NYC General Assembly 1/21/2012 (Minutes)

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.


Date/Time: 1/21/2012, 7:30 pm

Location: 60 Wall Street

Facilitators: Amin and Christina

Stack: Evan

Minutes: Hillel (From Livestream and tweets) and Stan

Announcements/Working Group Reportbacks: Solidarity Working Group, Open Accounting Working Group, Class War Working Group, Student Assembly, InfoHub, Structure Working Group, Direct Action, GSD, “Don’t Buy Any Media” Day, Livestream.

Proposal: Have open meetings for all operation decisions. Failed to pass modified consensus.

Proposal: General restructuring of assembly. Tabled. Read more »

1/24/2012:OWS support for Occupy Tour

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

A team of people assembled by Ted Hall are building a satellite project under the Occupy banner.  We are organizing an Occupy Tour of music, art, and workshops throughout local assemblies here in NYC and hopefully beyond.  The Occupy Tour has the following mission/message:

Cultivate unity of humanity – eliminating prejudice, celebrating diversity and embracing each other as one family
Empower people to build future civilization – sharing information about how to build the free internet, communication, and food systems that we can all benefit from
Inspire people to start their own assemblies – using the tour as a fundraising vehicle to build local Assemblies we hope to help boost local efforts and inspire people to generate fulfillment instead of consume
We are looking for the GA’s thumbs up on the project.  We will work diligently, openly, with the aim of empowering anyone in the movement to do the same by open sourcing our process and progress.  The team is going to be self selecting, through trust, and commitment.  We aim to see many similar tours, independently organized, to spread various messages, as an ecosystem of Occupy beliefs.  It would be an honor to be so empowered by this body.  We promise to elevate consciousness, set a new standard for the movement’s efficacy, and revitalize the spirit which has inspired countess people around the world, and do justice to those who have sacrificed for this movement in Nigeria.  Unity, empowerment, and inspiration

Edward T. Hall III (Ted)
C0-Founder and C3()

NYC Operational Spokes Council 01-20-2012 (Minutes)

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Spokes Council Minutes.

Spokes Council Minutes January 20, 2012

Audio Recording of Spokes Council Meeting

Spokes Council Sign-in Sheet

Location: West Park Presbyterian Church

Facilitators (F):Steve & Jo

Stack: Marissa

Minutes: David Buccola


Meeting began at approximately 8:00pm

Announcements: Info-hub, Occupy Phoenix, Billy, Minutes, Strong Women Rules, Tech Ops, Facilitation, and Women Occupy Nations (WON).

Working Group Report backs: Direct Action Painting (DAP), Educational Empowerment, Tech-ops, Occupy Farms, WON.

Proposal from Facilitation to reduce Spokes Council meetings passed.

Proposal to exclude Nan from Spokes Council because of violent behavior passed.

Full Minutes:

Read more »

1/24/2012: Community Solidarity

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.


Does anyone wish to see the OWS movement become violent?


If we let a bunch of Occupiers, who have come from all over and have given their lives to this movement with the hope of changing this country and our world into a more inclusive space; if we let these people, who our movement has been taking care of, into the streets of New York at the beginning of February, without food and shelter, effectively cutting them off from the resources they have grown dependent on, we must understand there is a good chance one or a few of them will turn to violent means. Originally, this was brought to the GA as an emergency break-out discussion for the following reason: If any member of the OWS movement turns to violence, it creates an opportunity for the government to label the entire movement a terrorist movement and then every member must worry about consequences. Already the UK has given OWS the label, and rumor is our own government is waiting for the opportunity. On Wednesday night (01.18,12), at Spokes Counsel two fights broke out, fights that were caused due to there being haves and have-nots amongst us. If we don’t work to resolve this, we must understand this is only the beginning.

We are a community. We are a community living in the public eye of the world, demanding the larger world community work to take care of those amongst us that are disenfranchised. If we ourselves do not work to ensure all Occupiers are housed, fed, and working, we ourselves are no better than the society we are protesting. In the wake of housing options being cut, and access to G.A. funds being cut, we propose the OWS movement radically shift gears for a moment and work to ensure every Occupier become a self-sufficient member of our community. If we can become a self-sufficient movement, a group of people able to take care of their individual needs while protesting the great atrocities affecting all of us, then truly we can be a model able to change the world.

There is a huge disparity within our community, the top and bottom can and must learn from one another. Non-Occupiers need to understand that Occupiers can’t make it to many meetings as they’re forced to adhere to church hours, and Occupiers need to understand that non-Occupiers can’t always be out during the day since they have to work. And after this is understood, we must find a way for both groups to communicate and work together to ensure the weakest amongst us is self-sufficient and not seen as a burden or blight on our community. As a non-hierarchical movement, we must joyously lift up the weak amongst us while praising the already strong and everyone in between. We are a community. This must be our mantra.

We propose we work together to find every Occupier a home, a job, get those on food stamps that are eligible, get all those eligible for government subsidies on them, and ensure every Occupier is self-sufficient. And then, this Spring, when more people join our movement, ready to nonviolently fight with us, we must make it a priority to help them find employment and learn to be self-sufficient before leading them to places of protest.

During the Thursday GA (01.19.12), we broke out into discussion groups to address this topic. Many great ideas were already brought up: getting the Radical Social Workers involved; offering displaced Occupiers an easy transition into the New Haven and Newark Occupations for the remaining winter months; utilizing the Occupation force for fundraising, and have a larger breakout session outside of GA similar to Open Spaces. Almost everyone involved, whether they started hesitantly or supportively, at the end of our conversation was enlivened and understood the need for this. We ask that you join us on Tuesday as we solidify through discussion pragmatic ways to empower those Occupiers, who only three months ago, were being called heroes: help us form workshops immediately to offer our heroes key-knowledge, most take for granted, like resume creation and access to public welfare services, such as food stamps for those who are eligible If in three months, heroes can become bums, then the whole should once again cry, “Oh how the mighty have fallen.” But it will not be the heroes who have fallen, it will be the whole Movement, whether  in the Office or on the Streets, and we will all rightfully be chastised for our fall!

The people with money in this movement have many times been the ones in the office, the ones using OWS money, and now in the coldest moment of our Movement, many of these very people are the ones shutting down spending… now I challenge you, if you have, to actively seek to help those amongst you that don’t have, help them to enjoy in the having. If this idea scares you, then I must ask you, why are you here?

1/21/2012: General Restructuring of Assembly

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.



[Third Draft]

This proposal is the product of many voices.  Its drafters have sought to build a consensus of diverse views through open forum in Liberty Square, the daily Coordinators Meeting, the internet, and circulated with participation from many groups including Direct Action Working Group, Facilitation Working Group, Tech Ops, Outreach, Media, Press, InfoHub, Housing, Arts & Culture, Think Tank, OWS Works, Think Tank, Library, People’s Kitchen, Education & Empowerment, Town Planning, W.O.W Caucus, Structure, Safer Spaces, P.O.C Caucus, & the OWS Activist Legal Working Group.


Public Assembly has been the foundation of the people’s movement for social change since long before Occupy Wall Street, and after it caught fire on September 17th.  We strive to be a leaderless, transparent,  non-hierarchical, and non-violent movement which exercises direct democracy as the forum to organize our movement to change the world.  Whenever the people come together, we call it General Assembly. It is not a governing body, for power lies not within any governing body, it lies with the people.

Structured Assemblies were created as spaces to have the discussions that our community wants to have. Currently the Occupy Wall Street community consists of Working Groups, Caucuses, Affinity Groups, The General Assembly, and The Operational Spokes Council.  Each of these people-powered structures serves a distinct function. We want our structures to work for us in the most effective way possible.

This is a remarkably devoted community and we all devote a substantial amount of time, energy, and heart to the movement with the hope that it turns into a revolution. But given the recent atmosphere, many of us are experiencing activist burnout, communications and meeting overload.

Currently, we have scheduled seven mass assemblies per week – four General Assemblies and three Spokes Councils.

What if we were to wipe that slate clean, and rebuild a new model for the schedule of mass assemblies that would better suit our needs, our comfort, and the conversations that we need to have to forward the movement?

This proposal seeks to add to the conversation about how we as a community use our time when we come together, to nurture physical and intellectual spaces that allow us to have the conversations we need to as a movement, and to offer solutions to a clearly perceived set of needs.

This proposal is a humble suggestion, a beginning point to work from, and comes in the spirit of continuing progress and regularly rethinking our structures to suit our changing needs.

It is by no means all-inclusive, and aims to address only fundamental issues which we believe we can reach a consensus on right away.  


This is a two-part proposal.

• All structures of assembly of the New York City General Assembly are, like ourselves, self-determining, equal in power, and without hierarchy, in that no one is subordinate to any other.

