NYC GENERAL ASSEMLY DAY 75
Date/Time: 11/30/2011 / 7pm
Location: Liberty Park
Facilitators (F): Nicole
Talking stack: Sean, Jason; Keeping time: Sundrop; Scribe: Jeremy; Minutes: Carrie
75.1. Introduction & Process Review
75.2. Working Group (WG) Reportbacks
75.3. Facilitation Discussion
75.1. Introduction and Process Review
Host: Welcome everybody! I just want to announce we have a special film screening of “Thrive,” and if you’re, like me, addicted to documentaries … This consolidates information from hundreds of documentaries in one film. It reveals the existence of free energy technology, which has been around since the 1920s and ‘30s and Nikola Tesla. … With this usage, the world could be thriving now. There’s a screening tomorrow at 7:30. It will help to raise consciousness. There’s a $5 suggested donation. Thank you!
F: We’re gonna do a couple things to get started. First, side conversations in this Spokes Council (SC) are not going to happen. If you have one, you need to go outside. … I have a very low tolerance for them. If you want to talk to someone, take it outside. We are joined by Ray Lewis, the one cop on our side, from Philadelphia! [uptwinkles] We are going to start with a grounding little centering exercise from Wellness, who’s gonna get us in the right spirit to start this off.
75.1.1. Wellness: Booker: So we are from the Wellness working group. We started as the Meditation working group and have joined forces to be in service to Occupy by providing you whatever you need—meditation, yoga, grounding. We thought we’d start off this evening. We would love to continue doing this for GAs and SCs.
[3-minute group meditation and reminder to be mindful before we speak, to take a breath, to remember our unity.]
[Review of hand signals: Reminder to employ the “respect the house, respect each other” symbol over your head, and to not use nonverbal hand signals toward anyone but facilitation.]
F: Let’s go over the agenda for today. First we have working group reportbacks, followed by a proposal from Housing about Metrocards, then a discussion about a Facilitation draft proposal, then we’d like to have breakout groups to talk about topics that came up on Friday.
75.1.2. Review of Community Agreements: Listen and Don’t Interrupt, WAIT (Why Am I Talking?), Stay on Process, Be Respectful, No Shouting People Down, Rotate Spokes, No Name-Calling, Only Spokes Speak to the Full Group.
F: Are there any more that you want to see up there?
A: Assume good faith.
A: Sage: Identify needs of perceived problems.
F: More explanation?
Sage: A person is seen as a problem: We identify their need, we express whether or not we can fill that need. And then that person has to decide whether they … or if … their need is to be a problem.The need as continuing to be perceived as a problem is a decision that I don’t think I can provide for someone. If someone needs to continue to be perceived as a problem, I need to not see them as a problem. I am much too powerful and much too capable of walking away.
F: Can you say that in three words?
Sage: Identify the needs of perceived problems.
?: Include … validation and understanding.
Sage: I like that better, that’s better than mine.
F: Okay, do we have more to add?
A: In SC we should all be watchful.
A: Keep some fluidity for emergency situations.
A: Keep criticism constructive.
A: Don’t bring up criticism without a possible solution.
A: Listen always (actively).
A: Assume good intentions.
A: Respect the collective. No individuals above the collective.
A: Be aware of internalized categories. Sometimes we assume a place where people are coming from without actually knowing where they are coming from. It’s being respectful when someone else is talking.
A: Forget your skin color. Remember we are a family.
A: Keep things simple and efficient.
A: Be respectful of our collective climate.
A: Sage: Get shit done, can we put that there? [laughter and uptwinkles]
F: Are we good? Can we be happy about this? [uptwinkles]
75.2. Working Group Report Backs
F: We are going to have Jason and Sean. … Oh, also we have some press in the room. Do you want to allow them to be here?
A: Where are they from?
A: OWS Media
A: Swedish Daily [?]
A: J.A. Myerson, Truthout
A: Laurie Penny, New Statesman
A: Internal OWS/documentary filmmaker
A: Swedish News Agency
F: Is everyone okay with that?
