General Assembly Meeting Notes: 10/9/11

WORKING GROUP REPORTS:

SUPPLIES:

-NEEDS: -cheap pencils, boxes with holes in top, usb solar batteries, power strips, marine batteries (deep cycle batteries), someone willing to do a propane exchange for food stove, someone with access to printing
-DO NOT NEED: peanut butter

DEMANDS:
-We are making a proposal tomorrow to adopt the Occupy Wall Street list of grievances and also to add localized grievances.

OUTREACH:
-mission statement: Outreach is a voice to the people who are not in our movement yet. We are a working group to educate and invite people to this movement. We aim to create an anti-repression place for all people in the movement. Everyone part of the 99%. We embrace everyone.

-We need flyers to canvas other communities. The 99% is majority of country who do not feel that they have a voice in this country. We are here to give the 99% a voice, regardless of political affiliation .

PEACE AND SAFETY:
-We are taking an extra day to make sure mission statement is representative and inclusive to all members of community before submitting for approval.

PROCESS AND FACILITATION:
-We meet every day at 4:30. if you can’t make a meeting, we have an email for recommendations: processandfacilitation@gmail.com
– We need to start rotating facilitators. And they need to be trained! Drop by the facilitator table to learn how to do it.

INTERNET:
– contact us: occupyseattleict@gmail.com
-NEEDS: power sources, translators for web content, a method to approve things for the online calendar
-we meet every day at 4pm. We wear blue armbands.

PROPOSALS:

FIRST PROPOSAL: Let’s sleep in shifts for rain protection
MOTION: PASSED.

SECOND PROPOSAL: Don’t ever call the police on each other, we should solve our own problems instead.
-BLOCK-
MOTION: The vote to overturn the block on the proposal against calling the police on each other failed by a 58-41* margin. Since overturning a block requires a 4/5ths majority, the margin would have to have been 80-19 in order to override the block.

THIRD PROPOSAL: No arrestable direct action that threatens Occupy Seattle as a whole can be undertaken without GA approval.
MOTION: PASSED

FOURTH PROPOSAL:
– To change the GA time for tomorrow to 5:45pm in order to accommodate tomorrow’s events, such as the candlelight vigil at 7pm.
MOTION: PASSED.

FIFTH PROPOSAL:
-The Internet Communications work group would like to put notification on the Occupy Seattle website notifying everyone of a student walkout on Wednesday and the Saturday global protest.
MOTION: PASSED.

ANNOUNCEMENTS:

– A United Farm Workers Rep requested that we support fthe farm workers walkout tomorrow!
-We need more volunteers to take the minutes! Contact occupyseattleict@gmail.com.
– A hip hop group has been created! Show support for the hip hop community.
– Capitalism vs. Corporate control study group. After GA next Fri there will be a workshop about why capitalism is the problem, not corporate greed
– Meditation group at 6-6:20 in front of See’s Candy Shop.
– If you have audio, radio friendly hip hop, bring it!
– Tomorrow at 4pm the Old Growth Alliance is hosting a rally and protest for the 4th consecutive year at Westlake plaza. Show respect to elders and the native community.
– We need a car to transport water from Capitol Hill.

31 Responses to General Assembly Meeting Notes: 10/9/11

  • Val Renata says:

    I think we should. They’ve been at it, longer than we have. And we need to stay united and focus don’t waste time and move forward. I predict this will eventually be so big we will be like Egypt gathering in multitudes.

    • yilb says:

      for the same reasons (roughly) as the police block.
      The document is divisive, supporting the concepts of “us” & “they.” What you are against is given power. “They” have not done these things, WE have, until WE admit our complicity in the process & problem how can WE hope to solve it? The document essentially grants US powerlessness. Powerless against a “they” who can do all these things. what can WE hope to accomplish?
      OUR rejection of this flawed document promoting division and powerless is an important contribution to the process of revolution & moving forward. WE need to change the “they” to WE.

