NYCGA Minutes 11/12/2011

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.


Date / Time: Thursday 11/12/2011 / 7:00pm EST

Location: Liberty Plaza

Facilitators (F): Christine, Brett


Stack Taker: Sean; Stack Greeter: Christina; Time Keeper: Doug; Facilitation Greeter: Sophie

P = Proposer; F = Facilitators; PoP = point of process; PoI = point of information; CC = clarifying question



57.1.  Agenda Items (Emergency Proposal from Sam, Breakout Discussion from Things We Love, Finance Budget Proposal, Labor Outreach WG Proposal)

57.2.  Working Group Report Backs

57.3.  Announcements

Mic check

F: If it’s okay with you all, we would like to start the general assembly. We have come here as a little team to offer ourselves to you all to help facilitate. Facilitation is here to help process, make sure people stay in process, and make sure that everybody is being respectful, and everyone is being heard. With that said, we would like to introduce ourselves and what our role means and ask you all if you’re cool with us being in that role.

F: I’m Christine and I would like to be one of the co-facilitators. Is that okay with all of you? [Consensus] Thank You.

F: Hi. My name is Brett. I would like to also be a co-facilitator. If that is all right with everyone here? [Consensus] Thank You.

F: Hi. My name’s Sean. I’d like to take stack. I’d like to talk also about what stack is and the progressive stack system we use. We use progressive stack along with a concept known as “Step Up Step Back” which means we all exercise personal responsibility, awareness of voices that have been traditionally marginalized and might be moved up in stack and also people who are speaking a lot exercise step back and don’t marginalize the conversation at hand.

F: Hi. My name’s Christina and I would like to be the stack greeter tonight. That means that I will help you get on stack. How does that sound?

F:Hi I’m Doug and I’ll be keeping time for you tonight as well as the facilitation process and its important to remember that we need to keep our statements short, concise, and to the point. Thank you very much.

F:Hi. I’m Sophie and I would like to be the facilitation greeter which means that if you have questions about the process and would like to ask somebody who has a understanding of how the process works, please try to get my attention and I will do my best to get to you and answer your questions. Thank you.

F: So I have a logistical question. We need a timepiece. Would anyone like to give us one?

F: Does anyone have a smart phone?

F: Doug: Unfortunately, my phone was stolen two nights ago. Sorry about that.

F: We have a timepiece.

F. During this general assembly we use a series of hand signals to communicate with each other how we’re feeling and about process so that we don’t have to speak over each other but we can still communicate. The first one is this. Hand up – fingers wiggling. This means, “I like what I’m hearing. I agree with this. I’m happy.” The next hand signal is this – hands out in front of you, fingers doing a dance. This means that I’m not really jazzed about what I’m hearing but I don’t totally disagree. This one – hand down, fingers’ dancing means I’m not jazzed. I don’t like this. I disagree. This is a point of information . One finger up. This means that I have factual, again, I repeat, factual, information that pertains to what we’re talking about right now. This is not to address a concern, ask a question or give an opinion. If you have a question, and you need clarification, throw up this sign. It’s a C for clarification. This is a block. This means that you have moral, or safety concerns about a proposal that are so strong that you would consider leaving the park or working with OWS. This is serious. The next one is this. A triangle. This is point of process. If you feel that the conversation has strayed, if someone is addressing a concern but we are at the point of asking for questions, that is an appropriate use of point of process. With point of process, and point of information, we ask that those are non-verbal. So you don’t have to also say point of process. When one of us sees that, we will halt the process to have that addressed. If you cannot hear, please do this. Make sure it’s moving so we know it’s not a point of information. Please do not yell “mic check.” please let the facilitators do that.

F: Does everyone feel clear? There is one more. Like this. Your fingers cycling. This means we understand your point, things are clear, please wrap up. We ask that you use this motion with compassion. Thank you.

F: So now we would like to tell you the proposals on the agenda.

F: First up we have an emergency proposal after that we have a proposal and breakout groups, I forgot who that’s from, I apologize. It’s from What We Love.

F: Next we have a budget proposal from Finance working group. After that, a budget proposal from the Labor Outreach working group. After that, a budget proposal from the Co-op working group. Five things on the agenda. After which, we will have report backs from working groups and then announcements. Announcements are not times for states of opinion. They are factual announcements about meeting times or actions or decisions that have been made from other occupations. Thank you.

F: So we would like to hear the emergency proposal.


57.1.  Agenda Items

57.1.1.  Emergency Proposal

F: Also, I see some people sitting. If you would like to sit, please do so more people can see and make it easier to hear.  P: Hi, my names Aaron. This is Sophia. We represent the people. Yesterday, in Ocean Parkway, a number of cars were burned out, swastikas were scrawled, KKK signs were scrawled, and hatred was rampant. The Daily News is trying to pin this on us. Now I think we have to condemn these sorts of actions. This is bad. Anti-Semitism and racism are not okay. I think we need to, as a group, take a leadership role in our community with some of the other leaders and officially condemn this. We need to write a statement that we do not support these acts and we would like consensus on that. All in favor?

F: Point of process (PoP). In order to reach consensus, we have a process. Facilitation would like to bring you through that process. First we open it for questions. If you have a question, please get put on stack. Stack is now open.  Clarifying Questions  Hi my name is Troy. I live 4 blocks from the incident. It would be really great to see this leadership on the streets of Brooklyn.

Response (R): Sophie: To answer your point, there is a march scheduled for tomorrow at noon that will be meeting at Ave J on Ocean Parkway. In Midwood, as you told me, you can take the Q train to Avenue J or the F train to Avenue I. We hope that many of you can make it and that we can show unity and diversity within our group.  CQ: What time?

R: Noon. Tomorrow. Avenue J and Ocean Parkway. I will go to Kinko’s, print up a bunch of flyers and distribute them to everybody as soon as this is done.

F: PoP- That comment brought out something really great. I appreciate that. I assume we all appreciate that. Please remember that stack is open for clarifying questions. Thank you.

Next on stack is Brad. Next on stack is John.  John: Hi. My question is who will write the statement?

R: Sophie: A group of us from different working groups who happened to come together today to deal with this situation and were asked to participate in a press conference to distance OWS from these events have already written a statement. I can read it, but it’s a little long, so it’s your choice.

F: Next on stack is Tony.  Tony: My question has to do with instead of stating that we do not support the horrific actions saying that we strongly condemn those actions. So having said that, I would like to ask GA to consent that the statement is read in its entirety.

F: PoP. This point of process is because that was not a clarifying question. As amazing and as in agreement as I am with it.

Stack: I have one more person on stack. Two more people. So we’re going to start closing stack for clarifying questions. Next on stack is Evan.  Evan: I’ll start by saying I’m in full support of the proposal and the march. My question is what were the nature and the basis of the Daily News’ accusation that we were in any way connected to it

R: My name is Melanie. I was a part of the press conference. I have read the article and it refers to a teacher that works locally who made a comment stating that she had witnessed a sign that was displayed down here at Wall Street. That was an anti-Semitic sign and that she thinks that it may have had something to do with us. The Daily News decided to print that.

Stack: Next on stack is Anthony  Anthony: My question – since we’re evidently not going to read it –

F: PoP – we were going to suggest after clarifying questions and see how you felt. Would people like to read it? Great. That looks like yes.

R: Yesterday’s anti-Semitic acts that occurred on Ocean Parkway in the Midwood section of Brooklyn and the attempt by the Daily News to link us to these heinous acts have compelled us to release this statement. When an act of violence and bigotry occurs in our community, we need to take a leadership role as a group and stand with other community leaders and fellow new Yorkers to speak out in opposition to these acts. History has taught us that silence can be interpreted as approving or condoning the bigotry. Today we condemn the reported acts of torching three cars and defacing other property with anti-Semitic messages. Specifically, it has been reported that 8 nearby benches were sprayed with Nazi swastikas, SS, KKK symbols and other inflammatory remarks. The media has attempted to implicate OWS in these criminal acts while offering zero evidence to support these claims. This ignores the fact that OWS’s values and daily activities demonstrate openness, inclusiveness and equality. We represent a wide array of political beliefs, races, religions, and sexual orientations. OWS mirrors the diversity of our city. We are growing and highly inclusive and these aspects make it possible for those who so choose to mischaracterize, defame, and vilify this movement. Consequently, we are inviting all New Yorkers to march with us tomorrow in solidarity against anti-Semitism, bigotry, and hatred. We will meet at noon tomorrow, Sunday, November 13th, 2011 on Ocean Parkway and Avenue J in the Midwood section of Brooklyn. Let’s stand together and show the world that acts like this will not be tolerated in our community.

