Dissolution of Spokes Council

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Strong Women Rules Working Group proposes the dissolution of the Operations Spokes Council.

This will come before before the General Assembly Tuesday January 24th.

128 Responses to “Dissolution of Spokes Council”

  1. The Jokes Council

    I would like to formally request that this proposal be amended to rename the Spokes Council the Jokes Council instead.

    Just sayin’.

    • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

      The Joke Spoke Council Interesting Curious why?

    • Lädy Millard

      All this for what – ladies and gentlemen we are way off track -

  2. liza

    this isn’t a proposal. will you have one 24 hours before the meeting?

  3. Voter March

    The Spokes Council was an excellent idea from the onset. Unfortunately, it has been met with some growing pains and has had difficulty balancing its policy of inclusiveness with the chaos caused by certain “disrupters” at the meetings. NYC GA is an incubator and model for the entire Occupy movement. Rather than “give up” on what we have started, we need to “work harder” on improving Spokes Council.

    • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

      The spoke council Marginalize and excluding individuals in this movement, we cannot have such thing. The spoke council goes against every good-great things that the General Assembly stand for. Shame on those who love, embrace spoke council and triple shames on the founders of spoke council for creating a system that’s divide, manipulate, marginalize, excluded and so forth.

      • Sean McKeown

        Don’t worry, we’ll be continuing to improve it without you, Nan. It deserves an honest attempt without the continued attack and disruption that you have been laying on it from the get-go, and I would suggest if you want to know why we are going to exclude you completely fairly and transparently and in a way that all will consider acceptable, I’d suggest reading the Principles of Solidarity and asking yourself which of them you have violated recently in a very public way.

      • stephan geras

        I need to know some details, Nan. Please please say how Spoke marginalizes and excludes individuals??
        And please please try to trust me that I want to know all the details of why you’re stressed and angry??
        You don’t need to name names or feel like you have to accuse anyone… or maybe you do. But please tell me what about Spoke council troubles you so much. You can message me privately from the main page if you prefer to not make this public. In fact, this may not be something to make public yet.

        • The Jokes Council

          Well, there was an announcement about a proposal at Spokes Council to exclude her specifically from Spokes Council.

          I don’t think it was because she wanted to dissolve the Spokes Council, though, or even that she is a persistent disruptor, because we haven’t defined that and thus it’s just a word that carries no meaning rather than an indictment against a person’s character. Pretty sure it had something to do with physically attacking a Facilitator, and a long history of similar abuses at GA, Spokes, and elsewhere – I wonder, wonder, wonder why Kitchen kicked her out of their Working Group – didn’t it have something to do with knives?

      • Lädy Millard

        We are way off track in this movement – We need to realize what we are here for. Nan marginalizes herself – instead of focusing on the issues she is attacking herself. Everyone that goes to Spokes is on the same page as Nan. STOP REFOCUS – you are all being irrational and many of you need sleep. Take a week off.

    • Steve Scher

      i’ve developed a concern with individuals chosing not to use their name, and rather identify them selves as a group.
      I recall ten years ago a lawyer appearing to be manipulating the movement protesting the florida election coup against gore, by simply out manuvering the original leaders.

      i’d wondered what happened to him.

      for some reason the name voter march rang a bell.

      then “voter march” posted to me privatly that he thought he remembered me from ten years ago as a member of the green party who was also involved in the florida protests here in nyc.

      so i googled and found :
      “Lawyer Is Accused of Using Reform Group to Launder Money From Strip Club

      By JOHN ELIGON and AL BAKER

      Published: July 19, 2008

      A lawyer who fervently contested the result of the 2000 presidential election and started an organization advocating voter reform used it to hide profits from another venture, the police say: a strip club that offered more than dancing.

      The lawyer, Louis Posner, ran the Hot Lap Dance Club out of a fifth-floor loft in Hell’s Kitchen, where the police said the wealthy clientele paid as much as $5,000 for sex with dancers in private rooms.

      The authorities raided the loft on Thursday night and arrested Mr. Posner, his wife, Betty, and 19 others on charges that included money laundering and promoting prostitution. No clients were arrested.

      According to the police, Mr. Posner, a 52-year-old tax lawyer, funneled the club’s money to an account for Voter March, the grass-roots demonstration organization he started shortly after the 2000 election that has been largely inactive since 2004. He deposited money into several other accounts, the police said, adding that the amounts were low enough to avoid raising a red flag at the Internal Revenue Service.

      Investigators seized $570,000 from 13 bank accounts and two safety deposit boxes held by the Posners, all of which could be traced back to the dance club, a spokeswoman for the Manhattan district attorney’s office said.

      The defendants, who include dancers and other club employees, were scheduled to be arraigned on Friday night in Manhattan Criminal Court. If convicted on the top charge of money laundering, Mr. Posner could face up to 15 years in state prison.

      No one answered a telephone call to Mr. Posner’s law office in Manhattan. Mr. Posner’s lawyer, Steven D. Ateshoglou, declined to comment through his secretary.

      Edward W. Hayes, a Manhattan lawyer, said he was representing several of the people who were arrested, though he declined to specify whom.

      “There’s a lot of girls that work there, and very few of them do anything that you shouldn’t do,” Mr. Hayes said. “Most of the people that work there are just young people that need to work nights and pick up a couple of bucks. There’s no organized crime element here.”

      Mr. Hayes said the clients were “very, very wealthy people,” but he did not know whether any of them were prominent.

      On its Web site, the Hot Lap Dance Club, also known as Premium Events, bills itself as the city’s premier private lap dance club, with nightly erotic shows featuring lesbian dancers and sex toys.

      “And given its private, more intimate setup, Hot Lap Dance is also one of the finest spots to let it all hang out at your bachelor party,” the site said.

      The site included several nude photos. Four dancers were arrested, according to the criminal complaint filed in court on Friday, one of whom, Cassandra Malandri, performed in pornographic films under the name Alexia Moore.

      The club is at 344 West 38th Street, between Eighth and Ninth Avenues, in a building that includes both commercial and residential spaces. To get to the club, one must walk through an industrial hallway, take a freight elevator to the fifth floor and ring a buzzer on a door that says “Members.” A membership card and $50 are required for admission, according to the police. The cards were obtained through e-mail and by word of mouth, the police said.

      The club had a bring-your-own-alcohol policy, but undercover detectives were able to secure alcohol by tipping employees, police said.

      The police learned of the club in July 2007 as part of a narcotics investigation, according to Sgt. Christopher Koch, a supervisor with the Police Department’s Vice/Club Team.

      A detective came across an advertisement on Craigslist for a lap dance club and, after responding to it, he received a link to the club’s Web site, according to the criminal complaint.

      During an undercover detective’s visit to the club last August, a dancer told him that there was a “house dealer of cocaine,” who “made rounds at midnight,” the complaint said. One of the employees introduced the detective to a man who went by the name Lou, who told him he “was the boss,” according to the complaint. Some of the women called him “Daddy,” the complaint said.

      On one occasion, Lou told the detective he had a source on the Police Department’s payroll and would be able to detect an officer, the complaint said.

      When a detective visited the club in June, Ms. Malandri offered to meet with him at a different location with another dancer to have a threesome for $5,000, the complaint said.

      The business earned $1 million over 10 months, the police said.

      On Friday afternoon, the club had a notice on the door saying it was closed.

      Ramdat Harihar, the owner of R & C Apparel Corporation, on the second floor of the building, said he had been there for 15 years and had never encountered any trouble with the dancers or the clients.

      “I always see beautiful ladies coming in and well-dressed guys,” he said. “But I didn’t know what it was. I heard it was for a photography studio.”

