Proposal for OWS Legal Support And Commissary Funds For Detained Comrades

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Proposal for OWS Legal Support And Commissary Funds For Detained Comrades

The proposal pertains to Ellis Roberts/Robert Nilon a day one Occupier, a co-host and co-producer on the Occupy Wall Street Radio Show on WBAI and a huge voice and advocate of OWS ~and ensuring that there is legal support and funding provided for his commissary by OWS ~and that OWS commissary and legal support become protocol if Comrades are detained in the future.

Ellis has been in police custody since January 28th and held in Rikers since January 31st where he remains to this day. As the first Occupier to be detained and kept in Rikers he has received ZERO support from OWS and that cannot stand as it is a duty to protect and support our Comrades.

Stating that there is a freeze on OWS funds and the $100,000.00 bail fund is for bail and the $15,000 emergency jail fund does not qualify as a source for OWS to help with Ellisz commissary fund; OWS has left Ellis with zero support.

~Ensuring commissary funds while detained will enable our Comrades to buy food, supplies and make phone calls at $5.00+ for out of state phone calls.

For contrast, let it be stated that Occupiers receive a monthly total of $120 in metrocards, housing, a minimum of 1-2 meals a day, have access to phones and the internet for connectivity (Charlottes Place / friends etc.) and it is a duty to ensure that our detained Comrades will also have our care and support while they are detained.

Ellis is the first OWS Occupier that is being detained and kept in Rikers Island. He was arrested on and is facing completely erroneous charges: and he’s being held in Rikers; a NY Jail complex; 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and it is my suggestion that we alot a monthly amount of $220.00 to his commissary; to buy food, supplies and make phone calls at $5.00+ for out of state phone calls ~till his release.

I would like to ensure OWS’s brotherhood and solidarity does not end once a comrade is arrested or detained. I would like to ensure that OWS maintains the highest principles of camaraderie, honor, integrity, brotherhood and solidarity by making protocol: the provision of his and future comrades commissaries and ensuring his/their legal protection and well being while detained.

#GOONIESNEVERSAYDIE

#COMRADES

Proposal by : Faith Laugier

~Day 1 Occupier, Co-Host/Co-Producer of the OWS Radio Show on WBAI, member of Class War and an OWS Comrade.

**Please place on agenda for time equivalent of after 7:30pm. Radio show ends at 7pm. Thank you. xx



**And to answer questions posted below:

“Day 1 Occupier” was stated to show the duration of commitment to this movement.

Re family; they have been alerted and support is there, but funds are not really.

Calls are $5.00+ for out of state and his fam and friends are in Florida and Pennsylvania

The charges are completely erroneous and b.s.. It seems they are moving to make an example of those who exercise protest and dissent 

OWS cannot extend solidarity while Comrades are free and cut solidarity when Comrades are arrested and detained

#OWS

#ROLLRIGHT

#COMRADES

XX

NYC General Assembly 2/4/2012 (Minutes)

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.

NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY DAY 141

Audio Recording of General Assembly

Location: 60 Wall Street Atrium

Facilitators: Christina, Shawn

Stack Taker: Corey

Minutes: Lauren

Working Group Report Backs: Minutes, Class War, Nan-in solidarity with Newark, Medics, Shazz, Trish

Proposal: Call for mass action against the suppression of the Occupy Movement: Tabled by proposers.

Announcements: Visions and Goals, Strong Women Rules, Trish, Staten Island GA, Lady, Christine, Joseph, Angela, Jeff

Read more »

2/4/2012: A Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

This is a proposal for the General Assembly of Occupy Wall Street to support A Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement (online at http://www.dontsuppressows.org/ )  AND the day of Mass Action on February 28th , a first step in response to this call organized by the Ad Hoc Committee Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement that came together around this call.
As part of this support individuals and working groups in support of this are encouraged to utilize all of their resources to creatively join in answering this call and are invited to come to the ad hoc committee meetings.

 

A Call for Mass Action Against the Suppression of the Occupy Movement, says in part:

“As a first step in the necessary response, there must be a massive
Political mobilization on a day, or days, very soon to say NO! to this
attempt to suppress thought and expression with brutality and
violence. This mobilization should most of all be in New York, where
this movement started… but it should at the same time be powerfully
echoed all around the country and yes, around the world”
“This is a call for massive demonstrations—soon—carried out in public
spaces where they can have maximum impact and exposure and where the
authorities cannot pen in, suppress, and otherwise attempt to
marginalize these demonstrations…”
“These demonstrations must be large enough to show clearly that people
will not tolerate that which is intolerable… that people will not
adjust to that which is so manifestly unjust. Such demonstrations,
along with the efforts to reach out and build them, can draw many more
people from passive sympathy into active support and can awaken and
inspire even millions more who have not yet been reached. Such
demonstrations can powerfully answer the attempt by “the 1%” to crush
and/or derail this broad movement. Thousands and thousands in the
streets, acting together, can seize new initiative and change the
whole political equation. The urgent questions raised by Occupy—and
other urgent questions that have yet to be raised in this movement—can
once more reverberate, and more powerfully than before.
The repression of the Occupy movement must not stand. Act.”
This is undertaken with the hope to address the suppression and repression in its many forms, including police violence, media blackout, embedded agents, etc.
Contact Person: Travis Morales           Working Group (if applicable) : NA

2/4/2012: Funding Request from Heather H.

