Upcoming Actions and Movement-Building Meeting
(Billed as #O13 and #N6 Action Planning Meeting)
Monday, 10/1/12, 6:30 pm
Transcript by: DiceyTroop
* Movement Building
* Upcoming actions
Tess — “she, they is fine. Excited for year 2!”
Jerry Ashton, “I do chronicling of Occupy by way of Huffington Post and a radio program I do called 15 minutes to fact. I also proliferate like a butterfly in different working groups like student debt, debt strike, and alt banking– that’s where I’m involved at the moment.”
Dana, “she/they is fine, w/ OWS PR.”
Maura, “with support and kitchen and whatever the hell.”
Ethan, “human, I like to cook.”
Drew, “he/they, and I make complicated web technology a little bit less complicated.”
Susan, “she, remnant of accounting.”
Yates, “he is fine.”
Megan, Occupy Rhetoric
Amin, any pronoun.
Chris, “he or they.”
Saint, “I’ll explain this for as second — I came here from California to interview individuals for a comic book based on a more individualistic point of view of the Occupy movement. So, I’m making a comic book based on you. Just wondering if at the end, if at all possible, I could interview a couple of you for this project, for more of an understanding of why you, as an individual, joined the movement.”
“Will you be making people superheroes?” Laugh. “No, it’s more of a breaking the fourth wall interview, talking to the public about your experiences and why you individually joined the movement, because it’s a mass movement of individuals of all particular reasons for why you are here, and the cause, and the hopes, and your voice and the opportunity to express yourself.”
Winter, “he or they is fine.”
Ian, “he or they.”
Conor, “I don’t have a preferred gender pronoun.”
Kali, “she is fine.”
Chris, “He, her, she, they, them, thine, their.”
Mark, “he, spirit animal is the Otter.”
Stan, “he, they, y’all are fine. So, the next item on the agenda is movement building, and, what is the Monday meeting? I would like to hear — well, I’ll first ask if we want to stay in a group and talk about this topic, or do we want to break out into smaller groups and maybe report back afterwards on how we feel these meetings– what they mean to people, and come back after 30 minutes, or do we want to stay in a group, and…”
Ethan suggests pop corning ideas before we break, Maura suggests she’d like to stay as one group.
Yates notes, “it’s really awesome, there’s a lot of new people here, maybe someone could describe what this meeting has been, first.”
Stan: “OK, so, we’ve been meeting for the last three months, for everyone who’s new, to plan the S17 1-year anniversary day of action. And we’ve been meeting primarily here, at Judson, and 33 west 14th. We had several breakouts — support, action planning, convergence, support. And that was a place where everyone could check in, talk about what they were doing, and… yeah, check in, and go out and meet, and in other venues — there was a Friday meeting as well. So this is a place where people go to meet each other. And there wasn’t really a… nothing was really decided here. But I think going forward, we should have a place where we can talk about different actions, the future of the movement, and… I just want to hear from everyone else — what do others think about what this meeting should be? Bceause that’s my idea of what this meeting should be. So –”
Dana: “And I guess we should be really, like, 30 seconds per person at the most? So, we do — a cople months back, I think April, was when we started doing the Wednesday evening roundtable report backs at Liberty — had momentum; it sort of petered out during the summer, as things do, but it was awesome to see each other. And the PR team, it was really helpful to see what people were doing, and find out what people were organizing. Press would call and ask about stuff and we’d have no idea. So, that was particular to our working group, but it was awesome to see each others’ faces and have cross-conversation and cross-pollination about what we were all doing, and that’s something that’s really missing.”
Nina: “And what was really nice was it got people outside of the normal roles — it had the potential to bring people outside of their normal roles and projects to different groupings. So, I think, because of both the intentions we’d created and the projects that developed out of that, we had different people working together, and that was really useful.”
Mark: “I think those of us who planned the PA for the 17th really failed in our outreach, baceuse that was what the PA was supposed to be. Because no one here was there last week — ” some were hahah — “it was supposed to take the place of the roundtable report backs and continue in Liberty Square on Wednesday and give projects a place to come together to share resources and not be a decision-making body. So we must have really failed because we ended it on S17 with that, and we said we would do it every Wednesday.”
Tess: “I guess a lot of what I would say was already said by Nina and Dana, but I feel like over the winter, and as Spokescouncils and GAs sort of fell apart, there was very little space for everybody to come together and coordinate, and we had this thing, this anniversary, that meant something to everybody, so there was an opportunity to get everyone in the same space and on the same page, so it became really robust because of that — a little unwieldy at times, but it ended up serving the purposes of what Spokes was intended to be, in some ways, back in the Fall. And I think it’s important for us to maintain that sort of space going forward, it felt good for a lot of people.”
Ethan: “I think in a year we’ve all sort of crystallized some organizational techniques in different ways and it’s come together nicely, but have often organized in reaction to rather than planning ahead, so I thin kthe two challenges we face right now is deciding which things we’re organizing, settinghte calendar, and then deciding specifically what we’re doing ere.”
Justin: “Yeah, I was really impressed with how we were able to build new structures for S17 and May Day on the organizational side, but I’m frustrated with seeing us let structures collapse and bringing them back together, so I’m into continuing the S17 apparatus and figuring out how to move the pieces that are in the community already to amplify the organizational aspects we want to see happen. I think that in order to do it correctly, we’re throwing out the baby with the bathwater often. And I just hope we’ll learn from May Day and S17 that the community needs something sustainable to keep us going between these times, and I’ve seen themes — what keeps us together, an open space — the popular assemblies are a grew space, but there’s somthgine to be said for the momentum and the community that’ sheen built here.”
Someone: “I just want to suggest that the meetings going forward could be a space for ongoing action planning.”
Maura: “I want to say, last year, it was really important working with Ethan and everybody up to May Day, and I think after may day we can all acknowledge there wa sa big vacuum that occurred, and S17 filled the vacuum and allowed us to come back together again. And my intention coming to these meetings was to make sure that after S17 we didn’t have the same vacuum again, and figure out — like Ethan said, we can kind of come together, and I think it’s important what Mark says — we want to reach out to the people still doing that action at Trinity, because it’s really important to support them.” Notes that Wednesdays are hard for folks who work, in particular her. “I hope we can take this meeting and make sure we’re not ostracizing other people in the movement, and I’m going to talk about it more during the next steps, but we worked really hard on this Occupalooza idea, and it’s this great convergence concert, and we’re still in conversation with the city and the parks department. We can do a thousand times better job than the global citizen concert, so you’ll hear me going on a lot about that now.”
Yates: “I think it’s nice to have a consistent space for both ongoing action planning at different timescales, and also a place for everyone to get together and talk about movement building with a lot of people you maybe don’t work on specific projects with. And being upfront that it’s a place to talk about where the movement is going, I think that’s powerful.”