• We propose at this time that this assembly come to a consensus on when The General Assembly convenes.  We offer a recommendation that it convene on Mondays and Thursdays at 6:00pm.

• We propose at this time that this assembly come to a consensus on when The Operational Spokes Council convenes. We offer a recommendation that it convene on Tuesdays and Fridays at 6:00pm.



• We empower the creation of new structures of public assembly to fill the space that has been created by having fewer assemblies throughout the week.

We offer some recommendations on what those might look like, and further propose at this time starting a discussion leading toward a wide-reaching consensus.

• Action Spokes Council: An assembly space focused on visioning for the future of the movement, positing the visions, goals, and messaging of the movement toward planning and coordinating actions to expand its reach, and to have the discussions necessary to build unity and solidarity toward a common direction for the Occupy Wall Street movement.

• Movement Building Cluster: An assembly to focus on building solidarity and to expand our community and our movement. It will convene once per week at a weekly changing location to coincide with communities throughout the five boroughs of New York City.  This is an opportunity to foster relationships with those who wish to participate in the movement but are faced with barriers to entering OWS by bringing OWS to them;  and can feature open fora, teach-ins, skill shares, community soapboxes, and relationship building.

• Open Space/People’s Soapbox: A facilitated open forum which allows space for discussion among the community at large that do not easily fit into other assembly spaces.


This proposal is simply a humble suggestion, a beginning point to work from, and comes in the spirit of continually making progress by revisiting and rethinking the tools available to us to suit our changing needs. It is by the community and for the community.  We the proposers wholeheartedly welcome any and all changes to best suit our community and look forward to reaching a meaningful consensus together.

This document was drafted by:

Shawn Carrié

Andrew Smith

Megan Hayes

Ronny Nuñez

Chepe Martín

Haywood Carey

Lopi LaRoe

Madeline Nelson

Evan Wagner

Jake DeGroot

Amy Miller


519 Anonymous Contributors

1/21/2012: Open meetings for all operation decisions

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, Past Proposals.

From Jeffrey Brewer


I would like to propose that all consensus decisions that affect operations, personnel, policies, or agendas inside of OWS Working Groups be made at OPEN meetings accessible for all members of OWS to participate in, without requiring “membership” in any group or clique.

Currently there are a number of Working Groups (WG) that make operational decisions that affect all of the OWS community in closed meetings that are not accessible to the community as a whole.  By allowing only a Working Group’s “members” to attend and participate in decisions, it means that each group is less accountable to the Organization to which these decisions affect.  The current system only allows outsiders to petition “members” within a Working Group to make changes on their behalf.  This is equal to a Congress that excludes participation to anyone but its own members. OWS is not a “representative” style decision-making system, but a “direct” system open to all to participate in decisions that will affect the community.

Closed meetings may still exist for “planning” of projects or operations, but actual decisions must be made at announced, accessible meetings where everyone could participate.

I would allow a very limited exception for groups working in “clandestine” actions to close meetings related to internal decisions about particular actions.

For example:

If the community wanted to make a change in the policies the Housing Working Group follows, anyone can sit down at an OPEN meeting and voice a concern and participate in the decision process that affects the Housing Working Groups policies.   However, if someone wanted to make a change in the Widget Working Group’s policies, which control distribution of OWS funded widgets and resources, only people who have dedicated themselves to the Widget WG can make those decisions, despite the fact that these policies may affect someone who has dedicated their time to another viable OWS WG such as Kitchen, or Tech Ops, or Media.

In summary, an entire community is held to follow policies that control resources that only a closed clique of individuals may participate in making.  I feel this is contrary to the OPENESS that the Occupy Movement as a whole has made a commitment to support and follow.

Jeff B.

NYC General Assembly 1/19/2012 (Minutes)

Posted by & filed under Assemblies, General Assembly Minutes.


Date/Time: 1/19/2012, 7pm

Location: Liberty Plaza

Facilitators (F): Alejandro and Christina

Stack Taker: Bonna

Working Group Report Backs: Class War Campaign, Accounting

Emergency proposal from Direct Action to endorse a longshoreman action on the west coast. Result: Consensus.

Emergency proposal to hold discussions regarding the spending freeze. Result: Conversation held.

Announcements: Facilitation, Occupy the Courts, Trish, Freedom from LA, DA, Egyptian Revolution, Minutes, Nan workshop, Sean, Occupy Burlington Vermont

Read more »