Community Assembly, 7/14/2012

Occupy Wall Street Assembly, Saturday July 14, 2012

Location: Liberty Park
Facilitators: Negesti and Michael
Minutes: Mischa

•    Reportbacks from working- and affinity groups
•    Teach-In and Discussion on Values-Based Consensus
•    Next Assembly

•    Reportbacks from working- and affinity groups
Facilitation: Wednesday, 6 P.M. at Liberty Park is the weekly meeting for the Facilitation group. Come if you want to learn how to facilitate or are interested in the process. The Direct Action group report-backs that take place at 6.30 are used as a practice in facilitation.
Outreach: Occupy Sunset Park organizes protests against an unfair slumlord. Their weekly meetings are Saturday 6 P.M., just take the train to 45th Street in Brooklyn.
Info Stand: If you have any info you would like to spread to the wider public, please leave posters and/or flyers at Trinity Church and Zuccotti Park.
Labor Outreach Committee Solidarity Group supports Con-Ed workers. Tuesday 5.30 P.M. they gather at 4 Irving Place and march to Union Square.
Info Working Group: Meetings will be organized to prepare September 17th, on Sundays at 7 P.M. (see for updates)
Occupy Bushwick: There was a successful Occupy Town Square at Bushwick, with a nice amount of people and a bilingual GA. Thursday 7 P.M. is the Occupy Bushwick Meeting.
September 17th Planning Committee, every Monday 6-10 P.M., 220 East 23rd St., 7th floor: reportbacks, action planning, media, and other things.
Tech Group: if you need help setting up websites for Working Groups or campaigns, e-mail them:
Occupy NYC Project List: they print and make available online a list of Occupy projects going on across NYC. If you want your project there, e-mail:

•    Teach-In and Discussion on Values-Based Consensus
During the last GA on July 7 it was decided to call for a decision on whether to adopt VBC in this GA. The teach-in is led by Lisa and Jack from the Values-Based Consensus affinity group. Two weeks ago there was a consensus agreement to form such a group to explore the possibilities of VBC for Occupy. They had their first meeting on Tuesday, very successfully and pleasantly using the model. Visions and Goals also uses the model. Workshops will be organized with C.T. Butler. The purpose of the affinity group is to educate. If you have any capacities that would be of use, please join them. They would like to create a cluster of affinity groups with different purposes. People who are interested can put their name on the list going round. Their next meeting will be Monday 7 P.M.
For an explanation of Values-Based Consensus see Further information on it will be distributed through and through workshops.
After the presentation there is a twenty-minute discussion, which is extended with another twenty minutes. There is also a break-up in smaller groups to give everyone the possibility to speak about their concerns. Some concerns are:
•    What is it that will exactly change in the GA if we adopt VBC? Jack and others answer that the GA now is radically inclusive. There is little commitment to the group, everybody is free to come and go. There is no reason to care about decisions. VBC is for groups, defined by their values, and requires active participation. The old GA used voting a lot, which will not be necessary anymore with the new truly horizontal model. C.T. Butler made a comparison chart comparing the old Occupy GA with a possible new one. This will be sent around. See also:
•    What would ‘adopting’ VBC mean? That it will be used during the GA’s here? That working groups will be advised to use it? There is disagreement over these things would be desirable or possible. Some say that it is only for small groups and not appropriate for GA’s like today. Other’s think this is possible because we can identify many common goals. There is also the issue that not everyone sees this as the New York City broad GA.
•    How to define values? Can this group do that for Occupy in NYC more generally?
•    Does adopting a set of values go against what Occupy was originally created about? Namely something open and welcoming to everyone. Others argue that the reason we are all here is that we do have a shared set of values.
•    Is this GA appropriate for decision making or should that be done by working groups only?
•    Are we marginalizing people because of the request to read C.T. Butler’s article online?
•    Should we really spend so much time on our decision making model, instead of taking direct action? It is also said that these two things do not exclude each other, we can both take direct action and talk about our decision making process. Both are important.
•    Other Occupy’d are looking to OWS for a lead if they do not know what to do next. We need to make some decisions but also consider how these affect the movement (inter)nationally.
Through a temperature check it is decided to postpone further discussion to next week. This meeting has been mostly to educate and to discuss whether we are going to explore VBC more. Further decisions will be made in the next GA.
•    Next General Assembly
The next GA is on Saturday July 21, 7 P.M. at Liberty Park. Then we will come back to Values-Based Consensus and September 17th. Make sure to be there to enlighten the discussion and make plans!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *