GA_Breakout_Group_Feedback_Sorted_102311 (Updated)

Posted by & filed under .

Overall thoughts

Purpose of Blueprint

Through this document we explain our visions, goals to manifest those visions, and leave room for the corresponding concrete action to achieve those goals for ourselves and humanity.  We hope other regional people’s assemblies can create their own blueprints, centered on the future they envision, and structured around the most effective actions to achieve these visions.

Vision Blueprint - note (this is a work in progress that excludes certain details such as goals and actions, so you can focus on the basic visions we have amassed thus far)

 

Group 1

  • We were confused about the vision vs. demands. What is the purpose of this document? And who is its audience?
  • We were concerned about the language: we felt overwhelmed. We want it to be focused, passionate and easy to understand. Simpler language is needed for all the points.
  • On the process, we wanted to have read the document beforehand. It is so wordy. It was difficult to understand and to reflect on in such a short time.

 

Group 2

  • We would like to see a document like this that takes as a starting point the idea of personal reasonability.
  • Our group expressed discomfort with the implication that technology can solve all of our problems.
  • This document is not accessible to everyone; it’s written in language that is hard to understand. Overly academic language can marginalize large portions of the 99%.
  • Our group expressed concern about multiple documents with overlapping agendas. For example what is the relationship between this document and the declaration on the website? Is there a way to create a consolidated document?
  • While our group understands that this is a truncated version of this document, we felt that, divorced from tactics and specificity, visions and principles can feel empty.
  • Our group wanted to suggest that we focus on the specificity of this movement, OWS. Historically, all other movements from the civil rights movement, to the labor movement to the women’s movements, to anti-colonial movements have run into SAME barrier “Capitalism”, “The Market”, “The Economy.” We imagine these to be the focus of our movement, to which all other issues of emancipation are related.

 

Group 3

  • Overall too lofty.
  • It’s a vision of the future vs. demands; still needs focus, too broad.
  • May not resonate with some communities.
  • Too wordy (as a short version). Not focused. Unreadable, should be more readable.

 

Group 4

  • Alt Vision – Using education to cover the history of how we got to this socio-economical point in history. Using the past to help design the future. If we don’t know what we did wrong, officially, then how [can] we [ever] change that [behavior]? Understanding the system.
  • Alt Vision – Call for Wall Street to empathize with our movement. Engage with the 1%.
  • Alt Vision – Need to explicitly call out an end to patriarchal, racist, classist systems, etc. And desire to transcend.
  • Alt Vision – Maybe what we don’t want instead of what we do, written into a list.
  • We must bring all affected voices into the fold. Make it possible for those who want to participate but either can’t afford to, or lives would incur problems if they came to OWS.

 

Group 5

  • Electoral improvements that inject greater democracy into our governments can participate enormously in the direct improvement of many of these points. Why wasn’t this mentioned anywhere??
  • Some of these points can be consolidated.
  • There are two kinds of points being made here: policy points and cultural principle points. We feel that there needs to be a greater focus on the policy points.
  • Use nothing more complicated that 4th grade language.

 

Group 6

  • We need process of for feedback, first. That’s most important. Occupy together website needed with the points listed on it – comprehensive.
  • Please simplify the language in the visions points.
  • The visions are great. We should have as few points as possible: condense the ideas. This all comes down to “income equality.”
  • We want to see the words “create” and “open” used more often in this document.
  • [Some these may be] personal visions. We all don’t have the same vision: a lot of people like capitalism and we alienate them [easily if we are not careful].
    We want to know the [nature of] visions & goals’ relationship with demands. We need more definition in visions & goals.
  • Return [stolen resources] to wronged and raped indigenous communities.
  • How to deal with incarceration in the future [and implement more] productive policing. Punishment without prisons: re-envision punishment.

 

Group 7

  • Overall our group tended to agree with the points but had issues with the language.

 

Group 8

  • It was noted by some that this document does not address the problem of representation in our political system, political process.
  • Democracy and feminism not addressed either.

 

Group 9

  • It was noted that we did not address the political system and the problem of representation in this document.