F: We will now open stack for concerns on this proposal. If you have a concern, put your hand up so we can get you on stack.  Concerns

Stack: First on stack is Nina.  Nina: Hi. Great statement. There are two places where I’m concerned where something is missing. Where there’s an anti-Semitic mention it should say also “Racist.”

F: Before their reply, I want to emphasize the importance of the human microphone. If you can hear me, repeat it back. We have a very large group here. And we want everyone to be included in the very important work we’re going to do together. Thank you.

R: Sophie: I don’t have an issue with your suggestion. The only problem right now is we don’t have a computer and we want to print this out as soon as possible. So I would ask you if you think that your revision is not completely essential to the printing and distributing of this flyer if you would be okay with us not making it. It’s a horrible thing to ask, and the reason this is an emergency proposal is we’re trying to act on this very quickly.

F: we have a point of information (PoI)

PoI: If you guys are going to Kinko’s, they have computers where you can edit your document.

F: I’m going to ask that if you have specific changes that you would like to see to please hold them for amendments. Right now, we’re taking concerns. Thank you.

Stack: I have two more people on stack. Next on stack is that man over there, but please see me if you want to get on stack.  I’m concerned that it may be unnecessary to write a statement as originally proposed with what you’ve just read seems acceptable to most people here.

F: The statement was written for the GA but it was also written to share with the press once approved by the GA.  My name is Josh. I have a problem with the term “anti-Semitic.” Anti-Semitic does not mean anti-Jewish. I am an Arab, but I am also a Semitic. Why are you playing into that term when so many Semitic people have a problem with also being tied into this? So maybe you can say, anti-Judaic.

F: We have a PoP.

PoP: Midwood is filled with Jewish, Arab, Southeast Asian, and Puerto Ricans. We are all inclusive because we are all affected by the symbols written on those benches.

F: PoP. If you do this, you are saying that we are off process. This is not to say an opinion. Does that statement address your concern?

PoP: Not exactly. My problem is why are you picking one ethnic group when they’ve all been affected.

Maybe a way of dealing with it would be to accept your proposal and replace “anti-Semitic “ with racist.

Can you hear me? I’d like to address a concern of the Arab brother over there. The Arab brother is grammatically correct. Indeed, the term Semite contains more than one nationality of Semitic origin. It is only for Semitic people if you.

F: PoP – everyone can’t hear. We would like to propose a 2-generation mike check so the people down here will repeat first and then we’ll go another one. So with me, we’ll now do 2 waves.

(Same person as before) F: So Semite is either an Arab or a Jew. So therefore when you state that someone is anti-Semitic, that someone must have a dislike for both Arab and Jews. Otherwise the term does not apply. We speak different languages. If the terms are not used according to the dictionary, we will not have an understanding. I am a foreign person. English is my third language.

F: I’m seeing lots of “wrap it up”

(Same person) I know my terms.

F: The proposers have already agreed to change the use of anti-Semitic to “Racist”

(same person) Which is even less correct

F: we’ll now open stack for friendly amendments.  Friendly Amendments  My friendly amendment concerns the part where you say that the population here mirrors the diversity of NY. I think that’s something we want but I don’t think that we’re there yet. I would feel better if the language said we were striving to achieve that. And that is based upon report I’ve heard from people in NY who don’t feel included in this group.

F: It’s up to the proposers to decide if an amendment is friendly and therefore accept it.

R: I understand that the last amendment was addressing a lack of diversity. I’m not sure exactly what that meant. However, in the interest of saving time and moving on to the next proposal, would anyone who has edits or additions, please meet us right over there in the center of that group and we will take your edits or additions. Thank you.

Stack: Next on stack is Charlie.  Charlie: my amendment involves replacing racism with “white supremacy.”

F: PoP

PoP: Building consensus doesn’t mean that we consent on the proposal and then change it afterwards. We should really consider friendly amendments as an important part of the process.

R: As a point of information, I neglected to say that if you had a re-write, or a small addition, after you voiced it over there, we can rewrite and come back at the end of the proposal period with a rewritten statement. Would you be amenable to that? Is there anyone who has a concern about that?

When we come back, we’re just going to do this again. We should just hear everyone out.

Mic check 3X

We should just hear everyone out and go through the process together once.

F: we’re going to continue with the stack on friendly amendments

I have two people on stack. We’re going to start closing stack but see me if you’d like to get on stack.

F: We have a point of process. (continued) Charlie: is my amendment friendly? To replace anti-Semitism into racism into “white supremacy”

F: PoP it seems like this needs to be put on stack. PoP means that you think we are off process.

F: Clarification

F: This wasn’t asked that we return to an unresolved amendment. So now, we are going to let the proposal group reply to the previously stated amendment.

R: I don’t think we should limit this to just “white supremacists.” Perhaps use both or not. We don’t know who did this except that they’re bad people.

Stack: Next on stack is Tony.  Tony: I would like to suggest that we strike references to the media because the reason why we condemn these actions is not because the media asked us to, it’s because they’re wrong.

R: I would agree with you if it weren’t for the fact that many other horrible, racist, condemnable acts happen in this city all the time and unfortunately this GA cannot react to all of them. And the reason we’re reacting to this one is because the media is trying to tie us to it as part of a campaign of misinformation.

Stack: Next on stack is Mike.  Mike: I have a very friendly amendment. Since this GA probably is against anti-Semitism, I propose you publish your statement exactly as you read it to us originally. That’s all.

R: Would you be okay with us adding the word “Racist” in addition to anti-Semitic?

Mike: Yes.

F: We had a concern that the first friendly amendment about changing wording to state that we are striving to represent the diversity of NY wasn’t addressed.

P: Could you please repeat your concern? (continued) So my friendly amendment is only to make people aware of the fact that we understand that this is not entirely a representational group of all of NY because I have heard reports from various marginalized groups that they don’t feel included here. So therefore, the language might say that we are striving to create a diverse group.

R: We’re down with that.

Stack: Next on stack is Gabriel.  Gabriel: I have a friendly amendment. To properly conduct this meeting I ask that we include two things. A mandatory clarification of the terms. The second thing is time to discuss the concepts of words introduced on their meaning merit, which does not mean we will not review any other political considerations that anybody may have. However, we cannot use terms improperly.

F: PoP Sorry to disrupt but we have a few PoPs.

R: I don’t disagree with what you’re saying but it’s not a friendly amendment. Sorry.

I think that this is an extremely important opportunity for us to introduce the issue that terms in general such as anti-Semitic, racist, and all of the baggage that language carries and which is so complicated and colonized itself that defining what those terms are is a really difficult task.

F: it is clear to me that this is something that needs lots of talking about. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this is a space that we can do that. I would like to remind everyone that right now we are taking friendly amendments. No one is on stack. Someone is on stack now.  My amendment would be to consider simply identifying these crimes as hate crimes as a term that we can all agree on.

R: We will add the words “hate crime” to the letter. Is that okay? (continued) Yes, but I was trying to resolve the outstanding issue with a few of the other terms.

R: I propose that we don’t quibble over two words and take the time that other people and other working groups need with all of us. If it’s just a matter of the Semitic vs. racist, I propose that we simply use racist and move on.

F: As facilitation team, we would like to close stack. We have one more person on stack. Then we would like the proposers to state what they have accepted as amendments without re-reading the whole statement. Last on stack. No one’s on stack.

P: The amendments we will switch “Anti-Semitic” for racism. We will state that we strive to mirror the diversity of the city. And we will include the term “hate crimes.”

F: We have a PoI. Before we take it I would like to remind us that PoI is only for factual information.

PoI: Are Jewish people not a part of white race?

F: That is not a PoI and we are seeing lots of wrap it up going up. Remember we’re doing two generations. Now we would like to take a temperature check to see how we feel about this proposal.  Temperature check. That looks pretty good. Now I’d like to ask do we have any blocks. We have a block.  Blocks  Block: from what I understand, OWS has been accused of condoning what is commonly known in the mainstream media as anti-Semitism. I believe that even though we’ve been through this, specifically addressing the allegation and refuting the allegation of anti-Semitism directly is important.