Someone: “I think that having that Monday night meeting stretching back was important for me and everyone else, because purpose provides meaning, and the purpose we had at the time was to create S17. Which I applaud us for, — I can’t be critical of it, I think it turned out exactly the way it was supposed to. So having a weekly meeting where people can come in and others can refresh them; being able to do individual report backs about what’s happening is really really important, such as Strike Debt and Trinity, and then lastly, setting an agenda that will catch our attention, much as S17 did. So somebody probably has already figured out what we’re doing next, and I cant’ wait to hear so I can help.”
Someone: “So for me, as a newcomer to this movement that just got to new york 2 months ago, this was a convergence space — I was asked how I got to meet everyone so quickly, and it was precisely because of this meeting. It was key — and it was general enough so that you weren’t put into an action group or this group or that group; you could see the larger picture here, and then explore — the action group, the convergence group. for me that was instrumental.”
Drew: “I would love to see this space used as a place to develop standards of communication, so when we’re at the wednesday night PA or at any other events, we can be helping people, you know, providing the service of figuring out, “here’s how to format a calendar really well, and we’ll make it for you, and here are the tools to use,” and this being a nice cross-sampling of people in the movement, and using our extended network, I think we could really take OWS to the next level of de-centralized coordination.”
Ibrahim: “I think it should be really clearly defined what this meeting is for. A lot of people came here for different reasons, but on the website it says this is an O13 and N6 meeting — that’s why I came here. I mean, is this just another movement-building meeting? Is it a DA planning meeting? Is it an assembly? I just think it has to be clearly-defined, otherwise it’s…”
Stan: “I totally agree. The intention was to talk about October 13th, Global Noise, and also — I was also hearing discussions about November 5th and 6th elections, and I thought it was important for people to talk about it, see if people want to group together if they want, and work on different options and ideas that we have, and if people are interested, put something out to, you know, the populace. So… who’s next?”
Chris: “Pretty much it’s all been said that I would — yah, I think it wa sa really ambitious meeting, turned into something big. I see that as an envisioning type of meeting, to bring our visions, and also an action planning meeting as well. I’d like to see us coming into the meeting with a really tight agenda already set up, and a process for putting things on the agenda, so when we come in, everyone already knows. I didn’t see the title of this meeting, but if it did include O12 and N6, I think it should be general, and we can talk about whatever affinity group or project group is working on that they put on the agenda.”
Someone asks about “Global Noise,” the Oct 13 action. “We’ll get to that,” Natasha says.
Someone: “I think it’s great for coordination and movement-building and visioning, but as far as movement building, maybe we should keep it to two nights a month so that we have the space to do outreach so we can really do some movement building.”
Mark: “I think it’s important that we not have the same thing — two or three different bodies doing the exact same thing. One of the things we did on S17 was — we ended up with three assemblies on S17; OccuEvolve, the PA, and the union assembly. We decided to drop the name Emma Goldman, change location, change time, build bridges so we’d be one assembly, not three. Like the brother here was saying, I thought this would be S12 and N6 actions, but I also hear people talking about movement building, and other things — that was all stuff the PA was supposed to be.” “If the community feels the Monday space is more — is capable of handling that, then I think we should cancel the Popular Assembly, because I don’t think there should be a Monday and Wednesday assembly doing the same thing.”
Becky was going to say the opposite, “it’s great to have a couple of groups doing the same things — not everyone can come Monday or Wednesday, so it gives more opportunities. I can go to both usually, so I can probably let people know what happened M/W or vice-versa. Also, in response to the suggestion to have it two times a month, one of the things that brought me here was the idea that this was building off of the debrief, and I’d love to see an alternating debrief space tow times a month as well, so maybe alternating weeks.”
Someone: “I kind of agree, kind of disagree; I was here at the beginning of the movement, and I kind of see this space as what happened in zuccotti park when we first began — an evolving conversation where we’re looking at different movement-building options; might look differently one day to the next, looks like an evolving movement, and I like that a lot. Wednesday is really great; we can bring new people into Occupy, and people are very interested in the new format.”
Phoebe: “I agree — M and W have very different feels; how I perceive it; Monday, we’re already sort of connected, and it might be harder for someone who’s not part of the movement to just come to the meeting and be able to plug in, but Weds, at least from what I got, it’s eportbacks and breakout groups – like, OTS, rather than having a regular meeting, we’ll have a breakout group Weds, because it works really well in that structure. So it works really well for Outreach and bringing in new people, whereas this is, we already have an idea for our action, and to bring it here where we already people.”
Jackie: “I don’t know who’s functioning as Occupy anymore — does anybody even have a list? I think we need to find out who the fuck we are at this point, and then we have to take some sort of concerted organizational move to get a rep of every functional group to come together, and figure out, you know, how we represent something as a whole. Does anybody know what groups exist? I would really appreciate a list with phone numbers and contacts, and before we have another meeting ,someone from every group souhld be contacted and asked to come to it.”
Phoebe: “THat’s exactly what the popular assembly is for — extended report backs, so that serves that function exactly.”
Jackie: “But somebody’s got to do outreach and find out who’s out there. Like, Global Justice doesn’t exist anymore, does it?” Yes, they do. “See, I don’t even know.”
Justin: “Why don’t we just be honest about what this space is? It’s long-term planning for the movement; we’re all afraid to be firm about that; we should embrace it. Maybe “movement Mondays” or something. We’re so afraid to appear as leaders, but we need to start using some of this terminology like “Long Term Planning.” And that’s really what these groups have become, and maybe it’s the best use of the space.”
Bill: “I want to feel like we’ve linked arms and have a center of gravity. I’m not sure what that looks like, but in the park I would flash back to Act/Up — we had Monday meetings, they were democratic, and not uncoordinated at all; few places where people would assume power. But what I’d like to see is something like the morning coordination meeting — OK, I don’t know if that’s disbelief or not, but we have no sense of what’s happening, what’s viable, what’s coming up, except that we’re addicted to planning actions, and that’s not enough, we need to take better shots. So I’m elated that there is this much commitment; what matters is that there’s a completely different direction than we’ve been going for months, and if we can segue the S17 stuff into this idea of a core, that will be the beginning of something amazing.”
Yates: “I like the idea of coming up with — maybe just call it the Monday meeting, but something that marks it as special and core. RE: Phoebe, I think this meeting could have an orientation component too; something where you come, there’s an overview of what’s going on, and then there’s a space created to orient people, — and maybe you go into a separate room and show people how to plug in. And then you can join whatever planning towards the end.” Yates feels most action planning will happen int he action spokes, rather than here. “If a structure isn’t connected to action, what’s the point of it?” Could help us plug new people in.
Someone: “What a wonderful idea you just said — I was walking here, wondering what I wanted to say. Maybe this space could be for new people — but I didn’t say anything, because I’m new, and didn’t know it was my space to say that. But point is, I haven’t been to meetings in months; it’s a pleasure to be able to be here again, and the idea of having a place that is… an anchor; exactly the thing that I need standing here right now. So.”
