Notes from 12.18.11 Visioning Day @ Pace University

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Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Movement Component, post it notes, themes
    1. Outreach and Growth,
    2. Narrative
    3. Social and Political successes/wins/impact
    4. Other
    5. Actions and Tactics
    6. Internal coordination accountability and decision making
    7. Visioning Process, Strategy, Long term thinking
    8. Interoccupation communications, coordination
    9. Shared Values and Principles
    10. Trust Relationship Building
  3. Visions for the future
  4. Feedback




These notes were mined from an exercise during the OWS visioning day on December 18th, 2011. They were generated through a process that went as follows. The ten movement components were posted around the room on big butcher paper. The group broke up into which component they wanted to discuss in depth.


In each component, small groups were formed. Each small group came up with one question they wanted to ask the larger group and then wrote those questions on the big butcher paper hanging around the wall.


Then everyone in the big group walked around and answered the questions on the butcher paper by writing their answers on post it notes. Some people wrote checks on post it notes they agreed with.


Finally, small groups categorized the post it notes in each component and found emergent themes.


Below are the notes from this exercise. Different people typed up different sections of these notes so they appear in different formats. Some categories have checks that indicate agreement. Others left the checks off. Some categories have listed themes, others didn’t really identify themes and were left with just answers, and still others only wrote down the emergent themes.



1. Outreach and Growth

How do we build and develop relationships with existing organizations (part of the 99%)
Trust our own integrity
Win small victories that matter to them
Offer support/solidarity (1 check)
Active cooperation (1 check)
Create regional maps/databases of grassroots and progressive organizations.  Plan coordinated events.  (1 check)
This can be done by dialoguing with the already established organizations in order to investigate issues previously discussed (1 check)
Learn about/support existent fights of orgs
Support their causes/not dismissing
Speak to them (2 checks)
Hold bullies/disrupters accountable so we aren’t embarrassed to invite people to our meetings (3 checks)
Find common, shared values, activities and systems of thought
Create a space for what they are passionate about already working on to move further because of the movement that will bring people to join us and work TOGETHER (1 check)
Work more with churches and places where the unemployed go for help (1 check)
Don’t make villains out of “established” orgs in the progressive political world (1 check)
Mixers and scheduled dinners & camping

How can we use tactics that help outreach?
We hold ourselves accountable.  We bottom line. We support those who are bottom lining.
If marches are good for outreach, and if we occasionally have massive turnout, what barriers stand in the way of making them more frequent?
Targeted, locally generated actions in many communities.  Occupying vacant homes, closed schools, defunct community centers, etc.
Bum-push: feed your community, serve your community, clothes your community (1 check)
Feed people (4 checks)
Solution oriented actions that meet needs (2 checks)
Public Works/assistance projects.  Find a local need and fill it! (1 check)
Communal houses networked in neighborhoods
Hold a “New York Summer”
Create a national assembly and convergence in the summer of 2012!
Guerilla marketing/public propaganda
Keep focus marching on wall st!
Change the question.  Let’s stop talking about “outreach” as a means of addressing the lack of racial diversity in the OWS movement.  If we put the voices of POC in the center of the movement and listen to them, the movement will organically represent more of the 99% (and that’s when we continue to address racism in the movement)

How can we break down the barriers that will allow people to move from passive to active participation?

There is a dose of passivity in horizontalism.  Even though “active” without competition is level all must reach must be enabled to enhance more active self participation.
Build trust and create spaces where people can feel safer yet still push their comfort zones

How do we build a multi-racial movement?
With truth, love and honesty
Work w diverse communities to help facilitate neighborhood based assemblies so they can decide what they want to do
Occupy ethnically diverse regions and communities (2 checks)
Don’t have every action in the city centers (2 checks)
Go to the places where people live
Meetings at accessible times and places for working people
Work with orgs and movements based in oppressed communities (don’t assume they’re not there)
Ask people of color led organization/communities of color what their needs are and organize around their answers
By not seeing the races, but abstract differences
Recognize we are all red – identify common experiences of oppression and judgement
Work towards prison abolition
Poll on everything – more polls
Public polls – information sessions versus teach-ins to elucidate our movement for the uninformed and confused (1 check)
Ask them (4 checks)
Basic info easily accessible through web/email
Meet with other orgs to discuss how it makes sense for them/their membership to relate to this momentum.  Listen.  Don’t be prescriptive.  Don’t just ask them to attend “our” stuff.
LISTEN and consider others’ perspectives and experience without first getting defensive
Give structures, procedures, information that make sense to our allies.
Give the positive ways to serve their communities
Information is power.  Improve basic communication to improve inclusivity
Accept where working people are right now.  Radical may be calling their congressperson.  That’s ok. (1 check)
Work with labor

How can we create education and empowerment for long term strategy?
Can’t Pay. Won’t Pay. Join us. Don’t pay.
Free Universities (3 checks)
Skill share. Realize everybody has something to teach and learn (3 checks)
Techno Religion (new traditions)
To the semi-liberal educating them on the 2008 crisis and it’s aftermath and just how Orwellian and corrupt it was.  You gain a more devoted and fervent following . Not for everyone only for some.  (1 check)
Educate people in many ways, reach them everywhere (1 check)
Student debt pledge of refusal
Utilize the internet.  More ed funding.  Better ed policy.  Do test studies on what students respond to. Look to other countries where education is better and ask why it is.
Start in grade schools get kids involved (1 check)
Involve more teachers and less academics (1 check)

How do we diversify our efforts for long term approaches while continuing actions?
Using actions to diversify:  ie: Occupy homes, then build on that action.  Follow through
Keep doing things in vein of foreclosure march.  Leave the occupy bubble to get an outside perspective and incorporate this view into decision making, and results and efforts.  (2 checks)
Stop marginalize others, stop (ism’s) (1 check)
Get other existing constituencies and institutions in motion.  Help unleash more forces to run with what they know how to do.  Don’t build all separate events from scratch.
By letting people speak for themselves instead of speaking for them and deciding what they need
Organize debate OWS + Tea Party (1 check)
By raising projects and working groups into their own movements
Don’t focus on “outreach” – implies this is our movement and other must join.  We need to start by seeking to engage the visions and needs of marginzlied communities, let their struggles shape our strategy

