VandG_Minutes_102711

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VISIONS & GOALS WORKING GROUP

Regular Meeting

October 27, 2011

Members Present: David L., Jim, Keri, Jason, Zocera, David G., Ryan, Patrick, Jose, Ehud, Dustin

Meeting convened at 12:35p.m.

The meeting begins with 1 minute of respectful silence.

Jim and David L. volunteer to co-facilitate. They will make clear when they wish to speak for themselves as individuals, as opposed to as facilitators.

A confused discussion takes place about this meeting’s purpose and process. After a couple of abortive starts on different methods, David G. and Jason propose to chop up the feedback sheets by point category and then try again next meeting. This proposal achieves consensus.

The group moves on to a discussion of the first point in the original visions and goals draft document.

Point 1:

Effectively connect our occupation with the Global Movement – by:

  1. Facilitating the growth of local movements for direct, organic, participatory consensus-based democracy;
  2. Studying ourselves and other local occupations to find more ideal models of consensus building, decision making and coordination through transparent, iterative design;
  3. Finding points of harmony of visions/goals/actions across local and regional people’s assemblies for deeper impact;
  4. Creating the emotional and actual physical spaces for this process for the organic discussion of the future to unfold;
  5. Encouraging each occupation to focus on their local economic, cultural and political assets as a specialization of the movement (our specialization is the following) – as we
  6. Make NYC a functioning focal point for other people’s assemblies to dissolve and overcome the unaccountable private entities rooted in Manhattan, our specialization – implement non-proprietary (FLO) solutions for everything.

[FLO means Free Libre Open-Source, as one term that describes the non-proprietary practice for developing various technologies             and methods as broad as computer operating systems to tractor design.]

Do we need this point? (Jim – Facilitator)

[Issue of a] very specific outrage/occupation vs. global revolution – [address] both ours and something that inspires [the] others. (David – Facilitator)

I’m not a U.S. citizen; [this is the] most important point because it’s so problematic; to relate to NYC as the central point [is the] same centralized power structure [we are challenging]; NYC is still in a privileged place [and] needs to take responsibility for what position it is taking; it is a larger movement and will start to structure itself; a structure is already [making] a power; [point 1] should be most thought through. (Ehud)

NYC has a very special place, but people will choose the region [and city] they most identify with (e.g., Cairo, Tokyo); each of these regions should think they are the leader; we should shy away form owning it; proudly with a lot of energy [we should say] why we think NYC and OWS is such a valid[valued?] place while honoring and emphasizing the importance of other movements around the world. (Jason)

Does the rest of the world need us as a focal point? Then we can provide [that].  How do we facilitate among the various groups? (Jim)

[I did not interpret point 1 as claiming NYC and OWS as the focal point or leader of the movement, which I don’t support, but more so as a statement concerned with building solidarity among the various groups; Ehud is a radical decentralist, which is fine, but a lack of structure can also foster inequities and allow the strongest to prevail.] (Zosera)

Starting with a statement – do we feel it’s important to include a statement that would be simple and say who we are and what is our relationship to other groups? (David – Fac.)

What’s unique about OWS is that we’re here in the financial district. (David)

I want my voice to be for example in Cairo – [we should be] one living, breathing organism. (Jason)

NYC has a special place – we can embrace that; operating from a meta-___; discussion about global visions and goals group needs [to address] technology; we can learn from other groups – some kind of structural medium established to initiate that meta-conversation; put this at the top of the agenda; some [focus on] meta-vision, meta-values, meta-goals and each movement can then engage in their own micro process, and then work toward global alignment, while recognizing local strengths, etc. (Dustin)

Should NYC take a leadership role or not take a leadership role? (Jason)

Value of clarifying point 1 [is a] slight shift; each city to be a model for other cities. (Ryan?)

Who here thinks NYC needs to be a leader of the movement vs. [NYC simply having] tools that need to be shared?  The technology to build community is super important to share; not owning but sharing [what] is being produced; NYC  does have privilege – [difference between] leadership vs. privilege; for example, Israel could not raise $500,000 for their group; that is a privilege for NYC. (Ehud)

[NYC’s de facto privilege needs to be recognized in terms of the structure we create, for example, I believe NYC should share its funds with other groups, if not we’re reproducing the very same inequities that we’re challenging.] (Zosera)

Do we really need all the points under #1 – facilitate communication among groups – is this really the point? (Jim)

99% expression is key – global statement that everyone [can support].  (Jason)

Simplify the statement. (David)

Something clear and inclusive. (David – F)

Why use language?  Instead use for example YouTube that allows for broader exchange; defining the movement will change over time; [it is] constantly transforming. (Ehud)

[Jason expressed opposition to this idea of limiting language; we need it; many are not ready for what Ehud is proposing]

[Language is also a tool we use to coordinate ourselves; we do need process and structure or we revert to a state of nature – where the strongest often prevail.  I believe the process is our leader and the primary thing that holds us together in our diversity.  If structured justly it enables the greatest amount of inclusion.  What is said is not as important as the fact that it can be said.  Even as an African-American woman, I would like this process to enable me to have a dialogue with a KKK member or a neo-Nazi, although power to do harm and tyranny of the majority must be prevented.] (Zosera)

Mission statement – what is our main defining statement going to be? (Ryan)

[This is a] vision, values, and goals group – need to be clear about what our values are; strategic planning required. (Dustin)

Question of universal [inclusion] and consensus are married; [consensus should be based on universal inclusion to be legitimate]; universal principles need to be identified that will resonate around the world. (Tanye)

[I apologize to Ehud. I can become overly passionate in expressing myself.  I’ve really valued your input in this group.  But I think its important to distinguish between enlightenment and politics; most of us are not yogis off by ourselves, we lead a social existence among people who are largely not enlightened, and that’s why we need some sort of governing structure and language, as James Madison said, ‘if men were angels, government would not be necessary.’  The Buddha could afford to be silent.  On the issue of something suggested yesterday, I believe we should start looking at historical universal declarations for language that would be both useful and legitimizing.] (Zosera)

Meeting ends at 1:45p.m.

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