Proposal for Tuesday 12/27 General Assembly: Yuri Cantor

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Contact Person: Yuri Cantor
Working Group 
(if applicable) : Tools working group (not applicable), and Occupy Oakland Outreach, which is a group that meets to network with Occupy Oakland – but is not officially a working group)
Contact Email:
Contact Phone: 646 243 7964

This is a Proposal for: General Assembly

Proposal for Tuesday December 27th, 2011

Occupy Oakland has requested $5000 per city (4 total- Portland, LA, San Diego, Seattle) and $10000 for Oakland (Oakland covered some of the costs for the other cities).
The budget spent went towards: flyers, posters, two-way radios, megaphones, communications, water, sound truck, buses, portapotties, printing, banners, and other miscellaneous expenses. Note: the total is for only a portion of the funds spent in 5 cities for the build up to, the action itself, and the follow up- all which involved mass mobilizations in each location for an extended period of time.
Total: $30,000

Occupy groups on the west coast used up many of their resources in planning and orchestrating the west coast port shutdown action. While OWS here in NYC had it’s own action against Goldman Sachs in solidarity, this proposal is to follow up on our words of solidarity and our actions in solidarity by also reimbursing Occupy Oakland $10000 and the other Occupy groups on the West Coast a total of $5,000 per city for money spent to make the west cost port shutdown action successful. 
Our solidarity must not be hollow words. By reimbursing OO and others we will be encouraging and helping facilitate more large scale actions in at least two tangible ways: 1) directly providing resources 2) demonstrating continuing support for their actions. With this reimbursement we demonstrate our interest in keeping all the occupies viable just as individuals and groups across the country have donated to help create the funds that help keep OWS viable.

Occupy Wall St and the occupy movement is a struggle; we must not be afraid to use our resources to support important actions, to keep the movement moving forward, and to continue escalating. We need to make sure to provide mutual aid with resources and not just symbolic solidarity for other occupy groups and their actions. We need to build closer coordination and networking with them so that we can plan together and act together. If we don’t support one another and share our resources with all of the occupies, we will fall apart one group at a time. Together we are a movement. Alone we are just another group with some resources. 

19 Responses to “Proposal for Tuesday 12/27 General Assembly: Yuri Cantor”

  1. Yoni Miller

    I wholeheartedly support this, because NYC spends about 10,000 dollars a week on Food and other smaller projects, so we certainly should get our priorities right and support this as well, because this is shit we want to promote when asking sponsors for more money.

    From a strategic point of view, if we do not support this, and sponsors ask or look at how we spent over 600,000 dollars they will want to see some of the projects we’ve spent it on.

    We’ve been given more money than any other Occupation, and it’s a basic tenet of our future society, where the wealthier bear the heavier debt of society. Because we have the most money, we need to be the most generous to it as well.

  2. Voter March

    @Yoni “I know we approved to spend 2K per city, for a maximum of 10K for the 5 cities. I know this, because I was there when we voted on it.”

    If GA pre-approved $10,000, then we should send the West Coast Occupations a total of $10,000, no more and no less.

  3. Anne

    Opposed; Occupy Oakland has used some poor judgment and we don’t have any idea how they will use this money.

    • Voter March

      @anne Occupy Oakland has used some poor judgment.

      Point of Information.
      Whether it was the fault or doing of Occupy Oakland, we do not know. However, Occupy Oakland shed some unfavorable light on the movement. See Huffington Post, Occupy Oakland Violence: Peaceful Occupy Protests Degenerate Into Chaos @
      “Protesters also threw concrete chunks, metal pipes, lit roman candles and molotov cocktails, police said.”

      • Urbaned

        That was because a “strike” occurred when OWS was about a month old. What do union strikes have to do with OWS? Do “Occupy Farmers” want union strikes? Do Permabank developers want union strikes? Do campers want union strikes? Do the homeless we are taking care of want union strikes? Who runs this movement, the unions?

        Yes, strikes hurt Goldman a little. But, IMHO, they hurt 99%’ers and the OWS movement more. I am sorry this issue keeps coming up.

        OWS needs time to grow and develop and should be very careful about adopting other peoples’ agendas, whether they are politicians, movie stars, rock artists, authors, or unions.

  4. s.t.

    POI: don’t know which GA Yoni was at, but the GA did not pre-approve $10K when the proposal was presented on 12/10.

    -Occupy Oakland: Occupy Oakland asks for up to $4,500 per city (5 total- Oakland, Portland, LA, San Diego, Seattle) from the GA for Monday’s action. PROPOSAL DOES NOT GO FORWARD.

    • s.t.

      also, the lack of specificity and accountability contained in this proposal alone would cause me to withdraw my previous support. sorry.

  5. Patrick Conway

    I attended the last GA where this was brought forward, and even back then, with an amount in the 22,000 range, it failed to pass. Why bring it forward again, asking for even more than last time?

    This shouldn’t be the kind of movement where NYC controls the other occupations, I think we can all agree on that. Depending on NYC to cover the expenses of other occupations’ actions does create a form of control — then we here right away start passing judgment on how they run their occupy and whether it meets our standards. I think it’s wrong to put both occupations in that position.

    I’m personally willing to see us send a stipend well below the amounts previously discussed (say $10,000 total) as a strong gesture of solidarity, but in our current difficulties, and not having great information about our finances on a regular basis yet, it’s really uncomfortable to commit to sending large amounts to other locations for doing what they maybe need to be able to do on their own in order for us all to succeed. If we happen have surplus goods or services that they need (like when we sent Oakland 100 tents after their eviction), we should definitely send them those in addition to a stipend.

