yourself a little bit. Progressive stack, we use progressive stack. Now I wanted to note that progressive stack don’t just mean bringing up or calling on traditionally marginalized voices. It also means that if, if you’ve been talking a lot the stack taker might push you down the stack or if you haven’t been talking a lot they might push you up the stack.

FP: The responsibility for a successfully facilitating the meeting lays largely on us as an entire group.

FS: Yeah can everyone just take a second and I know that there is a lot of controversy about facilitators and I’ve never facilitated one of these things before, but I would love it if you could all for a moment just internally take responsibility for this meeting tonight and then externally take responsibility for this meeting tonight. So we’re going to try really hard. We really ask that you give us a little bit of trust and a little bit of space and a little bit of patience. But also a successful meeting is everyone’s responsibility.

FM: Along with that we really want to stress, don’t shout other people down, and we will get more into this later. There’s been a lot of talk about facilitation into the stepping up to this task see we will be working very hard and we will want to get into the agenda a little bit. Right now we want to hear working group report backs since people are doing a lot of work. We also want to take some time in the next couple of hours to have a conversation about the things that are troubling our community and this space there have been a lot of meetings today and over the past couple of days about issues with this process, about confrontations we’ve had with each other, and all of the ground rules that we just laid out are great but we don’t have a method of enforcement. We don’t have a way that we have all decided we hold each other accountable and so it isn’t up to us as facilitators and it isn’t up to any other person in this space to take responsibility for holding anyone accountable. We have to decide how we do that as a group, so we will take some time, if folks want to do that, to talk about that.

FM: And then the last item on the agenda, just to be clear, the first thing we are going to do some working group report backs. The second is we are going to break out into some break-out groups and the third is, there is a proposal that I believe Solidarity has brought today. So we will deal with that and we have the space till 10pm.


70.2.  Working Group Report Backs

FS: So we will, no matter where we are, we want to honor that someone’s brought a proposal so at 9:30 we are going to come back and hear that proposal and we are going to keep good time. So can people raise their hands if they are the spoke for their working group and keep it up and. Okay great, we are going to ask that folks go around and introduce themselves and introduce their spoke and give a one minute very brief report back and if it’s like less than that we all do a happy dance in your honor.

FM: And just for the interest of time and sharing information, we are going to cut you off after a minute and I want to check in right now if anybody has a time piece. So I’m recognizing that you all want to talk to your people and if you could do that on pieces of paper that would be really great and would really help support us.

FS: So again I’m noticing a lot of side conversations already. I’m a really nice person but I’m really going to tightly facilitate this if that’s okay. Let’s start here where the cameras are what’s the first working group we have? #OWS in Espanol. Can you do a one minute report back and can everyone give them attention because the reason we do these report backs is so that you know what other members of our community are doing, because you may want to talk to them. You may have things that you’re working on and they may be able to help you so yeah and.

FM: And just to clarify this isn’t the time to share what your group has been working on generally.

We don’t have time to ask clarifying questions, so know that it’s an imperfect forum at the moment and we are working on something better thank you very much.

70.2.1.  Lilly: Hi my name is Lilly. Some of the things we are doing in #OWS in Espanol is we are organizing two documentary showings and we are going to have discussions afterwards both in Spanish and English. One we are going to be showing a documentary about the student mobilization in Chile and second we are going to be showing the tape but we’ve yet to figure out where we are going to be having them. We want to do them in the neighborhoods, marginalized neighborhoods, and in community colleges so that’s like in the works for the coming month. And also we’ve been working on three videos. One about the people’s library one about the eviction of Liberty Plaza and and the other about November 17th, both in Spanish and English and that’s what we’ve been working on.

FS: What’s next? Raise your spokes. Library.

70.2.2.  Bill: I’m Bill. I’m from the People’s Library and we had a very successful press conference on Wednesday where we laid out all the books that the NYPD and sanitation destroyed every one that we could get our hands on. There is still about 3000 books that are unaccounted for, possibly destroyed and gone. And so what we are working on now is to try to draw that issue to the mayor’s office and try to get compensated for that. And we also have mobile units. People’s library version 3.0 and we have push carts and we are at the events. We’ve also got a small collection of books in Zucotti – Liberty Park. Whenever they deem it permissible, but these rules change every day so some days there is not many books there but (a lot of agreement).

FS: They were under time, let’s do a dance.

70.2.3.  Jerry: I’m Jerry from Direct Action. Direct Action has three large actions coming up the first one is Wednesday November 30th which has to do with the defense contractors, bankers and department of defense officials conference here in New York City at Credit Suisse Bank. There are a number of actions for the day from low risk to the other end. And we have another action on November (sic) 6th which is dealing with housing foreclosure and we have another action November.

Direct Action WG: December?

Jerry: I’m sorry, December 6th and December 12th. December 12th is in solidarity with the west coast which is going to be shutting down ports.

FS: Thank you Direct Action. Next is SIS.

70.2.4.  Jake: I’m Jake from SIS We created a new form. This form will be given to all the working groups and if you haven’t gotten one you can come to me afterwards and get one. This form is meant to facilitate a clear line of communication between different working groups and SIS People in your working group can fill out this form for requests from SIS. and your point person and whoever you’ve decided to be the go between between your working group and SIS can take this form to us fill the order and give it back. We’ll also give this form to different houses and different churches where people are staying. The point of this is to make our space safe right now. We are under threat of not being able to have that space if people keep coming to us in mass numbers. This is meant to keep the flow down and keep the process efficient. Thank you.

