NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY DAY 102
Day/Time: 12/27/2011, 7pm
Location: Liberty Square, 100 Williams
Facilitators (F): Negesti
[Note: These are the raw, unedited minutes. They will be edited and formatted as soon as possible.]
[the GA started near 7:00pm at Liberty Square. But once convened the GA quickly decided to move to 100 Williams Street because of the rain.]
Stairs: Mic Check. Mic Check. Hi my name is Negista. I would love to co-facilitate this GA. Can I get a temperature check. It looks good. Are there any blocks. Mic Check. My name is Nathan. I would love to co-facilitate this GA. Can I get a temperature check? Do I have any blocks? It’s me Anthony. I’ll be taking stack if that’s cool. Temperature check?
Stairs: Mic Check. The first order of business. Is we would like to suggest to this GA because of the rain and weather we move to 100 Williams Street, which is a privately owned public space with an overpass so we won’t have to sit in the rain. And in full disclosure we have five items on the agenda and it might take about two hours. Com hub is here so that information will definitely go out on com-hub.
Point of Information (POI): We have ponchos. Ponchos are available for all who need them.
Jeff from Minutes: Live tweeting has electronics so we can’t get those wet. Documenting is important to our movement.
Stairs: Can we take a temperature check.
Stairs: 100 Williams Street.
Somebody should be here to tell people where the meeting is. I’ll stay here to do that.
Stairs: OK we have someone who will stay here to tell people where we are that show up late. Can we get a temperature check on moving to a 100 Williams Street because of the rain? Are there any blocks? No blocks. It looks mostly good. I recognize some down twinkle but it’s mostly up. So let’s go!
[At this point we left Liberty Square and marched to 100 Williams Street. A man stayed behind to let people know where we would be and Com-hug and many others got the message out electronically.]
Stairs: First item on the agenda is Working Group Report backs. Anthony here is the stack taker. Please get on stack.
Anthony: Bill is first on stack.
Bill,PRESS GROUP: Hello.
Anthony: Anybody else doing report backs by the way?
Stairs: Mic Check. No smoking. In this space.
Anthony: Again, I’m going to be taking stack for working group report backs. Anyone. All right, so [he’s pointing and letting people know they are on stack]
[discussion amongst various folks about the use of the current space after someone from “management” of the building comes out to find out what we are doing.]
Stairs: So first on stack for working group report backs. The way this is going to work without the peoples mic is everybody is going to be quiet.
Anthony: You have one minute.
Hi, I’m Bill and I work with the press group. I just wanted to let you know I’m working on an event. And I have [can’t make out what he says]. This might help us raise some money. It’s basically an Occupy Fashion event. It’s going to take place right before fashion week. It works with the NYCLU is partnering with me. We got Judson Church donated for free to do a run way show that will feature models in designer clothes but the models will be coming out with some of them with bruises, head wounds, handcuffs, and gas masks. All of these will be for sale. This is to poke our fingers in the eye of the NYPD and police brutality across the country and we look for your support. We’re looking for involvement donations and other things. If you have any questions please see me. My name is Bill. Thank you.
Stack: Next on stack. That guy (Bobby from accounting). You have one minute.
Bobby from accounting: I’ll be faster than that. Our report back is I just spent the last two hours talking to accountants. So we’ll have more which is good for me because it keeps me out of prison. For the rest of you, I don’t know why you would care. But there’s your report back, so there you go.
Housing: Because the atrium will be closed for the next two days. If you need a metro card they will still be doing it from 6 to 9. However, we will be setting up shop out of McDonalds. Don’t worry. You’ll still get your metro-card. Thee next two nights at McDonalds instead of the Atrium. On a personal note, I’ll be leaving to go back to go back to North Carolina to my local Occupy tomorrow night, so it’s been fun but all you all can kiss my ass. I hate New York.
Stack: Next on stack. The guy in the red jacket.
Eric from Jail Support: My report back is pretty short. I just wanted to tell everyone who has shown up in the past, Thank you. You’ve done a great job. We’ve got more and more people every time something goes down, which is great. People do burn out sometimes so it’s nice to see new faces and people with some experience too. The important thing is people have been asking for more training. Tentatively this Friday we are looking to set something up. Temp Check? If you haven’t already been in touch with us get in touch with me and I’ll get you on the list for any future training. Thank you.
Stack: Are there any more working group report backs? Stack is now closed. We have another report back from accounting.
Stairs: The first item on the agenda. is the Bail Fund Proposal from accounting.
Bail Fund Proposal: Hi all. So accounting. We have legal people. Jail support. Basically it’s like this. We have about $300,000 in our account. That’s give or take what we have right now. We are spending about $30,000 a week. Plus the things that go through the GA. So it’s a lot of money that’s going out each week. We’re not taking much money in, maybe about $7000 a week, but that’s still a really large net flow out. But what we are thinking about is we’re still not sure how long that’s going to last. We still don’t know how much money of taxes we need to pay on all of our income, all the money we collected. So between the rapid amount of money leaving and the amount of taxes we felt there are probably a few items that need to be set aside just to make sure we’re all safe moving forward. That being this proposal which is a bail fund, a legal defense fund. We want to take a large chunk of our current money and set it aside for the next six months, till the end of our fiscal year so that if anything happens to any of us or anyone associated with this movement; in the spring if people take another park, if the cops just decide to get really antsy in February; whatever we don’t have to worry because we will have money set aside for the purpose. That is our proposal. Just to start discussion. We felt a third of what we have, which comes out to probably about 100k, was probably a nice round number. The reason we kinda felt good on that one is just because of how bails have worked in the past. When we don’t have a ton of money. When the cops weren’t aware of how much money and how well organized we are, they tried to bankrupt us by putting higher and higher bails. So we feel that with a couple thousand dollars for bail a potential mass arrest in the Spring again; we felt that a 100k would keep us safe. We didn’t feel like too much more than that was necessary, considering the other things this movement needs to spend money on. And we were afraid of going too low too. The highest bail we’ve had to pay was like $43,000. That should kind of put you in perspective. Our average one was like $600. And then your normal person fell anywhere between $2,000 and $6,000. So that’s just kind of where we were thinking. We were also thinking that this should be a long-term thing: 6, 8, 9 months, maybe longer depending on what our accountants eventually say. So trying to keep all that in perspective is kinda how we came up with the number $100,000. We’re not demanding it. But, yeah.
Stairs: Stack will be open. Five minutes of clarifying questions. Six people. So you’re first. Go ahead.
Question: Is this for bail? Or bail bonds?
So right now. We haven’t done bail bonds in the past because it’s kind of a contentious issue within our group. They can be used to exploit people. I don’t want to specify right now beccause I’m not a lawyer but I really just want this to be bail and necessary legal defense to be decided upon later.
Question: What about in the past? Have we used bail bonds?
A: No. We have not yet. We considered it in one instance and then that was taken care of by an affinity group and we just totally didn’t go there. We have never done a bail bond.
Question: When we post bail does that money come back when the person goes to court?
Q: But if we get a bail bond?
A: Then it’s lost but it’s only 10% of the bail.
Stairs: Next on stack. The guy with the blue hat.
Q:You were saying that not all this money goes to bail. What else could this money be used for?
A: Right so this is why I want to call it…this is me; this is a GA we can decide whatever we want, but my thinking is we say this is a bail/slash legal defense fund. Again I’m not a lawyer, but I don’t want to hamstring us into a situation where we really need it for something, and so it’s something we should decide. But right now is what we are generally thinking is the way our bail process works with jail support is when someone gets arrested their lawyer calls us. We try to determine if they are actually part of OccupyWallStreet. This is now done by lawyers probono. But in the future it may not be done pro-bono. I don’t want to cut off our feet early and say that this can only be for bail and not for process involving bail or maybe if we’re sued it would be a good idea to have a legal defense fund. I think these things will be kind of obvious as we go. The point is just to say hey NYPD you can’t fuck with us just because of what our current money state is we have this bail on the side.
Stairs: All right. We have a point of information.
POI: One thing I just wanted to speak to about other things we can see the money being spent on filing papers trying to get a restraining order. Something else like that. Any kind of legal fees.
What Eric just said is there has been a lot of legal work done in the past for us most of which has been done either pro-bono or we just haven’t paid them. Yeah that’s kinda how that’s gone. But one of the big ones, if you remember back when the New York Post was claiming we were all rapists, we did a lot of restraining order work. That’s the sort of filing that would require payment. There are a lot more complex issues in there; again I don’t understand it. That’s why I’m just saying legal defense fund, mainly bail, a long term thing.
Question: I have two data related questions. First question is how much have we spent each month in September, October, November and December to date on bail? Second question is their is a bail affinity fund and how much money is in that fund.
A: To answer your question the first month was, I think, literally under $2000. I think I was the only one paying bail back then. It was like $100 bails. It was nothing. They didn’t think we were a real protest. Then they thought we were a real protest, and they said, “Hey, a great way to bankrupt these people would be to keep ratcheting their bails up.” So we went from hundred dollar bails, to thousand dollar bails to ten thousand dollar bails and then the few cases you all know about which were like $25,000 and $40,000. And they stopped because of how we handled it and we handled it smart. So I don’t know how high it could have been. I know in total I think it came out to around $80,000 to $100,000, but I’d really have to check.
Q: By month?
A: Yeah in that month. If we’re talking all the bails that were paid in OWS not solely from our account I think it came around to about $80,000. After that, especially after they cleared the park thinking there was no need for anymore and just gave them bad press so they slowed it down a lot and they’ve been much smaller. And specifically I’ve only related when we’ve done reoccupation work. So again…
Q: So in November and December how much have we spent?
A: It’s been small. I actually don’t know what it is. Your other question? The affinity group. So that. My last check and somebody here can correct me, I believe about $85,000. The catch is it’s from one person. And that one donor has the ability to retract that money at any time, so it’s great to have. It’s actually really great to have, but at the same time I don’t want all of OWS to be dependent on one donor that can take their money back whenever they want. I don’t think that’s a safe way of doing it.
Stairs: Thirty seconds. [discussion] Go first.
Question: With all due respect I think it’s a little unfair for you to be asking for a $100,000 when you keep saying I don’t know. I’m not a lawyer. But my specific thing is have housing and the the kitchen agreed to this? Because people have a choice whether or not they want to get arrested; they don’t have a choice whether to eat or be housed.
Justin: Hi there. I’m Justin, everyone. And I’m actually the one who submitted this proposal. I’ve talked to a lot of people from housing and kitchen about this. I went to a kitchen meeting and brought it up. I haven’t been to a housing meeting and brought it up. Wait we have a housing guy here. He’s standing up here with us.
Excuse me. Town planning not housing.
I’ve talked to a lot of the point people in there because I interact with them. I’m the one who hands them the checks. I’m not the one who signs them. But they know and they like it because, a lot of the feedback we’ve got is it gives us long-term stability to make sure that we’re still viable to be protesting in the spring time and we can still get our people out.
Stairs: The five minutes for clarifying questions are up.
F: We have one more person on stack and we need to hear them because that’s our process. Stack is closed. And we’re going to hear the last person on stack.
Q: Will this money be available to other occupies around the country that need bail money as well? Or is this just for Occupy Wall Street?
A: That’s a good question. We haven’t discussed it but the assumption is that it will just be for us. Going forward if the GA, if the General funds are very low, the GA can decide…because it’s still GA money it’s just in a separate fund.
Our thinking was were spending a lot of money we don’t know how long it’s going to last. We look for the immediate future. I apologize if I gave anyone the wrong impression that were not good for the immediate future. But this would be something that we set aside for the immediate future, we know it’s safe. And we’ll figure out going on. We’ve done bail money for other occupations. Bail money for other occupations tends to be really small. Like we floated all of Occupy Atlanta for a month with about $1500 so it’s not the biggest thing. It’s really us and one or two other cities that have real bail problems.
