NYC General Assembly Minutes 1/3/2012

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.

NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY DAY 107

Date/Time: 1/3/2012, 7pm

Location: 100 Williams St

Facilitators (F): Marissa, Nathan

 

AGENDA
107.1.  Announcements

107.2.  Agenda Items (Housing Metrocard proposal, Occupy Newark proposal, End Corporate Personhood proposal, Audit Finance proposal, Occupy NH Primaries proposal, J17 proposal)

F: Mic check! The GA is starting now. We need to have a pathway in the back so that pedestrian traffic can go through.

F: So I’m Nathan and I’d ask your permission to facilitate tonight.

F: I’m Marissa.

[missed something]

F: So right now we’re being informed by building security that the part we’re standing on here is not part of the building property. So we feel it would be best to move the GA back into the middle of the corridor with the Facilitators just in front of the steps. [some discussion, arguing, then they move; make a pathway in front instead of in back]

F: I’m going to ask that we leave ten feet from this space to allow flow of traffic through the area and to not block the stairway. [more chatter, movement]

F: So now I’m going to ask that we as a group empower Darren to help us keep this space clear. That looks good, thank you.

F: So the reason that we’re assembling here today as opposed to the park which is recently opened is because in our GA on Sunday, despite the fact that this is a space required to be open for public access from 7am until midnight, we were very aggressively asked to move by the NYPD. When it brought to their attention that we were legally allowed to be here, they told us that we could take that up with the judge in the morning, which is completely against our First amendment rights.

F: The GA has always been a place for political discourse. People come to the GA to exercise their freedom of speech. On December 17th, day one of the occupation, we held a general assembly and this was our action. Our action was our speech. So in the spirit of that tonight we’ll hold a General assembly. First we’ll have announcements and then we’ll move on to the agenda. Most of you are probably familiar with consensus project. But we’ll do a little overview. Basically the faciliators guide the process at the meeting and ensure that all voices are heard. Stack takers keep a list of everyone who wants to speak and we use progressive stack to ensure that all voices, especially marginalized voices, get ordered above, first in stack. We’ll also have a time keeper and it would be great actually if someone could volunteer to be a time keeper.

F: Mic check. Can we get consensus on Melanie being the time keeper. [yes]

F: So we’ll be taking Agenda Items and going through a proposal process. First we’ll take clarifying questions, then we’ll take concerns, then we’ll do stand asides. Standasides are a way to register serious concerns without preventing the group from going forward. We’ll also do blocks. A block is a serious moral or ethical concern that you feel would be bad for the group as a whole. Not your personal opinion. So now we’ll move into announcements. If yowu ant to get on stack, Matt will take your name.

F: What we are asking, in order to allow the greatest number of proposals to be heard tonight is that we allow fifteen minutes for a proposal, although you will be as always empowered to extend that time should you feel so. We’re also asking that we limit concerns, clarifying questions, amendments, as much as possible, to two minutes.

Stack: Anyone else for announcements?

?: Mic check. Anyone who is not speaking please step down from the stairway and join the rest of the group. I’ve just been informed by Legal that this is what we need to do. Please help us maintain this GA.

 

107.1.  Announcements

Stack: Georgina.

107.1.1.  Georgina: So my name’s Georgina and this is my first time at the NY wall street general assembly. Thank you all for your strong spirit and inspiring so many people in so many other places. I’m coming from the ? which is in the Pacific Northwest. That’s … Vancouver… We have a real problem there right now. Which is that Brookfield… management company are liquidating the last temperate rainforest of British Columbia that they privately own. These forests are getting cut and sent as raw exports to China. So I wanted to come here to help make the connection that the same company who owns Brookfield properties that owns Zuccotti Park, who truly represent the 1% are also involved in liquidating forests. So this is a particular forest on Cortes Island in BC that is scheduled for clear cuts this month. And we need solidarity actions here and all over the world. There’s somebody who just showed up with a petition from Occupy Vancouver. Maybe she can get on the list too. So we’d like people to sign this petition but we also think there’s a lot of potential for creative solidarity actions. The wolves in these forests, endangered species in these forests have no protection, there’s no government regulation sot he people who need to show up at this time. Thank you all for your amazing inspiration! May the world thrive!

F: Next on stack?

107.1.2.  ?: Last night GlobalRevolutionLivestream based at 1310 was hit with a multi-agency task force and evicted and locked out of their building. On Friday, at 2 o’clock at 79th St and 5th Ave, at Bloomberg’s mansion, there will be a protest about what happened to not only GlobalRevolutionLivestream but all the press who have been arrested covering Occupy Wall Street. We are asking everyone to come with cameras, video cameras and livestream. We’re gonna make’m shut that block down and we’re going to drive Bloomberg and his neighbors crazy. I hope to see you all there on Friday. And we’re looking for standup comedians to do comedy about Bloomberg, Lady Gaga and the police state we live in right now.

?: Mic check. We’re having a problem with people in the back not being able to hear. So I’m going to ask that we all participate in people’s mic.

107.1.3.  Milo: Hi, my name is Milo. My announcement is related to that. I’m in contact with someone right now who is at the Manhattan base for GRtv and they are expecting a raid tonight. And he wants to leave but doesn’t feel safe going alone. So I’m going to pick her up and I was wondering if anyone else wanted to tag along to show solidarity. So if you you wanna go, come follow me that way.

107.1.4.  ?: Hi everybody, happy new year. My announcement is my working group is currently working with a new working group basically to have better fundraising for the occupation since we are low very soon we’ll be broke. So that’s my announcement.

107.1.5.  ?: Mic check. This is a little announcement slash report back on the NDAA actions today. It was a beautiful success! Done on very short notice! But we began on 42d St right next to the Library at Bryant Park and we held a press conference. There was no mainstream media, kinda like our very first official statement about NDAA did not get any press, but we kept on going. We staged theatrical renditions of people speaking out, renditions being they’re capturing. After that we went to Senator Gillibrant and Zoomer’s office and we had incredible soapboxing as well as a statement from a man who was indefinitely detained for three years of his life for their actions against a corrupt bank. I highly recommend people look at the footage from this action. After that we went down to Rockefeller Center. We were kept from assembling there, but it didn’t matter. Many thousands of people heard about the NDAA because the media is doing nothing. Occupy is the voice. After that we did an incredible flash mob down in Grand Central Station where many thousands of people heard our mic checks. Seven of us were arrested for speaking, for assembling, violently. Not us. The police. And I say that this year is a continuation of this protest. So we are in solidarity with anonymous and its global revolution and we are unstoppable! Keep going! [cheering]

PoI: I’m part of Global Revolution and I’m unsure of what is going on. I’m going to go find out. 107.1.6.  OccupyNYC will not be streaming, we have plenty of people streaming here. We are not the only stream team that covers these events. It’s all about multi-coverage OccupyNYC is your eyes always. I’m sorry that we have to leave. Love, love, love!

[reminder for people to keep space for people to walk through]

F: Next on stack!