      Mathew R. Warren contributed reporting.

      I would appreciate it if the outcome the above mentioned potential 15 year jail term Mr Posner aka Voter March was settled out of court, plea bargined, dismissed, or exactly what the final outcome ( if any was ).

      Of course let us remember that being charged is not being found guilty, and Mr. Posner must be presumed innocent.

      Thank you

      • Steve Scher

        I would add that Mr. Posner aka Voter March is a member of 32 groups including “The 99% Declaration Working Group”.

      • Voter March

        The issue was whether Spokes Council should be dissolved and we should stay on focus.

  4. Lopi

    is it not enough that you and your thugs cause disruptions for EVERY SPOKES COUNCIL making it next to impossible to be Productive? Stop Wasting our time!

    • Dallas

      @lopi Like @smckeown and I have been discussing for a while now… It helps a lot to think of it as real-life trolling. Be grateful that we are being shown holes in our process, and don’t burn yourself out reacting – that’s what trolls like.

    • Sean McKeown

      Worse yet, I stopped her from getting hit in the head with a chair at Spokes last night – stopped her by GETTING HIT WITH A CHAIR MYSELF – and she still felt she had to conclude Spokes Council last night by complaining about feeling woozy and needing medical attention for being hit with a chair twice… that being exactly twice more (or times infinity) than she actually was.

      I have a nasty bruise on my wrist to show for it, which will be green and purple tomorrow or thereabouts, and the medics were concerned I may have picked up a fracture at the time. This is all documented in video as well I imagine, as well as by all who were present, and even by my Facebook where I posted a status update about how I got hit with a chair and didn’t even get a thank you from Nan for stopping the chair that was coming at her head.

      It’s IRL trolling, drama-llama style. You cannot believe the lies, and you cannot reason with it.

        • Sean McKeown

          It really messes with my morality to do the right thing, know it was the right thing, and get yelled at for it anyway…

      • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

        Bitch, you didn’t stop anything wish you would stop spread such a rumors/lies. Nan can take care of herself, she doesn’t need a pussy like you to take care or protect her, now stop fucking spreading such a rumors I was there when that happen.

        • Sean McKeown

          Nan, next time I may very well let you get hit in the head with a chair – instead of getting hit with it for you, but apparently messing up your grand charade, so you had to call an ambulance because you “got hit with a chair, twice, to the head” and needed to go seek medical attention.

          “I was there when that happen,” is obviously Nan-speak because you are speaking in Nanglish, so stop pretending this is anyone but you yourself whom you actually are, Nan. “Nan can take care of herself,” sounds weird when it’s you pretending to be someone else talking about you, so just stop the bullshit.

          IT IS NOT A RUMOR. This counts as “Point Of Information” ie… “POINT OF INFOR-MOTHERFUCKING-MATION” that many people saw me step between your face and Will when he swung the chair, the medics documented the nasty scrape that was on my arm and will be documenting the nastier-looking bruise that is forming when it gets nice and ugly-looking tomorrow, and De-Escalation is documenting what happened at all points of that fight by interviewing people formally on the record as to what happened, all of which lines up to what I am saying, SO: FACT, not rumor. Not “lie”.

          As to name-calling, I’d rather be a pussy than a scrotum, a pussy can take a pounding (and I did last night, I was worried I earned myself a hairline fracture for you) but a scrotum doubles you over in agony the first time you pound it. That you call people a “pussy” but claim to be part of a feminist-leaning Working Group is the most fascinating thing seen here in this entire exchange, because you are clearly applying anti-feminist attack slurs at me in order to silence and belittle me, all while claiming to be part of a Working Group for women that says that women are strong and empowered… you can’t even get the simple concepts right, I wonder if you even know what a “feminist” is.

          So what are you going to re-name this account tomorrow, when Strong Women Rules Working Group ceases to exist, Nan?

          • Dallas

            Dude, when I see you, I may recruit some people to help carry you on our shoulders! :D

            Seriously, major #PoA brother.

          • Urbaned

            Gee. Nan has the intelligence to know when and where Spokes Meetings are in order to disrupt them. Of course, she would use her intelligence more wisely if she would contribute positive ideas to OWS.

            However, if she pushes people to the point where they become physically enraged, she needs to be escorted (by the police?) out of the room.

            I’m truly sorry you got hit, Sean, and hope your wrist gets better soon.

        • Steve Scher

          What is the name or identiity of the individual posting under the name “Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members” please?
          ******************************************************************************

          Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members said on January 19, 2012
          “Bitch, you didn’t stop anything wish you would stop spread such a rumors/lies. Nan can take care of herself, she doesn’t need a pussy like you to take care or protect her, now stop fucking spreading such a rumors I was there when that happen.”

          • Steve Scher

            i would also like to point out the the term being used “pussy” may also refer to a feline.

        • Lopi

          You have shown time and time and time again that you are violent, that you have no respect for people, that you use violent language, that you attack people with physical violence. You have blocked upwards of 100 times. You do not belong in a non violent movement.
          You prove to yourself and anyone paying attention that your goals and visions are not in line with the goals and visions of the movement because you block so often.
          A block is a serious ethical, moral or safety concern, Nan. If your block gets overturned and the proposal passes anyway, it’s supposed to make you not want to continue with the movement. Instead you call everyone hypocrites, idiots, and worse names I am not going to repeat.
          If you really hate everyone so much, WHY do you continue to come around?

          How much is the NYPD paying you, Nan?

          By the way, speaking of yourself in the third person is a symptom of narcissistic personality disorder. Maybe you need to seek professional help.

          And really, a dude stepped in for you and what do you do? You insult him and call him names? What kind of bs is that?

          • HoaxCouncil

            WHEN ZERO IS THE DENOMINATOR YOU GET NaN
            WHEN DIVISIVE WHITE DUDES DOMINATE THE CONVERSATION YOU GET “NAN”

            REMEMBER “FRANKENSTEIN” WAS THE DOCTOR, NOT THE MONSTER.

            WHO’S THE FRANKENSTEIN IN THE ROOM?

          • Ravi Ahmad

            Nan’s playing us so I’d say she’s the Dr. Frankenstein in this scenario

          • HoaxCouncil

            NaN = NOT A NUMBER. THE UNREPRESENTABLE IRRATIONAL. DELUSIONAL TEENAGE PEASANT GIRL GENIUS ON A MISSION FROM GOD. AKA “JANE D’ARK”

            IS SHE THE MASTER OF PUPPETS?
            OR THE PASTOR OF MUPPETS?

            WHO PULLS HER STRING, THEN SMIRKS WHILE WE ALL DO OUR THING?

          • David Buccola

            Obviously everyone agrees that Nan is a dangerous and disruptive presence in our momvement. But I’d really like to encourage people to focus on behavior rather than launch allegations: “How much is the NYPD paying you?” One of the things COINTELPRO did so well was sow seeds of paranoia in groups where everyone was a suspect. Whether Nan is an agent provacateur or not, her behavior is unacceptable and that should be our focus. Only make allegations if there is concrete evidence. Otherwise it’s a waste of time and energy and eats away at the movement from within.

          • Lopi

            @davidbuccola thanks for the feedback. there is concrete evidence, however.

          • David Buccola

            There’s concrete evidence Nan is working for the NYPD? If that’s true it needs to be made public and spread far and wide. I trust that statement would not be made lightly. Our community needs to see that information so we can move beyond Nan and start protecting each other.

            What does evidence consist of and how can we share it?

          • Yoni Miller

            I don’t think she works for the NYPD, but I certainly have proof that she is a liar, on quite a few accounts, and will present my case, in the near future, :)

          • tim eastman

            @Lopi if you have some evidence you ought to share it, or if you’re unwilling to I think it’s better that you not say anything. Paranoia is a powerful weapon and the more unfounded accusations are in the air the harder we will find it to trust one another on increasingly basic levels.