Sage; Just as a form of practice, I would like to add something to [our list of Community Agreements] and take it off, just as a practice, so we don’t deify anything we create and we are open to criticism at all times.
Lopey: I see these as great agreements, but I don’t know what happens if someone breaks them.
F: Do we want to put that on the agenda?
F: In order to not deify … [interrupted]
?: It was suggested that we agree on these. Perhaps we could consense on them?
Point of Information (PoI): According to our original charter, the group has the right to ask disruptive groups to leave. Can we put that on there?
?: Is it just me or is this getting too complicated?
F: We are now taking stack on WG report backs. Please keep them to one minute.
75.2.1. Mobile Occupation: Charlie: As you heard last time, the folks from the march from New York to DC had an amazing reception … one guy did it barefoot … They held GAs and raised awareness along the way. … We are working closely with InterOccupy and Outreach … receiving feedback and requests from occupations all over. … Saturday at the GA we have coming up a proposal to tour down the East Coast on a veggie-powered bus with people to share experiences and build organizational infrastructure. We are meeting Friday from 11 to 2 at 60 Wall Street.
75.2.2. Tech Ops: Katie: We passed out a proposal called the Group Update Proposal. If you could make sure you have one per spoke. This is coming from the Communications Cluster. It is also online at nycga.net, on the Tech group page. Please edit this and it’s going up at the GA on Saturday and has to do with how groups exist on the website. We are also trying to get Internet access to people who don’t have it … so if you want to help out Tech, you can e-mail us at email@example.com.
75.2.3. OWS Photo: If you want something documented, you can request photos. We wanted to let you know if you have press, you don’t have to buy photos from different sources. We have a Flickr page where pics are free (www.flickr.com/photos/occupywallstreet). Please contact us.
75.2.4. Stop Stop & Frisk: Alice: We have been working hard. Yesterday we went to Columbia University to pay a visit to Ray Kelly who was speaking, along with … and Columbia students. We delivered the Bull Connor award to him. You can see it on YouTube (youtu.be/hcOqB06uwX0). We are building for a student day of action on Friday. We plan creative, nonviolent, civil disobedience, theatrical action. It starts at 3 pm on Friday at Pace University, going from there to One Police Plaza, where the action will be. Talk to me afterward.
75.2.5. Occupiers with Restricted Diets: [spoke is not Sage]: Hi, I have high blood pressure, diabetes … I’ve been coming to the park since Sept. 30 every day. Many days in the kitchen I found I couldn’t eat. I just found Sage. We have filled out all the forms to become WG. We want to know how …
F: Come see tech!
75.2.6. Wellness: One, we are having a silent march on Saturday. Meet at Foley Square at 6 pm. We will read a statement promoting mindfulness and listening. … Then we’ll walk to Liberty Park and will have 9 minutes of silence and reflection—the first 3 minutes on how we got where we are, the second on being here in the present, the final on projecting for the future. It could be in coordination with the GA. Two, we are yoga and meditation teachers, holistic healers … . Thus far we’ve been offering yoga and meditation classes that were previously well attended, but now not so much. So if you need something and have an inkling we could help, please come ask us.
75.2.7. Occupy the Youth: We are reaching out to at-risk groups. … We meet tomorrow at 5 pm, one of our first meetings, by the red structure.
75.2.8. Direct Action (DA): Natasha: We are hosting Occupy to Celebrate: The Resilience of OWS, to get WGs together to have representatives talk about what we’ve done, 10 am Saturday, Liberty Park. It’s an opportunity to come together. There’s also tomorrow an Egyptian solidarity march. The location is not being disclosed. It’s related to a CIA tear gas planned protest … . On Dec. 6, we have a foreclosed homes event. Dec. 17 is a National Day of Tenting.
75.2.9. Spanish Assembly: [speaker uses a translator] One of the purposes of our assembly is to connect and link with immigrant communities of New York. One of our missions are to have meetings and conversations with different community groups so they know this is their space and they can come participate. On Dec. 10 we are having a forum to discuss the issue of wages. Every … $20 million in wages are stolen. … This is a problem that affects the immigrant community in New York and on the 10th it is actually the International Day of Human Rights. We are trying to garner support around idea that … .The meetup is at DC37, a union hall at 125 Barclay at 3 pm. We need you guys to help us get the word out so workers will come and be part of this process. We need your help in a lot of different categories. Gracias.