Stairs: At this time we would like to open stack. Oh we have another concern. So this time we would like to open stack for ten minutes…ok five. So at this time we would like to open stack for concerns. I’m going to say let’s go seven minutes for this stack; if we don’t use the time we can use it for other usage. Please try to project because we’re not using the people’s mic.
Stack is now open for concerns.
I’m concerned that by setting up these bail funds we are encouraging or saying we are in solidarity with some of the behaviors that have been brought up, for example, the guy who was charged with $42,000 in bail funds. He was charged with owning firearms and having weapons in a van and that’s not something I support, and I definitely agree with you about having a $100,000 set aside, but I’m not sure I feel comfortable having it for legal or jail fund.
A: Right now we have a bail fund. It’s just also our spending account which is the problem. The other part of that is, to our knowledge, and there is a little bit of consternation and I’d love the GA to talk about this, but from at least accountings viewpoint in the past the GA has said bail goes to OWS people who are participating in OWS protests that are not being aggressively violent; they are trying to be non-violent. I think those were the requirements. For the case of the guy with the gun that was taken care of by an affinity group. Specifically the bail affinity groups. Not because we weren’t willing to pay but because it was so contentious within our group and they just stepped up and took care of it. That’s part of why I’m saying it’s so important that there have been affinity groups willing to step up for that. According to our knowledge right now we pay for non-violent actions affiliated with OWS and take care of our own, but we do not support at all violent behaviors or such.
Stairs: So real quick. People in the back are complaining they can’t hear. So maybe the person with the question could step up to the front and project really loud to the back. And maybe everyone didn’t hear me we are having concerns and friendly amendments combined in the stack. So just so were clear.
We have a POI from the legal team. Is they want to specify that there’s a difference between charges and what actually happened. And police like to ramp up charges, so there’s a legal murky area there that you have to really be careful about when you’re talking about violent and non-violent crime. And there’s a lot of belief too that OWS should just cover all bail, but I really feel that’s a discussion that we should have in another GA. Right now it’s really just need to make sure that we’re safe and we’ll figure out what to do going forward.
Stairs: Next on stack.
My concerns are two-fold. First, I don’t have a lot of clarity about when the bail money that had been set aside previously will come back. and whether or not this $100,000 is a little large considering that the actions we are potentially planning for that that money may come back before then. Do you want to respond to that?
A: Yes. So the way it’s working right now we have a spending account that goes for bail when bail shows up and we run down there and pay bail. That’s the process. Hopefully that money will make it’s way back to our spending account again. That’s how that process works. The $100,000 we’re talking about now is partly to fix this process because that’s annoying as hell. But also the money that is coming back won’t go into this and the point of having such a large number isn’t specifically because we think well use it. I don’t think we’ll use it. And I hope we don’t use it. The point is to say to the NYPD that you can’t fuck with us. We are safe. We have the resources to take care of our own. That’s it.
I suppose another way to state my concern is just to ask for more transparency and sort of project when that could come back and what percentage might come back.
A: It’s our hope that…
On the big bail it’s primarily on felony cases, although some misdemeanor cases and those cases take a long time to resolve generally. So think nine months, a year, you know that long.
My Second Concern. Is the earlier concern is that their may be in the future charges for the legal work provided. I have no problem paying for legal fees, however I worry that by putting so much money aside–a $100,000–for just general legal expenses, it may encourage the legal team–and I love the legal team that’s up there right now, and I have a lot of support for them–, but it might encourage other members of the legal community to sort of charge us when that money is available. So maybe we can set some strictures on how that money can be used as to only for bail and bail expenses.
[discussion amongst proposers can’t quite hear them]
A: OK, so what everybody is kinda saying here is that this is a long-term fund. We are not looking to spend it. We want this, literally, on reserve so we can say we have it as a protection by saying we have it. Two NLG works for us pro-bono and they will be continuing to work for us pro-bono. This isn’t some insider scandal about the NLG. Third, when you start talking about hiring a lawyer, rates rack up really quickly, and I can’t imagine spending that kind of money without coming back to a GA.
So would you open to a friendly amendment that sets specific limitations on what this money can be used for?
Do you have one?
Yes, I have one right now. FA: Limit it to actual bail funds and not paying hourly rates.
[back and forth discussion]
So can we just hear it? [FA]
Well for the FA, I don’t know the exact legal language. I’m happy to rely on the legal team up there to help me with that, but the idea is to limit it to actual bail funds and direct expenses incurred by the legal team but not hourly rates or paying for labor.
Can we go with not paying uh…hold on.
We’re not going to pay hourly rates
Yes, that I’m ok with. Not paying hourly rates. I’m totally ok with. The other wording their I’m a little afraid of just ‘cause I don’t know what else might be needed. I don’t know what other types of filings might be needed. [back and forth discussion amongst proposers.]
Stairs: Point of process.
POI Can we address this during the friendly amendment phase?
We are in the friendly amendment phase.
Stairs: We have two minutes. Next on stack. Limit yourself to one minute.
All right guys. I’m very supportive of this idea in general. However, I love you guys, but this is really half ass. We don’t have numbers on how much we’ve paid in bail. We don’t have a sense of what court dates might return bail that has already been paid out back to us. We don’t have numbers on…We don’t have language on what you mean by other things other than bail that this might be used for. Just filing fees?
A: Yes, that was the FA. I think. Was bail and direct expenses which are filing fees.
What about other court costs?
I was really hoping that this GA would make this more clear because I didn’t just want to come and pose this stuff. I do have the answer for… in November it was $5,100 in bail. So there’s that. It’s just me not having that number in front of me. I apologize we do have those.
Stairs: We have run out of time. Would we like to a lot five more minutes to this topic? We are allotting five more minutes. We are including friendly amendments in this discussion.
Yes, please make some recommendations. I just did not want to be the one here like declaring this is what we need to do. I just think this is an important topic. I also think that if we are willing to all agree with this bail fund on the side since it’s not going to be used tomorrow we can keep working on it. But if we want to do that now I think that would be even better.
Here’s the thing. This isn’t my proposal, and I’m not a lawyer. And this only gets a 24 hour up on the website for us to look at before it comes here, and I would say it’s your responsibility of the people proposing it to give us some options, at least to start the discussion. So my friendly amendment whether we agree in principal or not about this the issue today should be whether we agree in principal that there should be money set aside and that we come back to this so that we can come back to this discussion with with more detail later on. Once you guys are able to provide us with some different legal options and different language.
Stairs: Everyone couldn’t hear so I’m going to restate briefly. She said that she would suggest that we table this discussion so that we can come back with more options so that people can have more options because of the 24 hour review period…
Stairs: Next on stack
Hold on. Hold on. We gotta…
So it sounds to me like there isn’t really an appropriate way to come back to you with numbers apart from the way that it has been done because there is no way to anticipate what the police will do and what kinds of bails the judges are going to set.
I’m talking about the past.
We know that. I mean bail has been paid out of a number of sources in the past, and that’s kind of one of the issues here. That the numbers that have been paid for bail hither to have not been out of completely out of OWS funds. And so the amount of money that has been paid for bail out of OWS funds is not remotely representative of the total bail that has been set or the total bail that has been paid. At this point it is my belief that everybody’s bail has been paid and nobody is in jail, which is good. We like that. But there is not a good way for us to come to you with numbers and project from…we can’t predict based on the past amounts of bails that have been paid. And finance…accounting, sorry, does not even have access to good numbers on what bail has been paid because it has not all come out of OWS funds.
POI: Real quick. All those bails that have previously been paid when that money comes back it will go back into the general fund from which it came. The $100,000 will not be added to unless the GA consenses to allotting more funds in the future should we get to a point where we’ve depleted, like we’ve used a big chunk of it. So, again, I’d like to reiterate the purpose of this fund is so that we have it as a bail reserve so that way when the NYPD thinks, “Hey we’re going to arrest a lot of people” that we can still take care of our own.
Just to refine my FA I would just say that I would like to see that in the language of the proposal so that we know exactly what we are voting on, what we are concensing on.
Sure. Can you say that right now so we can say we accept your friendly amendment?
I’m not a lawyer. Like you guys are working with jail support.
None of us are lawyers.
No, we’ve got lawyers.
[lots of discussion]
So basically what I’d like to understand. I haven’t been arrested lately. I hear it’s a good time. I would like it to be very clear so that when we restate the proposal for consensus that we outline it it’s for bail. It is for filing fees related to bail. I’m saying I don’t know what other legal fees are involved in the process. That’s what I’m saying. I don’t know. Can you sort this out so that we can understand them?
Stairs: Really quickly. We have used up our time. We only have two minutes left. I understand this is a really important conversation, but can we come to some sort of conclusion kinda, sorta fast because we have another stack.
Let’s clarify this. Bail and no filing fees? How about just bail? There are filing fees and court costs are statutory. If you need to file, to get court papers across the court house door basically.
Can we get a list of them? It’s also for our education.
Sure. Sure, although really it would be just…
Maybe as a FA a great way to put it would be And in passsing this proposal we ask that the prosers also include an FAQ sheet about the bail process.
Wait. There’s actually no filing fees associated with criminal. There are no filing fees associated with criminal court. There are no filing fees associated with bail and we amend this to be just bail.
Stairs: Can we get a temp Check guys? Let’s see it.
It’s mainly up.
The only thing I can imagine…whatever there is another proposal. That’s it.
So this is just bail?
I’m not taking stack.
Stairs: Stack is closed.
Time for friendly amendments.
Concerns: I have a couple concerns. One, coming to the number of $100,000 when there is $300,000 left without any, or little, historical analysis; In what, in my opinion, is not historical analysis it’s ad hoc and therefor very much concerns me. I’m in support of a bail fund aside but I don’t believe that the information has been represented to justify the $100,000 at this point, or it could be 200, or it could be 50. That’s my first concern. My second concern is that because of the weather we moved this GA and there are people who have probably missed this.
Com hub blasted it.
It doesn’t matter. There are only 600 or 700 people on Com-hub. The point being we’re talking about $100,000.
Stairs: Mic Check: There is a valid concern. We need to finish this concern. But we also need to hear the concern coming from Nan.
That’s fine. Because of the concern of trafficking. I make a FA that we table this until we do the GA at an established place. That has been established for 24 hours and not moved and that you come back with the additional information such as historical information and the data.
Stairs: Did everyone hear that? I’m seeing some confusion.
OK, so what this man said is that he doesn’t understand why we came to a $100,000 because we don’t fitting historical data. He would like us to come forward with fitting historical data and he doesn’t feel this GA is good to make this decision because of the movement from Liberty Square.
Because of the dollars involved.
It makes sense. For that third one I’m going to have to leave that to the GA that’s not on us.
No, it’s up to you to choose to table it.
All right so I’m going to address the other two first then. The $100,000 is a recomendation. Change it. That’s fine. We need a defense fund. I don’t really care what’s in it. We just need one. So whatever you think is the correct number. As for getting the data. We can’t do it. It’s because our fund we are averaging … The numbers I think I just quoted you, or tried to, were like $2,000, $5,000, $10,000 are not compiled for December. So we are not the main bail runner by a long shot. And that doesn’t include fees that were filed by, say, any of the legal groups. There is no way we can get that data. All we can say is that our bail averaged from $2,000 to $10,000, and in a given day, with a real action, you could see ten different bails all with arrests between that rank. So if you feel that should be $50,000 then let’s make it $50,000. If we want to be safe and say ten people, twenty people and between $2,000 and $10,0000 means a $100,000, let’s make it a $100,000. We started with a number so we could start with a number.
And the third issue?
On the third issue I saw a point of information on…someone. Who had the POI?
We left somebody at the park to point people here.
I’m not there. You don’t know if they are still there. Com-hub is not reliable because not everybody is signed up for it. And this is a $100,000 decision right now.
An allocation. Just to be clear. This is an allocation. Not spending.
