NYCGA Minutes 11/26/2011

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.

NYC GENERAL ASSEMLY DAY 71

Date/Time: 11/26/2011 / 7pm

Location: Liberty Park

Facilitators (F): Christina and Jeff

Stack Taker: Brett; Stack Greeter: Stefan and Christina; Minutes: Robina

F: Tonight’s agenda has several proposals.  At the beginning of the agenda we will discuss the emergency proposal regarding bags. Then we will have WG report backs.  Then we have three proposals that have already been listed on nycga.net.  Following that, we will have open announcements.  Can I have consensus on this agenda through a TC? [positive]

 

AGENDA

71.1.  Emergency Proposal

71.2.  Working Group Report Backs

71.3.  Agenda Items (Buy-a-Building Proposal, Worker’s Co-op Proposal)

71.4.  Announcements

Chris: Excuse me, my name is Chris. I’ve been out here since Day 7.  I don’t know how many of you have been out here that long.  But I’ve been gathering a lot of resources for us.  I want to address the GA on these issues.  I need a consensus to propose housing for the people who are out here every night.  I want to propose I have checks to present to the GA for an amount of money that will allow us to do what we want.

F: So before we begin for those who have not been here before we are going to briefly go over our hand signals.

Mic Check: Why did you interrupt him?

F: PoP Please don’t use mic check unless you’re working with facilitation or you’re on stack to speak.  We can all take a turn and speak one at a time that way we can all be heard.  Thank you!
[Explanation of hand signals.]

 

71.1.  Emergency Proposal

F: So I would now like to get a temperature check (TC) on returning to the emergency proposal from Razor with the occupiers.  Can I get a TC. [positive.] It looks like I see mostly this [Twinkles.]  What I would like to do is move everyone a little forwarda little closer to the barricades so we can hear each other and Razor. Mic check Razor, please clarify your proposal

71.1.1.  Razor: Hey, will everyone sit down?  Thank you.  I want to clarify that we are talking about bags not being allowed in the park.  Homeless people who occupy as activists cannot enter Zuccotti.  That is what I meant when I said the homeless occupiers have never re-occupied Zuccotti.  Therefore all GAs are fucking invalid.  We would like to be part of this family.  We love you.  And if you don’t want us let us know tonight.  Okay, I hope you understand now.  Okay, so, the first night we reoccupied.  We could have asked new occupiers to sponsor a person for two hours while original occupiers reoccupied and held the GA.  That was not done.  We could have gone to Foley Square. That was not done.  For 12 days this charade has continued. This is not right.  We would like peace.  Tell us what’s up or let us go.

F: So I have before the GA a request that someone please volunteer to watch the bags of original occupiers so they may join and participate in tonight’s GA.  Do we have a volunteer?
?: Mic check. Please be ready for police officers to walk up and take your bags away.  Please be ready for park security to tell you that you can’t do this.

F: Mic check! If someone is ready to stand outside and watch bags in a perfectly legal space, please find Razor outside the gate right now.  And maybe raise your hand so we know who to look for.  [Julianne volunteers.  Cheers.]

Razor: We need to do a new homeless caucus/working group ….Do I have support? [positive.]

 

71.2.  Working Group Report Backs

F: We will now move forward with tonight’s agenda.  On our agenda includes proposals from Volunteer Services, from Comfort, and from Workers Co-op.  May we please have a representative from Volunteer Services to come forward and present their proposal.

Sage: Mic Check! I object to a drunk person doing security for GA.  I know you are all non-violent but this doesn’t mean you have to…

Justin: Mic Check! My name is Justin.  I’m very disturbed that our own organization is not respecting our process.  There are over a hundred groups that are waiting to tell you what we’ve been doing.  But the problem is some of our group do not understand the process at GA and SC.

F: So I would like to apologize because we skipped a step.  Before proposals we have working group report backs.  So we’ll pause for a moment before our first proposal to ask for working group report backs.  DO we have any report backs from working groups?  Raise your hands high.    Let’s use the People’s Mic.  If you want to get on stack or do a working group report back raise your hand like Nan. Awesome.  Brett will be taking stack.

F: First on stack: Occupiers working group.  We need a representative of this group.

71.2.1.  Occupiers: Hello everyone, my name is Jason.  It is wonderful to be here and to see all of you at long ado.  I am here to really try to begin a long overdue Occupiers’ working group at which point we will begin to make a proposal to give all occupiers access to the mass of supply that has been collected by OWS.  My hope is that for every occupier from all over the country and from all over the world when they come to visit OWS that they will have access to shelter, food, clothing, and the monetary resources we need to function.  Beyond that, and above that, for the people that I have been seeing here for my seven weeks of time, that starting posthaste we start as occupiers in organizing ourselves for ourselves to represent ourselves at GA meetings and SC meetings on a regular basis.  We need more than I can list at this conversation.  What I want and what I have wanted for my seven weeks here is a good solid Occupiers’ working group.  Tonight we will meet, for those interested, at the other side of this park in 40 minutes. If you care to join us please show up. Thank you.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack is Nan.  Reminder, please keep report backs to two minutes or less.  Thank you.

