Draft proposal for Sunday 11/27 General Assembly: Buy Out Buy In

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Buy-Out Buy-In

On November 15th the city of New Yorkforcefully and possibly illegally evicted the Occupy Wall Street encampment in Zuccotti Park. Since then, the OWS organization has experienced the following difficulties:

1- Feeding, housing and clothing occupiers who now do not live in a central location.

2- Providing transportation & information to these occupiers.

3- Democratic allocation of resources at the movement’s disposal.

4- Articulating a coherent mission statement with specific goals in light of the forced eviction.

I, Shazz Baric, legal name David McNerney, propose that the collection of individual activists commonly known as Occupy Wall Street divide ALL the funds in their possession among the occupiers who can prove to a reasonable degree of certainty that they physically occupied and slept in Zuccotti Park continuously for at least the week prior and up to the forceful eviction of the November 15th raid.

It is the people’s fund to do with what they wish.

I further propose that this item be tabled to gather community feedback and brought back to the GA one week from today, December 4th, at which time I will seek a consensus to pass the “Buy-Out Buy-In” proposal.

The one week deliberation period also can be used to address execution issues including:

-legal feasibility

-cut off date for donation count

-verification process for occupiers

-possible friendly amendments

Many people put their lives on hold to physically occupyZuccottiParkand help create a better world. The night of the raid many of these people went to jail, including myself. The personal property of these occupiers was confiscated and a great part of it destroyed. For some people, these items were all they had. They suffered the cold. They suffered the police brutality. They occupied. To put it in perspective, $500,000 divided among 500 occupiers would only be $1000 apiece, not enough to replace electronic possessions let alone compensate for the intangible stresses of the raid and subsequent events.

But it would help.

The movement has to be first and foremost a people’s movement. At the outset of the housing crisis, the United Statesgovernment decided to bail out banks instead of focusing their time and money on their constituents. They could have bailed out homeowners instead, thereby stemming the foreclosures that were creating mortgage-backed security default chaos. They could have done the human thing and prioritized real human beings, we the people. They could have helped us.

And now we run the risk of emulating them. Let’s give people the opportunity to be bought out, allowing them to buy into the future of OWS. Let’s take care of our people. What wouldOccupy Wall Sthave looked like without the occupiers? What is the better, fairer, more open, more compassionate, more DEMOCRATIC world we are creating?

Put your money where our mouth is and be the change you want to see. Fund the Buy-Out Buy-In and let’s get on with the revolution!


41 Responses to “Draft proposal for Sunday 11/27 General Assembly: Buy Out Buy In”

  1. Dave Sign

    Dave Sign Comment–OWS Funds shoul be deposited in a credit union bank account that is set up in the name of the group as a non profit corporation 503c3. I have a 503c3. I account for all money using acceptable acounting programs. We/OWS have to show where the money came from ( cash or public donation seeking verificatin for tax deduction) and where the money has been spent or saved. I have 7 years experinec as a non profit teasurer and know the rules.
    ………………………………………………………Your COmment…”the collection of individual activists commonly known as Occupy Wall Street divide ALL the funds in their possession among the occupiers who can prove to a reasonable degree of certainty that they physically occupied and slept in Zuccotti Park continuously for at least the week prior and up to the forceful eviction of the November 15th raid.”

    • Shazz

      I agree completely with the credit union bank account idea, only that we should have UP TO 500 of these accounts and put them in individual occupiers’ names, so they have direct democratic control over how those funds are allocated. If the movement has REAL consensus, and not just platitudes, then this shouldn’t change a thing. Money (POWER) will become decentralized, as will decision making, creating a democratic financial caucus instead of the current financial hierarchy that we currently have.

      The truth of the matter is that tech has suspended posting new working groups to the website, and finance will not fund working groups that aren’t on NYCGA.NET. The lack of control over a movement that they physically sacrificed for is what will destroy this movement, not the redistribution of funds that simply were GIFTED to the organization to begin with.

      If done correctly, this will create FLASH REFORM and multiply our fundraising efforts. Any other analysis I suspect is based on misanthropic assumptions that have no place in a real populist movement.