What barriers to inclusion exist?
So many get logistical, not academic
Disrespectful people/actions
Too intellectual (2 checks)
People who aren’t “involved” but are somehow supportive think that the only way to plug in is through direct action, which some people are either uncomfortable with or not able to participate in.  We need to broaden what “involvement” means (2 checks)
Rigidity of Process (1 check)
Difference in education levels
Narrowness of issues discussed, issues that mainly impact middle class white people (1 check)

How do we bring the 98% of the 99% into the movement?
More community outreach
More silly random silliness outreach
Assemblies in neighborhoods, workplaces, and universities as vehicles for people to build sustainable structures in their communities with other people with whom they share a space, long term relationships, grievances, etc.
New Calendar, guaranteed annual leave world-wide
PROACTIVE word-of-mouth outreach throughout the city, targeted to areas and groups that may not realize how our ideals and concerns overlap theirs.
Reach out to existing community orgs!!!
Boycott 2012 presidential election (it’s controlled by the 1%) (2 checks)
Create and publicize low level participation activities for people without a lot of time
Get them food, housing, love
Win stuff! Achieve even tiny victories! (1 check)
Leave the occupy bubbles, get outside perspective.  Bring this understanding back into the bubble.
People need to have a way to participate depending on their own restraints
Mobile Occupation that travels and throws unconferences like this!
Not our business maybe, but help advice-takers
Ask them, they will let you know!
Don’t just protest! At home, school, work, etc.  talk to people (not argue or debate) about your feelings ask their opinions.
How can we galvanize middle class folks who don’t think OWS relates to them?
The 1 % will help if they keep responding violently
Forecast their future in an economic meltdown
Galvanize around issues that are important to people, create non violent tactics
Advocate for things people are interested in, make a good impression

Are you interested in collaborating on a listening project?  And then be part of a “barnraising” to identify resources for inclusion?
Is the goal of the barnraising to establish a network of shared or communal property?
Before we begin listening to and engaging with marginalized communities, those of us who are from communities of privilege (class, race, gender) and those who are comfortable/benefit from the dominant culture need to commit to ongoing personal anti-oppression learning and discussion.  (1 check)
Sure, maybe, LOL!
Yes (
Of course!
Yes, I’m
Yes, please

Random Post its

2. Narrative
1. How do we have a message that is inclusive but not reductive?
– now is the time to overthrow all forms of authority
– simplify
– help people unlearn looking for a leader

2. If we bring other issues (such as environmentalist) into our narrative, do we risk fracturing our base and becoming divided and ineffective movement?Or are we uniting a message that has been fractured?
– All issues are directly related to each other.  Let’s show that.
– These issues are artificially divided.
– The ultimate narrative is a shift in consciousness across all areas, from separation to unity, from competition to collaboration, from fear to love.
– Pollution is corporate greed occupying our lungs, unifying economics and environmental justice aren’t separate issues.  they are ways the problem of greed is manifest.
– environmental issues affect us all
– ecology affects the entire human race

3. In out narrative, how do we root our movement historically?
– learn our family history
– reeducate ourselves with political history lessons
– read, discuss
– more committees of correspondence
– the econoncmice rights movement is the natural successor of the civil rights movement
– connect to the Polish solidarity movement of the 1980s.
– be direct about structural racism

4. How can we emphasize the self-decay of the current economic and political systems?
– diversity of tactics
    – publicize our stories
    – literature
    – educate
    – spread information by credible references
    – information campaigns
    – make education accessible
    – research statistics about distribution
    – by constantly reporting this to the world

5. We have to make a better effort to be inclusive, making sure that everyone participates and feels at home.  How will we do that?
– we can’t be inclusive to the point of exclusivity
– educate on histories of collective liberation
– people will feel included if we do earnest outreach and community work.
– initiate self-reflection
– hold to our core principles: equality, nonviolence, compassion, sustainability
– neighborhood centered art
– organize teach-ins on past social movements and invite speakers

3. Social and Political Successes/Wins/Impact
1. How do we organize with more people towards specific goals?
– propaganda
– give them candy
– concrete local struggles and broader fight against economic justice
– actually uphold facilitation at meetings
– regroup the groups, model a system that represents what we want to be
– ask communities what their goals are
– support building and nyc garbage workers strike.
– create regional, national, and international platforms to discuss and work on goals.
– communication on multiple mediums
– find common values and dreams.  define common enemies
– use actions like D6 as a model.  scaleable, attainable, open source.
– scale up anti-foreclosure campaign against banks.  keep people in their homes.  this is an action that will invite many people into the movement
– GAs with churches
– reduce the total number of actions and put more energy into advertizing them broadly.  
– constitutent based democratic assemblies for communities to have space for what they want to work on collectively
– no goals, please.  movement towards principles only.  

2. How can we form powerful alliances without risk of cooption?
– Continue to articulate our principles.
– Have a concise mission statement
– Form a list of our values
– Don’t join other groups.  Invite them to join us.
– make sure that both sides are transparent and know that both sides can be critiqued
– agree to disagree
– stay united to our principles of solidarity.
– think of the mission, purpose.  let that be stronger than ideology
– we need to identify document, and declare our core set of values.  anyone who adopts those values as their own is a part of us.  anyone who aligns themselves with one or two is an ally.  the distinction is clear.  

3. How can the Occupy Movement help actalyze the emergence of a new economy that works for all of humanity and all life on this planet?
– Leading by example
– Start by declaring that this is possible
– by winning small battles one at a time
– move from big banks to small banks and credit unions.  Encourage other institutions to do that.  And work with the credit unions to ensure that money is used in truly sustainable ways.
– eradicate racism, sexism, homophobia, classism and other forms of oppression
– networks of personal relationships
– by evolving ourselves and forming a new awareness of humanity
– make each OWS working group that provides a good or service the nucleus of a global community
– patience, understanding, perseverence, and realize that we might be 70 by the time we accomplish our goals.  
– through collective action
– change ourselves first
– identify larger term goals, systemic changes

4. How can we align around a goal?
– relationship building, trust
– democratic process of consensus
– define the threat
– align around our values
– vet the goal in each working group, then bring it up in spokes council
– scientifically assess needs and measure what we can do step by step

4. Other
1. Should OWS become more involved in the labor practices of foreign countries (sweatshops, low income labor)?
– Yes, and this means being aware of the implications of our demands on people in other countries
– only labor practices; Not foreign policy
– if we can win something on that front in the short term, then sure.
– we are directly involved in spreading awareness on this topic because of the direct involvement of corporate exploitation in foreign policy
– No, clean your own house first.
– With great cation and understanding of how we may be responsible for many of the practices
– By not acknowledging that labor exploitation is a part of capitalism, we refuse to completely attempt to dismantle the end we’re fighting against.