Jerry: “In Direct Action, we had a really good structure that worked very well, and maybe we could incorporate that into this meeting — not to take up the whole meeting, but for a space. Every other meeting, one would be for people to come in with agenda items; they’d get 8 minutes — so for 2 minutes they’d say what it was, and then we’d discuss for 6 minutes and that would start a conversation. And then the next meeting would be for breakout groups, and ppl would say for a minutee what group they wanted, and then we’d have a half an hour where people could go to whatever breakout they wanted to. That was very functional.”
Dana: “3 things: I don’t really care if it’s Monday or Wednesday; I’m just excited about the idea that we’d get together once a week. and I’m sorry, I didn’t hear about the PA til I went to the PR meeting. And the other thing about the PA, the last one was many months ago in Union square, and it was a conversation that was so broad, such a wild conversation, that it didn’t feel productive to me, and I was turned off. Don’t know what they’re like now, but that was what I saw and was turned off. And then, how are we educating ourselves? Like, teach-ins that are not for everyone in the world, though anyone can come — but if what we’re trying to do is transform, tear down, the financial system, we need to be experts. There’s lots of black-and-white statements in PR, and the grey statements come from expertise in what we’re trying to do.”
Ethan apologizes to Mark for not making the PA. “My intention is both as a human and rep from Kitchen WG to support that PA weekly with something. We haven’t figured it out yet, but — I think it’s important to have both meetings,” but has been working like a dog to make up for S17 off-time. “Don’t assume there’s no interest, because I think there is, but we’re supporting the community, so Kitchen hopes to feed the PA, Union and Trinity every Wednesday — not a huge meal, but something.”
Amin really “likes the way this conversationg is going. I like the idea of a coordination body, of people being able to find each other and build, and I think movement building is important. One thing I hope we won’t do is overwhelm this space with stuff, which can be really overwhelming. If people have skills to give to people, that can happen n smaller groups. I think it’s important to be welcoming to new people and give people a place to plug in, and I think we can have conversations about the movement here and also plan actions. I believe we did a fabulous job with S17 and we’re on the upswing.”
Chris suggests alternating Mondays and Wednesdays, “so two Mondays and two Wednesdays a month.”
Someone: “This might be overambitious or way down the line, but I’ve been wondering what it takes to be in contact with other occupations around the world, like in Brussels or rome, and to connect these — these occupations that are happening in other parts of the world, based on keeping to the structures that are already in place, and to use that space as a way to come together as a larger community. I know that tech exists, but don’t know if we have the resources right now.”
Maura: “My only thing about Wednesdays is, it feels like outdoors, the meeting doesn’t come together as well — just because it’s quieter here. I have auditory issues in that park, it’s rock and roll but hard to hear. I can’t think as well in the park as I can think in an indoor space, and that’s my only thing, Mark, about Wednesdays in the park.”
Someone: “I’d like to see less discussion of process at meetings, and maybe have two kinds of meetings, where one is devoted to process and one to content, and folks interested in process can go to the facilitation meetings.”
Stan: “I like that ,and in the spirit of that, there are a couple pf things that people talked about — this meeting being about actions and coordination every two weeks, calling it a certain thing — I will admit I’m kind of a process snob, but I think to formally make this something, it’s important for me, so I don’t even know how to…”
Natasha lists things that came up: actions, coordination, “Movement mondays,” and maybe space to coordinate.
Drew: “Why don’t we empower some people to make that decision? Empower a group to form, and take what we’re talking about, and form a proposal — like a real proposal, like we actually go through a consensus process.” A murmur rumbles across the room.
Amin: “I think it sounds like a great idea, and it could happen here. There could be a group that tries while it’s fresh in people’s minds and at least present a draft for that, and see how it feels,” hold it to next meeting to give people a chance for input.
Jerry: “The idea that it’s movement monday — I appreciate that label, because this is about that Another thing I appreciate is veterans — they’re really good at bringing people in, and this is how you do things. And I think any group could raise their hands now and that could be the separate group to start that process.”
Mark really likes Drew’s proposal, “because kind of what happened with our GAs and our Spokes is they just kind of fizzled and died, and there was no decision made to end or not end them, and they just kind of faded from our memories. So, before tat happens to the PA, since I’m seeing a lot of key players in this room who aren’t part of it, I’d like to see that part of the proposal — are we just doing Monday, having two meetings a week or not?”
Justin: “Let’s also throw OccuEvolve and NYCGA in there. We’ve got two other bodies…”
Susan: “We can’t make that decision now for them, though.”
Ibrahim: “I think this should be a movement building meeting, four times a month, and we shouldn’t plan actions necessarily at this meeting, but it doesn’t have to be a four-hour meeting — we still have direct action planning meetings separate from this. Bceause the original — the S17 meetings were a much broader type of action, so it fit perfectly into this, but for some actions, people don’t want to sit down for a four-hour meeting to also talk about O12 and the election. I think we should take those out.”
Tess: “RE: Mark, a lot of what I heard as far as the PA versus a meeting like this is that it’s valuable to have a space that, you know, is indoors, and there’s some sort of continuity and accountability therein. And that the PA is a really great place for people to plug in, it’s a lower bar to entry, I mean, it’s much like our GAs, that anybody can walk up to, and that’s also valuable — I don’t think they’re mutually exclusive. But I also think that having these more intentional serious meetings has been helpful.”
Dicey: “One thing that really jumps out at me thinking about the S17 process was — and what you just said — was that it was, like, a big undertaking — it involved many, many, many different pieces that weren’t just theoretical. I think some of the project groups, if we don’t have a set goal that we’re trying to strive for, it can be really easy to just theorize and talk about concepts and imagine things, but with S17 we had a set goal and it had all these different pieces. And so we got all these groups together, and they drove towards the finish line. And I think it’s also true in the park that we had that same sense of immediacy that kept all the working groups on task towards goals. So maybe we need a bigger project to all move towards.” O13, N6, not as sprawling, may not need such a sprawling framework. “But I love the sprawling framework, so maybe we just need a bigger idea.”
Austin: “Just a short process thing to say: I love the PA, I wish I could have come. I don’t thnk it makes sense for this body to decide about that body, because — it opens it up to, we should decide about the NYCGA and the barbershop, and — let’s us decide about this. Wednesday should decide about Wednesday. I think part of what we’re running into Mark is that when we first had the PA, I don’t remember who and what decided it would be weekly. So i think you’re running into, did that body decide to continue? And if it did, it should, but — I’m not saying, fuck that, but just a line of legitimacy from it to it and from this to this seems to make sense, and also be less confusing.”
Stan: “Thanks everyone; I’m going to go ahead and call for another meeting next week. If people want to come together and bring a proposal for next week, I didn’t know who would be interested in doing something like that, but you could raise your hand if you’re interested and we could send a document around.”
Yates: “Do you mean setting an agenda, or the kind of empowered team Drew is talking about?”
Empowered team, to go through the minutes (yikes!)
Positive temp-check for having another meeting. Justin requests it be in Manhattan to be more accessible to Trinity, Union Square.
Someoe asks, “what’s the normal process for creating the agenda for each of these meetings?” Stan notes that this was an agenda that came out of discussions people were having, in consultation with a few people.
