NYC OPERATIONAL SPOKES COUNCIL DAY 94
Date/Time: 12/19/11 7:30pm
Location: 56 Walker St.
Facilitators (F): Anthony, Negesti
Stack-taker: Sage, Timekeeper: Diego, Minutes: Robina
Justin (Liberty Square GA): Its 7:30. Know if you’re here to represent a spoke please come in and get your sign. There’s lots of food but we’d like to get started here soon.
F: SC is about to begin. Everyone please settle down. There is enough food for everyone. SC is starting now.
Hi, my name is Anthony. With your permission I will be cofacilitating with Negesti who is in the bathroom right now. Can I get consensus on me facilitating? From everyone in the room? Everyone please settle down we’re trying to have a SC to some extent . Respect the house. Thank you.
Hi, my name is Negesti. I have very little voice so please work with me. I would like to facilitate tonight. Can I get a TC on that? [positive.] It looks pretty good; thank you!
So first I would like to take any possible items for the agenda tonight. Town Planning has an item for the agenda.
Robert (Town Planning): Town Planning has essentially 2 proposals: first a motion to take on Housing as a full on member of SC. I don’t believe that Jeff from Housing is here yet so that can be arranged when he gets here. And to offer new procedural guidelines for the group.
F: Do we want to do RBs? I see an agenda item from Matthew.
Matthew: I would like to point something out. GA is going to be here this week. We’re here all week so I would like to suggest that WGRBs be held at the GA tomorrow. Everyone should come. We’ve been waiting for GA to move inside and now it is.
PoI It’s a 2 day trial, Tuesday and Thursday.
(Speaker unknown): Matthew had something to do. I want to spend a little time about how we’re going to make the GA work again. Coming inside is one thing but we’ve got to get people coming again.
Justin (Liberty Square GA): I’d like to explain what’s happen with Liberty Square GA after January 1st. There’s an illusion SC doesn’t work…
Jay: There is, from my understanding, there is an “emergency” GA tonight whose sole agenda is dissolution of the SC. Maybe we should have a brief conversation about the validity of that discussion and the decisions that come out of there.
Media: I want to suggest we start out with RBs from every WG because since all our WG are technically spokes right now we can…take notes on what people report back and then within our groups have a discussion about how we can help each other and come back to report back again…it doesn’t make sense to have a SC where we don’t work together.
(Speaker unknown): We keep reinventing the wheel every time we have the SC. Half our community didn’t know where it was because it wasn’t on the website until an hour before
F: …We feel you on that. We have 5 or 6 items on our agenda…anything else?
Ashley (Women Occupying Nations): Transparency
F: I believe that’s enough for an agenda since we have until 10:30 if I’m not mistaken. Everyone okay with that? I feel there is a strong need from the group to do WGRBs….I would like to keep it short and concise and not take an hour doing WGRB. Let’s try to keep it to ½ hour. Can we set a hard and fast time to when we will cease WGRB?
Actually the first thing is someone to help us take stack. Diego will be our timekeeper. He’s the great awesome hunger striker who is no longer a hunger striker but is still awesome. Will anyone take stack? Sage is up for it.
As I was saying, we want to keep it to 30 minutes. There aren’t many groups here…can we get consensus on doing WGRB first?
Can we get a TC again?
(Speaker unknown): On what?
F: Doing RBs first. [positive.]
Are there any blocks? Okay so it looks mostly good so it looks like we’re going to do WGRBs first. Let’s see if we can be done with this by 8:05, 8:10. If you’re a WG please hold your placard up and Sage can take you on stack and we’ll do RBs.
Justin (LibertySquare GA): Sage just walked by me and didn’t write down my name.
Sage: You’re number one, my dude.
F: Let’s see. Yeah. Can we take stack? I hear your concern but you’re there. Can we have the first group on stack?
Justin (Liberty Square GA): We’re helping to occupy Christmas on Christmas day. 3’oclock at the square….we meet atCharlotte’s Place on Wednesdays too.
Occupy Farms: On Saturday we had a proposal pass for $300 for the use of transportation and food so we can establish farms. There are 9 farms on board w/this project and we’re building a network. We also got proposal for 4 of the tents being released by the NYPD. Our next meeting is next Monday 5pm, 60 Wall. I invite you all to come. The farms are not B&Bs; they’re places to go and work and to go to learn about agriculture and animals.
Shawn (Facilitation): Hi everybody. Facilitation has changed its meeting times but we’re still open and friendly as we always were. You can find us every day at 5p to take any proposals that are incoming…meeting times have changed a little. Facilitation WG meetings are Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays at 4 at 60 Wall. We hope to see you. And also please remind everybody that GA is going to be inside and is going to be here Tuesday and Thursday this week. We need everybody’s help to get that word out. We also put out a twitter that will handle where GA is going to happen, SC is going to happen, to get proposals up on the Twitter…. [Ed. Note: the handle is OWS_Facilitation.]
Direct Action: Do you have any training classes coming up?
R: Every day between 5:40 and 6 at 60 Wall. We’re starting to go to the park before GAs at 6 to answer questions about process or what is about to happen.
CQ what time is that again?
R: Between 5:40 and 6.
F: Next on stack is Occupy Dignity.
Occupy Dignity: Hi everyone we’re still working hard to get Christmas happening…this means we’ve been able to get the NYCLU to…get our rights to exercise our religious freedom at the park on Christmas day….they passed a press release out. All press departments, all hands on deck please: we need to get the word out about this…the more interest we get in this story the more we’ll be able to forceBrookfieldand the NYPD to allow us to bring prayer mats, bags, etc….
F: Next on stack is Media.
Media: Is anyone here from post-production media? Post-production puts media out really quickly which is good, you need that to be effective…we also are trying to diversify so we’re trying to teach everyone how to livestream. Go to globalrevolution.tv – there’s how-to guides for how to set up. Anyone can stream. If you tag it we can stream you onto our channel. Our goal is to make sure nothing goes hidden.
(Speaker unknown): Ha, that’s funny
R: I guess I’m lying
F: Next on stack is Security.
Security: This week we did some training with Nonviolent Communication. We did the marches on Saturday, the action on Saturday, and um we were with Occupy the Hood…we’re trying to set up some security over there. That’s it
F: Next, Structure.