      In order to lead you have to follow. In order to listen you first have to empower the people to speak. We are really talking about peanuts compared to the radical change and bold narratives of democratic conviction that this can produce. It will be the first social movement to institute something along the lines of a BASIC GUARANTEED INCOME (see MLK, Thomas Pain and others) and that in itself will be a revolutionary act.

      It is only an idiotic act at the most shallow of analysis. Please message me directly if you would like to discuss this further.

      Yours for the revolution!

  2. Andrew P.

    Is this a joke? Use the money to rent a warehouse or set up headquarters around the country to organize efforts for the spring. WTH???

  3. Mark Reid

    Bold proposals like “Buy Out Buy In” are likely to be apt for major challenges that we face. I have an invention I will be demonstrating as an announcement to the GA, and I plan to be sleeping in this invention outside tonight in a collection of them with fellow occupiers in solidarity, shielded perfectly from all precipitation and wind. They are transparent, which allows Police to rest assured we are not secretly doing something illegal. They are very inexpensive and I plan to donate all I can.
    I am Mark V Reid, just an occupier, very forgiving, and sometimes forgetful. Expect me.

    • jekessans

      Let me know what it is as I am in.
      And let me know how the field test goes.

    • Shazz

      Thanks for the support. The temperature check so far in the occupation is running along class lines, as suspected. Luckily there are a lot more poor activists than privileged ones!

  4. Anne

    If passed, this divvying up the general funds for personal use will destroy all credibility for Occupy Wall Street.

    I don’t even understand the premise–tents, food and clothing were donated. Personal hygiene products were donated. Computers were donated. Books were donated. I would be interested to know what personal property was destroyed–someone’s Ipod? Hundreds of people around the country donated money for a movement, not to replace someone’s personal property. No valuable personal items should have been brought to the Occupation since there were no lockers or safe deposit boxes in the square. Revolutions require sacrifice. Some people sacrifice their lives for what they believe in, but others apparently aren’t willing to sacrifice their Ipod??

    • Keith

      “If passed, this divvying up the general funds for personal use will destroy all credibility for Occupy Wall Street.”

      I could elaborate, and rephrase like everyone else, but this is the bottom line for me, and everyone I saw on reddit. We can’t let this go through.

      • K

        100% this. If the proposal passes, occupy is toasted in every media outlet, every donor’s mind, every sense of the word.

        I can’t understand what makes anyone see this for a good idea.

  5. A. Fleming

    I agree that the Occupiers have been grievously under-served by the OWS community post-eviction. However, I do not think this course of action is advisable. Here’s why:

    I never stayed in the park. However, I have for the last six weeks spent approximately twenty hours a week helping out around the park in whatever manner was needed. I work sixty hours a week. I sacrificed my time and energy because I believe in the aims of this movement. I have immense respect for those who braved the elements and invited retaliation to hold the space for nearly two months– you all are amazing, inspiring and beautiful people.

    Those who sacrificed of themselves for the movement did so– unless I am mistaken– because they believed that this movement was the best and perhaps last opportunity to divertt this present cultural bullet train hurtling towards extinction. We gathered together, each according to their abilities, in an effort to effect positive change. It was difficult and painful and although things seem dire now– let’s not lose sight of what we have accomplished thus far just because the path forward is suddenly fraught with more obstacles than we anticipated.

    This proposal seems like a blatant effort to cash out and walk away from the movement. There is still more to be done– if you feel like walking away, that is your decision. But to suggest that you should be reimbursed for you contribution reeks of disingenuousness. Especially given that there are efforts being made to address the issues of people whose property was destroyed, of assisting those who are now homeless find housing. Again, I reiterate that we have underserved the occupiers since the eviction. However, the answer is not to empty the coffers to reimburse those who want to leave the movement. I came down to OWS originally because I saw people pooling their talents and resources collectively to begin building a new and better world. That new and better world is still what I am committed to pursuing. I would rather know what your immediate needs are Shazz because I think your brothers and sisters in this struggle can offer you far more than $1K will buy you.

