NYCGA Minutes 12/6/2011

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.


Date/Time: 12/6/2011 / 7:15 pm

Location: Liberty Park

Facilitators (F): Christina, Sully

Minutes: Spencer



81.1.  Working Group Report Backs

81.2.  Agenda Items (Visions and Goals breakout, Accounting emergency proposal)

81.3.  Announcements

F: Since we are a small group today, instead of the usual debrief, what I was going to say was that there are a few people from facilitation over here…if you don’t understand the process feel free to ask them for understanding. It’s mostly just conversation today. [Temp check good]

F: We will do working group report backs, then a quick breakout from Vision and Goals, there was one proposal but I haven’t seen them here yet. Are you here? (no response) Then I guess that’s not happening tonight. After report backs, we will open it up for short announcements, then that will be it.

F: Any working group report backs?


81.1.  Working Group Report Backs

81.1.1.  Healthcare for the 99%: Hi, I’m James from Healthcare for the 99%, it’s a thematic working group of OWS. I just wanted to report back that we had a successful march and rally on Dec 4th Sunday and thank you for all you help we had two hundred medical students out, that’s it really. Thanks!

F: Tech is next.

81.1.2.  Tech: Very briefly, we finished the Freedom Tower! Yaaaa!!!

F: What does that mean exactly?

Tech: It’s a big mobile powerful hotspot, when we were camped here we had one, then the police stole it, so we built another one! It provides free internet for everybody, really good internet.

F: Late breaking question for Tech! What’s the name of the network?

Tech: The name of the network is the “free network”, but the tower isn’t here yet, we are trying to figure out how to deploy it. If you want to help with the deployment, find Issac anytime, it will probably involve Direct action and media.

81.1.4.  Occupy Dignity: Hey there! Occupy Dignity is trying to organize an Xmas day action, we have been interacting with various faith communities in NY to invite people to the park to participate in a 24 hour prayer vigil that will be happening from midnight Christmas eve to midnight Christmas day. We are also hoping to organize food, music and other things associated with Christmas time, although we want to not focus on consumerism. If anyone is interested in helping us out or lending their talents, you can come talk to me or email me: Thanks a lot!

F: Next on stack is Facilitation.

81.1.5.  Facilitation: Hello! I’m Brett from facilitation. There is a meeting tomorrow at 4pm in this park to identify and help find solutions to the continuing needs of the occupiers and the community. The more voices and working groups we have, the more productive it will be. 3 pm in the park, tomorrow. Thanks!

81.1.6.  Occupy New Years: This is an announcement for hopefully your participation in a direct action on New Years to occupy 2012, if you are interested in that, come see me at anytime. Edward Hall the third on facebook.


81.2.  Agenda Items

F: Next up is Visions and Goals, who will give a brief introduction for their proposed breakout.

81.2.1.  Visions and Goals  Visions and Goals: Hi everybody I’m Leah! Me and the group here are going to read over the document that we have so far, then we are going to have you go into breakout groups, we will decide whether to make you work in the rain or not [sarcasm]…but you should hear it.

“What follows is a living document that will be revised through the democratic process of the General Assembly. From the General Assembly of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, to the People of the World, we offer a Declaration of our Vision.

Mic Check: We are the 99%. System Check: The system is broken. Fact Check: The environment is collapsing. Reality Check: There must be change.

We envision a truly free, democratic, and just society, built on the following principles:

Liberty: whereby we secure the civil and human rights of all against violation or infringement, particularly by unchecked corporate power and unjust governments;

People Power: whereby government, in every form and at every level, exists by the will of those governed. In this new world neither wealth nor history alone will justify power.

Solidarity: whereby all people come together to make decisions through consensus; a process by which everyone’s voice is heard, and no one is marginalized;

Accountability: whereby all who reap society’s benefits accept a fair share of their responsibilities;

Fairness: whereby political and economic institutions work to benefit all. We dare to propose that the social, economic and political systems be reviewed and revised where they no longer function in the interest of all;

Peace: whereby we learn to live in harmony and embrace principles of tolerance and respect for diversity and the differing views of others;

Equality: whereby institutionalized racism, sexism, and all other forms of discrimination are rejected by all;

Non-violence: whereby non-violence is embraced as a way of life, and we resolve to always carry a good message as we work out our differences.