FS: Cool. Tech.

70.2.5.  Tech: We are, are looking to put together a meeting with stake holders in the occupyWallstreet.net domain, an outward facing informational website that does general assembly recaps, minutes, stuff for the general public. We want to talk with PR, design, media and anyone else who feels that they are a stake holder in an outward facing site. Please e-mail Tech@NYGA.net to get in touch with us. Tonight we are also clustering with mobile occupation in seeking greater collaboration on a vision for an east coast solidarity bus tour to spread information and promote community amongst the other occupations down the east coast. They, we are also seeking further development and diversity as a working group. We meet Mondays Wednesdays and Fridays at 60 Wall Street. Anyone’s welcome. We are look looking for a diverse New York City crowd that has training in facilitation, nonviolent communication and other applicable skill sets to share with our brothers and sisters down the coast. If you’re not familiar with what we are doing we are trying to facilitate face to face communication skills, sharing info, sharing to other occupations, and we have a bus route and we have a bus that is vegetable oil and you can see us on the NYC.net website.

FS: Cool. And just so you know there are clickers coming around and once we are done with working group report backs you guys will have a second to maybe distribute them and…

70.2.6.  David: My name is David. I’m working on Press and I actually volunteered for the position because no one’s picked up press; but I am a citizen journalist. I’ve covered the marches. I’ve covered several actions. Pardon me I’m getting over a cold. I’d like to try to get connected with as many people as possible to try to get some articles on things that are not just mass movements and to try to change of conversation away from just interactions with the police, because that seems to be the dominant conversation in media representation right now, but I want to connect with as many people as possible, because I’m also a bilingual journalist, I’d like to connect with #OWS in Espanol and see if we can do something with that.

FS: Is anyone from the Press working group here? Okay so. Public relations.

FS: Would you like to give a report back?

70.2.7.  Public Relations: We are always monitoring the press, taking queries. Now some on the plaza and a lot on e-mail and regrouping. Like everybody else we are starved for info. That’s one of the reasons why I came tonight. I feel like the more info that can flow, the better off we’ll be.

FS: Do you want to tell us how people can get info to you?  Public Relations: press@occupyWallstreet.org.

FS: All right Movement Building.

70.2.8.  Ezra: I’m Ezra from Movement Building. We have two basic functions. One is to connect occupations around the country and the other one is to try to help other groups get national functions off the ground and the one thing we are doing to strengthen connections across working groups across the country, direct action for example, had another cause with other working groups and you can contact us at movementbuildingNY@gmail.com. If you want to facilitate, if you want to help get a cause like that off the ground. The other thing we are doing is we are starting an international subgroup that will just monitor what’s going on around the world and hopefully get us to start a conversation with the other sights and we also have a project just starting now called the practice theory. It’s not clear yet, in which we have conversation about getting intellectual issues.

70.2.9.  477: I’m with 477 in Harlem. We work at preserving low income housing stock in the New York and elsewhere and preventing gentrification of our neighborhoods. Often times the most loose marginalized communities are targeted by predatory lending and mortgage fraud, so people can come in and make a profit off the neighborhoods that historically have been marginalized and push those people further out of the city. So what we are trying to do is make out block, our building and Harlem the last stand to preserve low income housing stock. Another thing that we are doing is fighting for reparations. Today we are a very successful March on the New York Stock Exchange where we marched on it twice and then to the African burial grounds since they were the first commodity sold on Wall Street.

70.2.10.  Nathan(?): Hi I’m Nathan(?) working with Solidarity and we are working to make sure the principles of solidarity that have been accepted by the movement continue to reflect the movement as it changes and grows and as it evolves and to try to stay on top of any of the visions that people are coming up with in the movement and making sure that the principles of solidarity and the communications between the community maintains in accordance with those principles.

Lynn: Hi I’m Lynn. I’m going to let her speak first and then I’ll speak.

70.2.11.  Jane: Hi, I’m Jane Cloud(?) and I’m with the Strong Women’s working group and what we do is provide save space for rape victims, single mothers, young women and we are in solidarity with the drummers and solidarity with 477 Harlem and also there is an issue with this council in regards to racism and sexism, so there will be a proposal presented tomorrow and also looking for building.

Lynn: I’m Lynn.

FS: We have an agreement that only spokes speak so…

70.2.12.  Lynn: I am a spoke. Drummers. Any way the reason I’m here because the drummers are in solidarity with 477, we are, today we had a March with 477 and also with the women’s group. Today the March went pretty well. There were no arrests and actually the police officers were very nice at the end. In the beginning they were giving us a hard time when we started drumming but that resolved real friendly so that was real good and also our group was also there to represent to make sure that everybody was safe and since I also deal with women with women March. So that’s the report back from the drummers.

FS: Cool thanks. Community Alliance.

70.2.13.  Zak: I’m Zak. We’ve basically been doing our thing. We have like five people working with us in Queens. I’ve been told that we are working on try being to get back Saint Paul’s and Saint Andrews on 6th street and we are also going to get together with finance and housing to get more stuff done.