And we could easily have this discussion on Thursday instead of Tuesday.
Nan: We need to be in Zuccotti Park for the members.
Stairs: People online actually do know about what’s going on because we have a FA who can not be here right now and has posted their friendly amendment online. So I think com-hub has done a good job cause…
POI: I saw the numbers last week. Not that many people are on com-hub…[inaudible]
We move that the GA decide for themselves whether the GA feels competent in making this decision tonight or not instead of putting it on us…[inaudible}
Stairs: So can we get a temperature check as to whether this collected body of the GA, of Occupy Wall Street, those of us who have decided to turn out tonight in this awful weather : If those of us present feel comfortable and responsible making this decision or do we want to put it off until Thursday and encourage a larger body to join. So twinkle up…
Stairs: Hold on real quick. You just stated two separate options. So I want to clarify that. [inaudible] Straw poll because we’re not really consensing right now. So those who want to hear and continue to consense on this proposal please raise their hands. Please put your hands down.
Stairs: Those who do not want to hear the proposal because of the weather and because we have moved and feel that it is better to be tabled for more flushing out please raise your hands.
Based on that strawpoll more people want to hear this proposal than didn’t. So we’re going to continue with stack on concerns.
I would like to repeat that this is an allocation and there is no reason that this could not come up again on Thursday.
Then present it on Thursday.
Table it and present it on Thursday.
Stairs: This body just gave an overwhelming majority to continue so if you guys would like to fight it out yourselves be my guest.
Nan: POI: Not everybody basically went to the park looking for you guys and I and me and Razor we went to the park and there’s nobody there and we went back to 60 Wall, not everybody knows that.
Stairs: There are a couple Point of process. This gentleman had a POP; the first one I saw.
POP: Have we disregarded time on this issue?
Stairs: No. We’re finishing the concerns and the amendments stack right now. We haven’t disregarded time. Anthony? Stack keeper? Yeah. Who’s next on stack?
He was next on stack.
My one point. Just one minute folks. Is to say that the financial regulations that were passed after the Wall Street stuff were totally watered down. It’s very possible that we’re going to have another serious financial crash worst than the last. I think it’s very prudent that we put a $100,000 down to have that money down, to have that money protected to help protect people that could possibly end up in jail. I think that’s very important. It can always be reallocated by another vote. Thank you.
Stairs: Just to clarify that was a comment, not a concern or a FA. Just so we’re clear. Stack taker. Who’s next on stack? Anthony who’s next on stack? Concerns? OK, We need to speak louder so we can be heard in the back. Please everyone speak alsolouder and stop the side conversations. This is important.
So there are concerns from NYCGA.net happening right now on comments. So the very first is I would suggest the bail fund be subject to checks and balances to insure proper approvals and internal controls. The arrests have some nexus when approved OWS direct action. No bail for alleged crimes of murder, rape, arson, illegal handgun possession or possession of hard drugs. No bail for the $3,000 per arrest incidents. And all the arrestees receiving bail money have a personal legal obligation to return the money to the bail fund at end of the criminal case.
So just to repeat from a little bit earlier because I know people are just showing up, which is great. To the best of our understanding within the first two, to two and a half weeks of this occupation one of the first things the GA did was say we need to pay for bail but that can only apply to non-violent offenses. Now there is a bit of a gray zone there because the cops like to claim a lot of shit. But the point is its for non-violent offenses for direct action that were for OWS, by OWS. So basically everything he just said has actually already been ratified by the GA, so if we want to state that again, I’m totally cool with putting that in the proposal again. You know.
I’m just concerned that there is only about, I don’t know, 70, 80 people here. So those people might want to block this proposal because they’re not sure what’s happening.
Stairs: OK, so speak up, and we have some more people left on stack?
Stack: We have one more person left on stack and that would be Aaron. Stack is closed.
Stairs: Can we please listen to this friendly amendment?
OK so the actual FA will word the FA: That this money be used exclusively for bail and court appointed fees associated with filing for bail.
[discussion going back and forth among proposers]
Stairs: Can we have a temperature for only allocating this money for bail related purposes…
No, no, no, no, no, no, no. So I’m just going to restate the FA. It is that this money that this allocation will only be used for bail and bail related fees. Is that right? Court specified bail related fees. Court specified bail related fees? Yay or Nay [asking fellow proposers]
There are no court specified bail related fees. It doesn’t exist. We go. We pay the bail. The state takes 3%. They return it to us at the end of the resolution of all the criminal matters a couple months later minus 3%.
There’s a difference between criminal proceedings. Civil like when you want to sue somebody over something. Civil proceedings have filing fees connected to it. In criminal there are no filing fees. There are no court fees. It is only bail. And we are getting correct from the legal.
F: Restating FA: That this money be used exclusively for bail and court fees associated with filing for bail. According to our lawyers. this is a $100,000 allocated–not even spent–just allocated for bail.
Stack: Stack is now closed. The last person on stack is Razor.
Razor: Yeah, I’m just worried. I think there are like 50 people here and it’s occurring in the rain off-site. I can tell you that a lot of people don’t know where this meeting was. We just found it. People without cell phones and computers have no idea where this is. So out of solidarity with inclusiveness a 100k proposal should be passed when we are in Zuccotti with proper…wait. With proper inclusiveness. Not at an off-site meeting for a $100,000. By the way, I’m actually for this. I just think we need more people here.
Stairs: I think Razor is raising some very valid concerns. To clarify, right now as it stands we have no rules regarding quorum, of how many people need to vote, consense on for monies at all. We should have those rules, because more money has been has been passed in smaller GAs. Just to be clear.
Nan: Excuse me? I don’t get. I don’t understand what you are trying to say.
Just to clarify again. We are not talking about spending money. We are talking about setting money aside, because we are spending money at such a ridiculous rate on all sorts of different things. And if come spring, we are doing bad ass actions and you guys, half of you guys end up in jail, have a good time. I’ll send you a book. No. That’s not ok. That is not what this movement is about.
Razor: So in two days that won’t be true?
We are seriously concerned about this. I think some of you guys, many of you guys are seriously concerned about this and that’s why we want to have this serious conversation.
Stairs: OK, so there is a POI.
[inaudible back and forth discussion]
POI: In case folks aren’t aware there was an email sent out today by folks in finance who are saying we will be out of money in less than one month.
Just to clarify. This is how this GA started. I would like to clarify again. We have a little over $300k. That’s where we are now. We spend approximately $30,000 a week in addiction to everything the GA passes. On top of that we don’t know what our tax liability is yet, because I spent the day meeting with lawyers and accountants and they haven’t managed to go through all our records yet. So right now I’m thinking a $100 to a $100+K is going to have to be set, is assumed that this has to go to pay taxes. So when you put all those together, we are looking at a period of weeks, not tomorrow, but weeks as opposed to say next spring; so this proposal is to put aside an account for the next six to eight months. Well really till the end of the fiscal year, next September. So from now to next September to just make sure we’re all safe. That’s the thing we were trying to say is, one we’re spending a ton of money. Before we get down to a small amount of money where we’re talking about putting a $100,000 aside when we only have a $150,000 left. Let’s do this now and put it aside. And if we need to reallocate going forward, we can reallocate going forward. That was the thinking. I apologize if that was mislead for anybody coming here.
Stairs: So at his time we need the proposers to resubmit the proposal with the accepted friendly amendments so that we can start moving toward consensus.
Can we have thirty seconds to try and remember what those all were?
Stairs: They are going to have a quick discussion.
Just to recap.
[discussion going on as proposers regroup and other folks discuss the proposal]
Stairs: Mic Check.
That was awesome! I’m going to try and restate this. Wish me luck. This is a proposal to allocate $100,000 for now for a long-term bail fund from now until Next September in line with OWS principals. Only bail. I think that’s it.
Where is the money going?
It’s just going into a bank account that says bail.
Stairs: First I want to ask arere there any blocks? Are there any blocks? One block. Two Blocks. Any more blocks? I want to be fair to people who are speaking who might have blocks.
Stairs: Mic Check. Are their any blocks? Three blocks. Four blocks. We have four blocks. Are there any stand asides? One, two, three. Four. Any other stand asides? We can’t mic check in this space. We need to hear each other. Thank you. So we have four blocks. At this point I would to ask for stand asides. To explain what a stand aside are they are saying “I don’t agree with what you’re doing; however I won’t participate because I think it’s ok if you do it. I won’t leave the movement.” Are there any stand asides? Please raise your hand. One. Two. Three. Four. Any more stand asides? At this point we have four blocks and four stand asides. We need to move to modified consensus.
Can we hear the blocks?
Stairs: So we need to move to modified consensus. The first part of modified consensus is to hear the blocks and seeing if the proposers can do anything to help that person remove their block. The first block I saw over here.
First Block: You can hear me right? I didn’t get on stack. I wasn’t able to get on stack, because you know what I mean, and I will gladly remove my block. Do I need to come over here? All right. I will gladly remove my block. If now, I’m just understanding that, we are allocating money for bail if we know that it is non-violent. If it’s a non-violent offense. Right? Hold on. Hold on. I’ve been arrested before. I’ve been arrested a couple of times. I’ve ben charged for things I didn’t do. I just need to make sure that before we say. When we say non-violent; make sure we’re not…people are doing their homework on this.
A: This was the exact discussion we had. When we had that five minute powwow. That was exactly what we discussed. And that’s why we decided to use the language of goes with the principals of solidarity. We know people get charged for shit they didn’t do. And we don’t want to discriminate like that. That’s not cool. Is that good enough?
Yeah yeah. I…In the beginning I was going to withdraw regardless but I just wanted to say that. [block removed, lots of cheering]
Stairs: The next block is from this gentleman right here. Let’s hear his block. No side conversations.
Second Block: First of all, I support this proposal but not the process. I don’t support the process in which this proposal is being presented. I ask that it be tabled. I feel it is a safety and ethical issue to move the GA because of rain without any notice by a vote of the GA and I ask that this be brought to GA on Thursday when its held wherever it’s been advertised for 24 hours. So I’m blocking on safety and ethical reasons that this is not a valid place to consider a $100,000 allotment proposal.
They did that shit the other day.
Stairs: There is a POI. Let’s here it.
Point of info: they did that shit the other day. They moved it the GA to 60 Wall Street. We was in front of there. In front of the New York Stock Exchange when nobody was there and they passed a whole bunch of shit.
No, they didn’t pass a whole…
It was tabled.
Whatever we were still there.
It was tabled.
We were still there.
Stairs: At this point we need to hear the next block. The next block I saw was from Nan. Nan can we hear your block? Can we stop the side conversations?
Nan: Ok. First of all I have a lot of ethical problems with legal. With our legal team. Specially with that 25,000 dollar, when they tried to sneak when they was the issue that they knew of when there was the issue they knew about the gun. That they pass the $25,000. I still hold legal accountable for that. That’s, that’s my personal ethical problem with legal that I have. Second problem I have right now is an ethical issue. Not everybody has access to a phone or computer. Me and Razor went to the park. We went back to 60 Wall try to find out where where is it. We don’t know unless somebody pull out the phone my battery my phone died so I could have access to it, because people was asking us where is GA because they was at the park there was nobody announcing it. Nobody announced it. So we went back to 60 Wall and the people, you know, just says a 100 Williams, so we’re like where’s Williams Street? So I, I stand with this gentleman right there.It’s an ethical concern to me. I am for this proposal because like I said the people, like he said, people do get arrested for bullshit. I’m for this proposal but I’m not…for the ethical part of me this proposal needs to be tabled for Thursday at Zuccotti park where more people can know about it. We making a $100,000 decision without other people knows about it. And it’s very unethical and it’s not right. And I am really really it’s a small thing for me because you guys are making…I feel like right now you guys are kidnapping the GA from the rest of the people, because the people do not know what’s going on. You guys, you talk about their money. This is their money. This is their money. Think about it.
