General Assembly Notes 10/10

Seattle General Assembly 2011-10-10 17:57

  • Minutes prepared by: Phil Mocek

Facilitation Team

  • Facilitator: Hudson
  • Process mover: Sarah / Lady Gaga
  • Taking stack: Shawn
  • Time keeper: Doc

Personal Statement

  • expression of solidarity with various ethnic groups


  • working group report-backs
  • proposals
  • announcements


Working group announcements

Outreach Working Group

  • representative: Ally
  • those who camp invite part-timers to camp to experience the full Occupy Seattle experience
  • part-time participants of committee invite campers to perform outreach and work with the group throughout the day
    • opinions wanted and needed; please make them heard

Demands Working Group

  • representative: Kevin
  • might be changing name of working group
  • mission statement: The Demands Working Groups' purpose is to facilitate the process of determining Occupy Seattle's movements and objectives.
  • We invite you to join the Facebook conversation. Find it through the website. This will improve with poll and forum that is interactive and will include as many people as possible.
  • Will have an Internet terminal here and XXX

Internet Communications Working Group

  • representative: Jack
  • Discussion forums will be working tomorrow, after that, a wiki.
  • mission statement:
  • The Internet Communications Working Group provides tactical tools, IT infrastructure, support, and advice to other working groups to facilitate online communication among groups and between Occupy Seattle and the Internet community.

Process and Facilitation Working Group

  • presenter: Shawn
  • Concerns have been expressed about process and transparency, so group's documents will be posted to Google Docs and to the Facebook page.
  • They encourage more people to sit in on Group meetings.

Emergency Announcement

  • direct action happening at 6:30pm
  • support the homeless; shelters closing
  • march with them to 2nd and Stewart

Food Working Group

  • representative: Ginger
  • working to make food healthy and sustainable
  • went to Ballard farmers market over the weekend
    • they were very generous
    • they all support us
    • food needs to be cooked tonight so it can be eaten tomorrow
    • volunteers for tomorrow would be good too
  • If you want to help, contact information is in the food tent and on website.
  • we cannot cook food on site
  • we can re-heat some food
  • clarification: request for cooks is for people who want to cook at home, then bring prepared food downtown
    • Group can help with transportation and supply of food
    • just need your kitchen and your love

Media Working Group

  • mission statement:
    • 1) to communicate to press and news media the various principles, strategies and events of OS as determined by the general assembly through press releases, interviews and direct communications
    • 2) to monitor news media, report to the GA and other working groups, and to counter any disinformation or misrepresentation of Occupy Seattle movement that may appear in the for-profit press and news media
    • 3) to contribute strategic and practical ideas for framing and maintaining ownership of the OS identity as determined by the General Assembly

Information Working Group

  • representative: Timber
  • need a mission statement from each working group to display at table
  • need regular updates from working groups


  • proposal: Modify block policy such that when a block is enacted, and it is not overturned, the proposal is tabled, then a coalition will be formed to discuss and revise the proposal, then it will be brought back to the next general assembly.

    • source: Process and Facilitation Working Group
    • rationale: has been some concern that block is effectively killing proposals
    • temperature check: how do people feel about the proposal?
      • mostly approval
    • clarifying questions and concerns
      • XXX
      • I'm told sometimes it takes days to get something through at Occupy Wall Street. Please have patience.
      • Please explain how the coalition is formed.
        • Coalition is voluntary group of individuals concerned about the proposal to be reviewed and brought back to the GA
      • Will the coalition be open to people who cannot be here for GA?
        • should be the responsibility of the concerned parties to find meeting time that works for the coalition
      • Does this mean that any block can send a really popular proposal back to the drawing board?
        • XXX
      • Was under the impression that a block could be overridden by 4/5 majority
        • This does not affect that, so if you have 4/5 opposition to block, block does not go back to the drawing board
      • How do we include majority groupings? XXX
        • not sure how to respond now
      • maybe that's something to address in XXX
    • vote 18:27
      • passes
  • proposal: Minutes from the website along with notes from the global occupy movement be made available at info table daily

    • source: Outreach Working Group
    • rationale: concerns about online activity going on behind our backs
    • clarifying questions and concerns
      • In what form will they be made available?
        • outreach Working Group would assign someone to make paper copies available at Information
      • Can't people get it at public library Internet terminals?
        • Some people don't want to leave or to deal with computers.
        • Passers-by will have something to look at
      • You have to be a resident of Seattle to use library computers
        • You may be able to use them for 30 minutes even if not a resident.
    • vote: 18:32
      • passes
    • facilitator comment: this might have been taken care of between working groups
  • timekeeper comment: please bear with us as we try to streamline this process

    • lots of people have proposals they're trying to pitch to us and we're trying ot ensure they're concise and important right now
  • proposal: On October 15, XXX against Bank of America