2. Why/Do we have our priorities at OWS backwards?
– better strategy?
– lack of communication among/inside this movement
– silence individuals during spokes council

3. Why doesn’t OWS care about medical research? Are we only interested in treatment?
– This is an assumption
– to focus on healing

4. Strategy: How do we unify the disparate groups of workers, students, etc., into one democratic coordinating body promoting our interests while raising the struggle in opposition to the interests of the 1%?
– definte specific groups with distinct goals and coordinate those groups
– define each issue and reach a common enemy, analyze root causes
– perhaps by uniting around one win as a tactical movement-building tool, not as a goal in itself
– offer a positive vision and take tangible steps to manifest it.
– relax
– develop an electoral strategy with non-representative goals
– focus on holding the government accountable to the state and federal constitutions
– region-wide or nationa-wide working groups using modern technology to help build consensus across general assemblies
– meditate together
– if we keep working in groups, and the groups coordinate, this will happen organically over time
– decentralize, localize, confederate
– continue working towards functioning spokes councils which incorporate aspects of games and community building.

5. Actions and Tactics
1. Are actions more effective when workshoped by large assemblies or planned by small groups?
– It depends on the knowledge, dedication, resourcefulness, communication and general relationships in the group?
– usually small groups work better
– affinity groups, lots of variation on larger theme
– global action requires sunstantially larger groups in order to come to consensus on an action that is both unique and effective
– often in small groups, but those groups have a responsibility to gage the larger group and the impact of the action
– small group planning is necessary for some small actions.  For large actions that affect the whole movement, small group planning may not initially be necessary but th eplanning should be decentralized and the movement must be involved early.  It will help everyone.
– we need both

2. How can we make the movement accessible, radicalizing and mobilizing the most challenged communities?
– education of ourselves and others
– base actions on interviews in other communities
– listen to community needs
– by learning and becoming more persuasice
– an encuentro or a massive free concert.
– barn raising
– offer actions that serve them in a positive way
– midnight march on new year’s eve
– choose actions that contribute services
– by achieving small wins that matter to them
– grassroots outreach
– jail solidarity, critique of political power
– presence in schools

3. How can we distrupt business as usual?
– economic campaigns
– coordinate and solidarity
– go after infrastructure
– use our bodies
– create alternatives – cooperatives, guerilla theater, free music and art
– research and education
– starve and choose
– practice non-violence, plan, plan, plan
– choose one target and wreck them.

4. How can we align our tactics and strategies?
– articulate a clear strategy
– prioritize causes seasonally
– workshop strategies, then figure out what tactics can be best used for achieving our end goal.
– which actions and tactics most clearly and effectively express our collective values, encourage enthusiasim and participation, sustain momentum, help us ahcieve our visions and goals.  


Should We Occupy With Culture?  How?
Political theater:
– funeral for the middle class
– street theater
– puppet shows
– antagonistic fun games that fuck up business as usual
– all species day, funeral for extinct species
– resistance through Art
– Lead by example, show democracy really work
– speakers training, OWS Chefs and Catering Cookbook, dance classes, famous people stopping in for cameos
– Teach-ins
– educational programming for children
– Grow things!
– Weekly hotmeals, serve-food-not-bombs
– Poem trees
– Aggressive use of art.  Let’s put banners over Times Square’s TVs
– Drum circles
– String quartet at the info table

6. Internal Coordination, Accountability, Decision-making

1. What accountability processes will OWS implement when undertaking decision-making?
Our process is our message!
How can the GA become a body that does not hold us, who are not physically present at every at every meeting, hostage to decisions made by small ‘lobbies’ that show up to push their narrow agenda on a given night?
How do we prevent OWS finance from encouraging an image/reality that there is an ‘OWS Central Command’ that dispenses funds like a foundation to weaker bodies (other GAs, etc.)?
Fewer GAs will ensure more people attend and are accountable to each other.
Should we disclose ‘leadership’ so people can be accountable to the whole movement? Or should we operate anonymously so that no ‘stars’ develop and align with power to make decisions for us all?
When autonomous groups make movement-wide decisions (like the decision to re-occupy), how can we make sure feedback is incorporated into the process, from initial messaging to aftermath?
How can we assure that more people gain facilitation skills so more people play a role in the interest-formation process?
Check out Safer Spaces document
Electronic voting.  What kind of majority do we need? (i.e. simple, 2/3, 90%)
Digital trending for consensus
Re-consensing community agreements every meeting, first.
We should hold working groups and assemblies to agreed-upon criteria, such as open facilitation groups, community-written agendas, unrestricted communication, a sustainable amount of meetings and emails, and clean points of entry, for starters.
Confirm commitment to spokescouncil.
Be true to ourselves and not follow norms of white guilt or racism.
Fist of five.
Value-based consensus which may provide list of values decision is based on.
We need to recognize who is suggesting and making decisions and be mindful of who isn’t being represented and who is being spoken for and who is speaking for themselves.
Group debriefing after strategic actions
Implement conflict transformation processes
Where is there space for acknowledging and working through conflict?
How can we begin addressing grievances and concerns before moving ahead to accountability?

2. Transparency
Financial transparency
Authority needs to be transparent.  Ex: who posts to OWS Facebook?  Who signs the bank accounts?
Full access to all info for all groups, esp. financial.
Enforce rules/boundaries
Something where consensus-based rules are actually upheld.
Establish ways to enforce procedures of spokescouncil.
Enforced boundaries.
Creating boundaries for discussion and limiting statements to that discussion. People who do not are reminded and if they continue leave for the rest of the meeting.
Solidarity network text/fb/web to get info out about actions or support actions.
Consensus/elections are the most legitimate form of delegation of authority.
Spokes abolished
No representative governance
No facilitation
Working group
Destroy specialists
No ‘training’ of direct-democracy
Will? None
Stop making decisions for other people.