F: I’m seeing lots of PoPs.

PoP 1: In my opinion this is not a serious moral ethical concern and therefore it does constitute the basis for a block.

F: Do you keep your block? (continued) No.

F: That seems like consensus.

P: Can we include everyone in our symbolic group hug? We hope to see you tomorrow at the march, 12 o’clock at Ave J and Ocean parkway. Q train to Ave J or F train to Ave I. And I will be here within the hour passing out flyers. And bring some signs.

57.1.2.  Breakout Discussion from Things We Love WG

F: we’re going to continue with our agenda. I want to thank you all. That was a great discussion and we should all be really proud of the statement that we’re making as a community. Next on the agenda we have a breakout group discussion from Things We Love working group. We will break out for 10 minutes and then please designate one person from your group to synthesize your discussion and give a 1-minute report-back to the assembly.  P: Hi I’m Steven. My cohorts are all sick. So here we go. Things We Love is a new working group and this proposal is to introduce ourselves to the GA, to solicit a round of nominations of things we love from this assembly, and to inspire your participation. Here’s what we need. With all that is wrong in our society and culture, and with all the problems that the occupy movement has begun to address, there is no doubt that there are many things, things that already exist, that OWS feels very good about and with all the world asking us who we are and what we’re doing here, Things We Love believes that OWS has a huge opportunity to focus light and attention on a very wide range of things in our world in a way that is positive and uplifting and reflective of our movement. Our basic process is this. Anyone and everyone can nominate a thing we love. Our working group will thoroughly research the particulars and each time we have a well-rounded collection of such things consented upon within the working group, we will bring them to the GA to ask for overall consensus. When consensus is given, that collection of things will be released to the media so that journalists and bloggers and interested parties can investigate them on their own to shine light upon and draw attention to things we support. We ask the GA tonight to break into groups as described. To get you started, and we thank you in advance, here are a few of the nominations we are currently looking at in a few different categories. Under “Practices and Ideas,” we have Transition Towns and Local Living Economies and Eye Contact. Under “New York City,” the Highline Park has been nominated. Under “Legislation,” HR808/S1756 to establish a US Dept of Peace has been nominated. Under “Programs,” the DOBA? DOMA? Brothers enacting Human Potential and Transformation in maximum-security prisons has been nominated. As you work in your groups, remember that nominations of things we love are for things that already exist and are not limited to the categories I just mentioned.

F: I see a PoI. I also see a PoP. Would we like to go back to one generation? One generation please.

PoP: I have a PoP, which might also be a question. You tell me. These sound a lot like endorsements, which is something we recently voted we do not want to do. If these aren’t endorsements, for instance endorsing the legislation in the house and senate, how is this different?

P: I’m not sure.

F: I saw two PoIs.

PoI: Who brought it to the Highline Park there was a campaign to stop the project because the wood used in the project comes from the endangered species in Ghana.

PoI: My understanding is the statement the GA passed about endorsements only stated that it hasn’t endorsed anything.

F: At this point, we will continue with the breakout groups. We’re going to stick to 10 minutes so please make sure you write everything down, pick one person to quickly synthesize, and give a 1 minute report back.

PoI: Perhaps we should do a temperature check about breaking out.

F: Temperature check. Please give us a second to think. Okay. The proposer has agreed we’ll pass his forms out, fill it out on your own and he will make himself available to take your forms. And then we can move on.

P: Also on the forms is our email address. and one more thing our next meeting is Monday at 5 at 60 wall street please come if you’re at all interested.

57.1.3.  Finance Budget Proposal

F: Thank you everybody. We’re going to move on. Next we have a budget proposal from finance.  P: Hi everybody. My name is Sam. You may have noticed I am not actually on the finance committee. I am one of the attorneys who have been helping out here in the occupation in various ways since the first week of the occupation. Ok. So back on October 24, we got calls at our office from the finance committee and also from members of other groups and these asked that I mention that Aaron who was up here earlier and is even now running back here was the first one to call us and tell us that we needed to lock down the trademark for OWS on an emergency basis. I can see some cold temperature about this so before I go on let me tell you all a bit about what trademarks is because it’s different from other forms of intellectual property. Copyrights and patents are given based on discovery or authorship or a creative or scientific work. There’s Aaron. Trademarks, on the other hand, are used to protect source identifiers. Most source identifiers are commercial so that you know that the stuff in the bottle labeled Tylenol is really Tylenol. However, source identifiers are also used by nonprofit groups and other organizations so that you can tell for instance that a website with the banner OWS actually contains information from OWS. We filed a trademark application for OWS on an emergency basis. Our office did this free of charge but we laid out $1300 for the filing fees. It was pretty lucky that we decided to do this and then get authorization later because 3 hours after we filed our application, a T-shirt company from Arizona filed their own application for OWS. So to be clear, that doesn’t mean that if we hadn’t filed that T-shirt Company would now be able to make you change your name. A year down the road, however, that may be the case. Now to be clear, I really don’t care how OWS chooses to use its trademark or identity but I want all of you in the GA to be the ones making those decisions. Just to clear up a few procedural points before we open this up, I want to say that I presented this to the Legal working group on Sunday of last week. However, consensus wasn’t reached at that time to support or oppose the proposal. Perhaps in part because about half the group left to go to other meetings before there would be temperature check. Though I do understand that this is an issue that’s very polarizing and people believe, some very strongly, that OWS shouldn’t even recognize the American intellectual property system. I think there’s some merit to that idea I just don’t want you to get your name taken from you because you’re not participating in the system. So if its ok with you all I would like to open stack just on authorizing the filing first and then form there go on to some minor points which include thanking the people in Long Island whose initial trademark application brought this to our attention and who abandoned their application once they found out that OWS was handling its own business. Thanks.

F: We would like to open stack for CQs.  Clarifying Questions

Stack: First on stack is Evan.  Hello and thank you for your work. Is there a possibility that this trademark could be placed in what I understand is called an irrevocable trust and can you explain what that is.

R: Well there are a variety of forms of irrevocable trust. And as understand it, a trademark is property that can be maintained by a trust. Currently, the application is in the name of the OWS unincorporated association and so as I understand it you all could put it in an irrevocable trust or do just about anything else you’d like with it.

Stack: Next on stack is Jared.  Jared: hello what are the limitations of whom in the GA can use this trademark where it is applicable.

R: That is for the GA to decide itself or to delegate as it sees fit. However, I should point out that having the trademark doesn’t mean that the government is going to start enforcing it for you. Mark owners police their own marks as they like and to the extent they like and so that would be a decision for all of you.

Stack: Next on stack is Bernie  Bernie: Hi everyone just a point of clarification is there any possibility of establishing a trademark on the public commons in order to prevent other entities from claiming the term but still leaving it in the common use.

R: That’s a really interesting question. Let me explain that trademarks are awarded based on a showing that someone is using a mark or intending to use a mark in whets commonly referred to as the stream of commerce which basically means in everyday life. So if OWS was using the term in public commons to designate the identity of the source of particular ideas, that would be possible. However. I’m not sure if the term “the public commons” is in and of itself distinctive enough to merit trademark protection because generic words in and of themselves aren’t trademark able unless they develop a secondary meaning based on use.

F: I’ve got four more people on stack. First we have a PoI.

PoI: Hi everyone. PoI for the questions about decision-making about the trademark, is that the NYCGA is not named as a decision making body for this trademark in the filing. It is named as the friends of liberty park GA that is the unincorporated association that does banking for us. Therefore the questions about decision-making legally are not NYCGA.

P: Direct response. The trademark application itself which I don’t have a copy of with me expressly states that to the extent possible under the law ownership and control of the mark is to be vested in the GA. Do you mind reading it because I don’t have it in front of me. The misc. statement on the application says “to the extent that is it is possible this application is intended to vest trademark rights in OWS in the unincorporated association OWS as a whole, not in the individual applications as joint applicants per se. Any usage of the OWS mark herein claimed are and will be authorized by the majority vote of the GA of OWS or a duly designated agent or agents thereof.

PoI #2: This Bernie again. I’m sorry I think you didn’t understand my question. I was asking about the concept of the public commons. Not talking about using the term “the public commons”

F: This means that you have factual information that you would like to share with the group. However it seems that this person’s question was not answered.