      • Stuart Leonard

        Thanks for your bravery and sanity. It’s time to stop wasting time.

        • sumumba

          i agree David…we need NOT name names the BEHAVIOR identifies itself…when the movement becomes a SERIOUS one is when folks STOP acting or allowing anti-movement behavior under the guise of ‘inclusion at all costs’

  5. Hermes C Liberty (Abu)

    What are your objectives reasons? You ought to explain more what motivates you. Then maybe man could consider looking seriously at it like any other Proposal.

    • Strong Women Rules Working Group: Organizations, Groups and Members

      spoke council is a joke, spoke council is stealing from the general assembly, spoke council marginalize and the list of horrify spoke council continue

      • Steve Scher

        would a mike check, mike check followed by “meow” be considered a point of information or sophomoric humor?

  6. mouse

    Imagine this…
    Entry into a history book published in 2013:
    Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is a protest movement which began September 17, 2011 protesting against social and economic inequality, high unemployment, greed, as well as corruption, and the undue influence of corporations—particularly from the financial services sector—on government. The protests in New York City sparked similar Occupy protests and movements around the world. Due to inner conflicts, accusations of corruption, and an inability to remember its own original purpose, the movement was short-lived and disbanded after 4 months, in January of 2012.

    • The Jokes Council

      “Due to a failure to exclude agitators and saboteurs from the Movement, it failed to survive past January 2012.”

      I’m really glad DeLoreans are so rare these days, or I’d be scared.

  7. Raugh Mentyde

    America for president! Let us build together a capitol for ourselves and occupy the hell out of some self governance! Tell me what democracy looks like! I don’t know cause its never actually existed in full. Ever had every single american citizens input on a single issue? We tend to take polls and use those percentages as a sort of perceived image of overall public opinion. Serious question, has there ever been a time in our recorded history where every single american citizen or every single human being focused on one thing at one time? Not alot of us, not most of us, but all of USA? never happened. can we make it happen? internet, tv, cellphones and oh yeah, don’t forget we the PEOPLES MIC! The real question is, will we? Will we find out what true democracy looks like? We have the outline.

  8. sumumba

    POINT OF INFORMATION …((well maybe NOT)) but i dont think ANYONE working for the NYPD or any other FORM of ‘government’ would be so OBVIOUS AND ABUSIVE others in such a movement…plus those that we think are are TRULY not that bright anyway..but we aren’t very bright ourselves by allowing the ‘PC’ police who think ‘inclusion’ is ALWAYS necessary even to those who CLEARLY are NOT about building this movement and have OBVIOUS EGO-MENTAL-SELFISH-ENTITLED motivations…

    • Siobhan Ogilvie

      I believe the “inclusion” argument is selective. How many have been excluded in consideration of including a few. I speak up often that I feel OWS has become exclusionary since the raid, but not in the same way you speak. I think we have excluded so many that wanted to stand with us but are not welcome because of their union or political affiliations. Those are the proven people willing to take to the streets and fight to end corporate corruption but we exclude them, and put our arms around those who do the opposite. I long for the days when we had union and political support, but anarchy seems to be the exclusionary affiliation of the movement. I just wish their was room for all affiliations and those individuals that that use unethical or violent behaviors that seek to harm the cause, be the ones that are excluded.

      • Urbaned

        This is the crux of the matter: a scale that is swinging back and forth and waiting to find its balance. OWS made me stretch my values. I watched Global Revolution when it started, learned how to chat with people from all over the world, watched the international support and hope, and knew that much of what I was observing was way out of my ideology. Many of us kept adding the lines to John Lennon’s “Imagine.” We reminded people about Ghandi, we prayed for nonviolence. Occupies with livesteams sprang up all over the U.S. 700 people peacefully marched on the Brooklyn Bridge shortly after that. I learned about Anonymous and marched in Oakland. I heard about small alternative communities developing and hoped they would include jobs, education, healthcare, and brotherly love for all – including all people of color, the homeless, the poor, veterans, people needed health services and healthcare.

        Then, people started promoting their ideas in the name of OWS – a Constitutional Convention, labor strikes. Everyone thought that OWS was a representation of their ideas and values.

        I still hold the vision of alternative communities, but I also came to understand the concept of “diversity of tactics,” and reaching out to people I never would have interacted with before (at local GA’s). I continued to watch this site and follow the growing-pains. I try to stay positive, even though some unpleasant things have happened – directly to me, as it has to many in our movement.

        But, there are people in the 99% who are so damaged that they react by damaging the one thing that has come along in a long time that could potentially benefit them. They are so self-serving (for example, demanding the same thing from OWS, a 4-month old movement, that they demanded from the 1% for their entire lives) and so destructive when they don’t get their way, that they may cause the helpful activists to leave. Then, other aspects of OWS will prevail and many of us will be unhappy.

  9. Steven Syrek

    In reading over the original Spokes Council proposal that passed GA, I noted the following statements:

    “Dissolution of the Spokes Council with at least one week notice prior to the proposal. This notice must be given in both the GA and the Spokes Council.”

    This is listed as a GA power, but in looking through the minutes for the last few GAs and SCs, I cannot find any mention of “notice” of this proposal. Obviously, this clause pertains to both good faith and due diligence, neither of which appear to be respected by this proposal. I would consider this a serious ethical concern as it violates both our principles of solidarity and the terms of a proposal previously accepted by the GA.

    In response to any claim that SC marginalizes or excludes people, and I saw this mentioned also in one other proposal:

    “Anyone may attend a Spokes Council.”

    One may legitimately claim we are not living up to our own first principles, but it would be helpful to have that conversation before dissolving a body that many people have come to believe in despite our difficulties in getting it started.

    • Sean McKeown

      This notice was given about a month ago, and she’s been holding it ever since.

  10. Lopi

    Everyone may attend a Spokes Council is true, but last night we passed a proposal that Nan be banned from Spokes due to physically violent behavior she perpetrated on several individuals. So, your excellent point about the required announcement at Spokes Council cannot happen because the Proposer is no longer allowed in the Spokes Council, until she can meet the requirements of mediation and safer spaces and the group as a whole.

  11. Hermes C Liberty (Abu)

    However unexperienced about spirituality (the science of the most subtle vibration) OWS caring members should examine the relationship between many special behaviors; some well-known some less-and unclaimed Agendas from “Hidden Beings” who know and understand what OWS and the OCCUPY Movement is REALLY ABOUT in its essential Dimensions beneath all accepted definitions its members give to it. Many things are at work here guys, some of them deep.
    Biblical concepts like THE WOMAN SEATED ON WATERS, REVELATION, or Koranic one like GOG AND MAGOG, like Building (see Chapter 9 verse110), might suggest that America and many other SPACES are Occupied in a specific ways; that OWS is an antidote against those agendas and therefore must be under MANY SUBTLE ATTACKS including the control and use (at distance) of the un-conscious not only disrupters, but also Funds drainers, Compulsive Proposers, Speeches difficulties Victimized, and many other BIZARRE things. Creative thinking; Outside The Box is certainly needed to see that NYPD is the least to be feared among many attackers.

  12. Frances MA

    Really? Again with this Nan? Can I kindly suggest that you take up a hobby? Maybe knitting or macrame?

  13. alexandra

    As we approach the three month anniversary of the formation of the Spokes Council this proposal’s contributors felt that it was appropriate to look at whether its implementation and existence have served the Occupy Wall Street community in the ways hoped for at its inception.
    Our first Principle of Solidarity unites us in the desire to engage in direct and participatory democracy. We do not doubt the sincerity of the original proposers’ commitment to this principle but the practical application of the Spokes Council model has strayed from this principle in several ways.