Patrick (Structure): Hi, everyone. My name is Patrick. We’re restarting the Structure WG. I know lots of people want to talk tonight about how to make SC or GA better…we’ll meet tomorrow in the Atrium between 6 and 7 pm. We will hope to be able to get into nycga.net and we’ll be able to communicate with you that way. If you want to be on the email list, see me at any point.
Stefan (Visions & Goals): Hi, I’m Stefan from Visions & Goals …we had a plan to bring a draft of the long in-process to GA tomorrow…we’re internally reconsensing our timeline and we hope to bring something to GA in the near future. You’ll see us coming back to GA for more feedback.
Jeff (Occupy the Youth): How y’all doing? I believe this Thursday at 4pm we’re going to be going into ReelWorks teen filmmaking. We’re going to be doing some work with that inBrooklyn.
Jake (Tech): Hi I’m Jake from Tech. I want to do a quick RB about the unconference on December 18th…we had a confirmed attendance of 740 people. The biggest indoor occupy event so far…we think it was a great vibe and we would like a little more coverage from press to show that there are many sides to this movement and how we function…we’re working with Twitter for people who want to donate their accounts to us to help blast info, like celebrities…
F: Press is next.
Dwayne (Press): Hi, Dwayne from Press. We have meetings every Wednesday if you want a press release put out or something of the sort, you can talk to our press release team about that.
F: Next on stack, Kitchen
Joshua (Kitchen): Hi, I’m Joshua from Kitchen and just a little RB from what we’ve been trying to do since our last RB, I don’t know know when. We had a GA proposal that passed where we were given 10k a week to distribute so we’ve been trying to support different housing sites to help them bud and grow. We’ve been trying to feed different actions like the D17 actions and jail support – we brought some pizza there. So we’ll still try to keep an occupation going. We’re still looking for volunteers to keep it functioning and we’re looking for project managers and coordinators and this and that….
F: Next up, NVC. After NVC I would like to close stack for WGRBs. Next on stack is NVC, then we have one other.
Mark (NVC): I’m Mark from NVC and every day Monday through Friday 2-4 at Charlotte’s Place we give a class in NVC and empathy and from 4-6 there’s more empathy and a teleconference. All are invited.
F: Next up is Ashley
Ashley (Women Occupying Nations): With Women Occupying Nations, we’re not having a meeting on Sunday because of the holidays but we’ll be back next week…we went to the immigration march this Sunday and we’re very disappointed in this body that no one went to the immigration march and we had a conference instead….
F: Next up is Direct Action.
Austin (Direct Action): I’m Austinwith Direct Action. As everybody probably knows on D17 we had a big action. DA will have a debriefing about that action on Wednesday at 7:30 at 60 Wall. There are a lot of opinions about that….We are also having a joint meeting with the People of Color Caucus tomorrow at 7:20, 60 Wall, to find out how we can integrate more closely…We are planning a roadtrip and have secured a bus and would like to work with other WGs …if you would like to help us plan that please firstname.lastname@example.org and one of us will get back to you on that.
F: Can you please speed it up?
R: That’s good. We hear people want to do an action for NY; that’s cool. Get in touch with us . We’ll also do a 6 month planning meeting probably on January 1st.
F: Next on stack, whatever group Trish is representing. Trish?
PoP I would appreciate it if you didn’t put people on stack if you don’t know what WG they’re representing.
Trish: This WG has been meeting all day and the issue has been dissolving Spokes and what can I say there’s supposed to be an emergency meeting going on right now. As you can see I’m not there…I have told them the legal way to do it and for some reason they feel that consensus is all that’s necessary or needed. That’s what our WG is working on today.
(Speaker unknown): My understanding is the way to dissolve SC is that it’s a 2-week council that needs to be approved by the regular GA.
R: We can have this discussion later.
F: Please respect the house first of all and one CQ. Can you please make it quick?
CQ: I don’t understand the difference between the Liberty Square GA and the New York City GA Council.
F: You have to speak with them outside.
R: I was asking them.
F: This is not the space to do that. Next on stack is Accounting.
Accounting: Hey guys, I apologize I don’t have exact number to throw at you. In the last week we have raised have $6,000 and we spent more of that at last night’s GA.
F: That’s it.
Next item on the agenda will be – we took several adds on the agenda. Town Planning has a proposal. Some conversation about rebuilding the GA and what’s happening January 1st regarding GA andLiberty Square. Repeating spokes and transparency. I would like to suggest we do the Town Planning proposal first because it’s an actual proposal…it’s our first in two weeks I believe. Can I get a TC on doing that? [positive.]
Nan (Strong Women Rules): What is it about?
F: You’ll hear it when they propose it.
[TC] Looks mostly good. Stefano is going to take stack really quick because Sage.
Robert (Town Planning):In honor of this auspicious 93rd day I wish to offer three tools for you. Sort of a pair of pliers, a tape measurer, and a screwdriver. I’m going to ask that Facilitation permit 5 minutes CQs on each item, 15 minutes crns and FAs, and then move on to clear each one.
PoI: I would like to express crn this appears to be 3 proposals. So Town Planning is bringing 3 proposals at once?
Robert (Town Planning): Three at once. Hi everyone. I’ll tell you there’s line numbers next to the text of the proposal. If you have questions please refer me to the line numbers.
F: We want to give 45 minute the Town Planning proposal….so we’re going to devote an hour to this and it’s 8pm. I, we would like to be done by 9 o’clock. Can I get a TC? [Positive.]
Robert (Town Planning): It’s not my intent to take the whole hour.
F: TC is positive.
Robert (Town Planning): First is the Spokes step up, Spokes step back which limits the appearance of any individual in the role of spoke to one time per seven days.
Spokespersons (“Spokes”) at the Operations Spokes Council are the voices of debate and decision at our Council meetings and wield great influence there. Individual voices, when frequently heard, exert influence on the proceedings disproportionate to that of members who more rarely get to be heard. This is manifestly unfair to those more rarely heard members. Occupy Wall Street desires the greatest possible multiplicity of participating voices. It is to limit disproportionate influence that our rules for the Operations Spokes Council require Spokes must rotate and cannot serve in two consecutive meetings. However, our rules do not yet address an individual serving as Spoke for a different sub-group. This proposed rule limits the possible repeat appearance of an individual serving as Spoke for multiple sub-groups and assures at least three people Spoke for any group. No person may serve more than once as any Spoke in any seven-day period. This means that any person acting as Spoke for any group, caucus, etc. cannot be a Spoke for another seven days after the meeting ends. It doesn’t matter whether the person belongs to one group or several groups. It doesn’t matter how many members a group has. Those acting as Spokes the day this proposal passes cannot be spokes again for another seven days. You just can’t be a spoke again until 7 days go by…do people want me to read the fairly structured language in the left hand column?
