NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY DAY 76
Day/Time: 12/1/2011 / 7pm
Location: Liberty Park
Facilitators (F): Negesti, Anthony
Stack-takers: Leo and Jay; Time-keeper: Charlie; Minutes: Robina
76.2. Working Group Report Backs
76.3. Agenda Items
F: Hello, I am Negesti and with your permission I would like to co-facilitate this GA. Can I get a TC? [Positive.]
F: Hello my name is Anthony. Some of you know me, some of you don’t. I would like to help co-facilitate this GA. Can I get the twinkle things? [Positive.] The rest of our team would now like to introduce themselves.
Hi I’m Leo. I’ll be taking stack.
I’m Charlie. I’ll be keeping time.
My name is Booker. I’ll be starting off the meditation.
My name is Adriana. I’ll be co-facilitating the meditation.
My name is Jay. I’ll be helping keep stack. Stack is a list that I write down your name on. It helps us allow us one person to speak at a time and make sure that everyone who wants to speak gets a chance to speak.
F: Now we would like to do a short grounding exercise to help us be very functional in this GA.
Booker and Adriana: We will begin by taking five breaths together. We will do this by breathing in and breathing out. And then we will take one minute of silence. Everyone please connect to the ground. Empty out all the breath in your body. And just focus on your breath. Breathing in. And breathing out. [Repeated five times].
How does everybody feel? [Uptwinkles] The purpose of this exercise is to bring quiet solidarity and focus before we begin tonight’s GA. Thank you.
Leo: To further bring everyone together I would like to lead a chant. You may know it. The people united will never be defeated. [GA chants for a few moments.]
F: Facilitation would like to have a very quick discussion about the values that we have within this GA. I would like to bring respect to each other as very important value. [Uptwinkles.]. Anything else?
F: I would like to bring the fact we’re all family we have to let each other speak and not cut anyone off. We have stack. Anyone is welcome to get on it.
F: Anything else? Anybody want to point something out?
Terry: I would like to bring something up. My name is Terry. I’m from Suffolk County. It’s called Suffolk because it’s where people suffer…The County Attorney has just brought an injunction naming 38 black men that would prevent them from associating with each other within a two square mile area in Wyandanch. This is a community that has long been neglected and badly policed. The County Attorney claims they are bringing this action because the police don’t have the tools they need. There are first amendment, fifth amendment, and fourteenth amendment issues. This is currently before Justice Jeffrey Spinner in the Supreme Court in Riverhead. Please go home and write Justice Spinner a letter asking him not to grant this injunction. Thank you.
F: Mic check! We would now like to go over our process. That last speech unfortunately was not on process.
But thank you though. I’m gonna go over the hand signals. [Review of hand signals.] So now we’re ready to go.
F: I would like to remind you we are doing progressive stack and Step Up, Step Back. Progressive stack means if you come from a background with marginalized voices and don’t get the opportunity to be heard please get on stack. Step Up, Step Back means if you come from a privileged upbringing and your voice is often heard please take the opportunity to let other voices be heard. Thank you.
F: We have a PoI.
PoI: Hi I’m Duggers. I just came from 60 Wall where a large group over there has been convening for the last two hours. They are putting together an emergency proposal for the next fifteen days for emergency housing, food, and subway transportation. They are planning on coming over here at 8:30 to make an emergency proposal on these things asking for a specific dollar amount, hoping that you folks will work through consensus to pass this successfully. Thank you.
F: Mic Check! We have a lot of things to get through so be prepared for them. So let’s get to working group report backs. Working groups please get on stack for report backs. Our first report back is from Medical.
76.2. Working Group Report Backs
76.2.1. I’m Paulie from Medical. Which now does not exist. Don’t worry, we have now decided that we will have a clinic….A medical clinic and street medics. We’ll be support and [they’ll?] do exactly what they’ve been doing, but we’ll be a separate entity, and two different working groups. That’s it.
F: Next on stack is Isaac from Tech.
76.2.2. Hello I’m Isaac. I’m from Tech. Specifically, from the networking people. And I just wanted to give a brief report back about our progress in building a global wide area network. It’s a LAN but global. A network that we own and operate. The we there being humanity, not ATT or Verizon. So I’ll be heading to Austin to meet with folks from occupies all over the country with particular regard toward tech and networking next week. It’ll be cool. Also, next Tuesday we are going to bring to GA with facilitation’s approval of course a statement in opposition to the stopping online piracy act. By a show of hands how many people have heard of SOPA? [Mixed.] Cool; you should read up on it. It’s heinous. So we’ll post a link on the nycga.net website to the draft of that statement. Under the Tech group. Thank you.
Timekeeper: We try to keep report backs to two minutes. That one was 2m12s. Which is awesome. Proceed.
F: Next on stack, Street Medic.
76.2.3. Hey guys. My name is Emby. I’m with the Street Medics. We have a special workshop taught by SOLA; they are an outdoor wilderness preparation teaching group. We are doing tomorrow at noon in the park a winter survival teach-in. We want you all to be there even if you’re not living n the park. You can learn useful skills to teach someone who will be. So please be here tomorrow at noon! Thank you.
PoP: Is it possible for Facilitation to announce the agenda before the report backs so we will know why we’re going to be here for the next couple of hours? Thank you very much.
F: Let’s take a TC on that. [Positive.] Looks like everyone wants to do that. So, for the agenda tonight first up we have a proposal from Arts & Culture; second up we have a proposal from Legal. Third up we have a proposal from Direct Action. Then we would like to hear the emergency proposal for housing. After that we have a proposal from the Silkscreen Guild. Then we would like to have announcements.