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

My name is Heather H. and I am relocating to New York City from Chicago to Occupy Wall Street. I am requesting a donation in the amount of $650 for gas and food during a short round trip in the near future. I have cancer and my children are currently in foster care of ACS, children’s social services because my mother reported me to the state of New York opening a case of neglect. I need to gather necessary paperwork in order to obtain services in the state of New York and receive medical care where I am currently registered. I cannot receive medical care I am in desperate need of because I do not have proper identification and medical insurance in NYC and also cannot receive treatment or essential testing until I transfer my medical records and proof of Medicaid benefits to the state of New York. Unfortunately, I am trapped within a stagnant bureaucratic which cares little for my current state of non-well-being. I am unemployed, not communicating with my family and receive no financial support from them. This is an urgent matter and I can obtain the services I need more quickly, get a treatment plan and get on the road to recovery with the help from my OWS community. I humbly request your support and approval of this proposal so I can overcome existing infections and bone cancer so that I can get my twin daughter, Elleigh and Leala, back with me, their one and only parent. I desperately need urgent support, medical attention and to rebuild my family as a healthy person. I cannot fully devote myself to this movement without your support and my health will continue to decline without addressing my needs. I can expedite this process by transferring my records and receiving the care I need with approval of this proposal. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Accountability Proposal

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

Occupy Wall Street is founded upon the Principles of Solidarity, which states the following:

“On September 17, 2011, people from all across the United States of America and the world came to protest the blatant injustices of our times perpetuated by the economic and political elites.  On the 17th we as individuals rose up against political disenfranchisement and social and economic injustice.  We spoke out, resisted, and successfully occupied Wall Street.  Today, we proudly remain in Liberty Square constituting ourselves as autonomous political beings engaged in non-violent civil disobedience and building solidarity based on mutual respect, acceptance, and love.  It is from these reclaimed grounds that we say to all Americans and to the world, Enough!  How many crises does it take?  We are the 99% and we have moved to reclaim our mortgaged future.  Through a direct democratic process, we have come together as individuals and crafted these principles of solidarity, which are points of unity that include but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in direct and transparent participatory democracy;
  • Exercising personal and collective responsibility;
  • Recognizing individuals’ inherent privilege and the influence it has on all interactions;
  • Empowering one another against all forms of oppression;
  • Redefining how labor is valued;
  • The sanctity of individual privacy;
  • The belief that education is human right; and
  • Endeavoring to practice and support wide application of open source.

We are daring to imagine a new socio-political and economic alternative that offers greater possibility of equality.  We are consolidating the other proposed principles of solidarity, after which demands will follow.”

Additionally, we also follow the Statement of Autonomy, which states the following:

“Occupy Wall Street is a people’s movement. It is party-less, leaderless, by the people and for the people. It is not a business, a political party, an advertising campaign or a brand.  It is not for sale.

We welcome all, who, in good faith, petition for a redress of grievances through non-violence.  We provide a forum for peaceful assembly of individuals to engage in participatory as opposed to partisan debate and democracy.  We welcome dissent.

Any statement or declaration not released through the General Assembly and made public online at www.nycga.net should be considered independent of Occupy Wall Street.

We wish to clarify that Occupy Wall Street is not and never has been affiliated with any established political party, candidate or organization.  Our only affiliation is with the people.

The people who are working together to create this movement are its sole and mutual caretakers.  If you have chosen to devote resources to building this movement, especially your time and labor, then it is yours.

Any organization is welcome to support us with the knowledge that doing so will mean questioning your own institutional frameworks of work and hierarchy and integrating our principles into your modes of action.

SPEAK WITH US, NOT FOR US.

Occupy Wall Street values collective resources, dignity, integrity and autonomy above money.  We have not made endorsements.  All donations are accepted anonymously and are transparently allocated via consensus by the General Assembly or the Operational Spokes Council.

We acknowledge the existence of professional activists who work to make our world a better place.  If you are representing, or being compensated by an independent source while participating in our process, please disclose your affiliation at the outset.  Those seeking to capitalize on this movement or undermine it by appropriating its message or symbols are not a part of Occupy Wall Street.

We stand in solidarity.  We are Occupy Wall Street.”