F: Can we get a TC? [mostly negative.] It looks mostly like the group doesn’t want to do that from those who are participating. So now we’d like to open stack on CQ for this specific part of the proposal. We’re going to allow 5 minutes as per Town Planning.
(Speaker Unknown): If we’re doing this as spokes can we have a little time to confer with our spokes so we can have a little discussion?
MC This gentleman is filming; is it ok for him to do it?
PoI We’ve actually agreed that this is an open and public meeting which under privacy laws…. As a photographer I can tell you that apeopleies to photography and videography.
Filmer: A possibility is people can raise hands if they don’t want to be filmed and we can orient so that people who don’t want to be filmed don’t have to be filmed.
F: I hear the concerns about filming; my suggestion at this point is that those who don’t want to be filmed identify yourself to the person filming and please ask them not to film you. We have done this before
We have a PoI again.
PoI This is a public space. The same reason you’re allowed in here is the very reason video cameras are allowed in here. If this were not a public space we would start deciding who came in here so I would appreciate it if everyone consider that the same reason you’re allowed in here is the very same law that allow a camera to be in here. So decide what you’re going to do.
F: At this point we’re straying away from the proposal we ‘re dealing with right now. Were going to open stack for CQ.
CQ: your proposal limits the number of times people come to spokes. How do we implement this…?
R: That would have to be addressed separately.
So we’re making a rule with no plan on how to implement?
R: It’s up to the group how we deal with implementation.
This is just one of us passing the buck…when we present a proposal we need to have ideas about how to implement.
PoP this sounds to me a crn with a FA attached to it.
F: Next on stackNan.
Nan (Strong Women Rules): My CQ is, besides your WG what other WGs took part?
R: It comes exclusively from Town Planning.
Nan: So Town Planning took it upon itself to create a structure without any other WG. I consider this to be a police right there.
We’re bringing a proposal in line with the way SC works.
F: Next on stack, Constitution.
CQ: Is there anything in your proposal that I guess speaks to smaller groups that might not have the numbers of members to rotate?
R: This specifically says the size of the group is not a bar to the rule. Essentially if someone comes in with a WG that has two members they would have to alternate and we would only hear from those two people. SC is designed to hear as many people as possible…a WG that doesn’t have enough people is not a fair representation at SC and that needs to be stopped. That’s why this is written.
F: Next on stack is Minutes.
CQ: Our CQ is whose responsibility would it be to record who acts as spokes?
R: Facilitation takes care of the moderation of the meeting. I hope Facilitation would take records of that.
F: Next on stack, GA council
PoP: I believe we allotted 5 minutes. Where are we?
Time: We’re at 3:45.
F: After this comment last opportunity to go on stack. Outreach is next on stack
Outrach: My question ahs to do with process. The GA has to approve our structure…it’s up to the GA that we’re supposed to have revolving spokes? We’re empowered by GA…
R: This body was never told that it could not be self regulating. We were created whole cloth out of nothing with certain initial rules. The group here gets to decide how we want to meet here.
PoI in the original SC as consented to by the GA, SC has the right and responsibility to change the way it functions…this is completely in the bounds of SC
PoI I read and I quote directly from original SC that was passed by consensus at GA: “The four types of decisions that the Spokes Council attend to are: Number 4, amendments of the functioning of the SC that do not alter the power of the GA.”
F: I would like to point out we ran out of time on this section. We’re going to finish.
Trish (NYCGA Council): what this young man said is true there’s no gray areas there and furthermore this particular…why is this presented to this body at NYCGA rather than SC in its proposal?
F: Mic check! We’ve been going pretty smooth can we please respect the house and continue letting the process flow beautifully?
Did he answer my question?
R: It was a convenient graphic actually.
It was a misleading graphic.
To my mind, no. Everything we do here is this the NYCGA.
This appears it’s the NYCGA is proposing this and it’s not.
PoI The term NYCGA describes the movement. This is a proposal that is…correct.
F: Next on stack is Ashley from Women Occupying Nations. We are finishing stack and then we’re moving to the next stack. Can we all just take a deep breath for a minute please.
Ashley (Women Occupying Nations): I have a couple of CQs. Are you aware that some people only have 10-15 people and…basically this is going to censor the WGs with 10 or 15 people. Are you aware that this does disempower WGs in the GA…I remember last week someone had to speak for People of Color Caucus and OWS en Espanol because no one else was there. I really feel this is a way to censor dissent.
F: This is not a CQ.
I’m sorry; facilitators are supposed to be neutral and you just invalidated what I just said
F: Mic check! There are PoP. I would like to hear the one from the DA spoke.
PoP: There is an extended back of forth with lots of statements going back or forth. There was a simple question with a yes or no answer. Can we hear it?
R: This is to increase the number of voices her….in order to be represented at each SC, a WG need only have 3 members.
F: Next on stack is Security.
Security: I have concerns…can we give the WG a chance to talk about it and can we come back on Wednesday to vote on it? It’s a couple of issues
F: I am sorry to cut you off but that is a FA. If you want you can get on stack when we have stack in a few minutes. Mic check! We’re going to continue forward with stack. Last on stack for CQs is Occupy Farms.
Occupy Farms: Does the language of this; is the intent to…
[Disruption in meeting. Apparently unstable individual comes to middle of the room and begins yelling, very agitated.]
F: Everyone not in Facilitation please step down or go to the sides of the room; we’re going to let this gentleman speak. Everybody please. Mic check! Everyone who is not part of Facilitation or Mediation can you please settle down right now? We’re going to give the gentleman a minute to let out his grievances.
Thanksgiving what’s that? Anybody, anybody? The white man right jesus fuck jesus the fucking park the fucking [sits down] this. Ssssssssssssshhhhhhhhh. The white man two fucking places. [Begins whispering.]
F: Alright a this point I want to point out the owners of this space asked us not have any people under inebriation in this space. I would love anyone from Medical to help us identify if this person is inebriated because we may need this person to leave.