107.1.7.  ?: Hello! Please appreciate the dynamics of what is occurring. We have a Mayor Bloomberg who has a conflicting agenda with the movement. Consequently he is proceeded in a strategic manner to achieve his agenda. Specifically his plan of action is to sway and intimidate the continuation and participation of the movement. He has utilized the NYPD as a device to achieve such means. This is an official policy that is a tactic.

F: We’re getting PoPs.

PoP: While I appreciate what you’re saying, it’s not really an announcement because it’s not informational. It’s more of a speech. So at the end, we’ll have time for people to soapbox where people can give speeches.

107.1.8.  Courtney: Hi everyone. My name’s Courtney. I’m here from Occupy Vancouver. [cheering] … as well, and I have a small announcement to make to you guys. Georgina spoke to you earlier about Brookfield properties island timberlands and the plans to log on Cortez Island. I brought this petition here tonight n the hopes that you guys can support us and sign this petition so that I can bring it home to Cortes Island and show solidarity from Wall St against Brookfield Properties and try to save our ancient rainforests. So I’m going to pass this around. I urge you all to please sign it. You can find me right over here livestreaming to Occupy Vancouver and bring me back the petition after the general assembly. Thank you for the pens. One more thing, for more information you can go to wildstands.wordpress.com. Thank you all for having us, I love you!

F: Last announcement, we’re closing stack for announcements.

107.1.9.  ?: There’s a New Year’s rally for NYPD accountability. Join elected officials and … for a rally and press conference as we make a new year’s resolution.

F: I’m getting a lot of this {points up} for louder voices, so if we could all participate in people’s mic that would be great.

F: Also, if the people in the front could get down, kneel, you can’t sit, that would help.

[shuffling, moving]

107.1.9. (continued) ?: Join elected officials and community leaders for a rally and rpess conference as we make a new year’s resolution rededicating our efforts to the police accountability movement. Let’s re-commit. Tell Mayor Bloomuber and Commissioner Kelly that we demand they recognize discrimination against communities, color-codified in the NYPD culture.  This is not an anti-NYPD movement nor does it impede our efforts to end gun violence. We are fighting for better policing and safer streets for all new Yorkers. The problem must be acknowledged, only then can it be fixed. Saturday, Jan 7, 1pm, Grand Army Plaza. I will hand out fliers. Thank you!

F: Mic check! It has just come to the attention of Facilitation that several NYPD vans are en route. I’m gonna ask again that we ensure that there is a walkway between Facilitation and the GA body.

F: We are now moving into agenda items. First on the agenda is Housing with a metro cards proposal.

 

107.2.  Agenda Items

107.2.1.  Housing Metrocard Proposal

PoP: Last night the spokes council was formally recognized as active. Recognizing also the rules set down in the October  17th Spokes council. This proposal cannot come to this body. Look it up.

F: It is true that last night spokes council recognized itself. After three months of craziness. However, there was an attempt to reach out to the Housing group and they told Facilitation that their proposal was very urgent because people needed metro cards to get to a warm place to sleep. So since we didn’t know til last night about the spokes council, we decided in the transition to allow this proposal to go before the GA.

107.2.1.1.  Housing: Mic check, good evening. My name is Jeff and I’m with the Housing working group. The Housing working group would like to continue the process of weekly metrocard requests that has been ongoing for the last four weeks. To facilitate the participation of various individuals and WORKING GROUP that making a tangible contribution to the daily operations of OWS, we would like to request the funds to purchase seven day unlimited metro cards from the NYCTA. The number and amounts are detailed as follows: we would like one hundred and thirty total metro cards for distribution. The first thirty cards we’ll return to OWS accounting from last week’s distribution. An additional one hundred new cards, at $29 each, for a total of $2900. This is a reduction of ten total cards from last week’s proposal and a reduction of $580 in funds. The proposed process for distribution will remain the same. Each person requesting a metro card will need to have a completed authorization form signed from the point person of the WORKING GROUP. The cards should be available on a first come first serve basis and will be distributed 6pm to 9pm at the location of GA or Spokes on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, by a committee of representatives of the Housing working group. People who have received a metro card in the previous week are required to verify possession of that card. For documentation on the distribution process, please visit the NYCGA website on the Housing working group. Thank you.

F: Now we’re going to open up the floor for clarifying questions.

F: Raise your hands to get on stack for clarifying questions.

107.2.1.2.  Clarifying Questions

107.2.1.2.1.  CQ: I have heard mentioned several times “a standard, tangible contribution to the movement.” I would like to know how that is defined and who is empowered to make that decision. Thank you.

Housing: Great question! The Housing working group does not feel empowered to make that decision. We have thus given that power to the working groups represented by the point people for each working group. As long as there are metrocards and resources we feel working groups, as the basic organizational units of this movement, should make that decision.

Stack: Ok, next to you.

PoI: PoI, I’m developing a template to help kinda make that more transparent of what defined contribution should be for membership in OWS. Anybody who wants to be on that, please contact me. I’m Darryl Kris (sp).

107.2.1.2.2.  CQ: I have a question about how to present your card. For example, my wallet was just lost so I how can I present my card if it is now lost?

Housing: Good question! There are concerns that people are not using their cards for the intended purposes of transportation. Example given, selling them. Therefore, in the unfortunate circumstance that you lose or your card is stolen, we are requesting that you notify the Housing group immediately when the card is stolen or lost.

F: Any other questions?

107.2.1.2.3.  CQ: Can you make sure that you stick to the political aspects a little more so … [can’t hear]

PoP: I’m not necessarily disagreeing with you, but this is clarifying questions.

F: So again, just quickly, after clarifying questions we will have an opportunity to address concerns and then amendments. Can your statement be presented as a clarifying question?

F: PoPs!

?: Mic check. We really can’t hear outside of the front. So could I ask for private conversations to go outside of this echoey space. And everyone please do the mic check! Thank you.

107.2.1.2.4.  CQ: My question has to do with if a card is lost or stolen. You stated that you ask people report that. What is done when someone reports that?
Housing: It is documented within the Housing group that that person has lost or their card has been stolen. And noted the day that they reported it.

F: Once again I will ask that people stop having side conversations. Thank you. Next on stack… that’s it for questions, so we are moving on… Hold on, apparently we have one more clarifying question.

107.2.1.2.5.  CQ: I was just going to say that if a card is lost and it’s purchased with a debit or credit card, you can report it and the city will replace it. As long as it’s unlimited.

F: Now we will move on to concerns. Raise your hand to get on the stack.

107.2.1.3.  Concerns

107.2.1.3.1.  C: My concern is that this whole process is kind of like a beaurocracy, it’s a bit like applying for welfare. By the time you get form signed, make calls, and you lose them… why can’t we just assume people can afford a metro card, they’ll buy their own. And if they can’t then they’re living in Housing at the churches…

F: Once again, let’s use our voices!

F: Anyone else?

F: So that looks like…

?: There’s a concern.