71.2.2.  Nan: Good evening everybody.  How are you guys doing tonight?  My group has been working so hard on behalf of OWS along with the occupiers.  My group found a building.  It is a 6 story building.  It’s a new (?) street. I went to Finance working group today with a few of my working group members so we could get money to get building so we can organized so we can help those occupiers who don’t have a place to stay.  I was shot down by Finance.  I was told they cannot help my working groups nor the occupiers.  I work for the people.  I help the people.  I make sure everybody has a place to stay if they don’t have one.  If people don’t have any MetroCards they come to me. I help them get MetroCards.  I work on your behalf.  I work 23 hours a day so I can make this movement move.  I need your help.  If you are seriously about this movement please put pressure on Finance to release funds so we can get the occupiers in; so we can have a place that we can meet together as people, as OWS, as a movement; so we can move to the next level in this movement.  Help me so I can help you.  Thank you.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack is Legal.  After that there are 4 more working groups.  If you haven’t done so yet, get on stack now.

71.2.3.  Legal: Hi, I’m Zephyr.  Nine days ago we asked for your authority to try to get collectively owned stuff back from Sanitation.  This is the update.  1. Library has a great legal team.   Norm Seigel, Jesse, Gideon.  We don’t have lawyers for the other stuff yet.  2.  If you’ve lost your stuff, if your stuff was damaged, do two things.  Text this number or see me later.  (612)386-1021.   Or see me later over there.  3.  Sanitation will be open from 9-1 on Monday.  And for another eighty days in a different place.  We don’t know where yet. They say they aren’t going throw out any other personal stuff.  So if you haven’t gotten your personal stuff yet, you gotta go fill out the form.  I think that’s it.  Thanks a lot.

71.2.3.1.  Clarifying Question (CQ): I was told just yesterday if you didn’t pick your stuff from sanitation at 8:30 yesterday it was going to be disposed of.  Please answer.

Response: Yesterday I spoke to the general council of Sanitation and got written confirmation of that conversation.  They are throwing things out.  They are throwing out no more personal affects.  They are throwing out tents and tarps.  We get to inspect them before they throw them out. Friday night they threw out one tent with personal affects inside.  I can go into more detail over there but for now I have a commitment that they’re documenting everything they’re throwing out.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack is Think Tank.

71.2.4.  Tim from Think Tank: I’d just like to say we are rocking and rolling every day 12-6 and we’re going to be taking it mobile not just in the park but everywhere.  Thank you.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack is Tech. We have four groups after.

71.2.5.  Tech: I’m Matt with Tech.  We have many ongoing projects.  I’d like to draw your attention to one.  For the past week, we have been having ongoing workshops at 60 Wall Street on electronic voting systems and electronic listening devices.  Devices you might see and use at the UN.  We’ve had an American manufacturer of such electronic listening devices donate to us 50 keypads.  Attached to them are radios…it is our intent to [can’t hear the rest of this sentence because of private conversations on stairs.]
These workshops are ongoing.  They’re published on the Internet working group webpage.  The next one is tomorrow, 5pm at 60 Wall.  We’ve also been demonstrating this technology at the past two SC. Very limited usage.  We really hope people will come out.  Let yor voice be heard, play with the device. That allows us to electronically take stack, TC, consensus and everything else we do here in a fraction of a time.  The maximum people that have been at our meetings thus far has been 5.  That’s not good.  Thank you.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack is Info.  Stack is now closed with three groups remaining.

71.2.6.  Info: My name is Justin.  I’m from Info.  We’d like to remind that the police only took our tents.  They did not take our community.  So you know, Info is in the park from 9a-7p daily.  We need other working groups to remember now that it is about the park.  I’d also like to announce for the Council of Elders which is basically some senior citizens who think we should turn the day of Sunday to elder day.  The idea is this: that all working groups work to connect with our elders in the community.  So on Sundays several groups will be leading special workshops, trainings and educational offerings around this theme. So join us!  This week’s focus is sacred space.  So please come as we discuss the implications of not being able to have a traditional shrine on the property.  Tomorrow is elder day.  Sunday is now elder day! Our battle at OWS is cultural.  Remember our language is the first line besides our hearts.  Thank you.

71.2.6.1.  CQ: I simply would like to know if info is keeping count of OWS and GA finance. And if so what is the report (rapport?)

Response: Each morning at 9 o’clock there is a meeting known as the coordinators meeting.  This meeting has happened every day at 9 at 60 Wall St.  At this meeting every working group comes and gives report backs for the day.  The report (rapport?) he’s asking about is fluid.  It depends on if they show up, if I show up, or anyone shows up at these morning meetings.  An issue with these meetings – it is quite difficult in our new model to get down here from the churches that they occupiers are living in.  So please be patient as we build something new.  The key to this is participation.  Myself and Cynthia have been the only ones in this park every day from information.  We have been joined by the part time working group, by OWS volunteer services, and the larger community.  Thank you.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack is Arts and Culture.

71.2.7.  Arts and Culture: Hi, I’m Lopey from Arts and Culture.  I’ll make an announcement about a meeting that is happening tomorrow at noon at 60 Wall Street. This meeting is about occupation as performance art.  We will be brainstorming creative ways to occupy space and one space in particular that has been offered to OWS.  If you want to get involved please come to the meeting tomorrow at noon at 60 Wall.  Also Arts and Culture has changed our meeting times to be only 2 days a week – Monday and Thursday from 6-9p.  Actually also Saturday as well at 11a.  If you’re interested in getting involved with Arts and Culture please come.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack is Light Source.

71.2.8.  Light Source: Hello everybody it’s a little report back for the Light Source working group.  We’re right now in the midst of starting a fundraiser to finance the following project.  We are going to be integrating the open source livestream, open source twitter, open source PayPal, and a Reddit like voting system to assist in inter-occupation communication and fundraising.  The other thing we’re working on is to find and establish a space to actually begin producing things of economic value and to bring our model for enterprise level coordination to all the working groups.  If you’re interested in learning more about this, come see me down near the Occupiers’ meeting which should be after the GA.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack, we have an update from the Occupiers.