P: To answer your question, no, you can’t trademark concepts. I apologize. There is an argument to be made that OWS could exist as a mark in the public commons. However, would the agreement of all other entities that could and have attempted to claim the mark as their property that would be impossible?

F: Now I see three PoI. Let’s hear them as I’ve seen them, okay?

PoI # 1 What you read from the application said that we operate by majority vote. We do not operate by majority, we operate by consensus.

P: Duly noted. And you are free to do so. I apologize for any imprecision that was embodied in an emergency filing but the spirit of the statement is to vest control over OWS in OWS.

PoI #2 hello everybody it is a fact that OWS is already a trademark owned by you. It is the registration of that trademark that is at issue so do not be discouraged to think that somebody in Arizona simply by filing papers can take your name and effort away from you. Thank you.

P: That’s right. It’s not simply by filing papers. Its also by long and costly litigation where OWS would have to prove at some later point through means admissible to the court that they were using the mark in ways that are recognized by trademark law before it was being used by whoever registered for it. Trademarks registration serves as what’s called prima ficia evidence of use of the mark and so the registration is not necessary it is prophylactic.

Stack: Next on stack is Daryl.  Daryl: My question is if say someone had a t-shirt that said OWS for Romney or OWS for Misogyny, what would be our recourse and what would be the advantage of having a trademark vs. not.

R: I’m glad you asked that question because another one of the points that I wanted to address after hopefully getting the initial authorization is locking down all of the variants of OWS for the use and control of OWS. The current application is only for the words “OWS’ used as a group. We would need a separate application to attempt to trademark OWS THE INITIALS and the earlier application of the folks from LI was for “Occupy Wall St” and I would like to propose since they have been gracious enough to abandon their filing that we both pick it up and thank them for being good citizens. (continued) Daryl: My question was what is the difference between filing with the trademark and without.

R: Ok there is big differences. First a trademark is prima ficia evidence of ownership and use of a mark so we wouldn’t have to go in and prove at the outset that we were using the mark first. We would have that already set out. Being somebody who litigates these sorts of matters when civil rights lawsuits aren’t keeping the lights on, I can tell you that it’s a lot harder to get a company’s attention and show them that you mean business without a registration. It’s not impossible but it’s a lot easier if you have it.

F: We have four more people on stack and I’m going to start closing stack but you can still get on it. Next on stack for CQ is Charlie.  Charlie: have you looked into the creative commons license as an alternative to a trademark and if not, please do.

R: I’m familiar with creative commons. It applies to copyright, for works of authorship. Trademarks are not copyright. There is no equivalent to creative commons w/in trademark. There is just registration or non-registration.

Stack: Next on stack is Steven.  Steven: How long is the trademark good for? Does it have to be redone every year and financed and what if you wanted to add on to it or change it?

R: Trademark renewals are either every five or seven years but I don’t remember off the top of my head. There is a renewal fee for class of use and you can amend a mark to be for additional classes meaning use in additional things, as you like for additional flees. Additional marks would need to be applied for individually.

F: Stack is now closed. Next is Bill.  Bill: I want to respond to questions about registration vs. simple trademark. Isn’t it a fact that the cost of engaging in trademark litigation will be substantially identical whether or no the mark is registered? Also the filing by the person in Arizona is prima facia evidence but they would also have to demonstrate use, which they cannot. Also disclose to us how many classes have you filed in and how many additional trademarks. Do you think will be necessary to protect the registration you seek. And how many additional classes in each?

R: That was a lot of questions. Let me see if I can start from the beginning and work my way through. I’ll ask this gentleman to let me know at the end if I missed any of his questions? The cost would largely depend on what basis you had council representing you. Obviously if you had pro bono council you’d be paying nothing regardless of whether a litigation took a year or was resolved with one letter. Registration offers the benefit of allowing many of these matters to be resolved without litigation, which necessarily limits costs and could also shorten litigation by limiting the issues of fact that need to be resolving. I believe unless I’m mistaken that you have a printout of the registration of the application in your hand. And you could probably tell me better than I could. Off the top of my head we applied in 4 classes – websites, periodicals like newspapers, clothing, and bags. We did both clothing and bags because the applicants in LI also applied for both clothing and bags. This is a good point to segue into your next question about what I feel is necessary in terms of trademark filings. I think we should try and lock down Occupy Wall Street in the same four classes because a lot of the t-shirts here say “Occupty Wall St.” not “Occupy Wall Street.”

F: Just to interrupt while that is an important distinction, in the interest of time we need to focus on only what this proposal is addressing,

P: I am proposing five things: 1. The GA authorize the filing. 2. The GA authorize finance to reimburse us for our filing fees. 3. The GA authorize us to extend their thanks to the couple in Long Island who did the right thing and backed off-process. 4. The GA authorize us to pick up their filing in the same categories. 5. To authorize filing fees for that, another $1300. Total would be $2600

F: Two more people on stack for CQ

Stack: Next is Carrie.  Carrie: Forgive me if this has been gone over I was in a meeting. I am wondering what kind of legal agreements the people that are directly included in the process are going to undertake if they are going to undertake any legal responsibility for implementing anything to do with the trademark.

R: I don’t really understand the question. If I could take a guess, the trademark will need to be assigned meaning that its ownership will need to be transferred by agreement to whatever other sort of formation OWS may adopt for conducting its affairs in the future. (continued) Carrie: I am asking whether the people directly involved were going to take personal and legal responsibility through legal agreement.

R: Who are the people involved in your mind?

Carrie: You.

R: I am a hired geek. In the context of the filing, I am just the guy pushing the buttons. I don’t have any ownership or control beyond what you give me. We needed to have individuals who were signers to the unincorporated association included by name on the filing but getting back to my initial comment on this, the extent of legal agreements that they will have to enter into are simply to assign ownership and control of the mark to the GA by whatever means the GA feels is warranted. Does that answer your?

Carrie: No. What legal agreements are they signing with OWS?

R: The people that signed are both on the finance group, one of them is still on the finance group the other one, Victoria, is dealing with other stuff. But they were the people who were the signers on the unincorporated association which was the entity that applied for the mark, and again, there is no intention for the unincorporated association or for Victoria or for Pete or even me and Wiley as lawyer to have any control over this mark other than to effect the will of the GA AND the extent of legal agreement that will have to be entered into are simply to assign the mark. Has that answered your question?

Carrie: No.

R: Can we speak after this?

F: We have a PoP.

PoP: If your question hasn’t been answered with that much talk, you might want to stand aside or block the proposal at the end.

Stack: Next on stack is Susan  Susan: you keep referring to a “we” that started this filing for a trademark which to my understanding never went thru GA, is not back ed by the legal working group, so who is the “we” that filed for this.

R: As stated in the proposal which has been on the nycga website, the finance committee and members of other groups such as Aaron here called our office and told us to do this on an emergency basis.

Susan: Which other groups?

R: I’m a hired geek. I did not receive every phone call. However, I am aware of support from Internet, Media, and members of the legal working group although there is apparently something of a schism which, rather than addressing this prior to this meeting, has been presented in the form of a concerted ambush. So I would suggest that we move on from CQ to objections because it seems that the 5 or 6 individuals sitting here have quite a few that they would like to share with you.

F: PoP the facilitation team is empowered to move the discussion forward. I have a PoI.

PoI: I would like to corroborate that Sam and Wiley did move on this because Internet, finance, and media, to my knowledge, were aware of people trying to use this mark in ways that do not benefit us. They are trying to us this mark to make money for themselves. Jay Z is now printing “Occupy Wall STREETS” with the “w” slashed out. This was something that deeply concerned us. We do not want to see this body co-opted in any way.

PoI: There was a misquote in the media about Rocawear. Jay Z doesn’t own Rocawear anymore. Furthermore they said they didn’t know what they were going to do with the money they didn’t say they were going to keep it but other people could do something like that

P: And have expressed intentions to do so.

PoI: As far as I understand this is the GA and the GA has not been co-opted. The brand OWS originated from some other company or organization, not the GA.

P: That’s absolutely right. However trademark is awarded based on use not creation. I would say OWS is using OWS and should be controlling uses of OWS.

