Occupy Seattle General Assembly
Wednesday 9/19/12 Westlake
Notes Occupy Seattle General Assembly 9/19/12
-September 26th 24 hour vigil at 700 Stewart (Federal Court House) midnight to midnight 9/27 to support Grand Jury defendants, Matt and Leah. Punctuated by 2 marches at noon, and 6. Plus Food and music.
-Global Noise Week of Action, 13-20th Oct. Week of action against big banks. NYC, Chicago participating. Autonomous actions against banks all week. We are first on west coast. Solidarity actions in Europe, Asia, and Middle East. Autonomous Actions of different themes: neighborhood solidarity to civil disobedience. Not related to City of Seattle divestment from big banks campaign. Want more people on board to help organize.
-Saturday (9/22) Harvest activity at MLK and Union–Alley Cat Acres (guerilla gardening site)
-Seattle Libraries are closing again next Thursday (9/27). People’s library is being organized downtown for one day. Not asking for book donations right now. Alyssa has a truck we can use for transport-also she has contacts with librarians that are supportive. Maybe urban rest stop will take leftover books. Last time they had 2000 books leftover though. Reusable containers needed for food and book distribution. There is a group figuring out logistics: Email email@example.com if you want to help.
-Nickelsville wants us to come to their 4th birthday party 9/22 2-4 pm
Minneapolis update- 39 people were charged with felony riot for protesting foreclosures. At the trial today the cases were plead down to petty misdemeanors.
Working group reports:
GMOP: They were at Westlake for 8 hours on Monday, had lots of literature. 150-200 visitors came to table. Next meeting: Sunday 5pm at Convention Center 2nd floor. Working on lobbying legislature, educational events, and outreach.
Finance: We still have a bank account. We still owe $2000 to Cleanscapes, we have enough to pay it but none has paid this bill. $300 restricted to tents, $ 500 restricted to physical supplies. $125 unrestricted. They are trying to set up a meeting with the bookkeeper. They are not very organized and haven’t met in long time. Check from Madison Market for $1250 was not deposited for a long time, they got it re-issued and now we have it in the bank. Nate Shields is the only one on the bank account. Can we decide to empower Nate to pay the bill? GA empowered signers in November; maybe we can affirm that decision. We don’t have the required quorum of 50 to make a decision. Maybe we can wait until 10/5 when the next official decision making GA is? Can we just tell Nate to pay it without making a decision here? Temp check called: unanimous in favor of paying bill. Alyssa will call and tell Nate to pay it now.
Occupy Chaplains: Tent at OWS birthday party action was staffed from 12-7. Many amazing conversations were had throughout day.
Outreach: They did some outreach on Monday. We advertised an action for midnight on Monday, but only few persons came at midnight and there was no action. We need to have more of schedule next time we advertise a time people should come.
S17 OWS Anniversary Reportbacks:
NYC: Alyssa, lots of contacts from Strike Debt. They want to work with us. There were many great fun actions at numerous banks, they also shut down 2 intersections and many were arrested.
There is still an occupation of Wall Street, but it has been disowned by ‘official’ OWS. At Trinity Church- 3rd largest landowner in Manhattan, owning over $1 Billion in property in NYC. The church is stealing occupiers stuff. Because they are cut off from OWS finance, Occupy Trinity has a We-Pay page, but they need help supporting it. They are facing a lot of repression from the city. The city is washing their sidewalk every day. We should support them. This is their 104th day of occupation. On their 60th day OWS GA voted to defund them. A” blocking working group” organized against them. Occupy Trinity folks are being characterized as “problem children, who would be homeless anyway”. But they have signs and literature–they are an occupation. They get evicted 3 times a day. They are down and out folks; they have given up everything to continue the occupation. They are being watched internationally, and seen as legit occupy around the world. The First Occupy court case that lost was over occupation of Trinity land. The one black defendant in that case was sentenced to jail, while the white defendants were let off. They were evicted on S17.
Occupy Trinity have a physical address we can mail stuff to. They need: tarps (they are mostly sleeping on cardboard now), sleeping bags, pillows, crates, hand trucks (to move stuff quickly-we are good at that). They can’t have structures, no tents. Police clear the sidewalk 3 times a day. They dumpster dive for food. They need money for bus cards. Phone cards, phones. They are sleeping in shifts. Waterproof boxes. What about JacPacs? We don’t have anymore, but we could ask JacPac for a donation. Who can put packages together? Let’s form a workgroup to put packages together for them.
Mail supplies to:
C/O Will Frank
63 Wall St.
New York, NY, 10005
There were 186 arrests on S17 on the streets. The Stock exchange was shut down by cops.
Friday night mostly out-of-towners were arrested. Cops in NY are very belligerent and brutal; they arrested people for swearing at them. Many people were grabbed and arrested for nothing. Mutant legal has good resources online. Read the tweets @_karenanna
S17 Seattle Reflections:
Good turn-out. Silent march was frustrating for some. 1 woman was harassed by cops for having a paring knife. Nothing happened at midnight. We need to be more strategic and organized. We need to have better legal prep. How can we build from there? Focus more on system.
The fact they could only harass someone for having a knife shows we were well organized. The silent march engaged more people than we might have otherwise. People organized a silent march. Nobody organized a more rowdy action, so it didn’t happen.
Should we have a phone tree: more secure than Facebook.
It was hard to plug into planning, because organizing was not public
Action Planning: Let’s have a Birthday party for Occupy Seattle. We need a public workgroup to plan it and follow through. When is our start date? October 1st, October 4th? September 28th? October 6th is a Saturday which would get more people. Can we make a timeline to document important dates in our history? A Workgroup is being formed to plan actions on 10/6. First meeting this Sunday at Food 4 Everyone at 3 PM.
We need to rebuild bridges with splinter groups to come back together. Let’s focus on what we agree on not on our differences. Could student debt marches end at Westlake GA? Fragmentation/impasse is not unique to Seattle. We can’t get caught up in nostalgia for the past. Many have negative associations with Westlake from bad experiences they had here. Many people have negative feelings about the past.