107.2.1.3.2.  C: I feel if this doesn’t pass a lot of people will not be able to find a place to sleep at. I’ve slept in the subway when I’m late getting to a church. To go to church, I need to get on a subway. So the metrocards are a good thing.

F: Ok, Yoni?

107.2.1.3.3.  C: I just have a concern, I’m not sure if all working groups have good intentions for the movement. Not all of the working groups went through the GA, and that’s ok, but I don’t feel comfortable empowering each working group with money when I have no control of them. It’s just a concern.

F: Mic check. We are being interrupted by security of this building. I’m going to continue to facilitate. Next on stack?

?: Can we do two waves of mic checks?

F: If you would like to volunteer to be a second generation of a mic check, that would be helpful. [chatter, designating second wave]

F: Mic check! How was that? [great!]

F: Any more concerns of this proposal?

F: Are there any standasides of this proposal? Standasides are a personal, serious concerns but it does not prevent the group going forward.

PoP: Friendly amendments are before standasides.

F: We have one more concern, then friendly amendments.

107.2.1.3.4.  C: I have a concern for Housing. I understand that every week they come to the GA for money about metro cards. My concern is this. We are running out of money. I am concerned down the road that we won’t have money for metro cards. I’m wondering when that takes place what Housing is going to do about it. We are running low on funds.

F: Mic check. We have an emergency announcement.

Emergency Announcement: … we are possibly in arrestable situation because we are taking more than 50% of the space. The way to solve this is for everybody to step back behind the second line. As much as I hate this I would hate for you all to get arrested. Thank you! Oh please ensure… the entrance to the Starbucks … stays clear. Sorry.

Housing: Welcome back. I’m going to address the proposal now. For multiple concerns mentioned. Housing is also concerned about the amount of funds being used in this organization. Three weeks ago we were requesting over $4000 a week for metro cards. We have been putting in a process of accountability and have at the same time reduced our funding request by $1500 a week. We are also hoping that past proposals from Info ComHub will give more accountability for which working groups are viable for this movement.  Also we have been exploring other transportation options: bicycles, school bus and possibly fundraising in the future. But we are still unsure about that. Thank you.

F: Are we finished with stack? We’re finished with stacks for concerns. We’ll open up stack for amendments.

F: Raise your hand if you have a friendly amendment. Nan, you’re the only one.

107.2.1.4.  Friendly Amendments

107.2.1.4.1.  FA: My FA is I would like to see Housing come up with some kind of fundraising. … and also contribute to part of the movement.

Housing: I will say that I already feel that Housing is contributing to part of the movement. But financially I know that other groups had already expressed about anyone officially in the movement is empowered for active fundraising. Whether or I personally or the group Housing in general is for or against is another discussion. I will say that we are actively exploring other options.

107.2.1.4.2.  FA: Hi, I’m Daniel. It seems to me that we bring up metro cards every week. If we’re going to do this we might as well get monthly cards. And that’s my amendment.

Housing: We have considered monthly cards. But we have decided not to do that because people often arrive on a weekly basis and cards are sometimes lost. So we will decline that FA.

107.2.1.4.3.  FA: In the spirit…

PoI: PoI, if metrocards are lost or stolen the MTA will reimburse you if you call them for the time not used on the card. If you buy them with a credit card.

Housing: OWS pays cash.

107.2.1.4.4.  FA: I have a concern about the financial feasibility of this proposal. I suggest ? working group that they do not take a part of this. Because I don’t know who the members are.

F: PoP, Just a reminder we’re taking FAs, we’re not taking concerns about this proposal.

107.2.1.4.5.  FA: In the spirit of the last suggested friendly amendment, I suggest putting forth a budget for two weeks so we don’t have to do this again next week.

Housing: Clarificatio,n are you requesting we add an additional week’s allotment of funds to this proposal?

107.2.1.4.5. (continued) I’m saying funds to be dispersed for next week’s cards. Reducing liability.

Housing: Accepted!

F: I am closing stack for FAs.

107.2.1.4.6.  FA: We do need to address  my friendly amendment.

Housing: I decline.

107.2.1.4.7.  FA: My friendly amendment is that the housing working group transparently disclose whether cards issued have been lost so we can discern whether or not it is financially rational to actually invest in using a credit card for monthly passes that we can actually get back.

Housing: Out of one hundred and fifteen cards distributed last week, only one person came forward and said that their card had been lost, and one additional came forward and said their card had been stolen. Two cards. However the cards are prorated. If you lose on the sixth day, you are only reimbursed one day.

F: We have now finished FAs. We will restate the proposal with amendments.

Housing: The Housing working group is requesting thirty metro card returned to Finance last week and the funds for $2900 to purchase one hundred cards this week and an additional $2900 to purchase one hundred metro cards for next week. To be distributed by the previously defined process.

?: Who’s park? Who’s park?

F: The people’s mic should only be used by the Facilitators, the proposer and the person on stack. Thank you!

[pause for Facilitator consultation]

F: Are there any blocks to this proposal? [pause] I don’t see any blocks. So we’ve reached consensus!

Housing: According to our proposal we are set to distribute metrocards this evening until nine o’clock. The funds will not be released until tomorrow if we’re fortunate with Accounting and Minutes. But the first thirty cards returned from last week will be distributed in half an hour over there. If you absolutely need a card please come and see us. Thank you.

PoP: I heard that there was consensus, but consensus was not asked for.  [missed last part]

F: There was a question about asking for blocks. So consensus is reached when there are no blocks. That’s what we had. So we’re able to move forward.

PoP: Isn’t it true that the proposal needs to be restated with all friendly amendments before we check for consensus?

F: That is true and we did restate the proposal with all amendments that were accepted.

PoP: I may be confused but a lack of blocks is not a temperature check for consensus. We did not count people twinkling down or up. That’s not consensus. That’s a great thing that we don’t have blocks.

F: Just to clarify, a temperature check does not mean that we’ve reached consensus. It is a way for Facilitators and the group to check where the group is. How people are feeling about things. We only reach consensus when there’s an absence of blocks. I feel like we should move on to the next agenda item.

F: Occupy Newark.

107.2.2.  Occupy Newark (ON) Proposal

107.2.2.1.  ON: My name is IP (sp). I’m a part of Occupy Newark. The Town Hall Planning working group of ONewark has created a proposal for funds for supplies so that we can be a safe, sustainable and active occupation. We are working on one hundred dollars in our bank account. We have a list of items that we’re going to purchase. Do we need to go through the list right here? Can I get a temperature check?

F: We have a temperature check on whether or not we’d like ON to go through the list of items they want to purchase.

ON: The proposal is for $10K. Can we get a temperature check on reading the itemized list?

F: Temperature check, twinkles up if you want to see the itemized budget. All right, I’m going to ask that everyone participate to see whether or not you feel it’s important… It looks fairly positive that they want the list gone over.

ON: This is the list of items in the proposal. Three military [?] for a total of $120. Twenty-five military tents, total of $1250. Two solar powered and wind powered generators, total of $1390. Twenty-five small heaters, $1,000. Twenty-five small tarps, $200. Fifteen large tarps, $375. Fifty zero-degree sleeping bags, $2,000. Thirty-five solar lanterns, $280. One portable toilet, $380 for two months.

