NYC General Assembly Minutes 1/4/2012

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Spokes Council Minutes.


Date/Time: 1/4/2012 / 7:30pm

Location: Park West Presbyterian Church

Facilitators (F): Sean, Melanie G.

F: Personally I want to ask not just for your consent to facilitate but your support to facilitate. How do we feel about that? Great.

F: I’m Sean […]

F: I just wanted to say that we’re here to serve you guys and serve the movement. I want to remind everyone that we are people and we make mistakes. Sean has never personally facilitated at SC, I personally never facilitated at SC, so… I wanted to start by reading a quote or two because I felt really strongly when I read these quotes and I felt

“Banish the word struggle from your attitude and your vocabulary. All that you do now must be [missed].

I would like, with your permission, to start off with something a little more ? than we usually do in Spokes. I’d like to take the time to… [missed some, kids in back being noisy]

Twinkle if you have a dog. Twinkle if you have a cat. Twinkle if you love chocolate. Twinkle if you prefer vanilla as your ice cream to chocolate. How about, twinkle if you dance. Twinkle if you sing. How about if you paint? Sculpt?? All right, twinkle if you’re married. Twinkle if you got kids. Twinkle if you have siblings. If you’re an only child. If you live in NYC. If you live outside NYC. Twinkle if you stay in the church. Anybody have any more suggestions that they want to twinkle?
?: From another state who came here to this occupy?

F: Anybody else?



?: What month you got here.

F: Twinkle if you got here in October. November. December? January? Ok, so just one small little session and I think this is even more appropriate to us as a group. Twinkle if some of these things are really important to you. Civil liberties? Political reforms. Environment. Alternate Currency. Diversity of studies. The arts. Women’s issues. Poverty. Immigration. Just keep your hands up! Ok, animal rights. Education reform. Anybody else have any additions.

?: Racial equality.

F: Racial equality. International equality.

?: Peace.

F: Twinkle if you wanna start spokes council. Ok. So, we’re gonna ask, actually, we’re gonna crowd source this. Who would like to be a time keeper?

?: I will. My name is Joseph. Is everyone ok with Joseph being our timekeeper? Ok. Anybody interested in doing the stack taker position? And what’s your name? Fin. Are we ok with Fin being a stack taker? Looks good, ok. And now we need a position that’s slightly more involved. Vibes check. So, a vibes checker is a person who is basically looking around the room to see if the room needs something other than what is now happening in the room. […] so a vibes checker checks whether the room is receptive to what is happening. And they get to either cheer us up or cools us off […].

F: Melanie, we have a person who wants to change jobs.

F: Ok, we need another time checker. {someone volunteers}

F: Ok, some things I want us to consent on before we plow ahead. Are we ok with timing our responses to one minute. Is there anybody who would like it to be two minutes instead? Ok, so responses will be one minute. For report backs and announcements to one minute as well. Are we ok with stopping the meeting at 10:30? 10:30 is our hard end of the meeting. Excellent. So. One of the things I’d like to do which we have not had a chance to do yet, is to set an agenda for next meeting before the end of this meeting. […] constructive feedback to the facilitators, so that together should take about five minutes at the end of our meeting. Are we ok with doing that?

?: I think we might need more time than that.

F: Ok, fifteen? […]

?: How many proposals do we have on tonight’s agenda.

F: That’s the next thing we have to talk about. We have two already…

F: We have two we’ve heard already and two new ones. Then we’ll go around and hear other

F: How do you feel about setting the agenda right now. The alternative is that we’ll go over hand signals, and so on. Ok, so we’re saying

F: One hand signal we want to talk about. This one (fists together) looks a lot like hitting. Let’s wait until it’s approved, we use this (roof).

[discussion about what hand signal means]

?: We have a proposal to actually use this […]

PoP: We could add hand signals to the agenda.

F: So let’s go through the agenda items that already exist and figure out if we want to add that as well. So, we start usually with WGRBs and Announcements. Ok.

?: We are kinda out of process, we’re not at the point where we’ve recognized that only spokes speak. […] we’d like to clarify that.

F discussion.

F: You’re way ahead of me, Rob. So one of the other… there were two proposals. One from Medics and one from Sustainability WG. And some of the unfinished business from previous SC, I’ll list it. I believe Thoren has been trying to talk to us about some discrepancies, he’s one of our livestreamers. He’s not here.

F: It seems he’s stricken from the agenda for tonight at least. There’s another point on our agenda about $350K missing suddenly from our coffers. How do people feel about that? Pretty negative.

F: Should we add then, knowing that these are our only two proposals, should we add an item

Outreach: I have an agenda item.

F: You have a proposal? It’s an Outreach proposal. So, are the Medics here?

PoP: I hate to interrupt, there seems to have been a large group of people who were stuck on the train who just arrived, can we wait a few moments for them to get settled?

F: Ok… how do we feel with going on with WGRBs and Announcements while we wait for people who were on the train? All right. I want to remind us all that we’re now in SC mode, which means your wg  makes decisions together, and the spoke, whoever you’ve elected to be your spoke tonight will be the one to speak what the group wants to say. Is there any groups here who have not gotten a chance to elect a spoke? Cool, all right, so we’re gonna open stack for WGRBs and Announcemetns, please hold up your sign if you have a report back or an announcement. And our stack taker is carrying chairs.

[noise as people come in, open chairs]

F: So, please hold up your sign if you have a report back. No report backs? No announcements?

[figuring out who’s on stack]

F: Who’s first on stack?

Stack: Music and Sustainability

F: That’s two different groups, who’s first on stack?

Stack: Music.

F: Could we have some quiet please, we’ve got a report back.

Music: I’m Nikki from music. All right, this Saturday at 7:30pm there’s gonna be an Occupy Wall Street benefit in Brooklyn at Freddy’s Bar, which is 627 Fifth Ave, at Sunset Park. It’s free admission, they’re accepting donations of cash, winter gear, canned goods and books. It’ll be a good time, if you have any questions, please come to me.

