Occupy Conference Call Minutes October 24, 2011

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Occupy Movement National Conference Call: Monday, October 24th

Audio of the call available here: http://bit.ly/vHvQyx

Facilitators: Tammy (OWS), George (OWS), Cole (Occupy Harrisonberg, VA)


1) How will this conference call work? (5 min, Michael)
2) Agenda review and timeframe (5 min, George)
3) Introduce facilitators (5 min, Tammy)
4) Introductions: Who’s on the call, from where, role (15 min, Tammy)
5) What are our goals for national communication intro (5 min, Cole)
6) Goals breakout groups (15 min)
7) Goals report back (15 min, Cole)
8) Needs/Assets (15 min, Tammy)
9) Next Steps (10 min, George)

Full Call Notes:

1) How will this conference call work? (5 min, Michael)
Tammy: Welcome to the call. We’re going to explain how this call works in just a minute. More people are joining us now.
This is Michael from New York. I’m going to be keeping stack for this call and monitoring the Maestro system that we’re using. We’re using Maestro to try and keep this call as coordinated as possible. If you want to speak, Press 1 on your phone. We haven’t tried this year, so bear with us. We have 90+ people on this call (WOO HOO!)
Michael: We have about 10 hands raised, which were general questions before we start. I’m going to put everyone’s hand down right now.
Manny from Marin: is this link going to be posted somewhere afterwards?
Tammy: we’ll post it on the OWS facebook page, and possibly other places as well.
Lauren: Can we talk about BoA bailout?
Tammy: We’re going to go through the Agenda right now, maybe it will be more clear what our intentions are for this call. We’re going to go through the agenda, and see if we need to adjust things afterwards.

2) Agenda review and timeframe (5 min, George)
Tammy: What are our goals for national communication?
We’ll use breakout groups using Maestro, then come back for reportbacks
If there’s time, we’ll have folks share the NEEDS of occupations and review ASSETS that we can bring. If we don’t get there, we will send out a survey
Hester: Wondering whether or not we can post our various actions somewhere? Part of communication is knowing what each other are doing in each of our occupations.
Tammy: That’s why the goals conversation is important.. hopefully that will come out
Occupy Denver: How are occupations doing with the weather? Add to Agenda
Tammy: We hope that issues like this will come out through our discussions.
New York: Keep it together y’all
Robin from Florida: I don’t have the ability to comment on the google doc
Ethan: You won’t be able to comment, but use the chat on the sidebar
Question: Is anyone live tweeting?
Ethan: Nope, but feel free to!
Tammy: We are also live streaming
Ted, Occupy Springfield IL: We’re having an issue with corporatism in our government. It seems like our occupy is more interested in completely tearing down the system. I’m wondering if other folks are having similar issues in thinking about what this movement is about
Andrew: I’m in the GA, might drop in and out
Tammy: Livestream link: youstream.tv on the front page- first featured banner
Lauren: I’ll save it for the goals conversation
Patrick: I don’t have the twitter for Ethan Buckner’s notes
Ethan: You don’t need twitter to find me. The twitter and google doc are public

3) Introduce facilitators (5 min, Tammy)
George from NY, Tammy from NY, Cole from VA
I’m not gonna catch everyone’s name from the notes :) I’ll do my best!

4) Introductions: Who’s on the call, from where, role (15 min, Tammy)
Washington  (1)
Santa Barabara (3)
Bradenton, FL (1)
Baton Rouge (1)
North Harlem (1)
Boston (5+)
Pueblo, CO (1)
LA (2)
Philly (1, maybe others)
Boise (30 – WINNER!!!!!!!!!!!!! Charlie Sheen can’t top it)
Long Beach, CA (1)
Oklahoma City (1)
Gainesville (9)
Santa Cruz (4, and a few sea lions)
University of Florida in Gainesville (4)
Minneapolis (1, maybe others)
Fallout Shelter (Facebook Group w/Reps from Egypt, England, US)
Oakland (hella swag, 1)
DC (1)
Denver (1)
Portland (1, he’s MIA)
Phoenix (9)
Pittsburgh (4)
Tuscon (4)
Brooklyn (1)
Riverside (75- for real?)
Occupy Cafe (new platform)
Marin (1)
San Francisco (2)
Asheville, NC (2)
Occupy the Media (2)
Seattle (1)
Occupy Together (2)
Humboldt (20, y’all rock)
Harlem (2)
Queens (1)
St. Louis (11)
Zucotti Park (16)
Brooklyn (1)
Austin (20)

