minutes, DAWG meeting, Jan 9 2012

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Spanish Assembly – putting out a call for immigrants general strike for May Day. Pretty far along in process. Newspaper in spanish. No intention to translate to english.

Occupy for campus – Improv Everywhere & OWS occupied subways in Underwear.  Addition: started a GA in Union Square. Took off. Over 1000 people joined. Most not occupiers. Using Mic Checks and twinkles. Using all these tools we brought to this world. It was amazing.

DA Communications subgroup. Group was charged with finding best practices to communicate w/ each other w/ technology.  Attendance has been slim. Talked about all sorts of e-mail communications, social media, NYCGA.net.  DA, like any other working group, has a group sub-blog, directaction.nycga.net. Meet Wednesday, 12:00, 60 Wall .

First event planned by new unofficial group: random autonomous working group. Funeral for Bill of Rights. Went really awesome. We now have a giant coffin and a giant bill of rights that anyone can use.

Yesterday, few of us went to PR working group meeting. Had an agenda item about pre-emptively forming messaging about elections. Good that folks from DA were there to counter some sentiments. Right now they’re working on, we’re not partisan, we don’t endorse anyone. We had suggested that they go around to working groups and host a large conversation about this for the GA. DA has had some proposals about how to deal with this, but it’d be good to have a  conversation about that, can continue for the next few weeks.

Agenda items:

Discussion on protocol or requirements for DA sanctioning actions.
- Over the past couple of months, lots of actions that have been sanctioned by DA that were brought in by outsiders. If OWS just puts its stamps on anything, it makes a lack of specificity over what we’re about.
- What does it mean to endorse an action? WE develop a range of control for the movement. I don’t think we should be doing that. If you’re doing an action, that means you’re empowered to do that on your own. We need to be concerned with big day actions.
- free those boundaries up and focus on big calls to action.
- stop endorsing actions as official OWS actions.  not helpful toward people performing autonomous actions.
- there’s an issue of overload.
-There have been instances where other groups are coming in with other actions and taking up time and resources. Preventing from being able to organize large actions.
- if an outside group wants the support of OWS or attendance, it’s okay to bring them to us. I think they should just be announcements. They should go to GA or Spokes.
-A place that shows what actions are on what day, like a calendar.
POI: someone at the strat. Meeting yest, talked about a searchable database.
- if it’s an action that needs planning, it should be a breakoutgroup, and the person who’s bottom lining it should be willing to come to as many meetings as necessary.
- problem is with big unions and things like MoveOn coming in and saying we’re going to have a presidential rally and stamp OWS on it.
- How we got to this place. DA was empowered to decide what the actions were to free the GA up from having to do that. I’d hate to see actions get bogged down by having to get endorsement from the GA. And if actions get endorsed, they can go to GA as direct action and ask for money.
POI:Concerning the MTA protest, I went to the GA last night, tried to get support there, told to come here.
- DA should focus its time on actions that fit in the framework of what we worked on Sunday. We should make sure there are varying levels of risk in any action so everyone can feel comfortable.
(discussion initiator will take this feedback and work with those interested to come up with a proposed policy)

Hub structure discussion.
We decided DA would be the central hub that affinity groups and others could plug into for resources and infosharing. We’ve lost sight of that.  I don’t want to squelch anyone’s direct action. My approval starts when I get involved.  Not to say “sorry we have an action today and you can’t do it.” but to say “ hey we have an action to day, here are some resources.”
- calendar exists
-person volunteers making paper calendars
-the structure we have where someone can come and announce their action is great. I also think the structure where you go to DA 101, then you come to meetings, then you do breakout sessions, and then you come to DA with a proposal.  If actions go through that process, then we have something we really can sink our teeth into.
- DA doesn’t function well because its DA, it functions well because it’s a group of dedicated anarchists.
- Been part of DA for a month now. Had trouble getting involved and learning to plan actions. I’d like to see planning actions as a group.
- I’m afraid, come summer, some members of other working groups will disavow certain actions. We are not all on the same page of solidarity, and we don’t consider what solidarity means. Even if we get rid of our hierarchy here, we still have a bigger issue in the movement.
(end of discussion)

Labor Outreach: Occupy MTA, J12 (Thursday), 2 Broadway
Goldman sachs financial advisor for MTA. Oversee billions of dollars of MTA bonds. Mostly tax-free income for 1%.  transit workers are in a contract fight. Expires Jan 15. MTA is asking for zero raises. Healthcare cutbacks. Previous MTA boss said if we don’t accept those conditions, there may be mass layoffs. Couple months after last wave of layoffs, MTA tripled its investment staff. Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, etc. Hypocrisy is blatant, and so is the theft. Last month, document  showed how banks are ripping off the MTA. at the goldman rally about a month ago,  people came with the squid costumes. I’d like to see that happen again.  Asking for support and help with getting e-mail announcements out.  I would like everyone to come, and support what we’re doing.
- help offered with getting out press release
- folks involved with squidding action offer help
- we need to show solidarity.
- emerging consensus is we want to do it. We don’t need to go through a rubber stamping process.
POI: DA has endorsed actions in two ways. One, you go through proposal process. Other thing we do is actually endorse actions by temperature check. That’s a solidarity endorsement.
(major uptwinkles on temperature check)

Proposal: OWS-capades. Citi offers free ice-skating at Bryant park. It would be nice to get families to go and occupy bryant park ice rink with patches on our backs, on tshirt material. Say things like “Hey citi! Yay on free ice-skating, not so much on foreclosures!” The only cost  is rental of ice skates.
Proposer will come back tomorrow to work within breakout group session.

