Notes from the Occupy DE General Assembly (GA) Meeting, 2011-11-20
Spencer Plaza, Wilmington
Meeting start: 1900 hr
Procedures and Hand Signals Review
[see attached reference]
Josh is not our housekeeper. Each of us must clean up after ourselves, in our shared areas throw out our trash. Not only is this a health and safety issue, we don’t want to provide grounds for city objections.
Fire Marshal has inspected the big tent — no flames allowed.
Tell people we prefer large containers of water not small bottles of water. We also need sterno for heating water and food. We cannot cook but we can heat up. Also chafing dishes. We have bags of clothings for sorting through. If anybody needs clothing for overnight please take what you need, we need to stay warm and healthy. We need to take care of ourselves and each other.
Arts, Culture, Education
The library is set up. One section contains books to be read here, the other contains books for swappping.
Legal & Security
There’s an ongoing need for people to be here. Get on the schedule, talk to the a peace steward or people on the committee. If you commit to being here please follow through.
There is a need for people during the day as well as night.
We have 100 signs to hand out at the unemployment offices. They go like candy. We’ll provide some for Occupy Dover as well.
We had a rally in Newark that was successful so we’ll do it regularly, every Friday, 4-5 pm (excluding Friday, November 25th).
We’ll also rally in Wilmington on Delaware Avenue (where peace vigils were held), 4:30-5:30.
Please print out Green Friday flyers (they’re on the Web site) and pass them around. And bring stuff to the event.
1) From the Demands committee
CONGRESS ENACT LEGISLATION TO PROTECT OUR DEMOCRACY BY REVERSING THE EFFECTS OF THE CITIZENS UNITED SUPREME COURT DECISION which essentially said corporations can spend as much as they want on elections. The result is that corporations can pretty much buy elections. Corporations should be highly limited in ability to contribute to political campaigns no matter what the election and no matter what the form of media. This legislation should also RE-ESTABLISH THE PUBLIC AIRWAVES IN THE U.S. SO THAT POLITICAL CANDIDATES ARE GIVEN EQUAL TIME FOR FREE AT REASONABLE INTERVALS IN DAILY PROGRAMMING DURING CAMPAIGN SEASON. The same should extend to other media.
Proposing to adopt this as a demand.
Money was equated with freedom of speech and corporations are endowed with personhood rights, and they can manipulate elections.
Some bills are already proposed. A house bill was submitted to overturn CU, also a Senate bill (see end note ).
Concerns: The demands committee agreed to put it on the back burner. We need to look into the existing bills and rephrase our demand. It was recommended that the first part be tabled.
Amendment: Suggest we table it until we get the factual information about the House bill to overturn Citizens United.
Questions about the amendment to table the proposal: None.
Straw Poll: in favor…
Binding Vote… passed. The proposal was tabled.
2) The proposal is that we create a unified networking system between all of the occupations to facilitate the transportation of people and supplies between the occupations to ensure that all occupations are well staffed and well supplied…so that everyone can be in, no one left out.
A) A pure donation system with no resentment or guilt for donating or not
B) A donation distribution center
C) Human resources: social, medics, protesters, mental health, etc., included
D) A way for people to move to another Occupy if they don’t fit in, with a warning system for the safety of the person and the Occupy
E) A transportation system for the people and assets
F) Modifications would be through a cross-Occupy working group.
Clarifying Questions: Can the proposal be summarized? Yes, see above.
Is this to unify the Occupies so that we can get a transfer of goods and resources between occupies? Yes.
How do we plan to organize the central working group? The working group will decide.
There is a unifying buy-in just getting started call InterOccupy, which has a Web site. Anybody wants to be a part of it let me [Mike Mizner] know. They’re just a clearinghouse…If we can’t turn on the electricity in this camp how could we make this proposal work? Because we’re so small wouldn’t it be difficult to organize this? This proposal was written in Dover and is being voted there…
Would it make sense to add to the momentum that has already begun? Yes. So the wording would just be added to the InterOccupy working group. It doesn’t need to be a proposal, it’s a working group.
Who’s InterOccupy? Tech people are out of Philly.
3) To create a Peace Resolution Team
Proposal for Peace Resolution Team (PRT)
* The PRT is a group of individuals who have volunteered to act as action-takers and decision-makers on Occupy community related issues that are at a “crisis” level, meaning issues that are affecting the Occupy community’s health or safety or may jeopardize the overall mission for legal or other reasons. Examples (though not meant to be an exhaustive list):
1) Pervasive and continued sexual harassment
2) Theft, or forcible entry to other’s tent(s)
3) Violence, or the meaningful threat of violence
4) Alcohol or other drug use within the camp
* The PRT will be comprised of all the members of the Legal & Security team and at least 2 members of each of the main teams: Actions; Demands; Arts, Culture, & Education; Health & Human Services; Media. In addition any members of other committees and at-large Occupiers may serve on the PRT.
* The PRT will not fall below 10 members — it will not have a size limit and will not deny anyone participation on the team.
* The PRT will become active only at the request of an individual in the Occupy community; it is understood that members of the PRT do not give up their standing as an individual of the Occupy community while serving on the PRT.
* The General Assembly (GA) empowers the PRT to make decisions on behalf of the GA using a “representative consensus” process, i.e., a consensus process that does its best to represent the intent and spirit of the GA.
