1/14/2012: Censure Affirmation

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Proposal to NYC General Assembly
14.Jan.2012

by Jeffrey Brewer

Requests for Censures on acts of Verbal Aggression, Overuse of Serious Charges, Discriminatory Practices

⁃ Censure on the use of language, accusations, character defamations that are completely unfounded or have no specific basis. Slander is and act of verbal violence.

⁃ Censure of the frivolous use of serious terms such as “Sexist” and “Racist”. The unfounded use of these terms only serves to cheapen the collective sense of importance in counteracting these damaging plagues that ravage our communities.

⁃ Censure on the practices that preclude participation or personal expression based on sex, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, physical ability or any other protected class. Understand that “reverse discrimination” is simply Discrimination. Preventing anyone from involvement based simply on these criteria is unjust and inherently contrary to our principles of solidarity.

Requests for Affirmations on Having Process and Applying Process Evenly for Everyone

⁃ Affirmation that process is a fundamental tenement of Justice; without equal application of process there can be no Justice. No Justice, No Peace.

⁃ Affirmation that Process exists to protect all individuals in a community and absence of Process for all is a foundation for inequality and persecution. We may protest injustice or inequality in the application of Process, but the existence of Process is a fundamental right.

28 Responses to “1/14/2012: Censure Affirmation”

  1. odd ah

    I have to speak out on this! The proposer is the reason I quit volunteering for housing, in the past he has refused to house people in the church because as he stated, “67 to 72 people in the church was perfect.” I took this to mean he was choosing to turn people away to suit his personal comfort level, however when it turned out that one of the people he would be turning away was someone he knew personally, he obliged, this is called favoritism. The church in question had confirmed earlier that they could host 100 people. Additionally, he has demonstrated to myself and others an unreasonable lack of cooperation and respect when working alongside assertive, confident women. I believe that by calling for censure of the terms Sexist and Racist will enable him and others like him to officially and further alienate and marginalize people. I apologize if y’all feel I am out of line with this public online response, however, it is done, do what you will.

  2. odd ah

    The fact is that we live in a profoundly anti-female society, a misogynistic ”civilization” in which men collectively victimize women, attacking us as personifications of their own paranoid fears, as The Enemy. Within this society it is men who rape, who sap women’s energy, who deny women economic and political power. -Mary Daly

  3. Dallas

    I’ve already caught flak for this, so I may as well have the discussion out in the open with all of the Occupy family:

    I’m no great fan of patriarchy, oppression or prejudice…. and I hope it’s clear to those of you who know me that I consider anything or anyone that seriously physically or psychologically endangers ANY Occupier a problem to be dealt with ASAP.

    That said, I’m just going to ask nicely once:

    If there is an issue with sexist and/or predatory behavior on the part of some individuals, by all means let it be addressed fully and ASAP…. but can we please, please refrain from the blanket statements of inherent wrongdoing and malevolence on the part of all males?

    If that Mary Daly quote had “blacks” and “whites” subbed in for “men” and “women”, pretty much every single one of us would have a fit over it being posted here. Maleness (in the biological sense) is the possession of a Y chromosome rather than an X. Biological males are stuck with it like PoC are pretty much stuck with darker skin and hair. Just food for thought.

    Re: the proposal…. actually I would strongly support an agreement that sets SOME kind of standard to prevent character assassination/slander/etc. Given the circumstances and the various allegations regarding your conduct, Jeff, I’m not sure you’re the person that can get this passed…. but some parts of this have *nothing* to do with gender and those parts seem pretty valid to me.

    • odd ah

      Yes, Mary Daly quote is extreme. Yes, blanket statements can be offensive to those who have overcome their particular, inherent conditioning of the privilege to oppress and dominate.
      I apologize if I have offended anyone by quoting Ms Daly.

  4. odd ah

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censure
    ‘Censure’> is the public reprimanding of a public official for inappropriate behavior. When the president is censured, it serves merely as a condemnation and has no direct effect on the validity of presidency, nor are there any other particular legal consequences. It derives from the formal condemnation of either congressional body of their own members.

    The’ motion to censure’> is an exception to the general rule that “a motion must not use language that reflects on a member’s conduct or character, or is discourteous, unnecessarily harsh, or not allowed in debate.”
    “It is a reprimand, aimed at reformation of the person and prevention of further offending acts.” While there are many possible grounds for censuring members of an organization, such as embezzlement, absenteeism, drunkenness, and so on, DEM notes that the grounds for censuring a presiding officer are more limited:
    ‘Serious grounds for censure’> against presiding officers (presidents, chairmen, etc.) are, in general: >arrogation or assumption by the presiding officer of dictatorial powers powers not conferred upon him by law – by which he harasses, embarrasses and humiliates members; or, specifically:
    (1) he refuses to recognize members entitled to the floor;
    (2) he refuses to accept and to put canonical motions to vote;
    (3) he refuses to entertain appropriate appeals from his decision;
    (4) he ignores proper points of order;
    (5) he disobeys the bylaws and the rules of order;
    (6) he disobeys the assembly’s will and substitutes his own;
    (7) he denies to members the proper exercise of their constitutional or parliamentary rights.

