NYC General Assembly 1/28/2012 (Minutes)

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.


Audio Recording of General Assembly

Location: Liberty Square, moved to 60 Wall Street, moved back to Liberty Square

Facilitation: Lady, Jason, Yoni, Evan, and Bana. Lady, Jason, and Evan stepped down from facilitation. Bana stepped up and finished out the meeting.

Stack Taker: Alia

Time Keeper: Evan

Minutes: David

Announcements: Occupy Williamsburg party, Occupy Town Square, Nan, PR Working group, Occupy Newark, Occupy Long Island (7:00), Occupy Danburry Connecticut

Proposal: Fun Hub Proposal reached consensus (35:00)

Proposal: Anti-War proposal tabled due to large number of stand asides.

Proposal: Occupy the Roads proposal failed to pass modified consensus with 45 yays and 7 nays

Proposal: An Accountability Proposal To Hold OWS Members to OWS Standards of Conduct tabled after 9 blocks made it clear it wouldn’t pass modified consensus.

Meeting ended with announcements from various people.

Full Minutes

Moved GA to 60 Wall Street at 7:15

Jason explains hand signals used. (4:00)

Fun Hub Proposal:

Fundraising Hub, aka “FUNHUB”
-To empower people to be full time activists by making the skills,
resources and locations of honest work available to the OWS community.
-SKILLS: connect artisans to people will to learn their craft
-RESOURCES: assist in sourcing materials for goods and services offered
-LOCATIONS: find locations and organize events endorsed by OWS
“If you have a general fund-raising idea, let us help you develop it!
If you have a mature idea, let us help you work out details!”

1st meeting minutes summary:
-weekly meetings will be Mondays @ noon
-upcoming projects: take part in occupy Washington Square Park, craft
fair endorsed by GA on Feb. 11th
-tasks assigned: 1) Shazz artisan outreach & submit proposal, all
working group liason, Yuri investigate 33rd & 2nd donated farmer’s
market location

attendees: Brian, Yuri, Jack, Mary, Shazz, Daniel, Gerard, Dylan

Clarifying questions: Nan, Sumumba, Patrick.

Concerns: Nan

Lady steps down from facilitation (12:00)

Nan: Concerned about transparency. (16:00)

Yuri: Each working group will get a pre-paid debit card to keep track of spending; that information then can easily be sent to accounting.

Chris: Passing

Diego: Wouldn’t getting these prepaid debit cards just giving money to corporations that are trying to keep us down?

Yuri: If you can use the system to your benefit, do it. If there’s a credit union that does it, I’m all for it.

Jack: Concerned about the expense of prepaid debit cards. (21:00); worked in the industry for years and is now explaining the use of cards. We should all go to a credit union.

Yuri: Yes there is a surcharge. It’s $3.00. The problem with opening 90 accounts is it puts a lot of responsibility on those two point people.

Robert: A prepaid debit card will not do it. Go to the Lower East Side Federal Credit Union (24:00). You need to screen people.

Yuri: My working group is not responsible for the working group’s money.

F: Because this is a working group proposal it’s difficult to make amendments to it, because you can’t dicate what other working groups do.

Michael: Singing his question concern (28:00). He likes it.

F: We have concluded clarifying questions and concerns (29:00). We are not doing FA because it’s a working group proposal. You either like it or you don’t.

Yuri restates the proposal (29:00)

One stand aside. Nan stands aside because it’s dealing with money and working groups.

Yuri: This working group doesn’t want any money. We don’t even want the $100 allocation; we are giving a way for working groups to sustain their project.

Diego: Concerned about meeting times.

Yuri: We will be having meetings during evening hours.

F: The meetings for working groups will be posted online at Are there any blocks? No blocks. We have reached consensus. 

Anti-War proposal for a joint declaration between assemblies of Moscow and New York (38:00):



We the people of the Moscow and New York Assemblies acknowledge that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members. We are at a critical moment in history.

There is a rising tide of military aggression and wars supported by increasingly lethal technologies. There are deaths and maimings of civilians across the globe.

Rampant military spending, over 1.5 trillion dollars a year, continues despite the global economic crisis and increasing poverty. In the global trade in arms, manufacturers make hundreds of billions of dollars a year, and Russia and the United States supply more than half of major weapons.