Westlake was a struggle, the move to SCCC held back the struggle, was too comfortable, and became a party central. We need to move to a next stage. Can we form a workgroup to evaluate and learn from the past? We don’t need to have another camp, we need to figure out strategy and goals. Having a space is good, but can hold back action.
Feeling that Occupy is dead is saddening, the birthday party on Monday kept threads of continuity going. Someone said ‘everyone is so hungry /starved for change and we want the revolution now; but the revolution has begun but it is a long process of human transformation.’
Where to continue meeting?
Weather will get bad again soon. We should plan to return the Convention Center, starting 10/5 for decision making GA. Maybe we should stay at Westlake because it is more public and has significance for our movement.
Is there a building where we can meet? Convention Center: up to 75 people capacity. The Wildcat: around 35 people. Office Space: 450 Sq. Ft office in ID w/ 9 key holders, on Maynard Street, New Central Building, 20 people capacity, internet, and storage. Libraries. Seattle First Baptist Church- up to 200 people.
10/5 GA is already officially decided to be at Convention Center. We have a permit to have a tarp structure at Westlake. Cold, wet whether impedes good decision making. If it is nice out we can go to courtyard at Convention Center. Bathrooms close at Convention Center when the last food vendor closes. A few people want to research new locations. Most people think that it is not worth our time to find a new location other than the Convention Center or Westlake, as both are accessible and have a history of successful GAs.
Next GA (9/26) at Westlake.
10/5 GA at Convention Center.
Wednesday 9/12/12 Westlake
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Wednesday August 29th, 2012 Westlake
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Wednesday April 18th, 2012, WSCC
Orientation: Toby Process: Kathy Stack: Carol Ed: Floater Notes: Jack
Carol: We have many actions going on (briefly listed)
Alyssa Jungle defense East Duwamish Greenbelt a.k.a Beacon Hill Jungle Protest at Mayor’s house: Friday April 20th 4pm Greenwood Ave N and N 87th St. Last homeless camp is being evicted Claims that social services are provided; actual Looking for drivers Call Alyssa at 206-892-8136 Organizers meeting at 2, action starts at 4 Share wheel/Nicklesville/Real Change action Occupying Westlake night of the 5pm April 24th March at 7am Ed Saturday: Zombie Protest against steam incinerator 2pm Saturday at Steinbruck park Arrive starting at noon for zombie makeup Working Group Announcements Merl Healthcare for All Marking sign for Mayday March Lake City Way & 125th event was very positive Alex Livestream needs more people – down to Alex and Ian (talk to one of them to volunteer) Food for for everyone 2pm Sunday (setup starts at 2pm) Horace Mann School 24th and Cherry Guatemala: Occupation of large landholding.
Alyssa I proposal that occupy seattle endorse the occupation of Westlake by Real Change and Sharewheel and support them as much as possible
Jasmine Educational videos: on racism, sexism, etc. Could be shown before GAs or over times (discussion on considering the videos “Dream Worlds II” a video by the Media Education Foundation www.mediaed.org
Bringing back proposal from last Wednesday Discussion of concerns from last week Ed addressed various concerns: Is ok with changing to simple “Occupy Seattle endorse …” removing part of the proposal that Occupy Seattle ask members to sign it Occupy Seattle endorse Ed: this is not anti-semitic. This is an appropriate endorsement; other Occupies have endorsed this. We endorsed Wuhan protest; no one claimed that this was anti-Chinese. But this is controversial Text of the proposal: Occupy Seattle add its name to the list of endorsers for the “Divest From War” pledge http://www.divestfromwar.org Test for consensus Maria’s concern: This is political. Occupy Seattle isn’t political. Ed: I agree that elections campaigns are political, but we endorsed resistance to Wuhan. Lambert: Is the concern about getting involved in foreign issues? Test for consensus again No strong objections Stand asides: Jack: based on how few people we have, Maria, Lambert, Tony Support: six There are more that 1/3 stand asides so this doesn’t have consensus
Clown Bloc Practices every Saturday 3pm, Wednesday 6pm until May 1st Cal Anderson by fountains Wednesday 6pm Synchronized actions/marches Three actions: “socking” (going between cops and protestors) marching, “fishing” Gender Equal Caucus Sunday 7pm baucaus Revolution shall be spoken poetry jam Wildcat 7pm this Friday
Monday, February 27, 2012, 7 pm – 9 pm
Washington State Convention Center, Level 2 Minutes handwritten by Tyler from Occupy Park City, Utah, transcribed by Mary from OS Speakout: Everyone wanted to hear about the march and protest to Bring Diaz Down, which started at 12:30 p.m. today at SCCC, processed downtown to City Hall, up into the City Council chambers where protesters mic-checked the end of the council meeting then moved up to the Mayor’s Office on the 7th floor. Torches that had been carried on the march were extinguished in front of City Hall. There were extra security guards in the City Hall chambers and riot police with bicycles in front of City Hall. Some number of police officers wore blacked-out badges so that you couldn’t read their names and when asked about this, one officer replied they had blacked out their badges in honor of [a slain police officer?]. Elevators were locked but stairs were accessible. 37 protesters voted to stay and wait for Mayor McGinn. Food Not Bombs had a hard time getting to City Hall with meals due to bus trouble, but once they got there, they claimed to be making a coffee delivery and were allowed to proceed to the lobby at McGinn’s office. Because they were delayed, others had gone off to find food for the protestors and were surprised to find that they were allowed to get on the elevators and go up to the Mayor’s Office without being stopped. Some people were taking pictures and maybe footage with their phone/cameras. The Stranger was a media presence as well, for which OS protesters posed giving it the finger. Maybe King 5 too? Discussion around the torches: one person reflected there should have been more water to extinguish the torches with at City Hall. Another said the torches are thought to seem threatening to some bystanders—that this was the impression after the first Bring Diaz Down march—and that protesters could consider fake Statue-of-Liberty-like torches for a future action instead, for their symbolism of liberty. Another person who had been on the march explained that the torches were carried “for our dead,” those who had been killed or injured at the hands of Seattle police, and that this was made clear to bystanders by means of a chant they had said while marching to City Hall: “We carry torches for our dead, this revolution will not end.” Discussion of “Cops are bastards” chant: one person felt it was chauvinistic and too generalistic, another said it was meant to refer to the institution rather than to each individual police officer. Discussion of OS in the media and in particular Dominique Holden’s portrayal of OS in The Stranger: Dominique is not “a terrible person” but he editorializes, said one who gave the example of an article in The Stranger where DH had noted OS violence when OS participants at a rally shoved police bicycles at police officers but did not note that the officers had initiated the violence by using their bikes against the protesters. Another person said he had gone back and begun reading all of DH’s coverage of OS in The Stranger from the beginning to ascertain