General Assembly notes 10/19

Seattle General Assembly

  • Date/time: 2011-10-19 18:28
  • Location: Westlake Park
  • Minutes taken by: Phil Mocek
  • Audio archive: http://www.archive.org/details/OccupySeattleGeneralAssembly2011-10-19

Facilitation Team

  • Facilitator: Jake
  • Agenda: Michael
  • Process mover:
  • Taking stack: Kristen
  • Time keeper: Danica

Campers

  • time: 18:42
  • TJ, tentmaster
    • needs
      • blankets
      • tarps
      • visqueen
  • ?
    • last night and for the previous few, cops turn on their lights
      • to combat, people stood in front of cars with blankets and space blankets
  • ?
    • first weekday night was last night
    • encourages those who haven't camped here on a weeknight to do so
  • ?
    • It has been cold, so be wise about where to stay
    • went to City Hall this morning. Was very split.
    • Need to occupy a big enough space so police don't squish us.

Working group announcements

  • time: 18:46

Steering Committee

  • Russ
    • having success, a bit disorganized, trying hard
    • request that proposals be submitted in writing with name
      • on whiteboard, or better, on paper
    • will try to get unsigned proposals into the GA, but hard to do so without a name
    • If your proposal is not mentioned, maybe you didn't follow the rules. Not ignoring you, just moving the process.

Media Working Group

  • Carson
    • yesterday, came up with several bullet points on how to keep your foot out of your mouth when speaking to the media:
      • If a reporter asks you a question, always pause, then think before you speak.
      • Do your best to kekp answers short on point and well-articulated
      • always assume wrords can be misconstrued
      • be very very careful about using word "we"
        • you speak only for yourself, don't rpesume to speak
      • if someone asks tricky question that you don't feel comfortable answering, can answer "no comment"
      • when speaking to media, keep in mind that everything you say reflects on all of us, even if you don't use the word "we"

Outreach Working Group

  • Andy
    • meet daily under Sephora sign at 4pm and after GA
    • if you're interested, go to the meetings, post on the forums
  • Ariana
    • new to Outreach and to speaking
    • will be compiling stories about us
    • please tell her your story and while you're here
  • Circus
    • on Friday, Outreach will be doing t-shirt day
    • please bring any t-shirts, old or new
    • if you have any messages for Occupy Olympia, send to OccupySeattleORD@gmail.com by tomorrow
      • Robert from Outreach will visit, take messages

Information Working Group

  • ?
    • make fabric armbands, duct tape is tiresome, wasteful
    • has notebooks for each WG; use them to pass information between each other
    • when you know when your meetings will be, come write them on the whiteboard

Legal Working Group

  • Corey
    • Legal will help people who are arrested for civil disobediance
    • Will not help if you are arrested for something that doesn't fall into that category, including
      • crime of violence
      • crime of narcotic use
      • crime of alcohol use in public place
    • have been problems with narcotic and alcool recently
    • use of mind altering substances create safety problem for us
    • is personally offended when someone overdoses, seeks help from medic, then says he or she is suffering from hypothermia
    • if you tell someone you are suffering from hypothermia but are overdosing, you put yourself at risk

Peace and Safety Working Group

  • Maria
    • what: day of solidarity
    • when: this saturday
    • 12:00 p.m. rally
      • will be joined by El Comite, NAACP, United Indians of all Tribes
    • 2:00 p.m. will join national action against police brutality
    • ask everyone to stand in solidarity

Demands Working Group

  • Emily
    • tomorrow, will set up table after GA to take everyone's local demands
    • we don't want to make our own demands; we want to make our demands
    • please make your voices heard
    • meet daily at 4:00 p.m. next to See's Candy; look for the sign

Internet Communications Working Group

  • Danica
    • really want a 24/7 presence so we can update information as it happens
    • if interested, contact at OccupySeattleICT@gmail.com

Teatrical Occupy Seattle

  • Adam
    • newly-formed group
    • encourage people of all races, genders, etc.
    • need entertainment before people burn out
    • to join, meet by the stage after GA