Natasha; “Usually, in the S17 meetings, the facilitation team would make the agenda and people would send them things to put on it from different groups. But this is a new process, so that’s the reason why 45 minutes of the time is about next steps.”
Someone asks, “is this the movement-building section?”
It wasn’t, but Natasha suggests that “maybe we need to talk about movement building each time we meet.” Kicks issue to “empowered group” we just established to take it into account.
Someone notes that to them this convo wasn’t movement building. “Are we still having that?”
Natasha: “We could have that next meeting; we can’t do everything one meeting. I don’t know.”
Stan suggests that next steps could be thought of as movement building. “Maybe, or it could be very practical related to the actions,” someone says.
OK, some housekeeping topics. “I don’t know if anyone here is from Mutant Legal, or any legal group, but i just wanted to go over, like, the NLG, and…”
Bill: “Maybe it would help to literally invite the guild or LAS next meeting.”
Tess: “One thing Mutant’s been talking about… having a legal open space sometime soon, and having that be monthly, so that people can sort of get filled-in on the — just get the low-down on what’s going on legally-speaking, but also have that be na outward-facing thing so we can get non-Occupy groups that work on legal stuff in, and create that sort of space. So people can ask questions of the guild, etcetera, there. Right now, we’re getting a lot of questions about who’s going to be and how they’re going to be represented from the arrests during the S15-17 weekend. And I just — I just got an email saying that Legal Aid is not — declined to represent people. I’m not sure what the deal is, so I don’t — I feel like a little uncomfortable giving a solid report back on this. And NLG is also, like, very tapped-out. additionally, our bail fund is — was run dry, as of September 18th. So, that’s a thing; I don’t know all the details, so I feel a little shaky giving a report back on it, but. You guys can all email email@example.com and we’ll try to answer questions. We get a lot of them, increasingly.”
Stan: “Also, on the agenda, there’s a two-page piece about the NLG and representation or the lack thereof, and printed out something about bail, just in case anyone gets arrested. Pretty un-fun, so… also, Ingrid, she — if anyone hasn’t seen this, she wanted to do a bit of a debrief, so if you all wanted to fill that out and leave that here, she could bring it next Monday with info about what people put on here. So, that’s part of the NLG bail sort-of update.”
Next, updates on meeting spaces. “I created a Google Doc about a month ago of all the places that I know would be able to hold meetings for Occupy, so if anyone wants to get together with me afterwards, or if anyone knows any spaces that we can use, we could compile them. I know there’s a bit of an access problem with an open group like this; we don’t want five people emailing the mahout the same meeting. So maybe we make it a team at the next meeting; maybe it’s something that could be put on the proposal. I’m thinking that we could have some sort of facilitation team next week — I have no facilitation experience whatsoever. I don’t know how that even works.”
Elisa: “We are actually newbies here, but we wanted to come to this meeting specifically, because a group of us were working together on putting a space together.” Heard we needed spaces to meet! “Also, I wanted to see what people were doing. So, wanted to let you know we’re working on a space we can open up Nov 1 in Bushwick; we were thinking about how the winter was rough last year.”
Khalil: “We have been working on it for awhile, we have a talk coming up Oct 4 with Silvio Federici at the Commons. Just wanted to let everyone know, we have a bunch of flyers.”
Natasha: “In terms of facilitation, it came up at the last meeting that we need a facilitation team, and everyone should facilitate, and we need training — we have an example this week; Stan’s facilitating for the first time, and it’s not that scary; we should all be stepping up so we don’t hear the same voices again and again.” Talk of new people being shadowed by more experienced facilitators.
Ethan: “If we were going to do that, wouldn’t it be more helpful to have the facilitation at the beginning of the meeting?”
Natasha suggests that not everyone would want to sit through that, but people who stay after can bring it to the next week. “Hopefully it should help to have people reverse-shadowing.”
Amin: “The one thing I’ll add to which is first, having Facilitation training at the end means they can help put the agenda together, so the shadowing spans the entire week, which is helpful.”
Susan points out that the PA has had similar issues, with inexperienced facilitation. “The energy went low very quickly.”
Justin liked “the idea that was shared earlier about the introduction to the meeting; maybe we can do a combined introduction — a quick introduction, at least to the hand signals and what process is, and then an explanation of what the process is.” Vis a vis “intro to direct democracy,” “intro to movement.” Suggests that experienced person should take stack so they can shadow.
Amin: “Just to echo that, going really quickly in the upfront on process, it’s really about anti-oppression, and bringing that back in would really help everyone be respectful in the space.”
Dana: “Did we decide how the facilitation was going to happen, or the team?”
Natasha: “Does anybody want to repeat it? So, basically, the idea is that we would have trainings at the end of every meeting — 15 minute quick-t railings – and then we’d have a new facilitator and old facilitator — ”
Dana: “Ok, I think I asked the wrong question, then. So the question is, who’s setting the agenda?”
Natasha suggests it be included in the proposal, but asks “do people want to talk about that?”
Jerry: “It sounds like we’re empowering a group to sort of figure out how to structure the meeting, and that then, also, there’s people experienced with facilitation, and that will come together.”
Dana: “Was that the group that raised their hand earlier?” Hahah.
Jerry: “It actually wasn’t random…” Lolol.
Natasha suggests we have a 5-person stack to figure out how the agenda is set.
Ibi: “I think we’re still incorporating too much into this one meeting– I don’t think it’s needed to have facilitation at the end of this same meeting. There is a facilitation working group, and they can have their meetings, which is probably the best thing to do.”
Bill suggests we “gather ideas for the agenda from the previous meeting, and then online, and before noon have a fairly solid proposal circulating, but it’s subject to the beginning of the next session actually approving it.”
Ethan: “And I think establishing the agenda each week will be informed by what this meeting is. So let’s figure out who we are, and then move on — not stumble over something we can’t figure out now.”
Yates: “I think facilitation training is part of movement building, and that could be a huge accomplishment of these meetings in their own right — having the shadow and the new facilitator. and setting the agenda, too. And like Bill says, having some timing during the week for everyone to have seen it ahead of time.”
Amin: “Facilitation is a core component of how these meetings go forth, and so the agenda — everyone would probably have an agenda item they’d like to deliver. If you only have it held by facilitation, it’ll be a shitshow. But what we’ve done in the GA and FWG, is to have an emai designated for agenda and facilitation, people know what that is, and over the course of the week, people send items, facilitation makes it public, and then at the meeting we’ll have it proposed.”
Someone: “Maybe people could, at the end of each meeting, make suggestions for the next meeting.”
Tess: “Ethan and Yates sort of said what I wanted to say, that this is sort of putting the cart before the horse — we should first figure out what the intention of this body and space is, and then a facilitation team can come out of that. To speak to FWG though, part of the reason why it has sort of collapsed is that Facilitation Skills became too heavily concentrated in that group, and they’re really skills we should all have. And then there’s accusations a lot about facilitation having too much power, especially asf ar as agenda-setting is concerned. If that is a rotating responsibility, then we all contribute to what these meetings look like and how they’re structured.”