    • source: Tactical Working Group
    • rationale: this is international day of action; important to show solidarity
    • clarifying questions and concerns
      • What is this day of solidarity about?
        • organized by Occupy Wall Street people in NY
        • working with October 20 movement; they're protesting against Bank of America
      • As far as I know, the Oct 15 action is about day of XXX
      • Is it only Bank of America targeted, or all banks and financial institutions
      • This is a question about how Tactical Working Group should focus our efforts. We chose to target Bank of America because that's what others are doing that day. We are of course against banks in general.
      • XXX
        • not prepared to discuss this idealogical concern at the moment
      • also we have march at 12pm on Saturday. Let's work around that.
        • This is about action earlier in the day against bank of America
    • vote 18:39
      • passes
  • proposal: Grant Tactical Working Group authority to disburse funds from petty cash overnight

    • source: Tactical Working Group
    • rationale: We're always here and since we coordinate between other groups; we can take responsibility for overnight petty cash
    • clarifying questions and concerns
      • How will accounting be handled?
        • Fundraising Working Group has already split off daily budget from overall. Tactical will only be working from daily budget overnight when nobody else is here to do so.
      • What does it mean to use the petty cash at night when you're using it during the day.
        • In case of emergency or immediate needs, need some cash.
      • Is there a limit on the petty cash?
        • Guess: about $200 per day. Haven't checked with Fundraising.
      • What kind of emergencies?
        • can't predict
    • vote 18:43
      • block: I take a block very seriously. I don't do this lightly. Have genuine concern.
        • too much authority in any one person's hands
        • asked for examples and limit
        • one individual could spend $200 on something they think is emergency
        • would like greater clarification, oversight, and require that more than one person authorize
        • direct response: How many people in this group are spending the night tonight? I am. We need 24-hour occupation. If we could forsee emergencies, would not be emergency. No time to mistrust each other. Let's pass, trust, move on.
        • direct response: Proposal says temporary
    • proposal withdrawn
  • revised proposal: Should tactical committee be able to dispense funds from petty cash funds at night on a temporary basis?

    • source: Tactical Working Group
    • rationale: tactical is only group that has 24-hour presence. Always at least 2-3 people here. Any would require those people's approval.
    • temporary, only at night
    • vote: 18:50
      • passes
  • proposal: Student walkout is scheduled for Wednesday afternoon: should we pursue permit for sound system and other equipment?

    • source: Tactical Working Group
    • rationale: Cannot use this equipment without permit
    • clarifying questions and concerns
      • cost?
        • $100 for Westlake Park.
      • How much money do we have?
        • Much more than $100
      • Didn't Mayor give us a two-week permit?
        • This permit that McGinn gave us does not include sound equipment. This permit is about sound.
    • vote: 18:53
      • passes
  • proposal: Adopt statement: Occupy Seattle stands in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street's declaration of grievances and will continue to identify local grievances.

    • source: Demands Working Group
    • clarifying questions and concerns
      • Where can we read those?
        • posted on NYC website and on our site, and around the encampment
    • vote: 18:56
      • block:
        • This document defines into two groups: us and them. This separatist view is incompatible with the fundamental view of togetherness, unity, standing together. The blaming XXX of making others responsible for our problems renders us powerless. We cannot change them, we can only change ourselves. Our personal power is of no use against them. The movement asks that we recognize our power — our power together, and this document creates a "them" which we are powerless against, and divides us.
          • Have you read it?
            • yes
        • point of process: can't change the process because you don't like what someone says. I don't agree but don't like exclusion.
        • point of process: If people meant to move ahead, remember that this is the gesture, not this. Blocker gets two minutes, so "move it ahead" doesn't make a big difference
        • point of process: We don't vote for against people; we vote for or against proposals. Solidarity with Wall Street.
          • I think the solution is to not vote on the block, but re-vote on the proposal. If the proposal gets 4/5 in favor, it passes. If less than 4/5, it goes back to any coalition willing to work through, address concerns.
        • vote: (all in favor of approving proposal): 19:03
          • passes
  • facilitator comment: next three don't seem like proposals: one about a march, political discussion, open mike. Meet me here to clarify whether they're proposals.

  • facilitator comment: clarifying some proposals, please don't go away

  • proposal: We propose to stand in solidarity with previous statement

    • source: Circus, who coordinates with Peace and Safety Working Group yesterday we proposed to agree with statement that OS is non-violent movement
    • clarifying questions and concerns:
      • We're being asked to reaffirm a proposal we already passed.
        • We've been waiting to confirm this as part of going forward with our mission statement.
        • If everyone here seems to be in agreement with non-violence, than I have no proposal.
    • proposal withdrawn: 19:10
  • Why are we XXX

    • someone on KPLU said "we will stay until the tanks roll in"