3. Do we let bullies have too much power?
Critique of premise
This is a weird/leading question.  Who are the bullies? Who has the power? (is the real question)
Over-simplification: I want to stop seeing ignored, need everywhere.
How do we build a culture that derails bullying behavior?
Is it that we think that bullies have too much power, or that a select few overdramatize even the smallest decisions?
I think there is some work in progress in dealing in inside issues.
I have trouble speaking up.
I love speaking up.
Facilitation: make those who block proposals justify the legitimacy of their block.  Accept legitimate blocs; respect/overrule blocks that are illegitimate because they are off-topic non-sequitors, or they are blackmailing/holding the GA hostage.
This word is a problem. We don’t have bullies—we have people who feel shut out and stand up for themselves.
What’s a bully?
Not bullies.  Just anyone disrespectful of the process. No one in particular implied. We have all ben disrespectful at some point.
We let people who enjoy saying no interrupt the flow of decision-making
Beware of tyranny of the minority/beware of the mob mentality.
I do hear the same loud people dominate all the time.
God, yes!
Yes.  If a few people talk a lot they silence the voices of others.
Suggestions for dealing
Everyone must have the opportunity to have their voices heard but also be accountable to the community
Bring more people into the planning and decision-making process.
Re-enforce that no one knows what’s best for all.
Yes, if someone needs to go off-topic because they have been offered or have an issue that’s personal—for the good of the overall meeting it should be noted and placed in the ‘parking lot’ for last 30 minutes of meeting.
We need to hear all aspects of ourselves yet we also need personal discipline. Imagine the group mind .  Acknowledge all aspects  but also be vigilent to not be led astray.  

4. How do we create a process where all voices can find safe space?
Old order: Us vs. Them
New order: We are one
We would not be a movement if there were not disrupters—some may also be acting/seen as bullies.  Maybe if we had a space where more people felt like they were a part of the process we would have fewer bullies.
Organize compassionate, skilled, validating interventions with the bullies.
How do we ccreate a process where all voices can find safe space?
Hidden bullies/social privilege
Yes. We also allow those with power and  privilege to become our own bullies within the movement.
Yeah, but they operate through positivity and niceness.
Relationships are power in this movement. How can we empower people who may have less social capital?
Demagogues and people who have more time to invest in working groups gain more capital. This can be un-democratic.
Nature of the bully/How a bully works
Bullies come in many forms.  Let’s call it disruption.  Disruptions should not be allowed to happen unless it’s extreme, like a ‘block’.
Bullies know why they are bullies and how to get power.
All bullies are leaders—we chose not to have positive leaders, but we are allowing negative leaders
Bullies are bullies because they know better.
It is difficult to (sometimes) define ‘strong person’ and bully’.  Community consensus can clearly show the answer, and put actions in place to transform.

7. Visioning Process, Strategy, Long term thinking

What are some concrete actions we can take that impact individuals (ie: occupy our homes, bank transfer day)

Coordinate home defense with invasions of offending mortgage holding bank
Address directly the issue of homelessness, continue working with homeless outreach even though we don’t have Zucotti anymore (one check)
Occupy and open up each facility that has been closed down – libraries, schools, hospitals, subways, bus routes, etc (one check)
Mark all foreclosures (1 check)
We should occupy Many more foreclosed homes, preferably all at once (2 checks)

Occupy Empty Co-ops
Create worker Owned co-operative day
Join co-op day (one check)
Occupy main street (in service, not protest)
Occupy public school system k – 12 (one check)

Achieve a small legislative victory on foreclosure or student debt that will open the road to big ones!
Occupy the polls
Get actual 99%ers elected

Continual contacts, discussions, presentations of ows and push them to participate share with us – work @every corner and get to know genuinly the people of your chosen zone, space, community
Ask them what they want, need and feel plain and simple.  If you ask, you know (1 check)

Support the NYC building sanitation workers strike in January ( 2 checks)
We should occupy many more foreclosed homes,m preferably all at once (2 checks)
Involve more teachers and less academics
Nutritional Recover and Love

Are we for governance?  Is this movement anti-Capitalist?

By saying anti-capitalist we close ourselves off to many people (2 checks)
Not anti-Capitalist.  That is too narrow a message (one check)
No government. No representation.  Yes anti-capitalist.  Yes anti-State.  State implies hierarchy
Yes Anti-capitalist.  Yes for organization (Democratic and Accountable)
Politics is a must.  Tents suggest mobility.  Politics entail flexibility, clarity and that value of HONESTY that must be restored
Not anti-capitalist, anti-oligarchy
2 different q’s… 1. I am by some kind of consensus process 2. yes
Yes, in the sense that we seek to democratize every institution, especially the economy.  capitalism strives to privatize everything and profit from it, for the benefit only of the 1%
This movement is against corporate greed.  Corporate greed is an inherent part of capitalism.  Therefore, in order for this movement to accomplish its goals, it must do away with capitalism
Yes governance.  Yes anti-capitalist.
This is a democratic movement and capitalism is anti-democratic, so yes.
Yes. We must abolish the government and rebuild, as stated as our rights in the declaration of independence.
Directly democratic governance by us for us
Yes (on the first), Localize, localize, localize!
anti-capitalist always
For democratic govt. hopefully anti-capitalist eventually
We are anti-government and for something like the Iroquius had.  
Yes, please.  No, actually.
Anti-Capitalist.  Now is the time when the mass of people are open to it
anti-capitalism is too marginalizing for this stage of the movement

Is it more important to be stationary occupations or would it be practical to become mobile?

VERY important to have a stable commons, even if it can’t include camping (3 checks)
A firm location is critical to getting new people involved
A firm location is critical to creating a way for people outside OWS to learn about ti

Yes Foreclosed Home occupations!

Stationary occupations have become unfeasible because of police repression. Mobile occupations are the only option (1 check)
May not be a choice
We could reach more people if we were mobile
I think it’s most important that we have mobile occupations that send good concrete messages about how things should be.  We shouldn’t depend on these occupations as we depended on liberty as our “home”.  We should instead have a legal “home”: we pay for (rent) so when occupations get evicted we still have “central command” in tact.  