for himself whether DH had opposed OS or not; the early articles were favorable, he said, and he has not gotten to the later articles yet. Another person said the tipping point for DH and The Stranger was the Town Hall meeting, which The Stranger had helped to organize. One of the panelists chosen was Eric Hanauer, a self-proclaimed “green capitalist”—a contradiction in terms for the person making this statement—author of The True Patriot who has been recently outed for an email he wrote to Jay Inslee, Dem candidate for Washington State governor, in which Hanauer threatened Inslee by saying he’d support the Republican candidate, Atty General Rob Mackenna, unless Inslee started supporting charter schools, which many people in OS regard as a movement to privatize education. Livestream reminded everyone speaking that the GA meeting was being streamed, and he advised everyone to ignore the media. Working Group Reports Labor Caucus: Jasmine and others had made a small-group presentation at 6pm, before GA, knowing it would be a small turnout because of the police brutality action taking place. Finance: the warehouse is being emptied and things are being dispersed to several different houses. Medical supplies are going to Medical. Jacket-tents that were distributed during the encampment are with the people who were given them. Process and Facilitation: will present consensus process at Wednesday GA. Inter-Group meeting: Regular meetings Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tyler from Occupy Park City, Utah reported that the same 12-mayor meeting that led to the shut-down of Occupies across the country led to the shutdown of Park City’s camp. He set up 20 tents on his own and pretended there were 20 people camping in them, and he’ll do it again when the national movement calls for a re-encampment of public spaces. He also offered lessons he had learned about the importance of music and art in the Occupy movement; these are human activities that draw people together, and draw people to the movement, and that we should think of the presence of children. Direct Actions Announcements Thursday, March 1, students and teachers and everyone who wants to support public education will meet at Westlake at 2:45 for a rally then march to the Gates Foundation to protest its lobbying for charter schools. Organizers of this event have challenged the GF to a policy throw down. After every GA he attends, one OS participant goes to the Starbucks on 7th between Pike and Pine to protest police brutality, because there are always police officers there having coffee before it closes. He asks people to join him. March will be a big month for direct actions in support of hospitality/hotel workers. Every Friday 3:30-4:30 is a solidarity picket outside the Hilton for Hilton workers who are picketing to keep their jobs when the hotel is sold. There will be a particular push for large presence at the Friday March 9th picket, 3:30-4:30. On March 15 [?] there will be another focused action in support of the Space Needle hospitality workers. Details will come later about this and another action at the very end of the month. Discussions Even though we were a fairly small group, we decided to stay to talk about the huge turnout for the GA on Sunday, 2/26, where the May Day proposal was reproposed, debated, and passed 105 to 10, a less divisive number (and closer to consensus) than the preliminary vote on 2/23. The language of the revised proposal was something like “OS endorses and stands in solidarity with the international call for a General Strike on May 1–a day off for the 99%.” Jasmine from the Labor Caucus and hospitality worker organizer acknowledged the disagreement within OS between labor people and others, but she still believes there will be ways for labor and OS to come together on actions and projects where our paths overlap as we each continue doing our own things. The meetings to plan May Day will be open to the community, with one on March 10th and maybe another on Feb 28, though there was uncertainty about this meeting. Re-Occupying and setting up a camp: Several people spoke about their desire to see the camp come back, which may be part of the May Day actions. Meetings with Share Wheel are on hold as it was hard to find a consistent group to meet with Share Wheel, who wanted a consistent group. Share Wheel has also said that because its funders require nonviolence, they require from OS a statement about nonviolence within the camp. During our discussion, one person urged the group at some point to define “nonviolence” or “not violent” because it means different things to different entitites (for example, the police who have one definition of violence, Ghandi and Martin Luther King another). What is violence? Does it include the cutting of glass to get inside a foreclosed home? (Another idea for re-encampments is to occupy foreclosed homes.) The desire to re-occupy is strong and speakers felt bad that when the camp at SCCC was given up, people who had no homes to go to were left to fend for themselves again—or to stay at OS homes. The OS camps had given their lives meaning . By accepting everyone, excluding no one, the OS camps had taken on society’s enormous problems but had allowed everyone to feel they had something to contribute. Encampments at Westlake and SCCC had actually lowered crime rates in the neighborhood until SPD delivered provocateurs. Tyler (Occupy Park City) offered these last words in his minutes: COME BACK TOGETHER! FIND THAT SOLIDARITY! Minutes 2/26/2012 Facilitators began at 7:05pm Facilitator: Martin Stack: Danica, Michael Minutes: Nathan Speakout: Alyssa: several things have happened as a result of recent contentious arguments. Some people have been very upset. Some autonomous action was taken, that some are upset about. First thing I want to say is that anyone who influenced the website, "who took it over" as some have said. It was 'down for maintenance' for a day, but its wasn't really maintenance. The backbone services have been falling apart. We've had difficulty recruiting people. We can talk about whether people feel this is true, but the act was taken out of desperation, and a need for civility, cooperation weren't happening. Ian: I'm one of the upset people, about what happened with the website today. I felt very strongly that this was a community resource that belongs to occupy seattle. This a resource for everyone, to have a few certain people decide that it should be taken away for any amount of time, so that the collective cannot use it, is a serious abuse of authority, trust, and process. So to make that point, I changed the password for twitter and livestream and livestream channel. This wasn't done to hoard responsibility and power. If you want the passwords, come talk to me. Maria: Tonight was my first night I was going to present the proposal. I tried to look up the proposal online, and found the website was down. It was 'up for maintenance.' You know what I else I also found, there's something online that says occupy seattle endorses a general strike. I don't think we voted to endorse it, so why should it be up there. David: First I want to thank everybody, who attends marches and participates. I don't think we do enough to appreciate everybody. Today I came with a lot of people, with the intention of protesting the GA. It no longer represents the 99%. We're tired of people intimidating one another. In order to move forward, we need to set some ground rules, and address the issues. Maria: First of all, Dominic Holden is here, to inaccurately represent what we say, once again. I'd like to address what happened last time, I was emotional, but its because the rights of economic refugees, and immigrant rights are vital to