General Assembly notes 10/17

Seattle General Assembly 2011-10-17 18:30

  • Minutes prepared by: Phil Mocek
  • Audio archive: http://www.archive.org/details/OccupySeattleGeneralAssembly2011-10-17

Facilitation Team

  • facilitator: Kristen
  • time keeper: Paul
  • stack keeper: Emily

Urgent Proposal

  • presenter: Ed, Facilitation ad Process
    • proposal: suspend for tonight's GA proposals and decisions, replacing with open-ended discussion about open-ended concerns about what to do next, etc.
    • rationale: need to decide where to sleep, but many conversations about location seem to go to deeper concerns, so whenever we have to vote, we don't get to talk, so let's talk tonight and vote tomorrow.
      • people should decide where to sleep tonight, and we'll work on strategy tomorrow
    • vote: 18:48
      • passes

Working group announcements

Medical Working Group

  • presenter: Robin
    • haven't met lately
    • if you need basic health and hygene, go to City Hall, where are supplies are
    • making general health and morale announcements via Twitter @occupyhealthy

Supply and Storage Working Group

  • presenter: Rachel
    • Blue Man Group and stage hands from local 515 donated multiple cases of bananas
    • needs: instant cold packs
      • blankets
      • socks
      • warm clot
      • paper bowls
      • non-perishable foods (soup, canned chili, s
    • non-needs (have plenty)
      • peanut butter
      • bread
      • paper towels
      • hand sanitizer
    • donate at City Hall or email info@publicmeanspublic.org
    • need volunteers to sort donations at the warehouse

Media Working Group

  • presenter: Allie
    • concern about livestream dropping feed and lack of archive
    • considering setting up video cameras other than live stream at GA
      • if you have a video camera, please record
    • please post your photos and videos

Logistics Working Group

  • presenter: Doc
    • needs 13 trusted people, only has three

Legal Working Group

  • presenter: proxy for Gabriel
    • first legal victory: all charges against Ben Lewis dismissed due to procedural issue

Fundraising Working Group

  • presenter: Fred
    • asked for help yesterday
    • appreciates confidence in his fundraising abilities, but if you like things like dry socks, bail, coffee, consider helping

Information Working Group

  • presenter: Timber
    • suggests binder for each working group be made available at the info table
    • need more people at info table
    • are the face to the public
    • friendly and outgoing people are encouraged to join

Process and Facilitation Working Group

  • presenter:
    • trying to streamline the meetings
    • would like to spend more time discussing strategy and action, less time on proposals
    • considering making proposals developed and revised before bringing to GA
      • working on large proposal to bring group
    • meet daily, 4:30pm
    • need additional racial diversity in group
  • presenter: Jacob
    • reminder: GA voted last night to move
  • presenter
    • if you have agenda items, please notify us under the Romax sign

Sustainability Brigade Working Group

  • presenter: Tabitha
    • tonight at 9pm, regular trash/recycling/compost sorting
    • Tomorrow (Tues) 6:30, meeting under Romax sign
    • please re-use cups and utinsels
    • need metal spoon donations

Sanitation Working Group

  • presenter: Andrew i * needs people with janitorial experience
    • people need to urinate; if you know sympathetic staff at nearby bars and restaurants

Emergency Anouncement

  • police officer in attendance
    • doesn't feel safe
    • temp check: okay with this?
      • yes, okay

Internet Communications Working Group

  • presenter: Danica
    • need more people
      • social media
      • website maintenance
      • coordination with other Occupy sites
    • email us at occupyseattleict@gmail.com

Peace and Safety Working Group

  • presenter: Elvina
    • needs new emergency contact list
      • people who cannot stay overnight but willing to come down in emergencies

Hip Hop Occupies Working Group

  • presenter: Sensei Greg
    • website will be done in two days
    • linking up with multiple MCs
    • allpowertothepositive@gmail.com

Tactical Working Group

  • presenter: John
    • need to identify people who are willing to (but not hoping to) be arrested
    • we are trying to form a working group to practice peaceful tactics for use in the event of arrest

Text Messaging Group

  • presenter: Patrick Henry Sousa
    • have about 800 people on the list
    • to get on list, text "occupyseattle" to 443322

Accountability Working Group

  • presenter: ?
    • passed proposal yesterday about anti-oppression and accountability principles
    • will meet after GA to devise plan for holding people who violate principles accountable
      • please join if you have input

People of Color Caucus Working Group

  • presenter: Maria
    • formed because there are various phobias and isms in this movement
    • also addressing police brutality, violence, illegal detention and incarceration
  • presenter: ?
    • heard that there has been suggestion to allow police to sit in and participate in the general assembly
      • we disapprove
    • facilitator note: we took temperature check, found that most people are comfortable
      • temperature check: okay with this?
        • yes, okay

Open Discussion

  • time: 19:24
  • topics for discussion:
    • viability of Occupy Seattle
    • where we're going
    • what we need to do immediately
    • what we need to do long-term
  • ?
    • was here this morning, saw police target people of color
    • police took someone who was vocal about police brutality
      • cornered him, said he had a felony
      • there are other people with felonies but white, but not targeted
    • if you're here at night, you know we're kicked, have lights flashed at us
    • need to be united and for people to support us
  • Doc
    • apologizes for failing last two days
    • will triple his efforts, will not fail us again
  • ?
    • this place has serious strategic concerns
    • symbolically, Westlake Park is important due to corporate B.S.
    • should relocate to Seattle Central and surrounding area
      • green space next to it is not open like this
        • police cannot rush in
      • has historic value: staging during WTO riots
      • students are there
      • people live nearby
  • Zach
    • from Olympia
    • good job
  • ?
    • most in the crowd are white
    • during temperature check, most people were okay with it
    • most of us are not from communities that are terrorized by police
    • direct response: I'm a white female, I've had problems with police, color shouldn't be an issue here
  • ?
    • people were arrested today, so we know police are not on our side. Who are we voting for: police or the 99%.
    • if police are welcome with guns and badges, she'll not participate
  • ?
    • thanks for input from people of color
    • please offer a proposal tomorrow
  • ?
    • it's crucial to establish a sustainable green location for regular habitation
    • there are many people who want to join us 24/7 but don't want to be here, getting busted and sleep-deprived
    • need to find hospitable location for weekly living, have regular protests and weekly assemblies XXX, have major activities at Westlake
  • ?
    • stick with the progressive stack; wants to hear from traditionally-marginalized people
  • ?
    • in 1998, was attacked by SPD, defended himself successfully, beat them in court, has settlement
    • has different relationship with them now; wants to feel safe
    • not all of us grew up sheltered
  • ?
    • race does matter
    • race will matter until we make a revolution to overthrow institutionalized white supremacy
      • thought that's what we're here for
    • in Occupy Oakland, have policy that police are unwelcome in camp
      • Seattle is not as different from Oakland as people think
    • Malcom X started meetings by saying, "welcome friends and enemies"
      • knew undercover police would be here
    • cop who came tonight was here to divide us
      • let's not let them divide us
  • ?
    • tired of people treating cops who destroyed camp with respect and dignity
      • they don't deserve it
  • ?
    • was here 10 years ago before war protests
      • was teargassed, maced, shot with rubber bullets
      • treated better this time
    • tactical suggestion: If we set up tents another night, should do it in a location where it's legal
      • like earlier than 10:00 here
  • ?
    • some of us are sick about fighting over whether cops are part of the 99%
    • creating radical anti-cop caucus now
  • ?
    • announcing new group: Animal Rights and Environmentalism
    • first meeting Thurs 6pm by See's Candies
    • believes that corporations are destroying us as well as other animals
    • wants to raise awareness of what corporations are doing to the world
    • speciesism: the human construct that we are more important than other living beings on this planet
  • ?
    • frustrated by process
    • know it's hard to facilitate
    • facilitator should take control when people violate process
    • people should not yell and jump stack
      • example: say I want to talk about something someone says, but now it's 10 minutes later
      • facilitator response: we got rid of direct response because people waiting were never called due to flood of direct responses
        • facilitator should ensure that direct responses don't go on too long
  • ?
    • regarding where we should go with this movement
      • had decisive victory last Saturday: decided to occupy tents in violation of city
      • had setback this morning
        • this is reminder that SPD and other City govt are not on our side
      • should plan another big protest Saturday
      • had success last Saturday because it wasn't just the most dedicated people
      • having large protests and an occupation need not be mutually-exclusive
    • GA's would be more empowering, engaging, and inclusive if we had a political discussion every day instead of getting bogged down on process minutia and working group discussions
  • ?
    • What is happening is caucusing
    • It is imperitive for everyone to make his or her voice heard
  • ?
    • this morning, in the context of larger group
      • Saturday was a success
      • this morning was disheartening
      • cops took all our tents in 15 minutes
      • nine people were willing to get arrested
      • 5000 people were here on Saturday
    • this movement is inspiring, but need to understand important philosophical idea:
      • change happens when civil disobedience happens
      • civil disobedience happens when business is disrupted
      • we want change, and must make some sacrifices
  • ?
    • last weekend, we had a party
      • it was awesome
      • Sunday morning, we sat around and did nothing
      • Sunday night, there was drugs, alcohol, no forward movement
        • he was up all night monitoring police
        • what he heard from people was don't worry, they didn't arrest Saturday or Sunday mornings
    • this morning, Mayor McGinn tweeted, "Dear Occupy Seattle, you had a good weekend. My offer still stands."
    • We're not a threat
    • wants more planning
    • doesn't care where we stay
    • can't stay every night with his family; will stay if safe
    • we're constantly fighting
    • this morning was great training on how to root us out
  • Josh
    • has pickup truck, offers to make runs tomorrow to get tents back
  • Christina
    • likes proposal of Cal Anderson Park
    • visible
    • can easily walk to Westlake Park from there
    • should organize the tents
      • they are an important symbol
      • is willing to do this but will be out of town at Occupy Topeka for five days
  • ?
    • it was inevitable that after a victory, a disorganized group would be lax and an unorganized opposition will take advantage of such
    • there will be highs and lows
    • there will be moments of unity, moments of discussion and division
    • remember that this is a quiz, not the final exam
    • we are not done just because we are human and fallible
  • ?
    • we committed early that the loudest voice would not prevail
    • we are a leaderless movement
    • reporter from New York Times was here
    • tonight a representative from Town Hall was here trying to talk to us and figure out how to have that discussion there also
    • working groups are working daily
    • we don't just wake up and smoke
  • scuseme from livestream
    • not all of us can be there
    • but those of us who are not down there through the day must get on social media, especially those connected to the White House and let them know we're angry
  • Kendra
    • is queer youth worker
    • number of oppressed and working class are larger than
    • who will be with us: the oppressed or the working class and people of color
  • ?
    • this morning, he and three others decided not to leave their tent
    • police used knife to slice the tent open, walked three away, carried him away out of view, bent his right foot to the ground, twisted the opposite direction
      • afterward, asked other police who didn't take part of the torture if they saw it
        • they said no, they saw nothing
      • sick of pretending police are not the enemy
  • reconvened at 21:11
  • XXX – missed several speakers
  • ?
    • Westlake Park was built for protest; this is where it should be
      • Pine was originally closed to traffic; Nordstrom convinced city to open it back up
  • ?
    • suggestion that people who want to move down to City Hall
  • ?
    • uncomfortable that City Hall is presented as only alternate location
      • doesn't think we should go there just because it is repeatedly brought up
  • ?
    • we decided in GA that we would not go to City Hall
      • correction: checked minutes
  • Cory from Legal WG
    • if many people are arrested, can take cases to trial
    • city has finite resources
    • might be booked, might be held overnight, but not necessarily convicted of a crime
    • in New York, they are telling prosecutors to dismiss every case against protesters because if they try them it will clog up the system
  • ?
    • let's talk about possibilities for moving
  • facilitator: temperature check on ideas presented so far:
    • Denny Park
    • Seattle Central Community College
    • Space Needle
    • Cal Anderson Park
  • ?
    • trying to form work group to discuss privately-owned public spaces
    • has a list of such spaces that are downtown
  • ?
    • SHARE has camp in front of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • ?
    • the Seattle Center green space across from Egyptian is only eight blocks up the road
      • we can stage there and come down here to raise hell
  • facilitator: remember that this is about tonight
  • ?
    • we are surrounded by privately-owned public spaces
      • Safeco Plaza
      • Wells-Fargo Plaza
      • Washington Mutual Plaza
  • ?
    • clarified with police that they're getting more than $1000
    • At SCCC, we might find support from students and faculty
  • facilitator: temperature check on going to SCCC
  • ?
    • asked for input from campers, but one who responded was shut down
  • camper
    • is staying here; others need not
    • need to maintain unity to show the world we're serious
    • Saturday's occupation was the fifth largest in the nation
  • ?
    • thousands of people support us, and will continue to do so regardless of what we choose
    • should maintain a presence in this park
  • ?
    • this is a struggle; we'll have to struggle
  • ?
    • those people who do not want to camp here or elsewhere, let's meet to talk about providing
  • ?
    • 10pm isn't a deadline; cops haven't arrested people for being in the park previously
    • spoke with a park ranger, who said not aware of any new plans
  • ?
    • we're making decisions here for tens of thousands of Seattleites
  • ?
    • just came back from visiting Occupy Oakland
      • they're kicking ass, but having a little too much fun
      • they have subgroup for overnighters
        • makes decisions specific to their group, while other decisions left to GA
  • ?
    • people at GA who are camping should join others who are not camping over at the corner

