Minutes, 11/15 Meeting

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Meeting began at 7:15.

Andrew will facilitate.

Andrew: What should we put on the agenda?

Steven will take stack

Hunter: I know this is a contraction, but I was wondering if maybe, we could create a political party.  Not a third party.

Andrew: Creation of parties on the agenda?  Sure.  We do have a tentative agenda.

Eric: the tentative agenda.  We should decide if we have a quorum.  First, we adopt agenda. Then report backs.  Then discussing how to go forward with JFA, then new demands, and next meeting.

Andrew: Anyone else have any other proposals for today’s meetings?

Victor: where do we go from here?

Andrew: So we add “Where do we go from here” and “political party” to new agenda.

Marty: Wasn’t the foundational document to not affiliate with a political party.

Hunter: When I say political party, I think more of a council that uses dialog, to find solutions together.  Call ourselves Occupy Party.  We could get a mayor.  But we don’t believe in leaders, just council.  So we can have spokesman, we will have so much red tape that we know they can’t get corrupted.

Andrew: I think we should put this under new demands.

Xxx: I want to second his thing. Maybe move it to the front of the agenda.

Andrew: DO we have enough people to move forward?  Traditional meeting is 7-9.  Traditionally, we set time limits, and ask people to keep their remarks to one minute.

Hunter: I’m have only an hour.  I’m working.
Andrew: If we don’t meet your issue tonight, we will soon.  Is everyone OK with the agenda and the timeline.

Eric: Time limits for each topic.

Andrew: First question- do we have enough people here to hold the meeting or should we move on.  Should be proposals.

Itzak: do we have enough people.  If there are any legalistic, technical requirements.  Then does it make sense for us to have a full fledged meeting.  We should work and not make any controversial decisions on policy, but recognize there are not many of us.

Xxx- what are the rules for quorum.

Andrew: We don’t have set rules of quorum.

Eric: The problem is that meeting has fluctuated, except for last meeting, which is relatively small; we usually get 40 people at the meetings.  Given that, we know that some people are at the GA, that’s why we’re hesitant to not make firm decisions.  We should keep any decisions we make tentative.

Andrew: Does anyone else then want to get on stack about this.  We’re trying to decide how to proceed when the meeting is quite small.  DO we hold the meeting now, and to what extent.

Marty: because the meeting is generally small today it would be a good time to take care of minor agenda items that we can deal with.  Get them out of the way.  Save the big tough ones for when the big tough members of the group are here.

Andrew: What I’ve heard to we should move forward, try to get as much done as possible, and delay and controversial decisions.  Let’s move on the next section of the agenda.  The next is report backs.

Report back from working groups?

Jay: after long discussion, we agreed to JFA, and now we’re going to WG and community groups to try to get endorsement.  I went to the Spanish speaking WG, and they supported the demand.  And people’s organization for progress.  The 99%, Jobless WG, has also endorsed.  We could also do outreach with South Bronx WG, they were sympathetic to what we were doing.  There’s a lot more groups we should do outreach to.

Eric: On Friday night, Jay, I and Ben went to the Labor Outreach WG, they’re members of Trade Unions, and they’ve been mobilizing trade union activists.  They are the largest actual group, both logistical and popular group.  There was discussion, it was passed, and there was a follow up discussion on the discussion list about this, where it was strongly supported.  They are strongly supportive.  There was a lot of feeling that this is what’s necessary to mobilize people to the cause.

Itzak: Question- does anyone have the updated text of the demand.

Eric: I have one for you.  It is online at our website.  Our website is, the main website for this occupation is NYCGA.net.  If you go there go you click on groups, ours is Demands, you go there and you click on forum, you’ll find the sticky on top.  The latest demand.  You don’t have to sign in to see it.

Itzak: When were the last revisions made?

Erik: Last Tuesday.

Xxx: quick question- this is a highly rhetorical point- the point that has been brought up, there is no realism.  Really not going to be able to support jobs, unless you propose something more definitive, when jobs are leaving the country, technological unemployment.  Unless you deal with those two issues, it’s just rhetoric.

Elk: I want to address his point

Susan: I spoke with three economists/experts about job creation, and they are broadly supportive, but the question is what do we do if an expert disagrees?
Andrew: Where we do go next with JFA?  How do we move JFA demand along.

