General Assembly notes 10/27

Occupy Seattle General Assembly

  • Date/time: 2011-10-27 19:45
  • Location: Westlake Park
  • Minutes taken by: Phil Mocek
  • Audio archive:

Facilitation Team

  • Process mover: Jack
  • Taking stack: Lady Gaga, Carol
  • Agenda: Patricia
  • Time keeper: Joshua
  • Orientation: Ramone


  • ? – Has been here seven nights. Wants us to remember that the homeless are here, live in this park, are part of this park. Please respect the trees, the fountain, the ground, the homeless.
  • ? – Was here first 16 days and 16 nights. We have problems and worries. Keep morale up by playing soccer, playing chess, dancing.
  • ? – It's getting cold at night. There are a few hard-core campers who could use warmer sleeping bags and waterproof gear.
  • ? – Is a Metro bus driver and a labor activist. The postal workers are under attack. Obama's jobs bill will eliminate 120,000 postal jobs. Check with her group, Organized Workers for Labor Solidarity, for more information.

Working group announcements

  • time: 19:58

Outreach Working Group

  • Bill and Andy
    • Spent the day on Capitol Hill visiting local businesses, gauging support, listening to concerns
      • Got almost 20 signatures in support of Occupy Seattle
      • Spoke with head of Capitol Hill Chamber of Commerce
      • Concerns of businesses:
        • Sunday Broadway Farmers Market
          • They set up at 7:00 a.m.
          • These are our friends. If they ask you to move something, please do it.
          • Let's have some people there to help setup and unload trucks.
        • Also Sunday, will be kids activity near our occupation. Please be respectful.
        • Art installation — little monsters — right near our camp. Please be very, very, careful with them. Artists are trusting us to protect them.
      • Halloween weekend, may be antagonistic drunk people on Capitol Hill. Please try to stay out of it.
      • Be conscious of noise.
    • CNN approached them at WG meeting today. Reporter will be here Saturday. Look for the giant camera.
  • Matt
    • Media are making big deal about potential conflict with Broadway Sunday Farmers Market
    • They'll be on paved area of plaza from 7am until 4pm and don't use grassy area
      • Suggests just putting tents on grass
    • Tea's biggest concern is parking for offload at 7am
      • they'll have no-parking signs
      • please tell people not to park in front of college
    • would be good gesture to help them unload trucks

Demands Working Group

  • Justin and Peter
    • will bring proposal tomorrow
      • Call on City of Seattle to remove funds from banks that received bailout and move them to state and local banks.
    • meeting Friday 4pm in front of See's Candy, or alternatively, 3rd floor of Westlake Mall

Morale Working Group

  • Akila
    • new project: Raffle for Righteousness
      • will reward people weekly
      • to nominate people, write name on paper, put it in the big pumpkin tomorrow before GA is over
      • must be present to win

Legal Working Group

  • Gabriel
    • Everything is good, generally.
    • Last night, Kawan Baxter was arrested for sitting in the park.
      • Act had him dragged to police and booked.
      • However, City Prosecutor chose not to press charges.
      • No guarantees for any of you if you are arrested.

Tactical Working Group

  • Zach
    • Saturday events
      • 3pm – Civil disobedience training
      • 5pm – March to Seattle Central Community College
    • have worked out ideas for events on the ground as various situations arise
    • meet daily, 3pm at Westlake food court, sometimes 9pm at Seattle's Best Coffee

Bank Transfer Day Temporary Working Group

  • Zach
    • will have proposal later tonight
    • if you're interested, email
    • Meet daily 3:30, first floor of Convention Center

Medical Working Group

  • Robin
    • smoking, using incense, or personal fragrance
      • your choice
      • limits the ability of other people to participate in general assembly
    • will be two teach-ins on psychological first-aid and activist self care
      • Saturday 10am
      • Sunday 3pm, location TBA
    • If seeking medical assistance, find them near food tent
    • Seek assistance with graphical, digital layout and offset printing of psych first aid & activist self care pocket guide

