37 Responses to “Spending Freeze”

  1. Yoni Miller

    I’d be willing to freeze all WG auto spending expenditures, would NOT be willing to support this proposal in its current space.

    Who proposed it? Overall, I think our $$ has limited our creativity and led us to be greedy and unnecessary corporate bickering, the way we claim 1% does. Our greed and hesitancy to share our good fortune with other occupations is also disheartening. Does that make the money bad? Don’t think so.

    • Sean McKeown

      The problem is not that we have money, it is that the money is prompting competitive use instead of cooperative use on the group as a whole, when the consensus process is grounded in cooperation rather than competition.

      • reginahny

        And a perhaps “micro” version is that money has prompted not so much competitive use as personal use — a chance to “game” the cooperative system for personal gain. It’s not so much valid concerns competing for financing (for example: Kitchen Funds vs. a Media Buy) as it is individuals looking for funds.

    • Ann Stalls

      I agree Yoni Miller. I hope it passes so we can get on with the meetings and do our business without all the problems certain people have caused over money. Maybe this will weed out the true OWS members. Ask not what OWS can do for you but what you can do for OWS.

    • Courtney Burke

      It’s also making our meetings boring. We should be talking about ideas.

  2. Sally Marks

    Space??? What space? There is all of NYC. There does not need to be (nor should there be) a specific single location. The entire city needs to be occupied. For starters.
    A single space is akin to getting a single 1%er to cough up their money and power followed by everyone saying the movement is a success and can go home now.

    I am on board with you Yoni! :)

    • Tom

      How would the powers that be allow tents for ANY length of time in tents if that’s what you mean.

      If you mean walking pickets with cool signs that’s cool just not enough people to max out and require a permit application!
      little occupy info ‘marchettes’ in the form of moving pickets on sidewalk that i think are still legal without permit for under 25 people or maybe i am completely legally blonde!
      verbal confrontations that are sometime inevitable when people are mean languaged to us but we need to take breath and remember nonviolence through and through for respect on both sides is Hard Work for many including me OH MY! That will take lots of laser printouts or copying for distribution of non political (from democratic to anarchists) purely verified information material on these more massive precipice issues of our time for the majority of folks now and as time goes on until things are changed

      • Sally Marks

        How many people fit on a sidewalk? 1,000-more? Who is to say they are protesting together? Is it not possible they all just happen to be going the same direction, thinking the same thought, perhaps carrying a piece of cardboard or wearing the same shirt? Is each person by merely by existing, an illegal protester? I hope not!

        Imagine if there were two or three OS supporters on every block. Everywhere anyone looks, they’d see the presence. Every photograph, a protester would be visible. That certainly seems to me to be a more effective way of ‘getting the word out’ than all clustered together out of most of the general populaces eyes.

        If we are the 99%, we must cover 99% of the planet.

  3. Aaron

    Let’s spend it all on a billboard and get on with movement building. This money has been an albatross.

    • Courtney Burke

      Spend it all on food & housing and get on with movement building

  4. Bill Livsey

    I think crative fundraising is in order. I do not like the idea of a moratorium on spending. There are small occupations around the country that couls use seed money to thrive!

  5. reginahny

    I’m confused by all the one or two sentence proposals with no contact information etc. that are being published and included in Future Proposals. There are guidelines offered here regarding proposals, as well as offers of assistance in Proposal development. These non-sponsored one liners seem like a waste of time and energy and I’m not convinced that isn’t intentional. In the interest of providing solutions rather than just pointing out problems — is there a way to improve these proposals rather than just posting tons of them “willy nilly”. Could we at least request transparent contact info?

      • reginahny

        Please see my reply to Lopi, below. If the proposer is open to a serious discussion about issues, I’d imagine that they would prepare a well thought out proposal with contact info which is not just a one sentence “demand”. Open a conversation about freezing funds that invites everyone to contribute either in the general forum or in the related WGs like Finance. In my opinion only, I don’t feel that I have to assist “one sentence” proposers in engaging in serious discussions — I’d ask that they do it in WGs, in the forum, and without wasting everyone’s time on a one sentence demand.