71.2.9.  Occupiers: Hello, the Occupiers’ meeting will be held at the other end of the park after this GA.  Also, the Occupiers working group will start meeting on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm at 60 Wall Street so if you are an occupier and you want to be part of this, come join us.

 

71.3.  Agenda Items

F: That concludes the working group report backs.  We will now move forward with proposals.  Our first proposal is from Volunteer Services.  Volunteer Services has withdrawn their proposal.  We will now move to our second proposal and that is from Comfort.  Do we have a rep from Comfort?

 

71.3.1.  Emergency Proposal to Buy a Building

F: Really quick, we have an announcement from Brother Chris.  Chris, would you like to speak to us?

71.3.1.1.  Hello, my name is Chris. I’ve been out here for quite some time.  Um, I’m talking about Day 1, when we were really beginning to fight.  This was a fight not amongst ourselves but against the 1%, the wealth.  I have been posed an amount of money to get us a building.  I have been posed for the guys that stay out here all night to have clothing to bear up the winter so that we can still occupy.  I am not against the movement but I am against the separation.  Why is there a meeting on Walker Street?  Why is there a meeting at 60 Wall Street?  Who is this separation?  Are we the Congress?  Are you the Senate? Do we have a House of Representatives, or are we the people?  I believe we the people.  That’s what GA is about.  I have donations in my pocket worth $62,000.  Now, according to GA this is the General Assembly.  Do we consense to how our money is spent?  How many people – I want to check.
[Assorted people begin asking “What do you want to check?  What’s the proposal?”]

71.3.1.2.  Chris: The proposal is about getting a building for us.  The ones that will be of a working group and stay in that building that we can call “OWS.”  O-W-S.  That’s been donated upon GA approval.   TC?

F: For all proposals, we must list them in advance for people to read.  We accept emergency proposals.

71.3.1.2. (continued)  Chris: This is an emergency and needed proposal.   We have people that stay out here in the rain.  How many people stay out in the rain? Temperature check? [mostly negative.]  Proposal is here right now, GA.  We are not part of the Senate, we are not part of the Congress,  we are part of the 100%.

F: Okay, so Facilitation must ask the clear specifications of all proposals, including emergency proposals.  What we need to know is an exact amount for a rent and a location.
71.3.1.2. (continued) Chris: $62,000.

CQ: What do you need from the GA?

71.3.1.2. (continued) Chris: We need the GA approval because Finance Working Group says we cannot buy a building because we cannot be liable as an…independent entity.

F: We will open stack for CQs.  The second step is we will open stack for concerns and comments.  The third step is we will open stack for FAs.  The first step is we will open stack for CQ.  We will take a formal TC to see if the GA would like to move forward with this proposal. [mostly positive with several negatives.]

F: I’m seeing mostly this [twinkles], which means I feel good.  To be more clear, we are going to take an informal straw poll.  We will first ask for people who would like to move forward to raise one hand.  This is just to go through the process.  [About half raise hand.] Then we will ask for people who would not like to hear this proposal to raise one hand.

PoP: To clarify the question, GA has a 24 hour review period for proposals to be posted on the website and onsite in order for people to review the details and come up with questions and have time to consider before making a decision about a proposal.  What we’re temp checking right now is whether we want to hear this proposal under a special exception specifically for emergency proposals where they’re of a time sensitive nature such that we set aside the normal requirements for review time.

F: So to hear this proposal we must take a TC which means to ask the entire GA if they feel that this proposal fits under the guidelines of an emergency which means it was an unforeseen, immediate requirement that we pass the money or proposal.  So we are now going to ask people if you think this proposal is an emergency and you would like to hear it.  So we are going to take a TC.

 

71.3.1.3.  Clarifying Questions

71.3.1.3.1.  CQ: Can the proposer specify what about the proposal fits the emergency criteria.  Is the deal time sensitive or is there some other reason this is an emergency?

F: And just to clarify and expand upon Jeff’s explanation another criteria for emergencies is that there is an immediate external deadline and a time sensitive issue is involved and the external deadline was previously unknowable.

Response: Chris: My response is this is an emergency meeting.  Do you know why?  Because we got people that suffer and stayed out here in the cold, in the rain, in the weather to support OWS. So if they don’t believe that this is not an emergency then what are they thinking. We have received text messages that we do not have enough facilitaties for people tonight to sleep.  This is why I pose to the GA we need this building.

Sage: Mic check!  I’m concerned that this proposal could be better expressed and I’m also concerned…

F: I have a PoP. This is a valid concern but before we address concerns we have people on stack with CQs.  We will put Sage on stack for concerns when we reach them.  Next on stack on CQ.

F: Mic Check!  Mic Check! We want to return to a TC on moving forward with hearing this as an emergency proposal for tonight’s GA.  TC on hearing this?  [mostly positive.]  So now we will begin the full process to hear the emergency proposal.  We’re going to open stack for CQs. Raise your hand high so Brett in the red scarf can put you on stack.  First on stack is Negessy.  And also let’s try to keep remarks and questions to one minute.  Thank you.

71.3.1.3.2.  Negessy: My question is do we have a location that we are looking at and is this number fitting to buy, rent, or lease this location?  Where is the building?