 

Point 1

  1. Effectively connect our occupation with the Global Movement – by
    1. Facilitating the growth of local movements for direct, organic, participatory consensus-based democracy
    2. Studying ourselves and other local occupations to find more ideal models of consensus building, decision making and coordination through transparent, iterative design
    3. Finding points of harmony of visions/goals/actions across local and regional people’s assemblies for deeper impact.
    4. Creating the emotional and actual physical spaces for this process for the organic discussion of the future to unfold
    5. Encouraging each occupation to focus on their local economic, cultural and political assets as a specialization of the movement (our specialization is the following) – as we
      1. Make NYC a functioning focal point for other people’s assemblies to dissolve and overcome the unaccountable private entities rooted in Manhattan, our specialization
      2. Implement non-proprietary (FLO) solutions for everything [FLO means Free Libre Open-Source, as one term that describes the non-proprietary practice for developing various technologies and methods as broad as computer operating systems to tractor design.]

Group 1

Critique of consensus process: [Preference for] direct majoritarian method, [don’t allow 10-11% to determine the process]. Better develop the consensus process, for example, using small breakout groups to build larger consensus. Allow spokespeople to represent these small breakout groups. Cold weather is coming: we should use local resources to occupy, for example, occupy corporate atriums, Trump Tower, etc., for the day. Need map of locations to occupy. Allow for greater independence of groups and address representation.

 

Group 3

Skip this point entirely.

 

Group 4

We wanted to clarify democracy vs. consensus based decision-making by replacing the word “democracy” [in 1.1 with the words] “decision-making.” We want to separate emotional spaces to be above everything. For physical spaces, we want to emphasize utilizing public spaces. For all FLO: these are redundant and need more work-shopping. (Guessed location)

 

Group 5

This is now a nationwide (& worldwide) movement. Development of communications and other shared resources is necessary in order to ensure our continued progress.

 

Group 6

What could be very important is international & nation-wide gathering of bodies. We need an online forum – like a wiki? Organic, participant-based models. Points of harmony. Focus on local cultural, economic assets. Non-proprietary/open source.

 

Group 7

[Our group wondered about the] purpose of the blueprint. [Does it] stand with the declaration? Condense & edit, narrow down or not? (Get sound bitey without appearing like OWS statement.)  Internet based communication is unreliable and privileged, but please get on it and participate. The world already looks to OSW for precedent. National and international further presence. Brooklyn GA point – are we connected to or autonomous from OWS? (Horizontal empowerment for other occupations – encourage – autonomy and solidarity.

 

Group 8

Some voiced concern that this statement contradicted our desire as a movement to encourage decentralization of power.  Others acknowledged the symbolism of NYC as the center of corporate greed.

 

Group 9

Why should NYC be the focal point?  What are we hoping to achieve with that statement?  We’re not the first people to do this – there was also Egypt and Spain.  Having it centralized reinforces the same model of centralized power we are trying to dismantle.

Others in the group could see why you said this, as NYC is the financial hub in many ways.  But how can NYC survive the winter?  Shouldn’t we hope that others will take up the baton?  If we were to remain the focal point then we need a plan to keep a physical presence here in the park.

There are many who feel we don’t need to make ourselves and NYC special. This need to be special is part of the problem.

 

 

Point 2

Create an economy in harmony with nature

 

Group 1

What exactly is the definition of “in harmony with?” This needs more specification.

 

Group 2

This is too similar to point 1.

 

Group 3

Resource-based economy, supply-based. Should be rephrased to be more accessible. Move away from “harmony,” toward “[low] impact.”

 

Group 4

We like harmony. We don’t understand it, though [needs better definition/specificity].

 

Group 5

How do we balance profits with responsible environmental practices? Can we create some economic disincentives for individual economic actors and/or the economy as a whole when we pass the point of environmental damage? Also, are we talking about a zero-growth economy here?

 

Group 6

Beautiful. Barter notion is important. What does this mean?? It is way too vague: “in harmony with nature” needs more detail. Include in nature a human-rights-based economics: by not exploiting each other, we will not exploit nature. Preserving and protecting the ecosystem and/or environment should be in the wording.

 

Group 7

We are not sure what an economy in harmony with nature means. There were some concerns that it might mean a complete dedication to lack of industrialization and technology. Ambiguity concerns here. These points are meant to be developed here, deliberately unclear. [Re-]consider the Judeo-Christian concept of humans at the top of the food chain. Direct link to Bolivian document. Disregard of nature for the sake of economic growth? No neoletism.