Not exclusive (one check)
You need both (one check)
We need both to work together (2 checks)
Both, the more ways to spread the message the better.  Use all practical resources at our disposal.  (3 checks)
This is our future: 1. Home base (maybe legal indoors) 2. mobile outreach occupations
Occupiers who become homeless in raids could go mobile, occupiers with jobs or other obligations could hold down a local stationary camp.  I personally am all for a traveling occupier caravan!

Mobile and stationary, remember occupation is just one tactic (2 checks)

Theme: we need to be flexible

How can we bring the open, communal, culture/atmosphere that existed within the occupation camps into everyday society?

Stand for a new economy that works for ALL and help build it now
Build the alternative society (3 checks)

Shorten the workday
This is nostalgic (one check)
Disrupt Television Schedules (one check)

Theme: Balance and Re-awaken the world

What should be the vision for the movement?

We need to ask everyone else, and get the highest common denominators
From south to North, From Chiapas to Canada, Occupy the Americas
People holding gov’t accountable to the rule of law
A participatory, democratic, self-managing, solidaristic, and equitable society in all areas of social life – economy, politics, community, gender/sexuality
To build an eco/human based system of unlimited resources and compassion
Stop planning secret meetings? Stop planning for others?
Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream “plus”
We can all be visionaries! (1 check)
Fairness, Anti-greed
Love (2 checks)
No more millionaires (1 check)
Peaceful revolution (2 checks)
A society of alternatives
Egalitarianism, Association, Seniority leading tot consensus and love
Community (one check)
Get big money out of politics
Alternative to Capitalist System (one check)
Sustainability and Equality (one check)
Nothing less than the evolution of the consciousness of humanity (2 checks)
A global transformitive informative non-violent social movement (one check)

Theme: Distribution of wealth

What/How do we focus/develop processes that will inform and protect the  movement?

community logistics humility
A culture of being honest about our needs.
Concerts with focus sessions supported by the musicians
Educational in/outreach
It’s not up to you to do so
We must first have a space to organize from where we can’t be evicted.  ie: Renting a large warehouse where we can plan and support larger actions out of.

How do we include 100% of the world’s population in the movement?

It’s not up to you to do so
Do listening projects with 100% of the world’s population. Find out what they want/need
By visioning an end to exploitation, imperialist wars and theft of resources and inviting participants from imperialized countries to list corporate targets that exploit them, and for us to take direct actions and boycotts to support the people being destroyed in those countries.  (one check)
By starting here and starting to win concrete shit.
Prioritize the posting of translations on and  Translations on are currently segregated (posted in translation working group area only and hardly visible to outsiders) (one check)
Mobile occupations that travels and throws unconferences like this
Ask them each for their input
Go local
Create an international dialogue platform (complete with translations!)
Start with wide-swath issues – (Glass stegal, citizens united) to bring in the biggest numbers
Well obviously first you would have to strip the top 1% of their power (one check)
Use Interoccupy communications to link up G.A.’s. And have more co-ordinated actions/platforms (one check)
“Love” the 1% with compassion for their sense of isolation and need for belonging to the 99% (us) (6 checks)
Neither possible nor desirable
After we depose the 1%, we can include them.
Many Global languages (2 checks)
Help catalyze the emergence of a new Economy that works for all
Continue in our online process – transparency (4 checks)
By generating a common vision inclusive of all human and planet needs.
Translating work to multiple languages (2 checks)
Reach out to people on a local level showing them how this movement supports them
Understand and message to mainstream culture (3 checks)
Occupy illiteracy! (4 checks)
Support movements happening already- messages, petitions ie: zapatistas
Core Principles like: equality, non violent, sustainable, compassionate (one check)
By failing
By persarvering and being patient, even if the transition to 100% takes 50 years or more.
Get out of New York and meet the other occupiers – listen to them carefully (2 checks)
small actionable campaigns that change politics
Barn Raising – coordinated interviews in most-affected communities to synthesize mandate and pool resources

theme: traveling

8. Interoccupation Communications, Coordination

How do we legitimize GA to GA communication?

Same proposals circulate through various GA’s in a fair process; also individual/local proposals are honored
Collect communications the way you guys are crowd-sourcing these answer and sending them en mass to other GA’s so they can account for all voices as well
By establishing horizontal systems of exchanges of experiences and communication
Simple G.A. results
Post minutes and make and interoccupation proposal (one check)
New technology
Forming GA-sanctioned committees of correspondence (6 checks)
Health (food, education, community, family, housing, wages, healthcare, dignity)

theme: committees of correspondence

Should we attempt to organize regional and/or national working groups? (and how? in line with the movement)
Hell yes!!
Yes! around projects such as nationally coordinated, locally situated mass mobilizations during thesummer, nationally coordinated direct actions
Groups must be accountable to local WG’s.  Shouldn’t be drafting all proposals/keeping info/ideas insular
Build relationships by calling and asking what are your current projects? what are road blocks and successes you have? What are your immediate needs>  How are you?  Do this everyday COMHUB!
Interoccupational proposals for organization

theme: Internet
Administrated/curated online groups
website: see craigslist

theme: Suggested Parameters
Yes, but only if GA-sanctioned
yes, but must be transparent (2 checks)
yes! use a fractal organizational structure
we want free flowing dialogue, but necessarily forward decision-making

theme: concerns
Not on a fixed representational basis, unless we want the Democrats to take over and control the larger and more radical occupations

theme: Regional/National organization

OWS NC National (in-person) convention.  (and one with limited representatives present?)
Regional Exchanges
Yes. People from within occupy should take this on.  Develop regional and/or nat’l WG’s and have gatherings together to build momentum, movement and vision
We definitely need to call for a National Occupy Convention that will examine many many aspects and help deliniate excess of horizontality
Confederation (one check)
We should work to organize and regional and national groups
Occupy the US Social Forum

How can we utilize current and future technologies to their fullest extent?

video conference coordinate GA? (one check)
Hackathons (2 checks)
Many Global Languages
Text chains
Explain the threat to your target audience
Connect all like committees of other occupations through media tech
Livestream MASSIVE GA’s
By making them easy and reliable S.J.
Occupy Friendster
#occupy second life (one check)
Create our own social media interface
Better education and understanding how different people learn

How do we reach those without access to popular technologies?

