02/09/2012: Principles of Solidarity Amendement

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The Technology Operations working group is proposing the following to the NYC General Assembly:

Part 1
An amendment to one point on the Principles of Solidarity (http://occupywallstreet.net/).

We propose replacing the following point of unity:

“Endeavoring to practice and support wide application of open source.”

… with this text: 

“Making technologies, knowledge, and culture open to all to freely access, create, modify, and distribute.”

Part 2
To host the authoritative copy of our official documents on a version control system. Version control will allow us to maintain the documents in a more transparent way, with every edit tracked. It will also allow other occupations to use, modify, and alter the New York City General Assembly’s documents to fit their own unique needs, while maintaining a clear path back to the source document.

Overview
We wish to put forward a wider vision of how openness relates to the “new socio-political and economic alternative” that the Principles of Solidarity currently offers. It’s not only that the source code for software should be public and transparent, but also that it should be available for sharing, modification, and re-use. And this spirit of freedom should extend beyond software, to hardware designs, digitized media including images, audio, and video, data, research papers, and other forms of information that we haven’t yet imagined. Consumers should never have any artificial restrictions placed on their ability to tweak, to remix, to become makers.

As with the original wording, there is no mandated to use only free software, or to make every video they record immediately public. Rather, we want to make it clear that we value freedom and openness in technologies, knowledge, and culture, and that we work towards a world where this freedom can be complete.

Background
We were prompted by an email from the tireless free software pioneer Richard Stallman, who wrote that he was disappointed in the current wording “because ‘open source’ is a right-wing campaign to disconnect our software from our freedom-based philosophy. It was launched in 1998 with the explicit goal of being corporate-friendly. It is ironic that Occupy Wall Street, of all things, advocates open source rather than the free software movement.”

After some discussion , we agreed to propose to the GA a change to the wording to include both “free” and “open”. We aren’t doing this because we want to ally ourselves with one side of an old dispute about terminology, but rather because we want to put forward a wider vision of how openness relates to the “new socio-political and economic alternative” that the Principles of Solidarity offer.

Tech Ops reached consensus on this proposal Sunday Februray 5th, 2012: http://www.nycga.net/groups/tech/docs/meeting-minutes-tech-ops-2012-02-05.

2/9/2012: Formation of Bike Coalition Working Group

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Bikes are perhaps the most sustainable and simple form of transportation known to humans. they are simple, sexy, and fun! Why does OWS not have a huge arsenal of lovely lovely bicycles. The benefits of bikes are crazy rad, in fact (insert rad statistic here) isn’t that awesome?!

The purpose of the OWS Bike Coalition will be in three parts
Action (Kickin ass): Providing the valuable tactic of Bike Blocs during marches to protect protesters from police when taking streets and also to scout out police activity, march routes, and march destinations
Community (Taking names): Providing free bike repairs to members of all communities. Also providing free training classes for bike safety, bike repair, and mobile tactics direct action training.
Transportation (Moving those names and asses): The end goal of this working group is to get every Occupier fitted with a working bike in exchange for a couple hours of work trade.

The fulfillment of these purposes will be incredibly beneficial to Occupy Wall Street by setting a clear and sustainable message to the public and to ourselves. We will simultaneously be providing a sustainable and inexpensive form of transportation to keep the Occupation rolling (and hopefully eliminate the need for Metro Cards), providing exercise to out of shape Occupiers, providing safety, security, and information to marches and actions, and providing a valuable service to the community at large.

How to fulfill these purposes:
We need a work space to operate from and store bicycles
Materials: Pumps, patch kits, Allen wrenches etc.
Bikes!
People! Who are good at outreach, social media, bike repair, web design, and direct action
We will meet every Tuesday and Thursday 3pm at Zuccotti Park. Every meeting shall be followed by a bike ride!

Thanks so much
Sincerely,
OWS BC

2/9/2012: Formation of Fundraising Working Group

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To form a new fundraising working group whereas the entire group budget is commission based at a percentage of 7% which is the standard sales commission in New York City.
We will be using the “cur” system through Tech Ops and also providing people with the ability to raise funding for the group as a whole and on an individual basis.

Our meetings are every Sunday at 7pm.

We will be working on getting funding from the email lists currently on record as well an finding new funders.

NYC General Assembly 2/7/2012 (Minutes)

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NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY DAY 144

Date/Time: 2/7/2012, 7pm

Location: 60 Wall Street, Moved to Zuccotti around 9:35

Link to the Audio Recording

Facilitators: Alia, Anthony

Stack: Nick

Time Keeper: Sage

Minutes: Lauren

Working Group Report Backs: Direct Action, Facilitation, Aaron from Think Tank, Information, Bless, Kitchen, Accounting

Proposal: Anarchism Caucus Formation Proposal, Tabled with the FA to hold a teach-in before returning to the GA

Proposal: Occupalooza August 18th 2012, Consensus

Proposal: Proposal for OWS Legal Support And Commissary Funds For Detained Comrades, Passed through modified consensus (16 in favor, 1 against) with FA’s: 1.The commissary would end if the person is convicted of non-OWS crime 2. Commissary doesn’t being until 7 days after incarceration 3. The money comes from bail fund

Announcements: Anthony

Read more »

NYC Operational Spokes Council 02/06/2012 (Minutes)

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NYC OPERATIONAL SPOKES COUNCIL 2/6/12

Location: Riverside Church

Facilitation: Negesti, Emma

Time Keeper: Corey

Stack: Sean

Minutes: Molly o.