FS: Happy dance that was super-fast. All right who is next?

70.2.14.  Justin: I’m Justin with the Part Time working group. Really quickly, working with the counsel of the elders to kick of the Sunday events which we are calling elder day which is basically a basket to make senior citizen style events to make the space more approachable for our elderly supporters I hope to you see you on Sunday.

FS: You’re the best. Happy dance.

70.2.15.  Chris: I’m Chris. I’m with Kitchen, Food. We’ve we had a good Thanksgiving. We got a lot of food to the park. We have our kitchen going on weekdays except for today. We’re still closed from Thanksgiving so not a lot of stuff happening on weekends until the kitchen gets back on Monday and what we’ve been doing is bringing food to meetings, GA spokes council, churches where people are staying and that’s it. Currently Kitchen’s faced with a huge problem of knowing even how to move forward with the movement because it’s so nebulous. We are just day-to-day trying to figure out who we are feeding, how we are feeding, our donations have dried up as far as incoming donations, and so we as a group are faced with an internal question of how we are going to feed people and what we are going to do about it.

FS: Thank you, we might have time to talk about that later this week.

70.2.16.  Town Planning: We are Town Panning and after the raid and our community being cleaned out and removed to the far reaches of the city we are kind of redundant. But we are still sitting-in and we would like to talk about all the groups that are now redundant and now maybe relinquishing that voice but we’d like to discuss that someday.

70.2.17.  Safer Spaces: Hi I’m (?) from Safer Spaces. On Monday we have a couple of things. On Monday we have ongoing survivor support chains at eight to 10pm in the Atrium. We are still working on the community agreement, which is a document outlining our commitment to prevent anti-oppression. Right now we are reaching out to working groups. You might have gotten an e-mail from us asking for feedback and any kind of edit. We are doing support assistance for community watch at churches and occupation spaces, including Rockaway and we are also doing, as needed, we are being dispatched to survivor support at sights, hospitals, wherever people need us.

FS: Awesome we actually skipped a person over here so we want to – did you want make a report back?

70.2.18.  Des: Hi, I’m Des from the Cipher group. Cipher means Zero which can also mean zero like OWS and the occupy Cipher group which has had appointed persons from media. All I want to do is live stream and I do not need finance. It is to ease the minds of the protestors and also to ease the minds through live streams for each and every occupancy.

Lily: I’m going to need some help to get the food in.

Des: So go help yourself.

Lilly: Screw you.

Des: Screw your mother.

FS: Whoa, whoa, whoa. Okay. So thank you for that. Can everyone over here who started a side conversation…

70.2.18. (continued) Des: So basically the occupy Cipher group is artists that have come from the Bronx, also from #OWS, which I know many that just want to update the revolution as it goes into its number eight which is infinity and I know, okay time is up but, sorry.

FS: No, no thank you so much. We have another report back.

70.2.19.  NVC: We are NVC. We do a lot of stuff but there is only one thing that we want people to remember: 12 to 2 we do a workshop at 60 Wall. At 12 to 2 we do a workshop at 60 Wall and, at the risk of being repetitious, 12 to 2 we do a workshop at 60 Wall, 12 to 2.

FS: All right hold up signs for your spokes.

70.2.20.  Architecture: We obviously, we may be redundant but we are continuing to build the project that we had slated for Zucotti off-site now and there is a lot of interest now. There is an exhibit coming up. Our next meeting is Saturday 11am at 60 Wall and we are interested to hear from other groups we are also working with occupy Columbia there is a lot of urban planners. We are mapping out spaces.

70.2.21.  COC: We also, every Tuesday, we have solidarity at the end of the park and I hope everyone will come. We are also planning a racial justice organizing committee our next meeting for that is November 30th at 8pm and we are also working on ante-oppression training. If you’re looking to get in touch with us our e-mail is unifyOWS@gmail.com and our next meeting is on Sunday at 3pm.

FS: And again if you’re feeling tempted to have a side conversation, people are running around with paper and pens.

70.2.22.  Facilitation: I have a lot of announcements but I will do this as quickly as possible. On

Monday we are having a session where men and women will be at our facilitation meeting but only women get to talk and the men have to listen. So please come Monday 4:00. We meet by the way every single day at 4:00 at 60 Wall Street and we implore you to please come join us, to please come and volunteer to facilitate and also we are working on a workshop with C. T. Butler who has been working on consensus and the process of consensus for a very, very long time and it’s now dwindled down to maybe we will have one session with him. Most likely it will be on Monday before our spokes. Hopefully it will be at the same space from 5:00 to 7:00. Also we’re going to make a report back about the spokes council. The discussion we had Wednesday, we are going to have a report back on that this coming Monday because there was a holiday yesterday, the discussion is continuing and we are learning a lot from it and we also want to establish GA’s in Staten Island Brooklyn and the Bronx and we are working on doing more of that.

70.2.23.  Nicky: Hi I’m Nicky with music. We had a great Thanksgiving yesterday with live music and sing-alongs and we also got a banjo with a case inside the park so that was a big win for us, and not too much else we are working with occupy musicians.com to put together a conference of musicians nationally and internationally just to make it easier for musicians if they want to come and perform at various occupations.

