Proposal to fund #OccupyAIPAC delegation

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Proposal from Legal to fund #OccupyAIPAC delegation:

The Activist Legal Working Group is sending small delegation to Occupy AIPAC in Washington D.C. March 2 – 5.
Schedule: http://www.occupyaipac.org/summit/schedule2012/

They will participate, organize and tweet series of events and direct action.

They are going to fund their own food and lodging/hotel.
Activist Legal Working Group is asking the Spokes Council to support this group financially and help them with travel expanses in amount of $200.

In Solidarity
OWS-ALWG

24 Responses to “Proposal to fund #OccupyAIPAC delegation”

  1. Pete Bullwinkel

    AIPAC personifies the corruption in Washington, and their power exceeds that of any corporate lobby because of their deep pockets and willingness to have their media cohorts denounce anyone who cares about the Palestinian people as a racist, and Americans need to be made aware of their corrupti influence and the damage it does to our country’s interests.

    The current legal status of AIPAC is a charity instead of a foreign lobby (loophole to avoid paying taxes, no other foreign lobby has such a classification) – this corrupt fact needs attention drawn to it and there are plenty of great sign ideas showcasing the fine “charity” work done by AIPAC.

  2. Tom Gillis

    I understand that this proposal reached consensus at the GA tonight, with an amendment to be self-funded. But Facilitation tried to end the GA in the middle of the discussion. Can somebody who was there give some more info on what happened?

    • Yoni Miller

      Christina and Mark were facilitators. Christina stepped down,according to her she stepped down due to threats of violence. Mark said the Facilitation team can end a GA, so he officially called it over.

      I as a facilitator disagree with that, and do not think they have power to end GA, they can individually step down, as both did. Marissa came with POI, saying back in August, they consented to that…but if it’s not in writing, and we don’t like that procedure, than we can reject it, since we never accepted it either.

      We continued GA in park, and I think in 60 wall street, it wouldn’t have escalated if the fac. team didn’t state things in fact of manner tone, rather than asking GA. I do NOT think it was power grab, as Mark was facilitating for first time, as far as I know. I just think he was wrong,

      let’s write down the procedure and consent on it!! :)

      • Aaron

        I want to echo Yoni and offer some more detail and my perspective. I think Facilitation stepped down out of genuine and perfectly understandable concerns, and that they did so with the absolute best interests of the GA in mind. They did a wonderful job facilitating, and I think all participants would have been okay to move ahead with their decision had it been presented in a slightly different context. As I saw it, the serious problem came from some underlying misunderstandings between a couple of groups of participants.

        I wasn’t aware of a previous consensus that Facilitation can end GA if they feel the atmosphere is unproductive. This rule would make some sense. However, what if it were 8pm, rather than 930, and we weren’t facing the closure of the space? I have seen in the past Facilitation step down at, say, 8pm, and another Facilitator step up. It’s perfectly reasonable to assert that this was a different type of situation, but I don’t think we had an actual conversation about that. And that’s the real problem.

        I think there needs to be room in the process for explaining the previously agreed process in corner-case situations — sort of like how judges are encouraged to cite their precedent when issuing decisions — and possibly opening that aspect of the process up to consensus again, or at the very least discussion.

        What seemed to rub people the wrong way last night was that the effect of this previous consensus was _asserted_, rather than explained or discussed, and that this assertion was delivered, by people who were not on that evening’s facilitation team, in a manner that resembled an argument from Authority, or at least Seniority. This is a very, very dangerous approach, one with consequences at least as severe as the hierarchies we fear developing due to the introduction of massive amounts of money resources.

        Because I’ve observed their commitment and dedication to this assembly and the movement, I fully believe that the people who offered their argument about the power of Facilitation to end GA did so out of the absolute best intentions of respect for the process and the consensus of the GA. But I completely understand why a group of people might react with concern at seeing that sort of tool deployed, and I can see how, without the space to open concerns like these up to discussion, we would get the shouting match that happened last night.

        To put a finer point on things: It will _never_ be okay to assert that something is the way it is “because that’s how it’s been done since August”. If we’re going to continue to grow, we absolutely have to find a way to keep every aspect of the discussion ongoing, so as to include people who arrived that very minute, let alone people who arrived in September, October, etc.

        I am deeply impressed and inspired by the resilience of the GA last night: a new Facilitation team, with support from Minutes, stepped up and took the GA to the park, and had the participation of nearly every single person who was present in Liberty Plaza. I think that resilience speaks volumes about how it is in the DNA of this movement to deprecate any medium of exchange, such as money or status, that runs counter to the expression of democratic will. We are in good hands when we put our faith in each other.