F: Next on stack?

Sustainability: Hi everyone, Sustainability here. Just a quick announcement to let you know that we have now got online information via video on how to build your own energy bikes on the times up website. So all you need to do is just google times up and you can get the information on how to build your own. Time’s up.

F: Next on stack?

Occupiers WG: My name is Buck, I believe I’m the only one here from the Occupiers group now. If you think you are in the Occupiers group, come see me after the meeting. The thing we have in the works right now is it’s the perfect time to buy a really cheap bike … do things like messenging during … demonstrations … if have any interest in bicycles … please let me know and I’ll give you my number. Thank you.

Stack: SIS.

SIS: Our spoke isn’t here right now.

F: In the restroom? He’s the last one we have on stack.

F: Well no, we have Facilitation. And Think Tank.

Facilitation: Just that we’re putting together a sub-group of F to put together a guide of the consensus process os it’s clear and everybody knows what’s up.

Stack: Think Tank.

Think Tank: Hi, we just wanted to announce that we had our first mobile Think Tank on Friday at the Staten Island ferry terminal and I wanted to let everyone know that we’re available if you have […]that you want us to come facilitate […].

Stack: SIS.

SIS: Just to let people know that we were […] for SIS. The building manager […] we moved all the comfort items […]

F: Did everybody hear that? [answer of no]

SIS: We’re going to be having a person at Charlotte’s Place to get stuff. Let them know what you need and we’ll bring it to you there.

F: So I’ve just received an announcement , that Kitchen has arrived with food, so since meeting’s going to break for this anyway, why don’t we give the meeting ten minutes to […] but we’ll see you in ten minutes.

Sustainability: Hi everyone, quick ann. To let you know that we now have online info via video on how to build your own energy bikes on the times up website. Just google times up and you can find out how to build your own.

Occupiers WG: My name is Buck, I believe I’m the only one here from the Occupier group right now. If you think you are part of it, come see me. Our latest project […] erfect time to buy very cheap bikes to do things like messengers, if you’re interested in bicycles let me know. [missed some]

SIS: Our Spoke is in the bathroom.

Facilitation: Just that we’re putting together a sub-group of Facilitation to put together a guide of the consensus process so it’s clear and everybody knows what’s up.

Think Tank: Hi, we just wanted to announce that we just had our first meeting on the Staten Island ferry […] and if you want a Think Tank wherever your action is, please let us know.

SIS: Just letting people know … moved all comfort items to Brooklyn, we’re in that process. […]

F: Did everyone hear that? [no’s]

SIS: We’re going to be having a person at Charlotte’s Place to get stuff. Let them know what you need and we’ll bring it there to you.

F: I’ve just received an announcement , Kitchen has arrived with food, so let’s just take ten minutes because it’s going to break anyway.

F: So the Kitchen lin is down to the last few people, we’d like to get this meeting back to order.

F: Yeah, so, let’s come back. I want to ask people if we’re ok going on without going over every single hand signal. Is there anyone here would like to go over them, who really needs it?

?: Just this one (roof).

F: There’s a proposal about it so we’ll talk about it then. Ok, so let’s go over a bit of the process. I’m hearing a lot of conversations in the background. Ok, so generaly how we do this is that a proposer stands up and presents their proposal […] what it’s about and how it’s supposed to play out. We then move on to concerns, and these are concernsthat you feel might affect the group over all. We then move on to sometimes amendments, sometimes they’re not necessary if concerns have been addressed […]. And we usually ask people if there are any standaskides. A standaside is oemthing we started relatively recently. A standaside is a way to register your disagreement but to allow the proposal to go forward without actually blocking it. And a block is a serious concern that you may have that is either moral, ethical or a concern of safetly for the entire movement. So a block is essentially something that the whole community does but may be raised by just one person.

Jose: My name is Jose. I would love to move to a new definition of blocks. […] As I understand a block, a block relates to the shared values of a group and I think that’s important for us to figure out. […] What is the intention of this group. And then the only reason to block is if a proposal doesn’t […] anyting to do with morality or ethcis. So I hope at some time we talk more about what a block is […]

F: We have a report back that did not get to

Comfort: In light of today we have some ? that are being processed hopefully tomorrow and we’ll see where we stand […] more than just one thing, one agenda. Trying to allow some groups that haven’t formed yet […] tyring to do a lot of things […] please do not take anything form Comfort if you don’t work from comfort. […]Thank you.

F: I think there’s one more.

GSD: Justin wanted me to let you know that … startging this Friday… 7pm and on as far as we can make it, every Friday night. So if you want to sign up just come talk to me or … so, Friday 7pm.

F: What does GSD stand for, just in case…

GSD: Get Shit Done.

F: By the way there’s one announcement we did not get to say. There is another meeting going on just below us. I believe it goes to nine o’clock [….]

F: In addition in case it’s not obvious, there are two kids in the room tonight…  one more announcement, there’s a petition here that was left last night, from Occupy where? Vancouver.

F: Should I recap the petition? It’s kinda important… ok. So wer’e going to get started..

F: So far we’ve had one wg stating that they wanted to get on the agenda.

?: Spread the news… ?

F: Any other groups wanting to add agenda items?

PoCC: Update from the announcement that we made on Friday, two weeks ago.

F: So it’s an announcement? Do you want to have a discussion?

PoCC: Kinda want to see how people felt about it.

F: Ok, it’s an agenda item. We have our first proposal… they need two minutes. Shall we let Sustainability go first? Ok, Sustainability.