FS: Any other spokes signs? Arts and Culture sing it out.

70.2.24.  Antonio: Hi I’m Antonio from Arts and Culture. so far we have an update on the internet site. We have about 75% of the information on there right now it’s artandculture.NYCGA.net. Arts and Culture is like a really large group and it’s a really eclectic group, so we have created this structure to accommodate the diversity of groups working within Arts and Culture. We have guilds, skill-based guilds, thematic groups like arts and labor and occupy museums. We have organizational group that’s in charge of the organization as a whole and we also have space for collectives who want to work in the Arts and Culture group as well. So we still need a lot of these guilds out and there. There is about seventeen people floating around now that can explain the sight and get that information out to the broader public. Next thing he want to say, we are consolidating meeting days. We are meeting now only Monday through Thursday 9 to noon. From eleven to twelve occupy Broadway is happening. A twenty four hour event from December second through Saturday the third, meeting at 47th and Broadway. We request presence from each spokesperson to be there to meet there and educate the general public about the movement and its accomplishments. We are also accepting performers and musicians, singers, dancers et cetera. Again it’s December second through Saturday the third. It’s twenty four hours from 6pm the to 6pm the next day on Saturday. Last note is we are in the process of getting spaces. One is sanction spaces and network spaces to do a lot of production of art.

FS: Thanks, Arts and Culture. So I’m noticing a lot of folks are starting to wade over to food make a noise and when we come back can we please give full attention to who is the next spokes.

70.2.25.  Finance: Well if you have any of those surveys we gave out and you’re still trying to get to us, the spokes council would be a great time since we’re all here. the other one just to reiterate we have hours if you’re a working group and you need to talk about finance or money, 1:00-5:00. I think it’s Tuesday through Saturday. Right over at 50 Broadway. There you go.

Thank you so much. Minutes.

70.2.26.  Carrie: Hi, I’m Carrie from Minutes. We are working harder than ever to get our full verbatim minutes edited and posted quicker. We are also in the – before we put full minutes up we just put up summaries and compilations of the live feeds so you have some idea of what went on before we have our full minutes up, if anything. We’re working with our beloved live feed people to get full corroborated minutes, taking our observations and theirs to make sure there is as full a record as possible. We are actively recruiting new people all the time so if anybody can type quickly please come join us, minutes@NYCGA.net. I was the spoke on Wednesday and I’m the only person here from Minutes. So after this I will recuse myself from any decisions.

FS: Thank you Minutes. Organized Labor.

70.2.27.  Tara: Yes my name is Tara and I have been working along with officers of organized labor facilitating some type of relationship between labor and #OWS with they want very much. I’ll report back when we have something to report back. We are working together on a project that will represent non-labor and organized labor.

FS: Thank you. Occupy Dignity.

70.2.28.  Sebastian: Hey I’m Sebastian from Occupy Dignity. I learned a lot from Thanksgiving yesterday. I was pretty home sick that day and it brought a lot of attention to Christmas day so I’m going to be working hard to make sure Christmas day is not a lonely and isolated experience for people. One of the main things I’ll be doing is a prayer vigil in Zucotti Park. I’ll be fasting but other people won’t necessarily be. It’s going to be on midnight on Christmas eve to midnight night Christmas day. We will be in the park. We’ll be there to pray with people. There will be people visited from all different communities there will be a time to come in and spend some time with people from #OWS in solidarity on Christmas day so that’s what I’m working on.

FS: Let’s go to Wikileaks truck.

70.2.29.  Wikileaks Truck: All right I drive the Wikileaks truck(applause). I just got back from jail on Wednesday. So, new working group. I drive stuff, I pick stuff up. I’ve taken things to Boston, I’ve taken things to DC things to S.I.S. whatever you need done. Performance space, a meeting space, I can do just about whatever you want, except for laundry. So that’s about it. You can contact me at arts superheros.com or clark stackly(?) which is a hard name to pronounce but artsuperheros is better and I don’t know what else. I just started so I’ve been doing a lot of stuff for different working groups and this is like a different ways to get paid for gas without having to go around to many people.

FS: Wikileaks truck. Outreach.

70.2.30.  Outreach: Now more than ever we understand that outreach is crucial to how we move forward as a movement. Between the arrest and the eviction and the recent holidays we haven’t quite had the manpower to strategize about how we will move forward and now that there is a lot of redundancy we would like to remind people that this would be a great time to help out with outreach. We are going to try to have a strategizing meeting on Monday at 6:30 at 60 Wall and please, please come. This is so important to the movement right now and one more note because I wasn’t able to mention it at our last spokes council, regards to GA and local GA’s in different communities, please consult with outreach. We have been working with the local GA’s and there is certain things that you need to know if we can move forward on any kind of plans with that thanks.

FS: Thanks Outreach. Occupiers.

70.2.31.  Occupiers: Hey guys! So somebody with the downtown community arts board approached us about that space we went down to at Canal and 6th and they seem to think they can get OWS in there as an art project. They are running that space so I would like to speak to Arts and Culture and a couple of other groups about making this an art project. Basically we would do an installation piece, basically we would do a Zucotti Park installation piece (laughter) with tents and tarps and a kitchen and everything and then we would occupy it. It would be a performance art piece (cheers) and they would get us in there. So on Monday there is going to be a meeting if anybody wants to talk to me about that.