Adjourned 10:00

One Response to General Assembly notes 10/17

  • 1Voice4The99 says:

    I couldn’t make the GA, but i want to share my opinion and reply to some of the discussion I’ve read:

    - I’m really torn on whether we should move camp or not. The whole point of being at Westlake is to distract business, to cause attention, to wake up the corporate world and govt. If we move to a park where it’s legal for us to stay, we need have secure measures to ensure protection on the camp and be sure to be in the business district from the crack of dawn to 10pm.

    - Police brutality is uncalled for, but it’s what they are trained to do- yes, being forceful. It is unneeded, because even if they do not support us (or don’t want to show that they do in risk of losing their job), they are still a part of the 99%. And for the most part, they are as egotistical and thick like the govt. and corporate heads. This is a very touchy subject.- We have to remember, that no matter what we decide, we have to keep in peaceful, yet tactical and empowering.

    - We must work together in an organized and peaceful manner in order for this to move forward. I think it’s smart we are shaping this into an organized movement- it just about has to be in order to have the change we want to see.

    - If we are going to occupy, we have to do it wisely, effectively, with an overabundance of strength and unity, and as peacefully as possible. I would be down there every moment if I could. And I will be there as much as I can. But I have your backs, I am following all that is going on down there, and I know that we need to keep our focuses clear, or else this could really backfire.

    I will see you all down there this weekend. Power up.