Sustainability Brigade Working Group

  • ?
    • yesterday we asked for help with a washing station so people can bring their own silverwear, cups, bottles
    • someone dropped off a bunch of tubs
    • need help organizing so everyone can participate in sustainable practices
      • if you'd like to help, join later on east side of park
    • please bring your own utensils, water bottles, etc.
    • we'll sort garbage and recyclables at 9pm
  • ?
    • Sierra Club of Northwest endorses this movement
    • water jugs were donated for refill station
      • have daily pickup
      • information on the bottle. If empty, phone number on bottle
    • need silverwear donations
    • reuse your cups, utensils, even if they're disposable

Logistics Working Group

  • Doc
    • Did anyone listen to Doc's announcements last night?
    • Checked with the Mayor's Office for sixth time today.
      • Has appointment with Seattle Civil Rights Commission Director Julie Nelson
        • Tomorrow morning 7:30am
    • really needs help
    • There are flash mobs pending.

Hip Hop Occupies Working Group

  • Anthony
    • working to bring a voice and entertainment to Occupy Seattle
    • for more information, see him and fellow members 9pm near hot dog stand at north end of Park

Action Announcements

  • facilitator: This will be chance to as for help with things you're working onj
  • Andrew, Sanitation
    • had three people, one is injured, one is out of town he hasn't slept for a long time
    • please join him
  • Russ, committee that helps form the agenda
    • has heard many times that people wonder how we come up with this agenda
    • process is: fill out piece of paper with idea, put name beside it, they look at it
    • he's the only person on that committee; if you don't like it, make group larger
    • meet every day at 4pm in front of Romax
    • If he can't make it, he'll leave a message with Information.
      • If need help, can get it from those who facilitate and guide the meeting.