Q: Wait, can you repeat when that meeting is?

A: It’s on Monday, I believe it’s at 1:00. I have to look in my phone.

Q: Which is the space again?

A: On sixth and Canal.

Q: Where?

A: Duarte park.

Q: What group are you with?

A: Occupiers.

FS: So obviously people are interested in this maybe we will break out about this later. Legal.

70.2.32.  Legal: My name is (?) I’m from Legal. We are doing the jail support and we need people to help out doing the jail support. Anybody wants to join on this issue e-mail us on OWS.legal#@gmail.com. We are also in– with sanitation who is trying to throw away the stuff, the unclaimed stuff that is there. So we are asking them to freeze it and can still keep it as evidence. On Monday sanitation is going to be open from 9 til 1pm. If you didn’t pick up your stuff or if you didn’t go take a look at your stuff just go there. We are also working on issues. One of them and proposes between bails and finance and one of them we are exploring the issue of retaining a lawyer to work on the civil rights violation and damaged stuff and filing claims and compensate people for that.

FS: Thanks Legal. Any other spokes who have not yet spoken? Going once, going twice, I can’t read your sign, can you shout out who you?

70.2.33.  Politics and Reform: We are Politics and Electoral reform. We are working on two proposals. One is article five of the Constitution, around a direct amendment and the other one is a national citizen’s ballot initiative where collectively we the people would vote for a law which would finally then give us permission to amend the constitution when we so choose and pass a few laws of our own choosing each year. Look for those, they will probably posted on the website if not tomorrow. But in a few days.

70.2.34.  Media: So, we have pretty much the collective media exists at occupyTV N. Y. which is forwarded to youtube/occupy T. V. N. Y. If you haven’t noticed there isn’t really, you would know it if there was a stream of media that was totally transformative and totally collaborative and you could help out every step of the way. So we still want people to help out, especially now that we are not occupying Zucotti Park. Go to the website NYCGA.net and we have a Google page you can sign up for. The page is to see what’s happening and tell all your videographer friends and your producer friends to go to that group too and just offer their service or their contributions. Just start doing more multi camera angled all the events and to make it look good. Make it something that people can be as easily involved in as they can watch it. So keep trying to get involved with us thank you.

FS: Are folks okay giving tech ten more seconds?  Tech: We are offering e-mail accounts that are unified so your group name at NYCGA.net, if you would like to do that so we can help you sort it out so we can have very unified easy to remember names.

FS: Thanks Tech. Any other spokes? We are going to ask if you have questions, we are going to transition into another part of the meeting right now… if you have questions okay yeah. And the really exciting part of the process is that you get to see the people you want to talk to and then you don’t have to talk to them in a huge group session. You can talk to them after. It’s like magic. So we’re going to take a couple of seconds to pass out three remote voting things. Can you do it in like two minutes?  Tech: I need Information group. And so we are beta testing these hand held devices. If you were at Wednesday’s meeting there are three functions neither of which is being used. Just to demonstrate the functionality, to raise your hand for stack you press the one/ten button and then when we want to do consensus checks and temperature checks you’d be able to use one, two or three to vote yes, abstain or no. So at this time we’ve distributed the remote controls to pretty much everybody. Anyone who hasn’t yet received a clicker, but you are a working group with a piece of paper.

F: Any spokes who don’t have one raise your hand until we can he get to you.  Yeah one last thing. These remote controls have been donated. They have not been purchased. They are on demo for 45 days so no GA funds have been used, but we had one go missing which is acceptable. I’m willing to pay $20 per each but just know that I personally pay that out of my pocket. So please return these to anyone in Tech before you leave thank you.

FS: I see a clarifying question here.

Anything else?

A: I just want to open up to facilitation that you can use me at your discretion. So if you have a temperature check that you want to conduct this will get me and I pop it up on screen. Same thing can consensus and the same thing with stack. So the system isn’t outlined to support progressive stack but we have a capability built in.

FS: Okay so at this point we had hoped to be able to give you food right now but Kitchen still needs more time. So what I’m going to ask you all to sit here for a moment or if you really, want to lead everyone in a dance.


70.3.  Discussion Group

FS: Clap. So since this has been in so much flux and operations means something really different and there are a lot of things that people want to talk about, I come to this from a trainer’s point of view. I’m going to ask everyone a bunch of questions. I’d like you to be as honest as you want to be. Can everyone hear me? I really like to see a show of hands of people who are really frustrated with this process, with the spokes council process. Okay I’d like to see a show of hands of people who were pretty disturbed by the things that were happening at Wednesday’s spokes council. All right and I’d like to see a show of hands of people who would like to address that at this spokes council. Okay I’d like to see a show of hands of people who are frustrated enough that they are willing to walk away from the spokes council if their concerns are not addressed. Okay I’d like to see a show of hands of people who are frustrated enough that they would walk away from #OWS if their issues are not addressed.

Q: What is the difference?

A: If you would be willing to walk away from this movement that we’ve been building if your issues are not addressed. I’m trying to understand what people are interested in talking about in the next hour so I’m going keep moving forward for a couple of minutes. I’d like to see a show of hands of people who feel that they understand how spokes council work and they feel fluent in this whole process.