what I do everyday. In relation to the May 1st general strike, we are not invisible within this movement. Alvina: I would like to begin with expressing my frustration with the entire situation. Don't you think its a little funny that people come together on the premise of conflict? I am insulted by the idea of OS affiliates, protesting OS affiliates. Its disruptive, it marginalizes us, and it really exploits what we need to work on as a community. I think that by coming in, and making a demand for peace and solidarity, is not effective. I think, that diplomacy is something to be learned by example. That we can have a dialogue, on March 4th. By doing this, you're upsetting the feathers of a lot of revolutionary people. We're coming together but not under your dictatorship. Daniel: I just want to comment that the framework of this movement, the idea that everyone here can magically speak for 99% of the people is ridiculous. We're not here to speak for the them, but stand in solidarity. That includes building bridges across movements. Both immigrant and non-immigrant rights. Alena: I appreciate the protester, to encourage us, before we move on to voting on the proposals, to agree on the process. I agree this shouldn't be run under a dictatorship. I want it to be democratic and civil, respectful. There are divergent views that are all legitimate. There isn't just one way to do things. On another note, on Wed, Rosa was mentioned in the context of the general strike. She asked me to clarify that community to community organization has not taken a position to support the general strike. Matt: Two things I find important to address. What happened last week was a dictatorship of a few, pushed to the side by blocks. Even with the shortage of time, we should have figured it out right then and there. Second, the whole thing with the website and general strike is completely out of wack. Talking about people as radical and divisive, while not looking at yourselves. An effort to silence the minority. Sam: Occupy is an idea not an organization. Factions coming together that are fracturing. The idea of occupying the space. If that many people are concerned with what we're doing, then we shouldn't do anything. Talk of making other do what you're doing is whats destroying this movement. x: The occupy movement at its best, is aimed to create community, working together and progress for the 99%. Its not going to happen with lots of bickering. Emily: Been working with the medics, came last wed to the GA. Normally I don't speak, but last wed was a huge disappointment. It showed me and a lot of the street medics how divided this group is. We don't feel like continuing with this anymore. You all are way too damned divided. Get your asses in gear and don't reduce yourselves to childish behavior and name calling. I work with kids, they work better than that. Tsukina: One of the occupy chaplains. I've been down here a lot, at camp almost everyday. I have a holy house and if anyone wanted to come in, and tell you how to live your life. I wouldn't let them come in. I told them, if you aren't lgbt friendly, get out. We have a holy thing going on, but if you aren't here for everybody, and you can't learn to get over what your holy righteousness is, get over it and go home! We don't need more proselytization. We need to raise raucous. We need to let politicians know, they're fucking up. So, lets stop talking to each other, and making cute little motions to each other about how much we agree or disagree with your point of view, your religion. In the scripture it says to think 3 times before we speak, does it help the assembly make a better decision. Liam: Having space is very important, life and death decisions about our movement. Occupy is the first tearing with what's typical politics. As a result, our discussions have become heated because its so important. i don't view occupy as a community because we're so different, and we need millions. This is one of the best opportunities to unite all kinds of workers. To say people need to stifle their anger and frustration is absurd. People trying to keep us in similar boxes to politics as usual is whats dangerous. The fact people took down the website because they disagreed with what we're fighting for is wrong. This is a global movement, with lots of people. Calling things out and fighting for what we believe is how we'll define ourselves. Dan: I'm against the strike because I don't think it will be successful. I am opposed to the website tactic. Babylonia: I view the website disruption as cool. People working for the website, putting their foot down, has caused us to reflect and look deep down. People shouldn't let themselves be walked all over. I'm glad to hear the frustration here because it sounds like boundaries. Neal: From occupy innovation. Sam has been speaking at City Council meetings. On March 2nd he's being sued for asking a question at City Council meetings. Bob: what happened between last week and this week, has been great. Anyone who thinks that nothing is wrong is on drugs. We're not one big happy family, but there is class struggle and the world is in trouble. I may be bourgeois, but why is that important. When we start calling people names, debate stops. I'm glad this happened, so we can come together. x: I do not appreciate people saying that they're pissed off radicals. That is intimidation. I'm pissed off. To come in here and accuse people of being white middle class, you don't know what I'm about. If you want a movement, and are such a radical, you build a movement. Instead of therapy by grabbing the mic and yelling fuck the pigs. David: I want to make a few things clear, we didn't protest things today. We didn't protest, we came here to have an adult, civil conversation. Just want a civil discussion. Patricia: I know everyone is all mad, look around, we haven't had this many people since Westlake. We all want civility, but lets use the numbers we have and get things done. Working Group Reportbacks Liam: Bring Diaz down tomorrow at SCCC. SPD routinely uses excessive force. With recent DOJ reports, we have a huge opportunity, with the NAACP, and the Black Clergy. Lets seize the opportunity to get justice for once. We're going into City Hall, come and join us. Teah: March 10th, we're having a celebration for international women's day. 11-4, speakers and music. We'd love if all the different occupy groups were there. Remind people occupy is still here, in a visible way at Westlake. Ed: Education: from the public education working group, there's a lot of shit to do. Stuff is really messed up with education- Bill Gates & ALEC are trying to push through charter schools. March 1st is a national day of action, many cities speaking out for increased funding and reduced corporate control. Meet at 2:45 at Westlake, then at 3:30 march to the Gates Foundation. Teachers doing a grade in, then challengin the Gates Foundation to a policy throwdown. Just because they're rich doesn't mean they're right. Tell your friends. Also, keep the website up, because I've been telling people to go there, been telling people to go there. Emily: CPR and First Aid training session soon. Glenn: I know many of you know me from Westlake. I've been there since day 3! If you have something that you want me to provide, please just bring it to the info booth. We need more papers and info at the booth. Duff: Environmental Justice: John T. Williams' totem pole was raised today. Great to see everyone here tonight, we're doing something right if there are this many people here. Many more at Seattle Center today. JTW was murdered by SPD who shot him, four times in the side, in broad daylight, and wasn't charged with a crime. A fifty foot totem pole was raised