PoP: Is it possible when you say proposal from Direct Action or any proposal to summarize what this proposal is about so we all know why we’re going to be here for the next couple of hours.
PoI: Proposals are very long. For the facilitators to abbreviate them might be misrepresent the group’s intention on their personal proposal. [Uptwinkles.]
F: Can we keep the process moving? Thank you. Next report back is from Direct Action.
76.2.4. Hey folks! I’m Ari from Direct Action. I’m Jordan from Direct Action. This Sun from 2p-6p in a yet to be decided upon location, Direct Action will be hosting an action SC so that we can all talk about upcoming action on December 12th that has been called by Oakland and LA to shut down the ports on the West coast. We will be doing solidarity actions o n the East coast. It’s gonna be awesome. We are inviting all working groups such as media, legal, street medic…so that we can all discuss and plan a kickass action.
22.214.171.124. Also, we have a report back from November 30th since the GA requested that we report back on that action when y’all gave us funding. The report back on the morning of the 30th is that roughly 200 people surrounded the buildings in midtown where there was a conference between the Department of Defense, Wall Street investors, and aerospace contractors. A group of roughly 12 in civil disobedience in front of the building got arrested. They were released later in the afternoon. Others walked around with theatrical signs and passed out a lot of information…about the military industrial complex.
F: Next on stack is Occupy 477.
76.2.5. Hello my name is Sarah. I’m here from Occupy477. For those who don’t know about the occupation in West Harlem we re fighting in the building against predatory lenders to have the bldg for low income housing. We were able to have hot water and heat restored and a boiler, a brand new boiler, installed. This is Direct Action in application. We are now bringing forward a new proposal to ask for further budget for the low income housing where disabled people…would allow for their well being for doing home remodeling. I would like to propose an amendment to the agenda so that we can consense tonight on our new budget.
F: So we have a PoP.
PoP: I don’t think this a time for proposals.
F: You are correct. However I would like to do a TC on how the GA feels about what she just said. [Mixed.]
PoP: Is there any reason that makes this proposal so time sensitive as to necessitate it as being an emergency proposal because there is a requirement set by the GA that proposals must be made 24 hours in advance.
Response (R): I understand the twenty-four hour proposal deadline. However internet connection is not always possible and I would like to propose an amendment to the agenda.
F: Ok we’ll take one last TC and that will be our decision. Can I see how we feel? [Mixed.] It looks like we don’t really have consensus. I’m sorry.
R: We’ll probably be back tomorrow. However we have come all the way from West Harlem and other people are coming.
F: Okay stack takers would like to close stack. Working group report backs should get on stack right now. Next on stack is Legal! Where is Legal? Can we have the next on stack and come back to Legal. Next on stack is Nicole from training.
76.2.6. Hi I’m Nicole from Training. Training is having an Anti-Oppression training in preparation for the actions on 12/6 at 5p this Saturday, somewhere around here – we haven’t got a location yet. If you are participating in 12/6 please come to that training. Training will be assaulting this occupation with anti-oppression training beginning in January. Every single weekend! Please everyone make at least one of those trainings! Thank you.
F: Legal would now like to be heard.
76.2.7. Legal: Sorry, we have a proposal. I’ll do that later.
F: Next on stack is Ted, who represents both Open Source and the Occupiers.
76.2.8. It would be great if any of the occupiers would like to give the next announcement. With regards to the Open Source group, this week we should have the permabank launched. It is a platform for everybody to list their wishes and gifts. So, anything from a couch to a hot meal. Beyond that, Open Source group is working with the Light Source group on a massive campaign for a new platform for open source Livestream, Twitter, and PayPal to all work together so all the occupations can communicate and fund as they wish. Uncensored. And impossible to crash. We have suffered several coordinated server attacks. We’re still investigating the sources of those attacks. But we know that it requires massive resources to actually do.
126.96.36.199. Are there any occupiers here? So, the Occupiers working group is working on a proposal – two proposals actually. We want to invite you in that process of crafting it. It’s to help us generate points of unity for culture during our assemblies and spokes meetings. The second announcement involves scheduling as well as the focuses of those meetings. IF you are interested in anything I just said from the permabank, to this Open Source communication network, or these two proposals come meet me. I’m easy to find.
76.2.9. Queen Mother [from Occupy477]: I want to say hello all of you. Blessings to all of you. I have good news to tell you. We have heat and hot water for the senior citizens and handicapped at Occupy477. [GA mic checks] We have heat and hot water for Senior Citizens and handicapped at Occupy477. It is a brand new boiler! Thanks to OWS, Occupy the Hood, Occupy the Colored People, and Occupy All of the People. We thank you, we thank you, we thank you!
F: Next on stack is Bob from People of Color.
76.2.10. Hello I’m Bob. I don’t speak for People of Color but I have an announcement. I just received this tonight. It’s a demonstration being announced in Chinatown on the 15th. I brought this issue to the People of Color working group and we discussed it about 2-3 weeks ago. This is the first opportunity for us to demonstrate our commitment and our brotherhood and sisterhood with the people in Chinatown and Asian Americans throughout this city. There is a man, 19 years old, he was in the military in Afghanistan. He was born and raised in Chinatown. He was killed in bed in Afghanistan. The superiors admitted that they had mistreated him. However, they are doing an investigation. This happened on October 3rd. Community’s so upset they are demanding the investigation come up with some conclusions Also I want to say that this has been blackballed in all mainstream press. It is different in all Chinatown news. You probably never heard…Asian Americans have endured for many years. This is our opportunity to demonstrate support. I would like to see if we can…[People’s Mic breaks down.]