Proposals

  • presenter: ?
    • proposal: Move our base camp to Seattle Central this Saturday when we have people here from the actions.
    • restated: This Saturday, after the two demonstrations, we march to Seattle Central Community College to set up new base camp, and maintain a daytime presence at Westlake through GA, work groups, actions, direct action, etc.
    • rationale:
      • This occupation has been beautiful, has been going on for over two weeks. People staying overnight are courageous, dealing with cold, cops, oppression. During the week, night time occupation is almost nonexistent. Has nothing to do with the will and result of those staying overnight or the power and prestige of this movement. When we've called for massive numbers of people when we ask.
      • There are hundreds or thousands of supporters there.
      • Members of the occupation are in student government there.
      • There's an Occupy student club there.
      • We can go build our numbers while maintaining presence at Westlake, then later maybe reoccupy Westlake.
      • There, we can avoid having our infrastructure destroyed nightly or weekly.
        • Allow us to more effectively demonstrate, perform outreach.
      • When we approach winter, we cannot continue an outdoor occupation.
      • There are buildings nearby that might be available for occupation.
    • (three minutes of discussion with people nearby)
    • discussion
      • ?
        • Should not move. This area was selected for its symbolism.
        • If you don't want to stay, recommit yourself.
        • Shit may hit the fan there or here, but it's better for it to happen here.
      • ?
        • responding to previous comment: it should be personal choice
          • Whatever GA decides, he'll do. Occupation is about more than what he thinks.
        • Has anyone spoken with SCCC about what is allowed?
          • He's from SCCC, organized walkout there, has been here from day one.
          • Administration has stated publicly that they will not welcome us.
          • Club is meeting tonight to devise method to change that.
            • possibilities being considered thus far:
              • Petition teachers, workers, students
              • Encourage student coordinating committee to hold actions of solidarity next week at campuses all over the city.
      • ?
        • Considering that we'll be lasting a while, need to avoid fear of freezing and remain a community.
      • ?
        • Is in complete agreement that we should have daytime occupation.
        • At last general assembly, someone suggested symbolic march between daytime and nighttime locations.
        • We are the 99%, and many of us have trouble spending the night here (cop harassment, bad location). Shouldn't alienate that group by preventing them from staying over.
      • ?
        • This park was paid for by taxpayer money so that Nordstrom can have a building to promote capitalism. That's a major theme across the country.
        • To move to SCCC, where Boeing, Amazon, Nordstrom have not presence
        • This park needs to be home.
      • ?
        • Fully supports proposal because the constant tension about whether we're staying here, what the cops are doing, how we're not getting any sleep, is distracting us from what we're here for.
        • Is here to get to know everyone, to educate herself about how this system screwed us up and is destroying our earth.
        • Wants to do direct action, demonstrate, have constant daytime presence here.
        • We need to sleep and be safe.
        • Let's build village there where it won't get torn down every night.
      • ?
        • Hasn't stayed the night, so won't tell people they should be willing to stay in cold.
        • Should consider fact or possibility that move to SCCC will be seen as and probably portrayed as a surrender.
          • proposer: That's why we should do it this Saturday when it's decidedly clear that we've defeated attacks by police and mayor.
            • On those weekends we are unmanageable because of our numbers. We can set up more tents or move then because we have the power then.
      • ?
        • Have no illusions that the SCCC admin will not try to boot us out.
          • I'm a student there. If they boot me out, I'll demand a refund.
        • We're under attack all the time here.
        • There, we'll have chance to politicize student body.
        • When stronger, should come back here for reasons previous speaker cited.
      • ?
        • Has noticed pattern that those who dislike the idea of street are unfamiliar though he sleeps here every night.
        • Has a few problems with SCCC.
          • It's on grass.
            • proposer: only partially
          • Sprinklers likely not to be turned of for us.
            • proposer: there are none, palates could resolve this.