        • Justin Samuels

          I’m going to say one thing about those who say they were there in August. Its a moot point. There are occupiers who are ages 40s and above who have been doing activism before some of the ones in August were even born. Being in Occupy in August gives you no seniority at all……………..

          • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

            F*** seniority. If a 17 yo kid shows up to Orientation tomorrow with a good idea, it’s xstill a good idea.

          • Justin Samuels

            @DirekConek Indeed, Dallas. A good idea is a good idea regardless of how new a member is or what the occupiers age is. Fuck seniority!

      • Sean McKeown

        Say what you will of the Occupation predating September 17th, but a rule consented to before the Occupation is not a rule that anyone knows about or anyone follows. So now that the group has widened so much, perhaps all of these previous things that people have been operating under should be brought out and discussed… last night’s GA fell to pieces because people disagreed strongly on what seemed to the facilitators to be a matter of course not to be argued with, when the facts the facilitators were presenting forward were no more than personal opinions (and worse yet, ones we’ve contradicted with recent precedent).

        • Justin Samuels

          People have been attempting to use arcane OWS rules (such as the alleged will of OWS predating Sept. 17) to stifle new developments. Last night crushed that.

      • Justin Samuels

        As activists, we are here to fight for what’s right. Not to get mired down in ridiculous rules. So basically, screw the process! Particularly if the process interferes with activism.

  3. DirekConek (aka Dallas)

    Still could have just passed the hat in the first place :D

    But a lot of discussions we needed to have anyway were sparked, so I’m not really complaining.

    • Sean McKeown

      We need to have a better outlet for emotions and tensions, though, than the GA. This grievance process thing cannot come fast enough. ;)

    • Justin Samuels

      Indeed. The system we’re protesting against is actually flexible. Laws, rules, and regulations can be, and have been changed. The US constitution has been changed.

      Its utterly ridiculous to say that OWS rules were set in stone since August. That is a far more repressive society than the one we’re fighting against. What happened last night needed to happen, it was the best GA I have been to. Revolution!!!

    • Tom Gillis

      Yeah, it’s weird how more than once I’ve seen OWS take a stance on something that’s way less flexible than say, the US Government. Like “there will be no gray area when the policy is applied, so no appeals process is necessary.” or “if we exclude somebody from a meeting, we don’t have to feed them either.”

      And if Facilitation is going to cite some guideline they made in August as a “rule” that stuff really needs to be written down and made available in public. In August, the whole of OWS was like 20 people.

  4. Tom Gillis

    From reading the livetweets of the event, things sounded worse than what appears to have happened.

    I was also a little concerned that since this was an attempt to shut down a potentially controversial topic (criticism of Israeli policy) since criticisms of Israel / AIPAC are often shut down w/ disingenuous “this is too controversial” tactics. FWIW the proposers seemed to feel that they were being censored.

    Anyway, glad to hear that people feel like this sparked constructive conversations, and that the debate stayed on the topic of right-wing militarism and political corruption, and did’t get derailed by the kinds of strawman arguments that AIPAC throws out to defend itself in the mainstream media.

    • DirekConek (aka Dallas)

      Yes! @yoni2b thank you especially for standing aside rather than blocking. I imagine that may not have been an easy decision to make as a Zionist.

      • Yoni Miller

        It indeed is interesting, having grown up and knowing many of these IDF members, and right wing militaristic AIPAC members. Nonetheless, I think this was an excellent example of where a Stand-aside is appropriate, and necessary, since it lets me redeem my full personal conscience, while recognizing the differences or constraints of the movement.

  5. CarrieM213

    My two cents from covering the meeting for live tweets, and as a member of the Facilitation working group, and someone who goes to almost every GA:

    Facilitation’s job is not to lead a meeting. It is to facilitate discussions and the movement through the consensus process. They need to be responsive to what the community wants to do at any given time. I think Thursday’s blow-up could have been solved quite easily. Facilitation should have just called for a temp check on moving to the park to continue the discussion! That is what we have usually been doing when we are getting kicked out of 60 Wall and are in the middle of a proposal. It was quite clear that most people attending the GA were very eager to keep discussing the Occupy AIPAC proposal. But Facilitation (and not just the people actually facilitating that night, but for some reason other members of the Faciliation working group, as well) unilaterally decided GA was over. THAT IS NOT HOW OCCUPY WALL STREET WORKS.

    Facilitation felt uncomfortable dealing with this proposal and coming from that place, they decided they had the power to call off the whole GA. And that is not how we have been operating. And yes, when the original facilitators stepped down, it was perfectly okay and legitimate for others to step up, which two other experienced members of the Facilitation working group did.

    The issue is that people and working groups all need to remember we are a community, and we do what the community decides, not what a few want to do.