Movement Building Meeting notes 1/17/12

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Movement Building Meeting, 1/17/12

Facilitator, Tammy; notes: Cliff


Occupy Jersey City visiting, having issues and are here to listen in and see if they can learn something.  Would like to talk later for advice, etc.

Report backs: 

International movement building, teach-in thurs 7pm 56 Walker, preface for celebrating anniversary of Egypt uprising, teachin is about teargas.  Then week of action 21st through 25th.  We will cancel the meeting next Thursday so that people can attend.  Ezer will send an email out to let everyone know.  Also, international interocc possible subgroup of interocc, which would connect international groups and other groups like Take the Square.  For discussion next week.  Feedback from Movement Building appreciated, then outreach will be necessary.  Tami will sidebar with Ezer later.

JR facilitated Occupy Colleges call, lack of coordination btw students and occupies.

Next Friday, at 6:30pm at Judson Church a meeting on city wide GA.

Roadtrip – anyoneone interested needs to fill out the survey.  One person from OJC is interested, but for the moment it is only OWS.  Give Tami an email address and she will send out a survey.  Website is bitly/theoccutrip.

Tami had a call with some people exploring potential national allies.  If anyone is interested in interfacing with potential allies, meeting is next Wednesday.  There is a doodle for the time, let Tami know and she will send you an email with the link to the doodle.

Student group out of Johns Hopkins is putting together a forum, flying in 1 individual for 10 cities.

DA spokes – some confusion amongst people who were hosting it, there were two points of tension having to do with oppression dynamics within the group, feeling they weren’t being heard which took a lot of energy out of the group.  Went off the agenda and talked about what was and wasn’t working in the meeting.  Finally, chose eviction defense as a model for a big campaign and workshopped that.  This was an exercise, and in the debrief it was discussed that this was already being done and how can we connect with that?

MLK Vigil Riverside event went well, no coopting.  The audit, we need to add to our movement building statement & submit meeting minutes.

Mission statement:

Draft st

Draft statement was read

Question: any interest in expanding OWS rather than inter-movement building?

R: Visioning day was one example of one thing we do, and that’s not represented in the mission statement.  Maybe that needs to come from everywhere?

R: one thing missing sharing the experience between different occupations and reaching out to existing constituencies/organization

R:  The idea of bringing the movement perspective, being movement conscious.  There’s a difference between building infrastructure and bringing a movement forward.  Having the understanding that we are something bigger than ourselves, as well as setting up a structure to get along internally.

R:  Participation in national connections and coordination?  Providing a national movement perspective & bringing the occupy narrative to the rest of the world.  (added)

R: Building skills and networking and sending training to each other.

R: Retool the first two sentances to be more clear?

R:  If we try to do everything we’re going to do nothing.  We may not be the place that things come out of but where people come to to help coordinate things that are happening.  “participating in the national networking and helping people share skills and information”?

R:  For the mission statement that is way too specific.

R:  Say what we are doing but also say what we are not doing.  “First connects OWS to the rest of the occupy movement.”

DR: there has been a lot of work on what we do and what we want to be doing in previous meetings.

R: similar mission statement with Infohub?  The word “connects” does not speak to the movement building velocity.

Q: can you find one word that would work:

R: engage? Spring up? Out? Beyond barriers?

R: not a good idea to get caught up in specific language.

R: we’ve been a working on this for a while and we have to move forward, this is a challenge.  How do we move forward with a group of people who weren’t a part of this?

S: we can do this online – someone who has been here for the whole thing.  This has to be up on Friday, or we meet on Thursday.

DR: we are open to people to come in, asking for humility when new, listen more and suggest less.

R:  we need to move on.  We have this challenge in the movement, specific people dominating the whole group and try to move on.  Can others be in the effort to craft the draft?

S: can we just agree to revisit this in 6 weeks?

R: we need to move forward.

R: this is a complex conversation and it has been decided that this group would like to have others contribute after attending a certain number of meetings.

R: we are taking the edits to a subgroup who has been working on the same process to work on the statement.  They will email around, then ask for feedback, by Friday back to the Google grou for blocks.

R: the policy of the 2 meetings feedback should be made upfront and posted on the NYCGA.

Structure of 2 meetings a week, every other week the meeting will be a cluster (any other group of the movement for input and to work on the project)


Ongoing MB projects:

regional CoC outreach

Bring movement perspective to OWS

Reach out to existing movements

DA spokes

Engaging remote occupiers

Expanding convo on a national level


Example projects for cluster:

National gathering

May 1st  (boycott day)

Greensboro call – March to state houses, March 25th

Freedom Summer


Needs fulfilled by cluster:

IO people to go to national & international forums

Bring movement perspective to OWS

Outreach about interocc

Discussion about narrative that connects and builds actions

Reportbacks from other clusters


C: a proposal for outreach, movement building and visions and goals cluster

C: the cluster is a place to organize the periphery tasks around a specific action and identify where it fits in the narrative/ its relevance

We will continue this conversation next meeting.  We will also clarify our membership process and discuss MB projects. *send to google group*


OJC:  being dominated by 3 people, with clearly a different political agenda, misrepresenting themselves as true representation, very divisive and resistant to criticism but have a reputation in the activism scene as experienced. Is mediation possible? Or desirable?  Work is not getting done and engagement people to join doesn’t seem to make sense.

C: would liken it to Occupy Harlem, split out into West Harlem GA.  Consider mediation or start your own GA.

S: passing through a principals of accountability statement?

C: total resistance to any statement of any kind.

Q: whats the decision making protocol?

C: majority, undefined by number.  Plus they bring in members from other orgs during votes.

Q: do you think they are doing it because they feel threatened by losing power or do they have an agenda to accomplish?

A: they have control  and the rest are on their own to do outreach or other work.

C: common story.  Its about learning how to work together.  Sometimes workshops can be effective.   Consider also growing the GA so the majority is bigger, or vote with your feet.

C:  you’re lucky to have a small group.  Invite them to other OWS GAs.  Or do a second GA.  Don’t get stuck on procedure.

R: a lot of people left because they couldn’t deal with it.  Doesn’t want to promote something that’s equally divisive.

S: one way to remain connected is to work on national projects.  It wouldn’t need to go through the GA and embolden the smaller group of people.

C: that’s ultimately what we’ve been doing.

C: they come from a hard left political position.  They alienate people and are not realistic.  If they alienate their own members how are they going to galvanize the whole community?

C: People have been dropping out of the GA because of this.

S: when you start a new GA, keep them small and consense only on what needs to consense on.


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