**** PLEASE NOTE: The proposer will be available at 60 Wall, on 1/14 from 3:33 until GA to discuss this proposal****
About the proposer:
I, Jason Ahmadi, am one of the original planners and organizers of September 17th
and an occupier of Liberty Square. I have given the majority of my energy to the
Press Team and the Trainings Working Groups, but I have also gifted time and
energy to Media, Medical, Facilitation, Direct Action, Non-Violent Communications
and Mediation, and Sanitation Working Groups. I came to New York City to sit on
the national board of the War Resister’s League.
Freeze all future spending from the OWS general fund till we get another
encampment. This does not include the $99,999.99 fund set aside for bail.
Possible friendly amendmenti8 http://www.nycga.net/2012/01/05/spending-
one month freeze period to understand what we want to do with money
spending freeze till we create a comprehensive OWS budget, not just for
projects and working groups
Reasons why I am making this proposal:
The original intention of OWS was to create a public space for open dialog
around the crisis. My and others intention for GA was to have a space where
people could plan unified actions around solving or bringing attention to the
crisis as well as finding unity around messaging and goals for the movement.
My worry is that since the influx of donations, much of the GA’s time is spent
on proposals on how to spend the money.
OWS has never been equipped to deal with homelessness. It is true that
it was naïve to create defended occupied space to talk about economic
exploitation and not deal with the reality of homelessness, but still we were
never able and still are not able to deal with the overwhelming problem. Our
goal was simply to bring light to the situation. I believe we should advocate
for radical self-reliance over the charity model.
In my mind, the majority of the donations came in to support our occupation
of Liberty Square so we could create that space for assembly promised in
our constitution, but non-existent in New York City. As we no longer have
that space, I think it is a mistake to continue spending the funds gifted for the
operations of our camp from hard working people.
Again, from my perspective, people’s movements have never succeeded
based on economic capital. People’s movements rely on social capital
and people capital. We cannot rely on economic capital if we want this
movement to be a real success. We should be able to everything we need
through in-kind donations and through volunteer energy. If we cannot do it,
then maybe we were too quick to call it a movement.