F: Mic check. I’m hearing that people can’t hear. So if everyone could repeat that would be helpful. Also, we’re doing two generations so if we can take two sides… so let’s try the two generations. Mic check! Ok!

ON: Also, 500 feet of rope, $50. Also, additional emergency funds $2,500. Lastly, shipping and transportation costs, $455. I repeat, the total is $10K.

ON: My name is Tobias [?]. I am from Newark, NJ. We have legal approval from city council to occupy twenty four hours downtown in the business district which is the heart of north New Jersey. We do not have barricades surrounding our parks. We do not have the fear of getting locked up for peaceful assemblies or peaceful protest. This is because the North police department suffered over a hundred and sixty layoffs. They are obviously acknowledging themselves as part of the 99%. What we don’t have is the manpower, people power, such as yourselves that can help us keep our encampment going throughout this winter. We have people sleeping in camping tents without heaters. Someone is going to get sick, catch pneumonia and possibly die. I don’t want that on my conscience.  I don’t know who all read the proposal but we also state that if the funds is an issue can you at least help us reach some of the supplies.

F: I would ask that if you’re leaning against the glass, that you not do so.  So, now we’ll open up for clarifying questions.

107.2.2.2.  Clarifying Questions

107.2.2.2.1.  ?: First, a PoI: The site of the Newark encampment is a historic site. It’s the location where George Washington and his troops camped out during the coldest winter of 1777 during the first American revolution. And also my clarifying question is, how many people can sleep in a military tent?

?: Mic check.

ON: It depends on the size of the tent, but if we manage it properly we can get close to two hundred people encamping in the park. However, this is just an estimation.

?: Mic check! Mic check! I say that five thousand…

F: Mic check.

F: Only those who are on stack should speak.

ON: We want to get twenty-five two man tents. But we welcome as much support as we can get.  We invite you to bring your own tent.

107.2.2.2.2.  CQ: What is the purpose of $2500 for emergency funds?

ON: Mic check. The emergency funds are going to be reserved by our finance working group. We will only issue out funds out of the $2500 for emergency situations and emergency supplies.

?: Mic check. Mic check. I am John the EMT. I say that ON, we need emergency funds for medical supplies. I need a tent for heat. For hypothermia patients.

?: Mic check, mic check, I have a…

F: Mic check, we have a stack. Next on stack?
107.2.2.2.3.  CQ: This may be a question for facilitation. But I don’t understand how we can make financial decisions without understanding the ramifications for the rest of the budget.

F: Thanks… a little out of process, but just as a PoI, the GA is empowered to make those decisions. If they feel they don’t have enough information they can decide not to pass the proposal.

ON: Mic check. Mic check. These funds will be used for the items in the list. It will be totally accountable and transparent? The $2,500 is essentially a monetary donation we’re asking from OWS. There are items we’ve overlooked for medical supplies. Possibly clothing.

?: Mic check. I have a quick PoI: $2,500 is one quarter of our weekly food budget. Any decision we make should keep that in mind.

F: So again, important information, not a clarifying question. I’m going to task that we respect the group and stay inside the process.

107.2.2.2.4.  CQ: My CQ … doing a wonderful job and you … I do not know about you guys but I’ve been to Newark NJ. They are not like New York. They are very poor. My concern I have if we pass this proposal

F: PoP? No, it’s been removed.

ON: Yes, again, we do not have police breaking into our encampment. We don’t have the acts of vandalism going on in our encampment. We take a lot of pride in our city regardless of what’s being displayed in the media. So I assure you that we’ll treat it as precious as you would.

ON: We also are working on less that $20 per day donation.

107.2.2.2.5.  CQ: Do we have any tents left over.. I’m sorry. This question is for DA and SIS. Do we have any tents left over from D17 that might be suitable for ON? And more things they haven’t even asked for that we are not using such as hand warmers and sleeping bags and those big blue Styrofoam things that we used to have in our beautiful tent city at Liberty Plaza?

PoI: SIS certainly has a few more tents and a bunch of sleeping bags, a lot of clothes, exactly how many, nobody knows, because SIS still needs a computer.

F: I’m going to suggest that SIS talk to ON and try to figure it out. Next on stack.

107.2.2.2.6.  CQ: I have  a CQ. On the website it says you’ll be buying some of the supplies from Walmart. Are you still going to?

ON: No, we’re not. There’s a reason behind that but we can’t say.

F: We’re now moving on to concerns.

F: Raise your hand if you have concerns about this proposal. While Matt’s taking stack for concerns I’m going to make a brief announcement.

107.2.2.3.  Concerns

?: I’ve been told that things are fine the way they are as long as we keep an open pathway. We’re cool.

107.2.2.3.1.  Concern: Hello everyone. I don’t want anyone to be cold in the winter. However my concern about the funds running out … ON does not have… accounted for or communication about available resources here, I would like to say there should be some process so they can get some funds… to continue to occupy to reconsider and to return.

F: Do we have any amendments?

107.2.2.4.  Friendly Amendments (FA)

107.2.2.4.1.  FA: My amendment is that we reduce the amount we give you for anything we give you as in-kind donation. Mic check. My FA is that anything we give, we can take the value back in what we give them.

F: What I’m hearing is that after the conversation with SIS anything that is provided by SIS or another OWS group the value of it will be removed from the total allotted by this GA with ON.

ON: We accept the FA. This is not about money, it’s about lives.

F: I’m going to ask for standasides. Standasides are serious concerns that are noted but do not prevent the group from going forward.

F: How do we feel as a group, tc, on moving forward to consensus?

F: Are there any blocks to this proposal? All right, we’ve reached consensus!

ON: Please take a GA field trip to ON! To see what you are helping out!

F: Ending corporate personhood. Anyone here for the revolution to end corporate personhood. Before we get into that, there’s a young woman here…

107.2.3.  Ending Corporate Personhood Proposal

107.2.3.1.  ?: Hello everyone, we are here tonight to try to get your support to end corporate personhood and to proceed with certain reforms while we pursue evolution. So that means we would like to get your official support to stand with OLA and the resolution reached by the LA city council to remove the amendment to the US constitution because corporations are not people. Money is not speech! So! Next… we passed out earlier a page like this on the resolution to end corporate personhood. In the interest of time I’m not going to read all of it, just a little bit. [reading from their proposal: LINK]

That’ the gist of it. We wanna also let you know that on Jan 20, and also on Jan 21st, we’re organizing several actions across the city to mark the two year anniversary on the unfortunate ruling of Citizens United versus Federal…. We want to pass this resolution tonight so that OWS is a powerful voice and dialogue, to dismantle corporate power. We propose this resolution one day before NYC council needs to discuss a NY resolution. We propose this resolution as one of many strategies of self-empowerment, not as part of a political party or endorsement of a political system, but one of many parallel efforts and in …

Can we get consensus on…

F: We all love consensus but we’re not quite there yet. We will now open the floor for CQs.