Sustainability: Hi everyone. I ncase you don’t know us personally, my name sis Sarah and this is Winnie. We are here to ask you folks for your support for a proposal. We have been approved tod o a panel at the Left forum which is titled tentatively “Creating a Sustainable Culture: []..]” Our … will include [list of subjects, people]. We’re asking basically for what basically comes down to the fact that there’s a fee for all the individuals who would be participating in our panel. We believe that they are willing to come to our panel and talk for us, … it’s important for us not to ask they pay for attendance… we should be able to cover for them. The cost of the Left Forum is $55 for each participant. We are asking for a quantity of eight participants. […] In addition to that we are asking for 8 metrocards, one way there, one way back, $4.50 back, so these people dno’t have to pay the cost…

The Left Forum is a non-profit organization. If thye give us a scholarship then the people we’ve asked for the panel will be covered. If not we’re hoping that the GA will come to consensus to cover…

And we believe that this year’s theme for the forum is […] strong and articulate and represents not just what we believ ein but … throughout the city. What we’re asking for is a sum of $450 to cover the fees to participate, basic transportation for the eight individuals either on the panel or crucial to making the panel happen. […] will return exactly the amount of that… that’s our proposal is about.

F: So at this point we’re going to take stack for CQs. Fin, are you … we need you out here. So if you have a CQ?

F: We are asking for spokes at this point.

[back and forth]

CQ: I would like a better description…?

Sust: I would encourage you to attend if you can, I believe it’s $10. Our panel is called “… a sustainable culture” […] urban farmers … is a transition culture person, she’s from … master composter, does a lot of like food education… showing a film… lot of different people involved on the panel.

Sust: The Left forum is at Pace U from ?dates. We believe one day is $10. … we really encourage everyone to be there because it’s basically a space for … all going to be teaching and doing panels and workshops in various topics that would be of great interest… great variety of …

Sust: Two day sleft to submit a panel …

CQ: Organization: We thin it’s exciting that the Left forum is using Occupy in the title of it’s forum. So since it’s using the Occupy name, have they considered offering just giving us…

Sust: I don’t know … this isn’t consensed upon, wer’e going to figure it out because we’re not going to not have this done. […]

PoI: Facilitation: So we just got info from one of the organizers of the Left forum that it was a sliding scale for a panelist, so they do not have to pay $65.

Sust: They didn’t tell us that.

Fac: There’s a suggested fee, but not a …

Sust: So we can do this for free? Hm.

F: Here’s the thing, if they get the money and they don’t need it, it comes back anyway.

Sust: We just want to make sure that we have the money just in case. We don’t want the panelists to show up at the door… we still request the $4.50 times eight for metrocards. We’re happy to get that confirmation that they’ll

F: Next on Stack.

PoCC: Was the request that OWS cover transportation costs?
Sust: No, we offered it as a courtesy. We’re being as gracious and actin gwith as much humility as possible… stand up with us … they can speak really powerfully about. We want to honor their participation… don’t have to contribute anything as individuals… they have not asked us for that but we thought we would include it in the cost just to be nice.

Housing: I guess I heard a couple of things. The name OWS isn’ty… just willing to let people from OWS just come. Even more, if you’re able to figure it out without getting it here, then why ask? […] Why ask the general fund to pay for it.


PoI: Only the word Occupy is in it, right?

Susts? The title? Occupy the system.

PoI: We don’t own the word occupy, it’s in the public domain.

Sust: In direct response to the cq, if we were not to get the money from the general fund, we consider this to be work that Sust is doing. If we were to not get the funds, then basically she and I would out of our individual personhood, be paying for it. We’re asking … it’s worth it, it’s really powerful space to bring our message out, on our terms, and it’s going tro be a strong panel. […] But we also believe that if we’re doing work in the name of the occupation and it’s strong, solid, important work, then we shouldn’t have to throw up the funds …

Sust: And ideally, they waive it.

Sust: Hopefully they’ll give us a scholarship …

Housing: So to be clear, if  you don’t get it form the general funds, you’d pay for it yourselves?

Sust: If we had to … but we’re hopeful that we don’t have to go through that process.

DA: We were wondering whether or not … billed as being presented as OWS or Sustainability…

SUst: OWS. That’s why we encourage… we want as many panels from our group to stand there… every wg should have a panel in this space. They’ve come out to Occupy … asked us as a whole group to have a …

Sust: […]Lots of people, academices, everyone really.

F: So we’re done with stack for CQ’s. I’d like to ask if there are any concerns in our community about this particular proposal.

?: Actually, this should have been done befre, can we confer with our groups, and..

F: Thank you, yes, take some time to confer with your groups and then come back with your spokes.


F: Time is up!

F: So, are there any concerns from any of the spokes. Spokes? Please raise your sign if you have… Facilitation. Hold on, … ok, it looks like we have a PoI.

Sust: So we’re going to withdraw our proposal in light of Facilitation’s information.

F; So we’re going to move on. Let’s try to get the room back to center.

F: So we have a proposal from Medical.

Medical: Hi everyone. I never thought I’d be back here this year. That’s part of my NY’s resolution. We a… so we’re asking for funding … […] buncha people came by … train the trainers. … and then they did … got trained in it, members of DA and others in the OWS … They gave us an incredible discount on this. Donate their time. The cost came out to be 25% of what the cost would normally be. We also raised some money there from people who had money to donate. We also online raised $120. So what we’re asking for right now is $1,350 to cover the cost of this training. $750.

… the food was donated by the Kitche and theousing was donated by somebody … $1,350 for 21 people trained last month.

F: So, Jose, for you, I’m going to ask since you’re the proposer if you’d like me to use the formal consensus process on your proposal.


F: So we’re going to move to temperature check to see how we feel? Temperature check. Spokes only. Ok, thirty seconds to confer with your groups, then we’ll do a temp check.


F: Ok, the thirty seconds are up, any spokes need more time to confer? Ok, so let’s do a quick test of consensus, how do we feel about this proposal, spokes only please. Looks pretty good. Are there any concerns? Ok, so we’re going to open stack for concerns right now, if you have any please raise your hand. My bad, you guys, that’s for clarifying questions, not concerns. If you have cq’s, please raise your sign.

Gina: For you to tell what the training was?

