NYC GENERAL ASSEMBLY MINUTES 3/20/2012
Location: 60 Wall St. 7:15 pm
Live tweets: Dicey
[In light of the circumstances of there being a new occupation at Union Square, and to clarify if the NYCGA should be held there, the only agenda item at this GA was a discussion on how to handle the situation.]
F: Opening stack.
Justin: Last night at Union Square we tried to do a GA at 7 but it wasn’t clear what was happening, so they didn’t have it. They are going to have a mini GA tonight, later.
Zack: I am concerned with this being a GA when it wasn’t announced. I wouldn’t feel comfortable with this body making any decisions unless it’s only about moving GA to Union Square.
POI: This is the regularly scheduled GA. It has been posted on NYCGA.net that the location would be 60 Wall. That is our only agenda item and the only reason we are here.
Lauren: I think we need to have a GA at Union as soon as possible. We have a lot that we need to work out, quickly.
POI (Libor): in the fall went we sent a delegation of people to Brussels, they came to a conclusion that there would be international assemblies, there were neighborhood assemblies, people’s assemblies and at some point they can ratify general assemblies. I want to propose that Union Sq would be a “people’s assembly” and they could hold their own assemblies.
Dicey: I think there are logistical questions: Does the general fund cover Union Square? Do our working groups start meeting there?
POI (Justin): The Union Square people have started talking about creating their own structure, calling working group “unions,” etc.
Libor: I think that would show the point that there is a difference between NYCGA and Union Square, so there’s a need to discuss it here.
POI: Union Square has made the decision that they don’t want any money and don’t want to use our financial structures.
?: I just hope whoever is at Union Square just wants to follow the rules because people weren’t doing so at Zuccotti.
Katie: I am trying to get a new WG on NYCGA. Should I sit around and wait here? Go to Union Square?
A: Stay tuned.
Lauren: I agree that we are getting bogged down by process. It is organized chaos up there. The dichotomy is Union Square is not our park, it’s a collection of kids, vendors, farmers, … It needs to have its own GA. I think we intend to go to Liberty Square, I don’t think we are abandoning it, but I think this is a great opportunity for us to branch out. We should think about staring branches in other parks: Battery Park, Washington Square Park. I think we should see alternate dates of GAs in Liberty, GAs in Union Square … The march between both is great. I think we need to allow the community that is getting together at Union Square to have their own.
?: Having different GAs at different locations will stretch it thin. You need to have major locations. It’s like a major coporation growing too fast. ….What happened on Saturday was bad …
Nick: When this meeting just started, we knew that this conversation has to happen at Union Square. So I have an emergency proposal for NYCGA to keep listing this GA and add whatever’s happening at Union Square.
Carrie: I came down here thinking that we would consense to move NYCGA to Union Square. But now I’m hearing that the people there might not want to be part of NYCGA and be their own occupation. So I think we need to go there and have a dicsussion and have them consense they either want to be part of NYCGA or be separate. Also, I do see a divisiveness. I was part of the march that got to Union Square at 2 am on Saturday, I have spent hours there today and yesterday, and we all just came here from there. Yet I was told I wasn’t a real occupier because I haven’t slept in Union Square.
Dicey: I feel we need to acknowledge this is a tricky situation, because this is a gathering of people who came here. I feel like we’re talkiong abt people like me who feel like we’re part of OWS and also want to be part of that occupation, but realize there are stakeholders there who we need to see what they want. I like Carrie’s proposal. I think we need to have a discussion with them.
POI (Lauren): If you are part of OWS then you are part of any occupation. I went to Union Square as soon as I got out of jail. I would like to think I would have access to the bail fund, which I might need, even if I am staying in Union Square.
?: I feel like moving the GA to Union Square would be like abandoning 60 Wall.
Libor: Today’s Tuesday. On Wednesday there’s supposed to be Spokes Council, on Saturday there’s a big march. What’s the logistics? Are we marching down here?
POI: I think the march is going to head from Union Square.
Libor: I think we should …
Justin: NYCGA needs to deal with the fact that all WGs are going to be losing money this week, and we need to decide how to dole out the remaining recurring funds.
POI (Trish): NYCGA. net, lists on WGs etc. … how does that all work with Union Square?
?: We need to stop differentiating who’s a real occupier becauase they’ve slept in a park or not, been arrested or not. Some of us are unarrestable …
Libor: We are here as a protest, so we are just here to disrupt a little bit of flow.
Katie: I have the sense we can’t continue this discussion without the input of Union Square.
Dicey: I am confused by what Lauren is saying. I hear there are people who don’t want to be part of the GA, others who do. I think it would be an invasion if we go there.
Zack: A lot of people at Union consider themselves OWS. We are all the same people. It’s not like anything changed when we set foot in that space. Nothing has changed. All the time we’ve occupied, people have made their own decisions. If they wanted to attend GA, they did, if not, they didn’t. But a lot of our occupiers didn’t know this was happening. … Just by moving it there, we can make the announcement. We can say that at least just for tonight, we are moving it there.
Lauren: I think it’s important ot be flexible and not become completely irrational for the sake of process. We had something amazingly beautiful happen … getting out of jail, holding that park. On #M17 DA was planning on occupying a space, not necessarily Zuccotti. …f I think we should have an occupation, we should be visible, the public attention and interest in OWS is awesome, people are walking by and asking questions and it’s great. Today is the first day of our American Spring and we are blooming at Union Square. I don’t think they’d feel like it’s an invasion.
Dicey: As long as we are open to the idea that there are new stakeholders after this and we need to be understanding of what they need.
Libor: I would want to make a proposal that we do it as a “visiting location” for GA, not to impose ourselves on a location. …
Proposal from Zack: To move this NYCGA to Union Square and continue it there. Make an announcement to everyone, which is us and them, and explain what happened here, that we want an inclusive format, to continue the GA there, that we want to come up with there a proposal of what it is. Straw poll: 8
Proposal from Carrie: That we will officially end this GA here, and go talk to them to see what they want to do. Straw poll: 6
Proposal from Libor: To move a visiting GA to Union Square starting on a future day. Straw poll: 1
POP: From Tim: Can we temp check if this is an emergency proposal?
Unanimous uptwinkles: Yes.
POI: There has not been a GA at Union Square in which a proposal has been brought. So there might be people leaning one way or leaning another.
Proposal: How about we combine the two proposals: We put GA on pause, we go to Union Square and have a discussion with the people there whether or not they want to continue the NYCGA up there. If they want to continue it, we do. If not, this GA is over.
Temp check? Unanimous uptwinkles.
[The GA group goes to Union Square. Once there, we ask if the group wants to continue or have a GA. There is dissent about whether the Union Square occupation wants to now or ever have a GA, or start meeting under a different system. They say they need time to figure out what they want to do, to let it grow organically. They decide this is not a GA but a discussion. Therefore, regularly scheduled NYCGA has not moved to Union Square and will meet on Thursday at 60 Wall or Liberty Park, depending on the weather.]