[After a few moments, individual leaves.]
F: I want to thank everyone for how we handled that. I would like to ask for a moment of silence to reground all of us…we are doing great. Congratulations to all of us. Alright
I would just like to clarify that that man was suffering from impairment…I am not qualified to say what but he was not inebriated. I feel I may have misrepresented what was going on. I want to clarify that that was not the issue. My understanding is we’re moving onto Crns. Stack is now open for crns. 15 minutes.
First on stack, Strong Women Rules
Nan (Strong Women Rules): I feel besides that I eel like the WG took it upon themslevs to draw up a proposal without the other WG involved and that is disrespectful and that’s all I’m saying.
R: That’s the way proposals come to SC. It’s here for discussion.
F: I’m going to go progressive. Next on stack is Human Rights.
Human Rights: My concern is we are mrre focused on process…instead of what matters really…we have no tangible results…have been going on about housing but you just focus about things that don’t really matter. Let’s focus on what matters and the rest will follow
R: I asked right before this…the other proposal I suggested was that the Housing working group be admitted for SC.
F: I want to clarify for the group that we are in crns for this proposal that as we stated in the beginning which is just the first part of this three part proposal.
We’re going to be closing stack now so if anyone wants to get on stack. Next on stack we have a request to speak from a member of the ownership of this building.
Hi everybody. We’re all glad you’re here as part of OWS. We know that from time to time there’s some difficulties. Dealing with people is always difficult, as it is. I think Facilitation has been doing an amazing job here and we have to give them a hand. The reality is that we know that there is difficulty in just dealing with people. There are people who are committed activists and they have their own viewpoints; there’s people who have issues; there may also be people within the group, people who are not genuinely in this group. It was reported in the LA encampment there were a dozen undercover PDs…I can assume if there was a dozen in LA, there’s more in the NYPD. You should never be here to accuse someone of being an agent provocateur or undercover but we should always keep in the back of our minds that there could be. In LA these people tried to blend in…you should all try to be strong and realize not everybody will be with you. Be strong and continue. There was some comment about the use of alcohol.. This is an alcohol and drug free zone, smoke free zone. Those are really the only rules. Respect our neighbors. I’ve been with this building for 10 years with the ownership. 10 years ago this block in Tribeca was very different. What we have is urban gentrification…so we have to deal with the fact we share this block with the 1%. If there’s excessive noise they call up those who serve and protect them, the police, so we have to be mindful of that. We don’t care if you guys express yourself but try to keep it…I’m glad to hear that OWS is utilizing more of this space. There’s a tentative agreement that the GA will be here on a trial basis I believe that will start tomorrow, Tuesday, at 7. As they say it’s not getting any warmer this winter. The other day it was 27 degrees. I believe for most days Monday Tuesday Wednesday SC, Tuesday GA at 7, Thursday is going to be a joint OWS program. We have the NLG having a meeting for arrestees as well as GA. They’ll go from 6-8 and GA will be pushed back to 8. Thank you very much.
F: We’re gong to continue with the stack. Next on stack is Facilitation.
Facilitation: We pass.
F: Next on stack is Constitution.
Constitution: I just wanted to voice a crn that it really does limit a lot of groups like Constitution group. Online is 20-25 members but…unfortunately I’m one of 3 members and the other 2 live far away. I think it’s kind of unfair.
F: Next on stack, Women Occupying Nations.
Ashley (Women Occupying Nations): I have a moral and ethical concern because it disempowers the original agreement the GA consented upon that one spoke cannot speak twice in a row. Now you’re making it sound like it’s once a week…last week there was only one person from People of Color Caucus and OWS en Espanol, two very marginalized groups. I see this as a sly way to censor dissent because a lot of groups who are dissenting only have…in my group some people have children. They can’t come to be at a 3 hour SC. Some are going to school. We should trust the GA made the right decision…Town Planning should have enlisted multiple WGs to work on it together and that would have been more harmonious….This is one WG trying to decide the fate of the entire SC.
PoP On the website right now there are over 130 groups. At any time they may merge…groups right now are very divided and a merger would be very effective way to be more represented at SC.
F: I’d like to take a moment. I don’t need the people’s mic. I’m your stack taker. I’m also vibes checker. I’m feeling things get very tense… I would like to ask all of us to respect each other and to limit side conversations.
R: The proposal would then require… … the onerous burden that this would impose is that you have 3 members that could attend the mtg. Three. The reason for the rotating spokes was to limit disproportionate influence from individuals who are heard from in abundance…we want to hear more people. We want to help that. This is also a patch…even though the rule says spokes have to rotate it doesn’t limit [how many WGs they can serve for].
PoP It seems this rule is needed right now but the reason why we need it is because of the breakdown of how we haven’t ratified the group one by one…we ratified all groups at once…
F: That wasn’t a PoP, it was a question. We are at 14m. There are only 2 on the stack.
Security: Rafi went out to deal with the situation. Our crn is that we feel good about the first part of it. The second part of the people in multple groups not being able to speak seems to us and I think about it this is targeted at particular individuals and they all raised their hand at the same time. But because of that and it all happens to be women of color I want us to take a deep breath not just for a minute here but to go back to the whole community and discuss this and see what is up with it and what people feel. We have fewer people at SC because of this and there’s a lot of issues of race and class. We want everyone to discuss this because this could have big implications for how this runs. I want SC to be really with it…our crn is it’s targeted against certain people of color and it ain’t right.
R: It was specifically designed to limit the overparticipation of people who we hear from a lot and to encourage participation from people we don’t hear from; to encourage the people who speak often to seek community. It is an extension of an existing policy.
Trish (NYCGA Council): I’m you; you’re me. Okay. They’re, you’ve heard it again at SC. Last time I heard I was a cop or law enforcement or a snitch. I addressed it at the last spokes and again I’m hearing I’m a cop. I’d like to say your mama is a cop…..I’m an activist, your mama is a cop. Now back to this. The GA feels that this proposal is very discriminatory and we suggest that you publicize it on nycga.net on the call-in, the OWS call-in, as an announcement, distribute paperwork at our GA, tomorrow night come to consensus and then present it again at SC.
R: The proposal is, has been, on the nycga.net website since last Tuesday. I’m following process.