Hip Hop Occupies Working Group

  • Daniel
    • November 18, national day, "Rise and decolonize"
    • 3pm rally
    • 4pm walkout in honor of Declaration of Decolonization the GA approved
    • seek help with event promotion

Parents for Occupy Seattle Working Group

  • Bridgette
    • have Facebook page, Parents for Occupy Seattle
    • expresses support on behalf of parents and children involved with this movement
    • would like to involve themselves to full extent possible
    • would like stronger communications with other workgroups
    • if planning action or event they could support in some way, please contact
    • email
    • will be with us this weekend
    • will meet this week to discuss outreach

Media Working Group

  • Mark
    • November 2 (next Wednesday), CEO of Chase Bank will be at Sheraton Hotel
    • there is no group working on march or picket
    • would be a good time to confront people who control Wall Street
    • would like to present proposal in future to rename Westlake Park to John T. Williams Park

Theatrical Working Group

  • Shane
    • Occupy the Musical
      • on schedule
      • will have it ready by next Friday
    • asked to assimilate group into Arts and Entertainment
      • won't do so
      • wants to talk to someone in that group

Fundraising Working Group

  • Fred
    • looking for a good woman who's looking for love, or a good man who's looking for love
    • if you help him with fundraising, he'll provide the love
    • needs help Saturday doing three jobs

Sustainability Brigade Working Group

  • Tabitha
    • 5:30pm tomorrow: Big meeting in front of Romax to plan Saturday move
    • will have lots of straw for Saturday to avoid mud
    • please re-use cups, bowls, utensils, and bring your own
    • 9pm nightly, Sanitation and Sustainability sort garbage/recycling/compost

Announcements of future proposals

  • ? – Will propose that we host 24-hour petition signing station at Westlake.
    • facilitator: can probably do that yourself, but suggest talking to Process and Facilitation