Elk: It seems like a moot point for me.  It seems like jobs will correct themselves.  Please forgive me if I’m stepping in late.  It seems like jobs will correct themselves with other things are place when other things are taken place.  Like getting money out of politics.  When we see that trilateral commission (and other actors) agree with the way the economy is run.  My question is that, I feel it’s important for us to address questions that are the root of the problem.  Getting money out of politics.

Andrew: There is a space at next to discuss new demands.

Eric: First since some people are new here, I was wondering if while I was talking, we could look up the demand on line.  I will read the demand.  This is the third version of the demand.  It started out considerably longer.  JFA: a massive public works and public service program. … (reads the demand). That’s the demand we’re talking about.  It’s considerably more concrete than just a slogan for jobs.  The proposal I have is twofold.  We know we have considerable support in this movement for this demand, and there is a small minority that opposes demands, all demands.  What I and a number of people propose is that we open this up, we together with the other working groups set up a forum, an open forum, that will be broadcast over the radio and webcast as a video.  We think we can get WBAI to do this.  This is something that would take place immediately after Thanksgiving.  And part two, we announce as soon as we get the agreement of the other groups, we go to the GA on Dec 3, so we can get them to come.

Erik: What’s WBAI?
Eric: It’s a public listener supported area.  Big listenership.  I can’t promise this, but I think it’s likely we will.

Victor: defer.

Jay: I’ve commented too on the list serve.  I think this is a good idea.  Especially because the first time we went to the GA< we had groups that supported the demand, but they weren’t able to express support.  I am excited about the proposal because people can share their support.  This will encourage other groups to support jobs for all.

Hunts: some clarification from my end.  Politics is an issue of power.  One cannot sit and say we can do this.  The tax politics since the 1950s. The greatest growth to now, went from 91 cents on the dollar.  What is the fundamental problem is that we’re a vertical society.  The US rates worse on the income gap.  If you’re not looking at this as a factor, you’re missing this.  I don’t have problems with this, but it needs to be made more complex.  You’re competing with everyone else in the global.  A lot more complexity needs to be packaged into these things.

Leah: This may be Point of Information, I know the program director Mitchell Cohn, the station manager, and he does not like this.  He unfortunately believes the worst things about this group, that we’re a small vanguard, and my husband is trying to reason with him.  But he’s gotten nowhere.  Does Doug Henwood still have a show on BAI.

Jay: I believe Henwood was pushed out, and Cohen was part of this.

Itzak: We are not the legislature of this country.  We are a movement that is trying to move politics from here to there.  This is not what I would do if I were legislature.  It has to be short and to the point.  That’s why the more complicated we make it, the less will not support it.  25 million is not the right number.  I would avoid the number because will argue about it.  Two hot button issues at the very end  Undocumented immigrants and former felons.  Former felons is easier to debate than asking citizens of this country to support public sector, public works for immigrants that come to this country illegally.

Marvin: I would like to emphasize on something said previously.  The problem with the US being the country with the greatest differential between poor and rich.  There is so much more to it.  There has been a lot written about that.  High crime, poor education, high incarceration rate.  It goes on and on.  These things, this fact alone, has as profound effect on the nation as anything.

Eric: I just want to emphasize two things.  One: thanks Leah for the facts of life.  We have to deal with reality.  It may not be as easy as we thought.  The key thing about this is a public forum that is web streamed.  We can do the webstreamining our selves.  Through YouTube or something else.  A public forum, wide open, well publicized, and be put on the web, so people way beyond our numbers will know about it.  I just want to say very briefly the Labor Group discussed these issues and they are supportive of the undocumented.

Andrew: we only have one proposal right now.  WE have one space left on stack.  Anyone have counter proposals.

Itzak: maybe an amendment.  Related.  I’d like to raise the issue.  It’s fine to do what you’re talking.  Too unstructured.  It would be best if we had hearings if people spoke to this point.  We pick we can speak.  We don’t have to bring people outside our community.

Eric: The second proposal is with the agreement of the other groups that with the agreement of other groups, we go back to the GA.

Andrew: consensus test on having a vote on this?

