General Assembly notes 10/12
GENERAL ASSEMBLY 10/12
Two Occupy Seattle protestors laid bodies down at City Hall Plaza in peaceful protest, Philip Neal, Carson Ivans – We support them.
Individual: The #1 recipient of Corporate Wall Street in current presidential campaign, three blocks away at the Hyatt Hotel. His name is Mitt Romney. Mitt Romney says that corporations are people. Mitt Romney says that we are “dangerous.” Yes, we are dangerous, but not because we have violent intent, but because we are peaceful. The people who run Wall Street and our U.S. Government are not peaceful, they’re rounding up people all over the country and they’re doing illegal wars in our name. I cannot make a proposal on this because i’m in the media working group. But i’m just putting that information out there, in case folks would like to respond this to visit to our city. I assume that they’re keeping the time secret for now.
Individual: The agenda’s still being worked on, but I know, that one of our priorities is National Protest Day on October 15th, this will happen worldwide. I think it would be a great idea if we all joined them in National Protest Day. That protest day is mentioned on occupyseattle.org. Whether you choose to participate is up to you. I will be here to show my support of all the Occupy Movements popping up as we speak. We have a march tentatively planned. We have a speak-out tentatively planned on that day. That’s why I will be here. The march I believe and please shout out if I’m wrong is 5pm. As part of the media committee, I am working as fast as I can to help organize that speak-out. I’m working on getting a permit for sound so we can have people be heard. I’m working on that same permit to have music to engage the people. If you want to help me with that, I need your help. My information is our occupyseattle.org site, if you e-mail the media committee located on the site, you will reach me. You will reach my committee members we have all been wearing green armbands and I would love to have you as part of our team.
Individual: This will be a Special Assembly and we’re getting really started now. We’ve changed the first facilitator and she will be presenting the first proposal of the Special Assembly.
Facilitator: My name is Maria and I will be facilitating this emergency GA. Is everybody okay with that? My role as a facilitator is to keep the process going I cannot voice any of my opinions or make any decision only you all can. Is that clear? We have emergency proposals.
We have two proposals on the agenda.
The first is that we have a discussion to clarify the purpose of this occupation, of this movement.
The second proposal on the agenda is a request from occupationists.
The occupationists who stay here at night can choose to stay here again tonight. And those who do not wish to be arrested can be human rights observers by standing on the sidewalk and recording.
Facilitator: How do we feel about these proposals? The floor is now open for discussion on these proposals.
Individual: Can I add another very critical proposal to the agenda?
This is a very critical issue that we have been discussing all through the occupation and I think that in relation to the SPD and the mayor, the occupation and the movement are at a critical juncture where we need to resolve a very important question. Are we going to re-occupy Westlake with tents? There have been lots of dedicated, young people who have continued the occupation here with tarps and sleeping bags and they are falling sick and I think it is so important for this movement as a whole to not only show our solidarity with them but to also make a statement that we are going to be here. I want all of us to discuss: A Mass Re-Occupation of Westlake with tents on Saturday so that we have two or three nights to build for it with massive outreach. Our slogan should be the night of 500 tents – Occupy Westlake – bring tent.
1. I’m disappointed with the fact that we’re not being brave. The mayor and police, the 1%, keeps trying to scare us with threats of arrest. This movement will never go anywhere unless we are brave. So I ask you to be brave, this is not just a flimsy movement. Stay with us. Be Brave and don’t be afraid to fight for each other. Be Brave.
2. I agree wholeheartedly with both proposals that we stay here tonight and that we attempt a mass re-occupation with tents on Saturday. Here’s why this is so crucial. I have heard people say, ‘why does it matter where we protest as long as we protest the banks?’ Here’s why: this is an occupation not just a protest. There have been tons of protests against the banks and they have not been successful, this is something new that’s why we’re here. What makes this so special is that we are actually re-occupying, taking back public space stolen by the 1%. We lose that quality, if we go to City Hall and just focus on mass rallies. The second thing, is that we are starting to plant the seeds of a new society. Eventually, we need to start occupying buildings so we don’t get sick and eventually we need to start occupying workplaces.
