Discuss Process & Content Issues facing Vision&Goal WG.

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Proposal Form

Contact Person: Chithra
Working Groups
Contact email: <perceive3@yahoo.com>, @ethicaldemocracy
This is a proposal for General Assembly [GA]. Date 02/18/12

Proposal: Discuss Process & Content Issues facing Vision&Goal WG. Compare with Problems
of Transparency, Inclusiveness, that were encountered recently in GA, in Finance/Accounting.

My analysis is no OWS group can proceed fruitfully to deliver momentum and success for
our movement, unless we are inclusive, unless we actively support divergent viewpoints and
perspectives. Make it real.

I stopped attending the V&G WG, after 3 attendances. Many others have also stopped attending
these meetings, not only V& G, but some other WGs as well. This should be a matter of concern
to ALL of us who have been inspired to become part of the OWS global megawave.

1. Processes of inclusiveness are not developed, instead there is a growing tendency to
become exclusionary. Remember, that is the problem with the 1% we are fighting!
2. Content before the V&G WG, is summarily rejected/ excluded/ internally blocked,
producing tunnel vision rather than diverse vision(s). Despite claims of being “crowd
sourced” there was evidence at the last GA, that even friendly amendments were rejected
with weak explanations by the group.
3. The group dynamic of V&G WG is one of “circle the wagons”, become defensive,
become rejecting, become closed-minded, become manipulative, adopt a cookie-cutter
uniformity. One size does NOT fit all. Again, this is reminiscent of the groupiness that
developed at the intersection of Washington&Wall.

In my view the 4-month long problems facing the V&G group can be compared with the
transparency and inclusiveness problems facing Finance/Accounting, at which Janet Wilson was
pretty much shut down.
Q. Should we in any WG or GA shoot the messenger, instead of welcoming the messenger and
including the messenger and the message? Inconvenient truths help US move forward.

Possible Remedies:
1. Invite and do not impede, GA members who bring forward many diverse perspectives to
be actively represented in many versions of Vision. We need an Artists’ Vision & Goals
from so many creative arts and crafts persons, musicians, who have joined our movement
and come daily to 60 Wall and Equality Park on Liberty Plaza. We need an Anarchists’
Vision & Goals doc. If Women want to speak in their own voice, they can produce
their own doc. Environmentalists can develop their own vision. Nobody can be stopped
from having a vision that inspires themselves and some others who share that ideal. You
cannot dream for me!
2. Diverse content as enumerated in #1, needs diverse, open process. Open it up! Everyone
has a right to dream and imagine how they will move forward to secure success for the
99% as WE struggle to dismantle the 1%, so that WE can become the 100% in a new
world order based on FAIRNESS.

26 Responses to “Discuss Process & Content Issues facing Vision&Goal WG.”

  1. sumumba

    what’s MOST interesting is that the ‘proposer’ of this 1. initially misrepresented herself as a member of the group (when she had never attended a meeting 2. Came onto to our page and changed the consensed upon vision statement without any one’s approval. 3. Has threatened and verbally abused members of this group online. 4. Has attempted to take over our meetings on one occasion with others and verbally abusing many members in the process 5. Is part of a ‘phantom’ v&g group which few have heard of and is NOT part of OWS 6. This phantom group has threatened to take over group and a GA by ‘any means necessary ‘ 7. Has also tried to commandeer Tech Ops and allegedly other groups…8. has come to a couple of GA’s with her own V&G statement which was NOT created through any consensus process yet claims to be the ‘authentic’ Vision and goals statement….9. Despite her four blocks at one ga and a variety attempts to work with her on them, she has still decided to disparage the four month effort of this group and the many others who have provided feedback to document 10. Tried to invoke race and priviledge into this discussion when many of the core members are of color and both sexes play a major role in the development of document

    I ask is any of this about MOVEMENT BUILDING? Or respect for other Human Beings? Being a Priviledged Brown woman does NOT give one the right to call other exclusionary or racist just because they don’t agree with what that person says.

  2. Urbaned

    Vision and Goals has a blog we can all participate in. The admins can add pages for comments, such as: Artists, Anarchist, Environmentalist, etc. It’s as easy as pie and should have been started a while back. Let’s use technology, that provides many answers to our problems, to the max.

    • Chithra KarunaKaran

      Hi urbaned i support your call to use tech to the max. Some of us have fulltime jobs and family responsibilities and cant always be physically present at meetings, tho’ to be part of the street action is essential.

      I’m not sure I quite get your second point about adding pages — do you mean that divergent groups such as you and I are discussing might produce their own versions of vision, goals and action that would best help divergent groups move forward?
      I imagine some of our OWS groups’ visions goals and actions may not even be in **written** form, instead they could very well utiliize multimedia, the way FiberArts is doing, I love their work,btw.

  3. Chithra KarunaKaran

    Alia, thx so much for your responsive turnaround on my request.
    Looking forward to a productive discussion 02/21/12 that moves us all fwd, on behalf of WE the 99%

    WE, the 99% of the World are too BIG to FAIL — the U.S.99% are just beginning to come awake and catch up with those of us who have been struggling internationally against U.S.Govt/corp violence and greed, for so long.