We are aware of the history of our two countries. The nuclear arms race was led by the United States, a country that used nuclear weapons on civilian populations on two occasions (Hiroshima and Nagasaki). The Cold War arms race between the United States and Russia deprived our peoples of our wealth.

It has been more than 20 years since the end of the Cold War yet our countries, Russia and the United States, still possess 95% of the more than 20,000 nuclear weapons on the planet. Nearly 2,000 of the Russian/US warheads are deployed  ready for immediate launch.

Thousands of nuclear warheads and millions of guns do not defend ordinary people from poverty and do not help them feed themselves.

Nuclear power continues to pose a threat to life and earth and is the essential technology driving the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  Every nuclear reactor is a potential bomb factory that burns and produces materials which with further processing can be used to make nuclear warheads. Nuclear accidents have led to nuclear catastrophes. Chernobyl and now Fukushima have given us the resolve to say “No to nuclear!”.

The threat of war is not an acceptable or workable response to the feared or actual spread of nuclear weapons which can emerge from nuclear power technology. To avoid nuclear proliferation and end the risk of devastating nuclear war, the current nuclear-armed states must eliminate their arsenals and initiate a universal phase-out of nuclear power. The United States and Russia, with the world’s largest stockpiles of nuclear arms, must lead the way for global nuclear abolition.

We envision a world without nuclear weapons, an end to the arms race and an end to war. We will not stop our public assemblies, we will not go home, we will not rest until the world and the power is restored to the people.

We put forth the following list of concrete measures to achieve nuclear abolition and disarmament:

•        Standing down of US and Russian nuclear weapons now ready to fire within minutes and unilateral actions by both countries to eliminate their arsenals.

•        Global negotiations for elimination of all existing nuclear arsenals and a world permanently and equitably free of nuclear weapons.

•       Closure of all nuclear test sites, including Nevada and Novaya Zemlya.

•       An end to development of missiles and space weapons and negotiation of a missile/space ban.

•       An end to the spread of nuclear technology around the planet and shutdown of existing nuclear power plants.

•       Transparent reduction of conventional weapons.

•       An end to all drone programs and any development of new lethal technologies.

•          Reallocation of military spending and capabilities of scientists to building a safer, sustainable world.

•       Dismantlement of NATO and other bloc military alliances.*

We don’t need missiles, we need housing.

We don’t need bombs, we need hospitals.

We don’t need guns, we need schools and books.

We don’t need bullets, we need food.

We need to live in peace and security. We need a world in which ordinary people are not victims of political games. We need a world where we can love one another, love our children, and be friends with our neighbors, without having to fear for our lives and our planet.

F: Opening stack for clarifying questions (44:00)

Dallas: Question to clarify this bullet point:

•        Standing down of US and Russian nuclear weapons now ready to fire within minutes and unilateral actions by both countries to eliminate their arsenals.

Anti-war: Our goal is to eliminate all nuclear weapons.

Bill: Asked about how many other declartaions have been passed.


Patrick: We don’t have that many joint declarations. Could you tell us a little about the anti-war working group? (47:00)

Anti-War: We have been meeting since October. We have members from Code Pink, War Resisters League and lots of traditional anti-war groups and people from #OccupyWallStreet. I don’t have the mission statement on me.

Stack is closed for clarifying questions (49:00)

How do you think you’re going to get United States and Russia to hang up their nuclear arsenals when so many other countries are attempting to get nuclear weapons?

Anti-War: It would be a big step if the people of the United States would lead to disarmament.

What is Code Pink?

Anti-War: It is a women’s organization that fight against war.

POI: The United States is a signatory of the non-proliferation treaty.

Michael: Singing again (53:00)

F: That completes stack for clarifying questions (53:00) If you have a concern raise your hand.

Jack: We need a third UN (55:00)

Lu Lu: I was concerned about the provisions to abolish NATO. NATO has sometimes intervened on genocides.

This is a declaration about disarmament, not just nuclear. This isn’t the space to discuss the role of NATO.

[discussion 58:00]

Bob: Concerned that this declaration is not well thought out, and would discredit this organization. It’s a fanciful idea. The weapons we have are the insurance that there won’t be a first strike (59:00).  I will block this proposal.