  • AFSC (American Friends Service Committee) are printing our fliers for free
  • XXX with the student walkout: On Wednesday at noon, schools all over the city, including UW, Seattle Central, Seattle University, South Seattle, Shoreline. Maybe: Antioch, Seattle Art Institute, Cornish, Nathan hale, are walking out. We want all of you to be here to greet us. We'll be here at 2pm, and have a speak-out from students, occupiers, and homeless youth who cannot be students. Will also have workshops. Some will begin right after the speak-out. Some others will be scheduled at XXX time in advance. We welcome anyone who has curricula prepared to involve students in to speak to representatives from the various schools after the GA. We'll gather under the Romax sign. Also, we want many more people involved in these walk-outs. If you can help us flier, be there at the walkout, start your won at your school, or plug in with one already at your school. I don't know how to contact arts and entertainment. Need banners, can a rep from that committee please meet us?
  • Currently there are only three people taking minutes. There is a lot going on and sometimes we want to talk. We need to be held accountable for accurate and reliable information. Mail or check in after the GA.
  • I understand that we don't want the police to police us. I understand that we don't want people to start policing within us. There was an incident this morning that could hurt our presence here. We need the community to protect the community. I'd like discussions about this to continue. If this incident had been released to the media and general public, it could cause problems for us and our stay here. My personal fear is while most GA members that attend are peaceful, this can be swept away by one person's actions.
  • emergency: Police announcement. Keep everybody out of the awnings or police will come and arrest all of them.
  • In light of strong XXX in statement of solidarity, would like to repeat invitation to join discussion with demands Working Group. Meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 4:00. There is online discussion on the Facebook demands group. See people with ping armband.
  • If your birthday is coming up and you have parents or grandparents, ask them to come down here for your birthday. Use the puppy eyes.
  • Welcome to the end of the GA and the beginning of our candlelight vigil. To kick it off, is Joshua. It's dark in Seattle and in the world. We need light. Tonight we will light the lights to make visible our righteous anger, our commitment to change and our hope for a new world.
  • Sarah teaches song, "Rich Man's House"

Adjourned 19:30

5 Responses to General Assembly Notes 10/10

  • Alexander j Williamson says:

    All those of you who camp out in the wind and rain and cold…you are heroes. Lets keep showing the pundits and naysayers that we are not just a flash in the pan. We will remain, we will occupy this city!!! I think we should make a request to the media and general public, that they put up information (phone numbers, emails, addresses, form letters, petitions and websites) of our local/regional elected officials and publish that we are asking for specific reforms regarding the creation of an equitable tax structure, anti corruption laws and corporate regulation. If we have specific demands attached with specific instructions on how members of the general public can get involved in this process (even from home…without coming down and protesting, which is honestly what most of the 99% will be willing to do).We need to be the change that we would like to see in the world, and we need to remind the public sitting at home, of this notion. If we outline some very specific, yet broadly inclusive actions (by this i mean, no “radical” demands for abolishing the DEA or saving the whales….or whatever other causes may also seem important to many of the factions within our movement. We need to reform our nation one thing at a time…one by one, checking things off our list of grievances and then moving on to our next demand. To do this most effectively we should start with demands that include the most members of our movement as possible…ie; something to address the Wealth Gap, Corporate Accountability or Tax reform. Once one demand has been met we will have far more credibility in the eyes of the public, not to mention in the eyes of the 1% and we will make some tangible progress, while building exponential momentum. ), we will make real progress. We will have people willing to be arrested en mass and engage in civil disobedience in an entirely new and even bigger way than they are currently) I think the sooner we have some basic demands and calls to action (like the facebook organized plan to switch enrollment from the “big banks” and to join a local credit union this week) then the larger this movement will get. people are simply apathetic and overwhelmed as a whole. We need to empower the 99% and create an outline for real, measurable, social change. I am willing to participate in any peaceful civil disobedience for this purpose and would love to see others give me some input on this idea. Give the occupiers a productive reason to get arrested hehe. If you agree with my ideas, please try and suggest this course of action to others so we can discus it at the GA soon.
    Thanks for listening, Alex

  • Mark Jones says:

    Sure go ahead and talk about your demands and stand out in the cold. That’s about all your group will be doing.



  • frustrated says:

    At the GA last night the facilitators went against the process. When there is a block you are suppose to vote on whether the block stands or not before going to a revision. This didn’t happen with one proposal and it went straight to revision before passing the same night. Then when another block was presented it was given the correct process. This is frustrating to me. If we are suppose to be the example then we need to be consistent. I don’t think I can support this if the facilitators are going to undermine the system we are trying to build. This is a fundamental problem, that if doesn’t get fixed will quickly dissolve this movement. Furthermore, before all of this happened there was even an approved proposal THAT NIGHT about a process to amending proposals when a block isn’t overturned.

    Lastly, it’s difficult to be at the general assembly when the facilitators get easily worked up. I know it’s time consuming and can be difficult to communicate and be on the same page, but if we are occupying then what’s the hurry?

  • frustrated says:

    Just read the notes from the meeting and you don’t even mention the block that was ignored for voting on. You aren’t even honest. What do you stand for if not honesty and transparency?