Q: Is it set in stone this whole process?

A: No not really, but do you feel comfortable participating as it exists?  Okay I’d like to see a show of hands of people who feel like they were raised in a community or culture that prepared them to be fluent in this process. Okay I would like to see a show of hands of people who feel that they weren’t raised in a culture that people them to be fluent in this type of a process.

Q: I don’t think you’re asking the right question. (yeah sounds from people)

A: So just what do you think? You can ask different questions but I’m just asking what you think so if people don’t understand the question. I’m just looking if you were raised by a family or a school or culture that taught you that sitting and listening to the person in the room talking and then raising your hand and waited to speak and speaking quietly if that was a way you learned how to get your voice heard raise your hand.

A: That’s different.

Q: I didn’t mean the to be the same question I recognize that I am a facilitator and I’m standing in the middle of the room, but I’m actually a person and I’m not perfect and I’m asking you a lot of different questions and you know what this isn’t exactly on process. If people were really disturbed by that then you can point of process the shit out of me and we can stop this meeting, but if you want to have a little bit of patience maybe we can move through this and learn about where we are. I appreciate that. If you were raised in a family or culture where it paid to be loud or shout or interrupt to get your voice heard raise your hand. Thank you, me too. I just want to put that out there. I would now like to see… I now want to get into what we want to talk about next. So I promised Solidarity that at 9:30 we would go into their proposal. It’s now 8:45 and we are going to take some time for food so this is going to be a shortish conversation, but I would like it to be a useful one. Raise your hand if you want to talk

about — Raise your hand if you would like to spend the next bit of time together talking about, so Tashi is coming to deal, so there are a number of things, it seems like people want to talk about in this space, and if people have others I’m going to open that up, and you can suggest– It seemed like there was a lot of interest in talking about what the occupiers had to say, about making this an art project. Please raise your hands and talk about that. So if people want to talk about the things the occupiers want brought up, raise your hands and look around at each other. This is not my job. Look at each other look at who wants to talk about if and how you want to talk this council. That’s how we function and how we hold each other accountable in this space. Now everyone look around. Identify those people okay great. There was another one that I heard. This is going to take two more minutes. Just to be transparent about what I’m doing. People try and talk about what they want to talk about and what people want to spend their time on and we don’t have to respond our time talking about the same things. Is there another main point that people want to talk about?

A: Racism what happened last week.

FS: Sorry I meant to get there. Raise your hands if you want to talk about what happened last week and if you would like to talk about issues of racism I’m willing to open that up. Racism, class, gender. Could people raise their hands if they want to talk about that. Look around identify the people around you. Is there another piece that people would like to talk about. I’m going to suggest a process and you can shut me down. I would like it if everyone would stop side conversations for just a minute. These groups there, another group discussion that people feel that they want to tackle within the next 45 minutes is related to the next question and then maybe we can break out into three or four groups. The way that this is designed historically, and then sometimes you cluster outside of just your working group you have another one. I think I want to expand on that issue of discussing the spokes council within this room. I’d like to expand on discussing the spokes council and the general in regard to

the GA I think that’s very important. So do folks want to talk about the spokes council in relation to the general assembly?  I want to talk about two more things. Does anybody want to talk about disbanding the spokes council? And for folks who want to talk about and then the other one was discussing what happened with the $25,000 allocated for that bail money. Did we have a hand back here. What I heard I totally hear that what I would love to see is if groups would actually break out in their clusters. I would love to hear concrete ideas that we doesn’t totally get to talk about. Your ideas in this large group that’s part of why I would like to keep those groups separate. So what I heard and I’m just going to move us forward and I apologize if I miss one space hold if you want to talk about that (breaking up into groups).

A lot of people are looking to me saying how am I going to hold people accountable for speaking too much. SC doesn’t have a process for that and I am going to deal with that next, okay. So again, number one was new space and six accountability.

FM: Okay can I just have the group for two minutes. I’m just going to talk because I recognize that as a facilitator we saw a lot of points of process in the last ten minutes that we didn’t invite into this space. We made this decision as a facilitator because we heard your feedback that you feel like this very process is out of process and want you to recognize that as facilitators we presented an agenda to you at the beginning of the meeting. We asked for questions at that moment and we asked that you trust us as facilitators to guide the process which is what we are trying to do right now. If you have problems we have groups that are trying to deal with process. Thank you very much. Enjoy your dinner. We’ll be gathering together again at nine.

[Meetings & Dinner]

FS: Clap once if you can hear me. Clap five times if you can hear me. Also stop talking. Okay thank you guys this went a little bit longer but it seemed like there was good conversations happening. So I know folks are still trickling in. I want to recognize that there were some of you that wanted to be in more than one discussion group. We have a suggest to have the one thing I’d like to say who identified as want to be groups there were the folks who wanted to talk about space for the general assembly and the spokes council. If folks want to talk to him about that please find him. If people want talk about that it’s available. The other one was the way that the GA functions relation to spokes council and if anyone’s interested in that please find this guy and maybe we will will have time to talk about that. I apologize that is a failure of facilitation your announcing that to the collective and they can maybe approach and you talk to you about and then you may attempt talk about this stuff.