    Will you give us that opportunity? It’s the least we can do given what you have sacrificed for the movement.

    • Shazz

      My immediate needs are not for the money per se, although I feel confident that I could better allocate the resources myself than our current resource working groups. Case in point, we have yet to create functional systems for the distribution of SIS goods, food, transportation, or consistent housing.

      But this is about broad and efficient reform. What really is being proposed is a litmus test as to how far you actually are willing to believe in your democratic ideals. From the comments I have been reading, our web readers are not the most democratic. Luckily, they probably have kept themselves to the web. On the ground the occupiers, most of which don’t have frequent internet access, seem to have a different opinion.

      I aim to service these activists who have decided to live their ideals, the e-rabble be damned. Give us the reigns and we’ll revive your revolution, allow it to be born again, from a populism which can be the only true fountainhead.

      • A. Fleming

        So the proposals as it reads and the proposal as you are describing it in your responses to objections here do not strike me as being the same. Essentially, your proposal reads that you want the occupiers to be able to cash out. In your responses here, it seems as if what you want to happen is disburse whatever is in the general fund to occupiers so that they are empowered to use those funds to address the issues with which they are directly and immediately faced. I object to my interpretation based on the way the proposal reads. However, if the aim (which you have to admit is not at all clear in the proposal) is to empower the former occupiers to autonomously act to steer (to use your term) the movement back on track– and I will admit that although I have concerns about such a tact– it is an interesting idea. So I suppose if the latter is, in fact, your goal, then you really need to make a case for that in a revised proposal. As far as clarifying what I think you are proposing as opposed to what is stated in the proposal– what purpose would I continue to have in the movement? (And I guess there is a faction who would say that I am not actually a part of it because I never slept in the park.) It seems that emptying the general fund would disempower working groups or that at the very least some sort of restructuring would be necessary. I want to know how you think this will look.

        Further I agree with you that a lot of the comments on NYCGA.net are extremely undemocratic. But isn’t it a step towards hierarchical organization to pit occupier activists against activists who are not. I mean for a movement that is alleged to speak for the 99%, there sure is a lot of argument about who best understands the plight of the 99%.

        All this is to say that if your plan is what you are saying it is and not what I have understood it to be, then I appreciate it. Even though I am not sure what you are suggesting is the best way…

  6. Smedley Butler

    This must not be allowed to happen. The movement is much larger than any one of us or any of our worldly possessions. To distribute the donations made in good faith that were meant to support a movement is to eat all the bread and then eat all the seed meant for planting next year’s crop. It is worse than death, it is shameful.

    What was lost at the hands of the NYPD is the responsibility of the NYPD. It’s an injustice, for sure, but not without an upside for the movement. The exposure of the militarization of the police force and the seemingly coordinated effort to dismantle the movement’s efforts nationwide suggest that we have touched a nerve. We are, first and foremost, a movement to end the corruption and crony capitalism that is bleeding this nation dry. To use the donations collected so far for such a temporary and limited gain for such a small number of people would be a travesty of epic proportions. This must not be allowed to happen.

    Think of the sound bites and PR nightmare this would cause for the movement. This proposal embodies the worst aspects of socialism and communism and would only fuel those false claims. I can see Bill O’Reilly right now with his stupid text box on the right of the screen saying exactly what he is reading off his teleprompter. What were lies to start would be proven true if this proposal passes.

    Think of the thousands of people that donated to the cause, not really knowing what it would be spent on. Never in their wildest dreams did they think it would be spent on a handout to one or more of the protesters. It would be a betrayal of the first order to those generous people to then distribute their donations as a handout.

    Yes, people were hurt both physically and financially by the raid on Zucotti Park, but we’ll find the donations dry up faster than a bird turd on a tin roof in August if we start handing them out to protesters. What do we gain by this? Nothing that lasts. What better ways can we spend the donation money? I can think of eighteen in under five seconds.

    Do NOT pass this proposal.

    Thank you,

    Smedley Butler

    • Shazz

      “This must not be allowed to happen”?!!!

      Wow. Not sure if a comment is necessary.