F: Since stack has been closed. I’d like to move us forward to concerns. Please get on stack. Just a reminder after this we have two more budget proposals. Just reminding you.  Concerns

F: First on stack for concerns is Susan,  Susan: my first concern is the language in the file for trademark that says that nay uses of the OWS mark herein blah blah blah will be authorized by the majority vote of the GA of OWS etc. we don’t vote at the GA, we come to consensus. I think this shows among a number of things that there is no understanding of our directly democratic process here at NYCGA. Second. Using the word “occupy wall street” I consider that to be the people’s words and fuck if everybody else uses them, that’s what we fucking want, right? We want people to use it because this is a popular movement and to trademark it might be a little off message.

R: Your first point was previously addressed and I think that in the context of a very rapidly done emergency filing a mis-statement that really has no controlling affect should be noted as a mis-statement not as a reflection of some lack of understanding of OWS. Your second concern – I personally agree that OWS should be used, as people like. The concerns of the groups and individuals who asked us to do this were that that decision would be taken away from OWS and placed in the hands of, for example, a t-shirt merchant form Arizona the general assembly by consensus can opt to authorize any use they like of the mark. That is not at question here. Having the trademark does not come with any duty to use it in any sort of capitalist ways to provide protection against other people exploiting it or using it to distribute misinformation.

F: Six on stack, closing stack for concerns. Next is Jared,  Jared: my concern was addressed.  Teet: my concern is with the monetary allocations in the proposal. A lot of people here are spending a lot of their own time and money to build this movement without any monetary returns. We do this because we think it’s important and not because we want money. My concern is that some groups are privileged and receive money for the work they do in support of OWS and others don’t. Lawyers often work on a pro bono basis. What I would like to know is would you be willing to it pro bono?

R: I am doing it pro bono. The moneys involved are entirely filing fees that we paid out of pocket to the US government for the registration but we are helping OWS on a pro bono basis whether we’re getting people out of jail, finding out about the legal status of this park or at the request of WG of OWS undertaking legal filing. This is a proposal. To make our work into a break-even proposition to the extent of money that we laid out of pocket because fundamentally our offices support of OWS has lost us tons of money. Because we’ve been here helping you all instead of working on stuff that makes us money.

F: Next on stack is Anthony.  Anthony: my concerns are many but I’ll keep them brief. The unincorporated association and the individuals such as Aaron who contacted Sam usurped the power of the GA. I’m also concerned about Sam’s law firm and the way that they have gone about everything having to do with OWS. Also, regarding blowing off the lightness of word choice, I’ll point out that as a lawyer I’m sure you’re aware that exact word choice is very important. Finally I will suggest that claiming ownership over this is entirely off message to the OWS.

R: I’m going to address you concerns out of order. As for word choice, in a binding legal document, word choice is very important. However, in a miscellaneous statement to a trademark application I would submit it’s not as important. It’s not like the trademark office will come here and tell the GA that they cannot control the mark because they are going by consensus instead of majority. Similarly, I would say that if any persons have any issues with the manner in which my office has been assisting with OWS, that they bring that up with us rather than waiting and ambushing us in a public forum. I first addressed this GA 54 days ago and I asked for the right to assist you all to stay in the park and get shelters even though our retainer was dissolved several days later we’ve continue to assist how we can. As for the groups that have contacted us to take action and any assertion that they have somehow usurped the prerogative of the GA by doing so I would say that this is why we are here now because at that time patricians in OWS saw a need for immediate action. They asked us to take immediate action and so we did. And now, we are seeking your approval for that. If you don’t give your approval we will abandon the application and we will be out of pocket $1300. However, that in and of itself will not deter us from continuing to assist OWS because the expression and protection of your 1st amendment rights are much more important to us than bullshit parliamentary politics. As for our other concerns I believe they have been addressed several times at least over the course of this proposal.

PoP: Point of affection and point out that raising concerns is not an ambush but just the way we do business here. If you say that raising concerns is an ambush its points raising concerns in a very negative light, it discourses dissent and it encourages people who feel comfortable talking in front of a large group of people to plow whatever they want through the GA. This is kind of how congress works and it’s also a load of shit.

R: Brief direct response – I generally agree with that however I met with the Legal working group on this issue and the proposal has been on the website without comment.

PoP: Most of us here have zero access to Internet.

F: Two PoI and one PoP.

PoP: Generally direct responses don’t happen with presenters in proposals.

PoI: The ambush he was referring to, or the content thereof, had nothing at all to do with the proposal on the table.

PoI: Information from legal. In our group meeting he’s referring to, we decided by consensus we could not support the retroactive authorization of the filing they already filed. We did not consensus upon approving the filing he’s asking us to do now for “occupy wall st”

PoI: what the attorney here is saying is 6 months of legal training. This won’t be able to answered all in one general assembly. It’s a very complex legal process I’m not talking about the filing, but the potential legal repercussions.

PoP: That doesn’t sound like a PoI

Renee: I’m not sure about talking about copywriting OWS – trade marking. I feel there’s a difference and I’m not sure that everyone here knows the difference. I’m not really sure that I do. I do know that I feel that OWS that is trying to be trademark can be used as long as it benefits OWS as long as it’s used appropriately. I don’t get the issue. As long as it benefits us, and as long as it’s not helping someone who is not involved with us its good. I have other issues like safety. I don’t know if I can bring that up right now.

F: I think they’re going to work on clarifying if this is a concern. If it is we’ll come back to it

R: Briefly, copyright is awarded to works of authorship and provides exclusive rights to the author trademark is awarded to the user of marks in the stream of commerce and protects that mark as a source identifier saying that particular thing which can be tangible goods or intangible ideas like messages on a website come from a particular source copyright is based on creation and trademark on use.

F: Let’s take a second to pause and think.

Mic check 2x

F: I hope that break was nice. It seems like these folks are still clarifying. Until then, our friend over would like to talk about our vibes.

F: We draw consensus process partially from Quakers. The Quakers will often take some moments for reflection so this time isn’t necessarily wasted, it’s for all of us to reflect and center around where we may stand on this issue. When we come back we’re clear and centered for ourselves. We also trust that everyone else has also done that and is equally valid in their position so we want to respect that so that’s what we mean when we talk about taking a few moments for reflection.

F: Please remember this is a collaborative process. We like each other. A lot. That’s why we hang out so much. And all of our brains are going to come up with something really good because we collaborate.

F: Two more on stack.  Michael: I think that everyone here means really well. I think the concerns that caused everyone up here to take action were very valid. At the same time I have some concerns w what’s happening right now and with what might happen tomorrow and next year if we consense to this. I would like to see if we really feel that we need this protection that we file for it in such a way that we ensure this legal right to the trademark will never be used to exclude people from this movement because no one can say to any person, anywhere, you are not part of the occupation. We are all OWS. We are all occupying DC. We are all Occupy Oakland. Thank you.

F: In the interest of time we need to keep stack closed.

R: To respond to the last point, and its beautiful rhetoric, I’m not sure if the slippery slope that Mihal mentioned at first as with relation to procedure or the filing itself. Semantic issues about the error use of the word majority instead of consensus aside, I don’t see anything in the application already filed that would exclude anyone except if that were the will of the GA. With respect to parliamentary procedure, it’s my understanding that the Spokes Council is being formed right now as a venue for finance and emergency decisions. I may be mistaken. It appears that concern is already being addressed. (continued) Michael: allow me to clarify. My concern is this. We already had a question earlier about what would happen if the Romney campaign printed OWS on t-shirts. So there are already ideas that came up in the last hour about restricting the use of the phrase OWS and related terms. Who gets that power?

R: You do.

Michael: that needs to be in the proposal. I would love to se the Legal working group come up w a proposal that includes that so we don’t have to take it on faith.

F: If you have specific requests for this proposal please hold them for amendments. We have three PoI.

PoI: We do not use parliamentary procedure. We use consensus.

PoI: One of the reasons the groups that requested this went to Sam and Wiley is that it’s almost impossible to find the legal working group.

PoI: I’d like to speak to that. We recognize it’s been difficult to find us. We’re working on that. All the attorneys involved have known how to reach us individually and did in fact right after you decided to file. Second point is while we did not come to consensus on whether to support the additional filing they wish to file, people in our group have continued to consult with other trademark attorneys because we continue as a group to discuss it. Also lets keep in mind its not up to the legal group to approve or deny. Our role as per the proposal passed on Oct 20th in this GA is merely to coordinate information to give to al of you to make informed decisions and make sure GA has consensus. Period.