F: Guys, I’d like to remind everyone we are doing Working Group report backs. And we should try to keep them to two minutes at most. Thank you, Bob, by the way. Mic check. We have three more working group report backs. Keep them to two minutes. Legal really has a report back.
76.2.11. Hi, I’m Gideon, president of the National Lawyer’s Guild New York City Chapter. 22 people were arrested yesterday. Only two of them were held over and put all the way through the system. One of them was released last night and the last was released this morning. So, everyone is out.
F: Next on stack is Livestream.
76.2.12. Very briefly, just wanted to say thank you to Occupy Philly. This is Mark. He’s livestreaming the GA. Our Livestream is a little messed up, so OccupyNYC is restreaming on his livestream. The address is livestream.com/occupyphilly1
F: Next on stack is OccupyPhilly!
76.2.13. Hi, everybody my name is Nate. And my name is Larry. We are on a mission of solidarity from OccupyPhilly. We were evicted two nights ago but we’re still going strong. We’re here to invite you to a regional gathering on December 10th in the city of Brotherly Love. It was consensed upon by our GA two nights ago, a few hours before the raid. It will be a long day with facilitated discussion and an agenda crafted by the attendees so we’re only as strong as the folks who show up. So please come on December 10th and occupy the working group in Philly that’s hosting this gathering. Larry and I and Mark…are members of the committee of correspondence in Philly…designs to help foster and facilitate communication across the…I want to take 30 seconds to talk about why this is important. In the last two weeks we have learned an important lesson. We stand together and are evicted together…we can sure as hell show them that you cannot evict an idea! So December 10th we want as many of you as possible. Come strategize with us, talk with us, and love with us. We can get on about our business changing this world.
F: Can we get an Amen? Next on stack is Minutes.
76.2.14. Hi, I’m Carrie. The Minutes working group has received a concern about people’s names appearing in the minutes of the GAs and SCs. But Minutes endeavors to take full verbatim minutes of all these meetings. So we consensed tonight about how to handle this. If you are uncomfortable with your name appearing in the minutes don’t say it out loud when you speak. Any concerns with that email us at firstname.lastname@example.org . Thank you.
F: Very last on stack, comfort.
76.2.15. What’s up y’all. I love you all. First off I would like to thank you for the money that you guys approved to help us with Comfort. I must say it has come in handy and I am here to report back about the project you funded. So last week or this week, somewhere in between there, we started with roving comfort. We found out that bins were not logistically possible for us. So we had to stop buying bins and buying bags instead. So when you see roving comfort people that have a bag slung around their bodies full of toiletries. Starting next week each roving comfort member will carry an amount of MetroCards. When you see the person with bag you know they have info about showers, places to sleep, and hygiene products. We would like to thank the community for being patient with us. It takes a while to get organized. Communication has been an issue. Not everybody has cell phones and our computer was destroyed in the raid. So keeping records has been a logistical problem for us. We are working out all of the kinks and we are hoping that in the next two weeks comfort will be running smoothly. But until then we are asking for your patience. Thank you community!
F: We seem to have CQ.
CQ: What do those bags look like?
R: Right now we have several different bags. I did not want to purchase the bags without telling you first. It’s your money. So we had several people who donated some bags. They’re not uniform. So we have to exchange them for uniform bags. We will report back with a picture so you can see.
76.3. Agenda Items
F: Now we would like to start the agenda. The first proposal on the agenda is from Arts & Culture. We would like to give this proposal 15 minutes just to start. Thank you. So one thing, before we start can you please sit down if you guys can. Look for a place.
76.3.1. Arts & Culture Proposal.
188.8.131.52. Hi, I’m Tim from Arts and Culture. There will be a 24-hour occupation and performance in Times Square on Broadway staring at 6p tomorrow. With Arts & Culture, Direct Action, Security, Kitchen, Sanitation, Comfort, Media, other working groups, and the people of New York! There will 70 acts of performances and hundreds of performers. Cash-strapped organizers have been spending money out of pocket to ensure that this event is a success. Receipts have been saved. Additional costs will be incurred during and in the lead-up to the event. We believe that it is acceptable to spend a small fraction of the generous donations OWS has received to cover these expenses. Together the expenses are $2,000. These expenses have been reviewed and approved by the Arts & Culture working group and members of the finance committee. Could I get a TC on whether you would like me to go line item through the expenses? [Mixed.]
F: It looks like it’s not necessary based on consensus. Can I take a second Temperature Check [TC] on going item by item? [Mostly negative.] Still looks not necessary. So we would like to open stack for CQs on this proposal. Thank you.
184.108.40.206. Clarifying Questions
220.127.116.11.1. CQ: Mic check. Hi, My name is Frank. My CQ is how do you become a part of this Arts & Culture movement because I am an artist myself, whether it’s drawing shirts that say OWS, walking around with signs that are beautiful, and in music. So that is my question.
R: In response Arts & Culture meets on Mondays and Thursdays at 60 Wall from 6p-9p. And on Saturday during the afternoon in 60 Wall. Everyone is welcome and encouraged to come to our meetings. There are hundreds of artists who are involved. We want thousands and thousands of artists to be involved.
F: Small thing, CQs are about the proposal. Not the groups themselves. Keep that in mind.
Next on stack is David. If you would like to get on stack keep your hand raised.
18.104.22.168.2. CQ: Hello. My question is for those who may not be aware but the current financial situation of OWS. Can we get a balance check on our financial situation?
F: I’m not part of that group. We have to talk to someone in finance not the GA. We’re just the facilitation team and we have an agenda. Thank you.
PoI: At the last GA two nights ago finance reported that there’s 450,000 dollars in the…That’s all. Thank you.
F: Next on stack is Jesus.