Frances: It’s really idealistic.

Anti-War: The significance is that Occupy Mosco has already created a declaration very similar to this one. Imagine if the people of the US and Moscow went around their governments to say we want disarmament. Is it too idealistic to have this movement?

Do you know roughly how many people are in Occupy Moscow? (1:02)

Anti-War: No. I don’t know.

Patrick: I feel like we are rushing this and maybe we should debate it out. Questionable about the end of nuclear power for civilian needs.

Anti-War: I have brought this up two weeks ago.

Nan: It’s a great document. (1:04)

Anti-War: A lot of these statements are created with Direct Action in mind. Everything here can be achieved.

The world is not equal.

F: Taking stack for Friendly Amendment (1:08)

Maybe we could just make it a call for “World Peace” and then work on the details.

Anti-War: There are real problems that people suffer.

F: That FA is declined. (1:09)

My FA is for you to table this proposal until you get more input from the people.

Anti-War: I’ll decline that FA.

Nan: I would like to see more detail about how you plan on obtaining these goals.

Anti-War: That’s where other working groups plug in.

F: That FA has been declined.

Jack: We need 9 permanent members on the UN

Darryl: Uranium doesn’t burn. Change that.

F: That FA has been accepted.

Anti-War Joint Declaration with accepted to change “burns” to “consumes”:

Every nuclear reactor is a potential bomb factory that burns consumes and produces materials which with further processing can be used to make nuclear warheads. Nuclear accidents have led to nuclear catastrophes.

F: Ten stand asides. No blocks. Would you like to table it and come back another time?

Bob:  Blocked: Talking about the impossibility of stopping government contractors (1:20).

Stand Asides explained (1:21).

Anti-War: We are tabling this due to number of stand asides. Come to our next meeting on Tuesday at 6pm at 60 Wall Street.

F: Jason is stepping down as facilitator. Yoni is stepping up.

Nan is objecting to Yoni facilitating. (1:28) She doesn’t feel he can be fair. Damian steps up. Damian steps down. Evan steps up to facilitate. Occupy the roads is up next.

Occupy the Roads Proposal:

After my visit to Zuccotti Park on Oct.2nd & then to WA DC on 5th, I came back to Seattle area and purchased an RV so I could spread the message and keep the movement alive through the winter months. I have been “occupying the roads” since Nov. 8th. I started at the Canadian Border (Vancouver, BC), went to San Diego across to Atlanta and just now rolled into New York after visiting a total of 42 cities.

I know, first hand, how important it has been to connect everyone and make them feel a part of the larger picture when some are so far removed from OWS. All the connections made during the journey have been positive and motivating. People who want to help and have the resources, are willing to support any way they can as we move into the second phase. Universities and colleges are also very supportive and will be working with us to help make change (ie: the education system, community sustainability, etc).
We have documented the journey as well taken numerous video and pictures, which can be seen here:

FaceBook and on our
Twitter @occupytheroads

OTR is set up as a Non-Profit 501C3 in WA State.
Our mission has been, and continues to be, educating and informing the public about Occupy and help strategize solutions to problems. We personalize a “What is Occupy” for each Occupy Town/City so they can spread the word. The “V” is like a moving billboard with 31 ft of signs and posters adorning each side and the front + back. We attract a lot of attention going down the highways. We also attract the police at most stops, who have been consistent in their prying, asking for ID and moving us along even when we’re parked legally. We’re used to it by now. WE ARE being noticed.

With restrictions being placed on existing and future camps it will be more important to have creative means to keep the movement alive. We hope to have a caravan of vehicles joining in as we go and some have already contacted us for a spring movement.
The funds that I have spent so far:
RV payment $476.00 per month x 3 mo= 1428 + $2600 Down total $ 4028.00
Insurance payments RV & Phones $ 129.43
Fuel $ 3677.83
Food $ 1304.57
Phone & Internet $ 318.47
Supplies $ 1574.03
Printing & Postage $ 97.78
Office Expenses $ 461.10
Licensing $ 80.00

Total Spent $11,607.88

Cheap advertising and exposure along highways.

The RV (Occumobile) is headed for Florida (missed in order to take part in the WA DC “Occupy Congress”) and then back across the U.S. up the Midwest back to Seattle. I am welcoming others join in.