These principles are difficult to uphold.  Sometimes, they may even seem contradictory – how can we behave transparently if we insist on individual privacy?  We are stumbling upon vagueness and apparent contradiction, from the root of the only two documents we presently hold as our statements of values and methods.  It does not help that the Principles of Solidarity state only how one should act, but not what should happen should one fail to uphold these lofty principles.

In fundamental concept, the Statement of Autonomy makes it clear in the end: that which is not a part of Occupy Wall Street excludes itself by its own actions, and it is in the best interests of the Occupy Wall Street movement to note that those whose actions and behaviors do not follow appropriate standards stand apart from the movement by their own actions and their own choices.

Inclusion does not mean the failure to ever exclude – that is simply exclusion by a different metric: “How long someone can put up with this bullshit,” “who has the loudest voice,” “who is the most violent or has the most credible threat.” Having drawn the line between the 99% and the 1%, we fear to ever exclude someone from our all-inclusive movement.  However, to say an individual deemed within the 99% can never be excluded is to say that the 99% is the 1%, for we hold no one accountable for their actions.

A process is being formed to help with this.  We are working on defining “what we will abide by” and “how we will treat each other” via the forthcoming Community Agreement and Code of Conduct, documents that are as-yet works in progress seeking further development or consensus.  We are defining “how we keep things within the boundaries of what we have agreed upon,” via de-escalation tactics designed both for physical and for social situations.  And we are creating a way to resolve our differences or earn forgiveness for our transgressions against each other, defining “how we get along with each other after things have gone less than smoothly” via a Grievance Circle that focuses upon repairing harm and restoring fairness within the community in a restorative-justice process that seeks to educate and heal rather than apply punitive judgments to serve as negative values in some complicated game-theory system of the world that is the modern criminal-justice system.

But it would be a misnomer to state that every problem one might bring forward in the grievance process will be able to be answered with both individuals still within the Movement.  It is a failure of imagination and a failure of judgment to say that there will never be a transgression so grave that we as an assembled body might have to sever connection with an individual or group within the Movement, and it is this continued failure that sees us tolerate the intolerable and play the game of exclusion by attitude rather than principle.

It is a simple principle.  If you come to our events or our meetings, use our websites or phone systems: it doesn’t matter who you are, by the act of involvement, you agree to follow our community standards.  If you leave the relationship, you don’t have to follow our standards – Occupy Wall Street community standards are held between members of the Occupy Wall Street community, they do not follow you home and decree how you treat anyone outside of the Movement when you do not represent the Movement.

The General Assembly should stand empowered to sever ties with those who do not follow the Principles of Solidarity, the Statement of Autonomy, or other standards of behavior that have been agreed upon. If we leave the relationship with you, you also don’t have to follow our standards. It stays that way as long as we’re not involved in each other’s business. If we get involved with companies, they have to follow our standards, too. Our standards apply to OWS as a whole and also to all our working groups, caucuses, and other component bodies acting on our behalf or in our name.

Continued participation in Occupy Wall Street, as a movement, confers benefits.  An individual whom the General Assembly proposes to exclude from the Movement via direct and transparent participatory democracy, based on their adherence to the standards of conduct that define a member as part of OWS, thus loses access to these benefits.  They include, but are not limited to:

  • The ability to attend General Assembly, Spokes Council, or other forms of decision-making bodies and be placed on stack;
  • The ability to access Occupy Wall Street funds and resources, such as metrocards, housing access, *@nycga.net email accounts, food, clothing, and similar supplies;
  • The ability to join Working Groups or Caucuses, and participate in OWS discussions;
  • Access to bail funds for any arrests they may be subject to at Occupy Wall Street marches or events;
  • And the ability to state to the outside world, and those within the Occupy Wall Street movement, “I am a member of Occupy Wall Street.”

An individual whom the General Assembly consenses is ‘not a member of Occupy Wall Street,’ should not be seen to be a member of the Occupy Wall Street movement by its membership as a whole, or attain any of the benefits conferred by membership.  We of course wish to repair and embrace rather than give up on and exclude – anyone can have a bad day, after all, and an individual act of violence may have several root causes not seen immediately.  We have stated that we wish to exercise personal and collective responsibility, and this cannot be done by avoiding difficult problems just because there is no fast and clean solution.  The problems we face make the Movement stronger, and better-equipped to change the world.

This is the standard that any such proposal the General Assembly brings forward should seek to meet, before excluding anyone: be it for failure to uphold the Principles of Solidarity, or failure act in keeping with the Statement of Autonomy, or the failure to abide by any other community agreement or code of conduct as yet forthcoming, efforts must be made to heal the breach and repair the harm if such repair is possible.  Refusing to repair this failing to the community as a whole by the airing of grievances and making of amends via the transformative justice process of the Grievance Circle, when it is in place, shall be recognized strictly in proportion to the offense to our standards and our ideals – no one shall be asked to leave the Movement for tripping and falling on someone, then calling it ‘assault,’ for these are the tactics already being used against us and we shall not use them against ourselves.