70.3.1.  Groups reporting back: Was there a point person about the legal conversation about the $25,000? Did the group come up with something? Is there one person who wants to report back? Two minutes please, the conversations are not over. One person please.

70.3.2.  Bobby: I met in a group of like four people and we all said awesome and then we disbanded and that happened like four times. Is the report back just supposed to be people asking for information because I gave a lot of information?

FS: Okay. So the object of the report back is to report back on what the group talked about if you think the group needs to hear it. If you don’t think the group need to hear it and you just like okay we talked, if you think the group needs to hear it is there anything else. We are actually asked for just one person to report back.

70.3.3.  Guy from Legal: Okay I’m from legal and we did not get those $25,000 for the bail at all. We actually had to get the money from private donation to bail the person out so we found a donor. He donated us $75,000 so we didn’t have to deal with issues like that next time. We have to wait until the check is going to clear and we got really close to losing the guy going to Rikers Island. We have to start seriously some talks about when stuff like this is going to happen next time, so we don’t have to deal with the whole confrontation with the finance and that isn’t about the finance people it’s the issue of finance. It’s not about you Bobby I mean it’s a financial issue.

FS: So moving further this ways, this was the occupying new space as an art project. So we are going to have a meeting at 12:00 in the afternoon on Sunday about this at 60 Wall Street. We are going to be talking about some other things as well. I think the main thing is there were a lot of questions having to do with the security of the space. I think right now we are more worried about getting it. They are all valid questions but I think the main thing is we get the space and we’ll deal with the questions after. The question is who is going to be in there and how do we run security and can we have generators?

Hopefully we will get it. There is no guarantee but somebody on that board really wants us in there and they are bringing it up the community board and maybe just maybe.

Q: Thanks and can you repeat the time of your next meeting.

A: Yes. Sunday.

Q: Where.

A: At 60 Wall Street. If you want to talk more about that…

FS: Moving further, the next one is disbanding spokes there were two issues: Spokes council in relation to general assembly. In that group there the group felt that the council disenfranchises the majority of the #OWS community, it’s not transparent, it conflicts with the GA and more importantly it can expel any working group for whatever reason. Disbanding the spokes council one third of apply group said they never wanted to spokes council in the first place.

70.3.5.  Accountability: I can say that we have come to agreement on two things. First is that no one can spoke two nights in a row. The second thing that we came to consensus on is that we will draft a proposal that regarding what constitutes an aggressive disruption and very clear concise process that we can follow to deal with moment like that. Some things that we spoke about that were not consented upon were that there should be a means of deescalating perhaps we can bring in mediation to try to have an inclusive process by which people wouldn’t get marginalized. Also it was agreed upon that if a person is being aggressive and continuously disruptive that we do have to right as a group to ask that person to leave spokes with the understanding that they can come back in they can agree to conduct themes in a civil dispassionate manner and we also would have to have a way to help these people to come back and to include them into the spokes council. Let me make clear that the last things that I said were not brought to consensus the only two points that were brought to consensus were that the same person cannot spoke two nights in a row and regardless of group affiliation and that we will draft a proposal to bring to spokes and we will try to bring that and hopefully everyone will agree on that.

F: I think this is something that… so again this was suggested from this includes they consensed on so folks we hit our time limit.

FS: So our last group dealing with racism and classism.

70.3.6.  Require, and we couldn’t decide, anybody who is a Facilitator to get further anti-oppression trainings and then on full days of racial justice people of need to take more initiative. We need to talk about racism together with capitalism and then there were two other proposals. One was the people living in churches don’t have metro cards so that people that don’t have access. Last one, time share, way to build a community and asking people please. It’s in terming the of topic and the community accountability and give feedback to sacred spaces, thank you.

FM: Do people feel good about having those kinds of conversations and then bringing them back in this space?  Is that something you might want to bring back in the future?

Okay so, ish ish. Okay I think we all know in this room this is process is not perfect and what we really love is creative solutions about how to move to better and better. About how we are all going work together. My announcement, before we move into hearing Solidarity’s proposal is that there is a little flowery box as you enter and it doesn’t say any words on it, but if it did or maybe written in invisible ink it says facilitator feedback. So if you have a comment on us as facilitators plea write it may be on that paper we gave you and put it in that box. So now we are going to hear solidarity’s proposal.


70.4.  Solidarity Proposal on Amending the Bail Cap Raise Proposal

FS: I’m glad you all got to talk in your working groups there is I guess a point of process from facilitation about what we are about to do. The idea that it’s kind of about the nature of how we deal with proposes in general, and I’m going to try and do this and if I don’t do a good job I’m going to open it up. If we make proposals and then any time we want we can open them and amend them, then that may not be the best process may we need to. Instead of reopening proposals just draft new proposal because in order to take friendly amendments- it’s not the group that takes friendly amendments its the group that’s proposing the proposal that then incorporates friendly amendment and brings it back to the group. So friendly amendments are not consensed on by the group and

FM: It’s up to the proposing group whether they will take amendments, and by the way friendly is not necessarily what they are, friendly is what the grouped decides. But it’s up to the proposing group whether they can take amendments it’s not an automatic.