this afternoon. I was happy to be one of hundreds pulling on ropes to physically raise the pole. POC: Tabitha: We're going to have a meeting soon at Blue Cafe, 13th and Pike, so if you're a person of color and would like to organize, please come. Its a really nice space. Process: We'd like to hear from you other than when you want to win an argument. If you try to pack the GA, then it increases the likelihood that fights occur. Later tonight, we want to bring back our version of the consenus process, as per GA approval. Protest at Bellevue City Hall, against the Mitt Romney fundraiser. We need help transporting things over, please if you can help see me after the meeting. Tsukina: I wanted to talk about Police Accountability, I went on Thursday to a mediation, along with many others. It was weird, they decided to put me in with the Chief and assistant Chief, who is in charge of all the protest tactics around the city. And Katherine from OPA. They will retrain officers to use bikes as weapons less. So if that happens lets file more complaints. When officers were found to have been taunting protesters, we were told it was unprofessional behavior. However, the East Precinct, if you're interested, in prosecuting people. From the incidents that happened on the Hill, I'd be glad to help you, and even have a few lawyers who are interested in helping. Media: Ian: So media has had some problems because it doesn't have a lot of participation. As much as I like writing press releases, we need bloggers, people who have experience filming, people who want to help with the radio show, and anything media related. So if you want to be part of media, please let me know because I can't do it all myself. Fundraising: Recently, I had a benefit concert for occupy Seattle, We turned around $450 dollars, plus $370 in a check. We can have benefits to fund what we're doing. Alvina: On March 4th, this coming Sunday at 7, replacing Ga will be a sioure also known as an intergroup interoccupy interstruggle thing. Whats neat about this meeting, is the amount of people who are attending. Portland and others will be visiting. Preproposals: x: Write out proposals D: Will create several versions Action Announcements: Discussion about homelessness, Seattle Displacement Coalition, Operation Nightwatch. 7pm at hilltop house, 1005 Terrace Street, map and details on occupyseattle.org website calendar. R: Sometimes I here after meditation, at 6, before GA to do something called occupy the heart. There haven't been too many people who have taken the opportunity to do their own workshops. If people don't attend then we should take it off the calendar. On March 8th, we'll have songs written about or by women, at the Convention Center D: March 3rd, Kane hall there will be a forum with Amy Goodman and others about health care G: Our sister movement in the middle east is still in turmoil, Wed night, at the Swedish cultural center, 7pm, participants in the Libyan revolution will speak. Informative, and a good way to connect with our sister movement. Second, closer to home, tomorrow morning in Olympia 8 – wait for the decision about Thurston Superior Court, about the Olympia food coop, which has refused to sell products made in Israel. Part of the international movement regarding sanctions and boycotts, divestments from Israel. Proposals Vote on proposal to support our brothers and sisters in Syria and Greece. 97-0. No blocks, proposal passes! Occupy Seattle endorses the formation of a group to discuss, plan and conduct a boycott of Wells Fargo bank. The boycott is intended to take place over a long period of time. Like the southern… x: there are several other banks that should be included. proposer: been talking about this with others, they've shared similar concerns, because WF has hands in deportation and prison systems, we feel so far, that we would be addressing a multiplicity of problems, not just finance per se. x: the part about working with other social organizations: which ones? proposer: I'm not sure, one that may be interested so far is working washington. c: is it possible to add citi bank, bank of america and chase? as far as the initial call out, that if you're going to boycott WF, please don't put your money in those others? proposer: all big banks are bad, I hope this group grows and we end up doing that, we'll encourage positive options of going to credit unions. Passes 81-3. One block, proposer and blocker discuss and find terms. Proposal passes. Proposer: Occupy Seattle stands in solidarity and endorses the calls for a general strike – A day without the 99%! On May Day, wherever you are, we are calling for: No Work, No School, No Housework, No Shopping, No Banking — TAKE THE STREETS k: I don't want to vote on this, its devisive. Lets talk about it and figure out what we agree on. m x: how many of you will leave your role as an angry activist, to go work for big corporations tomorrow? Throw away your suit for the day, hold up a sign, then go back to work for kinko's the next day. What are you changing? x: calling for a general strike may seem good, but only if there's a possibility of it happening. For those who are actually working, who among you would go on strike? Not to talk about us, who do we know at our workplaces who are going to join us? m: for clarifying purposes, the tactics and actions of May 1st will not be happening at GA. They'll be decided at a community meeting on the 10th, and beyond. We're also planning a special GA on the 28th, we're asking everyone interested in making it happen, to attend these meetings. This isn't just about Seattle, its about a global day of action. m: people making this about getting people elected, are wrong On the other hand we have a global working class, occupying factories, from India to chile, to Libya to Greece. We need to do something. As american working class people, and beyond, to show solidarity with the entire working class. Please join the planning of a global strike. This proposal is open ended, so even if its not a full 'classical' general strike, if 500 or several thousand of us do, focus, direct action during the workday, that would be a step forward. We need to figure out what that action should be. Together, march 10th and beyond. x: I think everyone here wants to see something really big on May 1st. We all want that. that's all this proposal is really calling for. to plan that, with occupy seattle, and the rest of the community. To build for a really effective May 1st, whether it ends up being. b: I fully support the concept of a general strike. But we're seeing something, the fact that some of us in this room want to change the meaning of words, which doesn't change the meaning outside this room. Others have said they won't support a call for a general strike, not just anybody's. People who got 80k people in the streets on May Day, they didn't call it a general strike, we don't have to call it a general strike this time. We should try and shut down the city, I strongly urge us to be really careful about how to use words that have real meanings, outside this room. Another proposal will be voted on Wed. proposer: this call is in solidarity with others who are calling for a general strike. Lets not argue about something that isn't a part of the proposal. d: this is a great opportunity, for labor with a big L, to reclaim their history. Its an important time, people who are unorganized, and people with a small l, can show that we are organized, to support the big L. Its an act of solidarity, so if one group has brought out 80k people- we challenge them, and bring out even more, then history will paint it as a general strike. history has a way of changing the meaning of words. they aren't stagnant, language revolts, just