General Assembly notes 11/05

Occupy Seattle General Assembly

  • Date/time: 2011-11-05 19:00
  • Location: Seattle Central Community College
  • Minutes taken by: Phil Mocek
  • Audio archive:

Facilitation Team

  • Facilitator: Carol
  • Agenda:
  • Process mover:
  • Taking stack:
  • Time keeper:

Working group announcements

Faith and Spirit Working Group

  • Sakina
    • house of peace established at camp
      • will have chaplains ever day
      • 9am yoga happens here
      • 6pm sit
      • sufi dancing and singing after GAs

Food Working Group

  • Ginger
    • have orientation trainings for new volunteers every Saturday 10am
    • always need dishes washed
      • anyone can volunteer any time to wash dishes
    • phasing out use of disposable dishes
      • due to cost on environment, cost on donation resources, garbage
      • one week from now, if you want free food, must have your own bowl, so please claim one and get in habit of keeping track of it
      • response: not everyone can bring a bowl
        • Elvina – has ability to stock up on needed cutlery
        • Ginger – kitchen is capable of providing dishes for campers' use
          • will greatly increase need for people to wash dishes

Tactical Working Group

  • Zach (also from November 5 Bank Transfer Day WG)
    • today was great success
      • believes 30-40 people closed Chase and Bank of America accounts
      • about 10 people signed up with local credit unions during march today
      • swing by BECU at 2nd and Pine or Seattle Metropolitan at 3rd and Columbia (who had sandwiches, coffee, t-shirts for us)
      • had great sit-in and speak-out at 4th and Pine despite police trying to make us leave
    • yesterday and today, Tactical discussed having cleanup and reorganization of structure of camp structure
      • keep camp clean, safe, accessible, easier to move through
      • tomorrow 10am
      • encourages everyone to help us clean up our camp

Legal Working Group

  • Corey
    • realizes we have many questions for them
    • to answer, considering arranging Legal Q&A about dealing with police encounters, things to report to Legal regarding misconduct

Outreach Working Group

  • Lorrie
    • trying to get more outreach events happening around city
    • need to set a good example here
      • need peace and cooperation
      • cut down on violence, drugs, alcohol, loitering
    • if you're here, encouraged to get involved
    • want everyone to understand that we're not just here to occupy, but to get things done
    • if we all chip in, we'll get things done

Announcements of Future Proposals

  • Harvey
    • proposal: amend police no-contact policy under certain circumstances:
      • incidents that will directly threaten or endanger safety and/or health of those at camp
      • public use or consumption of drugs and alcohol is not permitted
      • we should abide by noise ordinance, particularly when people are trying to sleep at night
        • it is affirmed under good neighbor policy
      • zero tolerance for theft, physical altercations that may or may not result in harm or bodily injuries
        • extenuating circumstances will be considered
      • not saying we need police; can police ourselves, but should reserve right to exercise our right to call police under some circumstances
      • will be in our best interest to ensure our safety and longevity of this movement
    • final draft available tomorrow
    • many people he's in contact with show support for this
  • Duff
    • change policy regarding to something like, Legal WG will defend all occupiers engaged in a Seattle Occupation event when charged with any crime and provide that person with contacts for pro-bono representation, bail that person out and otherwise defend this person unless full GA decides to make exemption from this blanket defense policy
      • in other words, we should assume that all occupiers are worthy of defense
      • must not allow situation like Henry's to develop again
    • amend general assembly directive that they will only defend, represent, and bail out of jail those occupiers accused of non-violent crimes
      • emergency GA Thurs night caused many people to think that division between violent and non-violent crimes is inadequate to reflect realities on the ground when interacting with police
      • reflects widespread understanding that Seattle PD routinely falsifies reports so minor charge becomes major charge, seems on paper to be violent but actual incident involved nothing violent
  • Mohawk
    • intends to propose: three-strikes policy on drug and alcohol use. First strike, kicked out for the day. Second, 38-72 hours. Third: permanently. But if you're alcoholic or drug-addicted, can find help with better managing oneself.
      • intends just to set some ground rules
    • intends to propose: similar to drug/alcohol policy; if you have problem, should find resources to help like counseling
    • regarding smoking in tents: there is straw everywhere. Let's avoid Great Fire of Occupy Seattle. Tents will burn fast from one cigarette spark.