For matters of “imminent safety” that require immediate action, any member of the PRT who are present, or, in their absence, any member of the L&S team, or, in their absence, any member of the Occupy community, or any combination of those who are present, shall consult with each other as is feasible, and are empowered to do what is necessary to maintain the safety of the community (for example, call law enforcement, ask someone to leave the site).
For matters where time allows EXCEPT BANISHMENT FROM THE OCCUPY COMMUNITY, no less than a quorum of 2/3 of the current members of the PRT will consult and come to consensus on a course of action and undertake that course of action.
In matters where banishment from the community is being considered, no less than a quorum of 2/3, but no less than 10 members, of the PRT will come to consensus. If there are fewer than 10 members in the PRT at any given time when a decision of this type is being considered, volunteers from the Occupy community will be asked to volunteer to bring the number to 10.
Consensus may be attained through Skype, phone, email, or other similar electronic means only when necessary.
Clarifying Questions: So, in summary, if there’s a crisis the PRT deals with it if they’re here. If they’re not, it is dealt with by who is here. The order is the PRT, L&S, then anybody here? Yes.
Will there be a protocol for electronic communication, could it be clarified? That should be clarified within the group.
Do we have some recusal process should a member of the team be a problem? The PRT would handle only the most extreme cases and could handle internal problems.
With the banishment, what are some of the details of that? Reasons for banishment? I don’t think we could think of them…but it would be crisis stuff. We have peace stewards and codes of conduct, the PRT is for emergency, crisis safety and welfare at the highest level.
When would the police be called? Do we need to establish standards for calling the police? I think that’s an issue for the entire GA. It would be based on the context.
Re the recusal issue, will there be training or window of time served to get a substitute? Any type of qualification or training or group tenure involved? I think it’s pure self-selection, hopefully by people with appropriate background. I don’t see how we could do that. We would announce at the GA we need volunteers.
Are there qualifications needed re time spent on site? It’s open to any to volunteer but hopefully people would use their judgment.
Is there another list that has rules of the camp we could educate people with? We have guidelines to occupation (from Philly) but they’re not in active use. In the 3rd GA we adopted a code of conduct. It has not been disseminated. It may be on the Web site. It makes sense that we implement the code of conduct.
Can the PRT be responsible for creating daytime and nighttime shift of people to be on site, similar to how L&S tries to? Since L&S is on PRT then they should be here. To maintain he roster itself?
Clarifying Questions for the Amendment:
L&S can’t keep track of a schedule and follow it, how will PRT? This is widely acknowledged, we are trying harder. The purpose of the PRT is to mobilize when there’s a problem, not to do L&S’s job.
Will the PRT be security and L&S legal ultimately? Are you saying the PRT takes over the schedule making for L&S? Yes.
As a member of the original L&S we combined them at the very beginning but we envisioned that legal would be separating from safety at some point.
Is the purpose of the PRT crisis management? Yes.
Why should crisis managers have security responsibilities? How would they manage crises if they aren’t involved in security? PRT members would be trained in crisis management, not security. If L&S wants to split, cool, but don’t assign security to PRT.
Concerns for the Amendment:
We’re evaluating L&S and the PRT as being one and the same, but therapists and police officers are different, crisis management and security are two different things and security should not be put on the PRT. L&S should just step up and do a better job on the security roster.
Having a separate group in charge of another group’s roster isn’t fair. The security committee should do the roster.
To speak to that, L&S have to be tightly bound together, the PRT would deal with the dynamics of the camp. They will have to be tightly bound together to work together. The roster will maintain oversight and create a good bond between the three groups.
Everybody on L&S would be on the PRT so that bond will be there. Scheduling peace stewards is crucial and since L&S is part of the PRT it wouldn’t be effectively a change.
While all the members of the L&S are on the PRT, not all the PRT members are legal and security oriented. We’re here all the time so we all know what’s going on. L&S needs to step up, so that the non-L&S members of the PRT don’t end up doing it.
Restate amendment: PRT would be responsible for the roster. To create it.
Straw Poll of amendment: yes: 0, opposed: several
Binding vote: yes: 0, opposed: 8. The amendment does not pass.
Straw Poll on the Proposal: in favor: 8, opposed: 0
Binding vote: Proposal passes.
We had a meeting of the financial committee to review an tentative offer from a a not-for-profit to financially sponsor us. We’re discussing how to handle this.
Are there two financial committees? We’ll get these two groups together.
Regarding all committees, committees don’t have the power to kick people out without consent from the GA.
Angie is leaving the camp tonight, going to Dover and then cross country. Dover needs our support.
We have contacted somebody who has 50-100 pallets in Aston. We need transport. We could get a flatbed truck this weekend or during the evening during the week.
There will be a L&S meeting after the GA meeting.
MoveOn has put a video up of the walkers.
Meeting adjourned at 2037 hrs.
 Ed. note: US Rep James McGovern’s proposed amendment to the Constitution affirming that…
Bill Text – 112th Congress (2011-2012) – THOMAS (Library of Congress)
Proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to clarify the a…
Sen. Harkin supports amending Constitution to address Citizens United
“This [proposal] addresses the ‘money is not speech’ piece of it, but it does not address the ‘corporation is not a person’ piece of it. And as long as they have that right — which they got very illegitimately in the 1880s — they will be able to use that power against ‘we the people,’” Gardam said.
“There is quite an uneven playing field and, until we fix corporate personhood, the game will stay rigged.”
(MoveToAmend’s Marybeth Gardam)
Thursday at 3:03pm
Thursday at 3:04pm