 

Group 8

We loved point 2!

 

Group 9

YES!

 

Point 3

Emancipate the world’s communities from centralized financial systems

 

Group 1

All good.

 

Group 2

This is too similar to points 1 and 2. (Guessed group)

 

Group 4

Class consciousness and economic justice. Concerns with power structure and concentration of powers. Need to put power in the hands of the individuals. (guessed location)

 

Group 5

Mixed feelings here, leaning positive.

 

Group 6

We need global redistribution? That would require a centralized system. Get rid of centralized government also. Ending systematic exploitation (wording). We need state power thru revolution to do this; until then, how will we encourage and support our resistance? Promote the value of economic equality among everyone. A wage time standard of equality. Do not like liberation, emancipation, holy language.

 

Group 7

We agreed there should be no centralized financial system. One collapse leads to infinite others. Extension of [the] “global insurrection against banker occupation.” We should also look to new forms of exchange.

 

Group 9

Someone noticed a contradiction between this point and point #1.  This point is about decentralization and yet #1 was all about centralization.  We think all places should be their own hub and no hierarchy [should exist throughout] OWS.

 

Point 4

Create paradigm-shifting education that emancipates global citizens from exploitative, community-destroying consumer culture and empowers all people with their own voice

 

Group 1

Simple language, less jargon, keep it Hemingway-style; ability to translate it into other languages.

 

Group 2

We need to foster digital relationships (Guessed location, group.)

 

Group 3

Too long. Two ideas occur here. 1) Education: Free quality education… empower critical thinking. 2) Consumer culture: ?

Should create a list of human rights à Vision. Overwhelming. Should be simple, direct and true.

 

Group 4

Invite educators inappropriate topics. Not as overseers, but as extra[ordinary individuals?]. (Guessed location)

 

Group 5

This should not be mixed. Focus on education.

 

Group 6

Add the words “free” and “eliminating education debt.” (Student loans are small compared to the bailout money.) Teach kids the new paradigm: challenge the psychology of selfishness and promote selflessness. Establish peace and green economies as key ideas in our new education. Also, teach direct democracy. Make it student centers [centered?]; give students more in their education.

 

Group 7

Empowering educational paradigm vs. consumer culture. Can’t disagree. We believe there is an exploitative culture. Encourage a mass consumer boycott for shopping season.

 

Group 9

We want education for education’s sake, not for the economy.  It should be free too.

 

Point 5

Re-appropriate our business structures and culture, putting people and our Earth before profit

 

Group 1

Opposition between people and profit problematic – people and earth rather than anything else; opposition not necessary. Consolidate points 2 and 5 because they overlap. Focus should be “people-centric.”

 

Group 3

General support. Living in poverty equals taking away humanity. [Provision of basic necessities] should be a human right that is protected. We needed more time to consider this point – it’s a very meaty/important issue.

 

Group 4

Defining the moment. Show the legitimacy of the group. (guessed location)

 

Group 5

This we liked – it ties into democratic process

 

Group 6

We need to do this, but leaders won’t let us do this. We need STATE power for our movement. What does “re-appropriate” mean? It doesn’t make sense. For people to come before profits, we have to eliminate profits: we need a barter system. Lets move to a cooperative, not corporate, economy. Move [towards] a more local economy, not national chains.

 

Group 7

People and nature before profit. Decentralize control.

 

Group 9

The word “re-appropriate” might be wrong.  We’re not trying to take; we want to go beyond that model to a new one.  New bottom line: people and planet.

 

Point 6

Re-appropriate our media culture, putting truth and dialogue over advertising and sensationalism

 

Group 1

“Reappropriate” is too confrontational a verb. [Introduce] “Step up, Step back” as a larger [ethic/]strategy here.

 

Group 3

Is the locus of control of the media important?

 

Group 5

Like.

 

Group 6

We need to vote with our media dollars: don’t buy cable. The idea of truth is naïve; let’s focus on giving people access to knowledge instead. We want transparency in media — revealing sources and being honest. Media should be independent of businesses. Truth and dialog [must supplant] advertising and sensationalism.
Group 7

We felt that we should decentralize control of media. Major focus on local ownership of media but not at expense of global connection. Re-appropriate and localize. Decentralize control.