F: Everyone stop the side conversations. We are about to be done with the first proposal. Can we just let the first part of the proposal go on?
R: This is to encourage more participation; not repeat voices.
F: People of Color caucus has something they want to address and as a caucus that addresses marginalization I want to let them speak.
People of Color Caucus: I’m sorry; I have to take a breath. I’m a little agitated for some, for several, reasons. First of all…I happen to agree with [this proposal]. We need it because I am today again having to speak again for 2 groups. I would be more than happy to let my 2 groups know that this proposal is necessary and it needs to happen…if they know they have to come more often, they will do it. I do not think this proposal is discriminating to people of color. It is discriminating to specific people and there needs to be a separation between people and personalities and race issue. Second of all, I need you to look around and notice that the person who created the agitation I am feeling in this room…is not even in the room anymore. I don’t know if you’ve noticed but this is not the first time this person has done this but this is a tactic. .I don’t care if this person is a cop or not a cop but the result is the same.
[People begin to cheer for several moments.]
F: We’re going to have a response from Human Rights.
Human Rights: As a human being there is a duality…everybody has strengths and weaknesses and unfortunately history repeats itself. Bad habits die hard. Therefore racism is part of our history and we cannot be oblivious and not wanting to face it because to me and to anyone else who is really conscious to anything that happens in history…we cannot move on. We need to be acknowledging that we have weaknesses and one of them in racism…every time we come we can see the animosity and hostility between this group and that group. That’s subjectivity, human subjectivity, we need to transcend those.
F: So I want to point out to the group we’ve spent almost an hour on one part of proposal. I would like to take a TC on if they want to continue addressing this proposal. Do we want to continue addressing it? Please participate. No more stack for Crns. We still haven’t gotten to FAs.
(Speaker unknown): When you say this proposal do you mean all three parts?
F: So I’m going to do this again because I was unclear…this specific part of this proposal. This one part of the proposal. I’m acknowledging that to the whole group. There are still two other parts. TC? [mixed.] I see a PoP but it looks mostly good.
PoP I think this TC should be limited to spokes.
F: I think that’s really right. Hold up your placard if you’re the spokes. This is a TC on whether to allot more time to continue the process on this first proposal towards consensus.
PoI We already addressed this.
F: We have cleared up all questions on this TC. Now the spokes need to give me an answer. Take a TC right now please.
We’re going to clarify. We’re going to take a TC to move toward consensus on this one proposal. Spokes, do your thing. [mixed.] The room looks mixed right now. People were getting their placards. Going to give it another second. Does everybody have their placards?
We’re going to take TC to move towards consensus on this proposal and then listen to the next two after that.
PoP You just changed the TC.
F: Alright so this looks a little mixed as far as what we want to do so I would like to move toward a straw poll. Raise your hands by the spokes if you want to finish consensus on this proposal.
(Speaker Unknown): I don’t understand why we are doing a straw poll.
F: Because it looked really mixed and a straw poll is a good way to clear up.
(Speaker Unknown): My understanding of the process is we do Crns with FAs and then we move to consensus or move to any blocks.
F: We’re asking for more time. That’s what we’re asking. I’m trying this again! I would like to take a staw poll on if we want to extend more time to finish the proposal. Spokes, raise your hand if you are into finishing with FAs and moving toward consensus on this. I see for. Now I’d like to take a straw poll on people who are against hearing the rest of this proposal. So we see 8 against we made the mistake of not counting how many we had for. Can we have the people who were for it? Please raise your placards. 19.
(Speaker Unknown): One person was holding up two signs!
(Speaker Unknown): She’s representing two groups.
F: Anyway at this point even though one person raised two signs there were still 18 for, only 8 against, we’re going to hear the rest of this proposal! That is what we decided to do! Stack is open for FAs; please get on stack
Constitution: Okay I’d like to make a FA that there be a clause for groups not having enough members.
F: Next on stack is Media.
Media: I’d like to make a FA that if this passes that there is a week of time that passes that we are allowed to go back to our groups and let them know what passed so we can make sure…
R: Accepted. Restriction won’t take effect until a week from today.
F: Next on stack is Farms.
Occupy Farms: I would like to see there be a trial period; maybe this comes back in February. For the duration for January we experiment with this. If we find this does in fact infringe upon people’s right to speak here.
R: Appreciate it but I’m going to decline. It’s intended to equalize speech.
F: I would like to ask everyone not on stack or not a spoke to not speak right now. I would like to ask the group to help me out. Facilitation is really hard. I’ve been sick for a week!
(Speaker Unknown): The crn is that it would take consensus or 9/10 modified consensus to repeal this and I’m not sure we’re ready to embrace this and I would like to reiterate that a trial period might be important.
R: Is there…can anyone speak to that? Does it take 9/10 consensus to repeal a proposal?
(Speaker Unknown): My understanding is it would have to come in the form of a new proposal?
R: Rejected. You can repeal if you don’t like it.
F: Next on stack is Press.
Press: First of all I would like to make sure that this proposal doesn’t discriminate against people…because we’re all the 99% and my proposal is that we’ve had rules before but we hadn’t had a way to enforce the rules so with this proposal I would like to empower us to enforce these rules…or else you can just break the rules as people do.
R: I can’t say I’m giving the group that but tool #3 addresses that. But tool #3 hasn’t been passed out yet.
F: Next on stack is Accounting.
Accounting: Hi guys; I like the proposal. I think it’s good but I echo those crns and I would just like Facilitation to consent as a formal amendment that they will keep track of who is talking and De-escalation consent that de-escalation has the right to escort people out of the room if it becomes an issue.
F: Facilitation is ready to respond; let’s hear from the Facilitation spoke.
Facilitation: Facilitation does not feel comfortable accepting that right now. We can take it to our meeting tomorrow and speak with the larger group.
R: Can I ask a question of Facilitation? The current process whereby spokes might rotate, who oversees that?
F: Not facilitation. Our understanding is its self-regulating right now.
R: For those reasons I’m going to decline.
Security: Security would like to directly respond. We’d be willing to do it. To remove people.
(Speaker Unknown): This is a conversation between the spoke and the proposer and the other spoke who proposed the FA.
R: There’s nothing in this proposal that addresses the idea of removing people and I don’t even want to go into that subject. That’s not the intention of anything here. That’s up to the group to decide.