F: Last person on stack. After that we would like to open it to amendments.  Frank: I’m concerned by a number of things. Firstly what is the name of this movement? The name is Occupy Wall Street. Everywhere you look in this park on the website we refer to ourselves as OWS. I’m concerned that if we don’t take steps to protect our right to use this name that somebody else will take steps to get the use of this name for them. What is our second choice? Do we have another name we want to use if somebody else tells us we cant use this name? If you snooze you lose. And if we don’t have the legal right to use this name, because we didn’t take action to protect it. Others could sue us

Mic Check PoP: your concerns are valid and I appreciate it but they are not concerns with the proposal. You are expressing support of the proposal.

Frank: I am concerned with how we treat the people who help us.

F: I see lots of PoP so we need to move forward.

F: Now let’s move to friendly amendments  Friendly Amendments  Katie: can we publish a statement if we trademark is saying that we are not excluding anyone and we remain inclusive and will not use trademark to exclude people from identifying with us,

R: You could do that. I would advise that instead of saying that you’re not excluding anybody that you say you’re not excluding anyone not using the mark for proper purposes because if…

R: I’m withdrawing point 3-5 of the proposal because clearly it is the will of the Legal working group that they pull the trigger on future decisions of that sort. I’m very happy to let them do that. This is just now to authorize the filing that’s already happened and to reimburse us for our expenses.

PoI: I’m saying it again because I don’t think Sam understands. Legal is not looking to pull any trigger. We don’t have or want that power.

F: Next on stack is Sergio. Never mind. Next on stack is Carrie.  Carrie: Hello. I would like to make a friendly amendment. We would maybe love to pay you. Can we pay you?

R: No. Your money is no good with us.

F: It’s my understanding that that amendment was not finished.

Carrie: The $1300 and not say whether we’re okay with the rest of your proposal.

R: I’m declining that as a friendly amendment I would like to suggest instead that we split the decision into two parts. First. To reimburse expenses. Second to authorize the filing.

F: Next on stack is Teet.  Teet: can we add the thank you note to the people on Long Island back into the proposal?

R: I would love that.  I would like to make a friendly amendment. Why not change the name into Occupying Wall St. then it will come from the GA and be our property.

R: I’m going to decline that amendment although I do appreciate the idea behind it thank you

Mike: My friendly amendment was the same as yours. Thank you.  Katrina: I would like to acknowledge the work that you’ve done for us pro bono and to put an amendment of gratitude into the proposal.

R: I’ll accept the amendment thank you that’s really sweet I really appreciate it.

F: No one left on stack, give me a minute to thank please. We will ask him to restate the proposal with accepted friendly amendments and then a temperature check.

P: I’ll say them all together once and then I suggest we do a temperature heck on each part together the proposals are: 1. Reimbursing the $1300 in filing fees. 2. Authorizing the application. 3. Thanking the couple in long island for doing the right thing by OWS. 4. Making me blush a little thanking Wiley and me for our work on behalf of the occupation.

F:Temp check on reimbursing $1300. This seems mostly positive but there are other responses so now we would like to ask if there are any blocks. Three blocks. We will ask them explain.  Blocks  Block 1: I am anti-capitalist. Not everyone at OWS is. A lot are. I am not using the master’s tools. I am not selling OWS on the NY Stock exchange or opening an investment firm.  Block 2: His is for the reimbursement. We don’t believe the filing was an emergency. I personally believe it was an abuse of professional power and also the entire filing was out of process as per a proposal that legal put forward a week before that.

R: The filing was out of process that is why we are here now and why I met with your group last Sunday and have been taking strenuous efforts to meet with your group since the date of the filing itself and I would be happy to produce documentary evidence to that effect.

PoI: I’ve known Sam since the 1st week of this occupation. We also have been talking about the trademark since legal found out it happened, which is a couple of days after it was filed we asked Sam to meet with legal in no way was it difficult to find us. We sought out you have my phone number.

PoP: So you can have your block and the community respects that. The proposal maker can try to address the block but we don’t have to get into an argument about justifying or not justifying people’s blocks. Everyone has the right to block.

F: I’ve been informed that there are actually four blocks.  Block 3: Susan: my block is based on the fact that although this claims to be an emergency or the result of an emergency I don’t believe a subjective assessment of the word emergency legitimizes the abuse of process. We have had emergencies before they were not dealt with quite in this manner.

R: I disagree I get calls far more often than I would like with emergencies. Most of those calls are people who have been arrested and asking me to get them out of jail. I do not go to the GA FOR Authorization before I do that. When members of groups and entire committees contact my office and ask us to do this on an emergency basis, I don’t ask for the GA’s approval in advance. I do it.

Block 3: that doesn’t address my block whatsoever. Individuals contacting a lawyer have nothing to do with the making a decision that affects everyone at this occupation and potentially everyone in the movement across the country. That is my block.

PoP: I am concerned that every time you’re challenged about why this was an emergency you say it wasn’t your fault, you simply acted on orders. So why aren’t the people who made this decision up there defending this decision.

PoP: That was a question. This means that we’re off process.

F: Does everyone feel its ok for me to ask for the last block?  Block 4: I put my block in late after realizing I’m still very on the fence about the filing. Regardless of that, money was spent on an organizations’ own volition and was not approved by the GA. Therefore, regardless of everything else, we cannot allocate funds that are asked for in return retroactively.

R: Why not?

F: There are now five blocks and two PoI

PoI: Two PoI. There action was taken on god faith. If he does not get authorization tonight, the application will be withdrawn.

PoI: I have attended for Gas where someone was reimbursed retroactively. I was at a GA last week where the GA authorized to spend $8000 to buy Internet domain names to protect the name OWS and the way that that name is used.

PoI: The decisions that were just referred to were brought forward as proposals by a WG. Hello? I don’t see a working group up here so the decisions that were referred to have nothing to do with the matter at hand.

P: I have been the one up here talking on this finance group proposal because I know more about trademarks and how to explain them than folks from finance. But in fact, Pete from finance has been here all along, Aaron from the Direct Action working group has been in and out as he could be.

Susan: I’m from DA and we did not consensus or discuss this.

F: Mic check. I think we need to take a moment again to calm down.

PoI: it is my understanding that anyone can bring a proposal to the GA.  Block 5: As a GA, before any decision is made, they should get our consent first. They did not do so. I felt, as an occupier and part of the GA, that I was disrespected before they put this on the table. I am sorry Sam. I like you as a person, as an attorney, but they are things I need to do to the guidelines the GA set that we need to follow. Nobody’s perfect and nobody’s special. Sorry.

Point of Clarification (PoC) by Aaron: I heard that people were trying to take the trademark. I went to Legal I could not find anybody somebody gave me Sam and Wiley’s phone number. I passed it out in the media tent to a bunch of people. They called. I am part of media. I have worked with DA as well but I did not represent DA when I made that call. I was acting as a protester. If anybody else made that call on behalf of their WG, it had nothing to do with DA. I think people assume because I have done things with DA in the past that it was a DA think but I also work with media and as an individual.

P: I apologize for any confusion.

PoI: I’m part of media and attend most if not all meetings but I was never aware of this at any media meeting.

PoI: It is my understanding that the working groups are empowered to make some autonomous decisions that we have a trust with the other working groups in this GA. As the Finance working group we consensed that this was an important thing that related to our fiduciary responsibility t the whole group. We could not find legal which is why we turned to Sam and Wiley’s office. And this was a very time sensitive matter.

PoI: It is a fact that if this filing is not made someone else will make it and they will sue us if we use the OWS name.

PoP: That’s not PoI, it’s very steeped in potential and it’s not a fact.  Block 6: I agree with Susan’s block about the use of so-called emergencies to allocate funds. It concerns me because its abused it seem s like to me. I don’t know all the facts in this case. I wanted to say that I now withdraw my block.

F: There are two new blocks.

PoI: Emergencies are subjective. That is a fact. Had this been filed three and half hours later, different owners of this mark might exist.

F: PoIs are facts, not speculative or opinions or what very well might or could possibly happen.

Block 6: Everybody knows Marina. Most of the lawyers know Marina. She’s part of the Legal working group. She’s a phone call away. It was us who had to actually contact you to be part of the process. That’s all.  Block 7: I’m in favor of OWS owning a trademark. I didn’t know there was an emergency action going on trademark so there wasn’t consensus on it in finance. The other thing that probably needs to be addressed is changes to the entity that controls.