  • Ginger
    • Was on peace and safety crew last night that dealt with the woman
      • regarding Henry getting poked with needle
        • entered tent and began dialogue with people inside
        • as continued, were working on getting them to leave camp
        • during process, Henry picked up needle with gloved hand
        • went to find bottle for makeshift sharps container, bottle she brought was not adequate
        • she feels responsible, never dealt with this before
        • in process, Henry accidentally poked himself in the chest
      • tried to get people to leave for a few hours, eventually broke down into psychotic break
      • commotion and noise resulted in belief that best thing was to eject people from camp
      • police soon showed up; unknown if called or just showed up
      • police and fire truck showed, examined people who were visibly high on heroine, then left
      • people were left on street corner to fend for themselves
      • peace and safety crew felt that camp mandate required that IV drug users needed to be removed for safety
    • request more discussion and more specific parameters for future situations
  • Josh
    • Have been occupying foreclosure auctions every Friday
    • two Fridays ago, shut it down
    • since, went to King County Council and demanded that the put a foreclosure moratorium and force banks to do the right thing
      • got two commitments so far
    • need more people this Friday
      • will occupy the auction, then visit Attorney General's office
    • 9:30am Friday, 600 1st Ave
    • nobody should have their dreams auctioned off in this state
  • Ed
    • this is Occupy Wall Street not Occupy Palestine
    • APAC, Israel PAC is having fundraiser in Seattle tomorrow night
    • let's tell them nobody should be buying Congress, particularly those who spend it to make Congress spend our
    • 4:30pm Westin Hotel between 5th and 6th, Virginia and Stewart, about an hour
      • plenty of time to get back for GA
  • Forest
    • just got out of jail after being locked up since Oct 16
    • saddened by disharmony in community
    • on Monday, has surprise for GA. Please attend.
  • Sharla
    • thanks everyone for handling of situation last night; contained it well
    • Camp Safety will meet tonight at 9:30 at Safety Tent to begin discussing everything; please join
  • Mohawk
    • willing to do laundry
      • has washer and dryer at home
      • can't do blankets, but shirts, socks, etc. okay
      • leaving at 3pm Sunday, returning Monday 9am
  • ?
    • Learning Tent opens Sunday 10am
    • nice selection of books
    • around 1pm will be teach-in on socialism and revolution
  • Chris Mobley
    • just read article today on Capitol Hill Seattle blog about child care program here at SCCC slated to closd Dec 15 due to budget cuts
    • let's oppose this
    • working families who attend SCCC are organizing to oppose and find alternatives
    • we could easily find common cause with their struggle


  • time: 19:44
  • Prior to GA, were having group discussion about:
    • what makes our would make us feel safe in this situation of occupation
    • what we want to do in order to become safer
  • Mohawk
    • observed situation with IV drug users last night
    • people did better job of dealing with it than he's seen before
    • dumping them street-side was not good; need to look out for each other
  • Scott
    • grew up in Puget Sound, attended Fauntleroy Elementary
    • works for Sound Transit, only non-union agency in the state
    • about to lose house to presumptive foreclosure
      • because he's arguing with Bank of America
      • told them he'll stop paying if they don't return stolen payments
        • have paperwork to prove, looks bad for bank
      • Bank of America tried to break into his house
      • called police
      • Kirkland Police did not arrest anyone
      • installed cameras and recording equipment
      • was then sued by Webster Bank
      • asks us to go to King County Records, Superior Court Webster Bank NA vs. Scott McAllen
      • Webster Bank is suing on behalf of Bank of America
        • suit extended by Judge Bruce W. Hillyar
      • has never been arrested, but may now be because BWH may be most powerful man in Washington State
        • try to find his picture; probably cannot
        • as presiding judge last year appointed himself to Scott's case
    • response: suggest contacting The Consumerist, national website that many people read about people being screwed by big corporations when story goes from local to national

Adjourned 19:54

4 Responses to General Assembly notes 11/05

  • huddie98 says:

    Re: Scott’s GA discussion comments on photo of King County Judge Bruce Hillyar I am posting link to an ok photo below.