75.2.10. Legal: We have a proposal regarding moving forward with litigation about the raid that has been moved from yesterday’s to tomorrow’s GA. We are hoping to move forward on that. If your working group lost property, forward your contact info to firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, the stuff that was taken during the raid has been moved from Manhattan: [Reads announcement from city, but too quick to catch all of: “The materials were placed in 720 containers and transported to 1824 Shore Parkway. … The department plans to put them in trailers …] We will have more info on Thursday.
75.2.11. Women Occupying Wall Street (WOW): Larissa: We are trying to create a dialogue with other WGs around some issues that are a concern to us. We have been made aware of some acts of aggression against people and we have been trying to start a dialogue: 1) about acknowledging anger in a continuum, and where does it cross into violence? 2) to have classes on nonviolence and on self-defense. Come and talk to us. We have a Google group and are on nycga.net.
75.2.12. Housing: This group was formed after the eviction. There are lots of brave people trying to find options for people displaced. Our goal is trying to find immediate solutions. There are some churches that are no longer accepting people. We are looking for any ideas people have about housing. Also, we have a Metrocard proposal because we want people to be able to get back and forth from the park and housing.
75.2.13. Arts & Culture: Occupy Broadway is happening this Friday and Saturday. It will be 24 hours of performance. There’s more than 70s performers, including the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, The Civilians, Great Small Works, The Church of Stop Shopping, OWS Puppet Building—too many to name. It’s at the Times Square red stairs starting Dec. 2 at 6 pm. Starts between 46th and 47th on 7th Ave. Also, we’ll be having a GA on Dec. 3 at 8:30 am.
75.2.14. Facilitation WG: Brett: We’ve created a Google doc at nycga.net/groups/facilitation. You can sign up if you’re interested in being part of the facilitation team for SCs or GAs if you haven’t been able to come to meetings. You can say what role you are interested in, including shadowing. Also, yesterday we consensed to restructure the way we hold WG meetings. It’ll be a slow rollout: only once or twice a week to meet as a full group, otherwise have small breakouts focused on outreach, education, etc. Now till Sunday there’s still a meeting at 4 pm. Facilitation@nycga.net. We will start doing direct democracy trainings prior to GAs in the park.
75.2.15. Religious [?]: I brought a proposal to GA and SC about this group to Info weeks ago and have not heard anything from Finance. We are in dire need of finance. Religious people are suffering from lack of safe conditions, food, places to go to worship. Some of us are pagan, Muslim … . We have no Metrocards, no safe place to be together at. What can we do to get the basic finance and funding?
PoP: This person has been a spoke every time, and it’s our agreement that spokes have to rotate.
F: If there’s someone from Finance here, if you could connect with them directly, they could help you.
75.2.15. DA: We forgot an important announcement: Occupy Museums, tomorrow, a protest against Philip Glass’s opera “Satyagraha,” about Gandhi’s life, sponsored by Bloomberg at Lincoln Center. Meet at 10:30 pm at the Lincoln Center steps.
75.2.16. Sanitation: Jordan: One thing we were working on before the raid was outreach, working on a project with a high school in Bed-Stuy … some members of OWS Faith thought that was cool. OWS Faith is working with community leaders trying to find other opportunities. We are small, so if you’re interested in helping, we’d appreciate it.
75.2.17. Organization: Let’s get this shit started again. We are in the park … [missing text]
75.2.18. Occupy Farms: Shazz: We meet at Sunday, 5 pm at 60 Wall Street. Our website is occupiedfarms.wordpress.com. There’s a 5-minute video of donors, explains about fracking and our recon trip. We are bringing a proposal Saturday or Sunday at GA. You can get at it through nycga.net.