          • Rain will cause drainage and mud problems.
      • ?
        • Will we be interrupting the important learning process happening at SCCC?
            *
      • ?
        • We are at war, fighting government and capitalism.
        • Must use war tactics against this corporate structure.
        • In war times, a direct occupation would occur, then the force would go to a safe place to coordinate multiple attacks.
          • It is wise to find this base camp, whether it's SCCC, Gasworks Park, Freeway Park
      • ?
        • Doesn't seem like there is any guarantee of safety anywhere.
          • So pick a spot and stand firm.
          • Think about space; SCCC doesn't have much available.
            • proposer: Cal Anderson Park is across the street for overflow, and campus crosses street
      • ?
        • This is not Occupy Westlake, it's Occupy Seattle
        • Applauds those who stay here. YOu are the soldiers.
        • Those of us who go home and work online are the engineers.
        • Zucotti Park in New York is open 24 hours/day.
        • It is illegal to be here after 10pm. That can be enforced.
        • Supports multiple locations so if attacked, will have somewhere to move.
      • ?
        • Concern with proposal is that there's strong support at SCCC.
        • There are lots of people near Westlake who do not support the movement.
        • Gives people who do not already support a chance to see us.
      • ?
        • Westlake Park is very well served by public transit than SCCC is.
        • On first day, group of us where here protesting Canadian Tar Sands.
        • Canadian Consulate is near.
        • Would like to stay here.
        • Would like all urban centers to provide places for people who do not pay $200 for a room
        • On first day, group of us where here protesting Canadian Tar Sands.
        • Canadian Consulate is near.
        • Would like to stay here.
        • Would like all urban centers to provide places for people who do not pay $200 for a room
      • ?
        • Agrees about Nordstroms. Wrote the flyer.
        • If we have secure base at SCCC, will have base for targeting Nordstroms, Bank of America, Chase, etc.
        • Could try to get the 49 line into a ride-free line to protest fee increases that came as a result of policies of the 1%
      • ?
        • SCCC and Cal Anderson Park are two blocks from the East Precinct, so not very secure.
      • facilitator: have many people on stack, have many proposals, saw at least 20 people indicating desire to vote
    • vote
      • time: 19:40
      • clear majority support
      • blocks:
        • facilitator: four blockers will take five minutes to discuss, then will present
        • blockers' statements:
          • No work groups were aware of this plan that would dismantle organized abilities to move this soon
          • Decision should be left open, but a binding GA vote at this time is impromptu
          • We should hold our ground.
          • On the board yesterday was written: No major votes would happen on a weekday.
          • Use your imagination and imagine what a motivated and well-funded opponent could do.
          • We can make plans. You can form your own group to move to a better location. Don't need
          • This is revolution.
          • Respects campers and people who've been here all along.
          • Is angry, is ready to fight.
          • Thank you for listening to a white male. Knows they're over-represented.
        • discussion of block:
          • ?
            • Tent is at Parks Department.
            • When we march, we should take our tents and set them up.
            • If we move Saturday, we need to get our tents back.
          • facilitator:
            • try to discuss whether the vote violates the principles of the movement
          • Vote is premature. Other groups are working on alternative options.
          • point of process: This is not binding. Anyone can propose amendment tomorrow.
          • Have been conflicts. Each group thinks the other is better supplied. Doesn't think we should move this fast.
          • ? – symbology of the location is less important than easy access to it. Nobody lives downtown by the park.
          • ? – represents students that cannot be here, younger school-age students. Knows people have been holding it down in face of police. Moving forward so quickly does not honor students and young people.
          • ? – uses Occupy Wall Street quite often because they are successul. Have taken bridge, mayors door, chas bank, citibank. If we grow too much, Westlake is too small. Until then, core of movement should have a spot as a command center. Consider apartment where there's electricity, showers, bed. That doesn't involve moving.
        • vote
          • time: 19:58
          • no supermajority; block stands, proposal fails

