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    December 15 General Assembly

    Occupy Boston met for a General Assembly on December 15, 2011, from 7pm to 11pm, at Emmanuel Church on Newbury Street in Boston.

    The General Assembly is the governing body of Occupy Boston. It makes decisions using consensus.

    About 140 people participated in this General Assembly. The Assembly consented to the following proposals:

    Proposal to create Monday community gatherings

    From the Facilitators Working Group:

    The Facilitators Working Group (FWG) proposes to host weekly community gatherings beginning on Monday Dec 19, at St Paul’s Cathedral Church, 6:8-30 PM. The intention is to build and strengthen the OB community. Since the community cuppa is currently scheduled 5-7 on Mondays, the first half hour of these meetings can be a continuation of the community cuppa at this location, or if Working Groups choose to meet for half an hour they can do that. This time can function both as social time and as working time. Every Working Group and individual can produce and sponsor a community gathering, and it can take many forms: a workshop, a facilitated discussion, social time, a film screening–the options are many. No WG or individual except FWG may host more than 1 meeting in any two month period. FWG will maintain a public community gahtering calendar to publicize these events. Facilitators from FWG are available to facilitate for other WGs, if needed. FWG reserves right to change location in future. $100 will be budgeted for snacks and $50 for St Paul’s, to compensate the church for the use of the space. The sponsoring group will provide the snacks (Facilitators will not be responsible for the snacks budget). We strongly recommend that half the food should be vegan and that we avoid food vendors listed on our boycott list.

    [This proposal was consented to in fifty minutes.]

    Proposal for group hugs

    From the Logistics Working Group:

    The Logistics Working Group resolves that part of its job is to care for our community. It proposes that before and after GAs, we shall have a giant group hug for anyone who wants to participate.

    [This proposal was consented to in three minutes and thirty seconds.]

    Proposal for labor as compensation for storage space

    The Logistics Working Group proposes to enter into a temporary emergency agreement with a member of Occupy Boston and her family to use their apartment to store nearly all of our significant supplies from Dewey, from now until the end of January, 2012. This consists of everything from the food tent and the food tent to our stores of hats and mittens. When Occupy Boston learned of the impending eviction, this Occupier offered the space to the Logistics Working Group to meet an immediate need for space. Logistics stored three truckloads full of supplies at the apartment, and it would be impractical to move the supplies. The apartment owners have agreed to distribute keys to key members of the Logistics working group, including Katy, Jen, Jennie, Rene, Eric, and others. Logistics proposes to compensate the apartment owners for use of the space. Logistics proposes a one-time budget of $100, beyond the usual allotments to Logistics ($100 stipend and $300 laundry allowance per week) to pay for materials to be used for improvements and repairs of the apartment and to pay for utilities such as heat and water. The improvements will include adding a washer and dryer, stripping the kitchen, repainting, electrical repairs, and piano tuning. Logistics will coordinate the improvements and repairs, and will organize and publicize a work day in which Logistics and other community members of Occupy Boston will work together to conduct repairs and improvements, compensating the apartment owners with labor from within Occupy Boston.

    Proposal to join with City Life/Vida Urbana in “Homes for the Holidays”

    From the Outreach Working Group:

    City Life/Vida Urbana has invited Occupy Boston to join in its Homes for the Holidays campaign, a series of actions supporting families occupying foreclosed homes. Occupy Boston consented to the following statement:

    In a post-encampment phase of the Occupy Boston movement it is essential that we strengthen our commitment to community organizations of and for the 99% in our pursuit of equity, justice, and collective liberation. Collective liberation requires that we not only recognize the transformational work of organizations like City Life Vida Urbana but also learn from, stand in solidarity with and actively participate in their struggle. Today Occupy Boston and City Life Vida Urbana make a strengthened commitment to provide mutual aid to one another, and increase collaboration in the fight against the unjust and inhumane foreclosures on homes of the 99%. You can evict idealists but their ideals will always have a home–especially for the holidays.

    [This proposal was consented to in two minutes and fifteen seconds.]

    Transcript and Twitter

    A live, unedited transcript was taken during the General Assembly: read it here.

    Participants livetweeted the General Assembly: find a Storify of their tweets here.

    The next General Assembly of Occupy Boston will take place on Saturday, December 17.

    Transcript of GA, 12/13/11

    Today, Occupy Boston met for a General Assembly beginning at 6pm. This GA was transcribed live:

    Transcript of General Assembly at St. Paul’s Church, 138 Tremont Street, Boston.

    Banks Need a Haircut! Today, November 28, from 3 to 6 pm

    Need to visit the barber?  Come to Occupy Boston (Dewey Square) for a haircut today!

    At Dewey Square today—Monday, November 28—you will see six barber stools representing the six biggest banks: JPMorganChase, Bank of America, Citibank, Wells Fargo, Morgan Stanley, and Goldman Sachs.  From 3 pm to 6 pm, skilled barbers will operate at each of these stations, providing free haircuts to occupiers and supporters.
    But why?
    Occupy Boston is transforming itself into a barbershop to send a message about a financial concept called a “haircut”.  In banking, a “haircut” is when a bank or other lender adjusts the terms of a loan to decrease the debt on the borrower. While banks routinely take “haircuts” when dealing with large corporations and wealthy clients, they rarely do the same when dealing with members of the 99% who are paying back mortgage loans, student loans, credit card loans and other debts.
    When faced with losses of homeowners and consumers, big banks often play hardball. They threaten homeowners with foreclosure and report the borrower to the credit agencies, damaging their credit rating.  But with bigger, richer borrowers like corporations, bankers routinely agree to negotiate haircuts and other changes in loan contracts, since refusing to do so could cause the borrower to file for bankruptcy, causing even bigger losses and jeopardizing future business (and the lucrative fees) from corporate borrowers.

    Now, big banks need to take a haircut.  Banks can provide immediate relief to American homeowners, families, working people, and students by writing down the value of underwater mortgages and unbearable consumer and student loan debt.  Banks agree to haircuts on loans for large corporations because rigid adherence to the terms of the loan will hamstring the prosperity and productivity of the borrower. Banks’ insistence on rigid adherence to the terms of loans is, right now, destroying the prosperity and productivity of American homeowners, students, and workers.  By taking haircuts on loans belonging to the 99%, banks would reduce monthly loan payments for millions of Americans, providing immediate relief to household budgets and spurring economic recovery.

    Banks need a haircut. Do you?

    Occupy Boston partners with Encuentro Cinco

    At the General Assembly of Occupy Boston, Saturday, November 12, 2011, Occupy Boston passed a proposal to secure space at Encuentro Cinco for the Occupy Boston Media team and other working groups.  We have agreed to rent the space for the next four months, at a cost of $400 per month.  Encuentro Cinco is one of Boston’s prominent activist centers, and they have been lending us workstations in their collective shared workspace at no cost in the last few weeks. We are honored to have been offered space in their extremely overburdened facility.  Securing workstations and meeting space at Encuentro Cinco will allow Occupy Boston to store valuable and temperature sensitive equipment, and will permit groups and individuals to do work that is most productively and securely done offsite.  Occupy Boston looks forward to contributing  to the Encuentro Cinco community.

    Click here to read the full proposal as passed by General Assembly.

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