10/9 Meeting Minutes

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Start time: 3:15; Closing time 4:06pm. 

I. Recap from Previous Week:

Last Thursday’s meting has about 15-20 participants. There discussed whether or not this group would be open to all people or People of Color (“POC”). Decided this group would be open al POC, then got into committees.

  • This is really nice that this is open to POC…safe space.
  • Point of Information: This is group only open to people who are POC.

II.    Recap Continued:

Re: Washington Square Park General Assembly (“GA”) Meeting:


  • Sonny M.-    Found out about meeting last minute. Arrived there and surprised to see other working groups. Not asked to speak. Thousands were there. Felt excluded and marginalized. During open forum made announcement about group and was interrupted. Facilitator intervened and asked people to check privilege. Question: How do we make sure our voices are no longer marginalized.
  • Melissa: Trying to figure out how exclusion happened: moment of confusion or lack of process? Reflects why we have to fight to make sure we are heard and concerns are central.
  • Lilly: Same concerns, POC not only group excluded from forms of communication. Groups are not sharing responsibility to recognizing limits. Need only website so we do not have to depend on others.
  • Point of Information: The media group is currently working on Wiki pages for each working group. We should make sure we are in control of what is going on ours.
  • Unidentified Speaker: Thanks everyone. We have to depend on ourselves. That’s why OWS exist right now self-sufficiency. Not relying on outside group…working in conjunction. Prioritize this working group.

III. Back-Out Committees Report Back:

  • Education: Thursday: Anti-racist training at OWS. Supposed to have a meeting at 2pm, but no one came. *Sign-up Sheet for education group.
  • Social Media: Liz- *Request for Assistance: creating a document of wealth and inequality in American to share in OWL journal need help with designing
  • Under outreach– finding ways to include POC in this movement.  Go out into communities, get a space to work together on this movement.
  • Press/Media Relations: Interviewed with media outlets including NPR, Black Media, Alternet, and more press inquiries. Working with Occupy the Hood-also getting press coverage. When our issues are addressed the whole 99% would get there issues addressed.
  • Language Access: In process of trying to translate journal into Spanish and every language to reach out to communities that need it.  *Request for assistance: If you are bilingual with any other language than Spanish, volunteer.
  • Labor: Creating labor subcommittee to join a lot of work with labor. They reached out. Last week, we marched and tons of people from labor and unions. But were missing members. Members are POC. We have to organize this movement. It is for us. *Request for assistance: Please join us.
  • Childcare: *Request for assistance: Looking for help. Researched no basic childcare through OWS. Some groups are working on it. Concerns: Number of people, safety. Connecting with people working on it. If interested, contact Andrew.
  • If interested talk to point people.

IV. Additional Comments:

Addressing concerns, working on getting a separate space for meeting; doing outreach, need to do in open forum as to not exclude people of color.

  • Issue: Whether we should be a “working group” or a “caucus”?
  • Update: Officially, working group gives voice in the GA of OWS. Caucus voices are not heard. We are here to be heard. We are officially recognized.
  • Comment: Part of original NYCers Against Budget Cuts where GA got there inspiration. GA is people who are activist, artists and more. 70% responsible for starting movement as part of original group. This is a big missing part of group. This is what can complete this process. I am proud.

V.    Finished Agenda.

VI.    General Comment Period:
Speaker 1) Recommendation: Create a sign that specifically says: “for People of Color.”
Speaker 2) Group should be welcoming to Caucasians. Believes we can all build and grow to make a revolution. Starts by POC welcoming everyone as long as they are not trying to discriminate.
Speaker 3) October 22 Coalition interested in starting sub-committee to spread word on police brutality. Contact Liz.
Speaker 4) Connect: Contact Jorge, if you live in Harlem: 646-303-4279.
Speaker 5) Twitter: @blogdiva. Proposal: A twitter list curated under @culturalkitchen.
Speaker 6) Bob Lee: Proposal- form a subcommittee that will express POC of view with metaphors, and strong artwork. Vote→ consensus: Created and “Arts and Cultural subcommittee.”
Speaker 7) Minister Rose: offered services as a chaplin and wants to be available for group.
Speaker 8) Re: Working Group v. Caucus- do both. Leadership of OWS is 95% white, proposes first step for subcommittee to figure out how we get out people in leadership of movement. Proposal- find strategy for doing that.
Speaker 9) Kevin Powell- offers services to help. Opportunity to create a model. Sit and demand we are equal in moving forward.
Speaker 10) Responds: We are a leaderless movement, must be self-sufficient and create own media center.
Speaker 11) Spanish translation paper is complete. Announcement- Thursday at 7pm in Brooklyn on Atlantic Avenue there will be a meeting for people who live in Brooklyn.  Additional comments: Let’s create a working group from the start to focus on the Prison Industrial Complex, gentrification, deportations. Make those issues a priority and put on official statement.

One Response to “10/9 Meeting Minutes”

  1. Arkansas Elder

    This is not to disagree with the POC only decision. It is just a caution to apply that policy gently. I was at a meeting of a Latino student group when a blonde haired, blue-eyed “white boy” came walking in. As I was in a strong nationalist phase at that point, I immediately and loudly interrupted the meeting to demand that the “white boy” leave. To my chagrin, he turned out to be a Puerto Rican brother, as Hispanic as I was, whatever the apparent color of his skin.