      I cannot push this proposal through by myself, nor would I commit that level of hubris. That you would be so vocal in personally calling for its death reveals a disconnect from the movement’s values. Let me take you for a walk through the streets of NYC, to speak to our occupiers, to see their swollen, rancid feet, hear their stories, smell their filth, witness the abandonment in their eyes.

      Right now, here in 50 Broadway (the $10k plus a month office we’ve been DONATED[?]) we are having a conversation about the disconnect that our resource management is creating within the movement. PLEASE, if you do not live, breath and are willing to DIE for revolution, educate yourself first.

      You do not understand the issues we are facing. Yes, this looks like it might KILL our movement. But if that scares you, you must not see clearly the alternative threat, the slow death that has already begun to take hold.

      We are institutionalizing anti-democratic systems that MUST be reformed through decentralization. Don’t like the proposal, offer an alternative. Message me directly. But don’t reveal your ignorance by dismissing the idea out of hand. Typers TYPE, revolutionaries DO.

      • Walter Adler

        David Herbert McNerney (June 2, 1931 – October 10, 2010) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military’s highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War.

  7. jekessans

    I agree that paying for the misdeeds of the NYPD and the City of NY is not the job or the responsibility of the OWS donated funds. I was there from Oct 13-17 and with the full understanding that whatever I possessed could be “stolen” by the NYPD and city yet I was still there because I believe in this movement and know that I am voluntering all that I have. We live in a hugly abundant material world and those possession can be easily replaced by those supporting the movement. How? Simple, if you have an extra item, like a tent, sleeping bag or such, pass it on to someone who lost their stuff that night. It is part of the gift economy and one I live in. I donated money and time and talent and DONATED is the key word here – that is with the understanding thatr it is given without anything expected in return. If you occupy, then you do the same thing and should understand the real reprecussions that go with being part of such an important change against the bullies that have been dictating to us for so long. Of course they will raid and take and steal and beat…..being barbarians is the only way they know how to get and hold power when faced with having it taken from them by the people. To pass this bill is to essentially make the occupiers paid employees and none of us are that, we are all volunteers in this quest for our freedoms.

    • Shazz

      Not paid employees, but a steering committee for revolution.

      Do you really think that people came to Zuccotti to get rich? Is $1000 really that much to hand out?

      This is not about personal gain, but about redirecting the movement through forced populism. Please don’t let the money cloud the issue. We need systemic reform and we needed it yesterday, or the movement will go the way of all other populist-turned-hierarchical experiments. Give the people something to believe in, believe in them. Empower them. Democratize our increasingly centralized, and therefor increasingly corrupting power structure.

  8. Terri

    I believe it is pretty obvious what a disaster this would prove to be. I was one who went to zuccotti park and gave money and clothing. That money was given in good faith to be used for the people in the park so that they may continue the work of this movement. Handing each individual $1,000. does not reflect the cooperative cause. Doing so may lead to a misunderstanding and an unwillingness for people to donate in the future.

    • Shazz

      I think it’s pretty obvious that you don’t talk to occupiers on a regular basis. Thank you for your donations. You obviously have been successful in life accumulating material wealth, at least enough to donate the excess to a cause you feel is worthwhile.

      Now, with all due respect, please empower those willing to be revolutionaries full time continue to fight the good fight.

  9. Jhilton

    Bold proposal and I say that with all sincerity, although with mixed feelings as well. The idea of creating a revolution to the existing economics is a tiresome process and the work put in by many has been staggering to watch and support (in action of being at demonstrations). There is something very bold about the idea of finding a way to support the occupiers who have worked on this full-time, especially since our non-functioning congress is making over $100,000 to be completely dysfunctional and has done little in terms of bold action from either side to draw attention to the losses of homes, jobs and a future for millions of Americans.

    On the other hand the movement is young and unless it has no intention of moving forward then this would bankrupt its efforts. Is that worth this proposal? For those who left school, jobs, homes to take to the park…that was and is very courageous. A. Fleming said it very eloquently…

    • Jhilton

      …that $100K is the approximate annual salary of our lovely congressional representatives.