Urgent message

  • Shouting person ran, ran into semi-covert officer, was chased by police, and violently arrested. Although we ran, we meant no violence or ill-will, but intend to witness the arrest.
  • Legal: That guy was chased down and tackled because he spit on a cop.

Proposals

  • presenter: ?
    • proposal: Refuse any police interaction. Occupy Seattle will be a cop-free zone to the best of our ability.
    • restated: Occupy Seattle will be a cop-free zone to the best of our abilities.
    • restated after block: Occupy Seattle will be a cop-free zone to the best of our abilities.
    • rationale: We are experienced people who have experienced violence on part of police. Police history is catching runaway slaves, breaking strikes, killing rebellious workers. Whether through overt force or cointelpro, they are our enemy. They defend interest of the 1%. Seattle police department has history of violence, including murder of John T. Williams and many beatings of people.
    • source: People of Color Caucus
    • discussion:
      • How do you propose to handle that, tactically?
        • Group will decide.
      • I support this as person of color, middle class background, has had varying experiences with police in various cities. Though police are, economically, in same class as 99%, that doesn't change the fact that they uphold desires of the 1%.
      • Twice, police were successful in disrupting our general assembly. We should consider creating a group of people to respond with video cameras, livestreaming, and clear minds.
      • Supports proposal, stands behind with her communities. Historically, people of color have been murdered for speaking out, people have been repressed. If we are to build a global movement, must support people who are suffering from police and military repression, not only in United States, but globally. Should truly unite as community and people.
      • Most people here think of themselves as working class. Agenda of the people of color's goal in this case benefits us all. People who killed John Williams break unions, etc. Let's build unity. No police.
      • Strongly supports what others have said. Whether or not this proposal passes, stop talking to the cops. They may seem like they're trying to be nice, make conversation, but they're gathering information. They might not use it against you, but will use it against your comrades.
      • The cops may seem like cool people individually, but just like salesmen, don't care bout their customers but profits, cops don't care about people, they care about their institution.
      • Supports. Remember the WTO. The police corroboration with DHS has an impact on immigrants. She's from Arizona. They've terrorized, split communities and families. They're doing checkpoints. It affects everyone.
      • There is a word for taking the actions of one or a few and ascribing their actions to the entire group: Stereotyping. It's discrimination.
    • vote
      • time: 20:21
      • majority support
        • block
          • explanation from blockers
            • Was overwhelmingly approved. We would like to see an inclusion of nonviolence and civil disobedience of enforcing the anti-cop proposal. If we don't have nonviolence as policy, could be confusion during the enforcement of the rule, leading to detrimental action.
            • Here at Westlake, are situations all around us involving people who are potentially dangerous. Was here last night, saw intoxicated person attempt to assault people repeatedly. Heard that someone brought an assault rifle.
          • discussion:
            • Historically, cops used to separate people of color from whites. Let's not use drugs as an excuse to silence people in our movement.
            • Agrees with everything said about what people do to people of color. Is concerned that when violence is done to someone it is hard to avoid feeling anger or violence, so when we talk about this, all this anger rises up, and in our language, we are villifying and being dualistic, and talking about enemies. It's hard to stay nonviolent when our heads go there.
            • Violence wasn't mentioned in this proposal. It was that we should not talk to the cops, not include them. Part of not talking is not yelling, not provoking. Need to ensure we don't include them in this movement by becoming violent to them. This would open the door for them to enter. Need to ensure that those two arrests, after people may have assaulted police — which interrupted GA
            • supports proposal: When arrested at RNC in Philadelphia, spoke to the officer who was arresting him. Charged with 8 misdemeanors while charges against all others were dropped. Their job is to help them. Don't need to actively obstruct them if it leads to violence. This is about not helping them.
            • Opposes block. When we speak out in support of each other, we speak out against injustices at the world.
            • Addresses block: Proposal says will be cop-free zone to best of our abilities. We should have another meeting to discuss what "best of our abilities" means. People can discuss self-defense and non-violence. We should discuss the structure and responsibility of the peace and safety committee, what it means to self-govern, not rely on police. We should have discussion of what self-defense against cops means.
          • vote:
            • time: 20:39
            • average cont favoring prop: 102, opposed: 10
            • have supermajority, so proposal passes
  • presenter: ?
    • proposal: We will not call the cops on one another.
    • restated after block: We will not call the cops on one another in this movement.
    • rationale:
    • source
    • discussion:
      • TODO: review recording; wasn't able to take minutes because was reviewing past minutes for group (did we vote not to call police?)
    • vote
      • time: 21:01
      • blocks
        • blocker: Rush Shelley: Has worked in movements of peace and social justice for 25 years. This is only the second time he's blocked a consensus motion. Talking with people outside GA meeting, they walked away from an earlier decision before it was to be made. What they said is what the greater society thinks: If we don't allow police involvement, we shot ourselves in the foot. It will divide the movement and it's not enforceable. Cannot spy on each other to determine who is speaking with police. To exclude any group is against the movement. It would be non-peaceful to do so.
        • discussion:
          • This would encourage us to deal with problems ourselves.
          • Block speaks to previous proposal. This proposal is about not calling the cops. We can take care of dangerous people without their involvement.
          • Letting this block stand would cause previous proposals to unravel, including one that had block overridden.
          • Deeply committed to transformative justice and community-based solutions. We don't currently live in society that has tools, skills, etc., to deal with harm to each other internally. We can create processes to take care of each other when dealing with police, but we shouldn't set hard rule that penalizes people who feel they need to call police.
          • Proposal on Sunday was just fine. Should not remove ability to call for help if we think we're in imminent danger.
        • vote:
          • 57 for, 27 opposed, so block stands, proposal fails
    • point of process: This doesn't change previous decision that you can't call cops unless in imminent danger.

misc announcements

  • these were during block discussions
  • Zach Patton
    • missed most of GA because was at Labor Temple for Occupy Seattle Labor Caucus
    • tonight over a dozen showed up in support
    • several said they'll go back to locals to get rank and file to come support us
    • When they show up, tell them that you support them and that they don't have to be a "them" vs. "us"
  • ?
    • Need a separate event group. Outreach can't handle this.
  • ?
    • Hip Hop Occupies has experience getting up to 1000 people to events; can help
  • ?
    • Someone mentioned not recognizing faces.
      • I have a full-time job, a part-time job at homeless shelter, and daughter
      • If this represents working class, should acknowledge that some people can't make it.
      • Should be home with this family, but is here.
    • Response: didn't mean any offense to those who can't make it
  • ?
    • Came from occupy Philadelphia
      • have kitchen, snack room, educational tent
      • have workers from downtown donating
      • made her think Seattle needs tents
  • ?
    • If you disagree with people, use anti-twinkles, don't boo people.
  • ?
    • There will be a queer liberation and class struggle workshop tomorrow 4pm, by stage.
    • At 3am, woman was serving squash dishes she cooked. Police Lt. approached her and said he'd arrest her for health code violation.
      • when I tried to serve myself because he said the problem was her serving, he:
        • threw food on ground
        • through out rest of the squash
      • let's find out if a code was violated
  • police scanner apps on phones
    • when they talk about activities like this, talk on secret channel; this won't protect you
  • group is working on determining how to make UW more accessible to UW students
  • closed her Bank of America account, opened BECU, who provide referral bonuses
  • November 5 is bank transfer day: "remember, remember the fifth of November"