      • Cam says:

        Radical politics begins with a recognition of an us and them. While I agree in principle that we are all ‘one global family’, those in power hold fundamentally different values than the majority of the country. Regardless of your beliefs, those in power will stop at nothing to protect their interests. They drew the lines; it’s regressive to pretend they don’t exist.

        • Linda J says:

          The elites running the world have become drunk on their power and are driving us all off the cliff. The 99% has different goals than the elites, therefore we have to differentiate ourselves from them in every way, including rhetoric.

  • Princess says:

    Why did “Don’t ever call the police on each other, we should solve our own problems instead.” get blocked? What was the reason?

    • Jesse says:

      This motion should have *absolutely* been blocked. There are a multitude of reasons for this. From the top going down, we have internal issues to address – Are we going to be expecting the Peace and Safety Team to engage in physical assault with hostile individuals? Are we willing to allow a minority group turn this Occupation violent and thus incite police action against us as a whole? Are we going to allow those whose interest in a confrontation with police as their top priority over long-term goals take precedence over level-headed, considered participation, and thus direct the People’s will with emotionally charged slogans and reactive vitriol? (I thought that was the MSM’s purview).

      If you answer YES to any of these questions, then you would have supported this proposal.
      “WE” is an amorphous definition in the context you’re using Princess, so let’s clarify. In my opinion, the moment an individual resorts to violence against another, he or she has divested themselves of our ideals of Solidarity. — Police intervention is a LAST RESORT. Every effort towards rationality and compassion should be made, including Crisis Prevention and Intervention, and De-Escalation Practices. Only when this fails, and an individual insists on being verbally and physically violent should the police be involved, because let’s face it, they’re going to act on it anyway. We can take the side of the belligerent, or actually demonstrate our commitment to Non-Violence.

      • Audaces_Iuvat says:

        There were roughly ten blockers for this proposal. As one of the blockers, I can say that my concerns mirror Jesse’s. We need a reaffirmation of the nonviolent civil disobedience principles of the movement. There is a sizable minority within the movement that either don’t understand what nonviolent disobedience means, or don’t care.

        A key purpose of the General Assembly is the prevent co-option of the movement by outside forces. If we can’t come to a consensus that violence, advocating violence, and responding to violence with violence are grounds for removal from the movement, then it is already co-opted to the point of being worthless.

        • Princess says:

          Thanks for the info. So it seems like the proposal “”Don’t ever call the police on each other, we should solve our own problems instead.” should have been amended to “Excluding violence, don’t call the police on each other, we should solve our own problems instead.”…

        • sandpoint says:

          We went over this at GA last Monday I believe. Use the cops at the last resort. One of the blockers was from Peace and Safety, they have to deal with the outside elements (druggies and their suppliers) all through the night. Which IMO give us good reason to camp at Plaza at city hall.

        • 00michelle00 says:

          There is a paranoia (justified or not) over Police intervention in illegal or possibly dangerous situations occuring in the Protest itself. I am no longer attending #OccupySeattle (so I should probably shut up), but it is unfair to ask members to simply “police themselves). Volunteers should NOT be put into potentially dangerous or life threatening situations. The Seattle PD have had their problems, but there is a reason the Commons institutes professional peace officers. To have a proposal like that blocked is ridiculous and counter productive to a peaceful movement.

      • Anonymous says:

        Excellent work, GA! Props to you, too, Jesse – you and the tactical team are really getting a workout!

        So good to see the issue of ‘hostile individuals’ being addressed. Yes, we do have them; yes, we will have them. This is part of being a community and part of urban living … but … NO ONE at Occupy Seattle should ever be afraid of another protester. We need to make that promise to ourselves.

        Everyone, please remind people who are arguing that the community should never put restraints on any individual: we cannot and will not tolerate *bullies*. That would be a repeat of what we are fighting — bullies are JUST LIKE the 1%. They both use force and threats to intimidate, frighten and oppress.