like peole. d: my fiery speech was last time. I urge you to vote for this proposal, in the spirit of compromise and reconciliation. Consider the changes from Wed to tonight, there were major changes made in the spirit of occupy unity, and unity throughout the city. So if the people in black can compromise, how about the others? Vote for it in the spirit of unity. Lets have a general strike, shut down the city on May 1st. e: we have a larger GA tonight, than we have in quite some time. That isn't an accident. Not only do I think we should back this proposal, we should consider it a test to ourselves. We have two months till May 1st, and perhaps instead of doing 35 small actions with low and marginal turnout, we put our effort into a May 1st general strike. What we choose to do now, will determine the survival of our local movement. b: not necessarily for or against the proposal, a few things to mention: May Day started in Chicago, and recently the Latino and immigrant community began walking together in the streets, and united all working class people. If we as OS make sure it isn't just Latinos, and instead all people, we can walk with them. Lets not steal the show, but work together as a community. x: I'm working with the May 1st coalition, to do this May 1st action. What we know so far: because May 1st is a work day, our action will probably be in the neighborhood of 4-6PM. May end downtown. We will be asking people to take a couple of hours off their work day. We will, be shutting down a big intersection downtown at rush hour. I ask whether it passes or not that OS concentrate on actions that happen prior to 4pm, such that those actions could then build towards a larger action. l: Personally don't care what we call it, but I'd like to be in solidarity. India, Greece China, millions are striking, we should do it here. My problem with the opposition isn't that by voting it down they basically want to do nothing. In the face of upcoming elections, the Dems are trying to suck up the whole movement, because they're afraid of it, and want to co-opt it. Lets declare our own power, and stand in solidarity, and do our best, whatever its called, to shut down the city. n: This is good, but in order to get the people in the streets, we need a solid concrete thing to get behind. So I offer a friendly proposal, that everyone take to the streets and 'demand a raise from their bosses.' This will get people into the streets. 105-10, proposal passes. One block, but after discussion the drop is blocked. Occupy Seattle General Assembly – 2/22/2012 commenced at 7:10 PM Mike facilitator Martin stack Nathan minutes Worker/Camper Speakout Bang: missed work today, not planning on going tomorrow Daniel: Just got back from Oakland, attended FTP march. Organizers their impressed with our work with the port action as well as with farm workers. We have a good reputation with them. Maria: Also just got back from Oakland. Besides the compliments about our events, they're impressed that the work we're doing is organized by respective community members. Worked with Hip-Hop Occupies to organize a conference in Oakland in May. Workgroup Announcement: Ed: Education workgroup recently formed. Action next Thursday, March 1st. Event at 11 at SCCC. Several other events throughout the day. ALEC and other groups are pushing corporate interests for public education. Sign making party this Saturday, talk to us to find out more. Martin, Information: Still at Westlake, if you have any information to spread, let him know. Mark, Media: Reporting back from Olympia. Thanks to the lawsuit against the state patrol, people previously banned were allowed to attend. Over 300 people attended, from all across the country, and some from Spain. No one there spoke for anyone but themselves. Midwest conference in March as well. Kristin, Gender Equality Caucus: Planning meeting this Friday, Bauhaus 6:30 for the March 10th Women's Rally. Point is to express that women have many experiences. Duff, Bring Diaz down: February 27th, 12:30 rally at Seattle Central. 1:30 march on City Hall. Photos on the flyer are from the previous march, when SPD shut down several blocks. Duff, Support the Chase 5: On March 13th, Chase 5 going on trial, 8:30 courtroom solidarity, Seattle municipal Courtroom 1002 – 12PM Demonstration outside the courthouse. 1 PM March on Chase Bank. Also have posters to support the Chase 5… posters not flyers. Merl, Occupy Health Care: attended Olympia Social Forum. 50% of foreclosures are due to medical expenses. Quite a few people were willing to let bygones be bygones, but I want to hold the banks accountable. Join Occupy Health Care workshop. Amy Goodman and others will be there. Action announcements: Miles: Wedding to the Alder house will be on February 25th, 2 PM. March 10th, at Evergreen High school, canned food drive in front of school. March 25th, funeral for corporate greed and gentrification. Please help, don't want to plan these by himself. Look for coverage on komo. Kawan: May 19th, Nato/G8 Meetings in Chicago. Alvina: Nato/G8 caravan, meeting up with Portland, leaving May 8th. ?: Upcoming neighborhood outreaches, next one is this Saturday 3-5 PM at NE branch of the library. Outreach has been amazing, meeting lots of people I wouldn't otherwise and doing all sorts of interesting things, like finding out about the transition movement in the UK. I encourage everyone to research and find out more. Maria: May 6th, annual Farm workers solidarity action in Whatcom county. POC will be helping organize. Also May 5th, regional food sovereignty conference. Folks from LA, Florida, Chicago, and Northern CA. Global Food sovereignty conference also being planned. Pre-proposals Merl: Put the Occupy Seattle logo on the Occupy Health Care flyer Proposals: Alvina: In light of the divisive nature of our action, for one night GA will be replaced by a mass reconnect interworking group meeting. This meeting will allow for affinity groups, occupy reps, and individuals alike, to come, represent themselves, address their concerns and ideas in a free, safe space. The hope for this meeting is to produce a more permament vow of solidarity, in recognition of our universal struggle. anti-twinkles to break-out groups, twinkles to move to a vote Passes, 52-1, no blocks ?: May Day solidarity: Proposal read, breakout groups, then come back together to share opinions and ideas. ?: I think if the issue for people is the name general strike, we have to accept the meaning of words are going to change radically over time, especially when you're dealing with different national labor scenarios, for something like a strike. Right now in this country and this city, we are predominantly, a precarious, short-term un-guaranteed labor. Not a full time working class like in the past. So a general strike of today won't look like a general strike of 1910. We are precarious workers, undocumented workers, and entirely excluded segments of the population, coming together to intrude on finance, in downtown seattle. To me, thats what a general strike means, in this country today. If we're calling for a general strike in India, then yeah lets do an actual strike in India. But we're calling for it in Seattle, and I think the meaning of that word can change for the better. Maria: In terms of a global general strike. Lets remember that its international workers day. So if people are saying its being coopted, does that mean the 1% is coopting int'l workers day. We're all part of this movement globally and locally. Nobody owns the national and international movement, its composed of workers. For immigrant labor, in 1996 they had a strike, where 80% of workers in the meat industry walked out. Where as now, thats predominantly where the . So when we say