    1. The original Spokes Council proposal defines Operational Working Groups as being “open and accessible for people to join” yet it has become an accepted practice for Operational Working Groups (e.g. Accounting) to hold additional closed meetings where operational decisions are made.

    2. Many dedicated members of the OWS community contribute time and energy to the movement but are not part of working groups or caucuses. Under the original Spokes Council proposal’s provision for open access these members were granted participation by “becoming an Occupier (i.e., living in Liberty Square).” Those who are unwilling/unable to join working groups are now denied participation as our eviction from Liberty Square has erased this as an option.

    3. The original Spokes Council proposal states that “Spokes have no authority and are not decision-makers. They actively discuss all agenda items with all other members of their group.” In practice, It is not unusual to see a Spoke that is the only working group member present. This practice is transforming the direct democratic model into a dynamic of representative democracy.

    4. The model encourages and facilitates an active discussion between spokes and group members by requiring amplification at each Spokes Council. This was practiced in the first few Spokes Council meetings but the requirement now goes ignored. In addition to lacking the amplification that would allow for active background discussion, facilitators emphatically discourage active side conversations.

    5. The model ensures that the Spoke be held “responsible for communicating any diversity of sentiments that may exist within their group” by empowering the group to recall the Spoke at any time. Many groups have had this empowerment severely restricted due to a change made by the Spokes Council on 12/16/11 to limit the role of an individual in the role of Spoke to one time per seven days. The ability to recall a Spoke that is not accurately communicating group sentiment is now an unfairly distributed privilege.

    6. The original model requires that proposals be brought to the Spokes Council by groups as a whole yet the vast majority of proposals are presented and modified by individuals.

    7. The Spokes Council has failed to adhere to the original proposal’s requirement that “all decisions made in the Spokes Council are reported back to the GA with space for questions and concerns.” This requirement allows the GA to hold the Spokes Council to the charter it consented upon.

    8. The Spokes Council overstepped its decision making ability (as described in the original proposal) in its 1/6/12 decision that endorsing a letter to the West Park Church’s pastor with the OWS name was not worth the risk of another possible negative incident. (The repercussion of this decision is an impending eviction of those being housed at WPC and further emphasizes the gravity of the Spokes Council breach described in #7 above)

    9. The presenters of the original Spokes Council proposal stated that the “Spokes Council will not be able to overrule the decisions of the GA” (see minutes for 10/28/11 “42.1.2.3.11″). This prohibition was violated on 1/4/12 when the Spokes Council approved $1355 for Wilderness Medical Training after the GA did not give consensus on that matter when it was heard on 11/29/11. The prohibition was violated again on 1/9/12 when the Spokes Council approved a $728/per week budget for Stop Stop and Frisk after the GA did not give consensus on that matter when it was heard four days earlier on 1/5/12. Additionally, the Spokes Council has had an item on its agenda for quite some time to approve a budget for Archives even though the GA did not give consensus on that matter when it was heard on 11/10/11.

    10. The day before the spending freeze was enacted the Spokes Council agreed to an ongoing budget of $450 each week to fund its existence. A clause in the spending freeze proposal allows for previous budget agreements so, as it stands, the GA will continue to fund the existence of Spokes Council even though there is no available money for them to use to meet the day-to-day operational needs of an occupation that no longer exists.

    We believe that although the Spokes Council was well-intended, it has strayed from its charter and the conditions which merited its adoption have drastically changed. While the model had very positive aspects to it, among its flaws was the inability of the GA to make changes to the Spokes Council. The GA was only given the ability to call for its dissolution. After three months of trial and amidst a spending freeze, we believe the time to propose such is now. Our movement is alive and well. In the same good-natured spirit of the spending freeze let us pause from previous processes and examine how well they serve us. Let us pay some care and attention to the GA which has seen a steady decline in attendance. Let us use this time well to prepare for being the center of a spring resurgence that we know awaits Occupy Wall Street and the world.

    • Andrew

      Thanks for posting the details of the proposal to dispose of the spokes council.
      This needs to be investigated.
      I understood that this proposal was tabled… why is it listed as not having passed?

    • Sean McKeown

      1. This is fallacious, and a commonly-repeated rumor with no grounding. The Accounting working group has an additional requirement of allowing for a background check before a member has access to sensitive information, a requirement that has been upheld at General Assembly as a valid protection placed upon the identities of those who donate to OWS and provide funding for our cause. This does not make them “inaccesible”, or “not open”, but adds an additional requirement on the part of the individual seeking to join. All have equal access to join, however, not all groups have equally low requirements to join. This is not counter to the principles of solidarity, as equal ACCESS to power is not the same as equal empowerment.

      2. The “Occupiers” spoke sign has been in regular use still since 11/15/11, and remains a means for anyone to speak at Spokes Council.

      3. This is true – but the remedy has already been put into place. Active participation at Spokes Council trended downward as Spokes Council’s overall effectiveness trended downward, and the recent banning of Nan from Spokes Council is expected to return Spokes Council to a level of high functionality and more active Working Group member participation. Additionally, with the recently-approved decrease from three weekly meetings to two weekly meetings, the individual meetings should be better-attended and easier for more people to schedule attendance around during the week.

      4. So you would like us at Spokes Council to actively ratify a change to the charter of the Spokes Council to turn common practice into effective protocol. So noted.

      5. This privledge is still distributed evenly – all have the same access. Individual Working Groups have since the implementation of the cited rule still revoked their Spoke and replaced them with another member better able to speak to the voice of the group as a whole. The reduction of meetings from 3 to 2 does not shift the previously-accepted “Tool 1″ proposal that forced an effective protocol for the rotation of spokes, and thus cuts the “unfair access” were any such to exist by 50%. However, this is a fallacious argument given the 12/20/11 ComHub proposal ratified AT GA, which requires Working Groups to adhere to specific protocols, which includes having at least five members. Splitting Spokes duties among five people across two meetings does not bar any functional Working Group in compliance with the ComHub requirements passed at GA from replacing their Spoke during a meeting, unless and until such a rotation requires the use of a sixth person to speak for their group over the course of two meetings a week.

      6. This has been adhered to regardless of whether one individual or several individuals are in the center of the room. Individuals seeking to bring proposals on their own account without the consent of at least one Working Group have been denied the ability to present their proposal.

      7. This appears to be true. Is that enough reason to dissolve the Spokes Council, given the Livestreaming, online GA/Spokes summaries, and minutes of each GA or Spokes available to anyone who wishes to see what they have missed? I sorely doubt such. Should the GA not be held accountable for not requesting this be upheld prior to now, or is this another example where something that was part of the Spokes Council proposal passed on 10/28 turned out not to be best practice and was overlooked from the common usage accordingly? I suggest, then, the friendly amendment that instead of ratifying the removal of Spokes Council, we ratify the removal of this requirement to have the Spokes Council report back its decisions to the GA with a space for questions and concerns.

      8. It was amended over the course of this proposal that the OWS name not be allowed on the letter being chartered, and that the individuals staying in that church be able to speak for themselves but not for the Movement as a whole. This is in keeping with the charter of the Spokes Council.

      9. Any proposal that fails to come to consensus can seek to come to consensus at a later date. The tabling of a proposal in the face of blocks does not mean that the GA forbids something, and thus the Spokes Council hearing a financial proposal of an operational nature is entirely within its charter even if that proposal were heard initially by another body (in this case, the GA). Facilitation WG determined this Medical budget item proposal would be appropriate to hear at Spokes Council; Spokes Council seemed to agree, and approved the expenditure accordingly. Ditto for Stop Stop and Frisk; the Archives proposal has not been heard at Spokes Council due to the current spending freeze.