Theme: Ads
We got $, let’s buy ads (one check)
Media group, GA endorsed articles and radio spots

Theme: Phones
Maestro conferences only needs a phone (one check)
Phone trees, flyers and conversations (one check)
Solicit tech companies to donate call phones (like OLPC) (one check)
Labor outreach phone calls between occupations

Theme: Street Art
flyer art and wheatpasting (one check)
Graffiti installation art (one check)

Theme: Street Teams
drive around with a megaphone (one check)
better yet, a large school but with a P.A. system
A plane? a car? walking? handing out info.  How did kennedy’s peace corps work?
Travelling Crew! Occupy Exchange program
Give them canvassing jobs

Theme: Shared Communal Spaces
Set up computers in community centers like the Hungarian telecottage movement (one check)
shares spaces, public presentations (one check)
How do we reach those without access to popular technologies?

Theme: Ads
We got $, let’s buy ads (one check)
Media group, GA endorsed articles and radio spots

Theme: Phones
Maestro conferences only needs a phone (one check)
Phone trees, flyers and conversations (one check)
Solicit tech companies to donate call phones (like OLPC) (one check)
Labor outreach phone calls between occupations

Theme: Street Art
flyer art and wheatpasting (one check)
Graffiti installation art (one check)

Theme: Street Teams
drive around with a megaphone (one check)
better yet, a large school but with a P.A. system
A plane? a car? walking? handing out info.  How did kennedy’s peace corps work?
Travelling Crew! Occupy Exchange program
Give them canvassing jobs

Theme: Shared Communal Spaces
Set up computers in community centers like the Hungarian telecottage movement (one check)
shares spaces, public presentations (one check)

Set up locations and times for communities to share technology (2 checks)

Around the clock physical occupation of spaces where they can actually go (3 checks)

Neighborhood occupations and GA’s

Organize outdoor events in warm weather

Get off the couch and into the community (4 checks)

Work with community orgs/churches/others who frequently address these populations (1 check)

A free, open and public resource center (like a library) where people can go to get info, notes from meetings and/or share technology

Network of shared living spaces – communes and co-ops


How do we centralize sharing information w/o centralizing decision-making? How do we reject all hierarchy?


Theme: Transparency


100% transparency (5 checks)

Network of small, like-minded(ish) groups sharing information and making decisions among and then between

We shouldn’t reject all hierarchy

Clusters! And one weekly MEGA-cluster…like a spokes that’s for info and coordination, not decision-making!

But sometimes we need smaller discussions on-to-one for conflict resolution/de-escalation (2 checks)

OWS national conventions? Facilitators and participants from every city gather in person to conference regularly about issues, goods and narrative

Organization does not equal Hierarchy!!! (1 check)

More minutes (1 check)

Collect information the same way you guys are crowd-sourcing these answer and sending them en mass to Gas so they can account for all voices as well, and decide based on that.

Create a library, media center, and website accessible to all.

We can’t reject all hierarchy

OccupyNID.US (CRM)
Doesn’t already do this?


9. Shared Values and Principles


How do we identify and embody our core values? How do we develop a process to have/identify shared values that involves everyone, despite our differences? How do we have that conversation?


Theme: From history


Look for institutions that share our values, and historical precedent

Study anarchist principles then use them

By being consciously open, genuinely abstract and intellectually honest


Theme: Methods/process for reaching values


Ask them (one check)

Have a values jam party

Vote electronically on a scale of 1 – 10 regarding importance

Respect diverse goals and measure impact


Theme: Content of Values:


Agree on moral and ethical base

Clear Core Principles. Examples: equality, compassion, nonviolent, sustainable

Always be open with each other. The conversation will happen. ( 2 checks)
Feel them, name them and fight for them.

Start at the lowest common denominator, humanity

Space to call out oppressive behavior/actions in a compassionate and constructive way


How do we review our values on an ongoing basis?


Mediate (2 checks)

Build communities of trust to check each other and grow together

Keep our open processes functional

Constantly responding to events and issues and evolving with them

Realize process isn’t codified, and that decision making bodies are flexible

Have a functional GA

Review the values every day at the start of GA

Hold recurring think tank discussions on the topic (1 check)

We communicate every day and we check if our actions match our words (1 check)

By self group, individual analysis and continual self critic and readjustment

A worksheet of open-ended questions to allow personalization of answers. Example; What doe it mean to be an occupier?

By their relevance with every new legislation passed and every significant happening (ie: natural disasters and wars)

Ask newcomers what their take on the movement is (also builds trust)

Parties and goal reviews (gratitude) (one check)


Is it possible or even desirable to have shared values as a movement?


Yes, we are people (one check)

Yes, we all have basic commonality

Yes, but keep it broad

We can have shared values but perhaps not shared goals (one check)
Shared principles (what is true), not nec. Values

We should! If not, then what do we share?

Yes, if we have only demands and not shared values we have no roots (4 checks)

Put your personal feelings aside to help the group

Yes, but differences okay too. We need to translate values into language that resonates with key constituencies

Yes, there are certain things everyone values. Those things are most important.

We have shared values and this is good

It is important to share some core values, but not to agree on everything

Well maybe it depends what kind of values “shared values” (one check)

Probably, they however need clear and concise definitions. Large enough, realistic and practical

It’s both possible and necessary

Most of us already have shared values. That’s what brought us here.

We need enough agreement on these things to work together, but only totalitarians pretend to share entire value systems

Consumerism is Amnesia-Inducing and anti-History

Yes, if we don’t share values, what’s our movement?

If we don’t we’re not a movement (one check)

Just for most basic ones that make up our shared aspirations

No, because there’s no such thing as “values” shared or otherwise, in the abstract.


How do we find shared values among the massive group of people and ideologies that make up the 99%



Go back to basics and find universal values: eg: food, education, health care, shelter

Honesty & Tolerance (security) (one check)


Off each other, survival of the fittist ideology

Democratic Process

Dialogue (3 checks)


Listen to us

Anti-oppression, activism, dialogue, education (1 check)

Frame a broad moral narrative about the consolidation of wealth and power in society (we’re doing this!)

Popular Education

Stay at the human universalist level. The universals are what connect all humans

Ask About dignity

Love, respect, caring and communication

I think we are (making?) consensus in this progressive movement, not the entire 99%

Subscribing to only political ideologies is a one-way ticket to failure


If we have shared values, how can we hold each other accountable to them?


