To Begin Spokes Council Meetings With a Commitment to Collectively Confront Aggressive or Disruptive Violations of Our Community Agreements by Remaining Absolutely Silent

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To Begin Spokes Council Meetings With a Commitment to Collectively Confront Aggressive or Disruptive Violations of Our Community Agreements by Remaining Absolutely Silent

(once the facilitation team has requested the perpetrator to leave)

Feeling an urgent need to address the impact of violence and disruptions rendering our Spokes Councils dysfunctional, the Facilitation Working Group discussed several optional strategies for deescalating situations and restoring our process.  Although we haven’t considered all possible options, we were disinclined to agree upon the use of any physical/bodily or verbal actions such as:  encircling the offender, locking arms, or directly addressing them.  It is our understanding that any such actions on the part of the assembly would only result in further fueling the disruption.  On March 13th, the Facilitation Working Group consented on proposing to the Spokes Council that we begin every meeting of the OWS Spokes Council, with all those assembled, agreeing to use absolute silence to collectively confront aggressive to disruptive violations of our Community Agreements.  (This may not work, in which case, we would welcome trying other strategies.)
To be presented at the Spokes Council on March 14th.
Working Group:  Facilitation

8 Responses to “To Begin Spokes Council Meetings With a Commitment to Collectively Confront Aggressive or Disruptive Violations of Our Community Agreements by Remaining Absolutely Silent”

  1. DirekConek (aka Dallas)

    I was pretty much joking the first couple of times I said this, but it is starting to seem like a good idea:

    Anyone ever seen the old Jean-Claude Van Damme flick Bloodsport? Remember when Bobo Yeung kills that one dude and the whole arena goes silent? One guy then strikes a gong as a signal, and everyone *turns their back* on Bolo rather than react in shock or lash out at him.

  2. Owen

    I certainly hope this is enacted. Something must be done. kudos to Dallas

  3. Justin Samuels

    Sometimes hostile people and hostile situations can be diffused if someone is WILLING to LISTEN to the angry person. Ignoring them may backfire and lead to more violence.

    I think OWS is going to have to confront the entire way it does business, or else will always have spokes and GA disrupted by violence.

    I am in no way condoning the behavior or drunk or high people, but I’ve seen so called faciliators arrogantly yell out this is the process or the law to cut someone off. Even a sane, sober person wouldn’t appreciate that and depending on how its done, you’d have an angry person on your hand.

    The other thing is, legislation by its nature its back and forth. Occupy has recreated the Congress, with no Executive or Legislative branch to checks its power. Occupy may need to seriously consider whether a horizontal movement can work long term.

  4. Trish OWS

    A tool to attempt to control: to silent, discredit, or disparge….

    We are the 99% (Collective).

    In reality, a proposal to practice “shunning” within the Occupy movement.

    Definition: Shun= to keep away from (a person, etc.), from motives…

    of dislike, etc. (We have documented instances of individuals attempting to

    instruct others to use this tool within GA meetings, for the last couple of


    Other definitions associated with a “Shunning” proposal:

    _Blackball _Ostracisre _Despise _Cast out

    _Disdain _Stay clear of… _Scorn

    The power of the people will never be defeated…

  5. David M Lichtman

    As a result of last Wednesday’s (3/14) Spokes Discussion, I will present the following amendment to the above Proposal, that:
    At the discretion of the Facilitating Team, space could me created for 10 minutes, interrupting the regular process, allotting the person who has caused the disruption, the opportunity to have his/her concern heard by the assembly. If, after being heard the person continues with their disruptive speech or actions, the Facilitating Team must request the person to leave the Spokes Council and if they don’t leave, complete silence by the entire Spokes Council will be activated.

  6. Lopi

    I don’t think this will work. It just basically yields the floor to them, giving them all the verbal space to talk on and on.
    What we ought to do is find a chant that we can do that makes sense. Like “this is a peaceful donut” that should do the trick.