FWG Meeting Minutes – 1/26/12 – 4pm @ 60 Wall St.

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Facilitation meeting notes 1/26/12

Facilitator: David

Minutes: Leah

Stack: Daniel


Report back from Tuesday’s GA



-original team was Anthony, Ronnie and Nick

-went smoothly generally

-concerned w/how Nan’s proposal was used in the process

-incident with Newark folks

-opted not to reopen stack

-Robbie stepped down during faciliation proposal

-Nick became frustrated

-was struck by Eric, formerly of OWS, now of Occupy Newark

-ended with endorsement to occupy tour


-upset at being struck

-restrained he assailant

-we as facilitators shouldn’t tolerate violence in the space

-de-escalation should have de-escalated the situation



-concerned with how Nan was silenced by the process

-must become more mindful, regardless of how people feel about particular individuals

-questions how disruption was dealt with



-should not separate Nan’s proposal and disrupters, believes these were connected

-facilitation decided to table proposal because realized that no decision couldn’t be made in such an environment

-GA should not have continued beyond a certain point



-disturbed by this trend—series of violent encounters, many aimed at facilitation

-how will we deal with this?

-obvious need for grievance, but also ways of handling within the moment

-should have immediately disengaged on Tuesday, regrouped elsewhere—instead just escalated



-Nan’s proposal to dissolve spokes incited the crowdàmob mentality

-need to be less personal, more movement oriented

-“who brought this proposal?” = threatening, personal, downgrading

-many forms of violenceàstarted before a punch was thrown

-need a time out, can’t be business as usual



-need toolkit specifically addressed to these situations

-ppl shouldn’t feel like they screwed up



-we need skills, strategies as facilitatorsàwhat can we do for next step?



-if we don’t address GA issue but Nan was banned from spokescouncil for violence = hypocrisy



-we made decision to not have GA hijacked

-felt like I could deal with it


Nysheva Star

-as facilitators, our job is to be responsible to group as largeàeven if we can deal as individuals, what is dynamic of group?

-we need to be responsible to what is in front of us, not what is preconceived

-need to avoid becoming biased

-we need to figure out how to protect ourselves



-this is a community-wide problem, not just facilitation

-we should talk about this at GA

-needs to be a zero-tolerance policy re: violence

-need to make this policy clear from the beginning

-reiterates Trish’s point that violence is not always physical


Nysheva Star:

-when we meet on Tuesday the 31st, 2:30-4:00 at TAZ for Training Group, we’ll discuss how to deal with disruptions



-this deserves a larger conversation than what we can do with trainings and curriculum, maybe we need another breakout group?



-start off GA with breakout groups on this topics

-reach out to deescalation and non-violent communication: can somebody from each group be at each GA, just like Minutes?

-lay out community agreements before GA




-been to many union meetings, Robert’s Rules of Order

-last resort is to let a meeting break down

-adjourning is a good response

-just need to make sure facilitators have clear understanding of process beforehand, can’t be determining process in the space of the meeting



-we as community keep shutting the gate after horse runs out

-we need container for grievances

-let’s make Friday night the night we talk about grievances and nothing else!



-set forth a statement for the beginning of every meeting, not just when process breaks down


Report Back from Last Night’s Spokescouncil

Dan T:

-facilitated with Danielle

-final Housing budget proposal, went pretty well

-came to full consensus on proposal, inc. metrocards


some question as to whether to hear more about housing issue—opted to not hear more so as not to taint facilitation process



-any continuation of ratifying process for groups not ratified by spokescouncil?


Nysheva Star:

-all we talked about were housing and metrocards



-POI: one of emails she received was a complaint from last night about rushed-ness of end of last night’s SC, wanted metrocards to be done again


Dan T:

-we were too loose in time @ beginning, so rushed a bit at end

-still, felt we were generally clear. Restated proposal thoroughly before testing for consensus


Feedback for last night:

Nysheva Star:

Dan & Danielle went with flow of group, didn’t facilitate too hard, but guided conversation well.



Appreciated the way time worked.



Wonderful decisions made by facilitators. When Sage wanted to speak, Dan made a good call re: bumping him up on stack.



Good attention to woman talking about her fears, insisting that group come back to it.



Danielle also fantastic.




Tuesday’s proposal was tabled. But proposal was amended: reduction from 3 days to 2. How do we proceed if we return to GA tonight?

Also, tonight’s agenda is very similar to Tuesday’s.

Who is our team?

What skills will be needed to handle tonight’s GA?



Where did amendment come from? Don’t want us to be bullied again.



POI: Facilitation tabled. 2 other groups also didn’t get heard and also want to go first.



-I am facilitating

-stack-taker could be less experienced. Is that not ok? Expecting “interesting” GA. Feeling comfortable with that. Anthony’s facilitating too.


Nysheva Star:

-cautions Melanie against using language of disrupters. Can’t label people, stops us from seeing people as individuals. If facilitators accepted amendment, they did so in good faith. Not sure about facilitating twice in a week…



-whoever presents this proposal, explain the reasoning behind it—clearly

-play down any adversarial atmosphere b/w spokes and GA

-this is about GA, SC has no business in this conversation

-be ready for strong, aggressive, negative reaction

-GA is home to most marginalized members of the movement



-infighting starts with us as individuals

-tonight’s facilitators: know yourself, don’t get bullied


-thinks facilitation proposal should go forward

-given circumstances at last GA, we should have continuity in terms of setting’s tonights agenda



-tonight might not be best night for that bc it’ll seem a bit self-serving

-can clarify that this is just a reduction in GAs that will be facilitated by FWG

-after tonight’s meeting, let’s try to set facilitation teams for coming week



-will Nan be bringing this proposal?

-would have had to have been posted on GA and announced at SC last night

-lack mechanism on NYCGA.net for 7-day-a-week posting



-need to honor how close we were to consensus on Tues

-this proposal was workshopped by community, so that’s what we need to bring back to GA

-when something doesn’t reach consensus, that doesn’t mean we roll it to next meeting—that means we need to take time to rework



-since Jack didn’t have cofacilitator, I volunteered myself, but if anyone objects, don’t need to

-good luck to facilitation with proposal



-coming with three days is great, can always go to 2 days later

-when a proposal is tabled, needs to be reemailed to point people



-addressing concern about indoor/outdoor rescheduling

-we intend to bring common sense proposals ie: efforts twds moving GAs indoors with blizzards, canceled on holidays, etc

-but that’s also not facilitation’s responsibility

-bad vibes about tonight. Might wait until Saturday



-proposal about starting a working group? Thought that was SC



-just need to go to website



-nope, now need to go to GA


Tonight’s GA


-once we make decision to bring indoors, let commhub know ASAP


Nysheva Star:

-maybe a stronger cofacilitator?



-there is no consistent enforcement re: tabling proposals



-who decides where the meeting is going to be?



-happens via individual activity


(Leah leaves for Farms meeting, Brian takes over minutes.)

Current decision-making process of GA relocation described: the facilitation team meets at the park, calls together the GA and asks for the group itself to decide whether to move the GA given various factors, the weather, the length of the agenda, the ability to communicate the possible change of location.
Pt of Info: there are efforts underway to improve this process to avoid last minute changes and unnecessary confusion.

Christina D:  Clarity sought on tonite’s team. Clarity sought on Facilitation’s proposal to the GA tonite.

(Daniel leaves for Direct Democracy Training – Lady volunteers & takes over stack-taking.)

Christina L: The priority for tonite’s GA is break-outs on the violence of Tuesday and how it should be handled, before all else.

Jack:  Is De-escalation around? Is it possible to contact them ahead of time.

Christina D: What do we do as a community in response to what happened on Tuesday.

Brian: If breakouts are begun try to be clear about what happened on Tuesday.

Christina L: The point is the larger pattern of violence in the community at large, not the incidents of Tuesday only.

Lady: I have experienced violence in the Church we’re I’ve been staying.

Alia: Is it appropriate to ask the group (the GA) for an approach to these problems?

Christina D: The question is: ‘What do we do when violence comes up in our community? We need to remind people of the agreements we have at the outset of each meeting.

Jack: Time limit on breakouts might be a good idea?

Christina D:  Regarding establishing the agenda for each GA: continuing the unfinished/ unaddressed items from the prior GA is a good precedent to set.

On Sunday at the New School a jury-styled forum called “Practical Deliberation Quorum” will be held. It requires a commitment of 4 hours.

Friday night at Unity Hall, 235 W 23rd (2nd Flr) there will be an “Open Space” meeting/workshop held from 6pm to 10pm.

“Occupy Town Square” will be held in Washington Sq Park from 11am – 5pm on Sunday. This will be a non -process oriented gathering, a recreation of Liberty Square.

Meeting adjourned.






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