People Before Profit: whereby we value human dignity and needs over monetary gain, because when people lack security or a standard of living adequate for their well-being, effective democracy is impossible;

Meeting Human Needs: whereby meeting human needs are elevated to a place of primary importance; among these are the right to meaningful and well paid work; decent housing; and comprehensive healthcare and education;

Environmental Stewardship: whereby we work together to protect the global environment and preserve all species to ensure that life is sustainable, and that future generations will have safe and clean air, water, and food supplies.

Mic Check: We are the 99 percent

Our occupation will continue

We will make this vision a reality.”

V&G: What I want to ask you guys to do…its very wet out and you might not be able to write clearly on this paper so if you would like take the paper home with you and if you have a computer, you can go to our website, and go to visions and goals, look in forums, and find the topic on the clarity and vision statement there. What we want you to do is add comments that are pertinent to what we have so try to keep all diatribes off of this portion, we are trying to get this to the GA next Sunday for Consensus! Pleas help us, thank you!

PoI: If you don’t have a computer you can go to any city library or Charlotte’s place from Mon-Fri 12pm-6pm. Thanks! One more thing, would you care to do a breakout session tonight, or is it too messy to accomplish anything? Temp Check?

F: Im seeing a lot of mixed signals about what to do with our collective time right now, I’m not gonna do people’s mic. Since we are such a small group, we will roll through our collective agenda, then we can give feedback afterwards. Temp check? (Good)

81.2.2.  Finance Emergency Proposal

F: We have someone from Finance with a potential emergency proposal, basically, it is expected that all proposals be posted for 24 hours, but an emergency proposal is one that has an external deadlines that are not knowable before this particular GA. They will explain the proposal and why they think it is an emergency. If the group agrees this is an emergency, we will go forth.  Finance: Hi I’m Haywood! We are formally known as Finance, we are now Accounting, because that is what we do. The ninety second summary is as follows: Late last night Occupy Oklahoma City reached out with an emergency request for $550 for court costs, for their first amendment case to keep their occupation. They have civil rights attorneys, church groups, etc. but they are flat broke. They are looking for $550 court costs immediately, if we don’t wire these funds immediately, it won’t get with them tomorrow and they might lose their occupation. It is going to an individual, they don’t have a bank account, but we have full faith in this person. OOKC has gone through a long back and forth about what is a public space and what you can do there, In their park, joggers, exercisers and tai chi practitioners can do it 24 hours and get permits, but somehow political action is limited. They are bringing a case to apply for a permit for political activities because everyone should be treated equal.

[Temp check good to hear this]

F: Basically we will open a stack for questions, clarifications, does anyone not understand the proposal enough?

Finance: I have the email if you want to read it but it’s really long  Clarifying Questions (CQ)  The $550 is for permits?

A: It is to cover the court costs so their case can get the permits to go through. Then they can apply for permits.  CQ: Are they for lawyers?

A: They have pro bono lawyers, this is just for filing fees.  CQ: Where?

A: Oklahoma City.  CQ: Is there any need for discussion?

A: Obviously if people are on stack.

F: Anyone who doesn’t understand enough to keep going?  CQ: Can we send the money directly to the court?

A: Potentially we could, that’s a good question. I don’t have an answer yet, if it is we will to send it to the court. IF it is the people’s will, if possible, we could try to send it to the court.

CQ, continued: It’s not a matter of trust, it’s a matter of expedience.

A: We will make sure it goes as fast as possible  CQ: Can you tell us his name for openness?

A: The name is Beth Isbell.

F: Any more Clarifying Questions about this specific proposal? At this point I’d like to open stack for concerns about this proposal.

F: If there are no concerns, I’ll go to consensus if there are no FA’s?  Friendly Amendments (FA)  FA: I’d suggest that we pay to the court if possible.

A: If possible I accept.

F: Are there any blocks? I don’t need “no’s”, only “yeses” if there is a block?

F: Consensus! Emergency Proposal passes!

Accounting: The brothers and sisters in OKC thank you!

F: We are now through with the agenda, I would like to open one last stack for announcements.