 

Group 8

Some were concerned with the word “truth”.  We would replace this with the idea that the media should represent a diversity of interpretations and have more media accountability.

 

Group 9

Someone thinks the word “truth” is problematic.  Perhaps instead: diversity of interpretation and more accountability.

 

Point 7

Define and defend humanity’s inalienable liberties from the bottom up

 

Group 1

Clarification needed: “Bottom up” is not right and is too jargony – needs to be clarified. Which of our freedoms are “inalienable” needs to be clarified.

 

Group 3

Should say “Re-establish” instead of “Define and defend.” Otherwise great.

 

Group 5

This is vague. Is it a call for subsidies on food and shelter? Is it calling for the protection of civil rights? We think it could consider some kind of warning system to call attention to inequities. Perhaps this is a call for civil re-education.

 

Group 7

Define and Defend inalienable liberties. Defining these liberties is priority and is a long dialogue. Easy to generally agree with concepts, but hard to “gangway”[?] them. “Bottom up” is a … conflicting  term? Can the “bottom” be defined as 99% or 54% starving? Bottom worked into our structure, need to address social restructure to eliminate bottom? Socioeconomic dimensions at occupation. Consider unemployment: basic needs like housing, food, clothing, shelter. Add one “… to create a horizontal structure/culture.” More solution be… less universal, needs education… Feels like more rhetoric and less meaning… Define bottom at poverty line?

 

Group 8

We wondered who defines these human rights and would indigenous communities’ and cultures’ needs be a high priority?

 

Group 9

Whose definition of human rights?  We should redefine rights.  We should expose how they are being undermined.

 

Point 8

Create peace on Earth with total dedication to non-violence

 

Group 1

Very much on point!

 

Group 3

“Peace on earth” is too lofty. Maybe make this point focused on government actions/spending.

 

Group 5

To focus on non-violence here is better. It makes for a more clear call. Also, we want to note here the importance of the idea that peace spreads outward from the individual.

 

Group 7

Sounds very violent. Holocaust example – violence required to end violence. Historically blind, idealistic. Re: Partially non-violent movement: loose space or defend it? Civil disobedience vs. violence – fully consider the intersection. Second amendment, giving up arms, defenseless vs. [our] own police. Global violence? Not only violence vs. humans. Choice of non- violence, protecting [our] own children? Needs lots of amending, circumscribe terms. Non-violence as tactic vs. philosophy? Extent of violence – self defense? Sweatshop labor? Property destruction?

 

Group 8

We wondered about this issue of self-defense.  Is this okay?  How do we address violence from the state?

 

Group 9

What about self-defense?  Some in the group felt this was okay.  In the presence of our movement being attacked, isn’t this okay? What about violence from the state?

 

Point 9

Eliminate all discrimination, prejudice, and judgments based on socially constructed group labels in the past.

 

Group 1

Why [only] “in the past”? A little superficial – requires a structural analysis. [Best guess at intent in unclearly written second sentence.]

 

Group 3

Good intention. “Socially constructed” needs work, maybe a better definition?

 

Group 5

Some of this is just human nature, and we will not be able to eliminate it from ourselves. We should call for the elimination of it in government, but allow for it at the individual level. Also we suggest using positive rather than negative language. Add the word “celebrate.”

 

Group 8

When discussing prejudice, we should replace the word “past” with “past, present, and future.”

 

Group 9

We need “past, present, and future,” not just “past.”

 

Point 10

Facilitate the peaceful harmony of humanity’s religious, spiritual and existential traditions.

 

Group 1

Simplify the language

 

Group 3

Potentially alienating, prefer to remove: not the focus of the movement.

 

Group 5

Points 9 & 10 are very similar, but being clear about a religious respect provision may be useful.

 

Group 8

Some were confused by this point.  Are we hoping to promote harmony between existing value systems or to supersede them?

 

Group 9

Some were confused by this comment.  What do we mean by facilitate?  Do we mean helping discussion?  Are we looking towards encouraging religious/spiritual harmony?  In which case, can we say “we should promote harmony between different faith, spiritual, and philosophical positions?”

Others felt that the word “dialogue” was better than “harmony.”  Others suggested “a cultivation of tolerance between value systems.”

Comments are closed.