Minutes – Empowerment and Education Working Group Meeting – 11/18/11 – 60 Wall St.

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*E&E Working Group Meeting: Friday, 11/18/11, 8:30pm, 60 Wall St.*

Christopher (facilitator) began the meeting by asking people to share their
stories about the previous few days.

Subcommittee report backs:
Student Debt: Pam reminded everyone of their student loan refusal pledge
events, beginning Monday at 1:30pm with a press conference at Liberty
Square, near the red structure. Darragh will lead a mock graduation event.
Afterward, participants will take the subway to Madison Square Park, where
they will rally in support of CUNY’s students, who are protesting tuition
increases.

Making Worlds:
Marcos reported on the progress of the forum on the commons. There was much
discussion about the subcommittee’s proposal to issue a forum announcement
with the E&E imprimatur. Concerns ranged from not understanding the
intended audience of the conference, and, consequently, fearing that the
event was too high register, to worry that the forum would rely to heavily
on big-name academics.

This proposal also raised questions about the autonomy of subcommittees,
i.e., should the working group micromanage and/or interfere with the work
of its subcommittees once consensus establishes the subcommittee’s
existence, or should E&E trust its members to do their work, as long as
meetings are transparent, and report backs are steady?

The proposal was approved through consensus.

Think Tank:
Aaron shared that TT is concerned with expanding and exporting. It’s also
worried about placement during the winter months. Randall asked about
recent confusion concerning TT’s status as either an independent working
group or as a subcommittee of E&E. Aaron clarified that TT saw itself as
part of E&E. Aaaron also shared that he’d taken TT to DC.

NU:
I zoned out, and didn’t keep notes.

Discussion:
Bahareh asked all of us to consider how the greater OWS events/status/etc.,
affect E&E. Darragh referred to future reliance on virtual spaces to
compensate for the loss of full access to the square.
Chris felt that “losing” the square was liberating. He also asked us to
consider how we could bring more people to this “strangeness.”
Vicente wondered how we could integrate our subcommittee into other GAs.
Maleni suggested that we make contact with Outreach to begin a needs
assessment (of sort) of NYC, i.e., what can we offer/share? with whom could
we collaborate?
Maite mentioned making international connections.
Leopold acknowledged that there was a risk of decentralization, after
“losing” the square, but he also felt optimistic about the proliferation of
smaller spaces.
Ana pushed back on the sense of “loss” that pervaded the previous comments.
She felt that we won back the Liberty Square.
Eric expressed his frustration with the use of the meeting. He also
encouraged us to celebrate the tremendous and exciting accomplishments of
11/17. He reminded us of Martin Luther King’s accomplishments and how
occupation existed as a tool during the civil rights movement. He suggested
that we acknowledge MLK’s b’day weekend (proposed wknd for commons forum)
as a time for celebration and recognition of the struggle that came before
us.
Babak called for a meeting to discuss E&E’s role/priorities in OWS. (It was
held today at 12pm.)

The meeting for next week is at 8:30pm at 60 Wall St. I believe that Karen
will facilitate, but I don’t recall with certainty.

 

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