    More serious disciplinary procedures may involve fine, suspension, or expulsion. In some cases, the assembly may declare the chair vacant and elect a new chair; or a motion can be made to rescind the election of an officer.

  5. odd ah

    Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction … The chain reaction of evil — hate begetting hate, wars producing more wars — must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation-
    Strength to Love (1963)
    http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/encyclopedia/encyclopedia/enc_strength_to_love_1963/

  6. Dallas

    In keeping with your last post odd ah – it is a little disappointing that that we didn’t already have agreements/process regarding slander and character assasination… But I’m going to chalk that up to the naivete that comes with idealism – we lack these rules because it took months for the need to explicitly define a certain mode of verbal expression as negative and taboo within OWS to arise.

    • Lopi

      how do you assassinate someone’s character if it’s widely held that their character leaves much to be desired even to the point of driving productive members of groups away from said groups?
      If we are going to set rules around this, we damn well better be sure we can call a rose a rose because by any other name it still stinks.
      in my opinion,, this is just another way to silence dissent.

      • Jeffrey Brewer

        I have no problem with critism. Everyone can have an opinion, me too!!
        I would only ask people not to base their discussions and critiques on things that simply did not happen, are patently not true, and allegations that have no foundation.

        • Lopi

          Ok, then speak to the time you ignored my voice when you were spoke for town planning. Remember? I had to recall you as a spoke because even though I repeated it several times, you still refused to say what I asked you to say, but instead pontificated on and on your own views without regards to your group’s requests.

          Or what about that other time when we were in a break out group discussion that you dominated and spoke over everyone at?

          Or at those town planning meetings where you constantly had to be in control and facilitating?

          What about the night that at least 5 women told you that you were harboring someone who had been accusing of raping FIVE occupiers and had been walked out of the park by Sean and Haywood? That you ignored the women’s concerns, but only relented when two men demanded your attention.

          You, in my experience, as a direct observer of such actions, have demonstrated extremely misogynistic and controlling behavior. This is not an allegation, this is what I witnessed. This has a foundation. Many people have experienced this aspect of you, yet instead of addressing it honestly and working on improving, you write a proposal so people can stop critiquing your behavior as it directly affects them? To what lengths will you go to refuse to grow?

          Instead of introducing a proposal that would put you above reproach, above accountability for your actions, really, why not ADMIT it and APOLOGIZE and make AMENDS?

          You’re insistence on creating a proposal so that no one can criticize you is a gross demonstration of extreme megalomania and power grabbing.

          • Jeffrey Brewer

            I think your accusations are off base, however I will state that in all of the recent discussions ans allegations they seem to be first that have any specificity. In the early Town Planning meetings, I rarely facilitated, in fact I still remember the first time I facilitated one of my own group meetings was at a Town Planning meeting just a week before its eviction following which our group stopped meeting regularly. As to the continued allegations regarding SPSA and the individual who stayed there, your statement is an outright lie. As you were not there, I would suggest you check the information that you are receiving through hear-say, and I would welcome anyone who would speak to me directly. To be clear, I did not know nor know of the individual and his past until the exact moment two women interupted a meeting of some forty people to inform all of us together of their concerns. Upon which we addressed them directly as a group, with the weight they rightly deserved.
            As to your other allegations, I feel you are not specific or have exagerated including the spokes meeting where you AND OTHERS had requested a specific response, and in the iterim before I was on stack, other groups had expressed similar concerns, and so I did not repeat them, when you disagreed I simply passed the placard to you so that you would be able to address the assembly. No one _refused_ anything to you or the other members of the group. At that instance I had apologized for “misunderstanding”. Apparently none of that is enough. It seems that you are fixate on some other response from me Lopi, and I do not understand what it is that you seek, but hopefully you will give it some thought and respond with openess and truth.

  7. Karanja

    How about just rooting out isms, rather than trying to deny that any isms exist and attacking the people who have been at the receiving end of various isms. Racism and sexism as well as other ‘isms denial should not be tolerated ever! “Denial” of oppression is oppression in itself.

    This wreaks from miles away! Then again, coming from you, it’s hardly surprising. This was tabled today, so bear in mind that it’s likely to be brought tomorrow night when everyone is at the vigil!

  8. Dallas

    In stating that denial of oppression is oppression, doesn’t one imply that accusation and anecdotal information from non-neutral parties is sufficient to invalidate a person’s right to tell their side of a story or respond to allegations made against them? Sounds very oppressive to me… It’s of utmost importance that everyone involved in any dispute or allegation of misconduct has their say, if we intend to create a space where everyone can feel safe and respected.

  9. Lopi

    I have personally experienced the person who authored this proposal to exhibit strongly sexist behavior towards me and other women.This is my truth, my experience and no amount of censorship will prevent me from speaking my truth.

