THIS POST HAS BEEN EDITED, AND ORIGINAL AND NEWER TEXT VERSIONS ARE SHOWN BELOW. SEE COMMENTS FOR DISCUSSION OF THESE EDITS.
On Friday, October 28, and Monday, October 31, 2011, Paul Carnes, Sydney Sherrell, Gregory Murphy, Shane Aspinall, and Rita Sebastian, all of whom have been active in the Occupy Boston Movement and specifically in its Financial Accountability Working Group (FAWG), and all of whom are working together cooperatively, met to discuss and agree on various matters having to do with Occupy Boston’s finances. We have reached the following agreements.
1. Various of us have opened two bank accounts that hold money donated to support Occupy Boston, both at the Liberty Bay Credit Union, one in the name “Occupy Boston” and the other in the name “Occupy Boston Financial Accountability Working Group”. We agree that it is confusing and unnecessary to have two accounts at the same bank that have the same purpose. Since FAWG is in fact responsible for monitoring donated funds, the five of us have closed the account with the more general name “Occupy Boston”, and we have shifted its funds to the account more appropriately and specifically named the Occupy Boston Financial Accountability Working Group account. All bank statements for the closed account have been transferred to those overseeing the open account.
2. In order earlier to open the account we have now closed, it was necessary for us to obtain a “doing business as” (dba) certificate in the name Occupy Boston and an associated employer identification number (ein). We have executed the City of Boston’s Withdrawal of Business form withdrawing the dba Occupy Boston, which attorney David Kelston will hold in escrow until the General Assembly (GA) reaches consensus on how to proceed with the dba Occupy Boston. We also agree that we have no need for the ein associated with the bank account we have closed, and we will promptly take steps to extinguish that ein.
3. Paul and Sydney have described to us a plan they have to set up a business that will raise funds for progressive groups, quite possibly including Occupy Boston. The five of us agree that such a group’s services could be retained by Occupy Boston if the GA reaches consensus to that effect.
4. All of us remain committed to the goals of Occupy Boston and are proud of our involvement in it. We have now, in furtherance to our commitment to the movement and to accountability, transparency, access to information and oversight, presented this Agreement to FAWG, posted it on Occupy Boston’s website, and announced it in the GA.
5. This Agreement supersedes and nullifies the FAWG resolution adopted October 24, 2011, and any posting of that resolution on Occupy Boston’s website will reference the fact that it has been superseded. The undersigned will additionally make good faith efforts to have the resolution, and accompanying language, deleted from Occupy Boston’s website. Further, we acknowledge and state that any past or future statements made by any individual claiming to represent FAWG and inconsistent with this Agreement are not authorized by FAWG.
6. We agree that Greg, Shane, and Rita have provided a statement that they are authorized by FAWG to execute this Agreement, and we further agree that the GA has authorized FAWG to handle financial matters for Occupy Boston.
7. The five of us agree that by completing the undertakings of this Agreement, we have satisfied our responsibilities to FAWG and Occupy Boston.
8. This Agreement, and the accompanying press release and any public announcements, will be held in escrow by attorney David Kelston until the undertakings in paragraphs 1, 2, 4, and 6 (excluding GA consensus on the dba Occupy Boston) have been completed.
*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, November 1, 2011*
AGREEMENT REACHED CONCERNING OCCUPY BOSTON FINANCES
The Financial Accountability Working Group (FAWG) is pleased to announce that today it reached an agreement with two other members of Occupy Boston concerning certain financial matters and a business certificate. The two members—Paul Carnes and Sydney Sherrell—met with members of FAWG and a professional mediator to discuss the parties’ differences regarding the use of the name “Occupy Boston” on a Doing Business As (DBA) certificate filed with the City of Boston and to determine the status of a bank account opened under that DBA. Their agreement spells out the terms that all of those at the meeting agreed to, including the transfer of the funds held in the bank account to another account controlled by FAWG and an understanding that the mediator will hold the DBA in escrow pending a consensus of the General Assembly (GA) concerning the DBA.
The three members of FAWG authorized to negotiate on behalf of the working group—Shane Aspinall, Greg Murphy, and Rita Sebastian—were pleased to reach this agreement and put this matter behind them. All of the people at the meeting agreed that their agreement satisfies all of the obligations and responsibilities of FAWG and Occupy Boston with respect to this matter. Going forward, Carnes and Sherrell intend to continue working for the common good of Occupy Boston.
Occupy Boston—located in Dewey Square, in the heart of Boston’s Financial District—is an on-going movement to bring greater accountability to Wall Street and greater responsiveness to Washington. It is inspired by Occupy Wall Street, which started in New York City on September 17, and is connected to similar demonstrations and occupations taking place across the country and around the world. On October 30, Occupy Boston celebrated its one-month anniversary. For more information, see OccupyBoston.org or email OccupyBostonMedia@gmail.com.