Chris:  Very good question. Yes.  What we need to do though is just fix the plumbing.  It’s inhabitable – we just need the heat and make it a working facility for OWS.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack is Evan

71.3.1.3.3.  Evan: My question is the same question that she asked.  Where is the building?

Chris: Ft. Greene, 4 stops from here.  It’s facilitated and distressed housing and we can get it.  And that’s why I posed it because I have a family member that’s willing to work with us to get this building.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack, Sergio.

71.3.1.3.4.  CQ: I’m Sergio.  Chris, two-part CQ.  I assume that DA or somebody stop me if this too much information is planning a takeover of some building on December 6th.  Have you been in contact with them about addressing the issue which I’ve heard from multiple people about moving into a space?  I forgot the second part.

Chris: My response to that is yes and no.  It hasn’t been clarified through anybody.  It’s just a proposal.  I actually have a real.

Stack: Brett: Next on stack, Sergio #2.

F: My voice is fading out.  Let’s use the People’s Mic.  Thank you.

Sergio: Mine is a 2 part question.  1. Are we renting, leasing or buying?  2.  Does it pass all fire codes?  Is it a residential building?

Chris: Yes.  Excuse me. You asked me a question.  I want to answer you. There’s actually two places that we are trying to get.  One is a warehouse.  The other is a four-story brownstone.  That brownstone will pass fire code after we replace the boiler system and we are fine.

Stack: Next on stack is Christine

71.3.1.3.5.  CQ: Could you tell me how much the mortgage would be per month?

Chris: Because this is distress housing, we can finance this very cheaply.  And that’s why my aunt is in progress to help us.  She’s helping us.

Stack: Next on stack, Gilbert.

71.3.1.3.6.  CQ: I would like to put this proposal in perspective.  Most of you know that the 2000 city occupiers actually look to us for direction…

F: I have to interrupt.  I have a PoP.  We are in CQs.  Concerns and comments come in the second part of this proposal.  The first part is only questions.

Stack: Next on stack, James.

71.3.1.3.7.  James: Hello, 62K is a large donation.  I would like to know where this money came from.

Chris: Excuse me, I’m going to answer your question.  That money is being donated by several entities some of which are here right now listening to what’s going on.

Sage: You can understand why I can’t respect process when concerns are twisted into questions and then get stack on before me and CQs raised to 15 or 16 questions and we never get to concerns.  And that’s why we here at NYC Facilitation marginalize voices.  We don’t know how to negotiate the process language.  I think that this proposal would be better suited to a night that wasn’t Saturday, with all the paperwork clearly shown, and nobody inebriated.  I think we all could better represent ourselves at OWS if we were all sober and the paperwork…

F: PoP Mic Check! Mic Check!  Mic Check! With all due respect Sage you had the opportunity to get on stack which you refused.

Sage: That’s not what happened.

F: Mic check! Mic check! Can we find out where are we on stack with questions so we can get Sage and anyone else on stack for concerns?

Stack: We have fifteen people who have expressed that they want to ask a CQ.  At this point, I would like to start closing stack so then we can open stack for concerns.

Sage: That’s not the process.

F: Before we can go further in this discussion, I must state that we have expired time or this proposal.  We may continue discussing this proposal but the assembly must approve a time extension.  I will ask a TC to extend discussion by fifteen minutes.  [Mixed.]  That is not consensus.  I can propose we continue discussing for an additional ten minutes.  [Mixed.] That is not consensus.  We can ask that this proposal be tabled until tomorrow evening where we may continue discussion inside a process.  Can we can have a consensus to table discussion.  TC? [Positive.]  That is consensus.  I will suggest that this proposal be submitted through the normal facilitation channels.  They will help write the proposal to clarify it if that is the proposer’s choice.  We are now going to move onto our next proposal. That proposal is from Workers’ Co-op.

 

71.3.2.  Workers Co-Op Proposal

71.3.2.1.  Workers Co-op:  We are with the Workers Co-op subgroup of the Alternative Economies working group. Our goal to help fund and facilitate the creation of worker-owned co-ops.  The working group and worked-owned co-ops will run horizontally and be completely transparent using the same consensus process we use here at GA.  This will extend the occupation into the workplace where we have the least control of our lives and our collective future.  We want to create the kind of world we demand by organizing and seeking solutions horizontally rather than asking for solutions from above.  We believe that the workplace environment of capitalism creates a culture that puts profits before human beings and the planet. The equality and shared ownership of worker co-ops create healthy social relationships that emphasize cooperation, democracy, and ecological sustainability.  Here’s Brendan.

71.3.2.1. (continued) Brendan: As a working group we will provide guidance from people experienced with starting and funding co-ops. We have been working with a group called The Working World, of which I’m a part, who has six years of experience starting co-ops in Argentina and Nicaragua and have made over two hundred productive investments in 2010 alone…They are offering their experience and tools open source in complete collaboration with the OWS effort.  As the co-ops emerge from the occupation we want to encourage the participation of as many people as possible.  This is Sergio.

71.3.2.1. (continued) Sergio: Once the co-op is established it will run autonomously with the commitment to pay forward what would traditionally be called profit into a co-op fund.  We intend for this to grow into a spokes council of co-ops that would share this fund using a consensus process. This spokescouncil would use the fund to start new co-ops.  These co-ops would link up with co-ops that already exist in NY and could also find creative ways to engage in mutual aid.  Membership in this spokescouncil would be contingent on honoring the commitment to put profit toward a co-op fund.  This is Ron.