PoI Just real quickly to speak to that. Currently we are self-policed as far as spokes go but the agreement is you don’t have to leave you just can’t be a spoke. You can be a witness.
(Speaker Unknown): Because only spokes speak at the meeting, it’s a restriction.
(Speaker Unknown): So if they don’t have to leave, what’s to stop them from not following the rule?
R: Nothing that we don’t have already before us. Although I have two other proposals lined up.
F: At this time I’ve been asked to alert everyone we’re closing stack for FAs if you want to get on stack. Next is Alternative Kitchen
Sage (Alternative Kitchen): Hi I’m age with Restricted Diets. My FA is sort of like an alternative to like picking people up and physically removing them. That is to provide special time for them to help them find the community they need so they don’t have to be alone here at SC. Once we offer that to those people, if they are still trying to be here by themselves and they’ve been given every opportunity to find family memebers…once they have that extra time with some resources and they still are the only ones here that might shame them into leaving but if we give them everything they need they will find other people who agree with them and who will help them spoke.
Tech: We would love to help any group that comes to us seeking us help.
Sage: …that Facilitation would know to liaison between…so the tools that we have as a whole org…use Twitter, something like that, to help raise awareness for particular WGs…
R: I highly encourage groups that wish to seek the assistance of Tech to make use of the one- week delay…see them as soon as you can and try to get other people involved in your WG.
(Speaker Unknown): Other resources would be Social Media and ComHub.
(Speaker Unknown): My FA is not to this proposal but to the process we’re all experiencing tonight. We’ve forgotten this is about consensus building…we’re trying to build something together and not raise our voices at each other….we’re on a quick road to burnout…maybe we need an Om circle, a group hug. Facilitation, that’s up to you.
F: Next on stack is Human Rights.
Human Rights: The first sentence…I saw names written all over that first sentence. It’s personal I’ve seen people who are like the us and them thing is the way things are…what I’m trying to do is to do that introspection and lets’ come into a community and discuss. It’s a path to unity, to introspection, if there’s some issue with specific people why don’t we approach that person and discuss it. Don’t pretend it’s not personal, you read between the lines, I can put names to that first sentence.
F: I want to clarify what I hear you’re saying. You want to make sure this proposal has something in it to do some mediation or do something with people?
Bad habits die hard. I’m asking everyone to put the selfish self aside and come to the table and try to get results. This is ridiculous. We are the 1% of the 99% and this is not right….Words have meaning.
PoP: That was not a FA in any way.
F: I would love for the proposer to respond
R: I can’t respond to it as a FA. I would have a hard time restating the proposal with the FA, putting it in. I would respond in a more general way. Nobody in this room has any problem or operating on behalf of the movement….nobody in this room ought have any problem with anybody else in the room. What this group does have problems with is behaviors. And the behaviors have to be addressed in order to maintain fairness in the room. It’s manifestly unfair…this is to address that imbalance. Also, I was mindful that someone had suggested never make a tool that you would want to see used against myself. I keep thinking if someone has a hard spot with me…I’m not an ideal perfect member of the community…I tried to make this as fair as possible.
F: I would like to speak and this is turning into a bit of a go-between. The proposer has responded to the FA. Next on stack is GA council.
Trish (NYCGA Council): Wow anyway. FA: okay, eat this amendment.
R: Declined right off the bat, thank you.
F: next on stack is Security.
Security: I’d like to add a FA to give ss time to go back to our WGs
R: Declined because this is the appropriate forum…
Ashley (Women Occupying Nations): I have a FA that we do a teach-in, that before you re-present this to be voted on that there be a teach-in on racism and classism. A lot of people in our caucus have babies who can’t bring their babies crying, a lot in our caucus are college students…A lot of people in our caucus may not be living off of trust funds…
[People begin to respond negatively.]
F: Some of your statements sound like a personal attack.
I would like to add a FA that there is a teach-in with Town Planning…not only does it disempower the GA it also discriminates against groups who do not have the privilege to come here every week, every day.
R: It was designed to do that.
F: Side conversations are by definition non-participation by the SC or any consensus group.
R: The amendment is rejected as it was specifically designed to limit the participation of people…
F: The next step in the process, is next on stack, Strong Women
Nan (Strong Women Rules): My FA is I want to take the FA and shove it up your ass you racist bastard.
F: I would like to point out – Mic check! Mic check – I would like to point out that calling people names does not create a safe space. Now I’d like to return to stack. Next on stack
There is no one left on stack which has been closed many minutes ago.
PoI The individual who just threatened another individual HIT someone at GA yesterday. Her threats are real.
F: Let’s listen to this PoI. Please. Let’s keep your side conversations to a minimum.
PoI I would just like to say Trish forgot her WG placard….
Trish: You’re going to find yourself shredded like Kinkos.
Direct Action: We have an actually friendly amendment in order to facilitate the tracking of who has spoked, that at the beginning of every SC a spoke sign-in with their name and the working group they’re spoking for and a record of that be added to the minutes.
Minutes: As long as there’s a physical sign-in sheet we would be happy to put it in the minutes.
R: Somebody from Facilitation would have to bottom line the process to make sure it happens every week.
F: We have finished stack for FA. This is where we move toward consensus. I would like the spokes to confer. I apologize, proposer needs to read the proposal with the FA.
Robert (Town Planning): Spokespersons (“Spokes”) at the Operations Spokes Council are the voices of debate and decision at our Council meetings and wield great influence there. Individual voices, when frequently heard, exert influence on the proceedings disproportionate to that of members who more rarely get to be heard. This is manifestly unfair to those more rarely heard members. Occupy Wall Street desires the greatest possible multiplicity of participating voices. It is to limit disproportionate influence that our rules for the Operations Spokes Council require Spokes must rotate and cannot serve in two consecutive meetings. However, our rules do not yet address an individual serving as Spoke for a different sub-group. This proposed rule limits the possible repeat appearance of an individual serving as Spoke for multiple sub-groups and assures at least three people Spoke for any group. No person may serve more than once as any Spoke in any seven-day period. This means that any person acting as Spoke for any group, caucus, etc. cannot be a Spoke for another seven days after the meeting ends. It doesn’t matter whether the person belongs to one group or several groups. It doesn’t matter how many members a group has. We’ve accepted the FA that there be a delay of one week…the other FA is that there be a sign up sheet that records who spokes for which group and that it be included in the minutes.