I am proposing that OWS recognize + support “occupy the roads” any way they can to keep the momentum alive and build on what I’ve already done. Either to reimburse for gas so that I can use that money to fuel the next trip, or allow us to create a separate working group. OTR is part of every city including OWS. Though my initial experience with OWS was short it is what motivated the creation of Occupy the Roads.

I’m aware that another group just left NY by busy and is heading for 16 cities, so it appears this is something the GA thinks is a worthy cause. I would like to focus on the older folks who may be willing to join the caravan moving forward.

Occupy the Roads: Changing the proposal due to spending freeze, but they are looking for an endorsement from Occupy Wall Street (1:35)

POI: Spending Freeze.

Occupy the Roads: Looking for an endorsement of the RV. It’s a big moving billboard.

Brett: Occupy Wall Street does not endorse things. We can be in solidarity with you. That language needs to be clarified.

Echo: Statement of solidarity

You don’t need permission to be an occupier.

Occupy the Roads: Talking about the need for their mission (1:40)

Concerns: Be careful who’s in the RV.

Occupy the Roads: I’m being very careful.

Concern: We had some bad apples come to our last GA and shut it down. How can we put our trust in you that doesn’t happen again?

Occupy the Roads: I apologize for what happened. I didn’t know the people involved.

POI: There are bad apples everywhere. The woman just gave people a ride.

F: Opening Stack for Friendly Amendments. Are there Friendly Amendments? No. Any stand asides?

Occupy the Roads: Wants Occupy Wall Street to back what I’m doing.

Friendly Amendment: I’d ask that you don’t call yourself a representative of the movement.

Occupy the Roads: I don’t. Amendment accepted. One stand aside. One block.

Yoni: Block because it goes against #OccupyWallStreet principals to elevate yourself. You can go around and do the work  you’re doing without any special endorsement.

F: Yoni is holding his block. (1:50)

F: Yoni is still holding his block. Moving to modified consensus. People raising hands if they are for it. (1:51) Modified consensus not reached. 38 for, 6 against.

F: Bana has stepped up to facilitate. Temperature check on a recount for modified consensus. Bana counted 45 positive votes (1:55) 7 against. This does not reach modified consensus.

Discussion breaks out.

OccupyWallStreet in Espanol making an announcement before we move back to the park (2:01)

OWS en Espanol: A call for mass action to spark the Occupy movement for a March on February 25th.

At 9:44 the GA moved back to Liberty Square to deal with the last proposal.

Bana has stepped up to facilitate. Allia will be stack taker. Evan is keeping time.

An Accountability Proposal To Hold OWS Members to OWS Standards of Conduct (2:15):

“There are going to be times when we can’t wait for somebody. Now, you’re either on the bus or off the bus. If you’re on the bus, and you get left behind, then you’ll find it again. If you’re off the bus in the first place — then it won’t make a damn.” – Ken Kesey

Occupy Wall Street (OWS) desires a better world for all and creates its standards of conduct accordingly, to be of benefit to all persons throughout the world. OWS conducts its affairs in a manner welcoming to all. Members of OWS as a global movement abide by the Principles of Solidarty, as well as individual Community Agreements or Codes of Conduct, that define appropriate behavior to one’s fellow occupier and within the Occupation as a whole, such as a commitment to peaceful non-violent civil disobedience and the engagement of direct and transparent participatory democracy for all decision-making.

Because OWS, as a primary concern, wishes the safety and encouragement of everyone, we therefore open our proceedings and spaces to all, provided those who accept our invitation abide by our standards of conduct. Our standards of conduct are not rules to restrict anyone, instead, they are boundaries to protect everyone.

SUMMARY: Those present at or participating in OWS activities agree to abide by our standards of conduct. They may end such obligation by departing and ceasing participation. OWS may also discontinue its relationship with any party, via direct and transparent participatory democracy, based on there adherence to the standards of conduct that define a member as part of OWS, thus releasing that party from any further such obligation.