75.2.19. Outreach: We are working on Occupy Your Block, connecting with nine other GAs in NYC. I don’t know if you realize that they exist. [uptwinkles] Also working on disseminating info about writing material .. We need canvassers, so if you’re interested, talk to me after the meeting.
75.2.20. Sustainability: Winnie: You guys remember our bike generators we used to have in the park? We are filming a tutorial session at the bike shop in Williamsburg tomorrow. If you are interested in how to build one for your home, get at me after this. We’ll be filming an instructional video that will be released on the web. There’s also a Farmers’ March, involving food justice activists, lots of great people, on Sunday from 2 to 6 pm, ends in Zuccotti Park. There’s a post on our WG on nycga.net. It will end with a solidarity circle and seed exchange.
75.2.21. Design: Jessica: We are here to service you. If you have marches or events and need posters or fliers, we are here to help you. E-mail email@example.com. We are also looking for designers. We meet Sunday 5 pm 60 Wall Street.
PoI: You can go to nycga.net and find the Design WG page, and it has a link to a project request form, available to everyone! [uptwinkles]
75.2.22. Charlie from Mobile Occupation [?]: I got a message there’s a meeting of fracking people, notorious CEOs, at 55 Wall Street tomorrow at 6 pm. So some anti-fracking people will be meeting …
75.2.23. Kitchen: We didn’t have a reportback but then we heard about all these great events and want to work with you to get food to all these events … . We still have limited resources. If you want to become part of our group, we meet Tuesday and Thursday at 8 pm, Sunday at 3 pm, at 60 Wall Street.
75.2.24. NVC/Mediation: I come with a message: First to acknowledge how hard the groups who work to sustain us have been working. A group got together this afternoon that included NVC, De-escalation, and Safer Spaces to talk about urgent needs, like people with needs to support their religious practices—that’s one thing we talked about. We would like to initiate a community dialogue that helps them to address these urgent community needs, so that people’s basic needs can be met. This movement cannot go forward when the basic needs of all our members are not yet met. Come tomorrow to 60 Wall Street at 5:30 and join us in a dialogue. We can’t come up with solutions ourselves. We need to hear from folks who have needs that haven’t been met. Our job is to facilitate that conversation. We would like to get started talking about it and then on Saturday .. I have a problem with homelessness so long as any one of us is homeless.
75.2.25. Medical: Jose: Please contact us, if you are leading actions, about medic needs. Sometimes we’ve had difficult time knowing when/where actions are happening and what medical support they need. Also, we have a training this Friday at noon at Liberty Park on basic winter survival. It’s open to the community. After that, there’s a training for trainers to get people equipped for winter. Also we have medical training this weekend. We need funding and maybe space all day Saturday and Sunday for 35 people. We weren’t able to get funding through the GA, so we’re looking for creative ways to raise $1,000 for training. Also, we would like to address Finance and give them clear direction on how they are conducting themselves and how they can do it better. They are not having their needs met. My phone is [retracted b/c is personal cell]
PoI: If you have a phone number, we can set you up with a Google voice number, so you don’t have to use your own. Come see Tech.
75.2.26. Herbal Medicine and Tea: We want to keep everyone healthy and warm and are trying our best to deliver tea to specific meetings. If you have any individual needs we can try and hook you up with herbs and to meet those needs. We will try to deliver as we can. You can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
75.2.27. Finance: Bree: Finance should be renamed “Accounting,” because we don’t make decisions, just account for funds. We are open 1 pm to 5 pm Tuesday through Saturday on the 12th floor of 50 Broadway. Any working group can get up to $100 per day; anything above that needs to be passed through the GA.
CQ: How do you identify a WG?
A: As those that are online—that have filled out the form to become a WG and are online.
PoI: Tech: That proposal that got passed around has a lot to do with groups. I didn’t explain it well, but we are not really putting groups on the website until this thing goes through. We are overrun with groups on the website, so please read this, edit it, come to GA, and give us your input. We will work together to figure it out.