107.2.3.2.  Clarifying Questions

107.2.3.2.1.  CQ: Earlier, you said you passed out paper copies, but I didn’t get one, does anybody have one?

ECP: [missed it]

107.2.3.2.2.  CQ: My name is Steve Evan, city councilman from Brooklyn, and I’m also a sponsor of the resolution at the NY city council. I will be happy to vote about this tomorrow at noon at city hall.

F: I don’t see any more CQ’s, we will now open stack for concerns.

107.2.3.3.  Concerns

107.2.3.3.1.  Concern: My concern is that this [missed]

ECP: The way I’d like to answer you is that as a movement, we want to try to move forward… greater efficacy and if we don’t determine that corporations are not people and stand in solidarity with the Occupy LA resolution, we cannot fully coordinate… in the future. Have I answered your question.

F: Just to be clear, we’re doing concerns.

107.2.3.3.2.  Concern: My concern although I love this proposal… that I don’t like is demand. I wonder is there another way you can state that. That is my concern.

107.2.3.3.3.  Concern: I have a similar concern with the word fiction. Corporations really do exist. Also along those lines rather than demands I prefer stances. My concern is more that things like this don’t pass more because we need stances in order to make things happen, we have to tell people what it is you want.

F: Everyone stay chill, don’t worry about distractions, we’re having our own assembly. Next on stack?

ECP: I just wanted to answer first the issue of fiction. Corporations of course are real but they are legal fictions. Their personhood is the fiction. Legally speaking. In terms of demands our group came to the … GA presenting the resolution to the people there and we reworked it to the form it is now in to ensure that it has no demands but rather states our values asserting that corporations should not be considered people. We are demanding political action … specific group or passing any sort of legal thing.

F: Are there any amendments?

F: We will take this last concern and then we will be closing stack for concerns.

107.2.3.3.4.  Concern: My concern is that there many different viewpoints and maybe we can demand that OWS …? I don’t think that the right group is for any one of those demands to get out in front of all the rest of them. I think you need to … concern is, that although you have this group to … political .. groups, there are other groups who would like to work with you…

F: We’re moving on to FAs. Are there any FAs?

107.2.3.4.  Friendly Amendments

107.2.3.4.1.  FA: I used to have concerns about this being a demand. But after reading the proposal I think it’s well written and carefully =phrased to not go against our statement of autonomy. … that speak for us that speak with us, not for us.  … to take out the phrase OWS so that the proposal simply reads the GA of NYC. I’ll explain briefly. I think that it’s a more powerful statement that we are the GA of NY and its citizens and not just OWS. That’s all.

F: While they are conferring, can I see any other Fas?

ECP:  I want to respond to your FA. I appreciate your thoughtfulness. … with not including OWS that we have worked so hard as a growing movement that OWS is familiar to all whereas a NY GA is a function of OWS movement. How do you feel about that?
FA: I understand, if you don’t want the amendment, I still support your proposal. I just still think that this GA is OWS and vice versa.

F: … restate the proposal … no amendments accepted, please restate your proposal.

ECP: So in brief, we would like to stand in solidarity … OWS endorse a resolution in solidarity with OLA stating that corporations are not people and money is not speech and we ask .. invite you to join in on the 2year anniversary actions on the 20th of Jan and the 21st of Jan.

F: Do people feel good about moving towards consensus? [postivie] Are there any standasides.

F: We have one registered standaside.

F: Are there any blocks? One block. Any other blocks?

107.2.3.5.  Blocks

F: Explain your block.

107.2.3.5.1.  Block: I would like you to accept the friendly amendment because if it says the general assembly I can stand aside and not endorse something that I believe to be reform with which I have a grave ethical concern. But if you don’t, I don’t want to drag this on and I will stand aside instead of being us forcing us to go to modified consensus.

F: What I heard was that if the amendment is accepted, the block will become a standaside. If it is not accepted, the block stand and we move to modified consensus.

[Facilitator and proposer confer]

F: One moment, we are explaining the process to the proposer.

F: What I understand is that the proposer has agreed to accept the amendment addressed as a block.

ECP: So we have decided to accept the friendly amendment and use the words New York general assembly rather than Occupy Wall Street in the interest of having full consensus that’s symbolic of details, while they are important to me. I can accept rephrasing.

F: The only block withdrew their block in favor of this amendment so we have now reached consensus!

CP: Thank you!
F: Mic check! It’s really cold out here. How are people feeling?

Group response: COLD!

F: How do people feel about moving on with the agenda?
F: Everyone participate, how do we feel about moving on with the agenda?

PoP: Is it possible to not do human mic?
F: I can barely hear you, so I’m going to say no. But it looks positive, we’re moving on with the agenda. The next proposal is from…

F: Strong Women Rules?

107.2.4.  Audit Finance Proposal

107.2.4.1.  SRW: Hi guys. Mic check! We have a proposal on the table and it’s so cold I can’t talk, so I’m letting Darryl talk for me.

SRW Darryl: My name is Darryl. This proposal I helped Nan rewrite is to perform an external audit of our finances. As we are a sub-project of a not-for-profit we are legally required if we’re over $250K to perform an audit by an external CPA. In order to better align our processes so we don’t get audited really hard at tax time, which is only a couple months away I am putting forth this proposal now so we can move forward.
Nan: And also my concern is, my working group concern is, we don’t like the IRS. We don’t want the IRS to come after us! They’re not nice people. And they have this way of taking money and trust me they’ll take as much as they can. I think it’s fair, so we know what’s coming in, where’s it going, when it’s coming, that way if the IRS comes to us we can be better prepared.

PoI: If anyone is here from the Accounting working group, they may be able to validate what I’m going to say. Several weeks back my understanding was the budget numbers were being held from being released pending the completion of just such an audit. It would seem it’s already been done.

SRW: To my knowledge it has not been done. I asked last Finance meeting if the auditors that we were supposed to have back in October had actually completed the work. The answer was no. “We don’t have an accountant on staff. We’re overworked and we don’t have the skills to complete these actions.”

PoI: While working at the OWS office, I signed in an accountant who was at the office to confer with Accounting. There’s some sort of process of conferring with accountants that’s already taking place. Obviously.

F: Any clarifying questions?

107.2.4.2.  Clarifying Questions

107.2.4.2.1.  CQ: I believe that the people in our own movement that make up the Accounting working group have more integrity, and I trust more, than any outside accountants. And because they’re from us, they work with a standard of transparency that is not the standard of the outside world.

SRW: Was there a question?

F: We’re on clarifying questions. Would you like to phrase that as a question?

107.2.4.2.2.  CQ: I have two CQs. I ask to ask the first and response, then second and response. The first is, was this proposal was brought to Accounting before it came here? Response.

SRW: To be honest with you, I spoke to the Accounting  working group and I spoke to Haywood and he knew I was going to bring it up.