81.3.  Announcements

81.3.1.  Hi, they stole the bench again, I suggest that after the GA we go and take it back thank you!

F: Next on stack.

81.3.2.  Constitution working group has a proposal, please find it online: or, look it over its really important, its coming up Sunday

81.3.3.  Hi, I have spoken to other occupations. They felt, not all of them, but some of them, that we were not in solidarity. So, to honor them, all of us, occupy the world, I would like to scream out, a revised, rewritten, speech chant if you will, of what we say here at OWS. All the time if you haven’t heard, we occupy the world! (repeated three more times)


81.3.4.  Hi, I’m Blackfeather, I’m an actual Indian, we are still alive! What I want to say is there are people here who don’t have text or email so they don’t get our info, where we are having this meeting, especially the ones staying at the churches. I propose that my working, The Blackfeather’s, where I send people out to meetings to sit on, not interact with, just to take details of when and where and what these meetings are about. We will get text and info of that and send it out, it is a stationary info table at these meetings where people are getting info  My question is, is this a proposal to bring back something torn from us before the raid, the information station? If it is, I’m down!

Response from Blackfeathers: What I need is five people at least, how many churches do we have? (2), I need one person per church, and the rest here, I’ll also need finance for three laptops and two cell phones.

PoP: We will have to bring this to another GA and draft a proposal to get the money. Thanks.

81.3.5.  Florindo: I have two announcements. An event, it’s a free bus to Albany Thursday morning at 9am. Day after tomorrow, to occupy the capitol for housing rights. If you want info about how to get on the bus, I can give it to you I have it on paper. The second event is two events, Sunday and Monday Peace Action Manhattan has a global warming and peace event. It’s an educational event, it’s a grassroots inspiring event, we need to organize around global warming action, so we have a trained speaker coming to 88th and Columbus to make a presentation about global warming and peace. IF we can get six people for each event we would be happy. Thursday and Sunday, thanks!

81.3.6.  Tomorrow, at 6pm in the Bronx, my neighborhood, we are meeting at Lincoln Hospital to protest the false arrests the NYPD like to make against us, thats 33rd Ave at 138th street, Lincoln Hospital.

F: Last on stack!

81.3.7 Hey everyone I’m Lawrence, Free Society working group, we are back! The eviction knocked us out too, so we have been regrouping and you can meet with us on Sundays from noon to two and tuesdays from 5 to 7pm, it’ll be great, I’ll be there. I hope you will be too to discuss alternatives to the system that we can build. At 60 Wall St., its warm and dry and I’ll be there.

F: That’s the end of our GA! Thanks.

8:00 General Assembly Ends


2 Responses to “NYCGA Minutes 12/6/2011”

  1. dougb

    Hi, all,

    I spent a total of 3 weeks at various times in Sept., Oct., Nov. at OWSNYC, am very loyal, am part of vision and goals. I live in Maine where I’m freezing my butt off the way you will be in a couple of weeks. Liberty Plaza is a nearly “sacred place,” but I’m very concerned that the cold and wet is reducing GA attendance to such a small numbers that important decisions can’t be made or made well. Are you looking for an indoor place that holds a lot of people? I urge you to. We can take back Liberty park in the spring.

    The conduct at Spokes council sickens me as I read the minutes. It seems like “bad Karma” has pursued it since day 1. I suggest that you convene 1 or more special general assemblies indoors to resolve this. Now, its a cancer eating away at the movement. Its a crisis. I emphasize large GA’s so that those invested in conflict there would be greatly outnumbered by people invested in preserving the movement’s health. SC’s seem connected in many people’s mind with control and withholding. Maybe its the battle zone, where the issue of whether democracy can be completely horizontal or whether we do need spokes as we get bigger, gets acted out rather than addressed.

    A response that carries risk but potentially huge rewards would be direct discussion at special GA’s about this issue that has historically split and weakened movements. OWS needs as much direct democracy as possible to model alternative ways of living to hierarchy and oppression. Yet some leadership, as modest as possible, sadly, we need too. We’ve got to avoid the old trap of its either – or and instead arrive at both – and. Can we address this head on before we risk destroying our movement or have too many fine people leave. Maybe I’m off target, but had to bring this up.

    If anyone wants to respond, please do.