J11, 3pm, Times Square. Action against NDAA and solidarity w/ Nigeria. It’s also ten year anniversary for Guantanamo. Then we’re marching to the Nigerian Consulate, moment of silence, and reading off names of the dead. We should get to consulate at 5. That is the entire action.
Nigeria Solidarity – Meeting tomorrow (J10) 4:30 to present the plan. See presenter for location.
Anti NDAA meetings: Friday @ 5 Sunday @ 3 both here at 60 Wall.

Political Repression toward OWS movement: 1st meeting tonight @ 5pm @ office
See what folks want to do about it and  launch a public response. We would like this to be a bigger conversation including folks around the country.

Big SOPA Rally!
Free speech form of the NDAA.
Day before “internet SOPA awareness day” directing folks back to a specific website to help folks coordinate a response to this as autonomous individuals in solidarity.
Time and Date to be announced.
Contact Tony: #Occupymandolin (twitter)

Structural Critique of Visioning Session (discussion)
- Our structure assumes that you have resources and connections to formulate a full proposal and caters to folks who do that. would like to see is a group coming together and forming a plan together. This takes a lot of work and more time but its a movement toward analyzing how we work together, not just what we work on.  requesting time and space to figure out how to analyze our process and figure out what we want.
- I don’t think ownership entered the room yesterday in a way that was restrictive. I think the idea was to put a bunch of stuff out there and come to an idea of what people wanted to work on.
- Clarify:  anyone can bring an idea to the table, but it assumes you  have an idea that fits into the structure.
- totally agree that the way we do things and make decisions is just as important. I that yesterday was really positive and a conversation I’d been waiting to have for a long time.
- sunday’s meeting moved forward toward what you’re talking about. I’m hoping that when we look at what actions we want to support, we can work as a whole group. I also think that ideally, the structure with breakout groups, people can come out with an announcement, form a group, get it together, works. I’m not sure that’s how it works all the time.
- the structures are developed with good intent, but we have to be careful about how we do this, because we can use all these anti-oppression methods to be super opresseive.  How do we apply the theory of anarchist organizing into something that we dont’ know what it looks like? I think we need time and space to figure that out.
- at OWS GAs, somebody brings forth a proposal, and people make friendly amendments, and they’re either accepted or denied by the proposer. And that is the only proposal we look at on that topic that night. People should be free to make counter-proposals. I feel like one of the big problems when we have looser conversations is that we don’t have solidarity or unity in the question. If we can’t agree on the question, that seems like the source of a lot of communication errors.
-The structure felt a little constrictive and deterministic. It put complementary proposals in competition. I like the idea of pre-formulating ideas. Is there a way to bring pre-formulatied ieas and still have space for not-yet formulated.
- having a six-month visioning session could take six months to figure out.  I think it can be frustrating and also beautiful. We should have some space for re-evaluating.
- in DC we had an inter-occ GA where a bunch of people from different occupations come together and discussed ideas for the future. We came up with 20 pages of incredible ideas, but no real plans. If we had a couple more meetings, we could have come up with a legit plan.
POI: this is an on-going process in DA, series of Sunday strategy sessions
(end of discussion)

Selection of list moderators
We need 5 people to moderate this list. We want those people to be good, reliable, and trustworthy, and also have it open to people so they can have access to resources.
POI: we consensed that we would change list moderators monthly

Proposal: re-take public space Mar. 2012, National Call to Action
(proposal is read)
answers to clarifying questions:
- Proposer talked to individuals in Chicago, in communication with Oakland and Portland.
- This should be a call that comes from OWS. It should be on the website. Help draft.
- This proposal is just the call, and what it does is set the stage.  there’s  a meeting on the 21st.

concerns
- others are initiationg surveys to when, where, we’d like to occupy. This proposal sort of negates our efforts.
- the way to make stuff happen is not proposals, it’s organizing. I’d like for people to be mindful; saying something will happen, it won’t happen unless you do it.
- If we could talk about springtime, instead of March specifically, i’d feel much more comfortable.

POI: The feminists’ block is planning on talking about occupation in march. What that looks like has yet TBD. Even if this were to pass, we might still do that.

Friendly amendments
- You may want to go to other working groups, and do this as well. specifically talk to PR, which is selective about what they want to promote.
- meld our efforts, add the 21st as our first meeting.
(FAs not accepted)

PoP: Conversation ensuing among a small group.
PoP: theres not an emerging consensuse here.

(group tabled proposal)

Announcements

Pittsburgh: We’re camped out on BNY Mellon. Their address in NYC is 1 Wall Street. They’re being sued by three different states for ripping off nearly 2 million in pension funds They are suing occupation but city council stands in solidarity. Mayor said they wouldn’t raid. Tomorrow is the first day of the court hearings. At 3 p.m. We want to start a march to 1 Wall street. Marches going on in seventeen other cities. Support us! March against some of the greediest people in the country. 3 p.m. Liberty Square.

Initiative and Referendum. Exercising soverign power to impose our will on the government. Plebecite, when it is used on a national level. I can cite to you from the decleration of indedpendence, and the ninth amendment. We the people have the power to tell them. (meet with announcer after meeting)

M23-25, large anti-war conference in Stamford. 40 workshops, some very interesting speakers, cross country. Involved in fighting islamophobia, the war, for palestininaing rights, police brutality.  UNACPEACE.org for more detail. The conference will be a teriffic jumping off point to organize for the massive protests in May for G8 and NATO conferences, organized in chicago. It will be historic.

Proposal at GA that will be continued on Sat.  It’s to freeze general fund.  Hopefully we can change it so that GAs aren’t all about spending money.

Unsettling Occupation is meeting in this space at 6:00 PM today.

J21, solidarity w/ egypt (flyers handed out)

J17, noon, march from the red cube to wall street, then march the brooklyn bridge. Glitter theme. Beautify the ugly face of wall street! Encouraging people beore noon to take autonomous actions with glitter.

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