F: Mic Check: mic check is breaking down lets try to keep it going id like to remind all of us that we’re talking about the reimbursement of the money that’s already been spent. ONE MORE block and then I’d like to step in as a facilitator.  Block 8: I agree with the trade marking but this is supposed to be a leaderless movement so why were the decisions

Mic Check: While we were marching, our friend who is one of our marchers got arrested. We don’t know why but he’s going down from what we understand to the 7thprecinct so the marchers said I could be facilitator and so we had a vote. The vote was to march down to the 7th precinct. To support our friend. And we want more people. That’s the announcement.

F: Thank you.

Block 8 cont: Basically my issue is the fact that this was made not as a group but by an individual person. But I agree with the trademark that was filed. I am withdrawing the block.

F: I’d like to keep going. Do you?

PoP: These last two blocks which were withdrawn after stated are an abuse of a block. A block is an ethical or safety concern. It is very serious. It is not an excuse to express a late concern.

F: When you block you cannot block and then unblock right after to voice a concern. When you block you are looking for some kind of resolution or statement to make you feel better so that you then can put down your block. I see another PoP.

PoP: Stack was closed on concerns before all concerns were aired. There is actually a procedure for emergency proposals of which this apparently was one somehow. But now there’s another one.

F: If there’s an emergency proposal I beg you to speak to the facilitation greeter they can then come to the facilitators and we’ll see what we can do.

F: Please give me a second to figure this out.

Mic Check. to reiterate the emergency proposal was if you want to leave right now to go on this march and support those people who were arrested it wasn’t just one person it was 5 people now id like to move on.

F: I’m a little unclear on the count right now. Can we get the blocks restated? Show us your hands if you’re blocking. I’ve counted 6 blocks. We’re supposed to use our modified consensus process and see if 10% of the people are not okay with passing this. Do people feel that I’m correct?

F: At this point, we’re going to ask anybody that does not support reimbursing $1300 to put one hand up and keep it up until someone directly acknowledges you. Everyone please raise your hand. We will go around and count you please keep your hand up until someone directly addresses you.


F: Fourteen people were not in favor of this proposal. Ninety-eight people are here. Because we used modified consensus that means that we have not reached consensus on this proposal. Remember that was just about reimbursement. We have other things to address. First, PoP.

PoP: I was under the understanding that the 9/10 is the number of blocks is over 10% not the number of people who are against the proposal. Because you can be against the proposal and still let it pass. I’m not sure.

PoP/PoI: In the 1st week the GA came to consensus that if there were any number of blocks we would then move to a vote and the proposal would pass if there were 9/10 or more or 1/10 against. It’s not 10% blocks.]

F: As a facilitator, it has been my understanding that when we move toward modified consensus people can show that they’re no in favor even if they weren’t blocking before. Let me ask you is that how you understand it to be true? I’m seeing almost all twinkle up but I did see some twinkle down and I have a POP.

PoP: It is my understanding that it is not people not in favor that is counted for modified consensus. It is the number of blocks.

P: With the permission of the group I would like to withdraw this proposal in its entirety for this evening and go home with my wife. We may propose it again in the future if that’s aright with you. I apologize for wasting so much of your time and thank you all very much for your attention and commitment to the cause.

F: As Facilitator I’d like to emphasize that although this has taken a rather long time I don’t think it was a waste of time. We’ve had a great discussion here. That is very important. Right now I am seeing a PoP. PoI and tw CQs.

PoP: This is a CC, my bad, but if you leave now, what happens to the filing. Does it get withdrawn?

P: Not right now

PoP: Then my PoP is we’re about to decide if we’re going to block you doing that or not or we’re going to consent to it.

P: We have plenty of time to make that decision. Right now, it been filed and it will be 3 months before an attorney is assigned to review the application and even after that it can still be withdrawn at no additional cost.  I feel that a number of people who are in support of this have left because its 11 o clock on a Saturday night and a march went through. Is it okay if I step down, thank you, have a good night.

F: Let’s chill!

PoI: Thank you Sam for going thru this process. That’s the whole point of all of this. That being said, we’ve gone thru this immensely long process and at the moment of it looking like it’s not going to pass, you’re leaving. If you’re going to leave now and withdraw it, myself who has blocked it and other people would like you to abandon the trademark. If you won’t abandon it tonight then stay here and completely the process till we come to consensus or not.

P: I think that’s a willful mis-statement of the GA process in order to exploit current conditions. I am unaware of anything in the GA process that indicates that a proposal even if it is defeated once cannot be brought again. So I think you have presented a false choice in order to force a decision in your favor.

F: As facilitator I’d like to tell you what I’m hearing. I’m hearing that people are okay with some of the proposal being withdrawn. I’m also hearing that people aren’t ok with the entire proposal being withdrawn. Does it seem appropriate for us to address whether the trademark is withdrawn. Imp seeing downward twinkles, which means I’m wrong thank you I’m also seeing 2 POP.

PoP: It is my understanding that a proposer can table a proposal at any time.

PoP 2: Me too

F: So it seems that this proposal has been withdrawn. And we might see it later. I have a PoP.

PoP: When we see this later, it should be the group that’s proposing it, namely finance, defending it.  Proposal Withdrawn

F: Wow I think this is done for now. Just to let you know that as facilitators and this is meant to be funny, we allotted thirty minutes for that proposal. We were only two hours off. We’re learning and growing. We thank you for your patience. I see everybody’s leaving. We have two more proposals. They’re budget proposals, the first from the Labor Outreach working group and the next from the Co-op working group. Those groups do have the option of tabling till tomorrow and they will be first on agenda for tomorrow but it is their choice. We have heard that labor proposal is time sensitive.

57.1.4.  Labor Outreach WG Proposal  P: Hi I’m mark long night I hope this will be a fun proposal everyone likes. Mic check this proposal has changed slightly from what was posted on the GA website we’re asking for less money.

The labor outreach-working group is asking for funding to support the evening portion of the November 17 day of action, an action OWS has been coordinating with labor to produce. The specific portion of that action needs support is the reclaiming of the bridge for the 99% (The Brooklyn bridge), which will also serve as the 2-month birthday party for OWS. This will entail a massive spectacle of light and video projections on the Brooklyn Bridge, pedestrian walkway. The vision is to fill the walkway with 10,000 people all holding LED lights in addition 4 mobile video projection teams will be in the crowd projecting a bat-signal like image that reads 99%. The 10,000 LED lights have already been purchased by organized labor at a cost of $7000. The Labor Outreach working group would like to partially match this. We are seeking funds to purchase three deep cell marine batteries and two power invertors that are required to run the projects. Artists sympathetic to OWS have loaned us two such inverters and one battery. At the completion of the action all of this equipment will be donated to the Sustainability working group which has assured us they very much need all of it and its all compatible with what they’re already using. We are also requested $750 to hire a boat for the evening for photo and video documentation. In addition to this we need a small budget to transport and staff some of the gear. And to purchase some additional decorative material to make the walkway feel like a birthday party. So we are asking for $2450 broken down as follows. Inverters $600 to revert to the encampment batteries $600 to revert to the encampment charter boat $750 transporting $150p staff or 1 projector $100 and decorations $250

PoP: For GA meetings we give allotted times for proposals. We vote on those times once we pass that point we vote on whether or not to continue. That has not been done and I suggest we start to do that.

F: Would you all like to set a time limit for this? How do ten minutes sound? Are there any questions? If so please get on stack.  Clarifying Questions  My question – do we need that much money for me I see it’s a waste of money when we can use that money to do something that’s way better and more productive than wasting on parties.

R: I believe that massive spectacle and art project an image of OWS to the world that encourages and inspires more people to become involved.

PoP: Although there was a question at the beginning I believe that that was mostly a concern. If you have concerns, please wait for the concern portion of stack to open.  Deet: Did Labor Outreach working group do fundraising for this before coming to the GA?

R: I believe that going to organize labor, specially untied New York, and them giving us $7000 already, constitutes substantial fundraising.  Jeff: so you said that we would need to purchase 10,000 LED lights.

R: Not correct unions bought THAT.

Jeff: Exactly how much are you asking?