Sage: This is an outrage that this is the modus operandi. … making announcements about things the night before … . This is the first time I’m hearing that Finance is open at certain times. … How do you get to that floor? … Logistically, some things don’t function. If people are already in, then they’re in … I want an apology that things are being run this way …
[lots of PoPs]
F: I appreciate your comment. Yes, it was done out of context, but we’ll return to this issue later. Let’s stick with the process.
75.2.28. Occupy Brooklyn: We are having a GA tomorrow in Bed-Stuy at 7 pm at the corner of Flatbush and Church.
Time keeper: Thanks to everyone for keeping that efficient.
F: That was productive. I want to thank everyone! For anyone watching on Livestream, this might be giving them hope! [uptwinkles]
[F looks for people supposed to be bringing Metrocard proposal, but they aren’t there, so moving to Facilitation discussion.]
75.3. Facilitation Discussion
75.3.1. Facilitation WG: Brett: We have a proposal that we want to bring to SC on Friday to examine the criteria for working group Spokes Council admission and to address the legitimacy of this council. This draft was created through breakout groups that were announced at Spokes Council. We have a proposal essentially for how to move forward as a community and as an empowered council. We would like working groups in clusters to discuss and give us your feedback before we bring it back to ask consensus. We have copies of the draft. For reference, we have the original SC proposal that was consensed on by the GA, in case there was any confusion about the power given to this SC.
CQ: Is the proposal available online?
A: No, if anyone is not here and wants to pass this info on to their WGs to provide feedback, e-mail email@example.com. We can e-mail it to you and groups can e-mail their feedback. Also, if you could write down your feedback, that would be great.
F: We are going to break for 15 minutes and talk in small groups about this and try to compile some written lists, then give them back to the Facilitation WG.
CQ: This says that every group that is here when we vote this in is in the SC and then …
F: [Says will answer later.]
Occupiers announcement: The needs of the occupiers are not being met. Tonight we were going to propose an emergency meeting between the five core groups … I think we should have a meeting tomorrow with Finance, Comfort, Kitchen, Housing, and occupiers to discuss the needs not being met. 60 Wall Street at 5:30, mediated by NVC.
[general nods of agreement from those groups]
F: Also, if you have major concerns with the Facilitation proposal that weren’t addressed, come talk to Brett after the meeting.
PoI: Sage: We tried this already at the park. That meeting was hijacked. The people who are motivated to control the direction of the funding and social energy are very good at continuing to direct the flow of money and social energy. I encourage you that if you do this meeting, don’t decide on an agenda before it takes place, … and don’t oppress people who have a lot of energy …
[Facilitation acknowledges remarks and tells people to get in their groups to discuss the draft of Facilitation’s proposal.]
[spokes convene, everyone writes their comments for Facilitation’s draft proposal, and passes them in]
F: Next on the agenda we have breakout groups. But in this conversation we’ve been having today, earlier, we were talking about the meeting agreements and trying to figure out how to make people accountable to them. Also during announcements, we heard a need to address Finance and talk to them. So, we have those in the room as well. Right now, it’s 9:30. So we have an hour in this space. Though those are important topics, I don’t know if everyone wants to be involved in those topics fully. I think it would be useful to do breakout groups about those and the things we talked about on Friday and then report back on those.
Q: What were the topics?
F: On Friday we broke out into groups on race, accountability, Finance, housing, and new space.
Trish: There was more.
F: And dissolving SC.
Q: What do we think about taking these topics and trying to have real discussion … ?
People of Color (POC): I thought that we were just meeting just now and we’d feed back what we just reviewed. I thought we were going to say it out loud.
F: Okay, do people want to talk about it?
F: We have to be respectful to the fact that Facilitation wanted to just bring this proposal and take our information and go back and redraft it.
[dissent from Trish, Sage, and POC]
Brett: If the group wants to do feedback now, we’ll take it. Our plan was to not take up a huge amount of time, and if we took your written feedback and put ourselves out there to discuss it … It will come back to go through the consensus process when we’ll take clarifying questions, concerns, and look for consensus.
