Feb 5 meeting at the LGBT center
9 members with 2 arriving during the meeting
–press release about why we’re meeting at the Center
–discussion about the HRC/Goldman action last night
–proposal for an endorsement about the Robin Hood Tax
–proposed Christopher St. police station
–City Council and Rudin development plan
–transphobia within OWS
–to move all the caucus meetings back to 60 Wall St.
–that the caucus needs to be more diverse with more women and people of color
–to endorse financial transaction tax demand
–that the group should issue a mea culpa or apology to the OWS movement
–We started with Bradley Manning while waiting for group members to arrive
–We went over the case against Manning. OWS sent a bus down to NC for the first phase of his trial. As of this point, no LGBT org has spoken up in support of Bradley Manning.
–At this point, 2 more members arrived and we reached CONSENSUS to move our meetings back down to 60 Wall St. Members want to make other meetings, and meals are still being served downtown making it hard for people who still go downtown to get uptown. One person emphasized that we will still need to do outreach within the queer community. The question of how we create a safe space for cisgendered women came up.
–Someone asks if the group has principles of solidarity? No, but we should.
–An argument over Caucus membership ensues. B- thinks the Caucus is being taken over by white males and people with jobs and apartments. B- says that even though this meeting has people of color, the meetings are usually all white.
–B- is boycotting the Queer Caucus and wants to “overthrow” it. B- starts yelling at multiple people, and C- responds by yelling and leaving the meeting.
–B- feels like the group should be focused on winning back or helping former occupiers who’ve left Zuccotti and the OWS movement.
–When pushed for a proposal, B- doesn’t have any.
–D- proposes that the caucus vote on whether the group needs more diversity. CONSENSUS is reached that the group needs more women and people of color.
–We try to discuss the action on Sat night. B- boycotted the action and reiterates that he doesn’t think the group should be planning actions.
–Someone brings up that we should set safety as our first mission. “Should we set up a new caucus?” D- suggests establishing priorities and a mission statement. B- wants the group to issue a formal apology and admit that we have problems with diversity. Maybe we can write the statement down and hand it out to people.
–B- admits to discouraging people outside the group from going to the Sat action and from attending meetings. One person brings up that that’s self-defeating. A- and B- get into a heated argument. It’s noted that B- feels sexually violated by A-, that A- feels bullied by B-, and that B- feels that A-’s comments or tone were homo- and trans-phobic.
–J- passes out his proposal for a financial transaction tax, commonly called the Robin Hood tax. He’s looking for an endorsement from the group so he can take the proposal to the demands working group. After it’s brought to demands, a teach-in will follow.
–The Robin Hood tax is supported by many countries in Europe. This would be the first time the people have taxed the banking sector. CONSENSUS that the group endorses the demand for a financial transaction tax.
–Do we need a subcommittee on diversity in the group? Should we consider creating a Big Brother/Big Sister group for LGBT occupiers?
–B- thinks that we let queer occupiers down. A- says that we need verifiable cases of abuse taking place in order to address them. E- asks how we help people since we’re not professional social workers/counselors.
–E- mentions that the Baltimore Queer Caucus is primarily concerned with queer occupiers and their safety and then it thinks about the larger world
–Members ask whether the group should have more of a presence at Spokescouncil and the GA. B- is ignored by minutes takers at GA and Spokes.
–Can we be doing 2 things at once—planning actions while creating safer spaces principles? Someone suggests that we should announce rules that group members must abide by at the top of every meeting so that a hostile or homophobic or transphobic environment isn’t created.
–Some members think there were transphobic comments during the meeting. How do we deal with homo and transphobia inside the group?
–B- feels like he’s in a corporate movement rather than a revolutionary political one.
Agenda for Wednesday
–Drafting principles of solidarity and unity
–Work towards assisting current and former OWS queer members