Notes from the
General Assembly (GA) Meeting
Grace Church, Wilmington
a new global justice movement
to confront a global crisis.
Meeting started: 1909 hr
Intro, greeting, acknowledgment of the week’s successful Sheriff sale action.
Reminder to trust each other and the process, speak from experience, disagree or dissent don’t attack.
We resumed overnight watches at Spencer Plaza, we could use more help. There’s a document on the Security FB page for scheduling.
We had an eventful week. Saturday we joined the Wilmington St. Patrick’s Day parade and got a great reception, and a few negative responses. And we were actually announced at the grand stand!
Yesterday, at the monthly Sheriff sale action, participating in the national action against Chase Bank, we read a statement for 3 minutes until they asked us to leave and they arrested one of us. We then served Chase Bank with a foreclosure notice at their downtown headquarters.
This Saturday there will be an action at Bank of America in downtown Wilmington, meet at Spencer Plaza at 11 am.
At today’s Wilmington action, 7 people rallied, 2 people joined from driving by and will be at next week’s rally and GAs.
Actions committee meetings are on Tuesdays at 6 pm at Spencer Plaza and on Saturdays at 1 pm at Spencer.
Can someone go to the Occupy Philly GA tomorrow? See Becky or Jen.
The Occupy Philadelphia National Gathering Process is bringing a proposal [and here] to facilitate the introduction of multi-GA-sanctioned Working Group dedicated to planning a truly democratic National Gathering on July 4. So the plan is to have all local GAs approve the proposal. It’ll be brought to this GA tonight. Every occupier will have a voice in the vision statement. It’s a perfect example of the horizontal, democratic process.
We published several press releases about the actions for the week, Dimon’s birthday, the Sheriff sale. After the arrest the release information was published in the paper, we followed up with another release demanding that charges be dropped, foreclosures stopped, and banksters arrested. [link to FDL report Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Docs Finally Released]
Also, we put out a notice to our friends and allies to write officials stating our position about the arrest.
There was coverage of arrest and foreclosure action was on Action News, last night at 4 and 6 pm.
Everyone is invited to the committee meetings a half hour before the GA.
The Demands committee is continuing the successful workshops on Economics, Finance, the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and Related Topics, at Hanover Presbyterian Church in Wilmington. Please come and participate in our discussion of the economy, federal reserve. Bring friends, family.
Got a call from Dom Pileggi, senate majority leader, Chester and Delaware Counties, PA, about the reason for supporting a voter suppression law in PA. This bill could disenfranchise 1000s of people. “It’s to ensure voter integrity.” “How much was in jeopardy?” He couldn’t answer. It’s a solution in search of a problem. These laws are meant to take voting rights from disabled, elderly, homeless. How can he support a re-establishment of the Jim Crow laws?
Occupy New Haven has held off their eviction, with the help of 5 representatives from Delaware.
An Idea to Share: We need a paradigm shift, Occupy–>Shift: We are not a spoke on the wheel, but truly the hub.
Demand meeting this Sunday. 3 Sundays from now we’ll continue our teach-in.
Archive group, we’re collecting things, please bring things.
We’ve been successful with overnight shifts for camp watch but we need more people to commit to 3 hours during the 12 midnight to 6 am shift, to help out the 3 people who are doing it.
Photo book (Tim).
There are hundreds of banking executives leaving their positions. That’s good news! [NY Times Op-Ed, Greg Smith]
The weekly rallies for Wilmington are (I-95 bridge on Delaware Ave.), 4:30 pm – 6 pm, Wednesdays.
Friday rallies in Newark are full steam ahead as students have returned to school; Fridays, Newark, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
Proposal a: All proposals must be announced one week prior to their presentation.
Proposal b: To make the quorum a function of the size of the group, half plus one.
Proposal c: Occupy National Gathering Proposal acceptance.
Show of hands on order of addressing proposals. c is first, a is second.
Review of proposal procedure.
Proposal 1: To ratify the Occupy National Gathering Proposal, an up or down vote.
National Gathering Visioning Process Proposal, on July 4.
The ONGP was read aloud.
This appears markedly different from the 99D proposal, which was rejected by Occupy Philly.
It’s being proposed by the group that’s bashed the 99D proposal. [see link] Read it and judge for yourself.
Who’s the brain trust for this? Occupy Philly came up with the idea for the working group and offered to host it. During the 7 week discussion period a number of different locations were considered but those didn’t have contacts, other locations discussed DC, Madison, Detroit. Philadelphia was chosen because it had an organization on the ground ready to move. Consensus on choosing Philadelphia was made.
The process of developing the Vision starts when? On July 4. All the earlier events are peripheral, not necessarily related to the the visioning. The process has been tested for developing proposals and it works well.
Are we making a limited number of items to filter up? We’re thinking each group of 3 will have 10 proposals…
Shouldn’t there be local meetings before the 4th? Yes, GAs are encouraged to practice this process.