Yates notes it’s not that everyone has to do training every week, just that some folks stay back.
Austin: “One thing Linnea was always great at doing for the S17 meetings was, she’d do sort of what you said, Bill, but then post it a few days ahead of time and ask for amendments.” People usually had them, and there was time and space to make changes, and not as high-pressure as changing at start of meeting. Feels it would be great to include it in the meeting itself, like in the action on S17, people learn by doing.
Ibrahim suggests the agenda and team be built 20-30 minutes before the meeting. “The facilitators can build the agenda, if you want something on it, come before the meeting.”
Stan: “Thank you everyone. We’re going to move onto the next agenda topic, which is upcoming actions. There are a couple of things that I was hearing at the last meeting, Monday, October 13th, and then things I’ve heard about possible actions on N5 or N6. The latter, there probably needs to be a discussion after the O13 one, as I’m not sure there’s anything formalized for those days. But if there is, someone could bring it to this group.”
Sean has a simple proposal for N6: “There’s a lot of concepts if we think of them that are against our principles.” Tried to come up with a plan for E-day: “We could have a non-celebration victory party on election night at Goldman Sachs, because we all know who’s winning the election.”
Stan asks about breakout groups for O13 and for N6 — “two breakout groups simultaneously.” Getting some down twinkles.
Natasha: “Maybe since it’s 8pm, we could give them some time…”
Someone: “There’s another action coming out of Environmental Solidarity head of the climate talks at Qatar; it would be an eviction defense of earth. We’re talking about a literal home defense of our planet and a home in East Flatbush that is under attack, or some variation on that theme. But it looks like an international day of climate action on N17, based on networks we’ve formed in the past year as OWS Environmental Solidarity.”
Stan: “OK, this is how I think the way this meeting is set up is going to be sort of tricky, because there’s lots of actions that people want to plan, but there’s not time to plan them all in these meetings. So maybe that’s something to think about for the people who are wanting to bring a proposal to the group to discuss.”
Jerry: “Also, there could be time allotted for announcements, and people could announce what actions are being planned and where, and people could find out about it.”
Amin nods to Bill’s callback to the old coordination meetings. “If you have a plan,” you can ask people to plug in, rather than planning everything here. “So I want to remind people about coordination. If that becomes part of the Monday meeting, everyone can benefit.”
OK, to clarify, do we want to talk about O13 and then the elections?
Stan says he thought if someone was planning something from O13, they could speak to the group about what’s going on.
Ibrahim notes that the N17 action already is being planned. “That looks like an announcement.” Natasha asks for clarity. “Yeah, we could throw it out — it would be great if people talked about it.”
Tess clarifies; “We’re talking about a weekly meeting, and we’re talking about maybe talking about actions in the meeting. We don’t have to talk about every upcoming action in the meeting — let’s talk about the one action, and then next week maybe we can talk about the next one.”
Stan asks for temp checks — looks good.
Austin: “I think something that is worth bringing up is the O22 thing — Quebec is calling for EVERYBODY to do something on the 22nd of every month, it’s more about skill sharing. It’s a big international call that Montreal students are making. I know it’s not in place, but it does seem to make sense.”
Ethan notes, “we sort of have an idea of the many things coming up in the future, and yes we have to focus on many things, but maybe as we plan for one action, we’re also planning on something else at the same time.” He and Maura want to talk about something not planned for next September. “If we have everything on the board, we can start making plans congruently, as we move forward.”
Next: “It seems like a lot of the actions we plan, we could be using them as outreach for the next action, but we’re not doing it because as we do one action we haven’t planned the one after it.”
Jerry, point o process: “Now we’re going back into talking about how we’re going to talk about things, and we were about to launch into a report back about O13. And one of the things we’re all going to learn in facilitation training is not to get sidetracked by these sorts of discussions.”
OK, moving onto O13.
O13 Reportback: Natasha: “I have something from global noise, which is the idea of casseroles all around the city — ‘just go out and casserole.’ You can also go to global noise.net and find out who’s already in it, but maybe countries.” “I also know strike debt is going to do something, maybe we can also give a report back on that.”
Winter: “I think the group definitly wanted to hear what other people thought, but intentions were set for the day and a framework — we wanted to talk to OTS; we liked the idea of doing casseroles; all in the red have been coming to the meetings. But we’re open – -we’ve set up Spokescouncils the next two Fridays, so we can really have an action coordinating space.”
O13 Spokes are October 5th and October 12th; “the fifth we have a space at Judson”
Jerry asks how that will be publicized.
Amin: “To contextualize it a little bit, one of the things Occupy was really excited about — everyone was working really hard on S17, and we also wanted things congruent like that, so that as we’re doing the structure work, we’re also doing the action work, and there could be things going on. We started working on debt as one of the items for the 99%; just to keep work moving forward. And now there’s a call from France to actually build international solidarity around debt; sovereign debt, the IMF, and also municipal debt. And that’s something we’ve been focused on, knowing that’s how debt gets transferee from the 1% to the 99%. And so we had this action that came out of Occupy ,and simulateneously stuff was happening in India and France — Twitter has a lot of activity for #globalnoise — on Facebook — people seem to be signing up, and they’re referring to S29 and O13. I do agree that the actions should connect and flow into one another; that’s the beauty of Occupy ,and we need to have unlimited amounts of movements in Occupy. And this can bring people in. OTS is excited, Kitchen seems excited, Free University seems excited — we want as much of our community be a part of it, and we wanted to take what people felt good about it, the Spokescouncil, and said, we can do it like this again.” “All we did was take the initiative to set two action spokes — to bring people like Trinity, anyone’s who wants to coordinate together and are excited about what we can do.”
Jackie; “I think the debt issue is great, touches most of the 99%, but our actions often don’t touch most of the 99%.” Wants a tactic to help her go up to people with an ask — “phone calls, or — I’d like some tactic where eI could go to people in the 99%, find out if they have a debt problem, and then ask people to do something small, “so that they’re involved in the day.”
Maura: “I was going to suggest that the Debt Resistors’ Manuals and print them out…” proposes doing outreach by putting sample letters in envelopes and handing them out.
Amin: “Yes, and having tables at OTS to help people fill them out.”
Rebecca asks at whether we’ve done outreach to debt collectors, “and are maybe in debt themselves, and maybe want to lose some paper, et cetera.” Notes that they often don’t like their jobs.
Someone: “One way to go up to people is to have a short questionnaire, ask folks about their debt, and that could start the conversation.”
Susan did a show at BAI for years, “and no one I spoke to, my listeners, didn’t have credit card debt. One thing that I think stops people from supporting Occupy is they see the debt as a student issue. I think we should ask for a general amnesty on personal debt — so what if it’s unreal? We can ask for it, we can demand it, and it’s something that is an attention grabber so you can talk to the person you want to talk to.”
Someone: “Yeah, a good piece of lit to hand out would be something that quantifies the debt issue,” tells statistics. “So when we approach people, we are telling them, you are not a loan, you are not by yourself, you’re part of a group that is being ruthlessly exploited.”