Stairs: OK, so hold on the proposers do you have anything to address Nan’s block?
Is there another block? Let’s hear the other block and then maybe we can decide what to say at the end.
Stack: I think he was right behind. Right behind you, I think. Where did he go? I saw him. He was here.
Stairs: He was wearing a hat.
There, he’s over there.
Next Block: I just want to say I agree with the gentleman over there.
Stairs: Come closer and speak louder.
I agree with the gentleman over there. We do need some time to think about this because it’s a 100gs. and we need to explain this structure to everybody. You know what I mean? Because right now we got a few people and then not a lot of people know where the meeting is at. So every GA I’ve been to is based on about money. Why we talking about bail money right now when there’s certain things. How come we aren’t talking about the NDAA? To alarm the people? Every GA, spokes council nothing ever gets done. And I have to bring that out there because you know what? Nobody is explaining about that. Know what I mean?
Stairs: I see several points of process.
[Lots of back and forth discussion]
Stairs: Mic Check. Mic Check. Everybody please calm down. We’re going to get through this. We have several points of process that we need to hear. Let’s stop using the peoples mic. Let’s be quiet so we can hear them. So I saw your point of process.
I feel like this GA is being used like the delphi technique. Where, you know, we’re having people talk around here but the decisions are being made by the facilitators without the crowds input. That’s how I feel sometimes. You know what I mean? Cause we’re always having these random meetings. Look, I go to NYCGA.net and there are so many things going on at the same time. It doesn’t make sense to me. I just want to bring that out.
Let facilitation do their job.
I just want to bring that out. But I just want to bring that out because…
OK, you brought it up and can we keep going?
Stairs: Sir, your block did not sound related to the proposal, however, I’m just going to ask.
Well, I just want to know that. I wanted to bring. I wanted to wait until a different day so we let all the people know what’s going on before we can make a decision here today. You know what I mean? Why we always trying to rush things but we never get things done anyway.
Stairs: Thank you. I see a POI.
POI: If you don’t want me to say it, I won’t say it.
Stairs: No, no, no. Go for it. Please.
I’ts raining. I understand. And I’m sure there are some people who had trouble getting here; however I want to make it known I didn’t get here because of a text or email I asked someone at the park and I was told. I just asked with my voice and they told me in person. I just want to make that clear.
You talking about the dude at the park?
Someone at the park told me in person.
POI: There was a person who was left behind to tell people.
Stairs: Again, I want to ask everyone to stop the side conversations because this is going to make it really hard to do it in this space. The proposers are ready to respond to the blocks and then we’ll move forward with modified consensus if the blocks are not dropped.
Hey guys. OK. I understand the legitimacy of the block. But one thing to keep in mind with this proposal is that we are not spending a dime. We are simply moving $100,000 to a separate account which is designated for bail. The GA, at a later date, can come, someone can bring a proposal forward saying you know what this $100,000 is still sitting here. We need money for something else. We can get that back. It’s still there. It’s a safeguard. It’s a reserve. It’s to show that we have money and we are dedicated to taking care of those who get arrested by an unjust system in protest and this is a protest movement. And I cannot think of anything better for us to allot money for, not spend money on.
Can you explain how the structure works?
Stairs: People who were blocking…if any of them will remove their blocks. Right now I see three blocks holding.
I also want to acknowledge that I have been head counting for the past 20 minutes since Razor raised that concern and I thought it was legitimate. We’ve gone, in that time, from 75 to closer to a 100 people. Clearly by some combination of mechanisms people are hearing where we are. Also on a normal GA night think in your head about how many people generally show up. Think about how many are here.
Think about how many people are here to support this proposal.
Nan: Yeah because you guys hijack it from the people who doesn’t even knows what’s going on…
Stairs: Real quick POI: The GA consensed to move. Facilitation didn’t tell them to move. Facilitation asked them.
Nan: No, no. That’s not true because most people don’t even know.
Stairs: OK, I see several points of process.
My understanding of procedure right now is that we move to modified consensus. Will all those in favor raise their hands and nobody else talks.
Stairs: Great. So, you are completely correct. Let’s move to modified consensus. Everyone against this proposal passing. You don’t want this proposal to pass. You don’t want to see it. Please raise your hand.
Wait, so if you want it on Thursday do you raise your hand?
If you want it on Thursday do you raise your hand?
Stairs: It’s everyone who’s against. When you move to modified consensus it’s everyone who’s against the proposal.
[lots of back and forth discussion]
Stairs: Mic Check: I kinda know what I’M DOING. If you let me do this I’ll get us through this. Give me a chance. Thank you. All right. So, as I was saying. I see a POP.
POP: I’m sure you know what you are doing. And you’re doing an amazing job. Just to clarify, though. When you ask “Who’s against this proposal.” that’s a little confusing. The question I’d like to hear is who is blocking this proposal because those are the votes…
Nan: She already did that.
Stairs: OK. I see a POP all the way in the back.
OK, I wasn’t finished. We can all relax. If you ask who is blocking that is a very different question then who is against this proposal. The people who are against this proposal and aren’t blocking…you guys can not vote. Just don’t vote, like a stand aside.
Nan: That’s not true. No, no. You got it wrong.
Stairs: Hold on for a POP from someone who I feel knows the process very well. Are you done?
POP: Here’s how the process works. [He’s explaining the process but I can’t hear him.]
[Lots of cross-talk while the man explains the process]
Stairs: So at this point, I’m going to ask everyone who is against this proposal passing, because we are moving to modified consensus, is a vote to please raise your hand and we will count you and don’t lower your hand until you are counted and told to by the person counting. So this gentleman in the hat is going to count everyone who is against this proposal passing.
Counting being done. Three, four, five, six, seven.
Stairs: Ok, he’s going to start over. When he points to you drop your hand. If you are against this proposal passing please raise your hand.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight.
Stairs: OK, We have 8 people against the proposal. If you are for it, please raise your hand. He’s going to count you again. Only drop your hand when he points to you and says a number.
Can you actually physically touch people? Touch hands?
[Counting is being done out loud as the counter goes through the crowd and physically touches each hand he counts]
Nan: One person raised their hand twice. I’m pointing that out.
You got what you want.
Nan: One person raised their hand twice.
Stairs: At this point we need to make sure the total number of votes for was what’s the count?
We’re five short.
It was 66.
I honestly don’t think this is how you do it.
Stairs: 66 to 8. So somebody is going to help me see if we reached 90%
We needed 72.
We don’t need to know how many votes for. We just need to know how many people are here.
Nan: No, no, no, no.
Anybody who is present and stands aside counts toward the consensus.
I support the facilitator to make the decision.
Stairs: Thank you! All right. To my understanding of modified consensus you count the for and against and add them up and if you don’t have 90%. We have not reached modified consensus. To my understanding right now we have not reached modified consensus.
Stack: 89% by the way. Just to put that out there.
Stairs: 89%. So unfortunately at this point we move to the next item on the agenda.
Nan: Thank you! Stop hijacking the meetings.
Woe! Wait! What?
Stairs: Mic Check. Mic Check. We are moving on. The next item on the agenda is a proposal from Vision and Goals. Mic Check. Mic Check. It is everyones responsibility to not be divisive and to actively build community. Think about it before you speak.
Nan: Whatever. I’m so happy right now.
Stairs: This is Paul and he’s making the proposal. Can we stop the side conversations and please listen to him because we can’t use the peoples mic.
Thank you all. I’ve spent ten years developing a plan that I truly believe makes it possible to create a mass grassroots movement based on a comprehensive platform of reforms that will bring great benefits to the middle class and poor. That will actually enable us to take back a majority of congress with our own people as well as the presidency. I have copies of the proposal here. Pass them around. There are two things. The brief version is a page and a half and I willl share with you now.
Stairs: Mic Check.
Can we please reduce the side conversations? Folks, this plan…Thank you. If anybody would like a copy there are boxes up here that have them in it. Here they are. This plan, if you ask around to people who are observing OccupyWall Street from the outside, they would say what do they want? What are their demands? What are their recommendations? And people don’t know. So this is a plan that I’m hoping for endorsement from the Occupy Wall Street GA and I’m hoping for an actual endorsement to the press or at least the alternative press, such as Democracy Now. I’m going to read the proposal. People everywhere are waking up. the world is looking to the Occupy movement for answers. OWS has the potential to change everything. People want real solutions and they want to get involved. The VOTER Plan (Voice Of Thoughtful & Ethical Reform) is a comprehensive plan that is the result of ten years of development. It can serve as a catalyst to unify the 99 percent, and with our great numbers, can empower us to eliminate the vast majority of corruption in our government. This will be through creating a mass grass roots movement that is unified behind a comprehensive platform of reforms. these reforms will bring great changes and very real hope to the 99 percent. Hence, it can literally get a majority of votes in many states, probably most states in my opinion. The movement will be powerful enough for us to vote out a majority of Congress, to vote in our own–those who commit to the VOTER Plan platform. We can also vote in a president who commits to the platform. Maybe Nader, Cynthia McKinney, or Kucinich. Imagine the potential. With both houses and the presidency, our chosen politicians will enact the full 20-point VOTER Plan platform, with your changes. The Occupy Wall Street suggested changes. Which include the following aspects: Rewrite the tax code so thae 99 percent have substantial relief while the wealthy and corporation pay their fair share. Eliminate the fractional banking system. Reduce credit card, payday loans, and other credit interest to a maximum of 9 percent. Eliminate the Federal Reserve. With the false debt to the Federal Reserve bankers nullified there is suddenly something like 15 trillion dollars of debt that is gone. Suddenly, the nation has much more money for everything important to the 99 percent. This changes the whole economy. The austerity measures no longer threaten. See how this will get the vote of the 99 percent? More importantly, in just four pages of text, the VOTER Plan provides the means for all of it; how the organization can be formed and funded and how it can help us to sort through thousands of potential candidates to help us identify and vouch as genuine the potential congressional candidates that we need to vote in. Note: Everything in the VOTER Plan is flexible. It is meant as a starting point for whatever OWS members feel they would like to create. Take what works and leave the rest behind. The crucial point is that this plan provides very real means of changing everything. All the money changers would be fully in check. Our candidates, having the majority, would pass the best legislation since the founding of this country. this could bring the CIA, Homeland Security, military, etc. under the control, suggesting a much greater potential for world peace, as well as Habeas Corpus and privacy restored. Please give this plan your utmost consideration. the vote is our most powerful weapon. For anyone who considers picking this plan apart–please remember that it works as it is. It is achievable; it is within our means; and it could change everything. So feel free to change it and take what works, but I hope that the final product can still change everything like it can in its current form. We can write out own destiny. Following is one of the closing paragraphs from the plan: Left to its own devices, the corruption in our government has become a cancer. We must stop the madness before it destroys all that we hold dear. It is time to clean house. We are 400 million and the power brokers are few in number. If we come together, it can be done. If not, I fear for our future. Time is short, but whatever is achieved before the 2012 elections can only serve to help. If the goals of this plan prove too undeveloped by the 2012 election, it would certaily be well developed by the 2016 election, at which time, we could realize a great transformation of our political landscape–and great changes for the 99 percent. Again you can see the plan on thevoterplan.com it tells you how to do it, what we can do, all the steps. How to fund it. The full 20 steps that will bring great benefit to the 99%. I’m open to discussion. I’ve thought this through. If you have any concerns I’d love to address them.
Stairs: I’m going to open the floor now for clarifying questions. Will give it five minutes…ten minutes to start.
This sounds like an announcement.
My proposal is that Occupy Wall Street GA consider the points of this plan in earnest. Look at it. read it. Give it some time and then I’m looking for a formal endorsement from the GA and an announcement to the press saying that we endorse this plan as a representation of the 99%.
So it seems we are done here now with this agenda item.
Stairs: Ok, hold on, hold on, hold on. Hold on. I would love to just do this really quickly. Are you asking us to endorse this tonight?
