Notes from the
General Assembly (GA) Meeting
Spencer Plaza, Wilmington
a new global justice movement
to confront a global crisis.
Meeting started: 1905 hr
Five delegates met with Sen. Coons on the 27th. The minutes from that meeting are here. Points discussed were the GA’s 4 demands: Glass-Steagall / Return to Prudent Banking Act, he likes the Volcker Rule, it won’t fix the problem entirely; publicly funded bond rating agency [e.g., ref.]; Citizens United, he’s against corporate personhood, he will support an amendment to the Constitution, Udall’s?; supports foreclosure moratorium, put pressure on AGs, MERS and AGs lawsuit, 5 MERS ppties on NCC sale, he’s personally speaking to banks on people’s behalf, Kay Sporizzi, involved with 200 mortgage complaints, if you can’t get satisfaction call Sporizzi; NDAA — struggled with it because of funding, co-sponsor of Due-Process Guarantee Act, asked about our proposal’s sections, he talked with us for 45 minutes, and we talked with Katie afterward. Very well prepared, good job, Coons does not disagree with anything we are doing or saying, in principle, he agreed to look further into things he doesn’t agree with. He agreed to follow-up meeting in 2 months. Overall a good initial contact. Coons on Citizens United: as long as House of Reps is controlled by Republicans we’ll be 2 years to get a Const. amendment.
The meeting with Coons went well, well scripted on our part, we had an extra 35 minute meeting with 2 attaches, Katie, who’s taking hard-core foreclosure cases and trying to keep people from losing their houses. Coons is being pro-active. Supports our position on NDAA and Glass-Stegall.
[Coons rails against Internet piracy bill backlash.]
Re the Prudent Banking Act. We’ll have another meeting with Coons April 2 or March 30, we’ll bring the Prudent Banking Act up again. It’s a House bill. He favors a horizontal division, by size of bank. BoA employs thousands of people…
Coons: On the FY2012 National Department of Defense Authorization Act Detainee Provisions: Sections 1021, 1022, and 1023 are the latest in a series of legislative proposals that provide ever-narrowing latitude for dealing with terrorism suspects, whether in the U.S. or abroad.
Sheriff’s sale action: Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, we want to make sure we have a presence and not let the homes be foreclosed on.
At our ongoing Wilmington rally today, 5:00 pm – 5:30 pm, we got a lot of positive response from motorists and pedestrians. The weekly rallies for Wilmington (I-95 bridge on Delaware Ave.), 5 pm – 6 pm, Wednesdays,
Friday rallies in Newark are in hiatus until students return to school (Friday next); Newark, 4 pm to 5:30 pm, Fridays.
We contacted two Wilmington teachers to get into a classroom to do a mic check. We may be going to a school board meeting and doing a real mic check.
Protest idea, like OWS, use return envelopes from banks to return silly stuff.
Contact Ray for Occupy wear.
There will be a Demands committee meeting Sunday, 1 pm, at Spencer Plaza.
Reviewed general GA guidelines [good video] and the GA proposal process.
Reviewed history of Occupy Delaware. Discussed InterOccupy. Nathan Kleinman, not an Occupy-endorsed thing [see Occupy Philly statement.] Occupy is direct-democracy, as opposed to representative democracy. Kleinman’s asked Mizner to work on his campaign, he’ll be leaving tonight. Kleinman’s campaign presents a unique opportunity to the people of Jenkinstown, integrating the GA direct-democracy process into general politics.
Occupy Delaware does not, will not, in any form, endorse any candidate running for any political party, now or in the future.
It has been confirmed Occupy DC, during an InterOccupy meeting held there, found a way to endorse Obama. [????.] It was proven that they were being infiltrated, so it’s important to make a clear statement.
SCIU and allies tried this. Was it infiltrating, co-optation? People have a right to make their own proposals.
Democrats in Congress are putting out FOIA requests to find out about Fed. Govt. involvement in cracking down on Occupies. [reference]
We know what happened in Oakland over the weekend — that’s Democrats.
In addition to the question of endorsing candidates we have been approached by groups to take a position on issues.