Sage: I don’t trust the proposers. I have lost good faith. If they are vulnerable, I don’t want to know where they are vulnerable. I think if I tell them what they are doing wrong, they won’t change the content of the proposal, they will just change how the proposal appears. … It’s like telling a criminal …
F: This is not a real proposal. It is going back to be edited. If you still have this concern when it’s brought back to the group, you can express that or block … that’s my understanding.
Trish: A lot of people don’t even trust the consensus process anymore. So if consensus is skewed and bullied, then what do we do?
F: We know that consensus process isn’t perfect, but right now it’s the only process we have that lets a diversity of voices get through and have people from marginalized communities express themselves without shouting over each other … . We are talking about a proposal that has not even been brought to this body yet. … These are good questions and we can put them on the agenda if that’s how the whole body feels …
Trish: I’d like to put the content in some context. … I think people have been devious in how they have handled this proposal. … You are aware I have a proposal to dissolve this body. You are aware that you are not a legal entity. You are aware of where you are in the scheme of things right now. The last time we had spokes, we broke out into groups—one was about dissolving SC. You are aware that I have a proposal to establish a GA Council. And yet you come in with this proposal to have this particular thing come up tonight, forget the continuity of the last two meetings. What about the last two meetings? What about those breakout groups? This is what we are looking at right now. When we left facilitation they were supposed to take written referrals from the group. We are going to do this right here, right now. … You are so transparent right now. There was never a Structure working group, only a core group of people putting together the proposal for Spokes Council. Now those people are part of Facilitation. Stop being underhanded and please be honest with people.
F: Okay, we heard those opinions and perspectives, and they are very valid.
Q: Where on the agenda are we right now?
F: There is right now a lot of mistrust in our movement and we are trying to build it and we are going to work on that tonight. Right now, since we finished that agenda point, we are going to figure out what we are going to do for the rest of the time.
PoI: At 53rd and 7th, people are getting penned in. If you are in contact with NLG, please let them know. [Ed note: There is a group of OWS protesting outside an Obama fundraiser.]
F: We have a stack of about four people going around.
[confusion about who’s on stack]
F: We are going to go through stack and then move along through the agenda.
Q: If my assumption is correct, we are reporting back about this proposal now, so Facilitation can hear those concerns and try to address them. I have a personal concern that if it’s not addressed in this part of the proposal, we have a disparity of the people that are represented in each spoke. … We may have one with three or four, or one with 30 or 40, … If that’s not addressed for everyone to clearly understand, then we are not addressing one of the major concerns with the SC right now.
F: This is a stack on the discussion that was happening. We are not talking to Facilitation about what our concerns about the proposal were. That’s not what’s happening. We are continuing this ad hoc conversation that has begun.
Support: Margaret: I’ve talked to people who have been going to different communities who live on consensus and they say the thing that’s most helpful is to take a minute of silence every 30 minutes or so and it totally changes everything in the room and helps everyone to come back in a different place.
F: Can we agree to finish stack and then take that minute?
[Guy sitting next to former Philly Police Capt. Ray Lewis]: Several of us including Ray Lewis wonder if there’s a legal services group and if there’s not, there should be one.
F: Yes, there is one.
Mediation: I’ve just heard on behalf of Mediation, there is concern about people’s ability to express themselves and be heard in this forum. We feel this ability to express yourselves is a basic need. Please come talk to us at this meeting tomorrow. It’s not just about food and places to sleep but about the basic need to express yourself, and some of our members have found this space not allowing them that and we want to talk about how to inform that.
POC: When people are addressing things that this body is uncomfortable with … I was going to suggest, why aren’t we using what the Spokes is supposed to be. There was confusion about what we were doing. Maybe we should have discussed … instead of having everyone having to speak for themselves rather than … which actually disrupted the meeting.
F: It was my bad and I take it on myself To clarify, this [“respect the house” hand signal] is not hushing. This is respect the house. It is the best we have.