Stairs: So then. This is really not a proposal. This is bringing it to our attention to discuss and endorse at a later time?
Yes. I’m here for today and tomorrow. I’m leaving on the 29th. I’m here to answer questions and concerns. Like I said, I’ve developed this over the course of ten years. I have answers for questions. After that I can be reached by email or on the phone. Again, people are looking for answers from the 99%. This could change many things in our country for the better. Yes.
Question: Do you have a plan to bring this back to the GA?
I won’t be able to come back for a long time. I’m hoping you guys will take the ball and run with it. Vote on it and decide.
Do you think this plan in anyway infringes on existing OWS principals on lack of involvement in electoral politics and refusing a list of demands?
My answer to that is, you know, I see that possibility. I’m open to that. What I can tell you is that The world is looking to the Occupy movement for answers. If you would please consider this. Look it over. Give it consideration. Imagine the potential if we could take back the majority of congress and the presidency. We could get implement amazing things in this country. We could get rid of FEMA and all the invasive stuff that is destroying this country and all the things we hold dear. So I’m asking you to consider it just as an endorsement.
This is an announcement. This is not asking for consensus tonight.
Stairs: Mic Check: Please listen to Co-facilitator. This item does not require any consensus tonight. It was brought up to be brought to our attention so that we may look over it and figure it out in our heads. That has been done. We have the papers. There’s more here if anybody didn’t get a paper. And so I’d like to move on to the next agenda item.
Stairs: So the next agenda item is a proposal from the medical clinic.
Sorry to interrupt there are ten pizzas on their way here from our social media Tweet boat team. Before everyone leaves, stay if you want to get free food.
Excuse me. Wait, wait, wait. Can I say something real quick? Like five minutes?
I need to say something. No, I have a voice too.
Stairs: We have a space for announcements.
I have a voice. And, no, because every GA I need to say something.
Stairs: But there is a
I have to say something.
Stairs: OK, Ok, ok.
I have to say something.
Stairs: Excuse me. The way the process works is there are announcements.
I’ve been coming out here and you guys been ignoring me. I have to say something.
There’s a time for that.
No, no, no this space belongs to everybody. This space belongs to everybody.
There’s lots of time.
Listen. Listen. I just want to bring it out.
You have to wait sir.
There is a process.
No. Listen. No, no, no. You guys are not just running this…
Stairs: There are several POP. There are several POP. I want to point out to this gentleman that there is a space for your voice. It’s called announcements at the end of this agenda there is a space for announcements. I would love for you to wait for announcements.
But people are leaving. Every single time when I bring this up you guys always say there’s not enough time. And I want to bring this up while there are still people here. Don’t tell me no, because you’re not running this. Listen. Listen. I want to say
Stairs: So, at this point we have to move to the next agenda item. The next agenda item is called from the medical clinic. Is there anyone here from the medical clinic? Nobody here. The next item is the J/17 Congress solidarity proposal. Anybody? J-17 proposal? Next item is Occupy Oakland? Is anybody here to make that proposal? OK, here we go.
Occupy Oakland was involved with organizing and coordinating the port shutdown on the West Coast. It was an action that involved a lot of Occupies on the West Coast, and we did a solidarity action here in support of that. They used up most of their resources. They actually had a GA where they had to deal with funding, like we’re dealing with here, and voted to use 3/4 of their funding to make that action happen; and in making that action happen other occupies also needed funding. They used roughly half the funding that they had elected to use for the action to distribute to the other occupies to make sure they had the resources for flyering for doing all sorts of stuff to help get those actions off the ground. The port shut down was the, probably the biggest success we’ve had and the biggest action we’ve done. So this proposal is to reimburse them so that they can continue doing actions and stay viable in the same way that we use resources to keep going and we want to have more actions. The idea is to reimburse them. The money would go to their financial working group from which they would have…I’m in direct contact with the people. We can get copies of receipts so we have accountability on how the money is being distributed. They have requested to get money to distribute money to the other cities as well because those cities used their resources as well and the proposal is for $30,000 the money is going towards covering and reimbursing their receipts that they spent on that actions. And anything that’s left over, any excess can be sent back or it can be used and applied for the blockade for the long shoreman action, which is an action that is being planned currently. There is a grain shipment going up to Washington and that all happens…The ship is supposed to come in in January so the left over money can be used for transportation. It can be used for housing. I mean these are the kinds of things they can be accountable for and send us back receipts if people are concerned with how the money is being spent. But Occupy Oakland has been one of the clearest and most transparent financial working groups and we have sent them money for bail . They’ve been accountable for that. I think it’s important to continue supporting and to show solidarity not just in voice, in saying we support your action, and not just in we will also do an action against Goldman Sachs. But also to show solidarity in resources. We have received lots of resources from all over the country and world, people in solidarity with us in support with us. I think it’s important that our resources go to actions and groups that are involved actively making use of these funds in ways we say support. I mean if we’re going to say we support the port shut-down we should really support it, not just say we do and then back off when it comes time to support with funding. So you know the funds would go directly to the financial working group. They would respond to us with copies of receipts, where the money went to, how it was distributed to what cities. There were five cities that were involved. If you have questions we can talk about it.
How much money…roughly?
Per city? There’s five cities. Oakland spent about $10,000 sending money to other cities.
Stairs: I’m going to open stack now for clarifying questions, about seven minutes.
Nan: I want to be on stack.
Nan: I’m confused. I’m trying to understand what exactly are you asking for $30,000 for? Can you like in a summary? In a summary. can you summarize exactly what you asking us for that $30,000. I’m sorry. We are Occupy Wall Street not Occupy Oakland. So please I’m trying to understand exactly what exactly is the money going to be used for? I don’t get it.
Ok. To sort of respond to that. The question is what will this money go toward.. A lot of money was already spent by Occupy Oakland to make the port shut down happen. This is to reimburse them for money already spent. If you would like to see receipts we can get them. There is a a list of them. I can go through some of those if you like, along flyers, bullhorns, sound truck, porta-potties. I mean we can go through a list of things they spent money on. But the idea is that we are not just Occupy Wall Street as in one unit. If we are, we will fail. We will be one group that’s going to fall apart. We say we support these actions. We say we are a national movement. But if we’re saying oh but all the resources we get are going to stay here with us and only for things that happen in New York…are we a national movement? Are we a global movement? Or are we a local movement? And we need to kind of support groups in that fashion.
Nan: So OK, you said for the receipts I want to see the receipts. I want to see those receipts.
Ok, we will have everything that receipts for will get sent back to us and then when whatever is left will get sent back or will go toward the next action.
Nan: Ok, nah, nah, nah, table this until I can see the receipts.
Facilitation. We’re having back and forth.
Stairs: Next on stack. The guy with the green hat. Oh by the way stack is now closed. We have six people on stack.
So I was there the last time we wired occupy oakland and you guys kick ass. It was pretty fuckin’ sweet. But there are two things that came out of that. There was one. It was really hellishly hard to get you money that was at all legal because of how crazy things were a couple months ago. So out of that we made a process within our own group that in order to request money from Occupy Wall Street you had to video-tape your GA requesting the funds. You had to put up online your minutes that shows the GA is requesting the funds. During that GA proposal you had to state who the point people were who would be handling that money. This is how we make sure that the people who come to our GA are actually using the money for the right thing. NowI don’t mean this antagonistically. This is just to help us clarify. So once that’s done and you come back and we vote on it and that’s how it goes. That’s how we’ve done it with other citeis, so.
So to respond to that. I’m not Occupy Oakland. I’m Occupy Wall Street. I’m not requesting the funds. I’m proposing funds to go to…there’s a difference.
My direct response to that is my understanding of that was the Occupy the Ports had actually raised that $40,000 on its own and did not actually have to be reimbursed for it because they had raised it independently. We were talking with them when they originally did the original fundraiser thing and they said they did not need money from Occupy Wall Street because they had done it on their own and they looked to us for help if we’d like to add more which we didn’t do for whatever reason.
I’ve been in contact with people from Occupy Oakland. They have raised some funds but what they are asking for is reimbursement for funds they have not been able to…it wasn’t just the port shutdown group that raised all the money that was necessary. There was expenditures that came from, that were necessary that were covered by the groups by the Occupies that were there. It wasn’t just, so this is covering that, and so whatever isn’t covered would come back to us or go towards the possibility of the ILWU action.
Stairs: We have a POI.
POI: First you said you were proposing funds and Oakland wasn’t asking. Then you said you were in contact with Oakland and they were asking for reimbursement. Which is it?
I am in contact with them. That’s a good point. I am in contact with them and they have indicated they have a need. There were proposals. They did request funds before. That happened at an earlier GA.
[back and forth discussion about the date of previous GA]
It was December 10th or something like that. They requested funds then. They didn’t get those funds. It didn’t go past a modified consensus. My proposal comes from here in New York. I’m proposing that we actually show solidarity. The funds that were requested that was separate. I’m proposing in response to that that we actually show solidarity that we go out of our way to make sure that these movements are a success. If we just focus on New York this will be a failure. And I think everyone here was when we voted to support and do a solidarity action everyone wanted to do that. When it comes down to supporting them financially it seems like that is not of interest.
Stairs: Next clarifying question.
My clarifying question which is the same. So two days before the port action Occupy Oakland via the phone did present a proposal. At the time they were asking for $23,500, if I remember correctly. And in that proposal they gave a run down of how that money would be spent. It was going to be distributed to five occupations that were going to be doing a port shut down. In that budget it showed that Occupy Oakland had consensed on giving $1,000 to each of the Occupations. What we presented as an Amendment, which was denied over the phone, is that we would match Occupy Oakland’s contribution to the port shut-down . So that proposal, that amendment was denied and that’s why the original proposal was blocked. We didn’t understand why an occupation, why an action which we, though we supported the action we didn’t understand why as an autonomous body we would be covering that much greater, something like 300 times what the actual autonomous occupations were contributing to the actual action were submitting that’s why that got shut down. It wasn’t because we didn’t want to support it. We were willing to support it to the extent that they were willing to support it. They denied that contribution from Occupy Wall Street and so now I’m confused as to why now they are coming back for an even higher amount that Occupy Wall Street should be contributing to the action.
They’re not coming back.
Well, why we’re asking. It’s very confusing at this point.
Nan: That’s what I’m saying. Clarify.
At any event it’s coming back as a higher proposal than what was originally submitted.
Why I am bringing this up is not to somehow rebring up the original proposal but to indicate we have resources that we are expending in different ways. We make decisions on how we spend our resources. They made decisions on how they spend their resources. We supported. I think everyone here thinks or I would…can I get a temperature check on what people thought of the port shut-down?
POP: Facilitation asks for temperature checks.
Ok. Sorry. Ok, so. Essentially I think most people will agree or were in support with the port shutdown. The question isn’t whether or not they need the money. They do. The Occupies on the West Coast need resources and If we are not going to support them. That’s one thing. Or if we’re not in support of making this a successful national movement or we don’t like the action, that’s one thing. But if it’s about how much money we are giving them. That’s a whole other issue. And if people want to talk about “Oh well they need to account for this stuff,” they have accountability. They will give us copies of the receipts. And we can find out exactly how the money was spent. And we can find out how much was left over from the amount. It’s not about giving them too much, because we won’t be giving them too much. There are upcoming actions that they will need resources for. If we don’t want them to spend that money on it we can say that this is just going to go towards the receipts. Send us back the receipts and anything left over from this amount. It’s not give them too much. It’s about making sure that they are viable and can keep doing their actions in support of what they do. We’re not separate. We’re all in this together.
Stairs; We have several POIs.
Sorry I gotta run, but I love what you are saying. I’ve been talking with them and Occupy the Ports. But if they request money from us. If they want to do that on their own behalf. They know we are available. We’ve talked to them about this. We talked to them about Occupy the Ports. We have a process that does this. If they would like to work through this process to do so that we can bring it to the GA in a really transparent manner I think everyone here has my phone number so just give me a call. I gotta go.