    • Shazz

      thank you for your fair analysis. in seeking consensus, i’m just hoping for a healthy discussion on reforming the movement, and i think this is the type of discussion that will promote a better OWS money or no money.

  10. Daryl Atamanyk

    Is that what people had in mind when they donated those funds? And when the funds come in from the OWS Benefit Album can we expect more of the same? Are we becoming a money generating entity for the benefit of the “original and only shareholders” in OWS? Ladies and gentlemen, you have the power to do this: the question is begged however as to whether or not you have the wisdom to exercise that power. People are finding places to be sleep and get washed, be indoors, be warm (at churches, for example): am I correct? If so they need only food in addition. A half million dollars will keep 500 people in food for a long time: $1000 per person will disappear in the blink of an eye. My bet is it’s the cold weather that’s discouraging you, and a feeling that OWS is starting to “go nowhere” because your “reason to be” was occupying Liberty, and now that “reason to be” has ceased to exist. Is OWS a long term movement or not? If long term then there will be occasions like this where you have to wait for the “changing of the gears”: and just like in society where most don’t have stable jobs for life like once upon a time, but serial careers instead, moving from job to job to job for life…. so too in our movement change happens. It’s our mission to adapt to that change, and seek out where we each can play our next role in the movement. Be patient. Stay warm, eat… be patient. You can bet that with the rising sun of spring 2012 you will feel energized again! Keep the faith! Request the education charts at hermits100@gmail.com.

    • Shazz

      see comment above, if we allowed those who donated funds to dictate how those funds would be spent we would never have accomplished what we have so far. In fact, our principles state that this should never happen.

      What is the term for a patronization so imbedded that it wears a childish obliviousness?

      Oh yeah, the good American. Text $10 to Haiti and then tell them how Clinton’s envoy should solve all their problems you armchair activist. Said with all due respect of course.

  11. stephan

    I think the claim for reimbursement or reparations can be considered legitimate and addressed separately from the ideals of OWS and it’s diverse contributors. If it were to be interpreted and pursued as pay or honoraria for working affiliation with OWS, then there would be damaging conflicts. And, just being present at Zucotti Park, or being on the front lines of police brutality in my opinion, doesn’t qualify for reimbursement or reparations unless, for example, someone has medical bills to pay as a result and needs help. And I think people who lost valuable property ought to be reimbursed if they ask for it, can make some reasonable attempts to prove it and if the funds are available and the GA agrees. Perhaps a working group can sort out the accounting and make proposals.

    • Shazz

      thank you, somewhat of a compromise. the only real failure of this discussion is a dismissal, and i appreciate that you at least paid tribute to the needs of the occupiers. again though, it’s not about the money as much as regaining control of the revolution.

      if you don’t empower people willingly, they will assert their dignity forcefully. this is not my opinion, but human nature. come to our assemblies and witness for yourself the seeds of discontent that our anti-democratic processes have been sowing. we need change in a bad way. now more than ever we have to live our values, lest our efforts prove to have been in vain.

  12. Walter Adler

    If I was a cop or a paid FBI informant (which I certainly am not), first I’d float sad silly insane proposals. Then I’d pay junkies to act crazy near the park. Then I’d infiltrate the working groups and get them fighting over race and class. Then I’d learn the strructure and then DO THINGS LIKE ASK FOR $29,000.00 to go to Egypt. Or to break up our strike fund.

    So really, anyone who is calling for these things, If they aren’t cops, informants and agitators. Well their actions and proposals are doing the dirt for us.

    • Shazz

      ignorant piece of shit. said with all due respect of course.

      -junkies don’t need to get paid to act crazy. have you ever dealt with addiction?
      -race and class issue did not originate in working groups, but have been carried over from a racially and class-divided society. what planet do you live on douche nugget?
      -why do we have minutes if idiots like you are going to misrepresent history anyways? were you at the GA where the egypt issue was proposed? because I happened to be helping to facilitate that very GA, I saw the proposers, I spoke with them frequently afterward, I can testify to not only their sincerity but also to their personal anguish as they dealt with the very politicized repercussions of a very complex issue, internally for us and globally due to the fragile and unpredictable nature of geo-politics.

      cops, informants, agitators, these are all epithets in my book. so you, my friend, are an asshole who doesn’t deserve to use “our” and “fund” in the same sentence.