    If they want us to play a substantial role in the funding of their actions, fairness requires that they should include us in the planning, which, as I explained, creates a potentially unhealthy dependency. Do we support them? Yes, absolutely. Should we be a primary funding source for them *and every other occupation also,* leading us down the path of controlling them? I’m on the fence, leaning no.

    I’d ask the proposers to lower the amount so that we can get them something in the way of support without setting a precedent that we will bankroll every other occupations’ activities. We can certainly talk about taking that burden on once we have better decision-making structures in place than we do now. Perhaps it does make sense to commit to that in future. Since we haven’t had that conversation here yet, I don’t think we should support proposals that commit us to a precedent that has wide-reaching implications without having the larger discussion first. Stipend now, then a longer conversation about our relationship to the other occupations, especially as regards sending them funds and rights of approval of their use of those funds.

  6. Voter March

    @psconway I attended the last GA where this was brought forward, and even back then, with an amount in the 22,000 range, it failed to pass. Why bring it forward again, asking for even more than last time?

    Agreed. If it did not pass at the prior GA, then I would be in favor of backing up the original GA decision and not offering any funding.

  7. decolonizedoaklander

    i need to set the record straight about occupy oakland and the monies that are being asked for.

    1. the finance committee intends to publish all transactions online on our website. there is usually a weekly report of finances. in total, we’ve only raised about $30,000 for operations and actions. we’ve been using the OTHER $20,000 from OWS for bail and medical, as first intended.

    2. regarding the dec. 12th port action: a few hundred dollars went toward signs and posters. some days later, about $5,000 went toward more posters, transportation, portapotties, megaphones, etc. on that same night, $4,000 TOTAL went toward 4 cities (not five). portland and seattle asked for funds and were granted $1,000 each. LA and san diego were granted $1,000, but they did not ask for these funds. i don’t know if these funds were spent by each city.

    3. please check our minutes if you are in doubt of what actually transpired during a GA. below you’ll find the finance proposals for the bulk of the port expenditures.

    4. most of us in the assembly do not know about the funds that are being proposed here…not the $22,000, not the $30,000…not anything at all. i ask the proposal writer to please be more communicative with OO, and to urge your contacts to communicate with the GA so that we know what is going on.

  8. Urbaned

    When I joined Occupy Wall Street in September, I did not realize that New York was going to be funding other occupies. I also did not know that I would be in an organization that supports union strikes. I am in a union. I think much of its structure reflects the hierarchy of the 1%. I live in the West Coast and I am not sure who came up with the idea that port shutdowns are OWS tactics. There are other groups in Oakland that seem to be more inclusive of what people want. One, for example, is doing community outreach. Another is working on interfaith solutions to problems. We want to try other approaches. If OWS members go into the communities and dig in to help, rather than strike, some think OWS will be more effective.I’ve been to several meetings where people disapprove of the strikes, and some 99%’ers are certainly impacted financially.

    Like NYC, the Oakland GA has gone through an evolution and often does not seem democratic. There are issues about whether the GA is representative. Many people can’t make it because of child care and transit cost issues.

    I think that OWS is too young to authorize strikes. I also think there are bullies in the movement. I also say all of this somewhat out of fear, and I am not sure why I’m the only one speaking out. How can we deal with strong unions that I see as co-opting the movement?

  9. decolonizedoaklander

    urbaned, in OO the line between union action and OO action is not very clear.

    there are those who are committed – STRONGLY COMMITTED – to class struggle, and feel that it is our right as a radical movement to do things like shutting down ports because it puts infrastructure in a choke hold, and hurts the 1%.

    it seems that some of you who were at the GAs that concerned OO’s port shut down were under the impression that the union workers were on strike. this is not true. legally, they cannot strike. the ILWU leadership did not officially support the west coast port shut down. it has caused some contention in some circles. some folks thought, “wow, this is not even okayed by the union.” some folks thought, “well of course the union leadership HAS to say that publicly, but really they do support our action.” see how blurry this is?

    to some, it might seem that the ILWU is using occupy oakland to fight its battles.

    to some it might seem that occupy oakland (and other occupies) are fighting a righteous cause….one important battle in this class struggle the whole movement is about.

    to some, this action hurt the 99% (the non union folks who lost a day’s pay).

    it’s tricky.

  10. Voter March

    The West Coast OWS groups are strong. They have a lot of talent at their dosposal. California, Oregon and Washington have always been a hot bed of activism. In fact, the Los Angels OWS encampment, with the help of their Burning Man crowd, built the largest encampment in the U.S. with 500 tents. See YouTube video “This Week In Occupy: December 12th West Coast Port Shutdown” which demonstrates a strong independent media group by the West Coast OWS.

    Finally, we can’t forget that NYC GA got FORCIBLY ejected (not lawfully evicted) from Zuccotti Park. We have the highest cost of living and housing in the U.S. The stark reality is that NYC GA needs to hold onto its funds for its own needs.

    • Anne

      When and how did Occupy Wall Street become a welfare and housing agency? I’m pretty sure people around the country did not send money to fund “living and housing” costs for homeless and indigent activists (and some who are not activists but simply freeloaders). It’s crazy. If people need financial assistance they should apply for food stamps, public housing and welfare. OWS cannot support these needs. Why does this continue to go on?

  11. Voter March

    @Anne Point of Information,
    Agreed, OWS is not intended to be primarily a welfare and housing agency. When we are referring to “living and housing costs” we are not just talking about providing food and housing for homeless and indigent activists.

    OWS GA needs to find a permanent office to conduct its business, and to find an appropriate indoor location for the Spokes Council and GA meetings, especially in this cold winter. You cannot expect direct participatory democracy when people have to stand out in the snow and freezing rain and get sick.