Med: Just look up … wilderness first aid. Basic first aid for wilderness setting. Wilderness is defined as one hour away from care, ambulance or hospital. […] very often in themiddle of Manhatta we’ll be practicing wilderness medicine… assess a patient, how to deal with medical issues, certain types of injuries. Not a street tyupe of medicine, that’s a different kind of training. … just a nationally certified wilderness first aid. … first step for anyone doing basic medical care. … anyone who’s going to be responsible for the care of another person.

Housing: After the training, the people who do become trained… are these medics going to be available to anybody who needs medics in OWS?

Med: So we have, at Charlotte’s place, from 12-6, a medical station that’s staffed by medics and nurses,… we also try to show up at every street action where there’s a risk of violence… around Liberty Square and the housing locations that we’re at.

Housing: So that’s a yes? Medics will be available at all OWS locations.

Med: As much as we can, that’s part of ourmission, yes, that’s our mission.

?: Are we […]

Housing: Are our medics going to be available to all of the sites of Occupy?

Med: We’ll do the best we can. Everyday from 12-6 from Mon-Fri, we’re available. (names other housing locations they try to be at)

PoI: DA: This is an event that has already occurred, they’re already medics out there that have had this training. They’re just asking for reimbursement […]

Facilitation: You asked what we wanted to ask.

WoW: We have an understanding that there was a similar proposal brought to the GA about this that was turned down, background on that?

Med: Yeah, it should describe the reasoning behind the blocks. As I recall, concerns about winter training for the occupiers. I don’t remember how many people blocked at the end, maybe eight. … when there are those in our community who could do this kind of training already.

PoCC: Actually that was our questions.

Safer Spaces:

Comfort: I remember this now, this was in Z park, a lot of people … a lot of homeless… most people got trained … it was great training.

F: Is there a question?

Comfort: I’m just saying it’s not worth it to pay for it if it’s already done with.

Stack: Stack is closed.

F: Let’s open stack for concerns. Perhaps another 30 seconds to talk with your group and see if you have any concerns. Thirty seconds, starting now.


Stack: First on stack… Housing.

Housing: First, I have two.l One is that if this is already something that has been paid for and if it’s already happened, then for our WG or any to come afterwards to be reimbursed might be poor planning, or puts pressure on the room to reimburse. Second, we’ve had for the last five weeks, so many people sleeping at St Andrews church and we were absolutely denied service … flat out denied medics and we have not had medics from Safety cluster and Medics.

Med: That’s not true. Very clear about information, esp information that relates to the health of our … that’s flat out untrue, Jason. Untrue. You yourself can confirm that. I spent many nights with you in that church.


Housing: If medics were coming, they were coming on their own accord. They were street medics. The knew  we didn’t have…


Housing: I know I’ll get a PoP, there’s a difference between street medics and medics from Safety.

Med: We need to clarify this! The medics that I’m here talking on behalf of are those that have been here since the beginning. They were street medics, highly arrestable medics, have identified as street medics, gone through 20 hour training. Then different skill sets of medics came… integrating different types of medical personnel. Anything and everything that helps us with our wellness. That’s what’s been going on the whole time. There actually haven’t been to omany trained street medics coming in. […] countless weeks at the 86th st church, I know you’ve seen them there. … We never took away care and we never stopped sending people to where occupiers were. I .. would like to have some space to talk about this.

Housing: Can I talk about this, I don’t know if I can. With the pastor of the church and the entire…

PoP: This is just not the proper space to have a dialogue about this. I thinkw e need to have another structure in place to deal with this.

Med: There is a mediation process that is trying to forward with this. I hope that you’re comfortable moving forward with this.

Housing: I just have a concern that if the general fund pays whatever it was, that all OWS participants would have, regardless with how we handle our processes, whether it be… that medics and Safety cluster will equally provide the services with openly to everybody that is in OWS.

Med: I just want to spend a moment to give more info to this wider community… there were some people who chose not to go to that physical space because of fear of safety, people in that room who were at that space. … some practitioners were not willing to work… the office space is not a safe space, then we will not be practicing there. But we have

PoI: Org: With the numbers of people we have at OWS right now, it would be hard for every WG to provide services equally to everyone. We’re trying to get to that point. … my PoI is that it’s impossible to do that right away.

PoP: While this conversation needs to happen, I don’t feel it’s actually about the proposal anymore. The proposal was about a training to be reimbursed.

Stack: TP

TP: I second Jason’s concern as well. It hink any WG that makes a commitment to serve this community… larger community or through mediation. I don’t either of those two processes have been followed in this case. … is not being serviced. If OWS pays for training then OWS should be receiving service from those.

F: Mediation that I’m aware of has been started but has not finished.

TP: To continue, while there’s

F: let me restate this again. This about the training that has already been done. This is not about the services…

TP: Let me be clear…

F: This is becoming a back and forth… and the concern doesn’t seem to have anything to do with the actual proposal.

TP: Let me be clear, whether you choose to to give the money before or afterwards… so training has been received and service is not being returned.

Med: I’ll make sure to put it up on the medics site on Ill be very clear that street medics … I’ll get a schedule up there of the whole time they’re at 86th St. I would ask that you trust me that we try to get there as much as we can.

PoI: Maria, the girl at the front desk… she couldn’t prescribe… she’s there all the time. Furthermore, Mitch told me there were two other… I don’t know if all the time, but…

TP: Is Maria one fo the people who received that training?

F: We’re done with CQs, but if the proposer would like to …

F: Comfort?
Comfort: In any way they were taught how to respond to people… somebody that rude touching my body.

Med: I would be happy to talk to you afterwards about any concerns.

?: One of my concerns is, when I talked to someone who went to your trainings, … it was really strange to see people doing a workshop on hypothermia but they wouldn’t help me get plastic bags on people’s feet so their feet wouldn’t get wet. … sock donations… I think one of the main concerns that would cause for a lot of people to block … was that some of the basic survival skills people have learned from being homeless were sort of thrown aside. … epi needles… class definition of like… I think that goes to the heart of why a lot of people block. Survival in the city outside is in our community… I’m 100% certain a multitude of voices that are grateful for your team being here… some of the money but not all of it, would be a good compromise.

