Wednesday GA Notes
…for most of us, the biggest driver of dishonesty
is the ability to rationalize our actions
so that we don’t lose the sense
of ourselves as good people.
Meeting start: 1915 hr
What’s the shape of things to come?
A relevant announcement. Last we had talked about continuing to keep the group together and having regular meetings. Sally Milbury-Stein of Pacem in Terrace offered an indoor space to meet, walkup on the 3rd floor. Even though it’s not accessible it is a great offer of support and there is a copier available we could use.
Some of what I heard from last week, if there are no GAs but instead regular meetings of working/affinity groups, there are lots of issues I want to address and if we’re not restricted by GAs it might be easier to move ahead with actions. We need to institutionalize ourselves somehow without sacrificing the direct ideal of direct democracy, which allows people with disparate ideas to work together.
Why don’t we adopt a superstructure, have some official members for voting. So the group couldn’t get subverted.
That isn’t what we’re about. The sense I get from Occupy is that it doesn’t want to do that. It’s a place where collaboration and listening happen in circumstances that otherwise would have been contentious.
We can have regular GAs in different places, and action groups can go simultaneously. I don’t see that the GA thwarts that much. Also, some of these government buildings (City-County) will let the public use the Council Chamber when it’s not in use.
As long as we give Hanover Church notice we can use their rooms.
Hannah’s also said we can still meet at Grace Church. As far as committee meetings, remember the Google calendar we have that any of us can add meetings and events. A way to keep track of things after the encampment is gone. Occupy Philly has no GAs, just actions and committees. I’m against that for ODE, we have the opposite issue from Occupy Philly, who had people not going to GA just to actions.
Food for thought. A month ago on the Bill Maher show, his New Rules piece, a 10-minute rant on Occupy, the gist of it was Occupation was great, now what are you going to do? So start doing what works. Which is changing the system from within the system. Start getting candidates elected. The Tea Party is funded by billionaires and they have hijacked the Republican party. Wouldn’t it be interesting if because of Occupy we had a caucus of progressive legislators who hold Obama accountable?
I am very strongly in favor of continuing weekly GAs. Maybe we need to have a proposal, to get the structure there. I think Maher’s vision is a wonderful dream but I don’t think it could work for Occupy. The problem with that for me is that it assumes that people think the system can be changed and there are plenty of people from Occupy who don’t think the system can be changed, it has to be taken down and rebuilt.
Occupy is not as lock-step as the Tea Party (Tea Party can be part of Occupy, Occupy isn’t only open to progressive politics.)
Basically I’m a right-wing conservative and I’m here because I think the system is rotten and I think we need to destroy and demolish this system. They all cater to the banking elite.
I would still like to have the GAs too. I don’t see us as being a big enough group to have functioning committees that do things. I think we need to have a single, constant place for the GAs so new people know where to go. We can have weekly committee meetings and monthly GAs. We won’t be able to advertise if we don’t have a single place to go to.
We started in the union hall GAs broke into working groups at the same meeting time. Perhaps we should continue to have a weekly GA and quickly break into working groups, at the same time in the same venue.
We went chalking the city early this week, against student loans at the schools. And we went back out yesterday and I hit up on all the banks.
Could we make this an official action so anybody who wants to join in can do it? Yes!
The Facebook page has bee hijacked by one particular admin who deleted all the other admins and then changed the page, that would not have been approved by the other admins. We are in the process of getting this addressed.
We made Move-Your-Money brochures like the Occupy Harrisonburg ones. They’re available for editing. There are a lot more credit unions in Delaware than we could list on the brochure but there’s a link to a longer list.
Wilmington Delaware Avenue didn’t happen tonight, because it was too hot and there was a heavy thunderstorm warning.
The recent bank sleep went well. There were about 6 or 7 people there who slept overnight. A couple people who were just walking by returned and ended up staying all night. They had been with Occupy DC.
The settlement with the city has been signed by the judge.
Proposal 1: To reduce personal attacks. If an ODE person feels they have been personally attached or someone has observed others, then it can be brought up to the GA and voted on. If a person gets two complaints then that person can be asked to leave the GA.
We have the Peace Resolution Team, since November, which allows for an emergency meeting to be called by anyone at anytime, with a quorum of 10, and it has a wide discretion with how to deal with whatever crisis it has been called for.
We have a procedure that we’ve used.
If it’s validated by the group it would be considered a first incident, does a second incident have to be an attack against the same person? Yes. But nothing’s written in stone. Part of my intent is to put out the message that personal attacks are not acceptable.