Marty: Time between now and thanksgiving, is that enough to set up technology and human interconnections necessary.

Andrew: technology is not a problem.  We can make the date tentative.  Proposal passes.  Next step forward is a public forum with other working group.

Eric: and with their consent bring it back to the GA.

Andrew: The next section of the agenda- new demands.  I’d like to open up stack to new demands.  Please get on stack.  Limit this to 15.

Hunter: My first time at the meeting.  Since I’ve been sitting here, I’ve been listening.  This proposal on creating new job, I think it’s excellent.  I think the idea is not to be negotiation with president, politics.  At the end of the day they’re still getting paid by corporate.  I think creating an occupied party, will help change the system.  I feel that from the mayor to president, they are all getting paid by corporate, the only thing that stops them is the contract they signed.  We need new people go into office to make decisions.  From school to funding to getting jobs back from China- the only ways this will be significant is if we establish a party.  Instead of being outside in meetings, we should be inside with Congress.

Elk: What keeps the people from the new 99% from getting paid by corporate?  Because if they’re doing it, then people on this side will say “I have to do it to compete.”

Hunter: I believe our party will be based on a dialogue based.  WE have spokesmen.  They have no power.  They will have no formal party.  Any decision they make will have to go back to the council.  We create red tape, there is no formal way for them to get contributions to their campaigns.  I personally believe that if we fix the problems in our government, things will fix themselves.  If the government is there for the people, we will get support.

John: I come from Rockaway Beach< queens.  I’m here almost every day since OWS started.  I’ve studied the movements from Ohio, Wisconsin, and Arizona.  The ballot box counts.  We have ea new party in Rockaway Beach.  The word occupy has to be in there. It’s a well known word.  It can be called Occupied America.  IN Wisconsin they’re collecting signatures to recall Scott Walker.  In Ohio they overturned proposals that Gov. Kasich made at the ballot box.  They realized the third parties never made it in America.  We you get Occupy America and we decide the rules and regulation, it will work.

Alvin: this was one of the earlier versions of the first demand we’re trying to set forth.  I have 2 to introduce.  This was part of the first version that Glass Steagall was included.  I think this should be considered.  Some of the things I’m trying to say may require teach ins.  There is no recovery. Not now, not ever.  There is no intention of a recovery.  Brutal Austerity is about cutting budget, cutting banks that are bankrupt.  It’s about bringing down the population.  This monetarist economy.  Glass Steagall under Roosevelt- it worked.  If you’re gonna get serious about something that Obama rejected, GS should be discussed.  I handed out a summary form of what is before the House of Representatives right now.  There are about 50 cosigners.

Andrew: Everyone OK with him getting a few more seconds.

Alvin: Much of labor is behind this already.

Erik: I will be passing out something on financial changes.  Of a different nature.  I strategically view JFA as central.  But I think there should be a counter part to G-S and financial transactions.  I don’t think G-S was being enforced when it was appealed.  The content of my demand is to cancel debts, student, household, and nationalize the banking system.  I think we should form a subgroup about this and have further discussion about what distinguishes this.

Hunter: My question is, basically, do you know how this would happen step by step.

Erik: The strategy that animates JFA is to build a mass movement that operates outside the electoral arena which will give power in the hands of the people. It would require radical revisions in the economy.

Elk: Hi, while  love what is being discussed here, I am kind of shocked because I feel they are very naive, because they will all be taken care of when we get the government back from corporate interest.  The core issue is getting money out of politics.  Corporate personhood, usury, income taxes instead of regular taxes.  Of course we’d love to get rid of debts, and have jobs.  But people in this country with money and power are deciding policy outside of government, in a way to support people with money  I think the way to do this is through the wallet.  It will be like juggling balls.  A new party in politics, that’s not going to clear anything up.

Itzak: Can you tell me who those people are and in case you want to, do you belong to an organization that has developed these ideas or through your own research?

Elk: This is through my own research.  I followed two party politics for years.  My understanding is that members with a lot of money and they tend to be members of the Bilderberg Group, Trilateral Commission, and the Council on Foreign Relations.  Members of these groups are often members of other groups, and they are the people coming together and committing treason, because they are creating policy and not allowing the two party system to work.