“All persons, groups, or other entities, while present at, represented at, or participating in Occupy Wall Street (OWS) meetings, assemblies, councils, occupations, encampments, or other OWS functions or events, If you come to our events…
and/or while participating by any means in any OWS online or other electronic activity …or to our web sites, phone systems, etc…
shall, regardless of affiliation, purpose, manner of constitution, or other considerations, …it doesn’t matter who you are…
agree, in all dealings with OWS and its sub-groups and participants, to abide by any and all OWS standards of conduct then in effect. …you agree to follow our community standards.
“A person, group, or other entity may release this obligation exclusively by departing the place of and ceasing participation in any and all OWS functions or events, as well as ceasing participation in any and all OWS on-line or other electronic activities. If you leave the relationship, you don’t have to follow our standards.
“OWS may, to ensure the protection of all who choose to work with us and agree to follow our standards of conduct, choose unilaterally to discontinue entirely its relationships with any person, group, or other entity. The OWS General Assembly may propose to cut ties with those who do not follow appropriate standards of conduct, via direct and transparent participatory democracy, if the failure to maintain appropriate standards cannot otherwise be remedied. The General Assembly is empowered to sever ties with those who do not follow the Principles of Solidarity or other standards of behavior that have been agreed upon.
“Such persons, groups, or other entities will remain thereby released from any OWS standards of conduct for so long as they and OWS maintain no relationship. If we leave the relationship with you, you also don’t have to follow our standards. It stays that way as long as we’re not involved in each other’s business.
“For the purposes of this proposal, ‘other entity’ shall include any corporation, company, affiliation, or other collective enterprise and its employees, agents, and assignees.” If we get involved with companies, they have to follow our standards, too.
“For the purposes of this proposal, ‘sub-groups’ shall include all OWS-recognized Working Groups, Caucuses, Movement Groups, Operations Groups, similar collectives, or other entities within OWS, regardless of type or size of membership, operating method, or how constituted.” Our standards apply to OWS as a whole and also to all our working groups, caucuses, and so on.

Submitted by the Town Planning Working Group

F: Opening Stack for clarifying questions. (2:22)

Concern it would be good to table this until the rules are put down.

Sean addressing concerns: (2:24) There are situations that go beyond deesclation.

Nan’s question (2:28) How many people worked on this proposal.

Sean: Six people. Direct Action and five or six working groups.

Sage: The easiest thing is to let people separate themselves. (2:31)

Sean’s response: (2:32)

F: Opening up stack for concerns.

Eric: Who’s going to decide who we’re going to push out of the movement. I’m concerned that once we push one person out of the movement it becomes another thing and another thing. This is about creating a community not pushing people away.

Sean: We should not use this lightly. I’d like to see us not use this at all. People like this exist and will continue to exist.

F: Interupting and pointing out that Sean keeps bringing up rape and asks him not to do it again.

Bless: Either we’re together in this or we’re not.

Sean: If anybody is told they can’t be here, it’s something we will do together. We are empowered to vote that.

POI: You know somebody by their actions. (2:37)

We should not bicker about stupid shit.

Ravi: We are really close to losing people due to our seeming inability to deal with serious infiltrators and violence. If someone chooses not to enter into mediation they are saying they do not want to be part of this community. If they choose not to do that they are declaring themselves outside of the movement. Safer Spaces is really trying hard.

Rich, Concern: This will turn into a flowery thing.

Sean: The Community agreement will come through the consensus process. The grievance process is coming. This is about being able to hold people accountable. Without some structure to get stuff done all we have is the angry mob.

Nan: (2:43) This movement is supposed to be for the 99%.

Sean: Sometimes people are doing the bidding for the 1%.

POI: You can’t kick people out of a public park. There are people working on finding out who the infiltrators are.

Eric: How do we stop them from coming to a public park? There’s very little hear (2:47)

Sean: They can come to the park. But they can ask to be on stack but the answer is no. The only thing they can do is escelate and get themselves arrested. We can deny them the benefit of being on our website, getting metrocards, sleeping in our housing. We can walk away and not listen.

Eric: Your proposal is really vague.

F: Two people left on stack. Ten more minutes.