3. In addition to adding tents to the park, I say, we make a chain of people protecting the park, making this whole place ours. We will hold this time. In addition, today, the cops have forced a lot of personal effects off-site, there is a car full of them. It was a red car parked around the side. There is a young woman who has an insulin problem for diabetes if someone knows any information about that please contact us. Thank you. From the audience: *It’s my car!*
4. One of the things I keep hearing with some concern is that our top priority is to hold this park. We should consider that if people stay in this park they could all be arrested. We need a fallback for those who are not going to be arrested or who wish to be arrested. They should have the option to hold City Hall. City Hall is already an option. I propose we all just go there tonight.
Facilitator: We are in discussion about two proposals. Until we discuss those, we can’t discuss new proposals.
5. My name is Doc. I’ve been around the state this week, fuck it, we’re doing cool. Look around. Look who’s here. And realize that we are in motion and peaceful.
I’ve seen some good things in the last few days that we’ve been here. And I just wish everybody would just get together and speak with your heart and with a peaceful soul.
6. For people who are worried about getting arrested the occupiers have already said that we can stay on the sidewalk or be at Nordstrom’s. We do not need to go to City Hall because we are worried of getting arrested, so the people who want to go to City Hall should stop using that argument to get us to leave. *Later Clarification from Legal: This is not true. The police can still arrest you.*
7. I have one question. What happened in New York on the Brooklyn Bridge? 700 people got arrested. What happened the next day? The answer is: Shit blew up.
8. One really quick thing, Don’t be afraid. 1,000 cities in the United States are like this right now.
9. This may sound controversial to some, but I believe this is very important to the movement. Yes, the police are an obstacle, but they are not an enemy. They are part of the 99%.
10. People have been arrested by police, beaten by police, maced by the police, and have illusions that they are on our side. Stand up to the mayor and the SPD.
Point of Process:
It seems like there’s an underground proposition on the floor that we don’t go to City Hall.
11. There has been police brutality in many areas please remember that we haven’t been victim to that. They may be on the other side of this issue but let’s not get too aggressive first.
12. I think, some people are, trying to distract this conversation and making it about whether the police are human beings are not. I don’t care. The proposal was what do we do to defend the space. Let’s focus and not get distracted.
13. I don’t want to take up too much time but I essentially agree with what was just said. I think it’s really important to clarify where the mayor and SPD and the city establishment stand in regard to this movement. As long as they are serving the city establishment, their role is to destroy this movement. They haven’t been really aggressive with us, so let’s not be nice to them.
14. I agree with some of those who spoke about retaking Westlake Park tonight, but I also agree that Saturday we put up tents.
15. My sisters at the front are right, the issue is who we are, who you are, where you stand with us tonight, tomorrow night, whether you sleep out tonight. Stand in solidarity!
16. This conversation is going to get more tense. We have to respect the facilitator. No one should rush the stage.
17. We want to see who has occupied this space overnight. Show of hands. *About twenty people* Now that you see how few of us there are, we need you to come support us and live here in our new home.
If we’re going to move from this discussion to see if we should go to vote.
Majority: Move to Vote.
Clarification: In order for the second proposal to really be voted on, people need to understand, why they’re here, why we’re here, because the 2nd proposal is a request from people who know why they are here, for more support, for other people to come stay here and anyone else to document what the police do, so we can show what the police do when we try to express our freedom to assemble.
19. The first agenda item isn’t a proposal but it is an important issue for discussion and an issue that we should all listen to.
20. In regards to the second proposal I’m staying here, I stayed here tonight, I totally understand if you don’t want to get arrested. My request is that you stand on the sidewalks with us tonight.
21. I am here long-term through the winter, through the spring, it’s going to stay strong next here, if we are. So, we need shelter in addition to this.