  • proposal: Hold rally, march, and other fun activities on November 5, Bank Transfer Day. Need support and minimal funds for flyers, amplification, and other supplies. Also asking if you've had account with Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, bring statements and cards so they can be shredded.
    • restated: Provide full support of planning and actions for November 5 that Bank Transfer Day Temporary Working Group are working on
    • presenter: Andy, Jacob, and Zach of November 5 Bank Transfer Day Temporary Working Group
    • detail:
      • They're locating speakers to talk about finance and economic collapse, and about credit unions being part of the solution.
      • will march to various credit unions to sign up as members
        • drop off small groups of 10 or so to sign up while others continue on to other CUs
      • then march will become funeral procession for the big banks; will be music and other fun activities
      • need 30-40 people to volunteer to sign up
        • email
    • discussion
      • Will we let the CUs know ahead of time that we're doing this so they're not overwhelmed?
        • Yes. Have already spoken with people from BECU and others, who have offered to extend their hours and fully staff locations for us.
      • How will this affect big banks in the long run? Will bankrupt them? How will this affect the economy as a whole?
        • Don't know, but many CUs say they've had lots of signups.
        • Since Bank of America announced $5 fee, have lost 19,000 customers, and BECU have gained 13,000 members.
      • What day?
        • November 5. National day.
      • Fundraising committee will not be here on November 5. Please take care of excellent fundraising opportunities yourselves.
      • What is the procedure for burying a bunch of shredded plastic. Uneasy about creating a land fill.
        • Action is as follows: Shred all material, put in small coffins, walk them around the city behind New Orleans style funeral marching bands, drop at banks, nail them shut, put up signs with facts about the banks, and walk away.
      • There are people behind the tills (tellers). Worries about them. How to let them know this is not about them — not personal — but about other people.
        • All of our actions, facts, actions, are directed against the institutions. We're avoiding facts about things like job cuts for that reason.
        • First person spoken to at BECU at 2nd and Pine used to work at Chase. It was his first week there. He loved the idea.
      • Closed her account today, spoke to tellers, and they love this idea.
      • CEO of JP Morgan Chase is James Diamond. He made 20.8 million dollars last year. Very easy to draw a distinction between him and the people he takes advantage of.
      • Her credit union is Salal, used to be called Group Health Credit Union. Talking with them about having a presence on November 5. What time to ask them to be here?
        • Rally at 11. March around 12:30. Come whenever they'd like (early to set up table, etc.). Will need permit for table.
      • Hopes that we're not portraying credit unions as the end solution. Supports the day, has friend who was rejected for loan on his home mortgage. Need to raise demand for low interest for everyone.
        • That's important, but for now: Big banks are pretty fucked up, and credit unions are lots better.
    • vote
      • time: 20:46
      • proposal passes
  • proposal: Adopt Occupy Seattle Good Neighbor policy: [TODO: insert here]
    • presenter: Tabitha and Andrew
    • details
      • modeled on Occupy Wall Street's policy
        • tailored a bit to our needs
      • on Tuesday
    • discussion
      • Will smoke rule include incense? Some people are allergic to it.
        • Good point? What about ceremonial sage and tobacco, too?
      • Designated smoking areas yet?
        • Not at SCCC. Will do that soon after arrival.
      • Post sign for campers?
        • yes
      • Phil, drug policy activist
        • drug portion of this policy needs revision
        • alcohol is a drug
        • nicotine is a drug
        • caffeine is a drug
        • cannabis is legal for medicinal use in this state
        • peyote is used in religious ceremonies
        • need to say what a drug is if we're to prohibit them
      • ? – people have chemical dependencies; say be discrete, not don't do it
        • response: understands; this is symptom of disease society; tell people to go elsewhere
      • ? – drum regulation should close earlier than 9pm
      • ? – card-carrying medical marijuana patient who endorses this policy; we'll be under microscope; if drugs are involved, we won't have a voice
      • ? – suggests that we have collectively-defined smoke-free area
        • response: At Westlake, maybe designate outside of Bank of America and wherever cops hang out
      • ? – Have medical tent and surrounding area smoke free. People wondering around during day will break the discretion rules. If you see someone smoking a bowl, invite them into your tent.
      • ? – Many other occupations have similar policies and strictly enforce them. Not saying you can't do it, just don't do it in the occupation.
      • ? – Says we cannot enter building.
        • response: No, says only if accompanied by student/faculty/staff. At meeting with president today, expressed concern.
    • amendment proposed: prohibit burning incense
      • denied: could be religious reasons
    • amendment proposed: call it guidelines instead of policy, allowing for flexibility. Policy connotes hierarchy and authoritarianism. Guidelines allow for more personal, eye-to-eye interpretations.
      • accepted: "Occupy Seattle Good Neighbor Guidelines"
    • vote
      • time: 21:30
      • count: 34/32/36 yes, 17/17/15 no
      • blocks
        • This proposal violates the spirit if Occupy Seattle. Specifically, because Occupy Seattle is about reclaiming public space. SCCC is a public college. Is a student there and knows lots of people who have been shut out due to tuition hikes. Should say everyone has access to the community college.
        • To expand, it is our legal right to access that public space. They're targeting Occupy. The part about alcohol targets marginalized people who have been putting lots of effort into this movement. Discretion should be stressed. Zero-tolerance pushes totalitarianism and classism.
        • The Spirit of this goes to the heart. Needs to be more discussion of something of this magnitude.
        • discussion:
          • ? – Was at meeting with SCCC president. Regardless, also spoke with staff on the ground. Custodial workers were very concerned that they would be overburdened by thousands of people using the toilet. Part of this is to tell them that we will not overburden them. We'll be using the facilities regardless. We'll use the classrooms. Restrooms will be used. But need to stand with custodians and security guards, tell them that we'll take care of ourselves.
          • ? – One of the statements was about legality of entering buildings. Wonders if we've heard from legal. Also, regarding drugs and alcohol. Agrees about targeting. But this is a school. People are there to learn. Unsure if we can reconcile without being totally respectful of what blocker said.
          • ? – Time is of the essence, but we should iron out the details and bring this back tomorrow. Why not just say we support custodians and will not overburden the restrooms? Why try to pass such stringent regulations? It's dividing us.
          • blocker: Can't we just clean up after ourselves?
          • ? – As long as it's a public building and we enter as citizens, we have every legal right to be there.
          • ? – Liked this, but had to go away to deal with potential arrest of a man who was urinating in the Bank of America doorway (de-escalated and got the guy to walk away).
          • proposer: Spoke with legal, found that it's public, but privately-held. Non-students must leave if asked to do so.
          • ? – Tabitha from Sustainability has worked on this for weeks in conjunction with Tactical. Don't want to restrict people or their addictions, just want to sustain the movement.
        • vote
          • 21:56
          • 16 support block, 33 oppose, so block holds, proposal fails