        We can help each other – we can all learn to discuss our differences with respect. AND we can ALL work to make this a safe place — a place where we never have to call the police to intervene.

        • Audaces_Iuvat says:

          When the one core tenet of the movement is being openly flaunted, we do need to lay down the law – or we can wait until the FBI raids start to do it for us. There is no way a mass movement that doesn’t espouse nonviolence will have a shelf life over six months in this country.

      • Patricia says:

        Thank you Jesse. Very well said. I absolutely agree. I am working on finding one of the excellent groups in Seattle who work in non-violent conflict resolution and de-escalation techniques to come down and talk to anyone interested. I think, obviously, in an ideal world, this problem would not arise and we would not be forced to consider calling in the police. However, it is absolutely inadvisable for Peace and Safety to try and take on the police function, both for liability and community reasons. That is why is vital that the group as a whole continually reaffirm our non-violent nature both internally in group member-to-group-member interaction and externally in group-member-to-police and group-member-to-community. As time goes on, weather gets worse, and people become more frayed and frustrated, we are going to have to do everything in our power to train ourselves and handle conflict in a non-violent way. But, we also have to recognize there are some conflicts we may not be equipped to self-police, and in those last resort instances, calling the police is wise.

  • Anonymous says:

    We should absolutely adopt WHATEVER NY has done because whatever they’re doing is working well. It’s keeping ppl motivated, energized and involved.

    Part of outreach can be registering ppl to vote, an important part of the process and one we shouldn’t take for granted. It is an easy conversation starter. “Are you registered to vote? What’s your opinion of the OWS movement?”

    Nice to see the meditation group :)

    Thanks for letting me add my comments. Btw, these are “minutes,” rather than “notes,” if you want to keep it parliamentary :) Cheers! ~mandy

  • mandy says:

    I’d be willing to register ppl to vote. I’ve set up my ironing board and done that before.

    • 00michelle00 says:

      I registered Dems in CA with my sorry little ironing board and creased sign 8 hrs a day in front of Wal Marts and Target. Central Valley in the Summer time so it would hit 105 degrees, GOPers screaming at you. Good times. Ran the program in Stockton, CA for 2 months. Ironing Board Voter Registrars are a special breed!

  • Question says:

    Can someone explain the part about “no arrestable direct action can be taken without the approval of the GA?”
    It is not clear what actions “threaten occupy seattle as a whole.” Please explain.

    Also, I am looking for a Womyn and Trans caucus group. Does anyone know anything about an existing one? Thanks

    • Jesse says:

      This means that no singular Team/Work Group OR individual can take up an Action on a whim that would negatively effect the Occupation as a whole. EG- Deciding to have a sit in and subsequent mass arrest by hosting the GA in the middle of the street, or rallying 100 people to go and flood a nearby bank.
      If any INDIVIDUAL wishes to make take such action, of course, this is your right. However, to take an action that would call down a mass arrest on the entire occupation, is something that should be tactically considered, and well-thought out for the maximum impact. Our Legal team is incredibly stressed as it is, and these kind of impetuous decisions are detrimental both to them, and the cause as a whole.

      I hope this clarifies.

      • Joshua H says:

        The proposal as voted on and passed *only* applied to Work Groups. Individual actions were explicitly not included in the proposal, and the discussion after the proposal verified this.

        Along with that, thinking it over, I have a really serious problem with this rule. We never got (and, just as importantly, never asked for) an explanation of what problem this proposal was meant to resolve. If there is not a problem, I don’t think that GA is the time for creating solutions to problems that do not exist. It’s lengthy enough as it is! If there *is* a problem, then we need to know the context of the problem in order to come to an informed decision that resolves the problem.

