Minutes for the Spokes Council Meeting- November 9th, 2011
Submitted by Denise
We did not actually get to address WOW, or as it is now known Women Bodied And/Or Identified (perhaps WBI for short?), so these minutes will not contain any info about our group.
-First the facilitators were introduced, and the process of the Spokes Council was rehashed, as well as what the purpose of the Spokes Council is. We were reminded that we are not, yet, officially a Spokes Council.
– The first group discussed was The Peoples Library, when it came time for questions/concerns there was only support voiced, and when the vote came, none of the groups opposed Library’s being admitted as an Operational Group.
-The second group discussed was Direct Action. This was a more hotly debated topic, Direct Action said they did not quite fit within the parameters of a Operational Group or a Movement Group.
Questions raised about Direct Action included:
-Whether they were truly continuing to operate autonomously (this is their claim, that they are autonomous) from Occupy Wall Street if they were taking part in voting at Spokes Council. To this they responded that they did feel they could continue to operate autonomously
-If they took actions that were illegal, how would they reflect upon Occupy Wall Street as a whole, if they were admitted into Spokes Council. To this they responded that none of our actions as a whole at Occupy Wall Street were legal because we are entirely unpermitted on our marches and our occupation.
Ultimately, there were not enough votes against Direct Action, and they were voted in as an operational/movement group
-The third group was Finance. They also wished to be listed as an Operational Group. Questions raised about them included:
-Whether they truly accept anyone within the parameters of an Operational Group. This question’s debated became very, very heated. A man from another group came forward to say he had been kicked out of Finance but not for the outlined reasons in the definition of a Operational Group. Members of the Spokes Council wanted to know if the man was kicked out because he is a person of color. The facilitators pointed out that this was diverging from the process, but the debate continued. The question was never really answered, and ultimately Finance was voted in as am Operational group.
-The fourth group was Archive. They proposed that they are an Operational Group who is collecting as much information circulating in the protest as possible (fliers, zines, art, group meeting minutes, etc). Questions asked of them included:
-Where and how are they storing this info, and how do they operate within Zuccotti Park. They stated they store the info off site, but collect it onsite.
– How are they logistical? (one of the requirements for being an operational group is the logistics) They stated that collecting raw information qualifies as the movement of goods.
Ultimately, they were voted down from being an Operational Group and will not be part of the Operational Working Group. It was stated however that they can reapply at anytime to the Operational Working Group.
-The fifth and final group of the evening was Community Alliance, who had formerly been known as Security. They wished to also be an Operational Group. They stated that they did not wish to police the people, merely to use nonviolence to resolve conflicts, without the NYPD.
Questions asked of them included:
-When do they involve NYPD? ie. in cases of rape, do they contact the NYPD?
The Spoke for Community Alliance stated that whenever the victim of a crime wished to go to the NYPD they stepped back and allowed them to do that.
At this point, several people in the group began loudly speaking out against Community Alliance, some claiming they had refused people who wanted to contact the NYPD, and some saying they forced a rape victim into talking to the NYPD.
At this point, in all honesty, there stopped being much of a sense of process, and it became a very heated debate which became difficult to follow. We were also nearly out of time, so the we moved for a vote to table the issue. Some people were against tabling it, but ultimately we were out of the time we were allotted to be in Murray Bergtram High School, and had to table it out of necessity.
It is also relevant to note that we were only two groups down the list, se we should definitely be addressed at the Spokes Council on friday. After the meeting those of us present from WBI (formerly WOW) agreed it may be a good idea to have another meeting on Friday before the Spokes Council, so everyone be on the lookout for an email about another meeting.
ok, thats all. Hopefully we can get voted in at the next Spokes Council. At the meeting before Spokes Council the group worked out a great description of ourselves to submit to the Spokes Council, and resolved our disagreements with the group WON, we went to Spokes as two separate groups, each with our own Spokes, but we went in solidarity and sisterhood with one another.