  • Brian Fnord with Eshem Working Group
    • trying to get Occupy Sesame Street going
      • inside joke that grew into more
      • try to get studio tour for children
      • opens dialogue with Seattle Center
        • maybe director will let us set up something there later
    • if you see people arguing on our Facebook pages/groups, try to mediate
  • Arturo
    • 2:30 – 5:30pm tomorrow: Party in support of people renewing their pledges to civil service
  • Chris
    • Need to organize event for when Jamie Diamond, president of JP Morgan Chase, visits next Wednesday
      • meet him after GA in front of See's
  • ?
    • Doctors and nurses at Harborview all support us
    • Friend wants to bring his truck with free coffee
  • Peter
    • Oakland passed 96% with 1600 people for general strike next Wednesday
    • Tomorrow after our GA, will discuss possibility of Seattle general strike
  • Jacob, Process and Facilitation
    • That block vote was confusing
    • Process is an ongoing process
    • P&F wants feedback. Please provide it so we can make this work better.
  • Paul
    • organizes with Seattle Solidarity Network
    • tomorrow, will picket supporting tenant screwed by Low Income Housing Institute
    • 4:45pm tomorrow 9th & Pine
  • Sara
    • friends at Sound on the Sound will do benefit for Occupy Seattle and OS library
    • Friday, November 4, Columbia City Theater, 9pm, $10
      • tribute to Phil Oaks
      • powerful protest songs
      • book drive
  • Scott
    • reminds everyone that Saturday at noon will be Chase Bank sit-in and Robin Hood Tax global march
    • working with Jesse to coordinate
  • ? – Friday mornings at 9:30, bank foreclosure auction action, 4th and Jefferson
  • Phil – carving pumpkins Sunday 2pm, light them 6pm, bring kids, friends, family, knives, but not 3" carving knives

Adjourned 22:08

2 Responses to General Assembly notes 10/27

  • msmikestew35 says:

    The biggest worry in moving to SCC is that this gives an opportunity to the AFT to influence and misdirect the movement. AFT would be taking note of who the more determined people are and supplying this information to the police and other authorities.

    Be extremely careful. There is another article today by David Walsh that shows what the agenda of the AFL-CIO is. [AFT is part of AFL-CIO]

    It is a sharp indictment of the unions and all the pseudo-left parties that promote the unions as a progressive force for workers – this during a time when they are joining hands with the government and the corporations to take back gains working people won in bitter bloody struggle.

    Please read. What we all are facing is very serious. Our enemy (the capitalist class and its protector the government) is ruthless and will stop at nothing to prevent the social justice we demand. It is of life and death importance (as witnessed by Oakland protestors which is simply a small taste of what is yet to come) to pay attention to history and develop a fighting political perspective to fight this to the end.

    The Socialist Equality Party is the only political organization that has painstakingly developed such a perspective. They publish and reading it daily can give us much clarity and cut through the borgouies thought that tries in increasing desperation to pollute our clear thinking.

    Long live the revolution!

  • lcarlucci says:

    Check out Verity Credit Union. They are ready for and excited about Bank Transfer Day: