NYC Operational Spokes Council Minutes 12/2/2011

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Spokes Council Minutes.


Friday 12/2/2011 / 7:00 pm EST

Location: 74 Trinity Plaza

Facilitators (F): Stefan (S), Christine (C)



77.1.  Introductions / Community Agreements

77.2.  Roll Call

77.3.  Working Group Report-Backs

77.4. Agenda Items (POC Proposal, Meeting Space Proposal, Housing Proposal)

F: Stefan: I’m Stefan (FS).  I’m in Facilitation, I also do Direct Action, wanted to be transparent, and this is my first time facilitating. Let’s push forward and get this thing done and I won’t cry.  I wanted to get a temp check on my role as facilitator tonight.

[Temp Check looks good.]

Christine: I’m Christine (FC), also facilitating tonight.  Can I get a temp check on that?

[Temp check looks good.]


77.1.  Introductions / Community Agreements

F: Introductions of tonight’s facilitation team:

Brittany — Timekeeper

Nygusti — Taking Stack

Stephan – I’m new, I’m learning, I’m shadowing, helping…if you want.

Nicholas – I’m doing security, making sure everything’s ok, that the facilitation team is comfortable.

Sarah – I’m the vibes checker.  First time tonight.  Let’s have a good time!

Nathan — I’m Taking stack

Booker — I’m leading a grounding exercise

Molly – Minutes

Booker: Five minute grounding before we get started.  If everyone can get comfortable…We’re all here together. With one intention w/ one heart.  We’re a family. [Leads five-minute grounding exercise]

FS: So that was really nice.  So, next we’d like to read over our community agreements, keeping in mind that these are agreements we came to together, with the best of intentions to love on one another while we’re in this space.  So can we take turns reading these agreements?

[People volunteer to read each community agreement aloud]

Listen and don’t interrupt.

WAIT, which means: Why Am I talking?

Stay on process.

No shouting people down.

Be respectful.

Rotate spokes.

No name-calling.

Assume good faith.

Identify needs of perceived problems.

Include validity and understanding.

Use constructive criticism and listen always.

Be aware of internal processes.

Keep things simple.

FC: I just want to adjust one of those really quickly — one of them is rotate spokes.  Please take time to rotate spokes.

FS:  Can everyone hear me?  I just want to bring us back to a conversation really quick that we had at the last spokes, about the respect the house symbol, just so we have a working definition of that. When we hold that up, it’s not addressed to the speaker, it’s to everyone else, to hold everyone accountable to what the speaker is trying to say.  That’s when we’re going to use the symbol. We don’t want to use that as an attack.  So let’s use that to hold us accountable, to each other. I don’t want to be afraid to use it, but I don’t want it to be used aggressively.

FC: So I’d like to share the agenda with you.  We want to have the spokes go around and tell us their spirit vegetable.  Then one-minute report-backs.  And a few proposals: one from POC, one about the spaces we’ve been using, and one about housing.  We’ve given POC’s proposal ten minutes, spaces twenty, and housing thirty.  Hopefully that’s how we can handle those.  Tonight we want to do something different, we want to have the last thirty minutes be a time we can talk to each other without facilitation, so if you want to talk to another WG, it would be a good time.

F: Last meeting I heard people be like, for example, you should talk to Tech Ops, but we didn’t have the space really…also if things come up and people have needs, we can make sure they have time to do that.  So if you need something you can go talk to a WG.  So maybe we can come back for the last ten to fifteen minutes or so…to keep it open and keep pushing it forward.  We want to keep using it as a tool and not have spokes dictate the whole space.
77.2.  Roll Call

FC: We’d like someone to start with introductions. Say what your name is, whom you’re spoking for, and what your spirit vegetable is.

77.2.1.  Winter: Safer Spaces – edamame

77.2.2.  Pablo: OWS in Espanola – elantain

77.2.3.  Julian: Outreach – cauliflower

77.2.4.  Evelyn: Human Rights – something, but I haven’t decided yet

77.2.5.  Shaun: Fire Safety – I’m a sad man for I have no spirit vegetable.

77.2.6.  Devin: Tech ops – artichoke, for the time being

77.2.7.  Kevin: Info – ochra

77.2.8.  Ravi: Organization – carrots

77.2.9.  Christine: Volunteer services – artichoke

77.2.10.  Ben: Direct action – squash cause we’re going to SQUASH CAPITALISM!

77.2.11.  Adriana: Wellness- beets

77.2.12.  Chris: SIS -broccoli rob.

77.2.13.  Jen: Legal – brussel sprouts

77.2.14.  Gaelen- Finance – pork

77.2.15.  Frank: Alt currency- asparagus

77.2.16.  Sebastian: Occupy Dignity- green chili

77.2.17.  Duane: PR – green peas (or green beans?)

77.2.18.  Brian: Occupy Newark- eggplant

77.2.19.  Deborah: Ism caucus- pizza

77.2.20. Nan: Strong Women Working Group – kicking your ass

77.2.21.  Christine: Occupy farms – cucumbers

77.2.22.  Carrie: Minutes – wild onion, cause it has a lovely top, acidic on the bottom.

77.2.23.  Nicholas: Occupy the Youth – Shit I don’t think I can think of a veggie.  A fucking carrot!

77.2.24.  Adam: Design – cigarettes

77.2.25.  Justin: Medical – cayenne pepper

77.2.26.  Dylan: Sanitation – water chestnuts

77.2.27.  Jen: Maine, occupy vacation land – potatoes

77.2.28.  Brian: Occupiers – the humble neutrino

77.2.29.  Jason: Housing – thanks to my dad – collared greens

77.2.30.  Desiree: Stop Stop and Frisk – peanut M&M’s

77.2.31.  Jeff: Town Planning – whatever kitchen is making tonight!

77.2.32.  Daniel: Facilitation – We’d like y’all to know that we have full consensus from our spoke that our spirit vegetable is ghost kale.

77.2.33.  Zack: Security and De-escalation – tomatoes

77.2.34.  Corbin: Sustainability- mustard greens

77.2.35.  Jen: Anti-racism allies – mixed greens!

77.2.26.  Steve: Peoples library – Weed cause it rhymes with read

77.2.27.  Heidi: POC Caucus – cassava

77.2.28.  Frank: Occupy the Cipher -??

77.2.29.  Lulu: Media – dichon radish

77.2.30.  Trish: Organized labor – all of the above vegetables

77.2.31.  Edwin: Spanish GA – Lets Take Back our Government – “vegetables!”

FS: So I just want to really drive in the point about side conversations.  A really quick point that I almost forgot, if we need to use POP let it be directed to the speaker, and trust us that we’ll move forward on that.  So next we’re into working group report-backs.


77.3.  Working Group Report Backs

Town Planning: We got here late but we were wondering if there’s room in the circle for us!

FS: Okay, so we’ll take a moment for everyone who just got here to find their seats.

FC: That was beautiful! Okay, so one last housekeeping thing, if you do have POP, please only do it through your designated spokes, that’s the only time we’re going to take it.  We have a WG that wanted to make sure we don’t have the same spoke as we had at the last spokes council.  So please pick a new spoke if you haven’t.

FS: So I think we’re good to start WG report-backs. So let’s take a second to get everyone on stack, figure out what you want to say.

FC: One of our stack takers is a little held up, so we’re going to get Stephan [who is shadowing and helping out] to take stack.

FS: So just to be transparent we’re going to take everyone and then get back to it, we’re like 20 seconds away….

[Stephan takes stack]

FS: So I think maybe we can begin, we’ll get the rest in the last go-around…

N [stack taker] First: Occupy Newark

77.3.1.  Brian (Occupy Newark): First I want to thank you guys for having me randomly be here, I’m just going to start with a few needs, I understand you’re scattered on resources and people, but we would love some more facilitation training with you guys, we also need someone who’s able to send someone over to our occupation, and someone to explain the occupation model, we also obviously need toiletries, tents, also girls! It’s a sausage fest over there.

[Some laughs, some boos]

Our occupation is a little critical…right now.

[Brian asks for an extension on the 1-minute time limit.  Asks for thirty more seconds.  Gets consensus.]

Brian: There’s a person from The Peoples Hero’s, who’s taken over part of our occupation, there are about eight of them and they’ve been smoking weed, taking advantage of the fact that we’re not there all the time, shirtless and playing music at the table.  They’ve taken over.

[More time? Yes. Gets consensus for more time.]

We’re kind of confused how to handle it without it turning into a physical altercation.  I have some questions: what legitimizes a GA, a spokes council? They’re trying to do that under our name.  They’re asking for money.  They’re trying to take us over.  If you can help with any of this, please get in touch; my e-mail is

FC: That was a lot of stuff; remember we’re going to have time after spokes to go talk to people individually.

N: Next on stack: Medics.

77.3.2.  Justin (Medics): Two annoying announcements. And one good one.  Unfortunately after the raid we had a major case of burn- out, and we’re understaffed. We’re having a hard time going into the park, being at all the different sites and actions. We’re now requiring that we have people email us if they need us for an event.  Second: there’s a rumor that we’ve split, but it was voted down, so we haven’t. Also we have people doing winter training, so if you want to talk about winterization and learn how to help people in the cold, e-mail us at

77.3.3.  Galen (Finance): We’re changing our name to accounting.  And I have two Report-backs about transparency. First we have our accounting list, which will be online on our blog tonight, showing what’s happening with all our money.  Second is that there’s a huge data entry process. That’s the outgoing stuff — so every time you came to my desk and asked for money I wrote it down, and now it’s online, though it’s just WG names, no personal names.

[Stefan asks if it’s okay to just go in a circle–gets consensus on that.]

77.3.4.  Dylan (Sanitation): Were going to start cleaning the storage space a couple times a week, and maybe the office.  If they office wants it. That’s all.

77.3.5.  Sebastian (Occupy Dignity): I’m Sebastian.  All our time has been taken up with the Christmas organization!  But I have something quite vital — I don’t know if you know, but we’ve had five suicide attempts in the last few days. Please give support, anything you can do to help, being around, taking notice of the people around you…

[Asks for more time — gets consensus on that]

Christmas! We need enthusiastic Christmas people form the kitchen, herbal tea, printing, design; printing and design is urgent.  We’re not used to do something so wide. Finance. If anyone is interested with helping us.  We don’t want Christmas to turn into something terrible.  So we’re also looking for people talk to police, community board.

For Christmas we’re trying to bring the dignity back to the park. We need people to help remove barriers, people in the press; we’re trying to change the culture of the park using Christmas and for Christmas.  If you want to get on the list and help out, e-mail me at

77.3.6.  Jen (Occupy Main): We’re going to try to get you guys to come here, but if you guys could gave me thirty seconds to do a RB from Boston…

[Gets consensus on thirty more seconds]

I came from Occupy Boston on my way down. Last night they had police in riot gear show up, and they had a motorcade … oh boy, motorcycles! They seized Occupy Boston’s kitchen sink!! [Everyone laughs] They threw it in the back of a paddy wagon and took their sink away! So you can go to their [occupy Boston’s] Facebook page and you can get the number, call the mayor; you can say really funny things like “Hi I want to bail out the sink.” Or serious things.

77.3.7.  So I’m from Occupy Maine, in Portland Maine. We’re in a park called Lincoln Park that was occupied in 1987 from people who wanted more homeless shelters, and because of it we have some of the best homeless shelters in the country! We have a kitchen, a geodesic dome, it’s almost our second month, we just don’t have enough people! We had like sixty at first but now it’s cold.  If you want a place to chill, it costs four bucks on megabus to get there, if you buy the ticket early enough. And if you want to talk to me I’m going to be hanging out.

N: After Legal, closing stack.

77.3.8.  Legal (Jen): Two reports.  One is we’re continuing to keep track of the stuff that was taken the night of the raid…After December 8 you can get it again.  We’ll give an updated report on that soon.  Also were trying to track people down with stories of stolen or damaged goods to help the injunction…so if you have a story about collectively owned stuff…yeah its only collectively owned stuff, I think, so if you have a story email

77.3.9.  Housing (Jason): Hi.  I’m Jason, I’m from housing, and I have a lot…. First, as usual I’m honored and grateful and humbled to be in this space with all you guys, but I want to announce that tomorrow at 11-6 at 310 West 35th I’m going to be running a workshop, using open space techniques to talk about all the stuff that’s happened since the raid. We’re going to use that time and that space to get ourselves back in a good place…bring people, even people that might be troubled, trouble is good to see how this thing goes.

We have three spaces: West 86th street, we’re going to have it for the entire month…. sleeps about 65-70 people. We have a space in Yonkers that houses about 25 people, and we have a space in Brooklyn that’s about 30.  I have info about another space that houses about 30 more people ….We have a place to send folks.  We have two spaces for our spokes councils that are even bigger than this space. For any of that information, to get on that list, you have to visit com-hub, or visit the housing signup; you can do that at 60 Wall…. Just please don’t show up in person. Com-hub’s number is 917-524-8732. And just before I finish they’re not here right now but there are these two amazing women who’ve come back to town…they’ve organized with housing, accounting, finance, they organized this whole thing…They were in the park.  And they went into hibernation and now they’re back.

[Stack is closed.]

77.3.10.  Volunteer Services (Christina): I’m with volunteer services.  Since the raid everyone has been scattered, there are so many people who want to get involved but don’t have anywhere to go…. Volunteer services wants to help everybody fill those needs. We want to work with working groups to see what a volunteer services needs to look like. Sunday, 1 pm, 60 Wall Street — come to our open meeting! Working with tech ops on having an open, accessible system so people can sign up to help.

77.3.11.  Stop Stop-and-frisk: (Desiree): Stop Stop and Frisk has two announcements. We finished out 4th march today, usually we’d be in a jail cell, but today was a student day of action. From Pace University to Zucotti to the Smith Projects…and we did street theatre with Stop Stop and Frisk.  With our previous marches, next is at Monday @ 9, we have some freedom fighters who are having a court date, also Tuesday at Central booking.  So if you want to come do jail support we’d love you for it!

77.3.12.  Info (Kevin): So. Info and Com-hub have official merged! To expedite the process…we’re meeting Monday at 60 Wall, 2 o’clock.  The other announcement is that info is working really hard on getting mobile info stations back in the park, it’s been hard cause we want them to be sleek and mobile, also info stations to get out to all the places where the occupiers are.  We’re also having info at Rockefeller center, other places, all over the city.  We do need volunteers, anyone from people that are in the park to occupiers that are in the churches…we want to work with outreach as well. Get at us if you want to take over the city!

77.3.13.  Security (Zack): In the course of the raid we dropped from 15-22 people to like 9 people, so we’re scaling back in the places people are being housed at. We’re working hard on the park, and in protests…if DA could get in touch with us before the next action it would be awesome…my phone number is 862–202-6028.

77.3.14.  POC (Heidi): Event tomorrow! Tomorrow AM it’s called take back Morning Glory Community Garden, They’re vacant lots that were taken over to grow vegetables, whatever people wanted, [a city agency] came and barricaded it, so come and help us out!  I don’t know the address…. 147th Street and Southern Boulevard in the Bronx.

77.3.15.  Facilitation (Daniel): Hi, I’m Daniel, so two quick announcements: Were still working on the proposal from Wednesday about membership and spokes council and hope to bring it back to you on Monday…. If you see anything and want to talk to us about it, or email us… We’re not going to be having a meeting tomorrow, but we encourage everyone to go who can go to 310 W 43rd Street for the housing meeting. The more people we have the more wisdom will rise.

77.3.16.  Minutes (Carrie): Just one thing — minutes has received a concern about people’s name being used in the minutes.  But we try to give full verbatim minutes; so if you say your name it will go in the minutes, so if you don’t want your name in the minutes don’t say your name.  If you have a concern come see me or email

77.3.18.  Sustainability (Corbin): Hi, I’m Corbin, and I wanted to announce an event this Sunday, it’s the food focus group which is a sub-group of sustainability…We have a gathering in the plaza cultural, 9th and C, then we’re marching down to wall street, we’re going to have a bunch of guests, a seed exchange, and It’s at 2:00 pm.

77.3.19.  Wellness (Adrianna): Two quick events: Tomorrow we’re having a silent solidarity march from Liberty to Foley, we’ve been coordinating with a few different occupations, D.C., Key West is involved…it’s starting tomorrow at 6.  Also one other thing that I wanted to mention is that we have an evening of OWS Wellness on Tuesday Dec 6th at 8:30 PM it’s a Mexican healer from a long tradition of physical and spiritual healing.  It’s at the The Interdependence Project, 302 bowery.  Tomorrow’s March is at 6, from Foley down to Liberty.

77.3.20.  Safer Spaces (Winter): Hi everyone, Safer Spaces has been doing support at the various housing locations, though with all the different locations we don’t have the numbers wed like, if you want come to our meetings, Sunday at 6 60 Wall street, we need more people!

Also we’re working on a document about safer spaces…come talk to us!

77.3.21.  Outreach (Julian): Hey hey, there’s a party tomorrow.  Occupy to celebrate the resilience of OWS.  I know there’s a lot happening but come down to the square.  Our friends made this journal that has submissions from our friends in the movement, we’re encouraging all the working to come down, help us take the space back.  Come down! Please! Tomorrow! 10AM!

77.3.22.  Occupy Youth (Nick): Hello, I’m nick, I’m from Occupy Youth, fairly new working group, had our first meeting yesterday, planned two outreach cause we want to outreach to the youth, give you more information with things we have going on…one more thing we desperately need people from other groups, people who work with youth, teachers, arts and culture, to help us at with that…. If you want to help get at us!

77.3.23.  Occupy Farms (Christine): So Occupy Farms is a new group, we’re in the process of organizing, if you want more info come find us…. meetings Mondays at 5 pm 60 wall, we’re in the process of organizing a recon trip…leave Monday or Wednesday, weather permitting.  We’re asking for money, so we need to know if you want to come by Sunday.  We’re going upstate.

77.3.24.  Organized Labor (Trish): Hi I’m Trish, Organized labor… I have an FYI from Charles, he’s communications director of AFLCLO.  He was in the park yesterday; he says there’s some kind radio, FM, unlicensed. That we could use in the park, some unlicensed radio stations to magnify our voice.  If anyone’s interested they could get in touch with him.  If anyone’s interested in working with organized labor 99%, we’re interested. Also a reminder: we’re different than Labor Outreach, think about it as labor coming from outside instead of outside going to labor.

77.3.24.  Direct Action (Ben):  Occupy Broadway! 6pm tonight to 6am! 50th and Broadway.

December 6,we’re going to take a family and move them into a foreclosed home.  East New York.  We’re going to have a block party! Bring your working group, if you have a meeting scheduled, we recommend you still come.  We protested Obama’s dinner…got kettled for two hours. On Wednesday Newt Grincich is coming.  He told OWS to take a bath.  OWS is going to show up and tell him to take a bath!   Email

77.3.25.  Media: We’re working with media, trying to work with citizen journalists, text OWSLIVE to 55678.  I’ve been working with livestream, if people want to have their own livestream going on you can email, or on twitter at @owslivestream.  Also I want to get at tech ops about some of this stuff, too, so see me. A proposal came forward about how media works, and that all of the work produced by the official group would be made collectively … but we didn’t come to consensus about that, because some felt it wasn’t that efficient.  So that proposal to work only collectively, we’re thinking about a 2-proinged approached to get media out there.

77.3.26.  Strong Women (Nan): We’re happy to be in solidarity with Occupy the Hood, Occupy Harlem, and 477.  We’re working on getting housing, metrocards for people.  We’re also working on…we found a huge old building, we’re working with realtors to bring down the price.  He’s asking 30 per square foot but we’re trying to get 11/sq foot next week we’ll bring an attorney and the realtor so you can ask questions and vote.

77.3.27.  Ism (Deborah): I just wanted to bring up, I went to two protests this week, I went to the Puerto Rican pipeline rally…and then the other day one of my revolutionary kids came and said I’m in and jail I have to go to the bathroom…They called the national guild and they didn’t have an observer there…So when you go protest please call an observer, we can stop them from freezing us in, and I recommend you get one of those know your rights booklets, you can say here, this is the actual first amendment, read it and let’s talk.

77.3.28.  Tech Ops (Devin): Hey folks, a few things, first there are a lot of people who want to make groups on, but now we have too many groups, not much activity, so now there’s a proposal for a minimum activity for a WG, trying to be transparent, have contact info, have open groups. We’re beginning the process of finding a large space for a training opportunity at pace university, 10 rooms 30 people each, 3 rooms with 100 people each, want to have it open for workshops and to the general public.  Think about what kinds of training you’d like to do…we’re bringing a funding request to GA, it will be about $5,000.

FS:  Thank you!  That was great.  Thank you for keeping everything brief.  Booker will lead another grounding exercise.

[Booker leads another short exercise]


77.4.  Agenda Items

FC: Okay, so, now the hard part. Proposals. First we have a proposal from the POC caucus, id like to have them come up here.  We allotted ten minutes but we can take more.

77.4.1.  People of Color Caucus (POC Caucus) Proposal  Heidi: POC Caucus along with the anti-racist alliance has been working on providing a racial justice, racial equity workshop open to the public, it’s going to happen on Dec. 14th…. it’s on a Wednesday, and we’d like to have it take place instead of spokes…. If you understand anything about this country you’d know that capitalism’s spirit vegetable is racism, and if you want to understand anything about fighting capitalism anti-oppression is part of it…. So we would asks that folks don’t think about it competing with what’s already here. It’s not that we have a movement and deal with racism later…So we ask that we do allow time for Spokes to take care of business, but the idea is that spokes can meet and have people connect individually, from 7-7:30…Then start talking about anti-oppression and racism.  That’s the proposal on the table.

FC: I just want to take a minute; we can talk to our working groups about that for like thirty seconds.  Because it’s a proposal we’ll get into the whole process about the proposal.

FS: Okay! We’re going to begin this so we can move forward.  Can you raise your sign if you think you need a little more time to be able to move on this proposal? Looks like we’re ready to begin.  I just want to clarify the proposal before we go to clarifying questions (CQ). On the 14th POC would like anti-oppression and anti-racism instead of taking care of the regular business of spokes council.

FC: From 7 – 7:30 we can take time to do regular spokes council things, and from 7:30 – 10 move onto this.

FS:  Can I remind everyone to sit down?  Then we can open stack for clarifying questions.

DA: PoI: On December 3rd we’re also having an anti-oppression training from 5-10, especially people that are involved in December 6th.

[Someone points out there’s some tension going on one side of the room- asks for it to be addressed]

FC: Are people interested in hearing what’s going on over there?

[Temp check – looks good]

FC: Ok, who wants to speak up?

Spokes Council member, a non-Spoke (SC): I don’t appreciate that there are people here who took money from the movement,  that livestream took money from the movement and put it in their pocket.

FC:  I’d like to ask a question…so we heard what’s going on, do we want to address this right now?  At the end of the meeting we’ll have time to talk to whomever we want whenever they want….

SC: Could we fit a slot in?

FS: We’re not here to have side conversations, we’ve allocated time for that, we have a proposal and I’d like to hear it

FC: I see a point of process.

Nan: I feel like this.  One of the reasons I’m frustrated with spokes is that I think Facilitation silences people…. Let’s deal with it, let’s move on as a group, so that one person can be at ease.  But guess what I’m putting my issue aside and I want to deal with that.

[Various chatter]

FC: I’m not going to move forward until everyone’s silent.

FC: So we’ve already done a temp check to see if people want to talk about it.  We can do a temp check again. If I don’t see people give it twinkle up, we won’t address it right now and…

FC: Do people in this room want to talk about this at another time during the meeting? I’m seeing a lot of twinkle ups, so we’ll start this proposal, and then add this to the agenda.

SC: Maybe after all the proposals?

FC: Temp check. [Twinkle-up]

FC: Bring it to the center; remember that you love each other.

FS: So let’s bring it back,

FC: Stack-taker is going around, if you have clarifying questions people see Nathan.  We’re opening stack for clarifying questions.  Clarifying Questions  Design: We unanimously support this proposal, and we want to know what WGs should do to get involved.

A: There are still planning meetings going on, there will be one tomorrow at 6pm in the atrium.  It’s open to everyone.

Design: So you’re still formulating the programming?

A: We’re working on documents that are specifically for organizers, and give contextual information about this movement specifically…but we welcome input.  Strong Women: Applauds people of color.  And is in all the solidarity with all the working groups.  I see a lot of racism going on, but I have a question: do you have any people who could to Newark, so Newark could have the same information about how to get anti-racism trainings there?

A: So, because it’s open to all, I think if you can, send people from Newark…and in addition to that because were having people coming from all over.  Library: We unanimously support this proposal also, and we would love to provide books on history, economics, and race issues. How do we do that?  Just email you?

A: yes, just email. We’re at  Tech: Tech likes it.  We offer support, if you need a website or something we could throw one up…. also curious if you have resources and could post them online, we love documentation on the Internet because everyone can share.  That’s all.

[Up-twinkles]  Occupy Farms: My one question, and I’m sure it’s being addressed…are we talking color and creed…. race and beliefs as well? As Muslims and Islamic people addressed?

A: The reason I brought this up as anti-racism and anti-oppression, the reason I brought language about capitalism is that it brings up all oppressions, all ism…

Occupy Farms: Are we talking about religion as well?

A: Yes.  Human rights: Slated…racism has been rampant all over the place.  I’d like to rally myself to you…to talk about the conspiracy against immigrants.  Maine: Is the space open before? So maybe people could get there earlier? With the abridged meeting?

FS: Just to give a macro view of how we’re getting our spaces…sometimes it seems we’re flying from the seat of our pants…there really isn’t a definite answer to that question.

Maine: I guess I was asking…. If this is going to be at 7:30 could the spokes meeting be a little earlier?

A: I think I’m trying to get this passed first…I’m under the impression that people have made this space available to do this…I’m not sure how it would work but I’m trying to get this passed.  Labor: My understanding is that you’ve started this as anti-racism…and now we’re talking about immigration, religion…I’m wondering if we’ll have enough time.  Because this is all pertinent to the movement, but please consider having it in two parts.

A: I think our vision is that this needs a thousand parts.  And we understand that this is a time people need to get things done.  So we want to have this and hopefully it will bloom into something bigger…it’s not one-off workshops its something that will be happening for a long time.  Also the anti-racism allies working group is having events throughout the month of January, so this is an ongoing conversation.

S: [reminds that this is time for questions, not statements of solidarity]  SC: Is this in the place of spokes council, or during spokes council?

A:  We would have spokes council from 7-7:30, we know people have the time available, but it would take the place of spokes during that time.  So folks that come to spokes don’t have to compete, don’t have to choose, but the training will be open to all.  It’s not in the spokes structure.

FC: So just to clarify, what I’m hearing is that this meeting is not going to be like spokes, where only the spokes talk, but that these will be workshops where everyone can speak. (continued) SC:  My other question – would we stop the spokes business at 7:30, and then go into it?

A: Yes.

S: I’d like to open stack for concerns.  OWS en Espanola: We support it; we’re just concerned about the space.  We’re wondering if you contemplated securing a bigger space.

A: Yes.  Comfort: I was going to ask the same…we should have a nice bit space so we can be nice and comfortable.

[Stack-taker closes stack}  Housing: I know from being in the Facilitation group also, I know we have a backlog of things we need to address…some of the things we might have to catch up with, just because the spokes council has been troubled for a long time, I don’t think we ‘ve gotten to the point where spokes council is a functional group.  Would it be possible to solidify the plan, and if we had some really serious business, if you might be able to take your solidified plan and move it back a few days?

A: Can you give us two seconds?  And while we do that, can we do a time check?

FC: Are y’all down to give seven minutes more to this proposal?  I only saw one down twinkle, so yes.

Facilitation: Just POI, that opinion reflects Housing but not Facilitation.  Facilitation is in consensus about that.

POC:  This is the stuff that gets in the way of work.  Often the thing that disrupts these meetings are peoples personal issues…We brought more baggage here than tents. Barring anything that’s life changing we are sticking with the original proposal  Info: Obviously we don’t know about the time availability, we consense as a group to get here on time!

FC: Do you accept?

A: Yes.

Info: It takes us fifteen minutes to a half hour to settle down, so I think we should either replace…. the spokes council and do this thing, or do spokes from 6-8, one or the other.  I think that a half hour of report-backs, we won’t get to that even.

FC: Seems like they need a second?

A: How early is the space open…do we even know that?

FS: Well given the history of our spaces, we don’t know where we’ll be.  Info: Does anyone think we can have a productive half hour spokes council?

A: We thought about it being more of a loose opportunity to catch up, go through things, not like a real spokes where we make an agenda, go through the spokes…  Maine: This is what I’m asking about, in terms of booking space, because you’re not going to have a space booked at 7:30, you’re going to need time to get set up, etc.

A: Exactly.  People will be able to connect from 7-7:30.

PoP: Labor: First I want to say how important this is…. possibly there will be food?  During the meeting? Before the meeting? If anything we need to start even earlier.

A: I feel you, but I thought we were talking about concerns, come to our meeting, 6 pm in the Atrium, Wednesday.

F: We will try to find a space for 6pm that day, that’s not their responsibility, that’s our responsibility.

Q: Can we have it in Zucotti?

Heidi: Well, we don’t want weather to displace us.  And in order to have a space where we can build, we don’t want potential triggers and disruptions like police to interrupt the process.

FS: I think now we’ve gone through clarifying questions we can try to get consensus on this.

POCC: This is the proposal: We will have an anti-oppression, anti-racism training on December 14th so people can have a conversation about oppression and begin to unpack a lot of this stuff. We’d like to have it during the time spokes council actually meets, with time for people to connect and talk to spokes from 7-7:30.  With a friendly amendment that everyone gets here on time.

FS: Can I get a temp check on this? [Temp Check – All Twinkles]

FS: I think we’ve reached consensus!

77.4.2.  Meeting Space Proposal

FS: So, next we have a conversation about Space, and monetary concerns.  Housing: First I’d like to address the really cute kid in the room.  This proposal has been going on for three weeks, to the place where we can address these issues….people from facilitations, the housing list serve…the first part of the proposal is just paying our hosts at 56 Walker, being super patient for weeks on the understanding that we’ll someday pay them.  I did a temp check earlier for Joe, who cleans up; I’ve been tipping him 30 dollars.  So we basically want to cut a check to them, for the six nights we’ve been there.  Every space we’ve been at we’ve paid…some spaces require security in advance, some require insurance in advance.  For many places we need to put money down up front.  We’d like to be able to have consensus from spokes council on having money to pay up front, as long as we have check-ins about the spaces, and ask if everyone likes the space.

The other thing is that a lot of people from housing have been eating the cost of plastic bags, toilet paper, that kind of thing.  We can know we can get reimbursed, but it’s hard with all the paperwork. We’d like to be able to have a budget to pay for that kind of stuff.

S: Is there a bottom line?

Housing: It’s about 1,080 dollars, 150 for the space, 30 tip for Joe, 6 nights. It’s that, but it’s having the flexibility to go forward as long as we keep informing you about the price as we go alone.

S: So can we talk to our spokes about that?

[Time issue is raised]

FS: Okay, raise your sign if you need more time to talk about this issue.  I’d like to note the time and open stack to ask clarifying questions about the proposal.  Clarifying Questions  Accounting:  Can spokes council actually make funding decision at this point?

FS: I think we can take a temp check on that.

Accounting: Yeah, I just want to know if we can do that….

FC: Can we take a temperature check?

[Temp Check]

FC: well, it seems like we have consensus that this…

Accounting: I’m not sure this body can make financing decisions.  I felt like that had to be…

Someone: By GA!

Info: It’s my understanding that we’ve already made financial decisions …

Nan: But then you already broke that agreement, because you’re not allowed to make financial decisions, they have to go through GA.

C: So we’re in the process of getting financial decisions to go through spokes…but right now these things are on the agenda because they’re immediate needs that we have, concerning housing and space.  So as per the GA we are empowered to make these kinds of decisions…

Housing (Jason): I’m wondering if its Facilitation’s job, or the groups job, to remind where everyone’s at…I wonder if we could explain this to each other, it’s not facilitation’s job to always be basically tutoring this body.

C: Ok, so, we heard that, from Housing. I think right now we’re as clear as we’re going to be about this, and that further discussion about this will have to happen in different discussions, and one day we will know exactly what’s up.  But I think that if we’re really going to get through this we have to move to the second part of accountings question…

The only other financial decision we made…because the membership had been paused, and the question of legitimacy had been tabled, so for that time we decided that everyone in the room was empowered to make financial decisions on that night

FS: So the question is, with the info facilitation gave us, can we empower ourselves to make financial decisions, just for tonight?

FC: I’m seeing upset, I’m seeing point of process, and I’m seeing point of information….

FC: okay, you’re going to need to give all of us a second, Stefan and me.


FS: Can we end the side conversations and bring it all back? Hearing a lot of mixed reviews on this…I just want to say right before that the original consensus was that Spokes did operational things…we can’t move forward on these two other agenda proposals…So up-twinkle if you think we should have a financial conversation, and down twinkle if you don’t want to do it.

(?) POI: Fact: we as a spokes council were empowered to make financial decisions.  Fact: we are not considered a spokes council yet because we didn’t finish the process.  Fact: part of this proposal is about our ability to exist and keep meeting.  So we do need to pay our debt and see where we can keep meetings, but we really need to stick to those things, making this body legitimate and finding a space to meet.  We really shouldn’t be making any other financial decisions.

C:  We only have five minutes left for this conversation…. We can make it longer if we want to.  I saw some points of process, I’ll address them.

Nan: what I understood when this spokes council was put into place, all financial decision had to go through GA.  And you guys say you’re bound by the GA policy, but you’re not following the GA policy.

[Side conversations]

FC: So I need everyone to just, like, chill.  I want to address that — first, that points of process are not clarifying questions, they’re not points of information.

Nan: But you’re off process.

C: Point of process is like…. Let’s say were opening stack for questions and someone says ‘I have a friendly amendment that we should have pizza at every spokes council…

[General uproar; people talking over each other]

S: I’d like to take a time-out for a second….

Housing: I think we’d like to pull out our proposal.  I see that this discussion needs to happen, and will come to this body, but I don’t think it’s time to move it to this body right now.  I’d like to get through the rest of the agenda.  So I’d like to get a space for the 14th and get a reimbursement for our hosts, but I’ll go to GA this weekend.

FC: We should really respect that they felt they needed to take their proposal out.

Nan: She said she was going to the GA; I want to ask when she’s going to GA.

Housing: I don’t know when we’re bringing it to GA, but we’ll make sure it’s on the agenda twenty-four hours before.

Lynn: I object to how Facilitation, and the GA, empowers them to make…opposition was here, and they pulled it out.  Spokes council does not legitimately exist, so it cannot legitimately make decision.  It was empowered to look at logistical, financial…but we no longer have the space at the park, we need transparency, we need accountability, we have not had this with this obscure spokes council with no accountability.  We have no finance.  We have accounting.  Where is finance?  The spokes council and housing is looking everywhere on earth for places for the heart of the movement, GA?  Its one word, it’s biased.  You’re moving this thing down our throat so you can become the GA.

C: I can’t move forward until people are calm.   So, again, I’m going to be super redundant again.  Facts are facts that are true for every single person here.

FC: There are folks, working and talking about this issue.  If you’re talking about facilitation, or reforming spokes, or making the spokes feel actualized, please raise your hand.  So if you’re in a group right now that is talking to bring proposals to bring to spokes or to the GA to validate the spokes or make facilitation better, please raise yr hand.  Now I’d like to ask you what yr group is.

POI:  Facilitation has established working groups looking at spokes, and building whatever facilitation…. Now you’re saying spokes should…

FC: What I’m asking, and maybe if I’m not being clear, if yr part of a group who’s working on these issues, all I want to know if you can raise your hand, so people who have grievances can go and talk to them.  Do you not want to do this right now?  Does this make sense?

FC: Do you want to get into groups? Okay, fuck it.

FC: We can’t move forward if people are freaking out.  Also if I’m not ready to take your POP, yelling at me doesn’t’ make it go any faster.

FC:  So, um…. Facilitation?  You have a point of information?

F: So if you’re having problems with this, we’re working on it, we have a proposal we’re working on right now to deal with spokes legitimacy, come to our meetings and make something we can all agree on.

Sarah (Vibes)’:  Okay, everyone’s getting tense and I can acknowledge, and a lot of things are coming up that we’ve had to deal with for a while…and I want to say this is a beautiful, hopeful spokes council, and I really appreciate your input, so I just want to take on big deep breath and breath our and have everyone just reach up, stretch out, let our all the tension, so we can move on as a group, together.

SC: I want to hear Jason’s…

Jason: Like I said before in announcements, the money our contributors have given to is… we are working very hard on finding money for people who are sleeping on the streets…and I would have liked to think that we could make emergency financial situations, my proposal was going to be for funds to secure…a space for the next 30 days …but I’ll have to go back to the space and tell them that because there aren’t…there might be a block, we’ll have to raise funds other ways.

[Side-talking, people start yelling over each other]

FC: Everyone here, respectfully, please bring it home, so we can move forward.  It’s my job to figure out what we’re talking about, and I’m desperately trying to do that….

FS: Obviously, we’re not anywhere near having consensus.  And both of the proposals have been pulled, and we’d had the next twenty-five minutes set apart to have informal discussions with each other…. can I get a temp check on moving forward with that?

[Temp check looks good.]

FS: Can we have a temp check on whether we want to have this conversation right now?  I’m seeing a lot of down twinkles.  I recognize the people who want to speak, but this is the conversation that the body as a whole doesn’t want to have.

FC: In this conversation I try to act as a mirror, and I’m mirroring what I’m seeing from people, so when I ask a question and see a lot of down twinkles, that’s not my decision, that’s yours.  So I’d like to do one more temp check on whether we want to move forward.

[Up Twinkles, spokes closes, people break out for smaller conversations]

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