Actions taken by an individual shall be seen to be against the Movement as a whole only if they are grievous in nature, or systemically repetitive.  The line in the sand between the individual and the Occupy Wall Street movement is drawn by that individual themselves, by their failure to abide by our standards of behavior or community agreements which have achieved consensus in the General Assembly, and a proposal to the General Assembly to formally recognize that an individual stands outside of Occupy Wall Street by their own choice and their own actions should abide by that decision on their part and ratify it lest the individual continue to harm those within the Movement or the Movement as a whole via their actions.

AN EXAMPLE –

Johnny the Homicidal Protestor says he is part of the 99%, and a good member of Occupy Wall Street.

Johnny the Homicidal Protestor doesn’t show up to GA’s, communicate via NYCGA.net or participate in any working groups either face-to-face or electronically.

Johnny the Homicidal Protestor only communicates with Occupy Wall Street via, you guessed it, homicide – Johnny is the sole member of the “Killing The 1% One By One” Working Group, or as some might call it, ‘Really-Goddamn-Direct-Action’.  He kills Wall Street investment bankers and carves “The 99% Are Coming For You! #OWS” onto their bodies, because much like Twitter, you can only use so many characters before you run out of room.

Johnny the Homicidal Protestor is not following the Principles of Solidarity, and Occupy Wall Street should recognize formally (and quickly!) that Johnny’s autonomous actions exclude him from OWS by his own actions and his own choices.

The question before the General Assembly in this proposal is not “where does this line exist,” but quite simply “does this line exist.”  Individual proposals brought before the General Assembly against an individual whose actions and behaviors may be seen to be against the body of Occupy Wall Street as a whole will establish in each case where ‘the line’ is, and whether it has been crossed, as well as whether efforts have been put into place by the movement as a whole to repair the connection between the individual and the group via the restorative justice process (at this time, still forthcoming).

Defining “Operations” Groups for the Spokes Council

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

In short this proposal is to change the definition of “operational” working groups such that any “official” working group (all working groups which fit the guidelines set out by InfoHub’s 12/20 GA proposal) is an operational group.

In our view InfoHub’s proposal indirectly solved the problem of deciding over operational/movement groups, which moreover has been the main structural (as opposed to socio-cultural) problem plaguing spokescouncil since it began way back in October, in one form or another. What this proposal aims to do is make manifest InfoHub’s implicit solution of moving this problem from SC to GA, that is, by changing the distinction from between operational/movement (which is now irrelevant insofar as it is based on us living in a park) to the distinction between OWS working groups and unrecognized/unofficial affinity groups.

In our view this finally makes clear the purpose of spokescouncil itself: a venue for OWS working groups to check each other’s direct budgetary access to our communal pool of money (as opposed to anyone’s ability to indirectly access it via a GA proposal).

NYC Operational Spokes Council 1/30/2012 (Minutes)

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Spokes Council Minutes.

NYC OPERATIONAL SPOKES COUNCIL DAY 136

Spokes Sign-in Sheet

Location: Riverside Church

Facilitation: Jason, Lisa, Brook, Negesti

Time keeper: Brooke

Minutes: David Buccola

Report Backs (8:05): Housing, Accounting, Library, OWS en Espanol, Alternative Kitchen, Occupy Dignity, Direct Action (DA), Occupy the Youth, Picture the Homeless

Proposal: Spokes Council Budgeting (27:00) This proposal was not formally proposed; instead it was discussed among break out groups and then feedback given back to proposers to better understand needs and concerns.

Proposal: Democracy in Spokes Council Proposer wasn’t able to be at the meeting but out of respect we discussed proposal to provide feedback. In straw poll 21 in favor of first item in proposal with 2 concerns. Many uptwinkles for second section of proposal. And a more mixed reaction to the last part of proposal.

Proposal: Emergency Proposal from Accounting (1:56), Direct Action, and Class War. Accounting brought forth the following proposal and then had to leave to do jail support. The proposal was then picked up by Class War and Direct Action:

Who do we bail out? There was an action in Williamsburg that was not an OWS event. It was a party for activists. They moved into an abandoned building on Bedford. Within a half hour police showed up and there was a confrontation with police. Four of them were arrested. Three of them are out. The people in Williamsburg posted their own bail. How do we feel about this? There were occupiers there. Do we bail those people out? Can we break spokes and let anyone say what they feel?

Result: The proposal to bail out this individual was tabled until more information could be gathered regarding charges and bail amount (which had yet to be set at the time of meeting).

Announcements: Direct Action is having an action tomorrow at Grand Central at 5:30pm

*Unfortunately the batteries died in the audio recorder and I was only able to record the first five minutes of the meeting.

Full Minutes: Read more »