CQ: Mic check. My second question, my understanding was, we have our money in two separate bank accounts. I am unclear as to whose name that money’s under in each account. I do believe that one of the accounts is, that we have co-opted a non-profit to use one of their accounts. If that’s the non-profit you’re talking about, I’m wondering if anybody knows how much money out of all the money we have is in that specific account.

SRW: Darryl: I can clarify. I opened the bank account. One is Friends of Liberty Park, which is where most of the money is because that’s where we put the money from the not-for-profit, since most of the money comes in from the website. Last time I saw it was somewhere in the neighborhood of $240K. To speak to what you said about co-opting, they’re actually our fiscal sponsor which is what gives us our not-for-profit status. And they do take seven percent, which is about $35K. [missed something] The other account is for cash from the park and checks and has not gone to the sponsor. We specifically left it this way because that money could be used for almost anything, including things like elections and not-for-profit type things.

107.2.4.2.3.  CQ: Mic check. My CQ is whether or not your working group would be willing to be audited as much as you’d like finance to be audited, to be willing to have your own finances scrutinized with the same intensity by an outside source.

SRW: To answer your question, since the money is going to OWS and every working group that’s part of the website that basically gets the money from Finance, they have a record at Finance… so every working group information will be going to the accountant for auditing.

CQ (continued): It is my understanding from conversations I’ve had that there are several monies unaccounted for with your working group as well as Razor’s working group. That’s why I’m asking you this question because I feel that you’re willing to put a scrutiny that you’re not willing to have on your own group.

SRW: My working group… turn the receipts in, to Chris, on Finance…like you’re supposed to do so. They don’t know where the receipts went.

F: This is turning into a back and forth between two people.

[Minute-taker’s computer died, missed a little bit, now into concerns]

107.2.4.3.  Concerns

107.2.4.3.1.  ?: My concerns are great, probably too much to state simply. But I will try. One concern is that the donor information should be kept confidential and not have you have access to it. Because I personally as many others here, although we see your commitment to the movement, I don’t trust you. I know you don’t trust me. What I’m trying to say is that there’s sensitive information, the donors names, that should not be public because of the NDAA which may deem them terrorists. So that’s a very strong concern I have.

SRW: As for as the NDAA thing goes, the federal government can get donor names. I mean, the ones that are there that donate by credit card? That’s not hard for them to get if they really want to.

?: I’m still concerned.

SRW: I understand…

F: Mic check. We’re having a back and forth again.

SRW: Can I answer her question, the part about the NDAA?
F: We have to follow process.

F: It seems like Lopi wants Nan to address more fully her concern.

SRW Nan: The way we are going to audit it, we are not going to publish the people on the donors names, for example the donors. It will just be initials. I personally will not be there when the audit is going to take place. I’m going to let Darryl since he has a lot of information and knows a lot, and he’s going to make sure everything’s going to be processed right. Because he has an investment on that to make sure it happens correctly. I just want to make sure the iRS doesn’t come after me, or the working group, that’s all I care.

?: Excuse me. Happy new year. I don’t even feel that I’m worthy to address you people cuz I felt so little for so long. However I love you and let’s get this together. Now. What we are here for is negation of what homeboy thought that I was about. I’ve been here for five weeks before they raided us. Or should I say evicted us.

F: I would ask you sir, is this a concern about the proposal.

?: This is a concern about my feelings.

F: Your feelings about this proposal?

?: My feelings are just as important!

[back and forth to get the talker straight]

F: Mic check. Next on stack.

?: Mic check! [agitator]

F: Mic check! Again, mic check is only to be used by the facilitation team, the proposer and the person on stack.

[disruption, guy complaining that he occupied and has a right to talk]

F: [couldn’t hear over guy]

F: Next on stack.

107.2.4.3.2.  Concern: My concern is this divisive issue has come before the GA already and we rejected it. We are again wasting people’s time in the freezing cold and there is one more legitimate proposal that we may not get to because this divisive proposal continues to get raised.

SRW: I can…

Concern: I don’t want a response.

SRW: We brought this proposal on new year’s, but we tabled it because there was a direct action.

F: We have one more person… never mind! Apparently not. We’ve gone through questions and concerns. Are there any amendments? [counting]

107.2.4.4.  Friendly Amendments

107.2.4.4.1.  FA: My friendly amendment should address many concerns. It is that this proposal explicitly states that Nan is not empowered or granted any access above and beyond any of us through the passage of this proposal.

SRW: What? I’m not empowered? [someone answers, not more than anyone else] Well that’s the reason that when I brought it the first time, that any working group that wanted could join accounting, join Darryl… [discussion about accepting or rejecting the friendly amendment.]

FA: To restate, Nan is not empowered above and beyond anyone else.

SRW: Well, yeah… ok, I accept it.

?: We need to see it in writing.

[discussion about seeing it in minutes or recording]

107.2.4.4.2.  FA: Amendment. This proposal not move forward without the approval of the Accounting working group.

SRW: Want to call them? Here, call them.

FA: Accepted or rejected?

SRW: They’re not here, so… [back and forth]

SRW: They knew about it.

F: After an amendment is stated, the proposer has an opportunity to accept or reject the statement. They have that right. So do you want to …

SRW: No.

107.2.4.4.3.  FA: My friendly amendment is simply whoever we empower to look at accounting books must first pass a background check by accounting the same as any member of Occupy Wall Street would have to do.

[discussion between proposers and amenders]

F: Can the amendment not become a conversation? Please accept or reject the amendment.

[more discussion]

SRW Darryl: I’ll accept that FA on the condition that the criteria for the background check be published and made available.

F: And then, there was one more friendly amendment.

?: I just want to piggyback, we’re recording for minutes now… the proposer accepted on the condition that the criteria for the background check be published, is that right?

SRW Nan: [can’t hear] I do not want to say yes, I do not want to speak for them, because…

107.2.4.4.4.  FA: My friendly amendment [missed] however I’m not sure if I can pass this proposal without knowing who’s auditing this. And Nan keeps talking about clarity. This proposal was presented by the Strong Women Rules working group, which has eighteen members with no names, and none of the minutes are posted for them.

F: That’s not an amendment, there are no other amendments. How do people feel about moving forward…

F: Let’s have the proposer restate the proposal and then we’ll go ahead with…

[confusion]

SRW Darryl: The proposal is for an external audit to synchronize our processes with an accountant to make sure everything’s cool and to make sure we’re all ready for tax time coming up. Friendly amendments are that everybody’s equal on all the platforms, and… the criteria will be published for background check. So I’m a little concerned about that, this should all be transparent, right? [conversation]

SRW Nan: I reject this amendment.

F: Mic check! I would like a clear and concise statement of the proposal so that we know what we’re dealing with.

SRW Darryl: The proposal is that we have an external audit as required by NY state law and that no one will have more access than anyone else.

F: That’s the proposal… temperature check on moving forward on this…

F: I’m seeing a lot of negative, and we’ll also at time for this proposal. I don’t know if it’s even necessary to do this, but I will take a temperature check on continuing this discussion. That’s very negative, so we will not move forward on this…

F: [missed some] ending for tonight and tabling the rest of the agenda items for tonight.