Report Backs (15.07) Minutes, Accounting, Occupy Farms, Infohub, Occupy Town Square

Proposal: (24.00) Proposal to Discuss Grievance Council/Procedure/Formation as a Community  This proposal was tabled for future discussion.

Discussion: (1.14.03) Medics WG Budget Report-Back.  Medics Working Group, as mandated by their budgetary proposal which was passed through the GA on 12/15/12, reported on their spending and asked for feedback from the group on their desires to 1) receive Metrocards and 2) Receive their money monthly, rather than weekly.

Proposal: (1.43.26)  Defining “Operations Groups” for the NYC Operational Spokes Council This proposal was tabled for future discussion.

Discussion: (1.49.00) Discussion of Violence and Non-Violence in the Occupy Wall Street Movement.

Announcements: (none)

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Anarchism Caucus Formation Proposal

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Anarchism Caucus Formation Proposal

-As anarchists and politcal theorists we feel that our voices, ideas, and beliefs have been marginalized by our comrades in the OWS community.
-This caucus will be a platform and community which educates, informs and learns about anarchistic and alternative political theory.
-We seek to end the misinformation and negative stereotypes associated with these politcal beliefs,
-and to draw attention to the anarchist principals all ready inherent in our processes and community, in OWS.
We have met and drafted our mission statement, and plan to continue meeting every saturday at 4 (with some flexibility).

OCCUPALOOZA AUGUST 18, 2012 Proposal to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street

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Proposal to the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street Tuesday February 7, 2012

Proposed by: Break out group of the Liberty Ave. Food Kitchen

Contact: Maura Spery 347-581-9675

To remit an application to the New York City Parks department for a permit to hold an all day
Information Expo and Free Concert called “Occupalooza” on and around the Great Lawn in Central Park.
The event will be held on Saturday August 18th from 11am to 11pm.

The purpose of the event is the following:

-

Focus attention on the movement: Just the act of submitting the application for the permit will
ignite a firestorm of activity from the mayor’s office and the press. The Press Working Group can
release a Press Release explaining the purpose of the information expo to get real information
out to the public (not the propaganda BS that passes for news now). The Legal Working Group
will have its hands full but the precedent is with OWS. See

-

Harness the power of all the (relevant) working groups to focus their messages to disseminate
to the masses: This would be a perfect opportunity for each working group to get their message
and facts out to a larger audience. The event will allow for working groups to use the greatness
that is Central Park to promote their groups specific issues/demands and the message of the
movement as a whole. Imagine large puppets, flags, posters, body art, face painting, fortune
cookies with food facts, bubbles, balloons etc…. the possibilities are endless

-

Disseminate facts and information to a greater number of people:
This event would help to attract and involve part of the 99% that do not understand what
OWS stands for and might believe the lies about the movement. We will have an opportunity
to educate and enlist the so called 58%, the middle class taxpayers, the people who truly feel
apathetic and without voice. We can help to rouse this sleeping giant.

-

Use this event as a springboard to an even larger event on OWS birthday and/or leading up
to November Elections: We can use this as springboard for other “Occupaloozas” around the
country and world to coalesce at a HUGE OWS event on September 17th in New York or DC

-

Have a big giant PARTY! Lastly what could be better for the sick and tired OWS warriors than
to have a giant freaking party to celebrate our commitment to creating positive change in our
world. We hope to pull new people to the movement as well as heal some fractures that have
appeared over the course of time. We are a huge diverse family but we are family so let’s make
it like one big dysfunctional Thanksgiving dinner in the middle of Central Park in August.

ALL DAY and AFTER DARK OCCUPPY CENTRAL PARK – OCCUPALOOZA AUGUST 18, 2012

And in the end if they don’t give us a permit…… OCCUPICNIC AUGUST 18, 2012 – Bring your
picnic blanket, picnic basket, drums, guitars, frisbees etc…………

2/8/2012: Proposal to Create a Budget Process for Spokes Council

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An OWS Budget Process or Reminding Spokes that it has a Job to Do

We propose to formally consent that all Working Groups that follow the terms of the InfoHub proposal regarding groups are able to participate in Spokes Council.

The logical follow up proposal is to clarify the purpose of the Spokes Council as the venue for OWS working groups to check each other’s direct budgetary access to our communal pool of money.

Third, we would like the Spokes Council to consense on the abolition of the daily petty cash system.

On Monday, we will seek consensus on building an OWS-wide budget process for working groups to propose recurring and one-time budgets. We have outlined the proposed process below and welcome your comments at the Accounting Open Meeting on Friday at 530 at 60 Wall Street. We believe that by building a common process and reporting requirements, we will provide the transparency and efficiency this movement deserves.

