FWG Meeting Minutes – 1/31/12 – 4pm @ 60 Wall St.

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Agenda items-





Trish- agenda items



Zach- proposal def of operational “class war”

Brian Frank Nysheva Starr


nicole carty- appriciation week


Daniel- tonight+ agenda training

A few other things

Vision statement

Minutes feeling unappreciated


Spokes Debrief

Tonights GA (And trish proposal)

Appreciation week

10 minutes for each


Lisa- Ok meeting on the whole.

Challenging areas

–       people not there who bring a proposal (continuing to honor the work)

–       Straw poll input on structure proposal

–       Request to do emergency proposal was problematic (from Heywood)

-proposal wasn’t exactly clear

-suggestion to have group work out the kinks of the proposal

-proposal got  very complicated and was ultimately unresolved

– trying to deal with an emotion from a policy level

-people were upset about putting an emergency back on the agenda. It didn’t feel good anyway.

– Clarification of proposal

Brett- is there anything within that discussion that we can take away?

Lisa- clarification is needed for emergency proposals

Christina- do we know whose brining it back tonight

Lisa- things were very connected to this person and were acting on that emotion

– We started a process on participatory finance. We should make sure that facilitation puts this and continues this on the agenda.

Nicole-what had happenend with community agreements?

Brett- safer spaces is working with translation because language was inaccessible and that is in the works.

Lisa- I got really tired. And stepped out. And that should be ok.

Brett- as of our meeting of Saturday we only set coordinators through tonight.

Trish- the agenda issue with bail and what to do in spokes are recurring. We have to decide who gets bail and who doesn’t get bail.


Christina-we’re facilitating tonight and we met to do some prep about the approach.

Daniel- One thing we would like to ask for is support. There is a proposal that is likely to be a lightning rod for disturbances. We are going to keep preparing after this.

Brett- I’d like to connect what Daniel said to what Lisa said. Should they be exhausted there should be someone that they trust to step in for them.

Daniel- also we need to flesh out the team a little bit, who will be there. Is anyone willing to take time? (David volunteers) great! So we have a team.

Trish- If there is an item to ban an individual is is this general assembly item legitimate? Because the occupiers are aware that an individial had received a check to start this specific general assembly.

Brett- if what’s a working group.

Christina- I think I hear what you’re saying. This is not in relation to the alternate ga

Trish- we need some clarification of is this the new york city general assembly, or is this the liberty square general assembly?

Brett- they submitted it  by normal means

Trish- The first problem that would happen tonight. If this is for the Liberty square general assembly or if it is the New York city general assembly

Marissa: what they’re trying to say is that the NYC GA has been meeting at Liberty Square.

Brett: we brought this up to the proposer .

Trish- ok. So we’ll have to  deal with this tonight. Is this coming from a working group? Or from who?

Brett: these are issues that are going to come up tonight.

Zach: reading the proposal this right now it really only comes up in one specific place

Nysheva- let’s get to the actual connection between the fact that they’re facilitationg tonight

Lisa: what I’m hearing you say is that someone is going to challenge the legitimacy of the proposal based on the wording. This could be a strategy to not have the conversation. This is a language issue.

Trish: We’re taking an important position and what we’re  trying to do there is a technicality that is incorrect.

Christina: as a facilitator I’ve heard you and written it down.

Daniel: what is the most appropriate way to deal with. Preconceiving the difficult things in this GA. Is there any advice.

Jean: Descalation to be there!

Zach : I will personally see to that

Nysheva- I didn’t look at the proposal and I think as facilitators without taking any sides. It’s important to point out if that the GA is for everyone. I think it’s important that the GA is for everyone. That we have a responsibility to hear everyone. They whole idea of inclusion does not mean excluding someone, even though they may be hard to deal with.

Marissa: I actually think that saying that would be extremely bias and that to include everyone we have to exclude some people.

Daniel :also probably shouldn’t say that.

Lisa. Its important to.

Acknoledge the seriousness


Balanced inputs

Don’t take a position on this but to recognize that this decision has precident.

I think those would be some things that I would talk about

Brett- I’m gonna close stack


I got  (lists stack)

Christina- if people want to come talk to us after is that what went up was a draft and I think its gonna be more simplified. It’s a huge action, but none of the actions steps have been layed out. Friendly amendments are going to craft this. I’ve never crafted a proposal with everyone in an assembly. If anyone has thoughts…etc.

Alia- Saturday there was a whole bunch of disruption from all kind of people. There was an attempt to …..the facilitatior. What strikes me is that there is no agreed upon group response to disruption. Just for the evening. Not as a policy, just as for the evening.

Jean: when it comes to facilitation, being very clear in explaining everything. If it goes to modified consensus. Whatever happens announce it loudly and clearly. Some people may ask to repeat the count. Be clear.

Lady: actually o Saturday a similar proposal came to the GA because I was uncomfortable facilitating that process. If you become uncomfortable step back. If we’re setting precedent it could eave to OWS being dismembered.

Al: I was at the meeting last night. A whole bunch of time was spent on a disruptor and it seemed as if it was handled in a decent way. As far as the guy what was in jail…

Brett: we’re trying to give advice to the team for tonight on the disruption

Al: well as far as that’s concerned it should only be for violence, secual harassment or stealing. Whatelse would you kick someone else for.

Trish: I don’t think you’re going to get to the context of this agenda. We din’t know what an outside general assembly process is besides to ask for money. This propsal needs to be rewritten. That’s my. Because this is written by.

Nicole: I’ve noticed that …. Having FWG take an appreciation week toprovide rest from feeling stressed out or burnt out. Taking a week, maybe during the 2nd week of Feb. and step back from Facilitating GAs and Spokes for a week. I think we all need a little bit of time.

Brett: Temp check; How are ppl feeling? Mixed. Seven min?

Marisa: Sure

David: Note from SC last night to appreciate each other. Took note of this nice gesture. Good idea to have SC and GA with no proposals, only emergencies that come up. Facilitate other things, other than proposals.

Nysheva: I have to leave. Can someone take stack? I just read this (proposal) and I’m deeply disturbed by this. I don’t think this has merit and I want to remind the group of the role of facilitation and to help open up the conversations that are needed in the community.

Brett: I want to acknowledge that and we’ve had a few conversations about how to work with these issues when they arise.

Christina: Stack

Marsha: Would it help to bring in new ppl to help facilitate.

Nicole: It seems more of a matter of ppl being burnt out and too familiar with one another and not listening or hearing one another.

Marsha: So everyone needs  a break?

Nicole: yes, we all need a break. Jusat for a week.

Marsha: It has been very tense lately. Meditation before mtgs…

Brett: Closing stack

Daniel: I like this idea. A week might be unpalatable to some. A weekend might help with a dance party. A lot of merit. Do it before we get to the spring. Just as important…taking care of yourself. Would love to help with this.

Lady: I think it’s important not to sweep things that are pertinent under the rug. Facilitation seems to have an impact throughout the movement. Also take care of your mental health.

Al: One group I’m with, Arts and Culture, I think this is their job. They are nowhere to be found. When I brought up the play I wrote they don’t want to talk about it….the want to talk about Yoko Ono…Anyhow, what I’m saying is that you’re right, I like Daniel’s idea. Seems that folks are getting burnt out.  We should also accommodate folks that our burnt out. Reach out and support them and one another. Don’t just regress into a meditative state.

Stack: Last up

Trish: I think it’s a great idea for FWG and Facilitators. This circle is almost down to the bare bones (was healthy and robust with about 60 folks). I don’t know you taking a break …I don’t know what goes on while you’re taking a break. Do groups continue to meet? Life will still go on. Minutes have to be taken. Criteria for forming a working group unless this a larger, OWS, thing.

Brett: Limit side conversations, please.

Nicole: It wouldn’t necessarily be this group. It would be more suggestive to include lessening formal meetings….

Brett: Please connect afterward…

Proposal would be define what an operational working group is. I’ve been going to spokes council for a while and from the very beginning. It hink if we change the defintion of that we would do what spokes council did which would be working groups checking each others budgetary access.

Marisa: Spokescouncil already decided that and that would go into affect on January 20th.

Brett: Maybe that’s something we should bring bring up.

Trish: I have my finger in a curve. Did I just hear that operational groups were any group that passed on January 20th.

Brett: On January 2nd what spokes council decided was that the group that met the definition of working group were working groups in the spokes council.


Daniel: If anyone knows of a space we can use on Thursday to do facilitation traiing.

Lisa: I was thinking of doing another facilitation training that was more targeted at difficult situations and a Da training for how to shut down andopen up political space.

Picking Coordinators

Brett: We need to pick facilitatiors for Spokes tomorrow. I was going to and Bana volunteered also. We need coordinators for Thursday and Saturday. (Daniel took Thursday and Brett took Saturday). What time are we at?

Brett: Does Facilitation want to stand in solidarity with the Vision statement? Do we want to have that discussion.

David : I think what they were trying to do was to get working groups to stand in solidarity.

Marisa: So let’s talk about it right now.

Nicole: I’m not ready to move on it.

Zach : People have pretty serious problems in Direct Action

Marisa: I don’t know if we need one vision statement for the entire movement. The one there is watered down. A reformist declaration for human rights. I would block it.

Alia: For me the best things in the visions and goals is the first sentence and the last sentence or two. It’s a short “yeah, I want that”. Then you’re getting close to it. As it is I don’t like it.

Daniel: I’m not sure how satisfied I am with the current interation of the statement. Even in the working groups that don’t deal with drafting a visions statement should think about what we would want on our visions statement.

Al: I was there and was at the meetings and there was a lot of revision. Why not make a vision statement book. And maybe someone will buy the thing.

Trish: Yea, I sat in the working group maybe six weeks ago. I was a lot of people trying to write a book or whatever. I kept saying make it short make it sweet. So now I’m focusing on ghe mission statements and the charters of all of the working groups and they are so inspiring . we don’t need an over arching statmement.

Brett: We did it with time to spare!

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