    • Mark [Formerly Nobody Important] Ferguson

      @ethicaldemocracy – what you say is disrespectful. You disregard the life experiences of all others when you ignore them. We have all struggled with the problems in this country and done so for a very long time.

      @alia – What if the divide is to far and the end goals to divergent to ever be reconciled? What do you do then? Force your way on others? Consider what you are doing before you do it when it directly and indirectly impacts others.

      Find common ground.

      • sumumba

        THANK U MARK….many folks see right through these shallow, anti movement and ego-tisical attempts to force ones OWN vision on to that for a entire movement… smdh

        • Mark [Formerly Nobody Important] Ferguson

          This has to be a single vision that everybody can support or it means nothing. I have said before that the V&G group might have to state the intermediate goals instead of the end goals.

          The end goals will never be met unless and until the intermediate goals are met and accomplished.

          It will facilitate consensus because these goals are goals nobody can object to and these are very big goals… a Constitutional Amendment.

  4. Urbaned

    Time for some restorative justice. Another big interpersonal issue here. Try it. It’s our only way forward.

  5. Urbaned

    @ethicaldemocracy I’m sorry, I neglected to include the link: http://visionandgoals.nycga.net/

    That blog is actually a PART of this bigger blog that we are on now. Right now, the pages are: Home, Blueprint, Breakout Sessions, and Minutes. The pages could instead (or in addition) be: Artists, Anarchists, Environmentalists, etc. Each group could discuss their own Vision and Goals on their respective pages. This would allow an ongoing, organic vision, not one vision voted on at a particular place and time.

    I had requested to become an Admin of the group so I could add some pages, but as I’m not local, I could not follow through.

    • Chithra KarunaKaran

      Thx urbaned, I’ve been directly involved in the GA process on V&G since October 1. I prefer listening for a long time before I speak, hope that is OK,

  6. Urbaned

    Holy, crap, as Batman or Robin used to say. These are fantastic writings, Chithra : http://ethicaldemocracy.blogspot.com/ Even the headline “Walmart Invades India” is something OWS should be fully aware of…

    I also presume that you edited the V&G statement unknowing that it had been “consensed?” I edited a few docs here, too, (mostly for grammar) and was very concerned about it. Maybe it’s not the best practice.

    I hope these very negative attacks against you haven’t hurt your feelings. In any event, perhaps you are not presenting your ideas correctly. There is a daily call: Group Call – Share, Listen & Learn
    Tue. Feb 21 – 4:00 PM

    Maybe you should take your experience there and see if they can help. Good luck!

    • sumumba

      Urbaned please do NOT only my word…there are other members in V&G and outside of it who can corroborate all i’ve said…but this woman questions folks ‘blackness’ off her alleged understanding of a quote from Malcolm X…calls others ‘privileged’ or ‘racist’ when she herself admits to being priviledged and uses racism when a white person doesnt agree with her…ask Jack Siler and others…anywho…im DONE…

      • Urbaned

        ok, I understand more now. So, this is another example of people projecting their ideas and visions onto OWS (like Pollard, like the unions, like the Black Bloc) and thinking that they are acceptable. I guess in a system where everyone’s voice is supposed to be heard, everyone is also going to have to listen and self-reflect on their motivations. I call that “spiritual growth.” I have definitely had my moments since OWS started. But, I like growing and recognize that everyone is going to have to do so to really achieve the change we want. OK, I’m done, too!

    • Chithra KarunaKaran

      Thx for the kind remarks about my blog
      I’ve been writing it for 6 years, before OWS began,
      No, “they”, a very few, in our forum have not, as you say “hurt (your) feelings.” ! Not at all.
      We have a long nonviolent struggle ahead in the pursuit of fairness for the 99% here in the U.S. and joining others in the world who have been struggling for a very very long time, against greed and violence by Washington&Wall. I am encouraged in my optimism by comments I get everyday from Egyptians ans well as from folks living in Portland, OR or Santa Rosa, CA. We are all connected even as we are divergent.
      I appreciate your interest.

    • Chithra KarunaKaran

      Yes I am aware of the Share Listen & learn which is an excellent way to connect and express.
      In this proposal (see above) I’m looking fwd to join GA in a discuss on how WGs, whether V&G or T&A or any other WG can best foster divergence of worldview and life experience.
      Being a sociologist who has been directly involved in street protest since Vietnam, I am interested in social structure. That is what the WG is, no matter which one — social structure.

  7. sumumba

    well from spiritual standpoint the TRUTH always comes out…im NOT trying to ‘disparage’ her or anyone on a PERSONAL level..its just the ideas and SPIRIT in which folks carry themselves…the thing that makes this curious is if u dont agree u r a black…u NOT ‘black’ enough but if u r white u r ‘racist’ or ‘priviledged’

  8. Urbaned

    hmmm…..sounds like hypocrisy. From my experience, there are certain types of personalities who do not have the ability to look within….G*d, I hate hypocrisy. I guess the karma on these boards is the overwhelming negative rating and feedback someone will experience when exhibiting these traits. In a socially painful way, it’s a form of consensus.