  • msmikestew35 says:

    From these GA meeting notes, it seems clear that the organizers are intent on presenting and magnifying greatly the community problems in the camps without providing a way to address them in a politically independent fashion.

    This is an excellent way to keep away from the discussion that must happen in order to wage a principled fight against the financial aristocracy that has become a parasitical excrescence on the public.

    The organizers are showing their political dependence in every way possible. They seek favors from the Democratic party – their desire to talk with city officials, trade union fat cats is already widely known. Now, a determined attempt is being made to also be dependent on the police.

    This goes beyond treason. The organizers show their complete lack of trust in the people camping daily on the site, and the people outside who raised the cry of the 99% with many hand made banners and slogans.

    Instead they trust the city officials, trade union bureaucrats and the police department.

    Their latest attempt of moving money from big banks to credit unions is another sign of their dependent philosophy. They believe that big banks can be “pressured” to stop the theft of people’s livelihoods by a token number of small accounts moving away. Thus, they in fact place their trust in the banks.

    As each day passes, the complete lack of a coherent and politically independent plan of the organizers puts the movement in serious danger. In stark contrast to the organizers, the city, the two big business parties, the bankers and the whole capitalist class are extremely well planned as they embody a highly developed class consciousness. In opposition to this, the OWS movement must create our own plan. But as these events have shown us, the organizers will do whatever they can to prevent such a plan from being presented. But ultimately they will fail.

    The people camping, those working with other commitments, will learn from the harsh lessons the ruling class has in store for us. The OWS organizers – the so called leaderless group – will find themselves isolated, rejected and in the garbage bin of history – never to raise their pitiful heads again to betray us.

    Exactly when this will happen is hard to guess. But the pace at which events unfold is increasing.

    • Bradford B. Morrison says:

      Hey, msmikestew35, your rhetoric is so extreme as to be laughable, in my opinion. Mike,it sounds like your opinion is that even in extreme circumstances (for instance, an occupier at SCCC ,is in immediate danger of severe bodily harm,) that it is “beyond treason” for that person, or another occupier, to get help by calling the police. Possibly I am misinterpreting your above statement, msmikestew35, but, if not, I THINK YOUR OPINION is EXTREMIST B.S.!!
      I do not believe that the encampment at SCCC, which is very exposed (and also logistically dangerous because of the many steps and ledges within the camp) has enough internal security, at least currently, to make it a wise policy to “never call the Seattle Police Dept. under any circumstances”. In my view, occupiers should be encouraged to be reluctant to call police, but should certainly not be judged “treasonous”, (or “beyond treason”…lol)if, in their judgement, they feel that they really needed the police’s help. Everyone is responsible for their own personal survival, that is job 1 of all adult human beings. If someone is physically in trouble, are YOU going to save them, msmikestew35??
      Good luck with that.
      Thanks for listening
      Peace and Love
      Loudmouth Karaoke Brad

  • msmikestew35 says:

    Bradford – There are two issues I bring up. First is the attempt of the organizers to keep bringing up the “calling police yes/no” discussion. Second is the need to be politically independent if we are serious about addressing the issues facing the 99%.

    The first issue – When this keeps getting rehashed, the GA cannot proceed to other more important tasks which would include addressing the grievances of the 99%.

    The second issue – By stating publicly, over and over, that there are issues at the camp that we are not able to resolve using our own security committee, we are admitting to a level of political dependence that is extremely dangerous.

    As you well know, the police is looking for an excuse to come in and be violent to the OWS members. Already, we have seen this in Oakland in a more extreme fashion.

    Part of the reason why these issues keep coming up is the insistence on “leaderless” nature of the movement. There is an atmosphere of distrust in the various committees formed. That is why the peace and safety commission is not provided the authority to take care of the camp.

    But, these issues are of a minor nature and in fact simply unavoidable. They need to be mitigated and it is possible to do so. But political dependence will prove to be quite dangerous, and of an entirely different magnitude.