      10. The physical encampment does not presently exist. THE OCCUPATION DOES EXIST. Is this proposal an effort to ratify, in a sidelong fashion, a statement by the General Assembly that “the Occupation is dead”? Additionally, the spending freeze was called only until “a Financial General Assembly” was called to approve a new budget that fits the current state of OWS and controls spending that had previously been completely unsustainable. The Spokes Council, by design and by its charter, is the proper entity to create this budget via Working Group interaction and a deep look at what we actually do, as an organization, on an operational level. Thus, dissolution of the Spokes Council during the spending freeze “because it cannot spend money, and thus cannot fulfill its purpose” is a fallacious argument; the General Assembly can hear any budget proposal it wishes to ratify to conclude the Spending Freeze, but the best such budget proposal will almost certainly come from the Spokes Council.

      • alexandra

        this is reply to Mr. Mckeown 10 point response to proposal. thanks for reply.
        1- handling money and seeing lists of donor names is different from sitting in on a meeting where operational decisions are made. This is not a justification for closed meetings.
        2- If “occupiers” now means “anyone not wiling or able to join a working group” then the definition needs to be updated because it is now defined as “living in Liberty Square.”
        3- I am glad we agree that a principle at the heart of our movement (direct democracy) is not currently being met through our spokes council.
        4- No, we want spokes council to conform to what was consented upon by the General Assembly. The common practice is preventing the natural, organic, ongoing conversation that allows all ideas to flow from members to spoke to assembly.
        5- …”unless and until such a rotation requires the use of a sixth person to speak for their group over the course of two meetings a week.” – Exactly… and that is assuming that all five members can attend spokes regularly. Restricting the ability to recall a spoke when the sentiment of the group is not being adequately communicated is restricting direct democracy.
        6- Adhering to it technically doesn’t cut it. If there is one person in the center of the room, there is one person fielding questions, concerns, and modifying the proposal.
        7- Do you really think it is best practice to effectively evict over 100 people and not adhere to the requirement that you inform them by announcing it at the GA? The General Assembly consented that the spokes council report all its decisions back to the General Assembly. We did this because not everyone is privileged with internet access.
        8- Straight from the SpokesCouncil proposal: “The GA will continue to have the power to make all decisions about The representation of OWS as a whole… Financial decisions related to the Occupy Movement as a whole.”
        9- No problem with a proposer bringing back a proposal to the same body but the proposers of the Spokes Council explicitly stated that the Spokes Council cannot overrule the General Assembly (as they did in the examples cited).
        10- Our Movement is alive and well. The occupation is over. If you disagree then try to pass a budget for sanitation to continue cleaning the park. Like you say, the freeze is until a “financial GA” (not a financial Spokes Council).

      • Sally Marks

        @smckeown

        Hey, I am a bit confused, perhaps I am misunderstanding.
        #1 on your list, about needing the background check, I thought that was just for those who handle the money. None of the information regarding it should be withheld or sensitive, right?
        I understand about donor lists being not released to the general public, though I think if anyone one person gives $5K or more, it has to be made public (or is the amount different???).
        But everything else should be available to anyone who wants to see it right? If not, how come? As far as I know, everything is property of the OWS/99% and Finance is merely managing the books for everyone.

        Please tolerate my questions and perhaps, hold my hand and explain it to me. If you do not have the exact answers, that is fine, point me to who does or ask them to post a response. I really appreciate it! :)

        • arj

          As far as I’m aware, the finances are publicly available. I’ve seen (somewhere on this site) the spreadsheets showing expenses & income.

          I’ve seen this accusation before but no proof to date. Before making a decision on whether or not to dissolve Spokes, I’d like to know exactly what “Operational Decisions” have been made by accounting and what proof there is for this. Then I would like to see that proof that spokes was made aware of those facts and did not deal with them.

          • Sally Marks

            arj, that is my point of confusion. One well known person is telling us all is open, another well known person is saying something else.

            The spread sheets you refer to (I think) are here:
            http://accounting.nycga.net/
            No cash donations are listed unless cash, checks and funds from places like AFGJ are all added together. I have never gotten a absolute confirmation. When asked about cash bit, there has never been a response as far as I can remember. If I am wrong on this, I’d love some one to give a link to where it is clarified but on of the Finance guys.
            The expenditures is also not very complete due to a delay in entering receipts and a lack of them being turned in. This is part of the justification for the financial freeze, I believe.
            We also never got a real number as to what a balance was, rumor is between $250K and $350K (includes bail fund).

          • arj

            Clearly this needs to be discussed and clarified … it hasn’t been discussed … because … Lets get these questions answered before throwing away everyone’s hard work throughout this incredibly frustrating process. Why not clarify & try to resolve before jumping to dissolve?

    • David Buccola

      Alexandra,

      Thanks for posting this. I’d like to simply address the the first point made in the proposal regarding openness of working groups. It’s hard to believe that this could be a concern for Strong Women Rules. On January 10, 2012 I wrote to Strong Women Rules regarding meeting times and places and was given this response from Nan:

      <blockquote cite="I am sorry the group does not have open involved without being voting in, by the members"<blockquote cite=

      When I further queried about how one might be voted in by the members, I received this response:

      <blockquote cite="We pick you: We study you, know who you truly are and your agenda's, we put you to test, and privacy is our #1 policy"<blockquote cite=

      Private. Members must be voted in. Does any of that sound open to anybody? It's not enough to say it's hypocritical; this secrecy directly undermines the idea that this could possibly be a real concern for Strong Women Rules.

    • David Buccola

      When asked when Strong Women Rules meetings were, Nan replied:

      I am sorry the group does not have open involved without being voting in, by the members.

      When asked how I could get voted in, Nan replied:

      We pick you: We study you, know who you truly are and your agenda’s, we put you to test, and privacy is our #1 policy

      Just wanted to be clear since it looked like the html tags I used didn’t work.

      • alexandra

        Hi david,
        Strong Womens Rules working group started out of necessity. It was a safe haven for battered women, victims of sexual assault, and rape but is not limited to such. We have to be very careful about our group because some do not want their identities on public display.
        We understand that the nature of some groups demand varying degrees of secrecy (such as Direct Actions). We don’t believe that accounting and certain other groups fit into that category.

        • Frances MA

          WOW. Really? That’s how you are going to rewrite history? Strong Women Rules is Nan. Pretending otherwise is insulting to our collective intelligence. Are you honestly going to stand on the backs of battered and abused women to further Nan’s twisted attention-seeking agenda? I don’t know who you are @alexandra but if you are actually concerned with helping women then I suggest you join a different working group. Nan is concerned with helping exactly one woman, herself.

          • Dallas

            Thank you for clearing that up for anyone still confused, @frances.

        • Sean McKeown

          Alexandra,

          I believe you have the wrong name for that Working Group. Perhaps you should attend a Safer Spaces meeting.