Jay: I think she clarified it.  I here this a lot in the movement.  Get money out of politics.  It seems that most people explain it around campaign finance reform.  Can you elaborate briefly on your strategy to move money out of politics if elite policy groups are critical.  How do you propose to address these issues.  How do you control corporations and the rich from shutting down production.

Elk: I believe it has to be lobbyists, which is why I am in this groups, because I’d like to discuss how money is in politics.  I’m fine with corporations, as long as they are not people anymore, because that gives them an advantageous position.  These are more core issues than we all want jobs.  If we can’t bring our system to work for us in the future, then these are just moot demands, because the powers that be will not allow it.

Hunts: Quick point of clarification first.  There are platforms, and they need to be brief.  They are always short, but programs have to be elaborated.  One has to be very careful.  The two party system is the interest of capital.  It’s there to work for capital.  Now there are certain movements which can push back at times.  But do you control the means of production?  Do people control this?  This movement is in its first phase of awareness.  It’s brining people in to the fold, depending on their ability to create certain times a program that is tactical not strategic.  When someone talks about jobs, it does two things.  I feel that the discussions need to be more horizontal in the WG, because other groups need to communication on other issues.  But also when you’re building your forces, you have to present platforms to get pockets of the population to join.

Itzak: the gentleman, comrade, brother, who spoke about creating a new party, it is just a goal.  That’s not the business here.  Something about the demand.  They have to be clear, simple and communicable.  Not Christmas trees of everything we want.  They must touch upon what people care about.  Stop corporate personhood.  Institute progressive taxation.  Clear.  The moment we get into complicated policy discussions of regulating this that here there, we lose with those we’re trying to communicate.  I won’t get into the specific things raised.  Will it communicate to the public at large, and will it make a different.  Jobs are important.  That’s why we started with it.

Michael: I think we’re on track today.  There’ s a systemic looting of our society.  They are signing guardianships.  They are knocking things down.  All branches of government.  Cases set up for martial law.  Wires facing in, not out.  All this stuff is happening. What’s going on is, we need to get a conscious rising of the mass of people.  They know it’s wrong.  It’s happening on all levels.  Money is important.  Whoever controls it controls the economy.  I’d like to pass this out.  Someone asked me to bring it in.  Someone wants to form a committee for banking.  Let’s form a committee.

Leah: I wanted to propose shortening the work week.  We need a full employment economy.  That’s one way to keep the 1% from treating people like crap.  Shortening the work week is one way to do that. IN addition, it’s a fun idea.  Maybe we could only work 20 hours a week.  We could participate in civic life.

Marty: I’d like to comment on what’s been said on the subject so far.  The idea that we’re ultimately going to the ballot box is correct.  Keep in mind, you can understand the complexity of what needs to be done to get any of these things to happen.  You’re talking about programs that will last years.  We need to form a good foundation and must keep working. It has to start.  Let me rephrase something.  Have you thought about the magnitude of the change you’re asking for.  It’s like the overthrow of the Czar.  It’s very similar.  It’s similar in extent.  That was not accomplished with a literal war.  When you ask for these things, keep in mind what you’re asking for and what you have to do.  We have to look at what we’re asking for.  There’s one more item, someone mentioned Glass Steagall.  You were concerned with debt cancellation.  Many of the people GS also advocate debt cancellation.

Jay: There is a contraction between the two.  Glass Steagall was about separating saving/commercial with investment banks.  But Erik’s proposal is about nationalize banks, while GS is about regulating.

Marty: If you want to nationalize without regulate, go ahead.  But this is about scope.

Alvin: I don’t think you have a problem with G-S enough, but that it doesn’t go far enough.

Erik: the reasons there is a contradiction btw GS and my proposal, because then banks would be nationalized and under government control.

Xxx point of information- GS- separate two types of banking.  Because of that, now what you have is that Bank of America transferred Merrell Lynch derivatives to depository banking, so the FDIC would have to cover those.