71.3.2.1. (continued) Ron: The first example of a worker owned-business, of a cooperatively owned business, that does not give money to Wall Street…it will take the money that Outreach every week – $2,000.  We print the words of the occupation on paper from Staples!  This is bullshit.  We need to take this money and start businesses cooperatives, businesses that have the same spirit and run the same way that we run the occupation. If this passes the donation would be a seed fund created by you and all by those that have donated in the hopes of helping us rebuild society.  This could create an independent local economy that would give the occupation sustainable permanency as we’ve explained previously.  If you’re interested in working and owning this first printing co-op, long term, let us know.  Anyone is free to join the Co-op working group and anyone is free to come with us to us with ideas for worker co-ops.  In fact we plan to make a more organized call to OWS for worker co-op proposals once we have successfully set this first co-op into motion.

71.3.2.1. (continued) We’ve passed out some budgets to make everything clear and open.  Oh, we’re going to pass out some budgets.  We don’t have that many of them, we don’t have a printing co-op yet.  We do have a space. What we need from finance is $5832.87 to buy the first round of bulk paper, sticker paper, ink, a button making machine and supplies, the first month’s rent for the space – it’s only $150/month.  If you want to look at one, we have some that are floating around.

F: So now we will begin the process for this proposal.  We’re going to open stack for CQs. If you do not understand the proposal get on stack.

71.3.2.2.  Clarifying Questions

Stack: First on stack is David.

71.3.2.2.1.  David: How do you propose to bypass the Staples of the world and get paper?

R: There’s a company called Greenleaf that sells 100% postconsumer paper that we plan on buying from.

Stack: Next on stack is Kevin.

71.3.2.2.2.  Kevin: My question where’s the printer on the budget.

R: At the bottom.  We also have four donated smaller printers. We’ve included an estimate for a big one like the one they have at Staples or Big Apple.  It’s estimated it would cost $2,000 for a big printer.

Stack: Next on stack is Dallas.

71.3.2.2.3.  Dallas: Hi I’m Dallas.  You mention that this group would be autonomous once you got this approved by the GA.  You also mention that there is a Co-op Working Group.  My question is when does the co-op WG…

R: Could you restate that?

Dallas: My question is whether the Co-op working group, once this is funded, also becomes autonomous

R: We are planning on running it on a volunteer basis until we can get other people here who want to be worker-owners long term. And the co-op is separate from the working group. The working group will still be part of the occupation and will further expand on building co-ops as the actual workers co-op works on printing.

Stack: Next on stack is Lily and so we know there’s two people left after Lily and I’d like to close stack.

71.3.2.2.4.  Lily: I was wondering if it will be a for-profit – would you eventually be trying to make money from this?

R: The money the co-op makes is called a surplus.  The surplus is going into a fund.  That fund is going to help start more cooperative businesses.  To add to that, one of the goals of this is create quality jobs involving being workers and also getting paid well, not exorbitantly but decently.  So for sure some of the money goes to the worker-owners.  Ron’s referring to a surplus beyond that.

Stack: Next on stack is Bana

71.3.2.2.5.  Bana:  A few people over here were wondering, would this total amount – is this just the initial startup amount and will the co-op come back to the GA for more funding or will the surplus be used to restock supplies?

R: Yes, the cost would be paid by the income. Then workers would be paid and surplus would go to the cooperative fund. But we will not come back to ask for more money.

Bana: Other question, I think someone asked but we didn’t hear.  Who is going to be running this operation?

R: We are the original – this group – it’s open – is a steering committee.  Not everyone here will be the worker-owners.  This is why Jose said if you want to be a worker-owner come to us and we’ll talk about it. Eventually the ones who work will be the ones who own.  Those who stick around and work will own it.

Stack: Six people still on stack.  Stack is closed.  Next on stack is Mike.

71.3.2.2.6.  Mike: What is the salary structure of the co-op?

R: Basically we imagine it to be horizontal.  However eventually there will be workers controlling this who will decide. That’s not us but we imagine it will be horizontal.  It will be its own entity and do its own thing.  Is that your question?

CQ: Could there eventually be a difference in salaries?

R: There will never be investors making lots of money on the outside – or any.  In some cooperatives people consense to pay more to someone who’s worked 20 years than someone who just got there and works part time.  There are many cooperative experiences in the world.  I imagine that since everyone will be starting this at the same time it will probably be horizontal in the beginning and for a long time.  But it’s a democracy and it will do what it wants.  Just like the GA, you can’t really say what it will do next week.

Stack: Next on stack, Lautin.

71.3.2.2.7.  Lautin: My question is how many people are on the steering committee, and does this money get repaid or will it be considered a donation?

R: No to the second question.  It will be a donation, a seed.  That’s the request.  That could be a FA I suppose.  For the first question, on the working group there are 10 people and a few others who come and go but anyone is welcome any day.  I’ll add that there are too many guys standing here so please some women come and run this shit well.

Stack: Nan’s on stack

71.3.2.2.8.  Nan: Do you guys have taxes?  Like, do you guys file paperwork with the IRS so you can pay taxes and you can pay the workers and all this good stuff?

R: We have not filed official paperwork as of yet.  We need to get all our pieces in place and then we will move forward with that.  A piece of the proposal is the Working World, which is a non-profit that has tax status with the IRS, could be a fiscal sponsor for the original seed donations and/or the fund – but the worker cooperative would be a separate corporation.

Nan: So you’re telling me that there are two different tax IDs.

