General Assembly Notes 10/3
The General Assembly (GA) began out of our normal configuration. We started in our work groups which consist of: Peace & Solidarity; Legal; Tactical; Outreach, Diversity, & Welcoming; Fundraising; Internet Communications; Media; and Arts & Entertainment. After meeting in those groups we moved back into a GA format and representatives from each group informed us what each group discussed. We then launched into a heated discussion on three topics: drugs and alcohol in the camp, police and policing ourselves, and should we stay in Westlake or move to another location.
We have open communication with the mayor’s office and the cops via our lawyer.
Working on outreach to People of Color, unions, teachers, and every group we can think of! Unions are generally on board with what we are doing. We have a message from Jeff Johnson, President of the Washington State Labor Union expressing their solidarity. National President of AFLCIO also issued a strong statement of solidarity with Occupy Wall St. and will march in NYC on Wednesday. Lee Newgent, the Executive Secretary of the Seattle Building & Construction Trades Council is willing to meet with us tomorrow morning and then will be meeting with members of the trades commission.
“Don’t wait for permission to make a contact, contact anyone and then let us know!”
We have a UPS Store Box!
815 1st Avenue #115
Seattle, Wa 98101
We can accept freight and money orders. We are too small for fiscal sponsorship, but are working on getting a paypal up for online donations.
Our priority for the website is to get forums up ASAP so that all groups can communicate on there. We are committed to using the #OccupySeattle hashtag and now the @OccupySeattle twitter account. We are holding a virtual meeting at 9pm for those who want to meet that way. Anyone taking videos please inform us about them, email OccupyTVSEA@gmail.com
We are looking for spokespeople so that if we are approached by the media we can control the message. If you are interested contact the media group.
Two things are clear: We are in line and in support of Occupy Wall Street and we are the 99%
Arts & Entertainment
There is an event on Facebook for Saturday at 5pm when there will be hoopers, spinners, twirlers, stilt walkers, etc. We want to stage a creative commotion!
We could move to City Hall Plaza, the mention of which spurred quite a bit of dialogue. Many people were concerned about visibility and safety. If we moved there is no more guarantee we would be any safer in the new place, city hall could choose to kick us out regardless. “If we camp out in the Master’s house how do we know the Master will not try to control our movement?” We all are committed to keep the protest going no matter where we are. There was consensus to stay. “We don’t cooperate with them, they cooperate with us.”
Peace & Safety
We are peaceful and non-violent. It was mentioned that the current (at that time) method of dealing with purposeful violence or those using alcohol or illegal drugs was to call in the cops. This provoked a lot of discussion. Most people felt that violence in our community should be delt with by ourselves, and that there is no reason for activists to call the police in on other activists. A few people reminded us that the police are part of the 99%, but there seemed to be a general consensus that we should be able to police ourselves and that we don’t need to call the police.
There was a general agreement not to use drugs or alcohol in camp, and an agreement not to call the police.
We discussed the idea of having a Plan B so that we have a place to go in case the place we’ve chosen is interrupted, but there was no consensus on this. Many people just think the occupation of Westlake should continue and we should not be moved regardless of police presence. Many people think our efforts should be to take over every park in Seattle, not just Westlake.
We agreed to march three times on the 4th: at 7:30am, 12pm, and 4:30pm.
Near the end of the GA we received a text from our legal representation: “tents will not be allowed on Westlake after tonight.” Supposedly we will be given a heads up before they take action, not sure how accurate that is.
The Mayor’s Office asked to meet with us tomorrow (October 4th) and there was agreement that he or his rep should come speak to the General Assembly. We all agree that we need more people!