organizations organize millions, we don't recognize the millions who walked out from farms and stores, and made an impact on the global economy. Also the nonprofit industrial complex, funded by the democrats, coopted the immigrant rights movement, and made people vote for Obama, as a way to give hope to the millions of immigrants who are still being terrorized, detained, and inhumanely deported. Also patriarchy, sexism, and homophobia will not silence me. Alyssa: Last sunday I blocked this proposal, in order to have everyone here to discuss this. Shout out to Cody for messaging everyone. OWS calls for people not to shop, work, etc. People from the May 1st labor group worked together to come up with OWS's May Day proposal. They encouraged us to network and work with community groups, rather than just standing in solidarity with them. Also, contrary to what some have heard, we haven't passed anything declaring a general strike, thus far. If this proposal were to pass, it would be the first one of its kind, calling for a general strike. Greg: To me, it'd be the pinnacle of American chauvanism and Americanism to not follow suit with our brothers and sisters in the 3rd world. Especially when American workers are 50% of the world's wealthiest. Can be shown with basic mathematics. Some have claimed it would confuse workers to call for a general strike, same sources have made liberal reactionary democratic party type arguments around a whole host of issues, and standing in opposition to their brothers and sisters in occupy. This is one other manifestation of this. We can't do it big like our folks in nepal and india, and greece, so we have to do the best we can with what we've got, which is people ready and willing to go there. So in times past we've called for a general strike, when we knew well it couldn't happen. We educated people about the history, what it was, etc. peace is the absence of all confusion. Education corrects error. Kawan: I agree with alyssa. For me to vote, i'd have to see we've done the legwork already. We've had several marches with less than 100 people. The 1919 general strike actually shut down seattle for a while. For me to want this to happen, we'd have to have the union people on board. Don't have it, doesn't look like its going to happen. i'm going to vote against. If others organize, and unions come together to support, then i'll change my mind and be for it. ?: I agree with what was just said, theres a difference between calling for a strike, and actually executing the strike. I have no evidence that in Seattle we could have one. I would support global actions moving in that direction, so the language would need to be, in my opinion, that we support global strikes where feasible, in Seattle we recognize we're not there yet, but we will protest in support on May 1st. ?. A general stike means masses of workers, in most cases a majority of workers, call them whatever you want, they stop working. Can't rename it… Can't say I'm running a marathon and because you're out of shape you run a 1 mile marathon. People may think occupy doesn't recognize reality, confuse people over what a general strike is, and not move occupy forward. We can be in solidarity with others, but if we recognize we can't get a general strike, lets not lie and mislead people, which we don't want to do. We want to educate people, not call something what it isn't. Arrogant for us to tell people whats going to happen. Jeff: trained unionist, 30 years on the waterfront, working in the international labor movement. Don't try democratic liberal thing with me please. I'm in agreement with bringing back May Day, to commemorate the struggle that started here. Which was coopted by the 1% and gave us labor day. However, not to belabor the last point, we need to be careful using the term general strike, especially when not having the buy off of the general unions. This is a strong trade-union city, we've had a lot of struggle between occupy and the labor movement. It was ugly at the labor temple. Think of people not here now, before we call for actions. Renaming it something else would be great. Josh: Trust is something thats very difficult to build. Very easy to lose. we had a lot of trust previously, and thanks to a few things we've lost it. Saying we're going to support all autonomous action on a day isn't responsible. We've got to call it something else, and work to organize something great. I'm against this. Thanks. ?: I feel like its important that the 28th GA is planned to be a discussion about May Day, throw out ideas, and not be arrogant or irresponsible, but plan a general strike, because there are lots of people not in unions that aren't represented that are highly organized. Many organizations planning for May 1st, we should, or could, work together to have an amazing general strike. It may not be possible to have all workers strike but it could build confidence about a future strike. This movement is about building things, not just hoping things work out. Upcoming opportunities for anyone and all organization to give their feedback on what they'd like to do. I'd like for them to be able to do their own autonomous actions. If you'd asked me 4 months ago if we could shut down the port, I'd have said no, but we're doing things and organizing in a way that makes the impossible possible. ?: I'd like to address DOT, finding it difficult to work with the faith community and develop a sense of trust of occupy, when occupy talks about actions where there's no commitment to being non-violent. I think there'd be a good turnout from the faith communities for something on may 1st, if the words diversity of tactics were not part of it. Bob: I organized a May Day rally in 1972, looking forward to May Day, I've seen us turn out 500, 1,000, 80,000 people. And when we can do that, we can come close to calling it a general strike. We can't do that this year, part of every general strike type thing that's happened has had an impetus leading up to it. I'm afraid of messing this movement up, we've got something special and can change the world. We'll have steps forward and back, but lets not impose steps back on ourselves. Planning it will be great, but if we can amend the resolution to take the focus off the general strike and put it on revolutionary actions, lets do it. Alvina: First off, what is wrong with you people, you need to start believing in yourself. Remember night of 500 tents, student walkout, or the bridge closure? These things were thrown together kind of sloppily. As far as the language is concerned, I personally don't care what you call it. At the end of the day, the message you're sending is defiance and resiliance. Thats the message we've been sending since day one. We've emptied the schools and warehouses, shut down the ports, we can have a general strike. Just takes a willing to compromise and steadfast motivation. Sloppily or no, we will have those numbers again. Liam: Oakland had a general strike on November 2nd, that is not what a general strike was 80 years ago. Workers today aren't all unionized, and we shouldn't do things how they were done in the past. To occupy in afghanistan is very dangerous, here we make space open for everyone. Talk of being tactical and working with groups ignores the fact we have plenty of connections and make things happen quickly. Talk of waiting essentially means we don't do anything, a push towards conservatism. ?: I want a general strike. Thanks to occupy, that day is closer in my mind than I ever would have thought 4 months ago. i also support and stand in solidarity with those in other places, who think they can pull off a general strike where they're at. I hope they do. I also understand that a general strike won't look the