Stairs: Second POI.
I just want to say I went to Occupy Oakland and they only raised about $40,000 to date. And we’ve had hundreds of thousands of dollars. So just to put it in perspective there. They are the second most like, like watched occupation they did a fundraiser for V for Vendetta and that was their big fundraiser. But just keep it in perspective.
Stairs: Next on stack:
I was going to make the same point. Occupy Wall Street has a lot more money then any other occupation anywhere in the world. And if we can’t share that it’s not good. And if we want to coordinate further actions with Oakland and other cities in the US we need to show solidarity.
Stairs: We have two more POIs. Remember. This should be factual information, not just opinions and information. I’m just putting that out there.
I did an average of how much we are raising this past week through the fiscal sponsors. According to my spreadsheet we are raising $1328 a day, and this is the best week we’ve had in a long time. So what I’m saying to you while we were raising a lot of money that fundraising has collapsed. That’s why accounting asked for the bail fund, the bail reserve. But my POI is We had a lot of money might be accurate, but if we keep spending at this rate we will have no money.
Stairs: OK, next on stack. POI.
Hi I’m Stephan from Occupy Oakland. I’m really excited and this is my first time here. I was involved in some of the discussion about the funding and the first proposal was rejected and the idea was to request this larger sum because we had the receipts and knew what was spent in San Diego, LA, Seattle and Portland. It cost the port between $4 and $8 million. It was a really successful action in Oakland and up and down the coast. I don’t know when people donate money to the different occupies obviously Occupy Wall Street this is where it started and it gets a lot, and it would get a lot of the funding for people who, you know, with media specific actions and money doesn’t necessarily get to Oakland, but I’m happy.
Stack: Again, POI are factual info. You also put some of your own personal feelings to it. Just facts. Pointing that out. Again we’re going to go to next on stack. Next on stack. Stack is closed by the way. There’s only two more people.
Two clarifying questions. I totally support this in principal and in solidarity, but my two questions are: How much money does Occupy Oakland and the other occupies have in the bank right now? Second question is just to clarify. Are they requesting it? Or are you proposing it? Because the proposal on the NYCGA website says they are requesting the money, but you said you are proposing it.
I’m proposing it. I guess…So the proposal changes. On the website it doesn’t say that the money is going directly to the financial working group which is where it is going to go. So that’s put up so that people can get feedback. So the proposal is a modification based on the feedback that comes through. So that’s clarifying. So to be completely clear. Yes. I’ve talked to people there. Yes they have made requests but this is coming from me and from other people here who have been working and coordinating with people in Oakland and want to see Occupy Wall Street be a national movement that keeps going. So it’s not that they are saying please we want this money. They do. But to answer your other question I think they are down to roughly $3,000, maybe you have a better idea. But roughly $3,000. And what we have is up over $300,000. Now I understand that’s allotted differently, but as he said we are the target for donations. Occupy Oakland isn’t Occupy Wall Street on the board. I mean it is, it’s part of the same movement, but when someone thinks of Occupy Wall Street they think here and we need to make sure we keep thinking about other people, not just ourselves.
Stairs: Done with stack. Open for concerns and FA. How does 15 minutes sound?
My concern. I agree with the…
Mic Check: If you are here to particpate in the GA please do so; if not please don’t hinder our process.
I will get to my concern, but I wanted to say I do fully support the money that we get from all over the world, they mean it for the movement as a whole. We should give it to other occupations. I agree with that. My concern is that for the movement it’s a little dangerous that people see that money is being held without accountability. In particular the gentleman from finance said earlier that finance in Oakland had come up with an agreement for how money be requested and it would be this complicated thing where we film the GA and all that. I’m concerned that we set up all these rules and then we are going to bypass them. And I’m not sure if it’s like a really urgent matter. You know and we should do it right away. Or are we just doing this because it’s easier? Instead of doing it the right way.
To respond. I think that’s a good question. It think it is urgent because of their current status and how much money they have and because of their current planning for a future action in January. They attempted to go through the process that we put forward and that was a mess. I’m not saying we should bypass that process. The proposal is to show solidarity, to make things work in a smoother fashion, to make sure they have the funding they need. The other issue was accountability. We want to see the checks. So we’re going to, part of the thing is to get their finance group, which is all ready in really clear and transparent fashion provide us with copies of receipts of how the money was spent and what happens with the remaining distribution and how exactly that happens. So it’ snot. As far as accountability: There will be completely clear accountability. Our financial working group will get copies of all the receipts and everyone here can see and ask for them. And we can know exactly how that money was spent. As far as what happens here, how money is spent here. You can ask for receipts and you can look at working groups and they don’t have the receipts in comparison to what they are doing out there. So…
Stairs: I’m going to close stack. You’re on stack already so go first.
So, my concerns are as following. I’ll just go real quick. You have not proposed a specific budget, which details how this money is going to spent. You’ve given us [buckas? Can’t make it out.] Two: I believe from the POI from Bobby that if Occupy Oakland or any occupy needs funds they should come to us and follow that process we set up and not request that people here request it for them. Three is my same concern from before. This GA was moved. It’s not representative of the GA because of the potential of the move [1:47]not at THE PARK we table it.
If we are concerned about accounting we will be getting receipts. Whatever is remaining we will get back.
Concern: I’m not really sure….That being the case if this goes through. I’m not saying for or against. As a FA could we have someone from finance talk to Occupy Oakland and say, “Do you need this money?” And if they yes then they give it to you; otherwise doesn’t go through.
[Pizzas arrive courtesy of Tweetboat in celebration of reaching their 100,000 follower]
Stairs: OK, hold on. Don’t disrupt this conversation. I will announce it.
I’m comfortable with having somebody from accounting…before the money gets sent and having someone from the accounting group…and I can put them in touch with someone in the working group, if they need a contact. And say, “Do you need this money?” And if the response is yes the money goes. That’s, if that’s the barrier then I’m ok with that as a last barrier.
Stairs: OK. Hey.
And they would give the money directly to them?
Of course. Directly to them to distribute and respond, so yeah.
Stairs: OK. Hold on. Everybody I know there is food here. I now we’re all hungry. If we can keep this body moving; maybe one or two people at a time go right over there and grab your slicese and return to the GA. Let’s not break continuity. Let’s keep this going. Next on stack for concerns.
Stack : The guy with the green hat.
I have a number of concerns. I’m really in support of us supporting other occupations. But the way that this is being brought here really concerns me. That you’re asking for so much money without even a sheet of paper that has a general breakdown of the…what that is.
It’s posted online. I can go through it if you like.
I know it’s posted online but that’s [missed] 24 hours. When I’ve seen Usually people have something right here they can inform themselves with. It’s not necessarily enough time. This issue that he brought up in the clarifying questions about how Oakland wasn’t willing to match proceeds when this first came before the GA is a huge concern for me. It doesn’t make sense that they’re not willing to make that commitment in the beginning that we come back after and follow up somehow with them. And then I also I haven’t heard anything how this proposal was developed. How it was formed and what kind of bind you got in. It didn’t sound like you had even talked to accounting.
So to respond. As far as accounting, accounting here doesn’t make decisions. So talking to them about a proposal I want to bring…I mean their job is accounting. They’re not finance. So you know the process is figuring out the process. I did figure out the process of how to propose this and that’s why it’s happening. And so that’s to that concern. If your concern of their not matching funds, they did spend their funds. I mean they…we have $350,000, roughly, I’m estimating. Maybe a little less.
That’s not what he’s saying.
I know and I’m saying they have remaining $3,000, so they’ve already put in upwards of 3/4 of their funds to making that happen. Now if we put in 3/4 of our funds that would be a whole other thing. I mean we are talking about a bail fund where they wanted a third and we couldn’t even consense on that. So if we can’t get consensus on spending…on putting money aside to cover our own bail and…for a third and they are putting up 3/4s of their entire funds to make an action happen and that action supposedly was one of the, or I think you can all agree was probably the best action that’s happened so far so as whether or not it went to a good place, whether or not they spent the funds. They did those things and I think it did go to a good place. I think we agree. So if we’re not reimbursing then…POI? OK, So if we’re not…if the concern is they didn’t put in the funds the answer is they did. And if the concern is…he asked the concern was that they didn’t match, weren’t willing to match funds. The point is they did. They put in all the funds. We didn’t fund them. We need to reimburse them. That’s the point. If we had funded them this wouldn’t be a proposal but we didn’t.
I was in Oakland for the West Coast Port shutdown. I also attended several GA’s while I was there. I can verify as the proposer was saying that you know Oakland spent the vast majority of their resources supporting other locations. What I can also verify is that Oakland had tried to come to this body as he was saying and they refused to match and my understanding of why they were refusing to match is that Oakland as well as many other Occupations I’ve seen while I’ve been traveling the country and visiting the various occupations are livid with us for keeping all of the occupywallst.org money for ourselves because the other occupations are seeing that as the representative website of our movement. It doesn’t just have New York news. It has occupy news from all around the country and then the money goes straight to New York and we spend it all on metro-cards and stuff. And they’re furious with us. And so like that’s just a point of information. So that’s what they were talking about at GA.
Can I give a point of information as well? I’m from tech-ops. We do not control occupywallst.org website. It is controlled by an affinity group. On that website when you click on donate it has a list of places to donate. One of them is the NYC GA general fund. Others are many other occupations around the country and other side projects by individuals autonomously promoting their projects through the movement. They also have a link on that website that allows you to submit your project to be approved on their list of donation sources. That’s the way it’s been for about two months.
Just to respond to that. If we listen to the people who are talking before about when the majority of the funds came in they came in probably before Occupy Oakland was there, so whether or not it went to Oakland or it went here is not…
It’s just a POI.
I know. I was just responding to that POI.
Stack: Next on stack.
As much as I like the idea of supporting occupations, I think that we should. And I’m actually working with Occupy Cleveland on an itemized budget. From what you said how they want to do reimbursements. The proper way to request funds would be to have the receipts and let these people see them. If they’re mad about us spending money on metro-cards, which I kind of am, kind of not. I think that it would be a lot more realistic and a lot easier for me being a member of the accounting working group. That way we can keep track of what is being spent rather than just go, “Here’s a bunch of money figure it out and give me the change.” So I offer as a FA: Table now; gather receipts and bring those receipts back to this GA and you allow this GA to approve that money that you claim to be asking for reimbursement. I think you need more information and I think you need the documentation.
I don’t accept that FA, because I think we can all agree that the action that came out of it was something we supported and I If we think the funding was spent poorly then we must also think that the action was poor, because the action that came out of it. If you want to talk about the specifics of it, how it’s spent it’s in the proposal. If you want the itemized details you will get those receipts and it’s not a question of whether or not we think one bullhorn was one too or they ordered an extra porta-potty too many or it’s the sound truck we didn’t agree with. The action happened and itt came out of their consensus process. We were in solidarity with that action, meaning we supported things that were going on and how they were spending their money. If we think they spent the money poorly, then, I mean, do you really suggest that everyone here is going to read every single receipt for every single working group that we’ve ever been through? Is that the point? We have an accounting working group which would be coordinated through their finance working group there and they will get receipts directly from them.
Nan: Excuse me. To answer your question, yes we have.
Stairs: Mic Check: Hey people on the side. If you are here for the GA, move in. You’re distracting us. We need your bodies. Thank you.
Can I clarify my friendly amendment? So, I don’t think you understand where I’m coming from. You are proposing as of right now we send them money because they have receipts, which they will reimburse and then they will send us the change, correct?
No. Let me respond.
What I’m proposing instead they send us the receipts, we approve reimbursing those receipts and then we send them the money.]