FS: So I guess it’s a question of question of can we do this right now, can we open this and is that part of our mandate? I don’t know so I’m going to ask this group

70.4.1.  Solidarity: Well the reason it’s being asked to be reopened is because it’s not clear whether the proper procedure was followed when the proposal was when consensus was carried through is

FS: It sounds like what I’m hearing is that we want to reopen the conversation regarding the bail cap basically re-bringing the proposal which friendly amendments and bringing the entire process of it again. The rushed way it was done before sorry. I’m seeing a lot points of process and questions out there so I’m just going to transparent here. It’s 10:23. We have the space for seven more minutes and we have to clean up this space has been really nice to us and we have to give them our efforts to clean up. So I’m going to propose: is it all right with folks to move to voting on reopening the conversation about removing the bail cap, basically ask folks to come back to the table and be open for friendly amendments. Are folks interested in voting on that right now even though there are concerns from facilitation about that actually happening at all. So I’m going to ask that again so we can actually get a straw poll on it. Are folks interested in reopening that proposal? Hands up if yes and please just the spokes. Do we want to take a vote and only spokes raise yes- hands no- hands.

?: I don’t understand the question.

FS: The question is, do we want to move ahead with a vote to reopen the proposal so we can vote on, it not vote on it, because we are concerned with the process itself or I don’t know do a dance and go


FM: I would rather propose you have all the information now they’ve expressed their concerns.

We’ve all taken a break about deciding what you were going to vote on whether this goes forward or not. I would a that we do that so we get that information from the group because we have to close really soon so let’s make that decision as facilitators and say that’s what’s going to happen.

FS: Okay so can we pull back up, so we are asking folks to take a vote on whether or not to reopen the proposal from legal on removing the cap, we are asking people to take a vote on whether we want to reopen the proposal from Legal on getting rid of the bail cap. If you feel uncomfortable about the vote at all just press abstain. We have a button for that

?: Solidarity you said that ten minutes ago, we already voted on that.

FS: We haven’t voted yet so Tech, can you explain?

Tech: It’s very simple. You’re going to press one of three buttons on your remote control. One is for yes two is for abstain three is for no. You don’t need to press the seven button just one two or three

When your light turns off you know that your vote’s been registered. On the right hand corner of the scene it tells us the number of votes that are currently in. Right now there are sixteen – twenty one.

FS: we’re testing the software so how many of these gadgets are out there. Forty two. I only see thirty so there are twelve people who haven’t voted yet. Can we see what it looks like and then I am going to ask for just a regular show of hands because we are missing some people. Can we see what it looks like?

Solidarity: It’s yes, let’s move on.

Tech: Point of information we are still a consensus process this is just a straw poll to get a temperature check to we are not voting on a majority vote we are just testing out the technology and we, we really thank everybody for helping us test the technology to help make this process smoother.

FS: Can we see because this does not look like consensus on reopening anything.

Solidarity: Is she joking?


70.4.2.  Solidarity: The timing of putting this proposal last on the agenda when it’s an emergency proposal and they are putting it after the social experiment and everything else and now we are pressed for time and now we wasted all this time to use this technology experiment instead of going with the proposal.

[more arguing]

FS: So what I’m going to do now I want to see a show of hands. First do we want to reopen the discussion on the bail cap? If you’re a spoke raise your sign. Okay signs down. So I’m going to remind thaws we work by consensus. That’s maybe not the best way in this moment but if we do not want to reopen the discussion of the bail cap raise your sign high. So in a straight up and down vote we might be reopening this conversation. That’s not how this body operates. That’s a choice that you all make. It’s up to you I’m just trying to move this forward.

Solidarity: Can we just make this easy. Just reopen it and let’s move on.

FS: That’s not what the group has decided. So we have three minutes left. I am going to close this. I’m really sorry, if we want to work by consensus we do not have consensus on this. I’m sorry we did not move through a consensus process.

I want to acknowledge that we didn’t take concerns and we didn’t take friendly amendments to the question of, “do we want to reopen the discussion on the bail cap,” so since we don’t have consensus on that we cannot, at this time, reopen the discussion on the bail cap. If you want to go there as a full

consensus process at the beginning of the next meeting then that — I’m sorry I think this is a really kind of bummed out way to end what I think was a pretty good spokes council meeting. I apologize but I really want to thank you guys for sticking to it right until the end. Thank you so much. This is really hard for everyone so thanks and thank you to Tech for trying the technology and folks, please stay and clean up.


3 Responses to “11/25/2011 Operational Spokes Council Minutes”

  1. nikki

    Safer Spaces Survivor Support trainings are Mondays from 8pm-10pm in the Atrium (not am)! Sorry for any confusion. Come join us this Monday!

  2. Trish

    70.2.27 This is has complete fabrication. I network only with Organized Labor.
    I am not associated with OWS Labor Outreach in NY WAY.
    We are two totally separate and distinct entities.
    I AM NOT AWARE Or INVOLVED with any project.

  3. Trish @ OWS

    FYI: Minutes has it totally incorrect. People should follow the live-stream.

    Organized Labor an affinity group is a separate and distinct entity from OWS Labor Outreach.

    Organized Labor (Affinity Group)has never network or been involved with any activity of OWS Labor Outreach.

    Organized Labor (Affinity Group) does not support the mission statement of OWS Labor Outreach.

    Contact: occupytheballot@yahoo.com