22.214.171.124.3. Hello people. I was here about two months ago, I’ve been hitchhiking all across the U.S. visiting different occupations. I’ve been through five already. It’s been moving. I got arrested in several of them in solidarity and I’m glad to back with my brothers and sisters here at OWS. I welcome back myself. If anybody has information…[People’s Mic breaks down]
F: Mic Check! I would like to close stack on CQs and remind everyone, with compassion, that this the time for CQs. There’s no one left on stack.
F: We have one more.
126.96.36.199.4. CQ: Hi I’m Julia. I want to know what time the events are starting tomorrow.
R: In response we would love to see you all there starting at 6pm tomorrow by the red stairs between 46th and 47th streets along 7th avenue. There will be someone directing traffic there. Additionally, if you are interested in another Arts & Culture action there is a direct action at Lincoln Center tonight at 10:30 pm. The composer Phillip Glass will be address a GA outside the Lincoln Center. You are all encouraged to go.
F: We have one final CQ. Then we can move on to concerns. Next on stack, Nadal.
188.8.131.52.5. CQ: Is there a line item review of the expenses?
F: Since everyone more or less consensed that we shouldn’t go over the budget I feel that he could report back afterwards, but we have a few other proposals and an emergency proposal we need to take care of tonight to take care of the family. So let’s move on with concerns.
F: Stack is closed. Raise your hand and keep your hand raised if you have a concern and wanna get on stack.
184.108.40.206.1. Crn: I’m a bit concerned that you spent so much out of pocket up front I hope that in the future you set a precedent to come with budget requests for your Arts & Culture activities so we don’t have to reimburse.
PoI: They’re artists. [Good-natured laughter.]
F: Next on stack is Mariah.
220.127.116.11.2. Crn: Hello. I’m Mariah. I have a concern about the financial issue. There have been a few people that have bought some necessities such as medicine and etc out of pocket. They wanted me to ask if they could have reimbursement if they show receipts.
F: Just to respond to you, that is a question for Finance. Please go on the website nycga.net and ask them. Just to point out we have reached 15m on this proposal. Can I take TC on giving this proposal 10m minutes if that’s even necessary. TC? [mixed; many people do not respond.] I would like to remind you that what we are doing ere is participatory democracy. I encourage you to participate. With that in mind let’s do another TC. [mixed.] So it looks pretty mixed. I would like to ask if this group feels comfortable with voting on this proposal right now. [Mostly positive.] So that looks like that’s what we would like to do.
F: So let’s take consensus on this proposal. Can I see how we feel on his proposal from everyone? [Positive.] So that looks good but now I would like to ask if there are any blocks. Remember, blocks are SERIOUS things. Ethical moral or safety concerns. They are not things to play with.
F: We have a block. I would like to ask what is your block?
18.104.22.168.1. My block concerns that the allegations of the money being utilized for Art at this time is inappropriate for the reason we have too many other things that are way more important at this time. It is important that you guys realize there are people out here dedicated every single day. They go without food, they go without proper shelter, and I see them with no support. And when I see that I ask myself how do we allocate money to something that doesn’t benefit at this time. Maybe at a later time it would be more appropriate but as I see it at this time it’s not needed. It’s not an emergency. What we should be dealing with are things that are more important. I think as a whole we have a moral responsibility to be more accountable to those in need. Thank you.
F: To address your block is there any FA you would like to make to this proposal?
R: I have nothing against art. I am a lover of art. Once again at this time I think we need to get to more important things. But I have no problem passing this at a later time. This is no rush.
R: In response this event will draw much needed attention to the continued vitality of the organizing components of this movement. This event is happening tomorrow night. Many events are being planned and we are getting as many people involved in as we can.
F: PoI There is an emergency proposal regarding housing, Metrocards, and food. So I think we can answer your concerns with that proposal. Do you feel that you can remove your block now that you know this information?
Block: What info is that?
F: That there is a proposal in regards to housing the people you are talking about. My question to you sir is are you removing your block.
Block: Absolutely not.
F: At his time we would like to go for modified consensus. Can I get a TC on modified consensus? We have a PoP.
PoP: Many here people may not be familiar with what that is. Please clarify.
F: Modified consensus is when we have a block or two. If there is 9/10 consensus we post it as modified consensus, acknowledging that there were objections to the proposal. With that do we understand what modified consensus is? [positive.] Okay can we go for modified consensus? It looks like we have reached modified consensus. Great.
PoP: It’s a technical thing. In modified consensus technically speaking it is a vote. We have one person who disagrees with the proposal. Modified consensus is a new vote where we count people who oppose the proposal with those who agree with it. Technically we have to make that count.
F: Thank you for that help. Facilitation is not perfect. So can we follow the process. The next step it appears is to count those against this proposal. Can I see those numbers? Hold your hands up high. So now we’re gonna ask everyone who is here tonight at the GA for a total and then we’re gonna count those against the proposal. If we have more than 10% of people here tonight against the proposal we will not pass modified consensus. So can I please ask everyone to raise your hand so I can count you.
F: Everyone raise your hand so I can count you. Can everyone please sit down?
F: Raise your hand if you do not want this proposal passing. So we have seven votes against this proposal. So now it seems we need to count those who support this proposal.
F: Mic check! The block has been dropped so now we need to take a TC on consensus for this proposal so we can move on. TC? [Positive.]
F: Do we have any blocks? There seems to be no blocks. Okay. It looks like we’ve reached consensus.
76.3.2. Emergency Proposal from Housing
F: Next up is the emergency proposal from housing. Housing?
F: Mic check! Lauren from Housing?
F: Before Housing begins, again if you could sit down please do! That way we’ll be able to more accurately see consensus in the consensus process.