F: We can list what the agenda items are and decide if we want to stay here. The next proposal is from Occupy NH. Want to summarize?

ONH: We want a very minimal amount of funding … time sensitive… we can’t table this because we are leaving on Thursday. So, I can talk very quickly and it is minimal funding.

F: Following that we have a proposal regarding J17.

J17: It would take two seconds, it’ll take nothing at all, I promise!

F: Then we have a proposal having to do with the 99, anybody can speak to that?

99: Yes, but it’ll take some time, so I…

F: I’m hearing that you can table it?

F: Mic check. A number of people have come up and said that there’s confusion about the temperature check. There was a negative temperature check, which we took to mean that people didn’t want to move forward. Apparently there was confusion, people wanted to resolve it. How do people feel about moving on with Nan’s proposal and coming to a decision?

F: The proposer is choosing to table the proposal. She’s the proposer and we can’t vote on a proposal without a proposer.

F: I can remind everyone that you can go to NYCGA website and register your concerns with future proposals. [missed some]

F: Now that we’ve gone over the remaining three… correction, two agenda items, Occupy the NH primaries and J17, let’s get a temperature check.

PoI: ONH is leaving on Thursday, time sensitive!

[discussion of the cold]

ONH: So!

F: So next up is Occupy NH Primaries.

PoI: I have a PoI from Accounting about the last proposal if it won’t stall us… I don’t have to read it…

?: How many people want to hear the proposals, how many people want to table them?

F: How do people feel about hearing this proposal about New Hampshire. That looks extremely positive!

F: [something about clarifying]

107.2.5.  Occupy the New Hampshire Primaries

107.2.5.1.  ONH: Hello my name is Diane! I’m with Political Action and Impact. Our proposal is to join with ONH to occupy the NH primaries from Thursday, Jan 5 to Tuesday Jan 10. To participate in a series of direct actions such as direct actions … birddogging candidates, taking over a national democratic target, targeting a corporate political donor of both parties, holding a general assembly across from the hotel where media and candidates will be staying. There will be mainstream media. We will be seen. We will be heard. We will be joining people from occupations across the country. And I will just read to you quickly a list of the budget. Request for a thousand dollars for a 12-pax van, $600 for food, gas and tolls, a $50 donation for the porta-potty as requested by ONH and optional, a $250 donation to ONH for much needed supplies. And this proposal comes from Political Action, individual members from DA, Media, A&C, and several others, I do not have names.

F: Questions, one two…

?: Can we get off the people’s mic and move closer?

107.2.5.2.  Clarifying Questions

107.2.5.2.1.  CQ: So which occupations are supporting this and are going to be there?

ONH: I’m actually filling in for one of the proposers…

107.2.5.2.2.  CQ: I can fill in. OBoston, ONewHaven, ONewHampshire, ODC, fucking media wash, most significant Occupy…

F: Any more questions?

F: Are we good with moving on to amendments?

107.2.5.2.3.  CQ: Where is the information online for it?
ONH: Generally, even on NYCGA there was an invitation…

?: And occupynh.org.

ONH: And I can give my e-mail because I volunteered to drive along with the van, so anyone who’s interested can send me an e-mail…

F: Can we do it after?
F: Ok, any friendly amendments? Ok, restatement of the proposal.

ONH: The total bottom line is …

107.2.5.3.  Friendly Amendments

107.2.5.3.1.  FA: I’m sorry if I missed this, but it would be great if between now and whatever is the leaving time, … make an effort to get donations… [discussion]

ONH: I accept that. We will make a call for donations and …

F: The money allocated by this GA would then be subtracted by the amount of your donations.

ONH: Ok, yes, that’s fine. It looks like… the total would be $1650. A thousand dollars for a 12-pax van, $600 for food allowance and expenses like gas and tolls, $50 for a porta-potty as requested by ONH, and we will make a request for any donations and any donations in kind will be subtracted from the total amount.

F: Standasides?

?: … $250 for a donation…

ONH: Right, for a new encampment, it would be very helpful, it would be $1850… no, $1900.

F: Everybody good? Any standasides? Does anyone block this proposal? Ok, great, consensus!

[cheering, chatting]

F: J17!

107.2.6.  J17 Solidarity Proposal

107.2.6.1.  J17: In six words: OccupyDC, one word, wants us to show up! There we go. On J17, so show up, express solidarity with the action, do not endorse it, I do not necessarily agree myself with everything  that’s going on, I want us to be able to take part, I want to be able to report back. Yes?
107.2.6.2.  Clarifying Questions

107.2.6.2.1.  CQ: Are we organizing travel?

J17: If we get solidarity from the group, I believe we should organize and ask for money later.

F: Just to clarify, we have jumped into clarifying questions? Ok.

J17: Yes.

107.2.6.2.2.  CQ: If we do have travel will it be one day or multi-day?
J17: Uh, multi-day but the action is actually the 17th, I think we can get there the 16th, camp with them, action on the 17th, then come back on the 18th.

F: So I just want to be clear about this. We’re not asking for money in this proposal. We’re just offering support.

J17: And we’re not even asking for OWS endorsement. But an expression solidarity. And I would like to make that clear, it’s not the same thing, and I don’t’ want to endorse it.

F: Ok. So..

PoI: The action is from Jan 17 to Jan 21st, it’s a four day event.

J17: Yeah. I think that’s still up in the air. But it’s a possibility to be that long.

F: Ok. Any more questions?  All right, any concerns?

J17: I am going, if anyone has concerns about me going, I have a ticket already.

?: Is there actually a proposal?

J17: Yeah, to express solidarity with this action. [discussion about solidarity vs support] They want us to go there, so that would be the announcement part, but express solidarity and not endorse it, not to say “we are here, everything they do is great, and we want them to do that,” but to say “you do what you do, God bless you,” and all that.

F: So, what I’m hearing the difference is between solidarity and endorsement is that solidarity would mean that we’ll make an active effort to have people promote it, go and support what they’re doing. But we don’t necessarily condone, like, everything that’s going on there.

F: What I’m hearing is that this is a different point of endorsement, that this is an OWS-endorsed event as opposed to OWS shows solidarity with the occupy movement and the J17 action.

J17: Yeah. And it is not an endorsed OWS action.

CQ: What are the concrete steps you are going to take to express solidarity? Are we writing a press release, are we…

J17: I think we should just blast it on Twitter and put it on the page and I think that’s more than enough.

CQ: On what page?

J17: On NYCGA.

CQ: Are you going to write something?

J17: Yeah, I can definitely do that.

F: Ok, a bunch of back and forth there, but I think we’re done with questions and concerns…

F: Are there any concerns before we move on to amendments?
107.2.6.3.  Concerns

107.2.6.3.1.  C: Yeah, I do have a concern. My concern is that I don’t know if I feel like I’m in solidarity with this. I have many concerns with having a nationally focused event without any actual democratic process to determine what’s happening there. I think we don’t have a structure that can speak for the entire movement, so to interface with the federal government which affects the whole movement is unaccountable if there’s no structure to have this democratically. I think it violates principles of solidarity. I think that we need to have a much bigger conversation about this issue and I’m sorry we haven’t had a chance to do so. But I’m really uncomfortable with expressing any kind of solidarity without examining the actual issue of solidarity  in relation to this event. I understand it would be nice for you and I support all the individuals involved, but as an event, I don’t know.