5) What are our goals for national communication intro (5 min, Cole)
Cole: It’s clear that communication is already happening. I’m excited to think about how we can do this effectively. Before we go to deeply into the how, we’re going to talk about the why… why is it important that we’re communicating?
We’re breaking into random groups
Discuss: Goals for national communication & coordination
Establish facilitator for each group
Notetaker for each group
Report back with 3 primary goals established collectively
You’ll have 15 minutes for breakouts
You’ll hear a “ding” after 15 minutes
Clarifying questions:
Suggestion: Chat them in!
Cole: not everyone has internet access, but if you do please use that strategy
Goals for the Occupy movement or phone call?
Cole: Goals for communication between occupations across the country

6) Goals breakout groups (15 min)
This is really cool. Energy is high here in NY :)
Also, Maestro is CRAZY (but very useful)

7) Goals report back (15 min, Cole)
*Try to report back w/ideas that haven’t already been said
Group 1: Lauren
1) Coordinate actions, campaigns
2) Sharing best practices and resources
3) Building comradare
Group 2: Occupy Pittsburgh
1) National action days
2) Best practices and talking points that are national
3) Nationally coordinate actions on Nov. 5th for the bank-out
4) More conference calls
Group 3: Scott
1) Communicating with each other about the structure of our organizations. What’s working and what isn’t. Build a replicable model to become more efficient w/WGs, Media, etc.
2) Coordination on national events, mobilization, etc.
3) Support each other in times of crisis as well as when people are getting started
Group 4: Ash
1) How to integrate minority/community groups into our occupations
2) Establish regional assemblies, across WGs for best practices
3) Official list of occupations and contact info for distribution of info. Maybe a master email list. Communication from 1 GA to the next
Group 5: Joan
1) Sharing resources/articles to help us build a common vision. Deal w/issues of racism, sexism, etc.
2) Exchange info about actions that are successful
3) Outreach strategies for education to increase our numbers
4) Permaculture design
Group 6: Craig
1) Help new occupy groups w/organization, conflict resolution, and morale (esp. smaller occupations)
2) Small # of national events w/specific dates to coordinate actions in various cities, utilizing web-based and teleconference communication
3) Another idea (not consensed upon): improve communication techniques across the country

Cole: A lot of commonalities present, and it seems clear that communication and collaboration can be helpful for all of us

8) Needs/Assets (15 min, Tammy)
Tammy: We wanted to do a needs assessment, we won’t be able to get everyone on the call, but we’ll start the process now. We can probably do this in a technological way (maybe a survey) after the call. What are one or two needs that your occupation has that national coordination can help with?
Also, anything your occupation have that could help support others!

Manny from Marin
More occupiers from other areas to come sit with us while we get things functional
Methods for handling people who are ‘in’ more for the buzz word but who don’t understand our message (?)… these folks usually are the ones speaking to the media
Money from the 19%
Huge number of people over 55, Caucasian, liberal
We have some respect from law enforcement in the area
Robyn from Badenton, FL
IT support. We are having trouble reaching beyond facebook
Jim from Asheville
Communicating from other cities that are challenged by ‘street people’ influx
GA and campsite becoming distinct cultures. Is that happening in other cities?
Occupy Cafe
Available for all in the movement! www.occupycafe.org
Identifying conversations that need to happen within the movement
Need people to organize and coordinate conversations between people in the movement
Patrick from OK City
Sustainable Tech.- weatherproofing!
IT support
Lecture series (NVDA, etc.)
Lauren from UF
How to start interactive website (IT support)
*Homeless are not a disease or a problem, they are a part of the 99% :)
Occupy Denver
We’ve filed an injunction in federal court about 1st amendment rights
Ally from DC
Structures to make working groups a positive networking situation. Problems with transparency and accountability
Organizational structures that have helped us meet our needs
Santa Barbara
No place to protest 24/7
City Attorney w/the Police Force that will arrest anyone. (hands sparkle down. this stinks)
Teach-ins and workshops
Full participation w/the entire 99%
New York
We have a lot right now!
Help w/Teach-Ins that haven’t been happening as often as they should be
Drum up more participation (only 15 people today)
WiFi: we want to break away from dependence on county internet
Occupy Together
Research on things that are available
Fairly networked through the country w/Occupations that are going on
Other orgs can be strong assets… they’ve done a lot of work building the movement in Madrid as well as other places. Can help us make info more accessible
Erin from Tuscon
Fantastic WG w/15 licenced attorneys. Check it out at OccupyTuscon.org
IT is a strength. We have WiFi everywhere. info@occupytuscon.org
GA process support
WG delegation, what authority do they have… what do they need to run through the GA?
Re-mobilizing the 2,000 people who came out on our kickoff day of action on the 15th. Actions since then have been 100-200 people. We think it would be great if there were recurring national days of action. Help draw more people who can’t participate every day
Formal guidance in the GA process
Ash from Philly
Trying to work through the GA process “where good ideas go to die”
How do we continue to engage the media?
National occupation email list
We have many. We’re a big city.
Issues w/Outreach
Consensus process