Razor: We’ve had rapist who have never been held accountable. (2:49) I’m uncomfortable with what’s going on here. This is not inclusiveness. This is a system to represent everyone. This claims to represent all people. You can rape here you can be transphobic and grab women’s asses and tits. You can be brought into the NYPD and seman is found in the hospital and you’re brought back into our churches and your still in this movement. The people who are up for banishment are darker. If the first two people up for banning fit a pattern and rapes already occurred. This is about accountability. I’m ashamed to be a part of it. This is exactly why I came here to fight this. (2:53)

Rich: You’re rushing into this. I agree with everything razor said.

Sean: I’ve been sitting on this a while…

F: We are moving to Friendly Amendments.

Out of process dicussion (2:56)

F: Trying to bring back the meeting to process (2:58)

FA: (2:59) Read the Principles of Solidarity

Principles of Solidarity read (3:00):

On September 17, 2011, people from all across the United States of America and the world came to protest the blatant injustices of our times perpetuated by the economic and political elites.  On the 17th we as individuals rose up against political disenfranchisement and social and economic injustice.  We spoke out, resisted, and successfully occupied Wall Street.  Today, we proudly remain in Liberty Square constituting ourselves as autonomous political beings engaged in non-violent civil disobedience and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance, and love.  It is from these reclaimed grounds that we say to all Americans and to the world, Enough!  How many crises does it take?  We are the 99% and we have moved to reclaim our mortgaged future.Through a direct democratic process, we have come together as individuals and crafted these principles of solidarity, which are points of unity that include but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
  • Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
  • Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
  • Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
  • Redefining how labor is valued;
  • The sanctity of individual privacy;
  • The belief that education is human right; and
  • Endeavoring to practice and support wide application of open source.

We are daring to imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality.  We are consolidating the other proposed principles of solidarity, after which demands will follow.

Sean: Some people will never get those principles of solidarity no matter what we do.

Al: Let’s not forget DC. They are really struggling down there.

Rich: FA: Please come up with some processes. Please table this until we have the process. It seems rash.

Sean: Declines that FA

Razor: FA: That a third party that is neutral to #OccupyWallStreet analyzes demographics. Who is getting banned and before we do any banning we find out why we created an occupation with people sleeping next to each other with no security. How do we know what prejudices people are reacting to. I would like to see a third party come in and make it diverse or call it out on its lack of diversity.

Sean: I decline that FA.

Ravi: FA: Make it clear that if somebody refuses to participate in the grievance process they are declaring themselves out of the movement.

Sean: It’s a great idea but those processes have not been developed yet.

F: Ten more minutes to hear Friendly Amendments.

Michael: FA (3:08) We’re all family; we’re all equal.

Sean: I agree with the statement but it’s not a Friendly Amendment

Concern is that the disagreements are circular in nature. If we don’t pass this we can’t enforce our principals of solidarity and make sure people are safe in the movement. If this proposal doesn’t pass we won’t be making that beginning step.

POI: The reason we have a 1% is because they were never called out and controlled. It’s necessary.

Razor: Wondering why the topic of projects just got shut down (3:11). There’s no one from the projects in Occupy Wall Street. It’s a POI that this is not the 99%

F: We will move on to the consensus process. Any stand asides? No. Any blocks? Nine blocks.

Sean restating the proposal. and accepted Ravi’s friendly Amendment.

Rich’s block turned to an aside.

Block: I don’t believe in the social contract and the use of accountability. (3:16) I believe in a post-modern world that would enforce justice at a micro level rather than a macro level.

F: Because of the amount of blocks we are not going to reach modified consensus.

Trish blocked on moral issues.

Evan: Trying to bring it back 3:21

Trish bringing her block (3:23) It’s a moral block.

Nan: I feel this proposasl to be bias. It excludes people.

Razor wants to address her block but is uncomfortable by the camera.

F: This is no longer working as a GA 3:25)

F: Opening stack for announcements:

Frances: 3:29 about 100 protesters are marching in Williamsburg

Announcement on behalf of the filmmakers. If any money is made from this film a good percentage will go back to the movement.

Occupy Farms we are having an action tomorrow.

Patrick: I have some draft copies of the vision statement we have been crowd sourcing for three months. We hope to make this final sometime soon.

Trade Justice Working Group:

One Response to “NYC General Assembly 1/28/2012 (Minutes)”

  1. Urbaned

    Please prioritize speaking into the microphone if you are recording the meetings. Even with volume at 100%, they are hard to hear.