Anybody could call a meeting of the PRT at anytime? The PRT does not pass resolutions, they are just charged with solving a crisis. They deal with the individuals who are having a crisis.
Isn’t it hard sometime to define the hostility? People may feel they’re being attacked but the opposite party doesn’t realize they’re perceived as being hostile.
Anyone who has been cited twice will be banned? Yes. Then there has to be a procedure for that and it would fall back on the same procedure as we have for the PRT.
Does this concern Facebook, GA, ODE, anything relating to Occupy? Within the Occupy arena everyone should feel safe to work together.
If perhaps we reconsider the wording and re-present it as “personal attacks should be within the purview of the PRT team.” The PRT has always been confined to the camp site, and I’d like to find a way to put some teeth out there.
I feel very strongly that personal attacks should not be legislated in any way by any process, because my concern is that there is a huge difference between legitimate speech and hate speech, but calling someone something, is a stupid slur but they’re not hate speech. My concern is that how can Occupy limit any speech that isn’t hate speech?
At the same time if the same thing happens again and again something should be done.
Bullies should be confronted, but to have a group process that limits speech I could never be behind. If I were being bullied I would take steps to deal with it but I don’t think it’s a group issue to legislate.
Different people interpret different things as hate speech, especially if they’re repeated over and over.
There’s a distinction between slurs and hate speech.
You’re not going to stop people from talking bad about you.
I have been the victim of some of these attacks and I agree that some things that some think are just slurs I see it from an entirely different perspective as a woman, and it happens way too often, and the PRT doesn’t address on-line things, so we need to find a way to incorporate this. So I think finding a way to incorporate more in the PRT would be good. We say “dissent, don’t attack,” but I feel we have a feeling of patriarchy, it’s ok [in our culture] to say “mad housewives” and “girly man.” These are not funny. If we don’t find a way to address these personal attacks then we’ll have dedicated people leaving, in order to protect the rights of those people making the attacks.
As someone who has also been insulted, face-to-face, Facebook, chats, I am against this proposal. The PRT was started to deal with any crisis and can be called for any reason. From Guidelines for Effective Occupation, “….” it is official, you cannot attack people. ODE has accepted the Guidelines. I do have concerns about people who might not be as empowered as I am to combat these attacks that we need to find a way to help these people. This might be a way to open a discussion to come up with a creative way to deal with this issue.
The criterion should not be hate speech, insults turn people away. We have to have a certain level of respect. The PRT can address this, whatever works for the group. We need to draw a connection between getting hurt and activating the PRT.
We are a small group, we want to develop a culture where these things just do not happen. We have guidelines, but we’re not reading them or promoting them. If we all start reading them and buy into them individually and operate according to them, we need to be self-governing, rules start to feed on it. The concern is very important, but I don’t agree we should have a council to enforce them. We should pull together as a tribe.
Legislating this thing is not quite the right way to go, we have some things in order with the PRT…but there’s no kind of a culture here where we can feel we can bring it up and say “stop.” It’s important that we have an open dialog and a sens of irony but at the same time we know when someone is being attacked, but we don’t have a culture of stopping it. This is a good conversation to have, and we have to stand up to bullies.
I kind of agree with the free speech point, and that we’re not addressing this. The PRT is for peace resolution, there is no peace if people are feeling attacked. The PRT is already empowered to keep the peace.
This is not about hate speech, it’s about speech that hurts people.
I think we have a culture here that we’re all very respectful, maybe too respectful, so we don’t deal with bullies well. I agree we can handle it, but we need to handle it without making a law. I’m not comfortable kicking people out for being a jerk.
People can be banned from Facebook pages.
Thank you for bringing this up, this is a discussion we need to have and have more often. If we do it from the GA then it would be part of the public notes, as done by the PRT it’s not publicized.
I like all the arguments and the idea of not having a rule, as long as none of the people who have been hurt don’t feel as if they’re being abandoned, I’ll withdraw the proposal. We need to make sure the PRT does this.
As a person who has been attached I agree with withdrawing the proposal and making it a function of the PRT. People need to “man up” and not be afraid to jump in.
You don’t want to feed the trolls online, but then it needs to come up in meetings, with consequences.
The proposal was withdrawn.
Proposal 2: The GA should have to vet and approve admins for any ODE online media presence.
There were way too many admins on the FB page. We had a discussion about taking some people off and it was decided against.
As a part of that discussion a minority didn’t want to do anything. It just wasn’t unanimous.
It shouldn’t be left to the people doing it to decide who should do it.
Is there a number of admins specified? No, just what the proposal says. I haven’t addressed the process. That could be another proposal. The admins should be determined by consensus of the GA.