  6. sumumba

    this movement NEEDS A SPACE TO OCCUPY…BUT this movement is MUCH bigger than a PHYSICAL OCCUPATION …IT’S LIKE A (((MOVEMENT)))….bad idea to freeze spending based on that..we have former occupiers in churches who are greating a great sense of community in the process….

  7. Sam Redman

    Perhaps, this is from one of those one person “Working Groups” leaders who might be attempting to justify that the WG is actually doing some work to qualify for their $100 per day “salary.”.

    One such so-called “Working Group” listed underwear purchases on several days and on another day, simply “Bras, phone.”

    The theory that such a proposal to freeze expenses might be presented by a non-legitimate WG is that possibly their logic would be that such a proposal would be rejected immediately by the GA, but the proposer would then have the reputation that they weren’t working a scam for daily expenses; sort of “look at me, I am showing that I would give up my money for the good of the movement.”

    Or, it could be they have been successful in their (announced) efforts to raise money independently and believe they could solicit more if the general funds are frozen.

    Whatever the motive, it is the fruit of some very fractured logic.

    • reginahny

      Fractured logic is a good way of putting it, in my opinion. I’m really looking forward to the new Info/Hub Working Group standards being put into place and hope that will reduce some of this madness. Meanwhile, I don’t understand the value of just posting anything at all as a Future Proposal. One of the WGs I’m active in actually had someone lift our in-progress working document (without discussion, permission, etc.) and submit it as a proposal — which was done. I’m not clear on who posts proposals? Perhaps I should post one to wit:
      “Proposal to remove one sentence proposals without contact info or transparency.” Heh, I kid — but honestly don’t know how best to proceed in a positive way.

      • Ravi Ahmad

        Yeah, this is getting ridiculous. Maybe a request/reminder that facilitation only post proposals where a good faith effort has been made to follow the guidelines that are clearly posted for people to use. Or do we have to have a proposal for that too?

        • Amy

          Facilitation is perfectly capable of posting the name and email address of the proposer, and I’m calling them out on that. TRANSPARENCY!

  8. Lopi

    The name of the proposer is listed on this page http://www.nycga.net/category/assemblies/proposals-future/
    I personally do not support requiring proposers to have their personal email addresses posted on this website. There are some issues of security as well as spam attacks involved. However, the proposers do have nycga.net emails that people can contact them on
    this fixation on transparency at all costs reminds me a wee bit like the patriot act. just sayin’
    some types of personal privacy must be protected in order for individuals to feel secure from unknown elements

    • reginahny

      The name and email of the proposer are not listed within the proposal, that’s not asking for any “extra” transparency, that’s what is requested in the Guidelines — one shouldn’t have to go through another set of links / pages to “find” it. If proposers have nycga emails great! — include them in the proposal. Following guidelines, providing contact info and taking responsibility for one’s proposals is not damaging personal privacy. No one is asking for personal email addresses, etc. — just the bare minimum of meeting the agreed-upon Proposal Guidelines. Patriot Act? a bit of hyperbole? I’ve been an activist in my name for 35+ years, and proudly so. Let’s not get overly paranoid.

    • Tom

      my THOUGHTS emails required to be visible versus elective by users: Um, clearly Lopi is correct in this even from a spam point of view no?!
      OH MY just think about that — that can be served for the Activism Who Want to Tell Their Story Group
      (Me included BUT NOTABLY it is not about OUR GENERATIONS IN THE HERE AND NOW ALL OF US it is about generations to come AND PROTECTIONS TODAY like ahem not posting personal email addresses in the here and now for basic respect which should be inherent in non violent activism. Hopefully this will be clear if it is still an issue at all … moving on i say: here’s to transparency AND privacy so that email addresses aren’t messed up to allow us to create nonviolent Wall Street change to counter Tsunami of Greed systems in place that is killing so many. And new activists will not be averse as if they weren’t already to make a stand
      OK enough thanks to all

  9. liza

    oy vey!

    i just posted this comment at the “accounting transparency” semblance of a proposal:

    this is an example of how we could maybe put proposals into a “holding pattern”.