Announcements

  • making jewelry out of people's bank cards; has had three people change accounts after seeing her earrings
  • Saw the equivalent of special interests and lobbyists during votes. Suggests we close eyes during votes.
  • That would give the facilitators a lot of power. That's not good.
  • After GA adjourns, will talk about what, to the best of our ability, means, in reference to the cop-free proposal that was passed.
  • As the only person in the facilitator group who puts together the agenda, has one offer tonight to join, so now there are two of us. If you have an item for the agenda, find Russ by Romax.
    • Tomorrow, would normally meet at 4pm, but both people are unavailable. Suggests we meet at 5:30.
    • Clarification: Steering Committee is not part of Process and Facilitation
      • A week ago, suggested that agenda building should not be part of facilitation. So committee is set up to look at proposals and any information that needs to be on the agenda.
  • Shawn from Process and Facilitation
    • P&F meets at 4:30 by Romax sign and stays here late, so cannot be here to collect proposals at night. Russ has been taking on role of being here from noon until later to hold the agenda.
  • If Russ is going to be the steering committee, should be joined by more people, roles should be clarified
  • Today show will be filming live tomorrow in front of Pike Place Market from 7am – 10am
  • After GA, will plan for tomorrow. Have decided not to have everyone down there so we can gain trust of others. Not planning big launch.

Adjourned 21:28

12 Responses to General Assembly notes 10/19

  • Doc says:

    Greetings!

    Not sure if this is possible to note, but there are apparently multiple people going by “Doc” in this movement. One is me, and the other I’ve only seen in GA notes (haven’t met).

    I am having people contacting me asking about my proposals and comments at the GA, based on what they are seeing in the notes.

    Tough trying to explain to people I wasn’t there, it’s some other “Doc”.

    I know the notetakers have incredibly tough job, but maybe get an initial to put after the “Doc” speaks at GA, to avoid confusion?

    Thanks!

    – Doc P.

    • pmocek says:

      I’m reporting whatever names people used to identify themselves, sometimes adding a name if I know the person (and I’m a bit conflicted about doing that). Most of the time, people don’t introduce themselves at all.

    • occupationist says:

      Hey folks,

      This post is in response to the GA of 10/20, for which no minutes have yet been posted. I will try to repost this comment there once those minutes are up. This is about the heated discussion that happened around the proposed name change from “Occupy Seattle” to “Decolonize/Occupy Seattle.” I just wanted to post some articles and thoughts to you all based on how the discussion of a name change happened last night at the GA. First, I think we should be happy that the (anticolonial)statement , at least, passed (can anyone reading this who has access to the actual statement please post the statement here, or link to it? That should also be immediately made available and highly visible on this website, since it passed through GA last night and is very important for people wondering what Occupy Seattle is about…). Second, I wish that the name change would have passed, but it didn’t and I think that is reflective of a lack of community building, learning, and decolonization of our fellow “occupiers.” It could also be that folks are really attached to keeping the same “brand name” (which I think is shit, and it was certainly mostly white folks). Personally I think the name change would send a wonderfully powerful message from the Northwest to the rest of this movement that an explicitly anticolonial approach is absolutely necessary for this movement to really be about “the 99%.” After googling “Occupy Wall Street” and Colonialism, I found the following:
      Saturday, September 24, 2011
      An Open Letter to the Occupy Wall Street Activists
      Thank you for your courage. Thank you for making an attempt to improve the situation in what is now called the United States. Thank you for your commitment to peace and non-violence. Thank you for the sacrifices you are making. Thank you.