    I dare you to censor me.. I will not be censored by you or any government.

  10. Amy M

    I agree with some of the points in the proposal – or example that process is used to protect individuals and that racism and sexism should be taken seriously. Probably l most people here agree with that. The language of censorship seems not suited to the situation. I think a more productive way to (start) to address these issues would be to phrase it in the positive:

    I would like a proposal that states something like:

    “We agree to the best of our ability to follow process because when people break process it gives them disproportionate power over people who are following process.”

    “We agree to do our best to use the words racism and sexism in a serious manner.”

    “We agree not to make violent threats at meetings.”

    “We agree to do our best to apply process evenly.”

    How about…. “We agree not to knowingly lie in order to defame others or gain power.”

    And anything else that should be obvious but doesn’t seem to be.

    As for how to enforce these rules, that may take more time, but at least there can be renewed agreement on some of the basics, even without an enforcement (or censorship) plan.

    Some people assume that these agreements exist, but I don’t know where they are written down exactly and if they are they should be reaffirmed in some way asap so that individuals and community feel empowered to say “hey, by the way, you just agreed not to do that.” It’s a starting point.

  11. HoaxCouncil

    WHAT KIND OF PERSON:

    WOULD CALL THE COPS ON A HOMELESS PERSON FOR STEALING A $30 METROCARD

    WOULD DENY FOOD TO A HOMELESS PERSON

    WOULD WASTE AN ENTIRE MEETING HAVING PEOPLE DEBATE THE DENIAL OF FOOD TO A
    HOMELESS PERSON

    WOULD DEMORALIZE AND TRIGGER THOUGHTFUL INDIVIDUALS BY FORCING THEM TO DEBATE
    THE DENIAL OF FOOD TO A HOMELESS PERSON

    WOULD BE GUARDING THE DOOR OF THE CHURCH ON THE NIGHT IT WAS ROBBED

    WOULD NOT APOLOGIZE FOR HARBORING UNSAFE PERSONS, KNOWN OR UNKNOWN TO HIM

    WOULD REFUSE TO STEP DOWN FROM FACILITATING AN ASSEMBLY WHEN ASKED

    WOULD PROPOSE A RULE FORBIDDING CRITICISM OF HIS ACTIONS

    WOULD PROPOSE A RULE FORBIDDING CRITICISM OF HIS ACTIONS

    WOULD PROPOSE A RULE FORBIDDING CRITICISM OF HIS ACTIONS

    WOULD PROPOSE A RULE FORBIDDING CRITICISM OF HIS ACTIONS

    WHAT KIND OF PERSON? (ASKED RHETORICALLY)

    WHAT KIND OF PERSON (THINK OF THEIR JOB?)

    WHAT KIND OF PERSON (NAME A NAME)

    WHAT KIND OF PERSON (DUCK DUCK GOOSE)

    • Jeffrey Brewer

      WoW!! Should misallegations, slander, and defamation ever be the case, even when based on willful lack of information and personal prejudices. Were the police called after the theft, or after several people were physically harmed or threatened? Does that person make choices of who to “harbor” or just follow process? Does that person _ever_ “guard the door”.
      You are making wild allegations based on things that are simply not true. You are doing it behind a tag that covers your identity. Should you have made an effort to desern facts then you probably would have less to say, but for sure could have earned more credibility in your complaints.

      • HoaxCouncil

        You ate the steak, buddy.
        I’m just postin’ some head-scratchers about compassion an’ humility.

        • The Jokes Council

          O HAI! O HAI!

          YOU FORGOT YOUR CAPSLOCK, SO I BROUGHT YOU ANOTHER ONE!

  12. sumumba

    interesting topic..whatever is true and what is NOT..seems like folks need to REALLY look at an ‘ism’ BEFORE THEY throw it out….there is race and sexism in this movement .((this is what the culture has inbredded in us from the beginning)) HOWEVER..i’ve seen folks call others racist just cuz they didnt get a metrocard (like at wednesday’s spokes) while i’ve seen still others call others ‘sexist’ just cuz a man says NO to a woman about something or a ‘POC’ acting ‘elitist’ and disparaging of another POC (PERSON OF COLOR)…or a white person deny that racism even exists in ows or other places///most times i hear and see it its bogus and a excuse to recuse folks of their negative behavior..i think EVERYONE needs ANTI-OPPRESSION training..BUT EVEN more they need to educate themselves and START being HUMAN before they see or act or speak based on race, gender and or sexual orientation….

    we also need to STOP falsely overusing the word ‘marginalizing’ as a POC it makes me cringe when that word is used by a white person…like that person speaks for me or we…or even worse when they excuse ANTI-MOVMENT behavior because someone is of color…u are NOT helping us PEOPLE OF COLOR when u enable and excuse negative violent and and disrespectful behavior based SOLELY on the race or perceived ‘marginal’ status of that person….ijs