Point of Process: We can’t take a vote that binds each and every person here in terms of what they do tonight, that is something that each person decides on their own. It is still important that we still vote on the second proposal, we need to send a clear message to this city, if we choose to stand in solidarity. That was not clarified last night. There was a lot of confusion last night. I think we need to vote in a way that authorizes and requires the media and legal committee, etc. to support what we do tonight. So if we choose to stay here, we send that message out strong.
22. I know there are people that want to help, but don’t want to directly be involved in getting arrested. Medics are needing help. So is supplies. If people choose to stay but don’t want to get involved, they can help that way.
23. From what I gather the proposal is officially Occupy Seattle will stay at Westlake Park, indefinitely.
24. I thought we just said that can’t make a binding contract of what we do tonight.
25. The official statement of us as a general assembly is to stay at Westlake indefinitely, yes or no. That is the vote. Individuals can decide either way. But what I’m hearing is that the occupiers really want us to stand with that solidarity.
FIRST PROPOSAL: The first proposal is to stay here in Westlake indefinitely.
All those who want to show solidarity should stay on the side.
1) This movement is long-term, it is very hard to find shelter here in the winter. General winter will decimate our ranks, so a moment of boldness could lose our intention and our strength. If we occupy a place of shelter and still stay here, which we can do, we are able to organize, we have shelter as we need, we communicate and have effective meetings, and when we act we will act in concert.
BLOCK OVERTURNED by more than a 4/5 majority.
-Emergency Announcement –
If there are any registered nurses, who can commit to staying in the park until 6am, we need to see you behind the stage.
Proposal: That we have a mass re-occupation of Westlake, with tents, starting Saturday night.
This is not in opposition to our earlier discussion to stay here tonight.
If we formally decide to reoccupy Saturday with tents it will immensely strengthen our movement.
The power of Portland’s occupation comes from the mass number of people and their tents.
1) I believe that we can still occupy with tents on Saturday. I also believe that we can do this without all losing everything else we have. We can do this in shifts and can everybody healthy and whole. We do not all have to suffer 24. Every day.
2) I want to speak in favor of the second proposal, we have to realize that the mayor and the police will try to break up our occupation. In order to overcome their plans we need large numbers here. If we have a small occupation, they will be able to break it up. So to have the largest turnout we need to make a clear call in advance to have time to mobilize the widest support and that’s why the call should be sent out to mobilize.
3) If I am to agree to a mass protest by as early as saturday I would like to see a show of hands of how many people who would be willing to be there with tents.
*Hands are about fifteen*
Facilitator: We’re taking this to a vote.
MOTION: SECOND PROPOSAL PASSED
Individual: The media team should immediately convey those two proposals tonight!
1) At 9 o’clock, I’m holding a meeting for those who are going to stay in the park tonight, to talk about tactical strategies and what we should do. *I am representative from the media committee, I have seen this vote today. I have seen both of these votes today, I will relay the message right now.*
3) We’ve been taking crap in the media for being disorganized and not knowing what we want. I did research and made a small list I’m hoping to get signatures saying that we have common goals from all 800 cities that have occupations.
4) The trash problem is affecting our image. The Seattle Public Utilities is going to be helping, providing more recycling bins, picking up compost, but we need to do more, we are part of the solution. The sanitation group will meet tonight at 9pm right behind the porta potties.
5) I would like to bring awareness to those that choose to go to City Hall tonight. I was informed that about an hour ago, the homeless started setting up where some people are camping. I want to bring awareness that there could be problems with drunkenness and theft.
6) In order to get the word out, for a mass re-occupation on Saturday we need a flyer. I’ve already made a flyer in the hope that the General Assembly would support this proposal tonight. I’ll post it shortly on the Facebook page and on the website. I hope you can all mass print and mass distribute all over this city.
7) Outreach has been dwindling in numbers, they come and go. We would like to have a meeting directly after the assembly right over there by Sephora.
8) We need more people taking the minutes. Please e-mail email@example.com if you want to help.
9) I have a message from other Occupy cities. We want to recognize and acknowledge the issue of the term occupy. We recognize that America has been unjustly occupied for the last 500 years, and that is in fact indigenous land. Wall St. does not need to be occupied, it needs to be decolonized.