R: $2450

F: Stack is now closed. Now we’re moving on to concerns.  Concerns  I believe that the party atmosphere could potentially take away from potential direct action and more of a serious mindset.

PoI: there are many direct actions scheduled for that day. I feel that the party atmosphere at the birthplace of OWS may be an appropriate

F: Let me clarify, at the beginning that was a PoI. There are a lot of direct actions happening on that day. Other than that, it was an opinion.

F: No more concerns. Let’s move to amendments.  The $150 for transportation – we can’t transport in some other way.

PoP: That’s a question. An amendment would be a suggestion of an alternative to something proposed.

F: any amendments?  I think there should be some kind of bat-signal

R: I accept that.

F: Now we will ask the proposer to restate the proposal with the friendly amendment of the bat signal.

P: It won’t be a literal bat signal it will be a gigantic projection of 99%. That is our bat signal. I’m asking for $2450 and $1200 of that is for equipment that will stay in the encampment.

F: Temperature check on this. That looks mostly good. Are there any blocks? I see a block. Lets keep in mind that a block means there is a moral issue you are seeing with the proposal or an ethical or safety concern.  Blocks  Block: my block is that we could use that money wisely by using it for something important, not wasting it the way they want it.

R: I ran this through some people in finance. They thought it was a good idea.

PoP: That block, while I respect your opinion, sounds to me, like a statement of preference. Whereas a block should pertain to a violation of principle. Key difference.

F: Based on what you’ve heard do you want to keep your block?

Block: yes, I do.

F: Modified consensus again. Raise your hand if you are not in approval with this proposal. I’ve been told there is another block. Because this block has chosen not to unblock, we’re just counting the blocks now and not voicing all of them because this one can’t be resolved. Please raise your hand if you are not in agreement.

PoP: I don’t think facilitation can say somebody cannot voice their block because that may influence other people involved in consensus to agree or disagree.

F: That’s a great point you’re right I appreciate it and apologize. Anyone with a block, we will let them voice that block.

CQ: are we at 9/10 or still counting blocks?

F: I propose we move forward with modified consensus. I thought I had consensed to do that. If we did, I don’t think its appropriate to go back and hear from blocks because that’s a time that people can show that they disagree w the proposal, just in a different form. Also, we’re past 10 minute now, so I need to ask you all if you would like to keep talking about this. Only one twinkle down. I’d like to move forward w modified consensus. If you do not approve of this proposal, please raise your hand really high. I count four. Now we’re going to count everyone here. I count 68. We have reached modified consensus. Yay.  Consensus!

F: We have one more proposal. The proposers are requesting a GA temperature check on whether you’d like to hear it tonight

P: Not technically time-sensitive, but I’ve been waiting so long. Not just tonight.

F: So, it’s not time sensitive but still wanted. Temp check. This proposal will be first on the agenda tomorrow. At this point in the meeting, we open it up for working group report backs. After that, we open it up for announcements.  We would like to ask if there are any working groups that have report backs and if so, we beg you to keep them at a minute. Please get put on stack.

57.2.  Working Group Report Backs

57.2.1.  Anthony from DA: DA is hosting a meeting tomorrow at 60 Wall St. from 2-6 to discuss theory and praxis and DA’s place in the overarching movement. Please come if you’d like.

57.2.2.  Allen from Kitchen: Hi GA. We the Kitchen working group needs volunteers to cook in the kitchen that’s in Brooklyn. If you have time, Monday thru Friday from 2-5pm to cook with us, please let me know. I’m right here. You can just cook once a week. That’s fine too.

F: Any other working group report backs? I don’t think so. We’d like to take stack for announcements. As a reminder, we ask that you keep announcements to factual statements of one minute or less.

57.3.  Announcements

57.3.1.  Gabriel: The formation of an anti-human trafficking, drug trafficking, abuse, intellectual violence and slavery-working group. It’s an operational group designed to help the occupants here and elsewhere to conduct the process of occupancy with the best possible outcome for all. The second group is called Religious Life Support Assistance Local and Global. Its for any religious person, any affiliation. Thank you. Here in the park, an occupancy or not, and around the world. So basically if you want to go to the march Friday, Saturday, Sunday or any other day you celebrate and you cant go because of this reason, I will work with you to arrange something so you can hold your religious and participate and enjoy.

57.3.2.  Ashley: Hello, right now in my hometown of Salt Lake City, they are being cleared out of their occupation. 20 have been arrested and they are using bulldozers to clear out the remaining tents. They have been occupying since October 6 and they’ve had a hard time but they have maintained joy and resolve and held up a good example in solidarity with us here and I am recording myself saying this so we can show them OWS considers themselves as one with Occupy Salt Lake City so please sparkle if you agree, if you will not back down, and we will keep growing this movement. Thank you.

57.3.3.  Sophie: I was asked to make this announcement for someone who had to leave. Occupy Rochester was granted the right to occupy Washington Square Park in Rochester, NY on Thursday, November 10th.

57.3.4.  Abe: A few days ago, Movement Building passed a proposal for $29,000 to send 20 people to Egypt for a purpose that is slightly unclear. I am going to try to get on the agenda for tomorrow to repeat this proposal because there weren’t that many people at that GA, and it is the largest sum of money that we have ever passed.

57.3.5.  Jessica: I do support with community watch and community alliance here at Zuccotti and we need people to sign up for shifts to help be the eyes and ears of the park and keep the park safe so we can support his movement and keep it going. This is very important, obviously, so please, if you want to sign up, take my number. Shifts are 10pm-2am, 2am-4am and 4am to 6am. My name is Jessica and my number is 646 662 5430. Please text “I want to sign up for community watch” with your name. Thank you.

F: We have a small addition from Abe.

57.3.6.  Abe: Based on the minutes that I read there was a block for the Egypt proposal and it was discounted by the facilitators so they didn’t move to modified consensus and the person who had made the block left.

57.3.7.  Echo: Hello family you might have noticed there’s not a lot of room to walk. Sometimes people can be a little sensitive about putting their heads in the corner of their tent and then getting stepped on. Oops. Let’s think about neighborhoods. Let’s think about the beauty that we know inside and bringing it outside. Talk to your neighbors if you sleep here – try to find a local consensus about how your area fits into everyone’s experience here. Also I need volunteers – SIS and many others need volunteers. Specifically, right now a few others and myself collected lots of beautiful leaves, American Autumn, Arab Spring, American Autumn. We’ve collected 2 large garbage bags and those leaves need to be carefully pressed, which means hours of time and the more people the merrier. Once these leaves are pressed they will be laminated and stamped and sent to donors. We have an artist that made the fist with the leaves, his name is Tall and he’s made a little stamp for us, not sure what it says yet, maybe ‘love from liberty plaza thanks for the support sorry you couldn’t be here, but here’s a little piece of American Autumn.” Please come see SIS or me any of the next few days.

57.3.8.  Rocky: I have a power source you can buy at Home Depot for $99. You can have a radiator, cell phones, heating blankets, and TVs off these. I suggest a few for each tent.

57.3.9.  Steven: Hi I’m Steven I just came from McDonald’s someone felt the need to graffiti from wall to wall. Very very bad. McDonald’s is getting fed up with it. I spoke to the manager. I offered to clean it he said no, but they are going to try to stop us from using that bathroom. And the urine. The smell of urine is coming back.

57.3.10.  We have three urinals we bought next to SIS anyone can use them. They’re port-a-potties. With the security guard, go down Broadway, turn left on Exchange, turn right and on the right are port-a-potties.

F: We’ve come to the end of everything on schedule. For those of you that stuck it out, be real proud of yourselves. We did a lot of great work tonight. On behalf of facilitation, we want to thank you and would like to invite you to join facilitation. We need people desperately. Doesn’t this look like fun? We meet every day at 4pm at 60 Wall Street. We have a teach-in about facilitation and intro to direct democracy at 5:30 at 60 Wall St. I invite any of you with feedback about tonight to talk to me now, or I promise I will be there tomorrow at 3:30 before our meeting if you would like to talk to me then and just go home now.


2 Responses to “NYCGA Minutes 11/12/2011”

  1. wow

    So after 2.5 hours, they rejected $3,000 to trademark OWS to keep some jerk from selling OWS merchandise and suing the protesters for using their trademark… and then in a few minutes approved $2,400 to spend on LED lights for a party on a bridge.