    1) so you have an “in progress” status that offers no date because people who post their “in progress” notes here are opening the proposal for writing support from the online community. if they get support offline, then that’ll just go to whatever they eventually mark for acceptance as a “draft”

    2) once there’s an actual “draft”, then the proposers can get a date for presenting to GA or spoke. this of course with the knowledge, obvs, that friendly amendments if taken would be added to the draft and marked as “complete” if passed.

    3) to mark as “completed & approved”, the final edit has to include the FRIENDLY AMENDMENTS that were accepted when it was approved by the GA or spokes.

    i know Facilitation declared themselves “neutral” in the writing of proposals, but FFS, one-liners for seriously operational stuff like this are completely unacceptable.

    if anything, this is one of those CROSS WORKING GROUP initiatives that need to be in place: why not have the OWS WORKS (aka Volunteer) working group along with ACCOUNTING and FACILITATION rotate designated people to scan for these proposals.

    heck, i’ll fucking do it.

    the point being though that there’s no excuse for placing the onus on proposers on what a proposal should look like if they haven’t had help from us to work on it from the start.

    we have the tools & people. let’s put them to good use.

    • reginahny

      There are guidelines in place as to what a proposal can look like as well as support offered for proposal writing, I agree that if proposers haven’t felt supported in the basics of proposal submission that those tools aren’t accessible enough. Could Facilitation direct Proposers to those tools rather than posting any, every and all proposals? Not outside the role of being “neutral” but somewhere within the role of facilitating effective proposals?

  10. John McG

    I can vouch for Jason being a serious occupier and working long and hard on this occupation. And I can vouch for his sincerity in wanting to end the constant bickering over a relatively small amount of money (compared to the issues we are fighting for) which makes us look as functional as the US congress.

  11. Jessi Parrox

    The bottom line here is that this movement needs to last as long as possible.

    The worst outcome would be to run out of money just as Spring arrives.

    I propose a friendly amendment: we institute a spending freeze until we have a strict, balanced, and accountable budget.

    We can’t afford to wait three weeks so that we can try to fix the petty cash fund. We need to cut that off now, and make do like other occupations. Until we identify what is absolutely necessary, and what requires funding, we have no right so spend the money that people have donated to us so that we can change their government for the better.

    Our finances can be made much more efficient. We evolved in a disparate, factioned manner, and until that ends, we will continue to hemorrhage money.

  12. jason ahmadi

    Dear all concerned,

    My name is Jason Ahmadi and I wrote the proposal. The lack of information on the website is only a result of my lack of internet access. In no way am I trying to be unaccountable or not transparent. As I do not own a computer, I have never really used this site all that much and only created a login so I could submit the proposal. I also had someone help me create the login as I am not super internet savy. Someone else told me about this comment thread so I thought I might check it out.

    Soon, later tonight, I will post a copy of the proposal handout I brought to the GA last Saturday night. I can not do it at this very instance because I was unable to save a copy and need to retype it. Soon!

    I am sorry I have been less than available on this website, but those who know me know that I am very accessible on the street.

    • jason ahmadi

      So this is what I wrote up and handed out last Saturday. There were break out groups and people discussed the proposal and lots of great conversations were had. Then the facilitators went through the normal process of hearing clarifying questions, concerns and friendly amendments. After I heard the concerns and friendly amendments, I thanked the group for all their comments and asked if it would be alright to table the proposal till next Saturday, January 14th. I encourage you all to look at the GA notes online and more importantly come out to GA on the 14th.

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

  13. Hermes C Liberty (Abu)

    What many Folks might not be aware of, is that some foes are very happy with this practice of Prunning away our Dairy Cow. It might show also that more hidden foes than we think might are interested in ripping OWS as they did with some of its members many many years before our public manifestation. Much more Cabale might be running underground and upper, suggesting all the Goodness in OWS and maybe the Treasure it hides, that Dey know when most OWS members do not.