Themes: build community, build process, mutual respect/critique with solidarity, renew/remind each other of shared values




Hear enough voices so that no untrustworthy individual can dominate

Build relationships via frequent meetings and parties

Build relationships so we can lovingly challenge each other and not walk away when things get hard

Design and implement a culture that supports those values instead of having a culture that conflicts with our values like now.

Build processes and relationships that empower us to check each other (4 checks)

Create a code of value conduct (one check)

Come to the “accountability” board!

When in public, whoever gives the wrong message/offends a considerable amount of protesters should not be antagonized by everyone but taught why what they did was useless for the movement (2 checks)

Create a process for grievance/concerns to be acknowledged and addressed (1 check)

Challenge each other respectfully (3 checks)
Mutual respect (2 checks)
By raising awareness and responsibility

By knowing each other’s goals and offering to help and encourage

Do the shared values involve a class-based analysis?

Post-it notes remind peeps of shared values


10. Trust, relationship building


What would this/our movement look like if relationship building was our goal?



Sharing time, meals and stories

Putting relationships above achievements


Respect and Listening

Self-education/anti-oppression work in the movement

Self-care/community care



People could coalesce around a theme they support (eg corporate damage to the environment) and work toward publicizing that issue, other groups would work on a parallel track on issues they feel strongly about. All groups would support the overall theme that we are the 99% (2 checks)

Cuddling (one check)

Movement-wide downtimes with all of our revolutionary comrades (3 checks)

Relationship building should not be the goal. Changing the country should be and getting caught up with ourselves is self-indulgent BS

Achieving Victories (for a start)

An orgy (2 checks)

Occupy babies! (5 checks)

A deeper personal commitment to being pro-active in addressing the many issues we as a globe are faced with – more personal connection – stronger movement!

Heart centered, more empathy, listening, admitting and working through ego, feeling and breathing deeply (2 checks)


Love and Happiness

Lots of conversation between strangers about what we have in common (1)

Happy Hour (2 checks)


New game days

An intergenerational community

It would look like we were building relationships with everyone except one group of people

Hospitality and respect for new members at occupations and primary sites

Sunshine smiley face (2 checks)

Would like what we all desire – together nothing about us without us!

A community that enables all to include what is unique/different as well as what we have in common

A humanity based society. Less fighting, more understanding.

GA’s everywhere!!

Listening to our neighbors in our own communities about what our local wheels are

A compassionate interconnected web of liberated peoples (2 checks)

Perfections – ever lasting perfections

An actual cross-representation of America/The world (one check)

A kind of shipwreck however a clear understanding of what is really happening could help us use these same problems to raise consciousness self awareness and progressive Resolution of it. That’s a psychological attack.

Healthy communities

But, it’s not.

Sit-down shared meals in a warm space (4 checks)

Lots of potlucks in community spaces all over the city (3 checks)

Love feasts (1 check)

An intentional community ( 2 checks)


It would still look really oppressive if we don’t work on our shit! Democracy = Anti-oppression work!


How can we create in our movement a space dedicated to getting to know each other fully as people, and understanding each other’s intentions and objectives?



Events for fun: dancing, sports, music, making art

small affinity groups

Sharing time together outside of meetings

Sharing our stories

Creativity, play, fun!!

Get a building


More of stuff that happened on N17 (one check)

Smaller affinity groups existing mainly for relationship building, social bonding

Occupy a common and inclusive space (inside/outside ok, could be daytime only)

By dancing (3 checks and a star)! (one check)

Collaborative art-making (3 checks and a star)

Take back charas!

Never rush it. Takes time to be genuine. As the time goes by many rationalizations will continue to be unconsciously source of STRONG EGOS. Only conscious awareness of such a state can entail a real solution (one check)

Need reclaim public commons (2 checks)

Occupy events publicized on the website just as marches are, but are instead community-oriented and lots of fun for the masses- a break from being angry!

Value Jams (3 checks)

Through fun activities like hang outs w music

Oral History Projects sharing our stories with each other (2 checks)

OWS archives is doing oral histories contact us!

Committed Intimate Relationships with accountability and grace

Create a permanent space – like a warehouse-dedicated solely to cultural interaction (conversations, parties, etc) (5 checks)

This space could also model worker coops, be an art space, etc! (one check)

Communications, respect, honesty, caring and love (one check)

We must have less decision making meetings. Consolidate them into 4 a week and include 1 meeting a week as a communal healing workshop or “day of healing” to address internal issues openly, safely and transparently! (one check)

Occupy public space w/public activities (not private tents) (one check)

Occupy a park (6 checks)

Listening circles (2 checks)

More non-structured social activities (5 checks)

Parties/mixers (one check)

Revolutionary games!!! (6 checks)

Get a permanent space!!! (how about charas?)

Stop being didactic; Always the same Bozos mouthing in the meeting- facilitators

Electronic voting can be manipulated; so quite dictating

Racist cold attitudes from a bunch of yuppie rookies



What activities (besides meetings) can we do within neighborhood or social/economic groups (women, POC, etc) to build trust



Help others

Social time

Creative activities

Listening and Honesty


Go to their meetings. Help w/their stuff.

Become inclusive in daily inter actions (one check)

Provide services teaching, medical, counseling, child care, transport

Personal (maybe, probably short) check-ins at the beginning of each meeting

We need to engage in more good will efforts

Demonstrate a commitment or investment in issues that affect these populations

Eat together! (one check)


Recreational community centers

Dance parties (2 checks)

Engage workers in creative ways, ie: armbands on the subway

Community neighborhood centered Arts and Poetry (one check)

More poem trees! (one check)

Encourage everyone’s creativity (one check)

Listen to and be open to their agendas and ideas

Visit each other at homes, secret or individual spaces. As people open their spaces so will be their hearts as well and the HUMAN THREAD that genuinely unity will be at work.

Honesty Time (share ideas/thoughts no matter how offensive they may be)

Ask them (one check)

Show them how/where our interests values are the same as theirs (one check)

Fight for (small, medium, and large) wins that matter to them

Reach out to leaders in the communities , they have more cohesion

Develop a relationship with your neighbors (one check)

Emphasize the goal of empowering the middle class and working class

Normalize our culture via outreach, actions (in order to decriminalize assembly)

Just Trust

Fight for reparations (one check)

Written communications, including books.