  14. alexandra

    this is reply to Mr. Mckeown 10 point response to proposal. thanks for reply.
    1- handling money and seeing lists of donor names is different from sitting in on a meeting where operational decisions are made. This is not a justification for closed meetings.
    2- If “occupiers” now means “anyone not wiling or able to join a working group” then the definition needs to be updated because it is now defined as “living in Liberty Square.”
    3- I am glad we agree that a principle at the heart of our movement (direct democracy) is not currently being met through our spokes council.
    4- No, we want spokes council to conform to what was consented upon by the General Assembly. The common practice is preventing the natural, organic, ongoing conversation that allows all ideas to flow from members to spoke to assembly.
    5- …”unless and until such a rotation requires the use of a sixth person to speak for their group over the course of two meetings a week.” – Exactly… and that is assuming that all five members can attend spokes regularly. Restricting the ability to recall a spoke when the sentiment of the group is not being adequately communicated is restricting direct democracy.
    6- Adhering to it technically doesn’t cut it. If there is one person in the center of the room, there is one person fielding questions, concerns, and modifying the proposal.
    7- Do you really think it is best practice to effectively evict over 100 people and not adhere to the requirement that you inform them by announcing it at the GA? The General Assembly consented that the spokes council report all its decisions back to the General Assembly. We did this because not everyone is privileged with internet access.
    8- Straight from the SpokesCouncil proposal: “The GA will continue to have the power to make all decisions about The representation of OWS as a whole… Financial decisions related to the Occupy Movement as a whole.”
    9- No problem with a proposer bringing back a proposal to the same body but the proposers of the Spokes Council explicitly stated that the Spokes Council cannot overrule the General Assembly (as they did in the examples cited).
    10- Our Movement is alive and well. The occupation is over. If you disagree then try to pass a budget for sanitation to continue cleaning the park. Like you say, the freeze is until a “financial GA” (not a financial Spokes Council).

    • David Buccola

      In the spirit of openness that is voiced as a concern in this proposal, I’d like to know who actually wrote the proposal. Secondly, could Alexandra be a little more open in her profile? This could be anybody posting. Openness is a virtue.

      Thanks

    • Lopi

      @alexandraalexandra Just to reply to one of your points
      1- handling money and seeing lists of donor names is different from sitting in on a meeting where operational decisions are made. This is not a justification for closed meetings.
      The accounting group does not make operational decisions. This is supposed to be the realm of decision making of both the GA and Spokes. The accounting group has repeatedly responded to these allegations by stating the fact that they do not make financial decisions! These decisions are made by NYCGA and NYCSC. The illusion that there are secret meetings has been perpetuated by people who are either misinformed or intentionally misinforming people to create division.
      The fact is also that anyone can join the Accounting working group with the stipulation that a background check is required. If you do not want a background check done, I personally wonder what may be the motive because it’s not as though a history of being arrested for civil disobedience or stop and frisk citations is going to eliminate you as a member.
      I also have to say that I know personally ALL of the people who have been in the Accounting group through our short 4.5 months. They are all totally honest and earnest people. Some of them have quit working for accounting because it is a very demanding job and burn out rate is high. Not surprising if you consider all the vitriol they have to face from people who are suspicious and demanding of them when they are already working longer hours than many people (especially those complaining most) are.

      It’s amazing to me how much damage one person can do to a movement through spreading misinformation.
      The proposal in question, here, is fully 50% untrue.

      one last thing: Spokes council was never really allowed to fully form and become functional due in part a very large part to one person’s constant violent disruptions at EVERY MEETING. Try getting a new meeting style up and running with someone constantly yelling and you’ll understand what I am talking about.

      thanks for listening.

      • alexandra

        hi ms. lopi,
        we meant the operational decisions of the working group (not the movements operational decisions which as you say is spokes and GA).

        about accounting… the closed meetings only add to the rumors (of which there are many and most probably untrue).
        I do not question the sincerity of your assessment of Accounting’s members. It may shock you to know that at 60 Wall today there was a very very long line waiting for food. A very large altercation erupted in the middle of the Atrium between two members of Accounting. It was so tense and loud that the police came over to de-escalate. Several other members of Accounting were there to witness so you can ask them about it. I do not know what set it off but i do know that it ended as one member walked away shouting accusations of theft at another member.
        I know Accounting is one of the hardest working WGs but closed meetings and scenes like this are suspect.

        Thanks for your open mindedness to see that at least 50% of this proposal is valid and at least worthy of a discussion.

        • Haywood

          Accounting is not a decision making body. We only carry out the will of the GA and Spokes. Our right to have closed meetings IN ADDITION to our open meetings is longstanding and was YET AGAIN reaffirmed by the GA last week. As Sean said, anyone can join accounting. We encourage everyone to do just that. But because our meetings turn into a paranoid shitstorm when we hold them in public to a point where we can’t get any work done, we have to make time away from the crazy people to deal with fascinating internal process stuff like, how to log receipts and whether or not we need to purchase a cash register for petty cash. Real shady back room dealings, huh?

          Yes, we also do background checks for fraud (just fraud) on people who have access to sensitive information and/or have access to cash.

          • Sally Marks

            I’m having a very hard time with (accepting) this closed meeting part. A very hard time.

            I understand vetting people who will touch cash or be capable of handing out funds as well as enter in receipts. I assume all these transactions are verified and signed off by another vetted person.

            A meeting is just that, a meeting and I am sorry of some of the ‘outside the circle’ people make it more difficult to have an open meeting but it is at the core of the OWS. Banks, investment houses and the politicians all have meetings behind closed doors. The results of those meetings are one of the reasons OWS came to be. Many investment houses were bailed out because the people there used funds that they were entrusted to safely hold. Because of insufficient oversight and transparency, they had problems. This does not mean the exact same thing is going on here. However, the lack of transparency and perceived appearance is terribly similar.

            If the meetings to date have been problematic, perhaps an analyzation of what are the reoccurring themes. Then very carefully, write out a explanation and provide verification to back up the assertions.

            Having to deal with people is a way of life. Some people are very smart and they understand in an instant. Others take some time and you have to go over every detail. I really do not think anyone has the right to exclude anyone just to make their own life easier. Look at the Spokes and GA. Yes, it appears to have a lot of time wasted surrounding a few peoples gripes. But that is what everyone signed up for. You guys in Finance too.

      • Sally Marks

        See Haywoods comment, in fact they do have closed door meetings.

        • sumumba

          SO im wonderin where all he ‘ACCOUNTABILITY AND TRANSPARENCY’ folks on this one? This group has ALL the right to raise MONEY but NOT in OWS’s name nor on this site, how it is STILL a ‘working group’ and still on this site is beyond me…I mean there is a email and papertrail that says this group is now run like a ‘corporation’ by a board of directors and doesnt need GA approval… wtf?

          • Dallas

            Well, if you want to legally bind Friends of Liberty Square GA to do the bidding of the GA it can probably be done. But it will require lawyers and time (and thus probably yet more money). I question whether it would be worth it unless we have hard proof that they are stealing from us.

  15. arj

    I’m missing something here. I see a conversation between two people above about problems with spokes that should have and could have been taking place all along. Why are the proposers jumping right to dissolving it instead of solving it?

    • marco

      The proposal says “While the model had very positive aspects to it, among its flaws was the inability of the GA to make changes to the Spokes Council. The GA was only given the ability to call for its dissolution”

      • Sean McKeown

        … So the individual in question should be writing a proposal for Spokes Council, and finding a Working Group to consent to advance it.

        If this were a discussion I had been having with the individual above, undoubtedly it would be sponsored by my working group at the end of the discussion so long as they were involved in it as well, and it would be advanced to the Spokes Council. The assumption that the Spokes Council is inaccessible to the GA is a fallacious argument, especially given the fact that everyone present at Spokes Council is by definition part of the GA, and as noted above, the “Working Group” requirement to present proposals to Spokes can be applied via the Occupiers spoke at that meeting to advance a corrective proposal.

      • arj

        So marco, let me make sure that I have this correct. The proposal is saying that it CAN’T be changed. . There is no proposal that can be made, no adjustments that can be made to spokes (which is admittedly a work in progress), nothing that we can do to correct any flaws except to dissolve it. I hate that word CAN’T.