22.214.171.124. Mic check, mic check! Hello! For all who don’t know my name is Lauren. I have been occupying for 6 weeks. You all know me from sanitation but this week I joined housing. There are now two housing groups who have formed to try to tackle the devastating reality that we all face. Our brothers and sisters were wrongfully evicted and left out in the cold. Many of us have felt that thus far we have been abandoned. There’s no lines of communication. There’s no central location to meet. Our emergency housing/transportation proposal is an emergency action to help alleviate some of the problems we are facing. Point 1 is an emergency financial request for MetroCards. Point two is another request to help those who are trying to seek shelter in McDonalds. I will now read the proposal:
We request that occupiers receive 200 weekly MetroCards at $29 apiece to be distributed at 60 Wall Street at 6pm tomorrow. Working groups who have received money intended for the purchase of MetroCards must present them or return those funds to finance. The MetroCards will be distributed out by individuals by the Housing group initially Lauren and by the group RAHKA, initially Razor, at 60 Wall Street. All recipients of MetroCards will be documented and available with receipts. Every occupier that receives a MetroCard provides their name, initials, MetroCard number, and is required to return the card at the end of the week to ensure it was used properly. Total cost is $5800 for the week.
Point two, we request $200 for the next 2 nights to provide coffees to homeless occupiers staying in McDonalds to prevent arrests for loitering. That is the end of our proposal.
F: Mic check! We’re not voting and we’re not taking consensus on this proposal just yet. This GA has to consense that this is an emergency proposal. To define an emergency proposal for the GA it is a proposal that had an external deadline that was somehow unforeseeable. Can I take consensus n this being an emergency proposal? [Positive.] So it looks like we have consensus on this emergency proposal.
PoI: These MetroCards will be a lifeline. They will allow people to travel to shelters which are more than 80 blocks away. Currently people are sleeping on the street. It’s gonna be fucking cold tonight. We need to make sure they get to these shelters.
F: Now I would like to open stack for CQs.
126.96.36.199. Clarifying Questions
188.8.131.52.1. CQ: Have you not considered a mixed approach to the transportation problem? A mixed approach being MetroCards on the one hand but also bicycles? We can ride bicycles!
184.108.40.206.2. CQ: Hello people. How do you deal with people who need MetroCards but can’t be there at 6p tomorrow?
R: I am willing to be at 60 Wall Street all day if that’s what we need to do. There are lots of meeting that are held at 60 Wall all day long so if that’s a problem I can be there early in the morning to make sure the MetroCards are distributed.
F: Next on stack is Steven.
220.127.116.11.3. CQ: So that’s $5000 for one week. Does that mean that you’ll keep needing $5000?
R: This is a temporary fix. We are going to be working tirelessly to come up with a permanent solution for housing. Right now we need to make sure while we are coming up with a proposal for GA that people can get to these shelters now. I’d like to add that providing bicycles as was suggested is something we will also look into and is an awesome idea.
F: I’d like to close stack now if anyone else wants to get on stack do so now.
18.104.22.168.4. CQ: Second question, have you considered chartering a bus?
R: The way I see it providing MetroCards was the quickest solution and the easiest solution. Again, this entire week will be dedicated to considering and putting forth all possibilities and options.
F: Next on stack is Michael.
22.214.171.124.5. CQ: My CQ is that I believe funding the MTA is wrong. My organization…is willing to fund as many bicycles as you may need. But we shall not fund the MTA any longer. That is all.
PoI: There is a Bicycle working group that is underway. I’m one of those people.
F: Next on stack is Masha.
F: Let’s get re-grounded and stick to the stack. Thank you.
F: The proposers would like to address the bicycle conversation..
Lauren: Like I said this is what we came up with at our emergency meeting earlier today. Bicycles are a much better solution. However we have not had time to discuss how to store and secure bicycles at all the shelter options we currently have and I don’t want to receive bicycles that I can’t take care of. I will look into it.
?: Mic check! Not everyone knows how to ride a fucking bike!
PoI: It’s going to drop down to negative 20 eventually. Okay, okay, never mind. You get the point.
?: Let the facilitators facilitate!
F: You have empowered us to facilitate this GA . Please let us do so. Next on stack is Anthony.
126.96.36.199.6. CQ: Okay is it possible instead of giving our money to McDonalds to send those people to the shelters as well?
R: The problem is the people staying in McDonalds are marginalized groups and right now I am speaking on behalf of Razor whose group deals with the marginalized individuals who are having a hard time finding shelter because they do not stay in churches or have other conditions mental problems and other issues that prevent them from going to these places and keeps them perpetually homeless. McDonalds is a temporary place with warmth and all we wanna do is provide them something that they can buy so that they don’t get thrown out for loitering.
PoI: My name is Matthew I’m working with Security and De-escalation. As far as I know the two churches that we have for people to stay St. Paul’s uptown on 86th and Park Slope United Methodist in Brooklyn are filled. We have about 50 uptown and 30 in Brooklyn so we can’t just send extra people to them.
F: I would like to point out stack is closed for CQ.
PoI: The church on 86th has a list of people that get to stay there before you come.
PoI: My PoI I have at least up to three spaces into my apt that I am willing to give. If no one are thieves or crazy. ….Unfortunately [my roommates] cannot be here but they do want to help out people.
F: Next on stack is Anthony.
188.8.131.52.7. CQ: Hi, I have a two part question. Really quick. First these are one week MetroCards. Is that what you’re doing? [Affirmative.] Second, I would be willing to donate one tonight now and I have a feeling there are other people in the park who will do. However many you do get tonight…can you deduct from the money you’re taking from the GA.
R: Someone has already been kind enough to donate 160 to purchase enough one-way MetroCards for tonight…we need to go to 60 Wall tomorrow to do it…Yes, we can deduct that from the amount
F: Anyone willing to donate to this fund in the form of MetroCards? Talk to Housing later. Next on stack, Elizabeth.
184.108.40.206.8. My question has been answered.
F: Next on stack, Daniel.
220.127.116.11.9. CQ: My question, I actually have three. What is the total amount for this week?
R: $5800 for this week.
$5800 covers the MetroCards. It does not cover McDonalds.
R: Correct. $6000 total. Two different requests. Total is $6000 for point 1 and point 2 of the propsal. I need to also say the other representative that is part of this proposal is not allowed in to this park. He would like to speak so if we can please draw our attention out to the gate where he has been waiting I think he deserves to speak.
Hi, this I Razor we are forming a group for people that occupy a week or more doing full time activism every day since the raid who are sleeping on the street. This is not a homeless shelter. This is for occupiers only who contribute to the movement. Who need help in the cold. Ok.
F: Thank you Razor.
F: The gentleman has not finished his CQ
18.104.22.168.10. CQ: After this week is up, does this proposal allow a second week to be purchased in the event that no new plan is made?
R: As I said before we will be working tirelessly to try to come up with a permanent solution that will not require $6000 a week in MetroCards. However in the event that no solution is agreed upon, we will come back to this GA and make a new proposal. So this proposal is only for this week with the knowledge that we will be working to remedy it.
F: I would like to ask everyone to please sit down so we can all see and hear each other. If you are standing in the back please come to the front to help this process. Next on stack, Melvin.
22.214.171.124.11. CQ: I ask this GA to think of the movement not self-interest. Think of the occupiers who been out here in the cold for the cause. This is a good proposal and I trust in them. Not self interest. Thank you.
F: CQs are questions about he proposal, not statements. But thank you though. Next on stack is Michael.
126.96.36.199.12. CQ: That was me. I already said I will be willing to fund anyone who needs a bicycle. Ill even call the mayor himself and say we need bike lanes in Harlem and all over Brooklyn. And I will buy bikes for all of us.
F: Next on stack and last on stack for CQ is Demetrius.
188.8.131.52.13. CQ: My question is about the McDonald’s situation. Will that $200 that Laruen is asking for will that cover each person for the whole night? The McDonald’s rules is per person can only spend 30minutes in there.
R: The object of the proposal was to provide a purchase for each homeless occupier staying in McDonald’s one coffee so that they have an excuse to be in McDonalds, not just loitering . I was not aware that you’re only supposed to be allotted thirty minutes.
PoI: I was at McDonald’s last night till like 4 I think and I didn’t buy anything.
Mic Check Mic check! There is an occupier that is locked out of the park and cannot come in and he has recently toured Iraq and he’s right there.
F: Mic check! We need to stick to the agenda so that we can get things accomplished. We don’t want to be here all night. We all have things to do. A lot of protesting to do as well. Just to inform you we have now spent 29m on this proposal. We now need to open stack for concerns on this proposal. Stack is now open. Mic check! Guys please keep your questions or concerns short! It’s 9:30. We got like 4 more things to go over. So be reasonable with the time. Guys can we say that we will spend ten more minutes on this proposal? TC? [Mixed.] Can we all participate in this TC? [Positive.] It looks pretty good. Ten more minutes at most.
F: First on stack is Nick.
184.108.40.206.1. Crn: Hello, $5800 to buy 200 unlimited MetroCards? For $1500 we could 50 unlimited MetroCards and swipe people all day. $5800 seems, like, unreasonable. Don’t forget this is a revolution so forget about stupid laws.
PoI: Every card if it’s unlimited actually has a limit of 1 swipe per every so often which means if there’s a deadline to get a shelter it will be difficult to get everyone in right before that.
R: People that are already on the street have a history of being messed with the cops for really fucking stupid reasons. There’s no reason to jeopardize these people because we’re cheap.
PoI: Razor who is not allowed in here wants me to reiterate that the NYPD’s job is to throw people out of McDonalds if they do not purchase anything. So again we are just trying to stop this from happening by buying them a coffee. Which is the second part of our proposal.
PoP: Just as a reminder when people ask concerns it’s important so that we all feel safe in being able to voice our concerns when you respond to the you don’t do it aggressively and you don’t yell back at them. It’s important so that it remains safe so we can voice all of our concerns as ridiculous or unimportant as they may be and then we can resolve them in a nice way.
F: Mic check, stack is now closed for concerns. There are 3 more people on concerns. Next on stack is Sparrow
220.127.116.11.2. Crn: I think this proposal is a great idea. A lot of people have been arrested because they do not have a MetroCard. A lot of people have not been able to get to actions because they do not have a MetroCard. And there are more than 200 people that need a MetroCard. I am concerned there will not be enough MetroCard to purchase if there is a 200 person limit on the amount of MetroCards purchased. Based on our research gathered in the last week there are approximately 350 housed in squats, churches, and subway and other random locations throughout the city. 200 MetroCards is not gonna cut it. I’m concerned that if we cap it at 200 and force working groups that have already received funding to return their funding all the people’s needs will not be met. We need to either raise the amount of funding or we need to allow working groups that have already received funding to be allowed to purchase weeklong metro passes as opposed to the $4.50 passes.
R: The reason that we put that part about the working groups in our proposal is because there was concern as to where the MetroCards went. I do not want to take away MetroCard from the working groups. I simply want to know if they are being given out because over the last week people haven’t been receiving them that need them. And that is why we are trying to come together so that we can make this distribution be more broad.
Sparrow (from Comfort): I have a direct response. We were unable to distribute the full amt of MetroCards that we were allowed to receive. We could only distribute a small amount because of logistical problems If anyone has any questions we do have the names of the people who did receive cards and we have the information with finance with how many cards were purchased
F: Guys I would like to reiterate keep the concerns short. We’re about to need another 5 minutes. This is a really important issue. Can I take a TC for 5 more min? Everyone please participate. [Positive.] It seems we have consensus for another 5 minutes. Let’s keep it at that. We have FAs to come up next.
F: Let’s do this guys.
F: We have two more concerns.
18.104.22.168.3. Crn: I have concerns that two being proposals are being voted as one. One is MetroCards. One is McDonald’s. I think they should be voted on separately even if we consense on both ideas.
R: That’s a FA. Thank you.
F: Last concern is Marlena.
22.214.171.124.4. Crn: My concern is the same as Sparrow’s. I feel like people should be able to get MetroCards no matter how they’re participating.
R: We never said that we were gonna limit to who participates more or doesn’t. We want MetroCards for everyone that needs a MetroCard in this movement. Please let us help do that. The issue has been that we have not been able to communicate with the working groups. Today we had an emergency meeting to address that and we were able to talk to other working groups so that we can disburse these MetroCards fairly and evenly.
F: We would now like to open stack for FAs. I would like to remind you we still have two more items on the agenda before announcements so let’s get this done.
126.96.36.199. Friendly Amendments
188.8.131.52.1. FA: After we were evicted we formed a temporary relief working group. Due to the chaos of moving around the whole city, I dunno why this proposal has taken till now to be brought to GA. Coincidentally it has a lot to do with their proposal and if it is relevant I think it should be a FA to the MetroCards that would only enhance it. Takes four minutes to present.
PoP: Should we take TC on if it’s a FA?
184.108.40.206.1. (FA Cont’d): I would like to add that if this amendment is not conducive to this group’s proposal by the GA I will gladly withdraw it rather than have it harm this excellent proposal. This was already on the agenda for tonight so I would still like to make a full proposal.
?: By 12/1 we will provide 65 unlimited MetroCards for the month of December. One card will be given to groups of people. This is only for December until we as an assembly can come to the best solution for continuing to occupy. If we have surplus cards – these cards were meant for people who were occupying before the raid and had no place to go or found someplace in the city and still by some miracle are trying to come down to the park every day – if we have surplus cards after these individuals are helped, five days after distribution we will make the surplus cards available to working groups for any members who could also use a card for for December. That’s it.
F: the proposers have the option of accepting the FA. We still need a mic check with participation. We need these conversations to be heard by everybody.
R: I have a concern about – Razor has a concern. I’m worried people will do activism for two days and steal the card. I want only activists benefiting from this help. So I think we should do weekly only.
PoI: These cards were intended for people who occupied during the raid and by some miracle are still in the city trying somehow to make it down the park every day.
F: I would like to remind the proposers they can simply accept or choose not to accept this amendment. We do not have discuss the amendment.
R: We have to define it for its viability. We decline.
F: The proposers decline the amendment. Mic check! We have a PoP. We have yet again run out of time and we need to decide if wanna give this proposal 5 more minutes or table it.
Proposers: We can’t table it. You can’t table emergency proposals.
F: Mic check! We are so close to the point where we can vote on this. Can we just hear the last the FA and see if we have enough support to move to consensus? It can happen very quickly. Mic check! We have an FA from Sparrow.
220.127.116.11.2. FA: I am proposing that working an amendment that people in working groups be allotted a monthly pass and dispensation of the cards be through the working groups. This will help with working groups such as Comfort and Kitchen who often have to make multiple trips in a single day delivering supplies all throughout the New York area. This will also help us from a record keeping standpoint. We only have to make one purchase a month. And we know that the people who would be receiving this card have a track record for being faithful to this cause and the people they support and serve.
R: We do not accept. This is an emergency proposal from Housing. It is for the next week only. It is my understanding that working groups already have an allotment for MetroCards. We’re trying to get people into shelters now.
F: Please allow Facilitation to facilitate what is happening right now. We have a PoP from Nicole.
PoP: Quite simply the proposal makers have declined the amendment. We will move on to the next FA.
F: Next on stack is Elizabeth.
18.104.22.168.3. FA: I think these are two proposals …one for MetroCards. One for McDonalds coffee….I think these should be voted on separately.
R: The proposers are denying the FA.
F: The next FA is from Demetrius.
22.214.171.124.4. FA: My FA is that every working group that has gotten funding should provide their people with MetroCards per week.
R: Because we cannot clarify this FA we will decline it unless you provide some clarification. This is not on behalf of working groups. Our two groups are not even official working groups yet. We are just trying to help this situation.
F: We are now out of process. I would like to ask for ten more minutes to discuss this. Mic check! It’s gonna be less than 5 minutes if we speed through this, if we all sit down and calm down.
Timekeeper: As timekeeper I would like to ask for five more minutes. [Positive.] Please participate. I’m seeing mostly good. We have five more minutes.
F: We’re through with FAs. Mic check! We’re not. I lied. I have two. Apologies for the confusion. Would Nathan please present his FA?
126.96.36.199.5. FA: Unless I’m mistaken there was a line in the proposal about working groups currently receiving MetroCards to return them.
R: We simply want clarification because there’s been a lot of anger and confusion about who received MetroCards. …. If they are not going to buy them, that money can go back to Finance. We want you to know we have nothing to do with the previous people appointed to get us MetroCards. We are a new group of people. The previous people are going to be held accountable for not distributing those MetroCards. We are doing an open Google doc for this money now so you can see where every dollar goes. We are going to be financially transparent from first minute on or we’re not doing it at all.
F: He would like to finish his FA.
188.8.131.52.5. (FA cont’d): Would you accept a FA in keeping with what was just stated that working groups who have received funding for MetroCards for occupiers for this week that have not been used to purchase MetroCards for occupiers in return?
F: Mic check! Mic check! Mic check! As timekeeper I’d like to have a few moments of silence so we can all clear our heads and decide this much more effectively now. Thank you everyone. Can we continue on?
Proposer: Can I please make a PoI or a reminder? This emergency proposal is only meant to get people to warm housing. This has nothing to do with other groups.
F: Can I get a TC on going for consensus on this proposal? [Positive.] We still have one FA. Can we hear it because this man followed process? Thank you.
184.108.40.206.6. FA: Sorry, I’ve been on stack for a long time. Emergency Announcement – we need to know whose bags those are over there so they don’t get grabbed by the security folks. The FA I was interested in giving is if we could use the money for coffee to allocate for any purchase of equal amount so that people who might not want to drink coffee all night…?
R: We accept.
F: I would now like to check for consensus on this proposal. Do we have any blocks? I do not see any blocks. So it looks like we have consensus! I would like to congratulate you all on getting this done.
76.3.3. Direct Action Proposal
F: Next on our agenda is the proposal from Direct Action. Can we please sit down? These are the bags that were gonna be taken. I’m gonna put them here. Do they belong to anyone? Take your stuff!
220.127.116.11. Mic check! My name is Max. I’ve been here since the first week. And I gotta say it’s a beautiful thing to see people using this space for a GA. So thank you for waiting it out and being part of the process. I’m here with a proposal for our day of action. On Tuesday, December 6th we are gonna be moving a foreclosed upon family back into a home. It’s a part of a national day of action that we hope will kick off a wave of defense and home reoccupations. For this action we need a set of tools to take the space and hold it and defend it. The tools will be used not just for this day but on these kinds of actions going forward. All of the materials will be tools, specifically power tools that we can use generally. They will be housed and secured by Direct Action. We are asking for $6400 to purchase these tools to be used on an ongoing basis. Sounds like a lot of money except when you consider that’s not a lot of money for a house, for a family.
F: We would now like to open stack for CQs. Please get on stack for CQs. First up on stack for CQs is this young man over here.
18.104.22.168. Clarifying Questions
22.214.171.124.1. CQ: My question is where will be building this house at.
R: So we’re not building a house. We’re taking a house that’s been stolen by the banks from families. We’re using the tools to make the house livable for a family.
F: Mic check, let’s go, we’re okay. Next on stack is Roman. We’d like to close stack on CQs.
126.96.36.199.2. CQ: Hey Bro you’re aware of O4O right? You know there’s some big thing going on concerning this kind of shit and this could possibly jeopardize that?
R: This is a really important CQ. The question was there’s a network of activists called Organizing for Occupation that do this kind of action and have been preparing an action for some time. We work with them. They put together this list and they’re a part of the affinity group that’s doing this action. So their expertise helped us pick this list
F: Stack is now closed for CQs. We have three more.
188.8.131.52.3. CQ: Is the money just for tools? Or for tools and materials?
F: Next on stack…
184.108.40.206.4. CQ: Is this happening in New York?
R: It’s happening in Brooklyn. The location is secure and undisclosed. However the public meeting place is the Pennsylvania stop on the 3 or the L stop at Lavonia. We can’t say where the action is.
F: Mic check! Next on stack last on stack is Cory.
220.127.116.11.5. CQ: My question is are we occupying it for us or are we occupying it for a family to move back to it?
R: Good question. This time we’re moving in a family. This type of action has already been done in a number of cities by occupation. In Minneapolis, Atlanta, San Francisco, Chicago, and I think Philly. And in Harlem.
F: Mic check! We would now like to open stack for concerns. Stack is now open.
18.104.22.168.1. Crn: My concern is that $6000, if I’m correct that’s the same $6000 that our participants just took an hour to agree upon that’s gonna help a lot of occupants. You want $6000 just for a family. You all do the math.
F: Next on stack…
22.214.171.124.2. Crn: My concern is that people voting on this don’t know the amount in the general fund currently.
PoI: From two nights ago GA was $450,000 still there.
PoI: Last night somebody from Finance mentioned that it was $200,000 and change. Which is not to become common knowledge. I object to that so I’m pointing it out because it should be common knowledge.
R: This is a huge frontier for us. We can do these kinds of actions all the time. And we should. We gotta do this one right so we can inspire people to do it themselves.
126.96.36.199.5. Crn: I have a concern with what would happen with the tools in case of an arrest and confiscation.
R: This is an important question and there is some risk that the police will disrupt this action. However the planners of this action have taken that risk into account and have planned to remove the tools before we go public so if it does get disrupted we can keep the tools.
188.8.131.52.4. Crn: Why can’t you just rent the tools so if the tools get taken by the police they have to be given back to rental company?
R: Frank Morales is an activist who has been doing things for years. He helped us put together this proposal. These tools will be used by O4O and the occupation on an ongoing basis so we don’t want to rent. We want to keep doing this.
F: Mic check! Stack is now closed for concerns. Next up Daniel.
184.108.40.206.5. Crn has been answered.
F: I believer that was all the concerns. Cliff, sorry.
220.127.116.11.6. Crn: I support this proposal; the concern I wanna voice is I think the action could be stronger if it set an example for the actions it wants to inspire
[Minutes-taker’s computer dies at this point. Will try to recover the rest of the GA in order to transcribe. Note: we reached consensus on this proposal shortly after the computer died.]