F: Do folks accept the proposal with the FAs? Let me clarify. I would love the spokes to confer with their groups and then we’ll move towards the consensus process. Mic check Mic check! Can everyone please settle down? You had two minutes. Mic Check! Can everyone please settle down? The time we allowed fro all of you to converse amongst your groups is up. At this point as we move for consensus I’ll ask for stand-asides…You’re basically saying “I’m not participating in this vote. I don’t agree, but I won’t block it.” I’d like to do a straw poll on stand-asides for this proposal. Stand-asides, then blocks, then we’ll decide if we can go to…
PoI With stand-asides, usually if there’s too many stand-asides the proposal can’t continue. It shows there’s not enough interest in the proposal.
(Speaker Unknown): Real quick for those of us who are not 100% familiar on stand-asides, is it very much different than abstaining?
F: If we’re clear on stand-asides I would like to take stand-asides. Please raise your placard as the spoke. 6. So we see 6 stand-asides. So we see 5 stand-asides. So now I would like to ask if there are any blocks to this proposal.
PoP So the only reason SC was passed was because there were limits on the power of people to disrupt the SC. Blocks cannot be counted from people who spoke every week.
F: I’m going to address this issue. I would love for someone from Facilitation to come up and help me. My understanding is that there is a precedent that if there are people who were a spoke at a previous meeting should not be allowed to block a proposal at the following . Is that correct?
Jeff (Occupy the Youth): Hey Hey, I have a CQ about blocks. If I block a proposal one week then I come and block a proposal a second week, a block is a moral, ethical concern and I leave the movement, right?
F: I thin the answer to your question is you’re completely correct. However, we have no way of enforcing of this. But by blocking this, that is what you’re saying.
(Speaker unknown): I would like to refer this to the group please. I would like to settle this question.
F: That’s out of process. I’m going to go back to dealing with these blocks. There are least 3 people who have blocked the proposal that were at spokes on Friday. I noticed this because I facilitated. People there on Friday night, back me up on this. [positive.] How can we hear questions and crns about what I just said if everyone is talking?
Outreach: On Friday I spoked for the Photography group. Today I’m spoking for Outreach.
F: Mic check Mic check! Everybody please sit down and be quiet so can move to consensus process. Right now. Ok I would like Facilitation to help me address this.
[ Many disruptions.]
F: I would like to remind us that mic checking is a tool for two types of people. The facilitation team and the person on stack. It is not a tool to interrupt process for speeches. That’s a PoI. I would like to point out yet again we can’t move toward consensus is everyone is talking and standing up. Please sit down so we can make a decision which is what this body is here to do. Mic check! We would like for everyone to please settle down. We’re trying to reach consensus or at least take a TC for the proposal at hand. We then have an announcement from Occupy ?
Excuse me, this year 4 million people will be forced to work sexually. They deserve a voice. Prostitutes are people too. That’s all we had to say, that’s it.
F: Okay everyone please can you settle down again? Can we get back to what we were doing? Mic check! We were on blocks. I got some comments from Facilitation. Because we operated on Friday as individuals and everyone got to speak not as a spoke, the idea of someone spoking twice is not valid. So at this point I would love to do blocks again. I just want to point out there are 6 blocks. The proposers would like to try and address the blockers. This is a part of the process.
Sage: So Bob and I have been trying to work on some of the same things since 9/17, city planning, that sort of things. I’ d like to speak to the blocks..I am one of the voices that would be very marginalized and silenced…but there comes a time when you have to trust your community or become part of another community.
Ashley (Women Occupying Nations): This is against process
F: The proposers accepted him speaking as part of the proposers. Mic Check! I’m hearing a valid concern we did not hear why everyone was blocking. I counted 7 blocks of all of those who blocked I would like to hear.
Human Rights: Marginalization and racism are all over the proposal. I would advise you if you wanted to make a difference why didn’t you ask some people of color to join the group…I would advise you to try to not throw out drastic things until you go stepwise. Convince our friends to join the group…if there was sustainable evidence there was hijacking we could come to that.
F: Each block gets to be directly addressed by the proposer…
R: If this entire movement was made up of white men from equal group we would still have disruptions…groups that look entirely like me are just as troublesome. I didn’t bring a group of people together to address this issue because [race] is a smokescreen. There is nothing culturally or racially biased in this proposal…we want to hear from the other people as well. It’s time for new spokes to step up; it’s time for some spokes to step back
F: Do you remove your block?
Ashley (Women Occupying Nations): I have an extreme moral and ethical crn. I believe it is insensitive or even blind that there are marginalized people who don’t have the luxury to come over to [multiple meetings]. The reason why I’m blocking is I feel there is a lot of classism in this movement and I’m tired of hearing men shutting down people who are talking about classism…the other reason I’m blocking it is I feel it was undemocratically pitched. Multiple WGs should have come together to do this…then it’s just like a clique and there’s a lot of mistrust going on. The more secret meetings we have and the more lack of communication we have, the more blocks we’re going to get
R: That’s not how SC is constructed. That’s not how it’s constructed. It’s constructed that proposals are brought by individual WGs and it is brought to the group and that is democratic. About the first one, I can only come in on Monday and this sucks. And in fact I feel for you because I’m restricted by circumstances from experiencing as many of these meetings as I would like.
F: Are you holding your block? Do you remove your block?
Let me think about it…absolutely not.
PoP: This is not a space for direct response.
Nan (Strong Women Rules): I agree with these two women, what they’ve said. I feel like by reading this paper it’s basically the individual decided you don’t have to finish reading it you can tell…I felt like this. We as a group, as a movement, any decision we need to make it as a group. We can’t do rules and regulations we need to sit down and decide as a group. Not one individual group write this thing down and expect people to be okay with it. Robert, this is personal, I’m going to talk to you personally.
[Noises of disapproval from people.]
F: I would love if this is room could trust Facilitation and not respond to things they don’t agree with vocally. I would love to hearNanfinish
I don’t like that when I was talking he was doing this….
F: That’s a personal communication.
It was very rude.
R: You’ve had the proposal since Friday,Nan.
Sean (Town Planning): I handed it to you personally!
Structure: We’re getting to back and forths that are unhelpful. I also feel we’re as a group we’re getting too stressed and need a moment of silence.