Jerry: “Because we’re going to be running out of time, I just wanted to say that every Sunday, there’s a debt assembly. I’ve heard several realy great ideas, so please come to the debt assembly, because we have a lot of other great ideas we really don’t have time to talk about right now.”
Freddy: “Maybe Occupy Faith; Churches, everyone’s affected by debt; maybe we could ask some churches. As a whole, that would be the 99%.”
Phoebe: “This is just another group to reach out to; realized the post office I’ve been going to since I moved to NYC has just closed down. I know Occupy’s been doing some work w/ postal service, but this is a crisis — the government has looted the postal service and has made it pay health insurance costs for the next 75 years upfront. This is outrageous, and this is a whole…” could build solidarity.
Next: “Sorry I was late — the next thing we could work on is transit issues; need to do public outreach in time for the public hearing that takes place in November.” Support those working to restore service and keep costs down. “The MTA is in debt,” and that’s why it sucks. “We need to do outreach this month, because this is a serious issue. Coming in December, we need to make a plan for the MTA transit data action, because they’re the 1% — gotten in this mess 7 times since 2003, and all these cuts have been happening.” 2 train, 38 bus, we need to do something and fight back.
Winter: “We should really play up the idea of noise, that this is a day of indignation — we’re pissed, let’s really let it out on the streets.” Help people who haven’t made that leap, “people knocking on their desks, we can brainstorm that idea more.”
Linnea: “I loved the casseroles and missed them; love we’re doing it on O13. Occupy the Pipeline will be coming putto support the debt action.”
Saint asks for clarification on O13.
Amin: “It’s a call for a global day of action against debt in all its forms, sovereign and municipal.” Call made “by some organizations in Spain and France, that’s where it originated. But: this isn’t a place to brainstorm for the action; the idea is that the manual has a lot of ideas in there that people can plug in and work on in an affinity context and feel comfortable, but we’ll work on the Spokes for that action, and let people plug in on that space.” Sunday, 2pm, debt meeting. “And the other thing is, how we give back to the community — we have to deliver wins. November 15th, the peolpe’s bailout, the rolling jubilee where we purchase debt and abolish it for people pursuant to zip codes; this is one way it’s working out. We’re confirming all the pieces, but i want people to know, you should come to the meeting, because your voice and your input is really important.”
Someone: “There’s really, really good arguments that you guys are making about why we’re getting screwed by debt, and why we need to fix it, and why it’d be a good idea for people to stop paying it. But I think we need to do that before we say, ‘stop paying your debt,’ Because if you just say that, ppl will be like, “f’real?”
Ibrahim has an idea that “could get more people involved from around the country in the debt issue, which is, you get people to go out to a bank or institution they owe money to, and go out and “hug” your bank. Get as many people as you can. Just brass arms or whatever, and hug the side of the building, as much as you could take up. The imagery of, like, a weight on your back — so you could have signs on your back, shackled by debt or whatever. You don’t’ have to do anything illegal — I don’t think there’s anything disorderly about embracing a building.” LULZ.
“You know bank-hugging is fully arrest able.” LULZ.
OK, so next meeting for O13 is Friday spokes. 2pm Strike Debt meeting Sunday.
Stan: “Next on the agenda — it feels a little difficult to even talk about this effectively, but i’m hearing that people want to discuss the elections and possible actions surrounding that, November 5th and 6th. I know Sean over there had something about the elections; I also got some emails from people who couldn’t make it today, that I could read off. But if anyone wants to say something first…
Justin checks in about Occupy Halloween first. “The theme is the Living Debt, Death of Democracy — Casseroles mob, and then zombies, Obama and Romney as monopoly men.” “Thinking about building protest signs that are actual gravestones; it’s a great time to do outreach, because its the last big date before the election, so we’re thinking of doing flyers.”
Dicey suggests we popcorn different ideas and maybe group them to avoid fighting about principles.
Ok: Rebecca: “Linnea and I really idly, two months ago, talked about going to Zuccotti on election day and dressing as bankers and having a victory party, like Sean was talking about.” “But starting at 4pm, so we’re calling election results early. But what we were really talking about was just hanging out, rather than organizing, because we don’t give a shit about the elections, unfortunately.”
Next: “I’m more interested in November 7th, because then Goldman Sachs wins regardless, and the election is over, and our allies” who’ve been doing electoral work, like, OK, “electoral democracy has had its day, let’s go back to direct democracy… and get people into dialogue. The real work really begins when the elections are over; a lot of the issues we’re dealing with are being wiped out of the media and being ignored because it’s elections, elections, elections. In terms of movement building, let’s think about what happens next.”
Austin: “There’s a set of really interesting ideas about, what we wish we could vote for — knowing that we don’t think elections are it, but some do, so how can we make it more like what we’d like? Tammy suggested doing local outreach at polling stations, maybe doing exit polls on what really matters to us, and then assemblies across the street at 6 or 7 in the evening.” “Could also be a write-in; let’s actually name how unfulfilling this is and talk about how people — you know, vote for yourself, vote for the community, etc.” Plans to do it in Crown Heights. “And the data that you get out of it could be interesting too,” people’s cynicism, etc. “If you had other ideas about actually showing up to polling stations, get at me. Electioneers would hate us, because they have a line they can’t go past, and we could.”
Ibrahim; “I think since the whole election thing is a charade, we don’t want to support that by doing voting drives, after the election we should have a GA drive, to start GAs, so we can actually practice real democracy, talk about local issues, build more of a base so we can actually make positive changes. So, a drive for starting out GAs where there aren’t any.”
Becky clarifies Justin’s prior announcement about Occupy Halloween; she is leaving to go over there now, and they meet every Monday from 6:30 to 10:30 at 20 Jay Street.
Winter: “I like the idea of bridging though, or showing people that voting is part of a spectrum of possible types of participation. But also to keep in mind that we shouldn’t demonize people for voting.”
Saint proposes having a mock election.
Amin: “The US is already having a mock election that day!”
Saint proposes it be an Occupy character of some kind, that evokes the issues we’re concerned about and satirizes having an election.
Sean: “What if we do something like “register to revolt,” and try to get people involved in Occupy? Maybe not in swing states, but here in NYC… if we could get 1,000 invested in resisting the power, they’d do a lot more than” 1000 voters.
Yates suggests playing with the phrase “the people”, like “the people’s polls,” but instead “the people’s election,” like the people are getting elected. “Also, I wonder if there’s a way to strike a more serious note about voter disenfranchisement, because that is probably the most convincing reason to engage electoral politics, especially re: race and the movement or whatever.” “Also, who would be the mock figure we’d elect?”
Maura loved “austin’s idea, and I wonder if there’s a way, because I changed my vote from the city to Long Island. And I’d love if I could go online and get something to, like you said, electioneer there — I’m very involved out there, so people will listen and fill out stuff. So if there was a way for TechOps, for people — if they could go online and download that stuff, we could get people to do it all over the place.”