Med: I really hear your concern of what it was like early on in the park, … and that’s why we did this training. … that was one of the first things they talked about, how to keep our feet dry… bag your feet, socks underneath, you have a waterproof barrier… a lot of our medics shouldn’t have heard that if they hadn’t gone to this training. … but I’m glad that I paid out of pocket for this so a lot more people got this training… ask that I be reimbursed….

F: Next on stack? Stack is done.

F: Open stack for amendments?

F: Opening stack for amendments, the proposer will decide whether they are friendly or not. Fin, where are you? Raise your signs… sorry… please talk to your spokes, your groups, for thirty seconds, then raise your sign if you have an amendment.


Stack: Housing has the floor.

Housing: Just as an FA going forward, I really would love that this money is reimbursed, but I really hope that the best of their ability, medics and Safety cluster, would do their best to serve everybody under the OWS umbrella.

Med: I’m happy to accept the FA for the Medics. I can’t speak for the Safety cluster. … happy to accept.

Comfort: Would be great… I held this two months ago …

PoP: This does not appear to be an FA of any kind.

Comfort: FA is that … we not give any more…

Think Tank: We’re good.

Organization: Ok, so in terms of maybe helping to make sure that more people can have access to the different services you’re able to provide because of the training, could you commit to continuing a way to work on a scheduling process, putting in on the website… transparent… I know you’re going to be a Charlotte’s Place… communicating

Med: Our website is We have a wiki page, not sure if our schedule is up on the public, but I’ll work on making that public.

OWS en Esp: The FA would be to request that you and your group provide teach-ins to share…

Med: We have two medics… developing a Wednesday night skill share. We have a –hour… in Ithaca… alos, eight hour herbal training sometime in January, post through ComHub, 20-hr street training here in NY sometime in the next month.

OeE: That’s directly related to the training you get?
Med: Yes, they go to training all over. We would love you all to be highly qualified medics, then we’re all medics.

PoCC: That took care of it.

Stack: Closed!

F: Stack is done. So, confer with your groups, thirty seconds, then we’re going to take a temperature check.

Med: Can I restate?

F: Yes! Thank you for helping me out. First a restate… with Fas.

Med: This is a request for a training we had from SOLO first aid, wilderness training… $1,355, accept FA from Housing, continue to work to provide services to everyone in the OWS community, regardless of anything else… yes. And, we will put our private scheduling page… will check in with the medics, but we will at least have some info about our schedule, and we will keep you all alerted to future trainings coming up.

F: So, 30 seconds to confer, then we’ll do a temp check.


F: Ok, let’s bring it back. Ok, so Spokes please raise your signs if you are in agreement with this proposal going forward. Looks good to me.

F: Can I see signs of anybody with concerns…

F: Looking pretty good, very positive, proposal passes.

OWS en Esp: I wanted to make sure…

PoP: Fac: Standasides before blocks.

OWS en Esp: I just wanted to make sure that you are in fact going to spread the knowledge that you obtained in this training…

Med: It is my intention to spread my knowledge, I will fail at that, but I will do my best.

[confusion about vibes checker doing a question]

PoP: Fac: I want to remind you to remind everyone that only Spokes speak and if you’re filling a role you would never speak.

F: It’s anyone on the F team, when you take on a role on the F team, the importance of facilitating is to stay as neutral as possible…

F: Does Kitchen have a concern…

F: Standasides, are there any spokes who would like to stand aside from this proposal. No.

F: Are there any spokes who wish to block?

F: Are there any spokes who wish to block this proposal? We have consensus.

F: Brief announcement. OWS protestors in Cano Nigeria are being shot at with live ammunition and tear gas. In Nigeria.

[calls for repeat]

F: Twitter announcement was that Cano Nigeria OWS proetstors are being shot at with live ammunition and tear gas.

F: This was a tweet that was read. Yo know what it means to me to hear that… there really are people out there dying and that we all come together because we want to prevent that from ever happening. And it’s pretty serious announcement to make …

F: Cookies for vibes…

[F soapboxing]

F: With that, we’re going to take a very quick two minute, minute and a half break, so people can process that announcement. I think Sean is giving out cookies. Guys how do we feel about taking a one minute of silence?

F: Moment of silence for occupiers getting shot in Nigeria… starting now.

[moment of silence]

F: I think it’s very important that we do this kind of thing for each other across the globe. And that we realy are members across the globe. … that we remember that. I’m going to take that quick moment… there may be someone here announcing for J15… there’s gonna be a global vigil, I’m kinda stepping out of the F role for a moment… candlelight vigil… as global as possible.

F: We’re going to bring it back to our agenda. Next item is from Outreach, if you’d like to come speak to that.

[Outreach hands out printed proposal, minutes of chatter]

F: We’re going to bring it back now.

F: Ok, so we’re going to bring this back together for the proposal from Outreach.

Outreach: My name’s Diego, this is Ronnie. This has been a concern and a proposal worked on by people from Outreach, De-escalation and Facilitation. So, essentially what I’ve been hearing is kinda like this lack of procedure when certain individuals who come to spokes… we don’t have a procedure to remove people who abuse the process to not allow them back in the building. We’ve been talking a lot and actually have a procedure to do that. Essentially this is really simple, it’s a three-phase procedure, called the nonsense-defense-procedure. I guess we’re just going to go through it if that’s ok. Essentially, we’re going to officially start new, officially as spokes, a new sign that people have been using. If someone’s been abusing, or breaking the process, behaving in a disruptive manner. People would do this sign (fists bumping)… the F whoever he/she is, would feel out how many of these there are and call for a temp check on whether his or her reading is correct. And if so, if it looks like it is feedback that their reading is right, then we would warn that individual… first acknowledge the behavior… possibility they would not be allowed to the next SC. Phase two, again the individual disrupts or behaves in a way that disrupts  the meeting, and there would be this sign again. Again the F would do a tc to see if his/her reading is correct if there’s enough of these signs. IF the tc is pretty positive, this individual would be told they will not be allowed back in SC for a week…. Now,  there are … let’s move on to phase three. Per the minutes we take in the last meeting… would be people at the door… they can come back a week from then. This was a way to kinda have people think about their behavior has consequences, we’re trying to take it in a serious manner and have to be accountable to that behavior. There’s really not… specific things we can go over… the F will then remind the council about the individual who’s not being allowed inside and a tc to discuss. I’d rather there be questions about this, is there a spoke missing this handout.