      No, you’re not a cop. But you’re a dipshit, which is close enough.

      Message me personally, please. Or come to the GA sometime and let me educate you personally.

  13. Walter Adler

    I’d like all the authors of this proposal to imediately identify themselves.

  14. Shazz

    Shazz Baric, legal name David McNerney. I signed up for the regular army straight out of high school pre-9/11 because at a young age I decided to live my values, even though over the course of my 29 yrs on this earth they have evolved.

    I have been a salesman. I have worked in the California parks services. I have worked for Greenpeace. I have been a tour guide in the Caribbean. Before OWS, I was trying to establish my career as a writer. I did not come to NYC for the revolution, but have put my entire personal life on hold since I joined.

    Call me an idiot, but don’t call me insincere. And please don’t call me out without first identifying yourself. Oh wait, this is Wally the douche. Yeah, I know you.

  15. Shazz

    FYI, the proposal has been tabled until this upcoming Sunday, at which time I will move forward on seeking consensus. If you have anything constructive to the discussion, please see the above comments and then message me directly or publicly. Thank you for taking a personal interest in this admittedly contentious proposal.

    Yours for the REVOLUTION!

  16. Walter Adler

    David Herbert McNerney (June 2, 1931 – October 10, 2010) was a United States Army soldier and a recipient of the United States military’s highest decoration—the Medal of Honor—for his actions in the Vietnam War. A native of Massachusetts who moved to Houston, Texas, as a child, McNerney served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War before enlisting in the Army. He earned the Medal of Honor as a first sergeant on March 22, 1967, for taking command of his company during an attack by a numerically superior North Vietnamese force. Although wounded, he organized the unit’s defense, exposed himself to hostile fire in order to mark and clear a helicopter landing site, and refused to be evacuated until a new commander arrived the next day. McNerney retired from the military in 1969, after serving four tours of duty in Vietnam, and began a career as a customs inspector in Houston.

    • jay gruskin

      Dear Walter Adler,
      I read some of your postings/comments and this latest putdown of Shazz.
      You certainly have a lot of “game” much more than me. He was unnecessarily rude and crude
      and folded like a 10$ suit when you exposed his hypocracy.
      I admire your style and agree that OWS is probably infiltrated with 5th column, provacateurs
      and TeaParty activists.
      Sad that they wil use the open and democratic format to slow us down and try to defeat us.

      I just made one FORUM posting in DEMANDS group (PROPOSED REVISITING FDR’s 2nd
      Bill of Rights…..) and had very poor results. The 2 people that chose to engage were not sincere OCCUPIERS – one (M.T) is a perrenial religious nut that thrives on bluster and controversy, the other (Terry) most probably was a provacatuer (either fed. govt. or Republican hardliner) – he took a phoney name also (he was a white dude – but his name corresponded to a Board of Ed.. professional from the Virgin Islands (and who was Afro-American).

      I’ve given up on the OWS – I’ll monitor what’s going on but my original FORUM post must stand or fall
      on its’ own – currently it is somewhere between unnoticed and extremely insignificant.

      I would like to see the organization show some moxi or cojones – as you have – and expose or censor
      these traitors and infiltrators and (oh yes) neo-libertarians. These neo-libertarians already have a home in the Tea Party,and should stay the frig out of OWS (not very polite – but any one who wants
      to end all wars and presidential war powers, close the FED, balance the budget, and enact TERM LIMITS should just vote for Ron Paul or join the Tea Party).

      That’s it. keep up the good work.


  17. BradB

    NO…. hehehehe… divy all up among the 99% … that will show our commitment and destroy any opportunity to actually accomplish something with it… far better than dividing it into little $1000 chunks….

    what a stupid idea….

    • BradB

      ok… now I feel bad… I should not have called it stupid… good intentions were behind it…
      it’s just won’t do anything to fix the problems in the long run