What I’m actually suggesting is I don’t think the process should be they send us receipts and then we go through the receipts and send them money. They coordinated an action which we were in solidarity with. We coordinated our action. We are independent autonomous groups. We are part of a larger movement. If we are going to decide and look over every expenditure that they make–and I’m not saying we shouldn’t get receipts, I think we should. I completely agree that we should get copies of the receipts and then anyone here who has a problem with it or whatever you’ll have those receipts to see how they spent it. But they have spent the money already. The action happened. Whether or not we reimburse them is a different issue. It’s a different issue then, “Did they expend it exactly how we want them to.”
Stack: Stack is closed actually. Point of information.
POI: Just because I’ve heard two people mention this unless I’m mistaken, in which case please correct me tech-ops you people have mentioned that occupywallstreet.org has received a lot of money. We don’t have control over that. It’s not even our site.
No, no, no. That’s not true.
I apologize. I apologize.
Mic Check: Let’s return to stack. It’s been pointed out that that POI was not valid.
I’m very concerned that there was a process developed between our accounting department and their accounting department how proposals such as this–even though I understand you’re saying it’s not coming from them, to me it seems like a technicality to circumvent that process. And now after the fact. This isn’t an emergency proposal. It’s after the fact. We’re paying bills that have already been accumulated. Now we’re going…we’re circumventing that process, and when asked about following that process you said it became very confusing; it became very difficult. That lends me to believe that maybe it was something wasn’t able to be approved by their GA and that’s why it couldn’t be…that’s what it leads me to believe. I don’t know. In any event it seems like there is an established process and now we are trying to circumvent that process. That concerns me gravely.
I’d like to defer to someone who is actually from Occupy Oakland, to respond to the concern of, about whether they actually need this funding or whether or not they actually talked about this because I don’t…I’m not from Oakland so can you speak to this?
All of the points are valid. The idea about needing receipts and transparency is important. I’m sorry there isn’t something more concrete. I’d be willing to try and get something for Thursday. At the same time it is very time sensitive. We have passed a proposal to go to Long View Washington. The Port Shutdown was in solidarity with the ILWU, the Longshoreman’s union who is in an ongoing dispute…really brutal for the last six months. EGT, this multinational grain terminal decided to come in and put a grain terminal onto the port of Longview’s property and not hire any of the workers that are there at the port of Longview. They brought in scab labor from other states and they actually brought in another union, the Operator Engineers union who have crossed the picket line. There’s a big shipment due out at some point in January. We don’t know the exact date. We’ll know it in like three days before to two weeks before. But we want to caravan as many people up there. We are hoping for thousands of people to go there and stop the shipment from going out because if the shipment does go out then that will set a precedent for EGT and other corporations to do that in larger cities. It’s not a coincidence that they chose this small like remote town to try this out. To try using non-union labor at this huge grain terminal. And they could do it up and down the West Coast and they could do it on the East Coast. It’s really important for us to be in solidarity with these Longshore workers. Sot it is time sensitive and the money is needed. I would be willing to talk to Occupy Oakland as well and their finance crew and finance here. I just happen to be here for a week. And to kind of get the specifics worked out. I wasn’t aware of the thing that they refused to match funds. I don’t know what that’s about.
That’s beside the point. We keep going on and on about these old funds. This is a proposal originating from Occupy Wall Street to be in solidarity with another occupation, like we keep going around, “They didn’t request the money from u, receipts, and blah, blah.” We are not a fucking like tax organization, like we’re not going to itemize item by item over and over and over again. This is a proposal! to clarify. The word reimbursement seems to confuse people. It’s not about reimbursement at all. This is about we are occupy wall street and we are in support of this national movement. We see value in what Occupy Oakland is doing and we are going to give them the fucking money because we have oodles of it.
Stairs: Mic Check: I understand there is a lot of passion. Let’s stick to process which means sticking to stack and not disrupt. Next on stack.
Stack: Next and last, but not least: Nan!
Stairs. Hold on. There’s a POI before we hear Nan.
POI: So when…no, I’d like for you to stay for this POI, please; it’s a response to what you just said. We have people who have put their names on bank accounts and their future is on the line with this movement. Receipts are important. The reason we need receipts is because we need to be accountable. That is why it’s important and until you put your name on a bank account and tie your future you are acting disingenuously.
Stairs: All right. Hold on. Hold on. Mic Check. Let’s all take a deep breath right now, because we’re all really tense. Next on stack is Nan. Let’s hear Nan.
Stack: Can you give me half a second?
Stack: I just want to point out that that Points of Information are not opinions. They are not things you feel. They are not things that make you angry. POIs are factual information regarding the proposal or whatever it is at hand. Let’s not abuse the system guys. So last but not least: Nan!
NAN: I’m in solidarity with Oakland, but Occupy Wall Street has a lot going on right now. We have people in jail. We have movement going on. We have people who need housing. We have a lot of things the money we have we have to take care of people here first. Occupy Oakland I’m in solidarity with but again I’m going to block you for this reason, an ethical reason if you don’t table this until Thursday. I want to see receipts. I want to see it for to know did you guys bought. What did you guys do? How much did it cost? ‘Cause I want to see evidence. I don’t trust in words. I’m sorry. I want to see concrete evidence. Once I see that then I can make an ethical decision. Right now I’m not making no ethical decision by your words, so basically you know I’m…my FA, my concern basically you can table this.
We can’t hear anything.
Nan: I’m sorry. I was telling him that occupy wall street, for me, is a ethical problem for me, because he’s, he bringing a proposal right now without no receipts. I need to know what they bought, what they do, and things like that. I want to see concrete evidence. Once I see that then I can make an ethical decision. But right now it is not an ethical decision for me to make that, to make any decision. I’m going to block it for the purpose that there is no receipt and I’m not voting for something just by words. I am the kind of person I want to see evidence. I want to see in my face in order to make a proper decisions and that’s a big concern to me. And by the way we are not Bank of America.
Stairs: OK, so at this point. We need to move toward consensus. The first thing I’m going to ask “Are there any blocks? Are there any blocks?” Blocks, please raise your blocks so we can count you. One. Two. Three. Four. Five. Six blocks. There are six blocks.
Stack: There is also a POP.
Stairs: I do understand where your POP is coming from. I do.
Stack: She hasn’t even said it.
POP: I don’t think this proposal can be passed right now or that we can move toward consensus so I don’t think we can be taking blocks right now…people have made FA maybe we can bring this back on Thursday. Maybe we can come back on Thursday with receipts. Maybe it can be next week. I don’t think this proposal can be passed.
Stairs: So to clarify for you the reason why I asked for blocks is the proposer can try to address the blocks, they can drop the blocks and we can possibly more closer toward consensus.
[discussion explaining process; can’t quite make it out]
Stairs: Oh, she withdrew her block. Next block.
Can people who make blocks take them seriously and actually. I’m not talking about you. I mean just if you’re not participating and you don’t voice a concern then you block? That’s problematic for procedure.
Stairs: Mic Check. I need everyone to listen. Don’t need the peoples mic now. This gentleman brought up a very important part of the process. I forgot to ask the proposer to restate his proposal with any friendly amendments. Proposer, can you please restate your proposal with any friendly amendments.
Ok, so the proposal is to provide $30,000 to Occupy Oakland financial working group from which they will deduct or reimburse themselves according to the receipts they have which they will send us copies of and distribute $5,000 each of the other cities that were involved that also spent money. If there is anything left over from the reimbursement that money will go toward the ILWU action. And the receipts from that will also be sent back to us, copies of those receipts. And the amendment was, the FA that I’m including is that someone from financial working group here will directly be in contact with and speak to, before any of this funding goes through, with someone from Occupy Oakland in their financial working group to verify that they do in fact need these resources. And that the money will then go toward Occupy Oakland’s financial working group. Which we already
Which you already….
Yes. That is, so did I include it correctly? Thank you. So that is the proposal.
Stairs: So now that the proposal has been stated. I apologize for this. I need to ask again. Are there any blocks? OK, I got five blocks. I would like to now address the blocks. Nan can you please state your block?
Nan: My block is this. Table it until we see receipts. If you don’t, I’m not going to move my block.
Is that ethical? I mean…
Stairs: Hold on.
Nan: It is ethical for me.
Stairs: Nan, can you explain your ethical concern? Why you would like this to be tabled.
Nan: OK. My ethical reason is this: You’re asking me to basically vote on something I don’t even see. I don’t know what exactly the money is being spent on. What they spent it on. That’s ethical because people trust us with this money. They donate the money to OccupyWall Street to help the movement, to help the movement. OK, but if you’re going to say you need money we need to know what the moneys going to be used for one. Number two if you have receipts we want to know exactly what is those and you guys purchased with those receipts, so you asking me to basically believe what you say, I’m sorry. Words can be words. But until I have concrete evidence it’s an ethical concern for me right now. That’s why I’m blocking.
Stairs: Can you address Nan’s concern?
The other week I went to the finance working group and you and I were both at the same meeting and you indicated you didn’t have the receipts for something you had spent money on from your working group and you had asked them to go ahead with it. So if receipts are, in fact, an ethical concern for you then you would have violating your own ethics at that particular meeting. And there were other people here.
Nan: Bullshit. I was asking a question.
Stairs: Can we bring it in real quick. That sounded a little bit kind of personal and not regarding the proposal.
Nan: Thank you. Thank you.
It was responding to an ethical concern, and if she has an ethical concern with something that she herself did and was a part of then it’s maybe not the same ethic.
Nan: It was a concern…a question I asked the financial team. I said it was a question that I had. I didn’t say it was a great example but a question. Thank you.
Stairs: So we’re not going to move into a metta conversation. We’ll move to the next block. Can you please present your block. Proposer please pay attention.
There’s a process in accounting for everything and if Oakland does not want to fulfill that process then they can’t funds. And Bobby stated what the process was at this point in time there has been no tape, no video footage, no point person listed, so these funds are just being dispersed to whomever to use however. Receipts…so, so, so we don’t know exactly, anybody can print a receipt. Everybody has computers and can print an invoice for anything. We need point people and we need footage that was the consensus. That’s what he said and I don’t know why you’re back on it and he clearly said that.
So to clarify that. That is not the actual process for proposals put forth here. That’s the process for requests. This is not a request; this is a proposal. So that’s a very different process.
No it’s not. It’s the same thing.
It is. It’s not. If people here make proposals.
My block is staying he didn’t respond to my block.
Stairs: OK, so the block stands. The next block:
The semantics between a proposal and a request are irrelevant. If we are reimbursing money that has already been spent simply producing the receipts is not to much to ask for. And I would absolutely support it if you did that. But that is not what; you have stated you are not willing to do that.
Yes you did! For the extra funds, I’d love to give money to Occupy Oakland and those movements but I have an issue with just sending out big checks and they don’t tell us exactly what they are going to be using it for. Other occupations have sent us itemized budgets and I request that you do the same and I will remove my block.
Stairs: Next block
I’m blocking for the same reasons as Bobby as well as why I blocked the the earlier proposal. Which is because of the move and the size of this GA and the fact that not everybody knows…
[Anthony is explaining that the disruption is being caused by someone with a mental disability and that we should try and be compassionate]
Because of the move tonight in addition to the budgetary items that is why I’m blocking.
Can I respond to that? I would like to add an additional friendly amendment. To accommodate part of your block it won’t accommodate your entire block because I can’t accommodate the move. The part that I would like to accommodate with a FA to include that by Thursday we get a list of receipts for the money that is being requested and those receipts are presented to the finance working group; that there is an accounting working group that for the process of reimbursement it has to go through receipts anyway. So for this to occurr those receipts will be provided on Thursday. So the proposal is to have that, there’s also
The only way that my address could be blocked would be for that to occur first, for this proposal to be tabled and for it to be brought to a GA that has been advertised for 24 hours.
Stairs: Next Block.
I agree with previous blocks. In addition. I was sad that we didn’t pass the $100,000 bail fund for us.
Us is Occupy Wall Street and the needs of our community.