F: So are you ready for … please confer with your spoke, let’s see if anybody has CQs for this proposal. Remember we’re acting as spokes here.


F: Time is up, do spokes need more time to confer? Ok, another thirty seconds.

[way more than thirty seconds goes by]

F: Guys.


F: So, what we’re going to do is, .. there’s still one group working on a decision on a question. We’re going to take stack. Fin? We’re going to take stack on CQs. If you have a CQ raise a sign so Fin can see it. [reads out signs]

Safer Spaces CQ: Was Outreach aware while making this proposal of Safer Spaces of making community agreements that would serve a similar function?

Outreach: Yeah.

Safer Spaces: Has any outreach been done to Safer Spaces, Safety cluster.

Outreach: I was aware … but again I felt like this wasn’t necessarily, I think that’s still necessy… they can be allowed at that time.

F: Please stand up so that when you answer, other people can…

Wow: I have two quick questions. One is, is it 50% of the people, the spokes or the people in the room? And second question, in that discussion, to unban the person, or is this a discussion that this person was banned…?

Outreach: The way that spokes works is that spokes are the ones speaking on behalf of that group… still appropriate… 50% of spokes. That is something that … it could be a change in an FA… rather than like people having to tell their spokes… it would make sense to be 50% of the room. Again, it’s the F discretion, … tc to see if their read is correct. I think it would be the room. The other question is on phase three, if there would be a chance for them to be allowed, to come in. I think it would be more of an update… there actually is a caucus veto by the ratified caucuses, if it’s in phase two, during the actual removal… if this person is… the caucuses can use a non-consecutive veto… really big concern, the person could be allowed in Wednesday. Does that kind of answer it…

Wow: Can that be used during phase three as well as phase two?

Outreach: No.

PoCC: So caucuses have the halting power of proceedings of sc, not veto power. There’s a question of that here.

Fac: There is a difference between halting and vetoing. If a proposal came forward and say PoCC felt it was blatantly racist, they could halt the proposal. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t be brought back…

F: That’s how the rules are written.

F: Next on stack?

Translation: I have a question about the second page, the first asterisk. Does this mean that someone can, a veto can be exercised every other SC? Like Monday, Friday,…

Outreach: So let’s say a person gets banned on Monday, then they get a veto by a caucus. The idea would be, they would be able to attend on Wednesday, but if they again disrupt the process, then that caucus could not use their veto for that person on Wednesday, that person cannot come back on Friday, or Monday, they can return on Wednesday. Then like Wednesday they could disrupt again… this was made for people to understand there are consequences for their actions… people make mistakes, not targeting individuals.

Translation: What I mean is, can the person disrupt Monday, then don’t come on Wednesday, they come back on Friday, they could disrupt again?
Outreach: Dammit, a loophole!

F: Would you like to table this?
Outreach: No, …

Library: Hi! I have a q about the three ratified caucuses. I don’t really know what that means, the 3 ratified caucuses.

?: The three ratified caucuses are queering, PoCC, …

Library: My other question was, I forget, come back to me.

PoCC: Once again, already addressed.

Photography: ?

De-Escalation: Two things. One, I, when we tabled similar things that were put up two weeks ago, we said, Safer Spaces said they were going to go over a process for community agreements and a procedure for people who were being disruptive. … that would try to be as inclusive as possible… now I’m certainly all for responsibility and accountability… but what I’m asking, is there anything in here that is geared toward engaging the individual outside, not just saying you’re being disruptive… what we were charging Safer Spaces with doing. That’s really important to be included. The q is have you given any thought to …

F: Clarifying that we’re in CQ mode. Fas can be very valid, but during the FA mode.

Comfort: About fifteen minutes ago, an idiot came in here and started screaming…

PoP: This is not a CQ.

Comfort: But I have the right, right…

Sustainability: If you’ve thought through a way to, if someone does get kicked out for the week, have you thought about contingencies for how to actually enforce that and actually get them out and keep them out that won’t be really disruptive? Because once they’ve been kicked out by the group they probably won’t…

Outreach: Actually… very sensitive, de-escalation has had to martially enforce peace. It’s a tough line to tow. There has to be order for the meetings to happen, there has to be peace and respect. Anything that happens, it doesn’t matter about … doesn’t matter about… whatever happens on the enforcement front… removing someone from one of these meetings is serious business. … someone has their hands on somebody, … can’t just cater to the one… on the enforcement tip, is going to gentle, with respect, and hopefully everyone in this community knows each other and loves each other… should be a community thing first of all. It should be everybody saying you, you’re out. … we have to get grown up about it. There can’t be contempt of spokes. … enforcement level will be respect, will be love, will be minimal physical, but we’ll carry someone out. I’d rather not let someone in than carry them out.

F: I want to caution us that we’re running out of time. I want to get through CQs at the very least, SO we can at least get this on agenda for the next SC… next CQ.

Kitchen: Two minds about it, I don’t like it because it seems like a sign of PoP. It’s sort’ve like, everyone throws up a PoP… silent PoP, I don’t need to express what PoP has been broken…

F: Do you have a question?

Kitchen: How much of this falls to the Facilitation to arbitrate because sometimes I feel like people are not allowed to frame themselves, so other people frame them, then they come off in a bad light. How much authority does Facilitation have to… yeah.