        And yes,…I see exactly the same people at the GA and Spokes, except for the gang of visitors, which makes the entire thing surreal.

        It seems to me that more dialogue is necessary here before throwing the towel in. It doesn’t seem to me that even the slightest effort has been made to solve the problem, nor has there been an opportunity to do so because of the disruptions.

        It also seems to me that trying to enforce your will on the entire body is not in alignment with the consensus orientation of OWS. Bringing in your own posse to enforce your will is slimy.

        • Dallas

          Bringing in your own posse to “enforce” your will via modified consensus is one thing. YMMV, but if everyone does it the movement grows.

          Bringing in your own posse to disrupt and destroy when you don’t get your way isn’t even slimy, it’s infantile.

  16. sumumba

    Is whoever is bringing this proposal the same person who attacked someone else in spokes and is a constant disruption and verbally abuses people online and off?…Ummmm, Why do we have ‘GOOD NEIGHBOR’ policies or PRINCIPLES OF SOLIDARITY again? And we wont even discuss NON VIOLENCE and ((spelling, verbiage and punctuation)) ….im jus sayin

  17. g. liddy

    it does seem unfair that spokescouncil is deciding the fate of those being housed… especially when the GA would not pass the spending freeze unless there was an exception for housing.

    last night the spokes decided to end the funding for housing at park slope.
    by the way jeff, the person who proposed this, was voted out of West Park Church later that night…. a direct democratic response to representative democracy decision.

    shame on you spokescouncil.

    remember, in the summer before the 1st day, tweets were sent out inviting the homeless to join in on Sept 17th. we invited them. they slept at the park. money was donated to the presence they contriuted to there. they are a product of the state of the union that we are supposedly fighting against….. and we kick them to the curb?

    mean. who are you people?

    • arj

      Here is my understanding:

      OWS can not support the homeless population of NY, particularly with decreasing donations.One of the reasons that donations are decreasing is because of violent individuals causing problems in some of the churches. It is my understanding that most of them don’t want us any more which is, quite honestly, to the shame of OWS.

      It is my understanding, and you can correct me if I am wrong that alternate arrangements are being made for the displaced population, that there is space in Newark and the homesteading options are available.

      • Dallas

        I can’t believe it has to be spelled out that we can’t support the homeless population of NYC. Don’t think most of us (if not all of us) wouldn’t want to if we currently had the resources.

        • arj

          It took allot of hard work and money to keep the camp going and it looks like it’s taken allot of hard work and money to keep the homeless housed. I’m not an occupier, I’m “just” a supporter but it would be nice see gratitude and appreciation towards housing and a willingness to find other solutions instead of the sense of entitlement that I’m seeing from some people.

          • Lopi

            what about appreciation and gratitude for all of the services ows has provided for our homeless activists AND random homeless people that are not activists.
            It’s truly odd to me that you call out a sense of entitlement from “some people” but this does not include people who angrily violently attack people who are handing out metro cards?
            This sense of entitlement of which you speak, is it the sense of entitlement of the homeless population to ows’s limited resources (including social capital, material support as well as financial)

            What about a show of gratitude for all OWS has done? If I had been homeless last year and learned there was a place I could sleep without being harassed by cops, fed breakfast lunch and dinner, given free cigs, given clothing, metrocards, blankets, tents, found community, made new friends and had the opportunity to gain new skills…. I would be thanking the fuck out of OWS right now. Not to mention the bonus two months of all of the above.

            Instead what do the most vocal do? Curse us, violently attack us, interupt our meetings with posses of drunk and vicious people, disrupt and spread lies about us etc etc etc

            and you, you sit somewhere nice and cozy and make judgments based on incorrect information! We are more than willing to find other solutions. What do you think we are doing? This is pretty much ALL WE HAVE BEEN DOING.

            (dont go claiming I am unfamiliar with being homeless. I spent part of the late 80′s homeless)

          • arj

            I’m not sure why you are angry with me, Lopi. I think that we are in agreement.

            I am incredibly grateful to the occupiers for everything that you have done and sacrificed for the movement. Grateful enough to have donated my own time and money and will continue to do so.

            I am concerned about people acting out in violent manners at these churches who feel entitled to stay there, some of whom are not contributing to the movement and are damaging property. The reports of the vocal few who are violent and vicious and yes, LIARS are eroding support for the movement. I have seen and heard them complaining about what they have not been given from the movement when in fact, the movement has bent over backwards to give, give give.

            So, facts or no facts, this is the perception and if it’s the wrong perception that it’s up to OWS to fix it.

            I remain an ardent supporter of the movement.

          • arj

            Lopi said: ” gratitude for all of the services ows has provided for our homeless activists AND random homeless people that are not activists.” =

            arj said: “gratitude and appreciation towards housing”

    • Lopi

      We’ve been housing 100′s of people since the eviction, for longer than the actual occupation lasted.
      OWS is not capable of tackling the homeless problem in nyc. We’ve provided ample time for people to get on their feet, to network within the community of ows to find alternative housing options. Efforts are being made to find ways to house people without financial resources.

      we’ve actually done a better job than the city of ny with providing housing, food and metrocards for homeless people. why are we now horrible people when we say we’ve reached our limit of actual ability to address this problem financially any longer? We are in our infancy as a movement. Most of our energy for the last 2 months in meetings has gone to addressing the problems of the homeless. We have done way more than enough. People had ways of dealing before the occupation started. They got cared for for 4 months! Now we are seen as the bad guys when we take a realistic look at what our capabilities are?

      Many of us, who have not slept in the churches, are in tenuous positions ourselves when it comes to housing due to joining this occupation. Quitting our jobs, working all day all week, leaves us with empty pockets. We can’t pay our rent, Yet we are left to our own devices to solve these problems for ourselves. Why are we also responsible for solving the problems of the homeless too when we are on the verge of joining them?

      I am not ashamed of the spokes council. I think it is finally getting a chance to function without disruptions.
      People made decisions last night using consensus. There was no 9/10′s vote. There were also many people there that are directly affected by this decision. They supported it too.

      • Lopi

        not to mention that OWS doesn’t have the capacity to deal with the mentally ill and violent people. It’s beyond our capabilities!

        • Urbaned

          One of God’s greatest challenges. We are entitled to rules of self-protection: number one on Maslow’s hierarchy and in many religions. It does not include violence or abuse towards others.

    • Urbaned

      We are the 99%. We have worked for many years and lived through an economic meltdown, lost our homes, healthcare, ability to educate our children, and ability to live the life we have worked so hard for. We are ALL reaching out to figure out a better way that includes INCLUDING the 99%, and we are all struggling (or else you’d be somewhere else). The difference between us is that some can donate and others can only take – due to even worse circumstances. We are not gods or perfect politicians; we joined to try to make society better FOR ALL.

      Who said something about entitlement?

  18. Chris

    I was at the spokes council meeting last night and felt like Housing was trying as hard as they could to do the right thing. They were trying to help people. However, the $2,000 – $3,000 a month it takes to house homeless people is not fair to everyone else doing projects, being involved, being in the movement (and yet not getting things funded or being ignored because 100 people are in line ahead of them).

    On one hand it is a great deal for housing 100 people in New York, and really, if 100 people could each come up with just $25 a month they could all pay for the rent themselves! Rent in NYC for $25 a month! So come on, if they all did that they could pay for it and not have OWS donors pay for it. Housing brought that point up and people didn’t seem interested. What can you do?

  19. Chris

    It should be said too that the entire meeting was consumed by that issue. Also the funding wasn’t just “ended.” It was voted to end funding of the West Park space because three people had been fighting and threatening people and stealing within the church, essentially creating an atmosphere of hostility and fear. that’s what people said. That plus the fact that the church was trying to let OWS work out the problems with theft and violence instead of calling the police, speaks volumes about the generosity of the church and the kindness of the pastor there. To continue allowing that to happen would make all of OWS look bad.