      There’s just one thing. I am not one of the 99 percent that you refer to. And, that saddens me. Please don’t misunderstand me. I would like to be one of the 99 percent… but you’ve chosen to exclude me. Perhaps it was unintentional, but, I’ve been excluded by you. In fact, there are millions of us indigenous people who have been excluded from the Occupy Wall Street protest. Please know that I suspect that it was an unintentional exclusion on your part. That is why I’m writing to you. I believe that you can make this right. (I hope you’re still smiling.)

      It seems that ever since we indigenous people have discovered Europeans and invited them to visit with us here on our land, we’ve had to endure countless ‘-isms’ and religions and programs and social engineering that would “fix” us. Protestantism, Socialism, Communism, American Democracy, Christianity, Boarding Schools, Residential Schools,… well, you get the idea. And, it seems that these so-called enlightened strategies were nearly always enacted and implemented and pushed upon us without our consent. And, I’ll assume that you’re aware of how it turned out for us. Yes. Terribly.

      Which brings me back to your mostly-inspiring Occupy Wall Street activities. On September 22nd, with great excitement, I eagerly read your “one demand” statement. Hoping and believing that you enlightened folks fighting for justice and equality and an end to imperialism, etc., etc., would make mention of the fact that the very land upon which you are protesting does not belong to you – that you are guests upon that stolen indigenous land. I had hoped mention would be made of the indigenous nation whose land that is. I had hoped that you would address the centuries-long history that we indigenous peoples of this continent have endured being subject to the countless ‘-isms’ of do-gooders claiming to be building a “more just society,” a “better world,” a “land of freedom” on top of our indigenous societies, on our indigenous lands, while destroying and/or ignoring our ways of life. I had hoped that you would acknowledge that, since you are settlers on indigenous land, you need and want our indigenous consent to your building anything on our land – never mind an entire society. See where I’m going with this? I hope you’re still smiling. We’re still friends, so don’t sweat it. I believe your hearts are in the right place. I know that this whole genocide and colonization thing causes all of us lots of confusion sometimes. It just seems to me that you’re unknowingly doing the same thing to us that all the colonizers before you have done: you want to do stuff on our land without asking our permission.

      But, fear not my friends. We indigenous people have a sense of humor. So, I thought I might make a few friendly suggestions which may help to “fix” the pro-colonialism position in which you now (hopefully, unintentionally) find yourselves. (Please note my use of the word “fix” in the previous sentence. That’s an attempt at a joke. You can refer to the third paragraph if you’d like an explanation.)

      By the way, I’m just one indigenous person. I represent no one except myself. I’m acting alone in writing this letter. Perhaps none of my own Nishnaabe people will support me in having written this. Perhaps some will. I respect their opinions either way. I love my Nishnaabe people always. I am simply trying to do something good – same as all of you at the Occupy Wall Street protest in what is now called New York.

      So, here goes. (You’re still smiling, right?)

      1) Acknowledge that the United States of America is a colonial country, a country of settlers, built upon the land of indigenous nations; and/or…

      2) Demand immediate freedom for indigenous political prisoner Leonard Peltier; and/or…

      3) Demand that the colonial government of the United States of America honor all treaties signed with all indigenous nations whose lands are now collectively referred to as the “United States of America”; and/or…

      4) Make some kind of mention that you are indeed aware that you are settlers and that you are not intending to repeat the mistakes of all of the settler do-gooders that have come before you. In other words, that you are willing to obtain the consent of indigenous people before you do anything on indigenous land.

      I hope you find this list useful. I eagerly await your response, my friends.