Outreach: Good question. I think we’d all like to think about this for a long time. Honestly, this is why Facilitation would have to check if their reading is correct. It’s not really Facilitation… if someone’s really being abusive, right. If two people are doing this, well, we’re going to see that used all the time… but again, it’s kind of obvious when someone who is… now we have  procedure to …

?: You mean?

V&G: Pass.

Library: Really quickly just wanted to know if there was a process, kind of addressed by Brandon, are people going to be removed from the meetings if they are acting out, or is this for the next meeting.

Outreach: This is specifically for the next meeting. … that was wrong the way it happened… important to have a procedure to do that through the process. … know now we can hold them at the door. On the second part of that question, to remove people now, there is a sort of unspoken procedure that … violent right now. That’s more of, Brendon explained that…

Outreach Brendon: … no one wants to remove anybody from any community… you…

F: Watch the language.

Facilitation: Our question was, were you aware that there were these other processes in place, from Safer Spaces and Facilitation… I wanted to suggest that we get together and flesh this out.

Outreach: We were aware… talked to different people in working groups coming up with it, we decided that while people were coming up with stuff, we would do something for right now. … we have this, it might not be the greatest thing on earth but it’s something.
F: Please address the whole room.

Direct Action: We have questions on the wording, word discretion and disruption. We wanted to know if you could define disruption and discretion.

Outreach: Facilitator discretion part was specifically about the 50% part. … like a sense, right, like the facilitators read on the situation. You’re right, I don’t want to empower the facilitator more than they should be… combine those two and sya this looks about 50%, let me get a tc…

Direct Action: Main question is about defining disruption, so we’re not silencing someone for an opposing view….

Outreach: […] then that’s where it comes in, where everyone is like this is enough.

Direct Action: With current wording I see nothing to keep the group from…

F: I’d like to avoid the back and forth. Is stack done?

PoI: F: Minutes doesn’t work like that […]

F: I wonder if we’d be ok with making a list of questions to bring back… I’m saying to continue this on Friday. One of the things we want to do in the next fifteen minutes is set the agenda for Friday.

Library: Can I just say, let’s start at this point exactly, at 7pm on Friday?

F: Looks positive!

F: At this point I think what we agreed to do, is to … for Friday SC.

F: We know what the first item on the agenda is now…  we have two lingering proposals, one from PoCC discussion.

PoCC: We could do this Friday but I said I’d do it today, so it could be an announcement.

F: Alternative Kitchen, do you want to talk about this Friday?

A: Kitchen: […]


A: Kitchen: […]

F: … and in addition we will have the following discussion, which will be,

PoP: TP: It was mentioned that we would freeze the proposal we were just discussing, and would pick it up at exactly this point in the proposal, … concerned about the composition of the group…

[discussion about starting the process over]

PoCC: So, last Wednesday I kinda addressed everybody about the events of the previous Friday with the incident of the sign, the Aryan brotherhood… feeling was on it and also stated some next steps we were trying to do. I stated that I would get together with other members of PoC… draft a document… we did meet on Thursday. It was attended by who are new to PoC and some older members, we had some suggestions come through. I’ve been working with Safer Spaces… I’m holding myself accountable that I said it would be done today and it’s not done today. … asking your patience…

F: And the announcement that we’ll also be talking about…

A: Kitchen: One week ago today … personal situation… very emotional situation, it involved an inappropriate behavior, non-consensual physical contact. I don’t even want to say it out loud. It led to me tackling somebody. Since that time I’ve been blocked from the office. The reason I’m making this announcement is because I feel like I’ve asked for a sit down with some of the people involved and the way that they are framing it is not respectful to what happened to me. The phrase sexual harassment is one I grew up with hearing a lot… fits into the category of that. It’s a really intense situation. I could reallky use some help dealing with it. I’ve talked to Mediation. It involves something that is endemic in our OWS culture. I feel like someone is being protected and that […] case of being facilitated in precluding, really a lack of transparency, lack of accountability. And I’m going to talk to the office, I’ve already talked to people in Accounting WG, so I would just this group as a whole, if anybody wants to come to me and talk to me, I would really be happy to tell them what happened. And, basically it was like, basically what I want is the person, I want to know if the person who did what they did, I wanna know if they’re willing to be, to hold themselves accountable. If they’re not willing to hold themselves accountable I want to know if their working group is willing to hold them accountable. If the WG is not holding themselves accountable, then I need to know if the office, if any group is ok with a working group not […] accountable. And if the office, is not willing to hold the working group within the office accountable, then I need you guys to know that […].

Time: Time’s up.

Sage: Ok, hold on. If you guys are ok with the Office committee not holding WGs accountable, then I pretty much will not be coming back. If you guys are ok with a working group not being held accountable. So, it’s just a matter of holding each level of accountability. I need your help.  it’s been a week and the person who…

F: Sage, we really need to move on, you’re over time.

?: Someone please help this man. Please, help this man.

Sage: Thank you […]

F: Do we have any other agenda items people want to put on for Friday’s meeting?

F: So, I’d like to open up a really quick stack…

F: […] Michael Moore’s here and he would like to speak to us […]

F: […] feedback for facilitation in order to have Michael Moore speak to us. [commotion] I’m sorry […] I’m seeing a very mixed response. I would like to get feedback for facilitation and then perhaps we can allow […] [noisy]

PoP: We […] feedback right now […]

F: Can we bring it back please?

F: Mic check!

F: We’ll have some quick feedback.

F: […] five minutes on some quick feedback from Spokes to facilitation for tonight, please keep it constructive, thank you, please keep it constructive and brief and then we can stay if we’d like to hear Michael Moore speak. So please, raise your hands if you have feedback […] [noisy]

F: Mic check!
F: Once again, we’re going to be brief.

PoI: Mr. Moore might necessarily not want to speak.

F: We’re now on feedback for facilitation so let’s keep with that. Hands up or sign up if you have anything that you’d like […] [noise]

?: So I think that this was… [noise]

F: Guys, can we have, I can’t hear over here.

?: So, I just want […] and frankly all of us…

F: Guys, can we all […] please.

F: Mic check.