R: The worker cooperative would be one corporation. Any other would be another corporation.

Nan: My working group is a non-profit and I have a tax ID with the IRS so I do not understand your answer.

R: Sorry, there’s a lot of details that make it hard to answer in this forum.  What we’re saying is there is a non-profit that can receive a donation and be used as a vehicle that’s okay with the IRS…We would have to file papers with the IRS if the worker-owners want to do it legally, which they might not.

Nan: So in other words you are looking for a working group that is already established with the IRS to use for your donation?

R: No, we already have a non-profit that will be used as our fiscal sponsor the same way the GA used a fiscal sponsor in the beginning to not get sued.

Stack: Next on stack, David

71.3.2.2.9.  David: My question comes from some experience with a lot of fiscal conduits, non-profits in NY.  Most of the time things work out very well but sometimes there are accounting issues and OWS has more scrutiny than most non-profits. My suggestion is to have something in the budget to ensure that this venture has an accountant assigned to it so down the line whether that’s the retainer or pro-bono this can’t be taken apart because of the political nature of what we’re doing.  That’s a proposal.

R: That sounds like an FA.  We can entertain that during FAs.  Right now we are on CQ

Stack: Next on stack is Cory.

71.3.2.2.10.  Cory:  Hello, I missed a little bit of some previous meetings when I first saw this budget.  I’ve seen this budget before.  Wasn’t this proposed once?

R: Sadly no.  We got on the agenda twice.  We waited and never got up.  Once for four hours.  Anyway, this is our third time and we’re finally here.

F: Stack is now opened for concerns.  Raise your hand if you have a concern.  Try to keep concerns to one minute, thank you.
71.3.2.3.  Concerns

Stack: First on stack is Nan.

71.3.2.3.1.  Nan: My concern is once you have your working group, when it comes to the finance part, are we going to be able to see what’s going on, who makes purchases, who makes donations?

R: Everything going in will be online.  We personally guarantee it.  Everything will be online.
Stack: Next on stack for concerns is no one. Unless someone says now they have a concern, stack can close.  Stack is closed.

F: We will now move to FAs.  If you would like to add something to this process, please suggest it to the proposers.  They will have the opportunity to accept or decline.  Stack is now open.

71.3.2.4.  Friendly Amendments

71.3.2.4.1.  FA: My amendment is many fiscal conduits for non-profits exist in NYC.  When you’re a fiscal conduit you’re underneath the same scrutiny as the umbrella non-profits.  Because of our political nature and because some people may not like us, it might be a value to ensure that we have our own accounting mechanism in this venture to ensure longevity.  That means, either an accountant pro-bono or an accounting firm be retained.  One way or another somebody has to keep the books.

R: We have a lot of accounting resources at our disposal.  That’s the short answer.  We can talk more later.
CQ: Is it a CPA?

R: We’re not necessarily going to register as a non-profit because of the hierarchy that comes with it.  That would be up to the worker-owners.  And yes we have CPAs.

F: Before we move forward I must state that we expired time.  We may continue further discussion if we consense.  TC? [Positive.]

Stack: Next on stack for FAs is Jacob.

71.3.2.4.2.  Jacob:  I’m not sure if this was intended in your motion, excuse me proposal, but I would like to add the FA that all OWS working groups receive printing services from your co-op at cost. Thank you.

R: Since we’re trying to start a worker’s cooperative, eventually we want people to be able to make money. OWS is going to be our only client to start.  We’re going to be able to give good prices and we’ve talked to Outreach extensively about the logistics.  I don’t think – the idea is to have money to pay the workers.  But there are no financiers.  The profit goes to start more co-ops.  Hopefully that addresses that concern.   We humbly decline.

Stack: Next on stack is Nan.

71.3.2.4.3.  Nan: My FA is before you bring the proposal to the GA I would like to see all your paperwork and 501c3 paper to be in place before we vote.

R: We have that paperwork so we accept your FA.

Nan: I want to see it.

F: Mic check! Mic check! I suggest to everyone if you have individual questions or pertinent information that you speak with the presenters after the meeting.

R: Please come to our meetings!

F: Next on stack?

71.3.2.4.4.  FA: My FA is that we get an assurance that you will not be buying paper from Staples or any other corporate entity

R: We accept.

Stack: Next on stack on Dallas.  I don’t have anyone else on stack after Dallas.  Stack will be closed.

71.3.2.4.5.  Dallas: My FA addresses the fact that we’re creating a separate entity.  And it will only have OWS as its only client.  I would like an FA that in the event that there is a direct conflict of interest between the co-op and the GA that all members of the co-op recuse themselves from GA

R: What does that mean now?

Dallas: If we don’t like your price, you don’t get to vote on us not liking your price.

R: I think Outreach is able to decide autonomously who to print with.  We’ve talked with them about it for over a month now.  But I would accept that, I understand where you’re coming from.
Stack: Next on stack is Sandra.

71.3.2.4.6.  Sandra: Hi guys my name is Sandra.  We also have a whole bunch of designers, graphic artists, how can you incorporate them?

R: Come to us.  We have a million ideas.

F: Stack is now closed for FA.  We will now ask for the presenters to briefly restate a summary of their proposal to include the accepted FAs.