[Discussion of the meaning of the respect symbol]
Trish: Facilitation just wants to have this conversation right now. This is an illegitimate body and until we have this conversation that we had at the last meeting … It is very important that Spokes become an entity in reality, so allow them to have this conversation. It will speed them becoming an entity, and it will speed me dissolving that entity. [laughter]
F: I think it might be that a lot of people in this room are getting anxious at us straying off process and I want to hear from the people here, and I will. But many people would like to return to process and let’s respect that also. We are closing stack. There are six on stack.
Spanish Assembly: This house [symbol] is not understood by a lot of people as how it’s intended. It’s perceived as a stop symbol, not whatever it’s intended. And also I wanted to say about something we wrote on this list about critique and how it has to be heard in positive way.
Occupy Detroit: This is my first time here. I’m hearing a lot of things that I hear in Detroit where people come to meetings thinking it’s a place where they can have their voice heard. They don’t know there’s a process already on the ground. So when they begin to speak and they are met with things they don’t know anything about, they feel they are being hushed. So maybe we all need to think about it’s not just about the process, it’s about the voices in the process. And believe me, I don’t like every voice either, but you have to respect them! … A lot of people feel the process has already been gotten, the voices haven’t. In Detroit we have soapbox … One thing about this movement is it’s not personal enough … What about Tanya lost her house? She doesn’t care about this …
?: I just wanted to say that I love everybody here, maybe sometimes instead of trying to destroy things … . Ninety-nine percent of us here are trying to do our best. So instead of trying to tear down the structure, let’s work together to build it.
?: I just got here … I have an occupier who just got out of jail. Can I connect with housing?
Lisa Fithian: Everyone wants their voice heard, but there are different times and places. SC is not actually designed to have everyone’s voice heard. … it’s to work through spokes … maybe we need another place for that. I know, Sage, you hosted a soapbox and maybe we should do that more. I know POC has their finger on the pulse of a lot of things that need to be talked about. Maybe they could host a space for that. This is the wrong container to talk about individual needs. … We are not actually getting either individual or group needs talked about.
Mediation: That’s exactly what the meeting tomorrow, 5:30 at 60 Wall Street is about.
[Iro starts talking about being frustrated he doesn’t understand the symbols and stack. Upset.]
POC: POC is bringing a proposal about anti-oppression training, coming at the next SC. We are seeking to have it take place on Dec. 14 here instead of SC. That’s going to be the proposal.
Eric: I haven’t been here in four or five weeks. My impressions, I’ve been here about an hour: I think there’s a process problem with how people are interacting with the process. You may not ever have thought of: abandon all sign language because sign language during the time people are speaking is a distraction from the speaker. It’s a like or dislike, it’s a public opinion poll while people are trying to express themselves. Seems like a disrespect many times. There’s a problem in how stacks are put together. Why not, stacks are for pancakes not for people? … Take a look at your process, it doesn’t seem to be working … .
F: Can we take 1 minute of silence?
[minute of silence. A couple people breathing loudly, seemingly passive aggressively. One guy breaks in at end asking what’s going on, who the moment of silence is for.]
F: So we are back together right now. Thanks for trying to be silent. Sage has a way to get us out of this.
Sage: Doing things the same way over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. This is a point where animals eat, rest, start over—but we decide to bug the fuck out. In a movie, this would be intermission, but we think we are invulnerable. … Thank you for the people breathing during the moment of silence, because you reminded me that some people breathe and some do not. So we’re going to do three ohms, which have religious … I don’t believe in that but I like how it sounds. So this is in opt-in, opt-out exercise.
Sage [stepping in as co-F]: We have a budget of twenty minutes we have to spend. Who wants to spend this budget on anything else other than the agenda? Who wants to spend these last twenty minutes on the agenda? The next point on the agenda …
[Someone yells, “Who wants to listen to Sage?”]
F: Mic check!
Sage: I’m going to step down: There will be other people who will disrupt and it won’t be as … as me.
Trish: We have twenty minutes. Don’t bring that stress back here.
F: We have a couple things left. Can we check in with our spokes and see what we want to do?
F: It occurs to me we don’t have time for breakouts.
[some people leave.]
[suggestion to just let groups network if they need to.]
F: Okay, we are going to end Spokes with a unity clap, because we are all so united. [laughter]