  9. Chithra KarunaKaran

    Hello Alia and All,
    I’m somewhat optimistic that we can look together at how workgroups, whether V&G or T& A, can best foster our valuable Divergence in order to move towards Fairness in a new world community.
    Fairness is what we are striving for, to move access and resources from the 1% to the 99%.
    Looking fwd.

  10. Michael Korn

    Hi all,

    Mr. Day Late & An Idea Short,

    Since I’m now running to make this GA, I’ll try to be brief. Here’s the deal from my perspective: I’m a member of the V&G WG. That might taint me for that very reason. You may assume I’m wedded to this document and am against all change. The truth is that we have been working on this document for 4 months now, taking feedback, trying our damndest to remain transparent and open. We aren’t perfect but we are not the devil incarnate either. If we are guilty of anything that would probably be in attempting to put a document together that could appeal to the rest of the nation. We need one vision statement that can bring in the 99% and yet appeal enough to the various factions that make up OWS to move us forward. It’s a highwire act! Now Chithra’s method of “let a thousand flowers bloom”, on the face of it, looks appealing. However, could someone please explain to me how we can ever have even the semblance of a cohesive document when, as Chithra would have it, there would be an anarchist vision, environmentalist, artist, etc. Well what about all the rest; such as a kill the 1% now document, or the dozens of other “vision” that could be touted. This is sheer madness, IMHO. There are great ideas that we COULD be working on IF we could find a “middle of the road” approach that would bring all sides into this. And today’s woid of the day (as Groucho Marx would put it ) is: COMPROMISE! Talk to ya’ later!

  11. sumumba

    compromise? ummmmm NO the proposer of this has chosen to run ROUGHSHOD over the process of hundreds of hours of work and feedback for all the reasons i listed above…this is a blantant attempt at ANTI-MOVEMENT BUILDING..AND we need to discuss it as such

  12. sumumba

    this sets a HORRIBLE precedent for someone to just come into a WG try to take it over, alter documents, falsely represent one’s self as a member of group and then threaten the members…not to mention the setting up of a phantom ‘working and google’ group under the same name….

  13. Chithra KarunaKaran

    First thanks for the revision history update of my proposal. It was presented.
    The challenges of 1) Process 2) Content 3) Group dynamics, that I analyzed in my Proposal are being immediately attacked by a few V&G post-ers who have membership in ONE of the two (A&T is the other WG) groups that I identified for comparison in my above proposal.
    That IS the strategy that I noted in my proposal! [Circle the wagons. Demonize the messenger, reject the message, exclude the messenger and the content]. These are exactly the counterproductive strategies used by a few members in some groups to prevent divergence, openness, transparency, fairness, creativity, even affiliation. This is regrettable.

    Note: We have approx 109 WGs in nycGA. So WGs are extremely critical to the forward movement of OWSnyc.

    Anyone visiting many of these groups online (I visit about 9) and/or on the ground will immediately gather that the problems are at the very least, 3-fold as i have described above. This is very typical of social structure in general.
    Being a post-colonial field sociologist with an earned doctorate from Columbia University, I am putting forth the state of current knowledge on group structure membership. People here can challenge with their facts, not merely with their toxic barrage as is happening here!
    Of course people here are free to consider my analysis — or reject such research to reaffirm their perceived WG interests. Kinda like the corporate folks upstairs in 60Wall!

    ***Another point I want to state about group structure is that such structures, [in our case WGs, Working Groups], are an [institutional mechanism] employed by the GA to further project-related actions to advance the overall objectives of the OWS.
    Therefore the WG structure itself is *independent* of the members themselves. What I have found is that V&G excludes members who diverge from their project. But my contention is that several projects can flourish in the same WG, without hindrance from some members. This is explicitly NOT being allowed to happen. They (a few) claim the WG + their project when in fact they own only their project, NOT the WG in which they have membership. At the moment this is a major problem, because no other projects can be brought forward in the V&G WG. This is what I have called internal blocking.

  14. Michael Korn

    Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! – If I did not make myself clear, let me try to do that now. The COMPROMISE that I’m referring to is from the different factions involved in crafting the vision statement. Chithra’s proposal has absolutely no credibility as was blatantly shown last Tuesday night when she presented her proposal. It was incoherent, bumbling and went absolutely nowhere! After 10 minutes of pure blather she slunk off -stage left- with absolutely nothing accomplished or illuminating. So let’s keep going with our “piecemeal” procedure to get the vision statement passed and fear not from Chithra, she’s all hot air. That’s not to say she doesn’t have charm. As a human being, I like her,(Kisses to Chithra) but her politics sucks. Cheers!

  15. Chithra KarunaKaran

    your comments reflect exactly the points I made in my proposal about process, content and group dynamics — namely
    that a very few members of the V&G do practice exclusion of any projects or even suggestion that do not converge with their own restrictive approach.
    I think this is an unproductive outcome and it does not speak well of how WGc can contribute to the movement.