71.3.2.5.  Worker’s Co-op: Okay.  We are a working group that will facilitate the creation of workers co-ops.  The first co-op with your gift would be printing with Outreach as our first customer. The way the co-ops work is that they take the profit and they put in a common fund and with a SC and consensus process they use that fund to help each other or help start new co-ops.  We are going to be working there as volunteers until we pass it over to worker owners.  After that, it will be their co-op.  The total is $5832.87for startup costs.  Everything about our budget will be transparent online.  The other FAs we’ve agreed to is to not buy paper from Staples or other polluting corporations.  In addition to making available, in addition to the bookkeeping, the corporation papers.  Also, to recuse from the GA if there’s a conflict of interest with the worker cooperatives and the GA.  We believe that’s all.

F: Okay.  So now we will begin the process of moving toward consensus. We have a CQ about the process of moving to consensus

71.3.2.5.1.  Nan: My question is for you is when you were reading the first part you mentioned something about spokescouncil.  Why SC; why not the GA?

R: Good question.  We didn’t mean the  SC.  We met a spokescouncil of the workers cooperatives.

F: Now we’ll begin to move toward consensus.  The first step, we’ll ask for a TC for how the GA feels about this proposal.  [very positive.]  That looks pretty good. The next step in moving toward consensus is we’ll ask if there are any blocks.  Blocks are very serious. They must be framed based on moral, ethical, safety concerns.  If you would like to block based on one of these concerns you may now do so.

71.3.2.6.  Blocks

PoP: A Block is a serious moral, ethical, safety philosophical concern that causes you to walk away from this movement and is seen as something that is dangerous to the movement as a whole.

F: Do we have any blocks? We have one block.  May we please ask the reason for the block?

61.3.2.6.1.  Nan: The reason for my block is I feel is that when you bring your proposal you should have all the papers that you are registered as a 5-101c3 so we could see it.

F: That’s a PoP.

Lopey: The block should be a serious, moral, ethical, or safety concern.  It should be a serious issue that you feel that passing this proposal would make the movement be in jeopardy. I don’t think this block is based on those concerns.

Nan: I believe that block is a moral concern for us as a movement, because they are saying they have those papers so I need to see evidence.

F: Would you like to respond to the block?

R: This proposal has also been online three times now since the 12th.  If you like I can sit down and I can pull these up right now.  But I’ll admit that there’s a lot of different paperwork.  We’ll show you the paperwork for the 501c3.  And we’re going to be transparent.  That’s the biggest concern I believe.  So please continue hounding us about that – that’s fine.

F: PoP: They have accepted the FA requiring that paperwork.  If this GA consenses and that paperwork is not available the decision is null.  So it is a requirement.

Nan: I’ll remove my block if you show me that paperwork by tomorrow.

R: We accept.

F: Do we have any further blocks?

71.3.2.7.  Consensus!

F: Is there anyone here from Comfort?  If there’s nobody here from Comfort we’re going to move on to Announcements.  If you want to get stack for Announcements, please raise your hand so Brett can take your name.  As a reminder announcements are not statements of opinions.  They’re information pertaining to upcoming events. Also, please try to keep announcements to one minute.  Thank you.

 

71.4.  Announcements

F: Before we begin with announcements I would ask the GA to please move in as some people have left and as you move in I would ask everybody in front to please sit down. Though we are now at the end of our process we still have people who have been patiently waiting to share important information.  We ask only that you show them respect.  You are welcome to leave but if you do stay please sit down.

Stack: First on stack: ?

71.4.1.  ?: Mic check! Tomorrow is global climate justice day.  We’re having a rally in Washington Square Park at 2p, followed by a march to Liberty Square.  Investigative Journalist Greg Palace will prosecute BP for ecocide. Also, Josh Locks the director of the Oscar-nominated film Gas Land will be there to give a talk on fracking.  I encourage everbody here to please join us in showing our solidarity with environmentalists all over the globe.  Again, 2p Washington Square Park.  Thank you.

Stack: Next on stack is Chazz.

71.4.2.  Chazz: I want to announce after this finishes I’ll be meeting with people who might be interested in two new working groups,  OWS University and OWS Farms, a group that will discuss how to best manage 56 acres donated to OWS in between Binghamton and Woodstock in upstate NY.  We’re gonna make a trip soon to check it out.  Also, we’re going to propose individual activists divide all the funds in their possession between the occupiers who can prove they were occupying in the week before the eviction…It’s buy out or buy in, we’re going to propose it tomorrow then take a week to think about it.

Stack: Next on stack is Steve.

71.4.3.  Steve: I’d like to announce the formation of a new working group, deployment of unconventional occupation task teams.  We perform acts of physical occupation and human presence under adverse environmental conditions and during irregular hours.  We will schedule it so we can ensure 12 people here in the square during off-peak hours and during peak hours when there’s precipitation or temps fall below 40 degrees.

Stack: Next on stack is Pete.

71.4.4.  Pete: Hey ya, there is concern of loss of hope of loss of faith in this movement.  Our movement.  Across other locations of our world.  We need a way to communicate to our sisters and brother everywhere.  Not leaving it up to the corrupt media that feeds everyone our information – our good information, our pure information – to help us grow we need a way to communicate directly with those of us who are not in the know.  Let’s figure out a way.  Thank you.

PoI:  Here at OWS there’s a Movement Building working group whose sole purpose is what you just said. They’ve been working really hard.  There are also similar working groups working in conjunction with Movement Building.  I know their next meeting is Sunday at 6 at 60 Wall.  Tomorrow.

Stack: Next on stack is Jason.   There’s three people left after Jason and I’d like to close stack.