same today as it did 100 years ago, or even 5 years ago. It also won't look the same here as it does elsewhere. Still, this call specifically argues to shut down capitalism in Seattle on May Day. I don't think we're in a position to actually make that happen. Yes the workforce has changed, look at greece where they have many more precarious workers and higher unemployment & temp employment. Lots of migrant workers, but the strikes there involved tens and hundreds of thousands of people not going to work, coming out and protesting, demanding what they want. I wish we could do that right now, but I don't think we're there. I agree its important to be accurate with what we call things. Even people who call for a general strike on May Day, admit it won't be. So lets organize in our community and make sure we get a great turn out for whatever happens. proposer clarifying: In Greece on the 12th, when 500k people were in the streets, that came after a general strike that few went to because few work, and unions are corrupt, just worried about keeping their jobs. What happened was new, exploding outward. Dan: In the teacher's union, not speaking on their behalf, but I can assure you that few if any will turn out for a May Day general strike. I want to be in a strike with the entire workforce. Would like to work in concert with them, not opposition. In 1919, the strike had lots of organization, a hundred different unions formed a committee of 300 people, we don't have that. 160k people in unions and 40k not in unions walked out. Today, we have less than 12% of people in unions. How willing are they to strike? Less than 10 strikes with over 1k people, yearly. Few dangers involved, teachers being cut, but still can't get people to strike. Less than 10% voted to strike. Lets take the proper steps to get a strike not just wish it to happen. Kristin: thanks Alyssa for putting this together. Good that we're together talking about this, very important. Agree this doesn't have to be the same strike that happened in 1919, lots of other issues going on now in 2012. Women workers in Iran who can't even work, who want to. There are people in China working to build our phones under very poor conditions. You may think thats all 'there,' not 'here,' but people are trafficked here in the US, and held as slaves. The idea we don't have time to organize is BS, we have some of the best organizers right here in this room, so wtf? Juan: Here on behalf of el centro- a very noble thought to bring up the idea of a general strike. Its long, laborious work to organize. We're not just flaring up in one year because something becomes hot. We've been struggling since the day Columbus landed. Very interested in strike, just check out our website… don't typically call it a general strike, but defense. Maria direct response as proposer: Farm workers wanted to strike with el centro, but they weren't allowed to. Why did el centre not do the accountablity circle for this? Daniel: we're in solidarity with the 99%, if we call for the strike, then unions can step up and take back the power they used to have. The teacher who doesn't want to strike, what are you going to do when students walk out? Necessary communication and organization will be done to make sure we don't step on toes. Also having a campaign to have prisoners go on strike as well. Just got back from Oakland, and the idea of a general strike has changed, its a new thing. We need to set goals for ourselves so we can make history. Don't be afraid to reclaim our power as people. Alyssa clarifying question to Maria: do you have any statement from UFW about the general strike? Maria: No, but they did clarify that we don't have a bad relationship with them. Will be put up on the .org site to clarify. Also we have their contacts if anyone wants to contact them. Duff: The statement of being afraid of making history – in october we weren't afraid to occupy, and occupy westlake for the first time. A group asked themselves if they were willing to be arrested, so I went home and got my sleeping bag, and slept under the sky. Woke up at 3am and looked around me, and magic had happened, history had happened. 7 tents had blossomed on the stone cold pavement of westlake park. Occupy Seattle was born, on that audacious time. No guarantee of success, yet we spawned the reason we're here tonight. We can't have a guarantee of strike for a general strike on may day. We don't need one. We are an immensely talented group of people, who can make something. Why do we know that? Because we already have. Lets birth something historic on May 1st. For those who want another name, I humbly suggest, fuck the 1% day. ?: One of the reasons the movement exists is because we've waited far too long for social justice. If we wait till 2013, how many more people will have to die? ?: I want to speak about the difference between rhetoric and reality. Lots have offered rhetoric as though they are leaders of the working class, and they know whats best for them. But I know from history, that occupy has been great, but we have to continue working hard. If we think we're the vanguard of the proletariat, that's not cool. Lets thing about May 1st and what causes we want to advance. So think of the emotion of the working class, and what I think of are latinos. They're the best group we can fuse our movement with. I don't think a few people can call for a general strike and have labor follow. This is a systemic issue I've seen many times. Lets not think a group of people are going to win over everyone, because its not reality. proposer clarifying: Occupy LA called for this strike. I am a latino proletariat who has no interest in being a vanguard. Merl: I think 58% of state workers are unionized. Unions have tended to coopt many things in regard to occupy. Most people in this state aren't unionized, working jobs that traditionally should be… I'd call them the general worker. So we could call it a general strike, carrying this different connotation. In regard to DOT and faith community- when we look at Greece, and how things can change rapidly. The idea that interfaith support can evaporate… doesn't matter what you call it, when it comes time to do things similar to greece, its just going to happen. Daniel: I just listened to a very long argument over two words. I support getting people out for May 1st, for a big event. The organizers have a lot of enthusiasm, which is great. I have reservations about a few small things, but the main thing is 'general strike,' How about 'down with the 1% day' – friendly amendment? proposers- how about, 'occupy seattle endorses the call for a global general strike, and the national call for a general strike from occupy La, and we do this not promising a general strike. We're endorsing the call, and acting in solidarity with them.' Daniel: we're not all anti-capitalists, we're all here because there's a lot of economic injustice, but not every single one of us is against capitalism. Cody: No matter what you call it there's been a lot of organizing. The part that is often overlooked is the work OWS has done to make this happen. The biggest thing is that a lot of people are being screwed over. The general strike isn't the necessary goal. As far as a general strike in the US, we have to keep in mind that the US are hard-core consumers, and if it was up to Americans, who would know if people would? We shouldn't let our comfort and fear of change stop us, if its left to affluent people then people will just keep dying. I also don't think a general strike in Seattle has to take away from immigrants organizing that happens every year. we can make it explicitly part of it, saying don't go to your jobs, come out and learn. ?: I've heard people ref Continue reading