Joe Biden’s Violence Against Women Act $6 bn program, government makes money from rape. [reference]
Obama is opposed to Glass-Steagall [reference], good reason to not get involved with non-Occupy agendas.
Restate proposal: Formally as Occupy Delaware we affirm that we do not endorse candidates or affiliate with a political party.
Does that mean also discussing candidates at GAs? No, anything should be open to discussion at GAs, it’s the facilitator’s judgment. Open discussions should absolutely be able to discuss politicians.
I’m worried that we’re entering a slippery slope, the part about not supporting anything in the future, shouldn’t we include a time frame? Any proposal can be changed in the future.
As a GA, we’re speaking about interests of New Castle County, or Delaware, so to think that we could represent enough voices to endorse a candidate in a system that is broken does not work. A GA could never have the power, or interest, in endorsing a candidate.
With InterOccupy do we foresee that we’ll never have a candidate come from within the Occupy movement, in general? Or make Occupy a political party? Kleinman is not running as an Occupy Philly candidate, he’s just running as Nate Klienman, his candidacy has nothing to do with GAs.
Does this mean that we don’t denounce candidates as well? I think we want to be able to bash some people. We protest in groups with signs that bash politicians, so we do that now.
Any time I’m holding a sign, that’s what I’m saying, your sign is what you’re saying, that’s ok, we’re a collection of individuals. If you put a sign on a camp structure somebody may have a problem with it. Anything done at a GA is in the voice of Occupy Delaware, what’s done or said outside of GA is not the voice of Occupy Delaware.
So we should not, as a GA, endorse political parties as well? Correct.
Is the proposal something that will publicized, as in an op-ed piece, explaining to everyone? The media team can disseminate anything the GA does, as representing the group.
Is this proposal being proposed now because the issue has come up? I’m bringing it up now because I’m going to go work on a Democrat campaign.
Recently we had the Green Party here, does this mean that we wouldn’t do that kind of thing in the future? No, why shouldn’t we?
It says something about our Occupy movement and encourages others to say that Occupy is not about existing politics, it’s because it’s broken. We live in a capitalist system that attenuates democracy, which gives all this power to the top 1% who are telling the politicians what to do, so we should maintain our independence from them.
We need to be careful about the language, because of some of the issues that have been brought out. I’d like to have this proposal precisely stated.
Individuals do not understand policy and we’re educating ourselves and others about policies of interest to the 99%.
I see what we’re doing here as something totally new and I’m afraid we could become co-opted, Occupy is not about a party or a candidate, and we need to make the statement that we’re about getting the voice of the people made into action.
This proposal allows us to have a diversity of opinions within the group.
[The Occupy Delaware mission statement was read out loud.]
So the mission statement states we’re a direct democracy, therefore we don’t support representative democracy.
This proposal should be tabled because it was not brought before the facilitation committee a week before it was presented.
We should explicitly state we’re violating procedure…
Temperature check: Should we propose it next week? There are enough people approving this that we should bring it forward as a proposal next week.
Proposal was tabled until next week.
Re-statement of the proposal to work on the wording: Occupy Delaware does not endorse any candidate or political party.
Occupy Your Wallet cards, there’ll be some new ones, on show at Union St. and 17th Friday night, free. And bring or make a sign and pose in the show for a new card. It’s on the Occupy Delaware Facebook site.
On Tuesday Gov. Corbett (PA) will present state of the budget address. There’ll be a joint Occupy presence there, Tues am, 9:30-10am? Occupy Lancaster has a distribution list.
We need to maintain our watch schedule every day. We have a sign-off process already set up.
I have two cards, one for Cristina and one for Loretta Walsh who are having procedures done if you’d like to sign them.
Please vote in the firedoglake see Web site, for command tent.
This Sunday, we’re invited to Mother AUM church, service at 11 am, 9th and Franklin. Let’s meet at Spencer Plaza at 10.
Several of us went to Perfected Life service and it was a great service and the pastor based his sermon on the Occupy movement and asked his congregation to move their money to credit unions.
Tomorrow at 7:30, Campaign to End the Death Penalty weekly meeting. Talk to Steve for more info.
“If the people lead the leaders follow.”
Meeting adjourned: 1930 hr