71.4.5.  Jason: Mic check.  My name is Jason.  I bring greetings from Occupy Atlanta.  We love you guys.  We love what you’re doing.  We’re trying to repeat it down in Atlanta.  We were evicted…but  we’re occupying a homeless shelter, the biggest in the city, in danger of foreclosure.  We’ve also been given a space by a local church.  We wanted to show our love and solidarity.

Stack: Next on stack is Nan.

71.4.6.  Nan: Hi again.  I got a few announcements.  I would like to say first announcements is housing.  If anybody is looking for a place to stay tonight they can go to the Baxters’ at 160 Beach 116th street.  You catch the A train all the way down to Far Rockaway and get off at Broad Channel then transfer to 116th look for the building 160. Second, there have been two working groups formed during the SC last night.  One of the WG is Oppression working group.  The other is a caucus called “Isms.” Those hand in hand deal with racism, sexism, all the isms .  Just letting you know.

Stack: Next on stack is Miles.

71.4.7.  Miles: I came up from DC Wednesday night.  I’ve been on a bus for 8 hours.  I walked over to Zuccotti park.  There wasn’t really anybody here and all the police barricades and I got pretty sad.  I came back on Thanksgiving and there was food and people and drumming.  It was amazing.  Yesterday when the drummers got kicked out we marched around the square for about an hour and went to the Women’s march.  Coming back as that women’s march got to this corner we collided to the NYSE march – two OWS marches collided at Zuccotti park.  It was amazing.  At Occupy DC…we have solidarity with you and I love all of you.  I’m leaving tomorrow to go back to DC.  But what I’ve seen over Thanksgiving and yesterday and today made me really believe in this movement and has given the passion to go home and occupy!  Occupy!  Occupy!    Thank you!

Nan: I would like to add we appreciate that you are happy about the march that Women’s working group put together yesterday.  I think we should have more marches, more events for the people.  Thank you.
Stack: Next on stack, Mo.

71.4.8.  Mo: Greetings from Paris.  My name is Mo and I’ve spent time working with OWS & OccupyPittsburgh. I’ll be in Paris for 3 days for Occupy Paris.  It’s small. The French are uncomfortable unless they lead it, unless they invent it.  I’m a member of International Occupy Outreach.  I will be one person getting OWS news and direct feeds to Paris, London, Madrid, Athens, Tunis, Northern India, Turkey.  This is a global movement.  Thank you.

Stack: Next on stack is George.

71.4.9.  George: Good evening.  My name is George, I’m from Boston.  I’m part of Occupy Boston.  I have two announcements.  One is, I’m in OccupyBoston and People of Color working group and there’s a lot of us fighting hard to stop racism and sexism and all kinds of oppression within occupy and the world.  As well as trying to connect OccupyBoston and the actual communities in Boston.  If any of you are doing similar work please get in touch. Second announcement: I was told twelve more pizzas were coming.  I can’t guarantee but if you’re hungry please stick around a little.

Stack: Next on stack Christina

71.4.10.  Christina: Facilitation would like to announce that at next Tuesday’s GA a proposal will be bought forward to dissolve SC.  According to the original proposal we are required to make this announcement.

Stack: On behalf of Aaron from Occupy Detroit, who has lost his voice, I would like to express solidarity. Next on stack is Jason.  Jason? Next on stack, Kelly Anne!

71.4.11.  Kelly Anne: I’m a little shy.  I wanted to make a proposal but to keep matters short I’m gonna abbreviate and ask for anybody who agrees to meet me at the corner to read the full proposal and to bring it to the assembly before I leave tomorrow.  OWS has undergone tremendous transformation.  It is now more than ever important that we are unified.  We need to unify our voice behind one goal and create ways to say to our government that we are unsatisfied with the current….I believe that we need to say that money in the form of corporate donations or campaign financing should be ended.  My personal proposal is overturning Citizens United (aka corporations are people) which allows corporations to give whatever money amount that they would like to political campaigns.  We need to raise awareness and ask the rest of the 99% to speak with us.  We can say the system is wrong or we can act to change it using our rights written in our constitution.  Now is the time to set a unifying goal, petition our government, and initiate change.  We are the 99%.  We are the people.  United we stand and divided we fall.  There are 312 million people in the US. If we all agree to a common goal and if we all spoke together with one voice, imagine what we could accomplish. Thank you.

Stack: Next on stack and last on stack is Jason.

71.4.12.  Jason: Hello, I am Jason. We are the 99%.  I’m not done.  As you may have heard music for occupy, an independent new record label, is producing an album to support OWS.  We are taking submissions from independent artists from music or visual arts to include in our record.  The record will have people on it such as ummmm Third Eye Blind, Crosby and Nash, Devo, Airplane Pagent, Lloyd Cole, Jackson Browne, many occupiers  We are looking for you to submit visual art or music to musicforoccupy@gmail.com.  I look forward to getting your submissions.  Thank you.

F: Stack is now closed for announcements.  This concludes tonight’s GA.  Before we leave Facilitation has one advertisement of a personal nature. Tomorrow at 4 is our daily facilitation meeting. We welcome new members.  We have a training for those who would like a lesson in direct democracy and most importantly we have a window for feedback for each GA.

F: Quick PoI Facilitation is starting something different at our meeting Monday.  We’re inviting everyone to come but we’re only allowing those who don’t identify as male to speak.  To clarify female-body or identified or trans folk will be speaking.  Us menfolk will be listening.  It’s an experiment it’s important.

F: At the end of this we have soapbox .  Listen to each other.  You all are wonderful!

F: Our meetings are 4 at 60 Wall at the Atrium.  Thank you.

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