F: First I want to ask,Nanare you dropping your block
F: Structure is correct and we should have a moment of silence, a full minute. And lets’ try to recenter ourselves and be peaceful and move forward with this process. One last thing I would like everyone to do is put a smile on for 5 seconds. It helps you feel better. It does. Next block is Outreach.
Outreach: I’m blocking this on behalf of Outreach because I feel it affects the safety of the movement. Every other day to every third day will exclude those who are able to participate every two weeks and it would set a precedent for other exclusionary proposals in the future
R: It does decrease participation by specific individuals to every 4th day. What it specifically patches though is just because you spoke for one group and then move to another group and be heard yet again. It says if you’ve spoked, that’s it for a week. What it says now is if you spoke you can spoke from another group at another day….This is a problem when people repeatedly appear as spokes.
F: Do you remove your block?
PoP As a group we’re supposed to be working together. As a group we’re supposed to be working together to occupy NY which we were not allowed to do.
F: Moving on to the next block.
(Speaker Unknown): Same reason that everyone else said. I feel like people are being left out and there are private meetings…for example I’ve heard there was GA making a vote on occupiers were in the park and this GA was done in private regarding occupiers in the park.
F: I just want to clarify for everyone there are 3 people speaking this whole process. The facilitator, the proposer, the blocker. Everyone else exercise restraint.
R: Um, the SC is constructed to say WGs bring forth proposals to the group to consider. All I can do is bring it forward to propose….This is the process. This is how we broadcast it. It’s been on the website, it’s been brought publicly and this is where it gets discusses. That’s our job, to discuss this stuff. Where’s the secrecy? There isn’t any.
F: Do you hold on to your block?
I’m holding on to it.
F: I believe that there was a block from Think Tank? Class war?
Class War: My concern with this we have democracy in the WGs and on a macro level which you see here. I think the WGs should be able to decide before themselves who can speak for them…you need to have a bottom up rather than a top down. I also think some people are articulate and should speak on behalf of the group if the group decides…and I feel for you comrade and all the abuse you’ve taken tonight I don’t agree with that.
R: This is a block, correct? Is the blocker taking issue with how Town Planning brings me here tonight or how things are done in general?
I think what you’re saying is probably correct but we’re moving too fast. It should be a WG’s decision on who can speak….right now there are some articulate individuals in each WG that should speak…
R: My inclination is to go into a dialogue but that’s not appropriate to the format. My crn is that one-person WGs are an attempt to put one individual personality and agenda forward without any check against that individual. That is manifestly unfair and should be stopped. One person WG like to nominate themselves to speak for their group
F: Class war, do you hold onto your block?
I’ll hold it
F: Trish would you like to please state your block?
Trish (NYCGA Council): This is an ethical block and I’m imploring everyone to take two seconds and give this some thought. We have a WG Town Planning that is proposing something for SC that is not operation for an entity that is not legitimate in OWS…once again we have a WG proposing a tool for the GA, for the whole occupation, which has to go in front of the GA not in front of SC. Read what is here and remember that spokes is not legitimate because it has never become operational. And also realize that a WG cannot pass this type of tool in an entity that is not legitimate because it is not operational to influence the GA. That’s all I have to say.
PoI from Safer Spaces…Trish is an individual who brings proposals on her own all the time.
PoI from Press: My PoI is that NYPD didn’t have an ethical issue, she just stated a bunch of things.
Let’s move on to the next PoI
PoI I was at the first couple of SC…Town Planning was seated as an operational spokes whereas the NYCGA council because the GA…is not to be represented by Trish.
F: Can we all please settle down? Ignore; don’t respond. We’re going to move forward with our process.
PoI from Tech: I’m starting a new WG right now called the NYCGA Council Council. I just want you to know the NYCGA Council Council approves of this proposal.
[Lots of yelling.]
F: Mic check! What do we want? A yelling match or do we want to continue one with our agenda. I am ready for either.
PoI from Minutes.: Hey guys PoI if we’re going to start talking about WGs that are allowed to participate…I was at the SC where we started the process of ratifying groups. There was one WG that was denied representation; it was Women Occupying Nations. I’m from Minutes, I’ve been at every SC since then.
F: Mic check! I would like to point out it’s 10:23; from this SC I don’t get the feeling we are moving toward consensus. I would like to take a TC on tabling this proposal. [Very mixed.]
Everyone Mic check! There are 6 standing blocks. There is a PoP from Direct Action.
Direct Action: It is my understanding we ask people if they held their blocks. Trish wasn’t asked if she held her block.
F: She left.
(Speaker Unknown): Hello, I originally blocked for the reason that the current process wasn’t enforced and fixing that hole….and in the process of moving forward I’ll switch to a stand-aside.
(Speaker Unknown): We’re being asked to leave the space because it’s 10:30.
F: We’re going to go to… Mic check!
(Speaker Unknown): We need to leave the space.
F: Mic check! Can we do this really quickly and we’re gong to take…Mic check!
(Speaker unknown): He said we have time to take a vote.
F: Everyone would you please participate right now. If you are for this proposal please hold up your placard. 35, 36. Mic check, mic check! I would like to announce that we have taken a count of votes in favor the official number is 36. I would like to formally count those against the council. At this time we are counting votes again. A person who leaves this consensus body is leaving this decision making process right now so I am counting again with respect to the people voting against. Raising your placards one more time without verbal interruption I lost count because the process is interrupted. 1-2-3-4. We have 4 votes against . We have 90%.
F: Mic check mic check mic check!We need silence in this room. Anyone who is not silent at this time is not part of this body right now. Right now we have a count of 36 for and 4 against. That is a total of 40 votes.
Ashley (Women Occupying Nations): We had 8 blocks!
F: This has nothing to do with blocks. This is votes against, we moved toward… I have been taking stack at this meeting. All I do at this meeting is count you guys. We have taken a formal count that was repeatedly announced in simple terms by me. The count stands as – do not interrupt me – 36 for and 4 against. I would like to acknowledge that 4 is 10% of the total 40%. That means we counted exactly 90% in favor of this proposal. At this time out of respect to Ashley out of respect I would ask you to come back with your votes again.
[Lights flicker, reminding us to leave.]
F: The proposal has passed with Modified Consensus. We’re done!!
[People begin chanting “We got something done! We got something done!”]