So you don’t think it should be left up to the media committee to do the vetting? There is someone who’s a FB admin who is unable to attend GAs, but she’s one of the most knowledgable resource about FB. The proposal is that the GA determines that the admins should be vetted. The GA could decide that the media committee decides.
What does a FB admin do? The FB admin can add/remove admins, post as Occupy Delaware, change settings to the page, e.g., to allow/disallow comments, also the admin has access to the stats on the page. The can block people. There are different admin roles, from Manager on down. We could designate different roles.
It should be left to the media committee to appoint one administrator.
All this does is say there would be a vetting process, without defining the process. The media committee could bring a slate of proposed admins to the GA for approval. That’s not what the proposal is. It is that the GA should have a vetting process. That process could be that solution. But we should start at the beginning: Should we be vetting people as the GA?
The word “vetting” bothers me. I’ll change the word to “approved.” We’ll need to decide who the new admins will be anyway.
It would be appropriate to define the roles and the knowledge needed to fulfill them.
The vetting process could be useless, it wouldn’t have prohibited what happened to the FB page. In the spirit of Occupy if you’re interested in part of a group you join. This takes it to a less inclusive level.
I think the idea is generally good but it adds an unnecessary level of bureaucracy to the GA. It should be just assigned to the media committee, which would keep the GA informed.
We have to trust each other. We have many accounts, and sites. Would we do this through the GA for each? Have some sort of approval process through the media committee.
Why is that any different through the media group than the GA? Just as for demands, those who are speaking for ODE we vote on that in the GA. We’ve authorized the media committee to publish press releases.
We’ve empowered our working groups to do things so they can function, if the group decides to have a vetting process, and you can become part of the media committee to have a say in how admins are chosen.
The problem we’re trying to prevent, it would be more useful that if somebody sees a red flag they bring it up for review with the GA. There should not be a restriction on people volunteering to do things.
It is a good idea to let the media committee to do its work but also to let people know what’s going on so people can raise an issue. That would add some security that we clearly need.
In the past, the FB admins, whenever they posted as an admin, there was an informal agreement to post it with their name. That would be a way for people to know who the admins.
The nature of this proposal is that everybody in the GA knows who the admins are and are speaking in our name. And it’s not random how people get to be admins. It’s not about damage control, or preventive measures.
Do we have a process in place in the media committee to set FB admins? We should all know who is speaking in our names.
All of the committees were empowered to act on ODE’s behalf, back in October.
Revised Proposal: The GA should authorize those who have admin privileges to our social media and Web sites and the candidates will be presented by the media committee to the GA for approval by its normal process.
My opinion is that no action is needed by the GA tonight, and this opens up a can of worms. I think the process is fine.
I’m not sure the proposal is right, but it sure addresses some problems and I’m for the GA having some deeper involvement.
There should be a review of who has access, there should be discussion in the media team, and I propose that the media committee come up with a solution and come back to the GA and do a report back, and we could be doing a better job of reviewing and reporting back.
The media committee may have more power to co-opt the decision process, they’re dominating the group, and the proposal addresses that.
I don’t exactly agree that the media committee has excess power, it’s a busy committee. The FB page is just one of those issues. But by the rules of all the committees this is problem that the media needs to address and report back on.
Straw Poll: + 4, – 7
Break out into discussion groups.
Straw Poll: + 5, – 7
Temperature check, no break-outs.
Binding Vote: + 6, – 7
The proposal does not carry.
Suggest that the media committee have a meeting to discuss the issues raised. After Announcements.
During the day hundreds of people come by the site and ask questions and support ODE, the site is used for education purposes, outreach, protest. I’m proud to be an Occupier, giving up the camp may or may not occur but we should still have a regular meeting place and time. I want to thank everybody.
Tomorrow afternoon, 3:30 pm, M&T Bank Market St. I will be joined with 32 SEIU workers, who were all let go and 9 of the 20 were hired back as nonunion, and went from $8.50/hr to $7.75/hr. The union educates its members in their trades and union members earn more.
The stage-hand union, the Firefly concert this weekend refused to hire union stage hands and they brought in a non-union crew from Tennessee to set it up. Firefly is a corporate money-maker, they’re not giving jobs to Delawareans.
People are interested in a table at the Peoples Fest, we can make that happen. Also if you have causes to present at the table. July 28. Also have petitions on the table for people to sign.
Womens March, Aug. 18, the bus needs to be filled, there are about 37 seats left, out of 55. It’s a great deal, $20 RT! [link]
Meeting adjourned: 2146 hr