How can we encourage rising above distrust of individuals within the movement?



Personal Accountability

Accepting multiplicity


Deal with facts not opinions (one check)

Show them they can trust you. By being honest; trustworthy

Solid accountability for everyone involved

Mix it up and make it more personal between individuals

We could avoid as much as possible becoming overly dependent on any person or group. People could take ownership rolls for specific tasks. Judg what we do, not who we are

Encourage the confession of needs and failures

Come through

Be realistic about trust not phony (2 checks)

Act Trust-worthy

Recognize that “reform” doesn’t mean “no revolution” and that “revolution” doesn’t mean “no democracy”

Encourage/model more honest communication about our feelings, use “I statements” (one check)

Putting our own feelings aside to get shit done

Eat our own dogfood a la open source (get the money out)

Stick to the agenda. If someone disrupts note it on a side agenda. Deal with side agenda at the end. At a designated time. In the last 30 min. That way we’re not derailed and arguing.

Leaders develop so we need a structure to be able to hold them accountable (2 checks)

We must all make an effort to trust each other

The collective average counts. Don’t let any individual dominate

Transparency!!! (5 checks)

Do not rush. Let us intensify our relations by many actions with time and shared experiences along with more consciousness, we might get there. Continuous training also can accelerate this process.

Jail solidarity (2 checks)

Share spaghetti. Lady& the tramp style (one check)

Eat together! (one check)

Give without e4xpecting anything in return – even if it’s just a smile (one check)

Acknowledge and work through conflict as a necessary part of the process (one check)

Have days of healing to address internal issues regularly. We must deal with our distrust openly and safely on a regular basis.

By realizing that we may never rise above this.

Consent – all day, everyday, every situation, ASK FIRST (2 checks)

Trust Me

Use the golden rule


How do we get people outside the movement to trust us?



Respectful Behavior

Listening to people around us

Proactive projects and actions

Community fostering

Social codes



Act trustworthy – duh.

Check your ego at the door. Accept criticisms, be charming, be knowledgeable, explain briefly about the media. Mention credible figures who have supported us, the bishop?

By trusting ourselves in & outwardly and doing the right things moving away from all incorrect behavior so not to tarnish our name as the adversaries try hard to

Trust me, we’re working together!

Consistency (one check)

Put our $ where our mouth is.

By talking to them (4 checks)

By remaining Non-violent

Share food that we prepare…eat together! (one check)

By taking actions that physically benefit them – like helping to stop foreclosure (7 checks)

Invite them to join/visit

Respect their sensibilities and do nothing to harm their interests. If they are like us.

Have a place dedicated on the site that show who we are – pics of working group meetings. Smiley faces. We are just normal people like you – join us!

By refusing violence and property damage and listening to their concerns (7 checks)

Keep meeting in public – all over city! (8 checks)

Don’t be narcissistic (one check)

More sustained strategic public commitment to non-violence , improve peace-keeping at demonstration (one check)

Get people to buy into movement

Transparency of process and accountability of decisions and money (one check)

Personalize human experience so they will identify with us (one check)

Make things we all need and give it all away for free to everyone

Not divisiveness passion for positive change but not anger (2 checks)

Explain in ways that are clearly understandable how the change we are working for will affect and help them also, have attitude/energy of inclusiveness (one check)

Have compassion, patience, and understanding with ourselves, first

Not an organization

No inside/outside

Communication plain and simple (2 checks)

Take their issues, interests and concerns seriously and engage with them respectfully in a manner that shows real empathy

Total transparency (4 checks)

Include them. Too much talk about making a better America- this movement is global, we are making a better world.

Show interest in defending the constitution (one check)

Take some positions so people can understand OWS (one check, 4 stars)

Do positive things for our communities (3 checks)

Achieve small, medium or large wins that matters to them!! (2 checks)

To model listening to each other
Women and people of color at the center of the movement
Small legislative victories to widen our base
An OWS jobs program
Destruction of the State and Capital
To explore our relationship to CBOs
Occupy the non-profit industrial complex
Mock funeral for the middle class
A body of literature – memoirs and novels – of this movement and our alternatives
A process for sharing and coordinating strategy
Occupy store-front, indoor space for organizing
GAs in every neighborhood, and regional federations
Free universities and schools
Occupy the UN
The Occupy movement as a space of safety and trust
More group ritual and communities circles
Long-term, ongoing constituent assemblies
OWS legislation
A system of interviews and listening in marginalized communities, which will inform our goal and create our mandate
Financial transparency
Time to enjoy each other
Entry points for less radical people
Replace the fossil fuel economy entirely
Ongoing efforts to broaden our base and become less insular
Activate existing groups that we don’t control, such as faith communities.
The support of the independence of Puerto Rico and the liberation of political prisoners.
Training where people learn more creatively
Divest from corporate food system
Massive worker takeovers of corporations
Our principles becoming increasingly perceived as common sense rather than radical.
Free medical clinics, emancipation of the healing arts
A constitutional amendment to end corporate personhood
Database made available to all community trainers
New forms of labor that is people focused.
Environmental crisis understood as a human crisis
May 1st General Strike
A political candidate who associates with Occupy
Network of communal housing
National gathering
More homeless people involved in Occupy
Absolute rejection of all politicians
Occupy libraries, schools, factories
Anti-oppression training in every working group
Champion the causes of the lowest 1%
A new economy
A decentralized structures that incorporates appreciation and accountability for our leadership.
Reclaim the constitution and the bill of rights

Better to not conflict w/ GA and Immigrants march
More about what to expect
More visioning together
More time
Break w/ food
More racial awareness
More self-facilitation
More collaboration – Getting to know each other
Great ways to get to know each other – Work together,
Disempowered by lack of self facilitation
People of color facilitating
Days dedicated to such
Think more clearly, less patterns
More info before hand
Less abstract theory – More specific actions/conversation
Came from other _____ and would like to know about where is from
Look at all post its, questions, and condense based on merits of each
Brainstorming single people, though as a large group
More informal space, child-care possible
Include food more
Large space hard to hear each other, makes side conversations too likely
Extension written/documentation online to continue
Pool the energies on next collaborations on diff questions
Males be silent at some point
More time for thoughts communicating, etc.















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