Facilitation: So. I just wanted to congratulate all of us and facilitation for having a functional spokes council! [applause] And I hope for the future this continues. Also, I think we did a good job with the intro exercise, we should start on time, but once things did get rolling, I thought it went quite well, and, yeah, that’s all.

F: Guys, I would like to ask you, are we ok with having some sort of little intro something every time we come together? Hands, let me see, let me see, how we feel about that. Maybe for a different kind of meeting. Ok. Do we want to invite Michael Moore…?

F: Facilitation asked Michael Moore to speak, he said yes. So if you guys would like…

[noise, confusion]

F: I am seeing a PoP over here.

Stack: Let’s just end the spokes council. [noise]

F: We have some feedback.

F: I’d like to hear the feedback please. Robert, can I hear this please? Ok, who was next?

Organization: I was going to say that I think that the Facilitation was nice this evening, and I like how you took, you accepted help from people, it really felt like group facilitation, you know, because you really were learning as you go along […] and we really appreciated that.  I like how we also were continuously all giving input on decisions. So, I liked that we said what we wanted to do at the end, we decided that we would do feedback at the end,  I think we would like to see that continue until the end of the meeting and also that we continue to vote on such things, but we thought it was great. [missed a few words at the end]

F: Thank you, thank you, yes. […] we’re just going around.

DA: I just wanted to say that I think the team did a really excellent job, you were really even-handed facilitators, I really liked your touch. I would say you should probably know the specific process for a SC a little better, if you’re going to facilitate spokes council meetings. It was a little bit too much like crowd help. Great F skills, I just want you to know the process a little better, and it was a little disappointing at the very, very end about two minutes ago to see facilitation kinda get razzled by a celebrity and not follow process and like ask for permission for somebody… in a leaderless, non-hierarchal process we can just follow process and not get razzled by […].

DA: I would also like to reiterate the point that we would like to start this meeting at seven o’clock.

F: At seven o’clock. Actually, I’m hearing that a lot, guys, I’m hearing that a lot, and I’m just wanna point back out to the group because at seven o’clock, there was about a third of the people here. Are we ok with just starting when there is a third or full or half? Ok, so from now on spokes begin exactly at 7pm. Is there anybody here who has any concerns about that? Concerns? Mic check.

?: […]

F: Guys, can we please listen?

?: Starting on time is great, having food is wonderful as well. But food that arrives after the meeting has started […] Perhaps if the food arrived at seven and we started the meeting at seven-thirty sharp, that would […]

F: Sounds like a concern, amendment. How do we feel about, Kitchen?

Kitchen: Direct response. Feel free to cook dinner […]

Safer Spaces: Great job tonight. As per your suggestion […] fifteen minutes prior to SC, live music on Friday. […]

?: Six forty-five before spokes council on Friday there will be music!

F: Anybody else, any feedback?

PoC: My concern, two, great job, awesome job today. And also, when a concern was brought, or feedback brought that maybe towards the end we not get so razzled, I think was the word, I do think though that that was valid feedback, so rather than the, like…

F: That was actually a snarl of communication, between me and him, as to whether he asked or we asked him, that’s what that came from…

PoC: That’s not my concern. It’s just the feedback that was given, I think it should be met evenly, not with a, like, “awwww.”

F: […] reason things got complicated, then […]


?: I think you should open up with let’s keep the peace, and […]

F: That’s great, that’s actually a great […] community agreements, and […] never restate them and […] definitely feel like that’s important. Anybody else […]?

Gary: Hi, my name’s Gary. Great job today on Facilitation. One sort of criticism though, is taking the first twenty minutes not discussing anything. The meeting started off very slow and dragged on for awhile. From past experience, usually if we have, get something done a little bit, it helps move it.

F: It helps to move it. Thank you. Ok, ok, Robert?

Robert: Somebody for Facilitaion working group just asked, well, now spokes, anybody can speak? It would have been nice to know if this evaluation was geared, was specifically stated as open to the entire room instead of just the spokes. Some other things, and I’m sorry to be a wet blanket on some of this, there was a lot of […] a lot of downtwinkles for breaking the meeting for food. Also, neutrality means neutral and I think […] regarding the tweet.

Hermes: […] (can’t hear him)

Anybody else for feedback? Going once?

F: One more feedback. Two more.

?: I felt that this meeting has been one of the better meetings or, ladi-da-di-da, […] calm and peaceful too. Also I just wanna say that there’s a documentarian here and I think that for people to, I think we call it downsprinkle, I think that it’s been acknowledged as being rude in our community. If there’s not any personal whatever you want to call it. For me, from my perspective, this person’s come a long way to give respect. Least we could do is give people respect.

F: That was feedback for the group.

F: One more.

F: Point of process?

PoP: The gentleman sitting next to me earlier is faced with twenty-five years for being accused of throwing a Molotov cocktail at a MARC with OWS. He was not allowed to speak tonight because he’s not a spoke. That’s all I’m going to say.

F: We’ve got one more feedback, over here. PoC, then we’re going to […]

?: I thought it was great. Always very difficult to be facilitators. Just a couple of quick points. I ask that anybody facilitating be super, super conscious about not interrupting people, it’s one of the agreements we have. Another thing, there are some other tools for bringing people back to the circle besides a mic check, so it would be great to start to practice those. So one is like, you raise your hand in a fist, and when everyone sees that they can quiet down, there’s, you know, if you can hear my voice clap once, if you can hear my voice clap twice. It has just a little different energy than just kinda shouting a command at people. That’s just ac ouple of things. I hope you guys all come to  the bigger feedback, facilitation feedback meeting where we can get into some deeper processes.

F: Thank you, Jose.

PoC: […] already spoke […] the fact that you stopped to have a moment of silence when we got the news about the […] super important.

F: […] one last one.

?: If you brought a plate up here, please clean it up.

F: Something we should add to every day, everyone take something off the floor.

F: Would Michael Moore please stand up.

Facilitation: Call the meeting to an end.

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