J17: May I respond?

F: Sure.

J17: Yeah, I think we should go as individuals and not go as OWS, because I don’t think we can speak for OWS when we’re there, we have not established a process for that, we participate in NGA, we participate as giving report backs and not as OWS. I just think we can have a formal expression of solidarity with anything anybody else does. No?

C: No, I like [missed]…

F: Can you make it an amendment? All right, are there any other concerns? Do you have an amendment?

107.2.6.4.  Friendly Amendments
107.2.6.4.1.  FA: My amendment is, let’s encourage people to participate but not as a movement make any statement of support or negative.
J17: I’ll take it. I’m taking it. You won’t let me take it? Ok… I’m saying that because I was sent here, if you guys’ll give me a second to explain, because I talked to a lot of the Occupy Congress people, and they didn’t know any people in New York, so they told me, hey, go present this as a proposal for us. I don’t necessarily feel comfortable with everything they’re gonna be doing, or the idea of a national GA, so I was saying that as myself. It’s not a national GA like you’re thinking, it’s people having a GA together. It’s not like oh, we are a national population of the world all coming together. It’s not that. I’m using the wrong words. Ok and, with that said, I am not empowered to change the proposal in that way. So it stands as us expressing solidarity cuz I don’t have them here to speak for them, I can’t speak for them, I’m only bringing it to you guys. So I can’t accept that amendment.

F: Are there any other amendments?

107.2.6.4.2.  FA: I amend it that we endorse the event because it’s similar to Occupy Wall Street which is a very nationally known, nationally specific event, and DC has supported us and all the other occupations have supported us, and Congress is an institution that supported all these disastrous laws and we should be endorsing this and not just saying it’s a lighthearted expression of solidarity. There may be specific things that we don’t like but the meat of it is in complete endorsement of everything that we stand for.

J17: I understand what you’re saying but I can’t accept that because OWS has not had the opportunity to discuss what is going on and there’s people in OWS that do not feel comfortable about reform politics or electoral politics. I don’t think it’s possible for us to endorse the action. So I can’t accept it.

F: We have another amendment.

107.2.6.4.3.  FA: Yeah let people know what’s going on. A lot of us don’t know what’s going on. Who’s organizing it, and…

J17: Ok, OccupyDC, LA, Albuquerque, San Diego, that’s the only ones I remember right now, possibly Portland, Youngtown, Warren Ohio, have endorsed this action or expressed solidarity, DC and LA are sending buses there. Occupy Congress is really nothing except for like a listserv e-mail to organize these occupations to show up. So January 17th

CQ: How many occupations are not on that listserv?

J17: That’s impossible for me to…

F: PoP we’re on amendments now.

J17: About six hundred are on the list… if enough people show up they could start a third encampment, it would be really exciting.

F: Ok, so are there any other amendments? Could you restate maybe?

J17: Yes. We express solidarity by posting something on the website and using our social media to publicize the event. We do not endorse the event but we express solidarity.

F: All right, how do you feel about moving toward consensus? That’s positive.

F: Good, so, are there any standasides? Serious concerns noted, not preventing the group from moving forward. No, no standasides. Ok, any blocks?

107.2.6.5.  Blocks

107.2.6.5.1.  Block: Yes, I beg you all not to vote for this. To try to blur the lines between endorsing something and expressing solidarity is completely disingenuous and not on your part, not on your part at all, I really appreciate your approach and I’m not trying to dis you, I’m just saying that we’re all trying to find this wiggle room between endorsing and expressing solidarity, and there isn’t. If you’re using our social media to support this and promote it, that’s an endorsement. That is an endorsement. And for any group of people to interface as an occupy event with the federal government that affects all occupations without having any directly democratic way to determine what the agenda is or what’s talked about or what the conversation looks like or what the events look like, that violates principles of solidarity, it violates direct democracy. We don’t have a structure nationally that can actually use direct democracy to make events like this happen yet. And that doesn’t mean you cut corners, it doesn’t mean you do it anyway, it means you don’t do it until you build those structures and we have a national democratically direct structure. I think that for us to endorse this event contradicts and makes hypocrites of every single thing that we’re doing. And it’s not to say that I don’t think we should go, but for us to go there and say Occupy Wall Street is here, that’s so fucked. That’s, that’s just fucked. It’s just fucked up.

F: All right. We are not doing direct response.

F: Is there a compromise that we can make that you feel we could achieve consensus?

J17: It’s difficult for me to respond because I identify with what he’s saying. I don’t think in what it is I was agreed to do, I cannot do anything about that. It’s up to you guys to determine all that.

F: All right.

[discussion]

F: It seems like there are a lot of conflicting ideas about what this proposal would actually mean and I don’t feel that we can immediately reach consensus or even modified consensus. That’s how I feel. I really don’t think we should. I mean, look, the proposer is saying that he agrees with the person who’s making the block.

J17: That’s my ideological position as an individual and it doesn’t really have anything to do with the proposal.

[Out of process discussion, someone else willing to stand up for this, but I will…]

J17: I feel that we could discuss this at a warmer date, we don’t have to decide this right now, so…
F: Are you tabling the proposal?

J17: Yeah. Yeah, yeah yeah. It’s up to you guys though.

F: Ok, the proposer tabled the proposal, so…

J17: Wait, I, I haven’t tabled it, yeah, no, no, I feel like maybe it deserves more discussion, because there are problems, but if the GA as assembled is ok with this, I’d rather get it done. I’ve been trying to do this since the twenty-seventh. That’s kinda lazy of me, but

F: Ok, does your block hold?
Block: My block holds. I mean, for us to go on OWS twitter and blast this out to so many people… if I go on here and tweet this out, that’s an endorsement, I don’t wanna do that.

F: Ok, I have a PoP.

PoP: He stated his block, and he didn’t remove his block which is fine, but he shouldn’t be restating it.

F: Ok, so we have another block that wants to state their block.
Block: There’s not much to state, I feel the same way he does.

F: Are there any other blocks? Ok, so we haven’t reached consensus. What happens now is we go to modified consensus which means we go to a nine tenths vote. So, how many people support this proposal, raise your hands. [counts, five or six] How many people do not support this proposal? [counts] Ok, so this proposal clearly does not pass. Sorry.

J17: No, no sorry, I did my job. That doesn’t mean we can’t talk about funding and maybe go as individuals. I think it’s very important that we should definitely have a presence there.

F: So I really want to thank everyone for coming out tonight. I think we had a really effective GA. We actually got through the entire list of agenda items. That’s awesome.

[discussion about cleaning up after ourselves, cheering for the building manager, etc]

 

 

 

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