  • rainbow says:

    i was the initial blocker of this proposal,as I felt that not having the ability to call in professional law enforcement in situations that run beyond our control,resources or expertise to be untenable. I also understand that some people feel uncomfortable around police in any situation. We should not be bullied to make or pass proposal that limit our support from our community. It is indeed a bold thing to be involved in this 99% movement. In solidarity Rainbow

  • ronnyseal says:

    I agree with rainbow and Jesse. Isn’t part of the many reasons we are here and advocating what we are because there are the existence of people who don’t hesitate to act in violence? It would be ignorant to think that people outside the GA, or who don’t support Occupy, don’t have the capacity to react violently.

    Just because we have the option to use police involvement for physical interactions that get beyond our control doesn’t mean we are going against our principles or ideals. By approving the original proposal you would though. If approved we would exclude those who would come due to the lack of safety. If we are not here to protest the police directly, then why are we treating them like the enemy when it comes to our direct physical well-being?

  • Judy McCoid says:

    I agree with adopting the NY grievances, although I would like to see them first. We need to focus our message if we want to continue attracting people.

  • Joshua H says:

    Some corrections and additions (as I remember them, please verify!):

    The Demands WG report included adding localized grievances to the Occupy Wall Street list of grievances in their proposal tomorrow (although I’m not sure whether those local grievances will exist by the next GA or if they’re to be determined later).

    The vote to overturn the block on the proposal against calling the police on each other failed by a 58-41* margin. Since overturning a block requires a 4/5ths majority, the margin would have to have been 80-19 in order to override the block. (*- There were two varying counts of votes to maintain the block; one counter had 40, another had 41.)

    The fourth proposal was to change the GA time for tomorrow *only* to 5:45pm in order to accommodate events immediately preceding and postceding (?) the GA. Otherwise, there would have been a conflict.

    The fifth proposal included one or both of the events in my preceding paragraph.

    It was a rep from the United Farm Workers that spoke, and she only made an announcement, not a proposal.

    • Joshua H says:

      … and, as I stated above, the Direct Action proposal only pertains to Workgroups, not individuals.

      Again, this is all based on my (then fresh) recollection before I passed out before pressing “send”. PLEASE VERIFY BEFORE ACCEPTING!

      • Audaces_Iuvat says:

        My apologies for the messy notes for this GA. It was a contentious meeting, and I got directly involved at times because I felt my voice needed to be heard.

  • Alexander j Williamson says:

    Blocking traffic tends to annoy the hell out of people. unless you have a demand (which i think we need and is what i recommend )…”
    call you reps and elected officials and demand tax reform in these specific ways”….(GA and law work groups could decide how to word it most effectively or with the best chance of actually being successful) Then we could all sit at an intersection or some bank and stage a sit in until the media displayed our demands with instructions of specific things the public can do to make a change.

    it doesn’t make any sense to get arrested and go to jail, racking up court fees unless we have a reason for it. Granted the arrests do get us more media coverage…which we still need to grow. As a large group it may be effective if we have a specific point to make….no more small groups sitting in intersections. If we have a specific goal or reason we need attention on an issue then im all for sit ins and illegal marches or occupations. But it doesnt make any sense to just cause a scene with no goal other than getting general attention or pissing off police and the public.

  • Rich says:

    If you guys think you can do a better job running the country then stop asking for pencils and making motions for rain protection and you run for office. Other than that, get a life and move on.

  • Angela Beckman says:

    Ewwww…Nobody said we’d have to occupy Seattle in the rain! I’m all for protesting whatever ya want, but is it against the rules if we put this whole shebang on pause and get together sometime next July when it’s sunny and warm out? This blows. I’m gonna get pneumonia!

    • Warren Outten says:

      You’ve heard of Fukushima ? Well the rain you are standing in may be Radioactive so, make sure you minimize contact between the rain and your skin, wear a billed hat… cover up !! Of course no one is testing the rain so we can’t know… but it is a very real danger you should consider… could we rally in the rain inside City Hall ???

      • Angela Beckman says:

        Never met Fukushimo. Is that your band?

        Oh great!! WTF are we all doing out here then? I’m protesting whatever and now I’m gonna get all wet and pneumonia and some sort of weird cancer? Seriously…..sitting out here is just dumb.