On Monday, we will present information on our current budget situation
- How much we have in the bank- and in which bank :)
- Based on how much we have- and the lack of income and donations- how much can we afford to spend every week?
- Based on this number, we will need to re-consense on existing recurring budgets and discuss any new ones, some of which we may not be able to afford anymore.

We believe that the standard by which these budgets should be judged is whether they support the movement and the actions we undertake

Budget requests for Movement Groups, one time actions and events will continue to go to General Assembly. No change there :)

Budget requests for Operational Groups will continue go to Spokes

Recurring Budgets for Operational Groups
In order to receive a recurring budget, a group must have been defined as an Operational Group by Spokes. The definition from the original Spokes proposal is that they are

“contributing to the logistical and financial operations of Occupy Wall Street on a consistent basis. They are open and accessible for people to join and can only exclude people for either repeatedly disrupting the group’s process or behaving in such a way that seriously violates the GA’s Principles of Solidarity. Operations Groups must produce a written description of what they do and how people can get involved.”

The process of inducting new groups as Operational Groups should therefore begin at the next Spokes Council.

Any group receiving a recurring budget must report back to Spokes every two or four weeks.
- The dates of reportbacks will be set when the budget is passed so groups can prepare their reports in time.
- Report must be online 24 hours before the Spokes at which it must be reported so that it can be reviewed by the community beforehand.
- Reporting must include a brief activity update and the amounts spent since the last report.
- If a group wants a budget modification, they can ask for it during this time
- If another group or the community at large has concerns with the budget in question, this can be discussed at during these regular report-backs
- Groups can ask for one time budgets- to buy equipment for instance- as part of their report back. For example, if Tech Ops needs to buy an extra server
Any group that already has a recurring budget- Outreach printing, Medics, etc.- will have to re-present their recurring budget for consensus.

Proposed Implementation Schedule

Week 0 :
First 3 parts of Proposal passed
Discussion of Part 4: Budget Process

Weeks 1 & 2:
Monday: More extensive information provided as outlined above; Budget Process passed
Re-start operational groups process
Office hours and support to operational groups re-doing their budgets

Week 3:
Groups with existing, recurring budgets present their past expenses and activities for re-consensus.

Week 4:
Groups with new recurring budgets present their proposals
Saturday: Spokes presents complete operational budget to General Assembly

PROPOSAL TO DISCUSS GRIEVANCE COUNCIL/PROCEDURES/FORMATION AS A COMMUNITY

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PROPOSAL TO DISCUSS GRIEVANCE COUNCIL/PROCEDURES/FORMATION AS A COMMUNITY
We are here because we REBEL. Many of us came to this movement with much appropriate anger at situations that made us feel powerless.  With no space or outlets for such energy within our community, it is expressed in our marches, interactions with police, behavior towards each other, even towards ourselves.
At the moment, there is no place in any of our meetings for our emotions.  That space is essential if we want a healthy atmosphere within the community.  That might be a healing space, a holding space, a venting space, a sharing space, crying space, yelling space, throwing space, breaking space, laughing space, sighing space, proactive space, calming space, pressure reliving space, active listening space … perspective exchange space.
99% includes a LOT of different types of people, and there is just no way we are going to agree on a whole lot of stuff.  But we can find commonalities, values we all hold with passion and commitment.  Having seen some of the ideas going around in Safer Spaces, this stood out:  Transformative accountability – must include community change with the ability to prevent the harm from recurring.
With that in mind, we propose we spend the next few weeks on doing something many experienced activists have been encouraging us to do – coming up with a Grievance Council proposal AS A COMMUNITY.
We propose (beginning immediately) we spend one hour of every Spokes Council and GA meeting for at least the next 3 weeks discussing the following topics in no particular order (and others as they come up);
  1. What will the grievance council address?
  2. Who will comprise the council? (would be great if Elders were involved, experienced activists, along with others from various working groups )
  3. How would we want it to function?
  4. What decisions, if any will it make?
  5. How often will it meet?
  6. How will we support its work?Will it work with outside resources/agencies?
  7. What we will do if the process does not succeed in resolving the issues we bring to it to the level tolerable for our community?  (What is the worst case scenario?)
  8.  Sharing of ideas already discussed in the various open space, working group and caucus meetings held on this topic so far.
  9.  Hearing from experts (elders, and seasoned activists as well as mental health, security, etc…) on the subject (restorative justice, transformative, other ways of dealing with anger etc…)
We can collect the answers in categories based on the questions above, and base our community agreement and Grievance Council model on what is collected.  We know many groups are working on this idea already.  Those groups meet at various times, making it harder to keep track of where in the process we are.  We believe just knowing that a process is actively being worked out, and being able to take part in that process without having to fit in yet another meeting, or google group (also sources of stress for some), will ease the frustrations of many.
Violence is the result of pent up anger and frustration, and as we have witnessed, it refuses to be ignored or postponed.