This method seems unwieldy, it will probably take a lot of time. How will this July 4th meeting be run? These cells collapse very quickly, to get from 3000 to 1 is only about 5 steps. The process was developed by someone from NYU, social connectivity. There will be a physical gathering in Philadelphia and use America Speaks software on the Web. There will be a facilitator for each group of 3…
What is the definition of a “preponderance” in various contexts? Preponderance was inserted to be deliberately vague, originally they thought 10, the 20, then 50 GAs to ratify. It can’t be defined at this point. 20 will be considered a success.
Have there been any trials or simulations of the process? Yes, Occupy Philly did it, in one hour, supporting the estimate of one day for this.
Would we want to appoint people to go, or is there an advantage to more going to have a bigger voice…? Everybody who is interested should go, for the process and for the face-to-face contact. The Philadelphia group will be responsible for logistics, housing, parking, food.
What’s the long-term vision, end goal, 5 years out? It’s an alternative to the failed system that’s in place right now. A chance for Occupy to demonstrate that there is another way of conducting political business. Everybody has input, then it’s a matter of forming consensus.
I see two aspects to this, an experiment and a constitutional assembly. Which is it more like? Where does it fit? I would rank is more as an experiment, to see where it goes from there. Nothing like this has been tried before.
I attended the GA in Philly where it was tried last night and it worked well. It was an interesting experience, with a lot of potential. We need a tool like this to facilitate real democracy, the details will have to be evolved through using the process.
We need to experiment and find out how well this works. I heard there were some attempts to exclude some folks, we need to keep it inclusive and open and my concern is there might be something in the foundation that could exclude people.
Independence Mall, July 4th could be a problem, what has the logistic group done to take this into account? Occupy Philly has recognized this issue and is looking into them.
It sounds like there’s a fair bit of uncertainty in the process and I hope the Philadelphia committee will solidify it enough.
We could get the Occupy Philly to do a webinar to teach us how to do it.
Occupy DC had working groups starting in Oct 2011 to develop paths forward, there’s also the 99 Percent Declaration, which stands for a vision I wanted. Occupy Philly attacked this 99D, which is for a legitimate constitutional convention to challenge the existing government we have. There’s a 3rd group out there that crowdsourced one. 3 groups with the same goal kind of at odds with each other. None is horizontal democracy, but they’re all cool. But I’m concerned about the intergroup smearing.
We might, if we ratify this, want to discuss coming up with some stuff that’s sort of approved by the GA if we do send representatives as opposed to…just something to think about. I don’t see what we have to lose by ratifying this, if you want to be involved in nailing down the details you can participate on the conference calls.
This is a consensus-building process, going through a process of eliminating people’s concerns, that’s the way a consensus building process works. I don’t think we should put too much faith in getting the right decisions, consensus does not magically produce the right decisions. The representative system allows judgment to be applied, but our existing representative process is broken. We have to try alternatives.
Amendments (proposed comments in this context)
The use of capital letters in the statement can be misleading, Democratic should be democratic. This should be attached to our resolution. This can be changed right now, and it was. Seconded. This was accepted as a friendly amendment.
We should further consider processes that may be easier handle during the day. Seconded.
The process should be reviewed and other models that may be more feasible considered. While accepting the process we should express concern that a better process should be sought.
Temperature check on voting that amendment up or down. Approved.
Straw Poll on the amendment: unanimous in favor. The amendment/comment will be attached to the proposal.
Straw Poll on the proposal: unanimous in favor.
Binding Vote: unanimous in favor.
The proposal passed unanimously.
Proposal 2: Any proposal must be announced one week before it’s proposed.
The original thing of this is only things done by collective voice must have one week lead time. This proposal says that all proposals must have a one week vetting time.
This was voted on twice before.
I had always understood that a proposal is a proposal is a proposal. And I was told that that is wrong.
How will we deal with emergency situations? That’s not including in this.
Why do you think this is a good idea? Because things need to be studied, people were bringing up proposals with thin GA attendance to try to ram things through.
If we absolutely require as I recall we were looking for consensus on deciding on a way our funds are spent if we need a proposal that could be a long wait for example if we need to spend money for bail a week could be unnecessarily long time.
People don’t do squat in terms of preparing for a proposal for the next week. People don’t even know about it.
It’s good to give time for people to prepare, and there are exceptions for immediate need for actions, and if there’s a quorum then the assembly has the power to decide to do something, which can be overruled by a later assembly.
I would like to see the names of the people…
Proposing a week ahead of the time is not the problem, discussion is the problem. Discussion should be facilitated.
The proposer tabled the proposal.
Proposal 3 was also tabled by proposer.
Pat, visting from Times Up, the makers of the generator bikes that were confiscated at Zuccotti Park: we may be able to get you a bike or plans on how to build one.
GA adjourned: 2100 hr