Fem GA planning mtg minutes 5/11/12

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Feminist GA Planning Meeting

Friday, May 11, 2012

Washington Square Park


Participants:  Judith, Dior, Alix, Marie, Simran, Mical, Janet and Deborah and her son Isaac from Wisconsin Occupy.  Natalie joined later and Mel came at 7.

Simran facilitated. Janet took notes (by hand)

Report backs:

*Alix reported that Lawyers Guild sent out an email to their list to get volunteers to be observers. Four phone contacts were requested so that the four Lawyers Guild volunteers could identify themselves and be in touch with the coordinators.

Marie, Alix and Judith gave of to use their numbers.

The possibility of wearing something to identify coordinators came up several times, but was not accepted.

*Safer Spaces, as reported by Lisa by email, had not yet responded to her three contact attempts.

Safer Spaces coordination with the May 17 event needs to be clarified for the group.

Is Angela the contact person?
Is she coming to the Monday night meeting?

*There will be child care provided by men from the OWS Circle (name?)  The specific place for this was briefly discussed, without any decisions.  The large number of playgrounds in the park were pointed out by Alix.

*Clarification of next meetings. WOW Caucus is meeting Sunday night.  The next (and last) planning meeting is for facilitators on Monday night at John Jay College.

*To speak with the media, Judith suggested we have talking points that are brief and clear, and that we all should use them.  Judith volunteered to write a succinct and small list of things we will say. We want to demonstrate that we are clear on what we are saying, to push back against mainstream media portrayal of Occupy as not knowing what we are about.

Dior and Melanie will be the contacts listed in the Press Release which will go out closer to the event. The question of who the list will go to was raised.

Also a list will be made for people who are willing to speak with the press. It was proposed that Dior and Melanie could be the ones to keep this list.

*Using MIC CHECK was re-confirmed.  Simran said the times on the agenda had taken MIC CHECK into account.

We agreed that a limit to the size of break out groups was important so that we could hear each other and also so that mic check would be unnecessary.

Remembering that 20 was the legal maximum number for gathering, we agreed we would aim for 15.

All of the groups will use the same questions that are written out on the Agenda.

Micah asked how people would know the questions—would we use a write-up on paper? Simran said there had been one of those for the Spring Awakening that reviewed the whole day.  Mical said she would write one up.  But, after discussion, we agreed to do without more paper.

Marie brought up the suggestion again of wearing sashes or some thing or article to identify the facilitators.  Someone asked about T-shirts from the silk screening printmakers.  Micah (?) had followed up but they are too busy now.

Simran said we should not require anyone to wear anything special.

We also need to have enough facilitators.  We expect 8-10 facilitators through the WOW planning group.

Simran agreed to take on follow up with the Facilitation WG to get 15 more facilitators. She would invite specific people in the hope of getting 10.  That would cover the concern Micah raised about whether we should have a facilitator training.

Judith suggested additional roaming facilitators if we have enough.

*Further logistical question of having a banner. Judith and Mical agreed to make one on a sheet using waterproof acrylic paint.

We agreed it would say “Feminist General Assembly”(first would be excluded so we could use the banner again)  and second line “Women Occupying Wall Street.”  We thought it could have contact info in very small letters, possibly.

* Mic check and agenda timing was revisited.   Megaphones are not allowed, so we do need mic check in the whole group assembly.  Judith pointed out that most of the time would be in small groups without mic check.

Alix—we have to be adamant to talk about the next Feminist GA. We have to get that in before people drift off.

Simran proposed giving three specific choices like in one month, two months, etc., then taking a temperature check from the assembly.

How to get people’s emails ? Should we pass out something that they fill in? We could pass around a sheet in the break out groups.

Micah pointed out that people might be reluctant to sign on. People could check and sign up on line (?)

It would be hard to get together paper and pens and then gather them back.  It was generally seemed simpler not to do that.

*Next  meeting for Feminist GA is for facilitators 7pm on Monday at John Jay.

*FINALLY AND IMPORTANTLY, after sitting and feeling out the space, we agreed that the facilitators would (stand?) on the stone benches located between the arch and the fountain.

We had mixed views about whether front should be facing the arches or facing the fountain.

We left the decision for when we arrive at the park on Thursday night. The decision will be based on the vendors and other activities that might be already there.

*Coordinators will meet at 6pm at the arch on Thursday before the event.

The ILLUMINATOR will project onto the arch. Micah took the list of suggested slogans and will contact the Illuminators.

*Alix’s composer drummer friend Danny would like to participate. Lorena should be contacted and asked.

*Lastly, it was decided that weather decision would be decided by NOON.  If the event is postponed until the next night, then at noon a message will be posted on Facebook and email to listserve will be sent out.

Judith will make the decision on whether to postpone.

Simran will send the email the group.

(Dior–will you do the facebook post?)

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