      Miigwech! ( ~”Thank you!” )

      JohnPaul Montano
      http://twitter.com/jpmontano

      (http://mzzainal-straten.blogspot.com/2011/09/open-letter-to-occupy-wall-street.html)

      Personally, I think following the points mentioned here would be a wonderful start to decolonizing the Occupy movement//the world. I think the best way to really get the word out about this would be to actually change our name, and then refer to the anticolonial statement that was passed last night and this letter as the reasons for doing so. Using the name change in this way, with reference to these pieces, would be very effective in making certain that all other occupies paying attention to Occupy Seattle would not be able to ignore this most fundamental piece to our global movement. Whether enough folks get behind the name change or not, I am pretty certain that a “Decolonize/Occupy Seattle” movement will (//has already) begin on its own, with that name. Now it is only a matter of finding out whether people who were opposed to the name change last night will get behind that or if they will continue to be attached to a “name brand” that does not do anything to address and only reinforces colonialism.

      I will post some more links below. Please print and disseminate the above letter widely. Share it. Talk about it. Decolonize the Occupation.

      Also see:

      Occupy Wall Street: The Game of Colonialism and Further Nationalism to be Decolonized From the “Left” : http://www.peopleofcolororganize.com/analysis/occupy-wall-street-game-colonialism-further-nationalism-be-decolonized-left/

      “Recommended Reading: On colonialism and ‘Occupy Wall Street”: http://www.shamelessmag.com/blog/2011/10/recommended-reading-on-colonialism-and-occupy-wal/

  • penaetis says:

    Hello everyone,

    I unfortunately have been having respiratory problems and so have been only able to sleep one night and thank all of you that have been sleeping at both Westlake and City Hall. SCCC has stated that they will not support the movement. That tells me that we would still have the same problems that we have with the SPD. Those are problems we will have at any public parks as well.

    There was an article in the Stranger at the outset of the occupation that pointed out Zuccotti Park is a privately owned public space. I know from the mid 90′s that, it used to be, police need to be called by the owners of a space if no violence is occuring when it is private space. If we were to move the occupation to the WaMu plaza it would be symbolic of us occupying a space owned by Chase that they may not even notice because they really liquidated WaMu. There is also the 5th and Columbia Bank of America Plaza. We can set up our camps and then protest at Westlake for visibility but have a permanent place. With WaMu you also are close to the people fortunate enough to be able to afford living at Harbor Steps. If we are going to be harrassed anywhere we go except City Hall then may as well make a strong statement. A friend of mine used to say “If you are going to make and entrance….Make and ENTRANCE!” I think similarly about the occupation.

    We also need to consider that it is about to get Really wet and cold which will result in greater risk of hypothermia. We will need a building like maybe 619 Western or at the very least the ability to set up shelter and stay warm and dry. I would hate to see anyone become a martyr for the cause.

  • Laura H. says:

    PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE post announcements of official events (like marches mentioned in these minutes) on the OS home page so we can know when to get out to march!

  • t1cooper says:

    Agreed with Laura H. Marches are very important and get the largest numbers interested. Making this information as available as possible as soon as possible is absolutely necessary for bringing in more support. Be very clear about the date and time that we will march.

  • MCFADDEN_LIVES says:

    And I don’t like posting ‘rumor’ but this whole idea kind of rubs me the wrong way.

    http://occupywallst.org/forum/next-step-for-ows-occupy-america-oa/

    Opinions?

    • petenotmeat says:

      It’s a user-submitted proposal. As far as I can tell, it’s not one reflective of what OWS is doing. I say it’s just rumors. The idea of a National Registry I suspect wouldn’t fly with most folks, so I can’t see it passing.

  • pictishmedic says:

    Each day if ALL of us contacted our respective Representatives and Senators their staff would get overwhelmed pretty quick. To find your congress person its: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/ and it will bring up a link to their website to contact them. For Maria Cantwell the number is 202-224-3441 and Patty Murray its 202-224-2621. Call every day and remind them why you are hear and how you want them to make changes!

  • MCFADDEN_LIVES says:

    Why are articles and things as such continually popping up over in OWS?

    http://www.thedaily.com/page/2011/10/20/102011-news-amalgamated-1-1/

    I can see why outsiders aren’t down with the movement. Either bad press or bad decision making.