    Unfortunately that task has fallen to Town Planning and Housing, who, by the way, are all volunteers! People doing all this stuff are in it for the right reasons – but not to take loads of shit from people! Someone has to say enough is enough. The Spokes Council is a decent system as long as it doesn’t get hijacked by people who are there recreationally.

  20. suzy parker

    it would be nice if people actually had facts, and didn’t just repeat what they “heard” about what happened where, and what they think people’s feelings are, etc. neither pastor at either church wants the occupiers to leave–i have had discussions with both of them this week on that point. people who do security at our marches, or are medics, or bring food to our meetings, are sleeping in the churches. if that gives them a sense of entitlement for support from OWS, then i’m all for it. some of the comments above would fit quite nicely at any gathering of CEOs and country clubbers or any other group OWS-identified people supposedly would rather not see themselves so allied with. you might want to step a moment and think about where your values really are….

    • arj

      That would be nice, Suzy. I heard that last night at the spokes meeting and assume that it is factual. I’ve heard it from other people regarding violent acting out and destruction from people staying at the churches.

      Now we are getting to the root of a huge problem that OWS has. You think that you don’t want to align with me because I don’t support violence. You don’t want to align with me because I think that there are better solutions for housing (in other words because I disagree with you and because I’m not homeless).

      So, let’s say that you don’t align with people like me. Where will the money come from, Suzy?

    • Dallas

      My values don’t dictate that all other expenditures take a back seat until everyone in need is no longer in need. I’d be working with any number of other orgs if I felt that way.

    • sumumba

      and o i will reply to Suzy just by saying as a SPOKE i voted for allowing BOTH west park and park slope to retain funding and stay open…i was one of two people i think…i dont know EXACTLY whats going on in the churches..but i do assume that the ministers computer was stolen and a gold basin or something and if the minister is cool with that cool…doesnt reflect well on us tho but thats neither here nor there…HOWEVER i did witness violence at TWO spokes from residents at SPOKES and the another resident i have witnessed steal and verbally abuse staff at 50 broadway …and for them and others who do such things to continually recieve housing under OWS is highly problemmatic..

  21. sumumba

    here’s my thought maybe if we had a ZERO tolerance for BS, theft and other unsavory behaviors and actually EXTENDED the good neighbor policy to ALL of our work and living spaces we wouldn’t be asked or forced to leave them….but as i was so ‘eloquently’ told *BY OUR BIGGEST DISRUPTER* in Spokes last week that the GOOD NEIGHBOR policy ONLY applied to LIBERTY PLAZA..

    Martin Luther King said we should judge people by the content of their character not their skin color…yet sadly we throw that out of the window when a person of color does ANTI-MOVEMENT things because we automatically think ‘well they are marginalized’ so its ok…or we blame a white person for something because AUTOMATICALLY they must be wrong because of their ‘privileged’ …smdh…and YES again i say this as a PERSON OF COLOR…

    I THINK the left and OWS needs to embrace King’s words …and his ‘WE need a REVOLUTION of VALUES’….i want no part of any ‘revolution’ where folks cant even agree to a COMMUNITY AGREEMENT that creates a SAFE SPACE for the COMMUNITY to grow….

  22. Steve Scher

    yes.
    firstly you know my views on racism and race….the first exists..even when we wish to deny it inside ourselves ( speaking only for myself )……and race….no such thing…bunch of dna pools with lots of different characteristics….now being combined in what the …is assholes allowed as a word to be used here :D .. what the assholes refer to as the mongrelization of the species……avoiding the fact that so called mongrel dogs are healthier and make better companions than high strung purebreds….i call the children of this regrouping of dna pools ” future children”…. for better or worse politically we have a “future child” in the white house.

    Cultural revolution without the gang of four, or red book…or any of the other versions of attempts to change societies software…….
    Cultural revolution maybe just by talking with each other about it.
    Cognative talking therapy cast in a different light?

    I understand the focus you and I see encompasses “the left” and ows…..
    but it does go beyond that…..

    just talking to the stranger…..introducing yourself by name…shaking hands……and the stranger is now humanized…you are humanized in the strangers eyes….and you talk….. and through a sensitivity to what’s there….you assist change.

    a safe place…..
    it is a good idea.

    zero tolerance….. there’s the rub……
    how.

  23. Urbaned

    In recent years, I have been assaulted and screamed at for being white. I never ever treated anyone like that because of their race. I’m not the racist, those people are.

    • Frances MA

      Oh no you did not just throw “those people” up on this forum for all to see, right? Seriously?

      • sumumba

        lol relax…as a POC i get his point however i think racism and prejudice and the difference we need to one day address…

      • Urbaned

        I mean, people, whatever color, shape, or style, who scream that others are racist are actually acting that way themselves. Hope it’s more clear now. However, this is a major topic and I think we are at the cusp of confronting it in our society. I wish OWS could reach out and solve issues with the poor, mentally ill, disenfranchised, abused, victimized…we have to because we are all the 99%. However, we have to create our own structures at the same time. We are being very nice towards everyone. I think we need to create some basic classroom management rules and move on to the challenges of changing the world.

        • Dallas

          You mean like standing people in the corner for 5 minutes on time-out? :D If we could somehow enforce it I’d be all about this.

  24. Steve Scher

    sigh….
    we’ve never met that i know of…though maybe we have met at liberty or 60 wall…
    i don’t wish to dispute your statement you’re not racist.
    assaulted foer being white…..screamed at……
    i suppose one could say that “they” are racist….
    however…
    they are violent with words…..
    violent with their bodies……
    screaming and assault is the issue…not what it appears to be connected with……

    it sounds silly i know…but somewhere out there is a racist who is a pacifist.
    who may hate you for being white…..
    but not scream at you…or assault you…..

    and somewhere out there is someone who would be happy to scream at you and assault you who is white…..
    or simply not a racist……

    i think we need to seperate the two things……
    its not ok to be racist…..

    but my concern is not that they assault you for being white….
    its that they assault you….

    does this make any sense?

    • Urbaned

      Sure. It’s not good to assault, and it’s not good to be racist! The combo is a double-whammy – in both directions – white/poc, poc/white.

  25. Urbaned

    We need to be talking about VERY SERIOUS ISSUES in our society: upcoming elections; ongoing corporatization of healthcare, schools, prisons; a new economy; OWS technology; farming, gardening, communal living. We cannot do that if we continue to cater to obnoxious and disruptive people. Here is some information from a flier I just received from my school:

    “How to Handle Offensive Speakers & Printed Materials
    Offensive speakers thrive on attention and publicity. They use offensive language or printed materials in an attempt to catch your interest.

    Effective strategies for offensive speakers:

    1. Ignore the offensive speakers completely. Do not give them any attention. They will leave campus if they do not have an audience. They want you to stop and argue with them; and if you give in to this temptation you will likely keep them here longer.
    2. Do NOT touch any of the offensive speakers. Some of these groups fund themselves by claiming they were assaulted.
    3. Conduct a positive campaign of buttons and banners – “Not in our House,” or “Peace in the Park.”
    4. Counter-schedule another unity event at the same time.

    Hope this helps.

    • David Andrew

      Stand up and call out speakers who makes statements that they won’t back up with evidence.

      Hope this helps you.

  26. Steve Scher

    yes
    thank you
    i think so much better now.

    confront, engage, enrage…..
    and if delusional with occasional psychotic episodes insist on the evidence.
    thank you
    thank you