Someone: “Maybe using the attention that there is on the election to raise awareness of some of the people around the election, raising awareness of citizens united, voter disenfranchisement in swing states. I had another thought, I totally lost it. But there’s a lot of ways to engage with people in issues expanding beyond the two-party system, and getting at how everything’s rigged and maybe trying to get support for third parties, or a legislative body that is truly representative, rather than having to choose from two identical parties.”
Stan: “Maybe we could have people come to New York from around the country and hit banks, do the swirl, or something…”
Tess: “I’ve been having this conversation a lot with my parents, about how I’m not going to vote, and they keep looking at me horrified, and it occurs to me that, like, whatever our narrative is, it distinguishes what we’re doing as being a choice of conscientious objection and not to dismiss the reality of voter suppression. And then I think we should also do — obviously, we’re in New York, Obama’s going to win, whatever, regarding the presidential election, there’s obviously a lot less suppression here, we should probably do outreach to occupies in other parts of the country so that people who are in parts of the country where it’s more common, are engaged with it somehow.
Someone just got here, “Sorry, this is a little out of context, but I think really the greatest crime against democracy is going to be committed right in front of us — the US elections — and whether we vote or don’t vote… one of the topics Occupy’s been talking about since the beginning is money out of politics, and we know that both candidates have been pre-selected by the 1% so no matter who wins, they win. And I think people know that, so I think people would be really sensitive to that right now because parties are weaker right now because there’s so much at stake. So to make this a narrative aside from the electoral narrative of limited choices, and to make the point that democracy is more than sticking paper in a box; it’s a whole spectrum of engagement with the issues we brought to the table, and this is th emoment where every day Americans pay attention to politics.” Would be a missed opportunity if we don’t “intervene” “at the moment the elections are happening,” “At the moment these guys have been handed power, to show them they’re not leaders, they’re our employees, and we can hit them from day one.”
Freddy asks how we’d frame that, but RE: Austin, “as far as the exit poll, maybe that’s part of the conversation — anyone who stops to fill it out will be willing to have further conversations. Election day, intervention may be too late, but…”
Jerry suggests we make point that if folks don’t pay taxes, that’s where they have real power.
Ethan: “I just want to say, the idea of not voting at all, but the idea I saw recently was, ‘if the 99% really voted we wouldn’t in this mess,” and I think we’re all here because…”
Someone: “I think it’s important to address the issues of voter disenfranchisement, because the 99% who don’t vote can’t vote — they’re disenfranchised.” “I don’t think it’s about demonizing voting, I think it’s about, how do we identify who can’t vote in this country. It’s not that they don’t want to, they just can’t.”
Dana: “I think there’s something like — there’s a lot of complex issues; I hate election season. But I think that there’s a lot of richness here in this conversation about voter disenfranchisement, but also about reaching people at a deeper level.” “Something that gives more of a position, that could be more widely read or understood. The other thing was, I was just thinking about going to banks on the day of — maybe trying to buy back our votes or something, or something that is very Occupy — we have a very short amount of time, so I don’t think there’s going to be some really grand plan, that’ll come off in a meaningful way. But there are things we can do that could be fun or engaging and get our point across.”
Lisa notes that it makes her very angry when Congress is passing things to make it harder to vote. “You’re told it’s the most important thing in the world to vote; it’s actually the least. People really, really want to do this, I personally do not. I would like people to be able to get there, and maybe carpool, get people, and maybe go vote and say Occupy. Because if we don’t make any mark that says we didn’t vote, it’s just a no-show, versus seeing the word Occupy on there.”
Drew suggests a way to make some of these ideas actionable. “Maybe, like, we meet with people who had good ideas, and bring a proposal next week about some of this stuff, and start to pare it down into bite-sized chunks we can actually achieve. Because we have tools to get a number of these things accomplished, so let’s do that. Also, I want to echo being kind to people who vote, and you don’t think it’s the right thing to do, but let’s be compassionate, and I think whatever we do should be compassionate to people.”
Someone: “I’m going to vote because they don’t want me to. Someone from Boston suggested we go wearing orange jumpsuits, which I think says a lot of things.”
Someone: “The basic thing we have to do is focus on the local level — for example, there are local issues, election districts, talk about taking back the country, the city, and the local issues. Representatives in congress, or city council — in city hall, there’s a new recipe for corruption. Someone just got arrested for bribery. So we should figure out who to vote for for the 99% — who reps our community, our neighborhoods, and we should make sure we get to the ballot box — D, R, Rent Too Damn High, Freedom Party, it still goes on and on. Green PArty fighting hard as well. So we need to think outside the box, on the local level. Because in this city, it’s a corrupt city, and what happens is done from the state in Albany, so we need to keep our eye on things regardless of what district you live on, you know?”
Peter: “The voting question is tricky; it narrows our political debate, it’s the least effective thing you can do, and then again people have fought for the opportunity in this country for so long. I almost didn’t want to speak, but I think the buying back your vote from the banks thing is a good idea; the party at Zuccotti or Goldman Sachs is a good idea, and I’d almost encourage a speak out like the old ones that used to happen in Zuccotti, where organizers in communities can speak about the issues that aren’t on the ballot.”
Natasha asks about next steps. The November 7th discussion gets kicked to next week, “also, by then we might have a better idea of what we’re doing here.”
Nina also notes that a lot of things being put on the table overlap, Yates notes that since there are so many approaches, “an action spokes” is a great look.
Sean notes that we have firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss this issue. Send an email to email@example.com, get more people involved. “And as far as next steps, we’d talked about putting together a proposal; I’ll be at the PA to talk about this too. If anyone else wants to join me, that’d be great.”
So, that listserv, then Austin, Tammy ,and Sean, and maybe an action spokes, potentially a proposal for next week. Austin will send around a signup sheet.
Amin also suggests the spokes could roll from O13 to N6, so we don’t have to keep rebuilding structures.
OK, next steps: 20 minutes to popcorn some ideas people may have when it comes to “going forward with Occupy, and really it’s like, not just actions, but maybe some short thoughts that they may have.” “Maybe we can talk about movement building here.”
Ethnan notes: “We’re rushing to do this thing by O13 and N6, and I think we’re all getting btter as time goes on budgeting our time and figuring out what help we may need, but we need to keep it going throughout the year, with every step, training people in our individual tasks, and building, again, to something spectacular — and by that I mean, a spectacle, because that will keep the spotlight on what we’re trying to do. so, the reason I think this Occupalooza would be a good outlet for that is we can spend the year building outlets for the year,” might require many people to volunteer for it, to do the work.
Maura explains: “Back last March, we went before the GA — the Kitchen group — where we had so many volunteers coming out to help at the Kitchen 5 days a week, cutting vegetables and talking — how to build the movement, how to outreach; we came up with the idea to do a festival, not a concert but an actual carnival, Occupalooza, and get all the WGs involved. We spent a lot of time on this; we got the visions and goals and principles and came up with groups needed — and we had an agreement with the city on the Nethermeade in Prospect Park. We’ve had meetings with 4 people from the police, 4 people from the parks, an old city planner came in on our side — the deal is we talked with them about doing September 2013 at the Nethermeade, because that’s how far ahead you have to start planning it. But we need to go in November and pick the dates; even though we have an actual WG and permit that went through the GA, we wanted to bring it through this group to get the convergence group, the concert group, all working on this, because by November we need to be ready to talk to the city. “WE think this is a great next step; we’d like to do a presentation next week with the proposal.”