But you want to send money somewhere else?
And there is this to my mind we are spending far too much money and we’re going to be out of money. I’m a worrier. I’m a big worrier. You know that about me. I watch our pennies. And what I’m seeing…
Fuck the money
One more person says fuck the money they get arrested and want bail then we see “Fuck the money.” And so I’m very concerned. As much as I support what you all do if they had come tonight to ask $3,000 not only would I not have blocked, I would have said, “Thank you, Oakland. I love what you’re doing.” But at $30,000 I don’t think we have enough money. We’re going to be running out. We have other needs. We have to address our needs first, because if New York goes under, excuse me, what happens?
So, can I respond to the block? So, I think, If you are saying quality; that was the most quality action. We did get quality from that. And if we talk about quality and quantity, If we talk about for $30,000, which is what we spend here in less than a week, we got the best action that we’ve had. And it wasn’t just Occupy Oakland. It was the entire West Coast was involved, so this funding isn’t just about supporting one place or keeping viable one place. This about keeping the entire global, national movement viable. If you are talking about the quantity; the quantity was spent. That action came out of it. There was one other aspect which was if we run out of money that I wanted to respond to, which was, if we start worrying about how we…we’re spending the money, setting it aside for bail funds. If we don’t do these things. If we don’t have actions happening, we won’t need the bail money. If we don’t put money forward to do things the movement’s going to die before we need it. I mean we need to put money into doing things; we need to be active. I agree that some things need to think if we want to be active in but I think we can all agree that the movement the port shutdown was something we are proud of happening, and we want to see more things of that caliber and we are not going to see that by leaving these occupy groups with $1,000 to handle transporting thousands of people and housing thousands of people, handle the ongoing actions that are happening out there, so I hope you’ll reconsider your block considering the quality and quantity of the funding. Obviously if it’s more than they need they; it’s not like they want us to go under; they want us to stay viable. So we need to think about them.
I maintain my position. If you asked for one digit less I would supported you like mad. At this moment, until we have met many of our needs, and put aside money for New York’s needs in reserve funds I have no choice. I feel a fiduciary responsibility. I’m sorry. Understand that it is because I feel this responsibility.
Stairs: The next block is Nick over here.
You’re asking for $30,000. I don’t think you came to the GA correctly to ask for $30,000, you know what I’m saying? The thing…my block is ethical. It’s all about ethics, man, you know. When you come and ask for that much money. You come a proposal, you come with receipts you come with something that says this is what they did, this is what they spent, and you didn’t come to us like that so I feel that either…
So the difference is that…sorry are you ok with me responding?
You’ve gotta respond.
Occupy Oakland did come with receipts and proposals and their financial working group has been incredibly transparent for anything you can go to them and say, “Where are these receipts” and they will give those receipts.
It’s the GA that needs to see the receipts.
I know. I’m saying. I’m responding to this. We denied them funding. We did not give them funding before. This was for the port action. If this is an action we are truly in favor of this shouldn’t be about receipts we should be supporting them as part of the movement. If receipts are the central issue then that’s an accounting.
We want to account where our money is going to.
We can’t just give them the money like that.
I’m not asking for it for me. I’m asking…
We can’t just give Oakland that money like that. We have to account for it too. Just like they have to account for what they did. Come on man. It’s all about ethics here. Let’s be ethical.
They are accounting for how they spent the money. They will respond. It’s not lacking the accounting. It’s distributing the funds that we have.
What will they be then?
No, it’s distributing funds. You see we can distribute funds to other people and not know how those funds are spent. We can
We can? We can do that?
Everyone can. I can donate money to any organization I want and not ask for a receipt
My block is holding.
Stairs: really quickly. I didn’t see any blocks that dropped. Blockers. People who blocked please come and participate in the process because your block is important. I didn’t see any blocks that dropped. Did any of the blockers drop their block?
Stairs: OK, So I need really quickly to have a conversation with the proposer.
She’s leaving and she’s still blocking.
Stairs: OK, just hold on one second.
You can’t leave Kelly.
Stairs: Mic Check. The proposer has decided to table the proposal because it’s really clear that we won’t reach modified consensus or consensus. So I’m going to call for the last two proposers one last time.
Can I, just to lighten the mood a little bit and a little vibe thing I just want to say that the pizza we just enjoyed came from our social media team calling themselves the Tweetboat because tonight the @occupywallstnyc got it’s 100,000 follower. And they wanted to celebrate by treating the GA to pizza.
Stairs: All right. Medical clinic? Street medics: are you in the space? Street medics? OK their proposal is tabled because I have called them twice and they are not here. The other proposal was J/17, congress solidarity. J/17. Anyone here with that proposal? Great. That proposal is tabled. We are now moving to announcements. There was a gentleman here who had a really important announcement that he wanted to do earlier, I would love to hear him now because he waited. He stayed with process.
Stack. I’ll be taking stack for other announcements. Come to me.
Stairs: Anthony is taking stack for announcements.
My name is Alex. My name is Alex. It’s important to remember that this is a movement that we need to work together and get on track. A lot of these GA’s we’re talking about money. We go to these meetings, I notice that at the spokes council a lot of working groups have sort of tension against each other. We tend to argue a lot. Also what concerns me is the OccupyWallst.org page. We have a lot of these random videos. But there are some important issues that we need to speak about. We need to educate each other about, like the NDAA bill and SOPA bill.These are the things we need to tell our people about. I’m not sure if you guys know what the National Defense Authorization Act is but I’ve been telling people during the Thanksgiving break when it was just under the TV screen and how it was so quickly to be passed. On the second week they voted on it. On the third week OBama didn’t veto the bill before they passed it. Right now they are working on concentration camps while we’re here arguing, like on things like Spokes Council we’re arguing about how to celebrate the holidays; we’re arguing about very bureaucratic points that have already been made. And general assembly what this seems to be about talking about funds and I agree with the bail money and everything we all need to be working together. This is like a spiritual movement. That we working together on how one individual treats another. So we can posit some change in the world. Let’s not forget about that and also we need get on track and focus about the main points of the actions of what should be done. You know. We’re sitting. We’re sitting at…if it weren’t for people’s donations every single day we wouldn’t be having this money. You know, people donate this money so we expect for us the generation so we could make a change, you know what I mean? And we’re sitting at 60 Atrium and doing these things like eating food, drinking coffee, doing all these things. People are coming around asking for information about the movement, know what I mean? And it’s a shame that the people have to come to 60 Wall Street to do a mic check just to find information. We need a better structure. We need to start focusing. And we’re talking about throwing money at this and that way and talking about who can facilitate this and that everybody has a voice but not everyone wants to come tell you, “Hey, you can’t do it this way.” But you know … we all need to have some kind of say. An agreement; this is a movement. These issues aren’t just happening in New York City. It’s happening everywhere. And if you can see, there’s no 50 Wall St. across the country. People are getting straight shot and thrown bombed at; people are dying for standing up for what they believe to make a change. We gotta be serious and get on track. We just need that little bump to awaken us. You know what I mean? Thank you.
Next on stack
Mic Check. Can everybody hear me? I just want to build on what the brother said before. It’s very, very important. Hold on, brother. Let me speak. It’s very important, what my brother was saying just now, because there’s a lot of shit going on out there and we’re focused on money money money Every day. What we’re doing right now is we’re replicating the same body that we’re fighting against. The same body we are fighting against we’re replicating it right here. Right now we can kinda, I think. And this is my personal opinion and right now I feel we have this false sense of entitlement. When this sister was talking about us; us is around the god damn world. Not just Occupy Wall Street. Oakland, straight up got way more balls then we do.
[mixed reaction from the crowd; hard to make out what people are saying]
Yes, they do. Yes, they do. Oakland got way more balls.
[back and forth conversation can’t make out who’s saying what; seems to be debate over how large Oakland’s balls are]
Stairs: Mic Check
Let me explain. Oakland is out there; Oakland ain’t got no money and they’re still being active. We got a couple hundred thousand here…Hold up, brother. We got a couple hundred thousand here and we can’t get our shit straight. To be honest with you is not have any money and see if we can do the same shit we were doing before without no god damn money. I’m a part of minutes and I get to see what we talk about in GA’s and Spokes Councils every day verbatim. Word for word. Sometimes we spend between $20,000 and $25,000 a week. Thirty grand a week. And we don’t got that much; I don’t know about they donating and putting back but we spend about thirty grand a week; And we don’t really do nothing. I’m sorry. We don’t really do nothing. I’m a part of Occupy the Youth. I teach direct democracy to the high school kids. I don’t come asking for $10,000 for pencils and paper. I don’t come here asking $10,000 for pizza parties. I don’t do that. I got my metro-card and if I don’t got my metro-card I do what I gotta do. I mean some of the stuff we talking about the things we thinking about, man…we gotta like, yeah, it’s unnecessary. We gotta like pump the breaks drive slow and figure out what we are trying to do and get our shit together For real.
Stairs: Next on stack.
Stairs: Number two. I’m stack taker. You’re number four.
Hey, New York. My name is Furry and I’m from Occupy LA. But I’m born and raised in the Lower East Side, Manhattan and I’m just really honored to see you all here bringing the soul back to New York City. So, thank you, god bless you all.
Stairs: Mic Check. Let’s not fall apart. We’re almost there.
Stack: Beside myself there are two other people on stack. Stack is now closed. This is an announcement. Let’s get those in first.
In Egypt people are getting shot. There was a guy who got shot in the eyes twice by rubber bullets. He lost both his eyes. We’re not getting shot. All we get is pepper spray and humiliated. They don’t worry about money as much as we do. Fuck our money, man. I’ve been broke for the last two fuckin’ months. Right now I have seventy cents in my pocket.
Can you not use profanity, please?
I will try not to use fucking profanity. I’ll try not to. The point is…
I feel unsafe….
We’re a movement; we’re all brothers and sisters. We shouldn’t just be arguing about money. Instead…let’s go to a march tomorrow. Why not? Just for the hell of it. You know, piss off the cops ’cause they piss us off all the time.
You know, remind everyone we’re a movement; we’re a family. Let’s act like one instead of bickering.
Is this an announcement?
That is my god damn announcement.
Mic Check. Mic Check.
Stack: He’s next on stack. And stack is closed.
Stack: Next on stack.
Stairs: Mic Check: Next on stack.
All right. I have an announcement. Ok. I’m with alternative currency working group is trying to have a fundraiser on Sunday so if you’re from that group arts and culture. If you have people trying to sell their art work we’re trying to do that Sunday and I wanted to say that when you make decisions and when you come to consensus and not too many people from the body are around you people get confused, so like when maybe moving from the park or something like that or taking it to a different location, or maybe just ok let’s come to a consensus that people need to be a part of working groups now to get metro-cards; or let’s come to a consensus that people need to have a signature from a point person; or let’s come to a consensus…all of that gets to aggression in people’s fucking; yeah, people fucking get. You should see the stuff that goes on while you guys are enjoying the GA and 60 Wall Street. Just people trying to get metro-cards. What happened? So, yeah I’m done with the announcement. Anybody got a clarifying question come at me.
Stairs: The last announcement is from…
Hi everybody! Mic Check. Mic Check. I’m going to use the people mic. Occupy Theatre is going to have its first open meeting. On Thursday at 3pm. Charlottes place is closed so we will be using 60 Wall Street.
60 Wall will also be closed.
What? OK We’re going to meet at the park. On Thursday at 3pm in Liberty Square Occupy Theatre will be having an open meeting. We also need people who know of locations where we can hold events and fundraisers. If you have any ideas please bring them to the meeting on Thursday. Also, my phone was stolen for the third time. If anybody in the community has a working cell phone that they would like to donate for me to use I would really appreciate it. Thank you.
Stairs: Mic Check. This GA has completed its agenda we are now closing. We are having people soap box right here; if you want to soap box please do so. I love you all. I’m out.