Alvin: One more demand.  We started with dessert and we’ll end up with… I’m passing around three counts of indictment for the impeachment of Obama.  I think it’s straightforward and clear.  I welcome comments that have been made about the situation.  The program is not Wall Street, so much that Wall Street is an appendage of the City of London.  We are fighting an oligargical system based in City of London. T he American system of credit and economics, and we have the grades to prove it.  Hamilton, Lincoln, Kennedy.  They killed them.  Obama is the opposite of.  The slightest thing now will create WWIII.  We need to get rid of him.  We’ll have no jobs, no future.

John: I think is more a point of information.  Radigan on MSNBC.  He had two people on there talking exactly about what you’re talking.  Two guys on there doing something about it.

Erik: I want to respond to the ideas about the electoral reform, or a party, or corporate personhood demand.  That’s in the process, it could be within a subgroup.  I want to address what’s been said about it as a strategy.  You can get money out of politics, parties independent of direct corporate control, but in power they will be in compulsion to administer a capitalist economy.  They compete with other capitalist states to keep jobs.  You can delegate your authority to a legislature, but they will do what capital wants.  Electoral politics is not good for this.  Mass movements were able to get major things under right wing governments, but lost them now under left wing governments.

Eric: I want to strongly agree with the approach of nationalization.  Glass Steagall is slamming the door after the horse has escaped.  The global financial system is wiped out.  It’s assets are way below its liabilities.  Every government except Iceland has been pouring billions of dollars into these bank.  If you pour more money into something, then you own it. The only solution is the public ownership of finance.  Once banks are owned by the states, then debts can be written off.  Investment banks won’t exist.  I would say in terms of money in politics, the basic problem is that you can’t get money out of politics, until you separate rich from money.

Andrew: We closed stack at fifteen.  How do people feel about opening up to five.  Left on the agenda is considering where we go from here, based on what happened at Zucotti park.  And maybe an explanation about how subgroups work.  How about we open stack for five more people, then a discussion of subgroups, and then a discussion about how we move forward.

Alvin: Was the demand that would be placed now, we’d talk about subgroups.  They work among the subgroup, formulate the language

Erik: We need to move to one minute speaking, and they may try to kick us out early.

Eric: could we discuss the next meeting

Andrew: Agenda or date/time?

Eric: Date/time.

Andrew: Are people ok with date/time before the final discussion.  Anyone else want to be on stack.

Sandy: My interest is in getting as specific in demands, and how consensus can be formed.  I do have to leave.  I did have a question, the implication you are saying is a shift is not the political system but how the economy works.  You’re not going to be expecting growth as its understood by economists.  How do you see the future.  That we’ll live in support ourselves.

Erik: I see capitalism as an impediment to growth and we need to move to socialism.

Michael: so Eric, in Iceland, Michael Hudson is an economics professor, they elected in a left wing government, but money won.  They eventually legislative for money. There is a need for a new socioeconomic system.

Hunts: labels don’t define things.  But in response to, to add to what’s been said.  The first point is that what has transpired is, what we’re seeing, bankrupting the state.  In Third World Countries, they are behest.  What they’ve done is taken money that could be used for social uplift and transferred it to private companies.  One thing that people have to be careful about.  Obama has brought the more progressive wing into the Democratic party, including Blacks, to be more right wing.  Right now this guy is attacking Africa, but this is where he’s at.  What has to be very skilled.

Itzak: it would be simple if we could pass these demands without needing anyone else to agree with us.  But it would be socialism.  I’m in favor.  But now, we have to frame demands in a way that social movements do that will bring us from here to here to here to here.  Not here to there which we will not.  I’m really upset by the conspiracy theories that have been brought up.  I find them objectionable.  It’s  a personal statement.

Elk: Let me directly address, that you’re talking to me.  The problem with conspiracy theories is that they are not just theories.  These things are true.  They are conspiracy facts.  That is something that the general public doesn’t know much more about.  There needs to be education.  I think this movement is about everyone taking personal responsibility for choices that we have made.  Therefore we all need to education ourselves.  So we understand that these aren’t conspiracy theories  When you look at Building 7 and see what architects and engineers say, there’s no question that the government had something to do with 9/11.  If we’re asking people who have a lot of money to take personal responsibility, we have to take personal responsibility, then we need to as well.