Ethan: “And build up to this every acton this year.” “And you need to have barriers, so we figured we’d make a quilt, with foreclosures, credit card debt, et cetera.” “Hopefully, next week we’d like to get 10 or 15 minutes to really go through the ideas we have.”
Jerry: “The Mutual Aid working group for OWS is starting to catalogue all the organizations and people and institutions in NYC that provide some kind of mutual aid service, whether it’s a clinic with a sliding scale, or someone who will barter with you, people who fix bicycles — anything you can possibly imagine — densits, housing, food — and there’s getting to be 2 or 300 of them, maybe more, and get these people to start talking to each other as a project for maybe a year, and then make an alternative currency, and then have an alternative currency that we can all use.”
Yates: “RE: longer-term planning; Earth Day 2013 is coming up April 22nd; it’s a long time away, but we’ve been talking about people in other parts of the movement about maybe having a large-scale convergence linking debt and climate.”
Ibrahim: “I had an idea for a long-term support group about mental health issues.” There’s something on the 3rd about the Icarus project, wants to get people to go there as a group. “It’s about the working group that I want to start”.
Next: “O31: Halloween. I’m sure people know, it’s the biggest participatory creative event in the US; the largest parade in the world takes place in NYC; last year we were able to Occupy and get a huge spot, get the word out; over a million people…”
Natasha notes that Justin already said this.
Two announcements: “350 is actually doing a road tour that begins on November 7th and ends on December 3rd, and it’s a 20-night event that will feature, like, all the big names like Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben and Mark Ruffalo — they’re really just going to b e talking about getting money out of the fossil fuel lobby; they want to work with Occupy, but aren’t quite sure how to plug in, and I actually need to talk to Pete to see if… so I think it is probably a good thing to figure out how to plug into that, because it is a big… it’s going to be a big issue, and they’re kicking off right after the election, because they’re anticipating he’ll be re-eleced, so they want to keep the pressure on the administration of getting money out of fossil fuels.”
Freddie: “RE: us as a community outside of OWS, if you do other volunteer opportunities, call up your OWS friends, and go to other things outside of OWS to network with your community and everything above.”
Natasha notes it’s becoming announcements.
Dicey: “Back to the movement-building piece, one thing that’s come up in this meeting a lot is structures, and how we keep building them, and walking away, and they collapse behind us, and we’re like ‘hey, what happened to our structures’?” Glad we’re keeping this one, but we are probably going to continue to have a need for ad hoc structures, “and for things we can put together really quickly” — coming and going has been distressing, but we’re starting to get used to it. “I want to have a conversation with people about starting a working group to build structural toolkits, so that when people have a project, they don’t’ have to reinvent the wheel, and” we can document and all that so that groups can focus on GTD. Talk to Dicey after.
Amin: “I know the Jubilee was mentioned; if you want to get involved, connect with me and Jerry. And for those that are new, we have two new free publications. And finally, Tidal was able to raise funds for its fourth issue thanks to all of you, and we’re really appreciative.”
Next, someone working on a campaign to end WEP — “some people call it Work Fair, others call it Modern Day Slavery — its’ welfare reform turned into the forced labor from the early 90s.” Has become a terrible model for other countries that are demolishing their welfare states. But there’s a group that’s doing great work; they’re involved in electoral work “but they also do a lot of interesting basebuidling and outreach; I spent the morning standing in front of the MTA, talking to people waiting in line for WEP orientation before they work for free.” Interesting example of outreach, sort of a way to move people towards something while moving us towards them. “If anyone else is interested in this, I’d love to talk to them about this kind of outreach.”
Stan notes that the Icarus project is having “a 10th anniversary of their program at the Brecht forum from 5:30 to 11pm; I think you have to register,” so go to ProjectIcarus.org.
Mark: “So, during the spring, and for much of the summer, we had this thing called Roundtable Reportbacks” in Liberty Square. “It was a way for projects and groups from around the city to come and report back on what they’re working on.” Now, the Popular Assembly is trying to fill the shoes; “we have breakouts around anything — working groups, project groups, identity groups” — so it’s a way to get people to work on projects and input on them, “and for the community to come together and coordinate actions and resources, and then we end the assembly with a speak out, so that anyone who needs to be heard in the community has a space to do that.” RE: using new facilitators, “We’re trying to move away from hierarchal stuff that happened in NYCGA; no agendas, no 24-hour window, you don’t have to be trained by Facilitation Working Group to facilitate.”
Sean: “Speaking of old structures collapsing behind us, now that Justin’s not here, I can let everyone know I’ve put in a proposal to end the NYCGA. I’ve been trying to build back this structure, and it even looked like it was working. At this point, I’d just like everyone to come to ONE last GA and end it in style. October 20th, tell your friends”
Dana thanks us for the great meeting; also volunteers to bring snacks, “probably gluten-free, and maybe some chocolate for the next week, but I don’t know if people want to make it a rolling thing, or if people like that, bring food or something.”
Stan asks for feedback — SO MANY UPTWINKLES!
Drew: “Speaking of the New York City General Assembly, if y’all are interested, the NYCGA.net is still a great tool. Patricia of TechOps has been working really hard on it, and we could — you know, if you wanted a blog for your — just like the campaigns website for S17; we could use NYCGA to make blogs for people, and we could all be in the same spot, if we all just kind of jumped in there and documented what we were doing, which is the most important thing in the entire world, that’s available,e that’s there, and then if people started using it, the TechOps group would be all over it. And you could do it so there aren’t silly rules, you know, at all. You could do whatever you want.”
Austin: “The call I mentioned coming out of Montreal — it’s called Via 22; maybe take a look, come back next week. What’s cool is they want it to be centered on discussions, and I’m hearing people want to do that kind of thing in here. Lastly, we were asked by cities across the country to document the swirl; we announced that, some people said they wanted to; we were going to put out the first draft on the S17 list wednesday, but if you have strong opinions and want to influence it, we’ll be sending it out then and would love to get your thoughts.”
Ibrahim notes he brought the donuts and bagels, compliments of Occupy Trinity. “And they did not come from the trash. They were given to me, just like every day of the week, from the guy on Wall Street who sells donuts.”
This Sunday, October 7th, against War in Afghanistan, 165 West 125th Street, Adam Clayton Powell: “Stop the Cutbacks, End Stop and frisk,” and a few other things. “It’s all hosted by Occupy Harlem. If you go the website weact.org,” infe is there. And re: Occupy NYCT, next meeting is October 13th at 10am, located on second floor of 1844 Amsterdam, corner of 152nd St, Harlem. WEACT.org/TRAC