Tammy: We’re gonna end this part of the convo now. We’re going to put out a survey. If you wanna sparkle, press 5… let us know if you’re into the idea of sending out a survey so we can gather needs and assets in a more systematic way.
A lot of great things were raised here, now we’re gonna figure out how to move forward

9) Next Steps (10 min, George)
Does anyone else want to facilitate the next call?
How we did it this time:
Maestro Conference service: we paid for it
BTW, NYC is not in charge of anything! We have a lot of assets and want to share resources, but we’re not in charge. We want to learn from everywhere. And if we can help you with anything, we’ll do that as well.
THEFNF.org – it’s an open source network that we’re trying to build for all the occupations. Any input you have would be awesome. We’re rebuilding the internet. Next, we’ll rebuild breakfast cereal. OCCUPY EVERYTHING
Nick: NY did a great job setting up the call. I would support it
Ted: Question: Mention of a website, and I didn’t catch it
Occupy Together: there’s an open source tool called Mumble
George: Who wants to facilitate the next call?
If you want to help facilitate the next call, press 3
Ash: Philly is ready to help out in any way we can. I am fairly confident that we’d be happy to do this.
George: We are NOT the facilitation team, we are a working group that wanted to open up the conversation between occupations.
Maestro costs $97 per month
We’ll contact other folks who said they’d be willing to facilitate through email later and discuss the logistical details
We’re putting hands down.
Changing the Game: Walt Roberts: Coffee Party has been using Maestro. They may be willing to let us use their service! We also have practices of how to use Google Docs. There are people with an account that might be available, and I would be happy to make that connection *sparkles*
NY:  Encouraging folks to organize bio-regional conference calls!
George: if you aren’t OK with sharing emails, press 5. Seems like everyone is OK with sharing emails. Press 1 if you’d like to get on stack
Lauren: Wanted to agree with idea for regional calls, but still want national calls
Tammy: Looking at the time, think its about time to wrap up. We should talk more! 😀
Lots of great goals, lots of needs, and lots of assets
We want to continue the conversation
We have 4 names of folks potentially facilitating the next call. We’ll start an email chain with those 4 and definitely share resources with everybody about how to make that happen

Send breakout notes to: movementbuildingNY@gmail.com – we’ll post ‘em

Following are breakout notes that were sent to us:

specific participants not described
11:03 PM
– coordinate actions and campaigns
– build camaraderie
– best practices

11:03 PM
– national action days
– planning for 11/5
– more conf calls

11:04 PM
– communicate best practices & create good model
– collaborating on national events

11:06 PM
– better integrate minorities/community groups
– establish regional assemblies
– establish official list of local occupations with good contact info

11:07 PM
– share resources and articles
– deal with classism & sexism
– share alt ways of living that are emerging
– communicating permaculture design (San Francisco!)


U of F
Santa Barbara
Vancouver WA
NY – Brooklyn

Our 3 main reasons  for communicating that we had consensus on were:

* Coordinating actions and messages
* Knowledge and resource sharing
* Building camaraderie

There was also a group who said we should make sure to come up with local solutions and organizing, and also that they are working on an alternate internet structure, but these do not respond to the question of why we want to communicate on a national level.


OPEN SOURCE DOC: http://ietherpad.com/sx7QSstIix

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