John: what this young gentleman, god bless him, he’s here, at least people come out to be heard.  Doesn’t matter if you agree or disagree.  When I make a statement I try to base it off some facts.  When it came to Wisconsin, it all came down to the ballot box.  For now it does, anyway.  We don’t know what will happen in the future.  That’s all we got.  Recall and vote them out of office.  I believe a viable third party could shake the living daylights out of the existing political solution.  It never worked in America before, third parties, you have to get Occupy in there somewhere.  Occupy America or Occupy Democracy.  This movement has captured the world.  We cannot let the world down.  The world is depending on occupying wall street to bring them out of the doldrums.

Andrew: Next, when the next meeting will be, and then break out groups.  Anyone have a proposal about the next meeting

Eric: This is more raising a question.  I’m a little the side about this ourselves.  Should we continue to meet twice a week.  Or switch to twice a week.  This meeting isn’t a bad size.  We have 18 people.  I wonder whether we are getting fewer people because we are getting too busy with other meetings.

Andrew: It’s 8:45 now.  The meeting is meant to run to 9.  Can we keep the discussion to 5 minutes, 10 minutes at most.

Elk: Next Tuesday is just before Thanksgiving, are we worried that people will be out of town.

Itzak: the alternative is that we have it next Sunday, and Tuesday will be skipped.  Tuesday is fine with me.

Erik: Why don’t we get a temperature on moving to one day, and then each day.

Andrew: Do you want one day a week meetings, put your hands up.  How many want it two days a week. 3

Martin: is this something we are deciding now for the future, or just the next week?

Andrew: Just next week.  We are voting just for next week- two meetings or one meeting next week.  (we had consensus, for next week).

Then, we will vote on Tuesday or Sunday.  Everyone in favor for Tuesday.  This would be the only meeting next week.  3.  Favor on Sunday.  11.  The next meeting will be next Sunday at 6PM.

Let’s move on to subgroup.

Erik: The subgroups were decided on based on subgroups the Sunday before last.  You get together in a group of any size between 3-5, to 15 or more, and you work on a demand, which you take through a series of steps- the source of the demand, framing of the demand, outreach to other groups, and then bring back to the group, and then to the GA.  These groups organize autonomously.  However, lots of people have ideas and I’ve been interested in seeing networking on working on any of the demands that have been floating demand.

Andrew: Any questions?

Elk: What do you mean by the source?
Erik: You give the source, which came up with the demand, or organization.

Itzak: Does the group develop it and the subgroup take it to the group.  Or is there a step in which present it to the group, but they should not go through the steps if most of us would not support it.

Erik: That would be up to the subgroup.  It would be in their rights to develop it.  We don’t want to have discussions within the group about shutting down individual demands, we don’t want to have too much back and forth and gate keeping.

Andrew: We had some consensus earlier, that we wouldn’t vote on authorizing demand.  If anyone has proposed a demand, they could form a subgroup, and see who would want to develop the demand.  This would be the end of the meeting.  The subgroups could create membership.

Erik: What about the agenda for the next meeting?

Andrew: Anyone have proposal for next meeting?

Alvin: report back from subgroups

Eric: Report back from JFA forum

Zen: I wanted to see, I’m going to be facilitating involvement with other working groups.  But mostly, we’re kind of getting more into science and technology.  Occupy the moon.  It’s about the space industry.  We’ll be liasoning with various actors in the space industry.  US has lost much of its credibility in terms of science and technology.

Andrew: that would be new demands.  That will be on the agenda.  Next Sunday, 6pm, part of the agenda will be new demands.  Any other agenda points for the next meeting.

Derrick: Do we want to start working on housing demands.

Andrew: New demands.

Derrick: This Thursday, 5:30PM, Metropolitan church, we’re having a major housing meeting, conference, and teach-in, with federal government and local corporations.  It’s getting worse and worse.  A horror story. It could mean the end of subsidized housing as we know it.

Erik: Point of Information, we are about to start new subgroups.

Andrew: We heard a couple demands.  Anyone who made a demand could stand up.

Elk: I pointed out several things.

Andrew: Could you say 5 words about your demand.

Alvin: restore Glass Steagal

Erik: Cancel debt, nationalization bankrupting

Occupy World Wide, science and technological

Elk: money out of politics, and end corporate personhood.

Leah: Shorten the workweek.

Meeting ended


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