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    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.

    Sunday Night’s (10/9) GA Minutes

    An edited transcription of Sunday’s General Assembly can be accessed  at our wikispace (link provided below).

    Saturday Night (10/8) GA Notes

    Noah and Rockelle facilitated and began with the usual introduction and went over the hand signals, as well as reminded the group, “We are not here to make anyone feel like they’re in danger or a hostile environment. We are here to get things done.”

    There was a reminder that anyone present needs to watch for the handicapped space.
    The Facilitating Team was explained:
    Two Facilitators
    Stack Managers
    Time Keeper
    Floor Managers
    Process Manager
    Space Manager
    Vibe Manager

    The Agenda
    Working Group Announcements
    Working Group Proposals
    Individual Proposals
    Individual Stack

    Working Group Announcements:

    Indigenous People Outreach Group: We formed one.

    Free School University is located at the bright orange block on Atlantic Ave. Their
    schedule for tomorrow (Sunday) is the following:
    Noon: workshop discussion on capitalism energy and climate change
    2:30 discussion human need, not corporate greed
    3:00 Discussion on tools against sexism at occupy Boston.
    5:00 Meaning on we are the 99%

    Access Working Group: We welcome everyone to join us. You do not have qualify by a specific label. We would like to create a space where everyone can move around freely and feel welcome. We are part of the 99%. We are open to invisible disabilities.

    Arts and Culture: Will be having a meeting after the GA. We would also welcome people who are working on projects similar to arts and culture to tells us what they are working on so there is no overlap.

    Food: The food group needs volunteers. Also, a restatement of the no-smoking rule on the GA floor and no Smoking in tents

    Legal: Most people involved in the legal working group are not lawyers. NLG is here to represent people who are arrested. Let legal observers know about any activities that may attract police attention.
    The following training sessions are happening with the Legal Group:
    Legal Observer
    Civil Disobedience
    Know your rights
    If you get arrested, fill out an arrestee intake form. Legal also needs more people to be at the tent during the day.

    The Safety Committee stated the following rules:
    No open flames in tents.
    Watch your step.
    Lock your bike.
    Clean up trash.
    Volunteers, wear yellow armbands.
    Keep noise down at night.
    Need volunteers.

    Outreach: The student march on Monday starts with a meeting at the Common gazebo at 1:30 p.m. Global Homeless advocacy day is upcoming. The group needs canvassers. The Outreach tent has moved from back to front

    The Proposal Process:
    Person will make a proposal.
    Clarifying questions
    Points of information
    Strong concerns and objection
    Friendly Amendments
    Proposer will decide what to adopt and modify.
    Repeat steps 2-4
    Ask for blocks

    Group Proposals
    The Drug Reform Group focused on a better solution for drug reform.

    Individual Proposals
    Lindsey: I propose a preamble to our statement of occupation.
    Clarifying Questions: Who are the actors? Can we see the words before approving them? Why do the actors have no place in our democracy?
    Points of Information: We have a committee with dealing with our statement: SPP. We are just a working group like any other. Anyone who has proposal on their own should feel free to present as they are doing tonight.
    Serious Objections/ Concerns: I think we should seen anything in writing before we vote.
    Talks about solutions and doesn’t give any. I don’t want a preamble that focuses on liberal democracy. The word state is very directly to colonialism. Let’s avoid it. Does it make sense to draft a preamble before we decided on the body of the statement? We need more historical context.
    Friendly Amendments: I believe that the word actors should be changed to bureaucrats. I feel that language of the document should be a little closer to legal language such as wherefore, whereas and therefore. I amend that this document be added to the working document that is being discussed in the SPP. I amend that the proposal can put online so that people who do not have access to this site can read and comment on it. I believe that in the democracy, we should be all inclusive. I propose that once its online, it should be in the form of a wiki where everyone can comment.
    Proposer: I would accept the amendment around the actors wording. I will like to put it online. I will pull it off the table.

    Brian and Marilyn: We are asking for a position on the wars. Occupy Boston calls for ending the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and bring the troops home now.
    We, occupy Boston, want the war dollars to come home to fund food, housing, healthcare, and jobs for everyone. We, occupy Boston, encourage all those who oppose the wars to march with us on the 15th.
    Clarifying Questions: Do you want to make these official statements of the group?
    Point of Information: None
    Serious concerns or objections: These statements sound like demands. If we vote them on demands now, we are doing the other demands proposed a disservice. I think the first statement from OB should be making a connection between criticizing wall street and financial markets and the wars. I think that inclusivity is very important to maintain at this point. I think its premature to making specific demands out of context from the overall statement. I believe that the 1% are the war mongers. Too left wing. I am concerned that we are voting on specific demand. The language sounds isolationist, beyond opposing war. I am concerned in how it interacts with our discussion around homelessness.
    Friendly Amendments: I propose that this be included in SPP discussion. I agree with the statements, but we need to wait until we have more statements. I am thinking that for now it will be good to do the last statement only. I propose that point 1 and point 2 are legitimate and would like to vote separately on these two points.
    Proposer Response: We are keeping it the same.
    Clarifying Questions: Are the statements the same or have you amended them?
    (They are the same.)
    Points of Information: None
    Serious Concerns and objections: It is not a simple issue. The wording does matter. I do not think this wording reflects the vales that brings everyone together. Well, I personally very much disagree with both wars; the wars are not why I am here nor are they why we are here at this historical moment. I feel like a statement on these peripheral issues will divide our group. Do we mean housing for all, even people who are currently excluded from public housing? What about using our war dollars to rebuild the country?
    Friendly Amendments: I propose we change the wording to say “in solidarity with” instead of “demands.” I propose that we say all anti-war marches. I propose that we change our language to reflect how these corporations are affiliated with the wars. I propose that we change to these statements to match those of the march and then we vote in solidarity.
    Instead of occupy Boston, we say that MANY of the 99% oppose, have serious concerns and objections about the wars and adversely affected by these wars.
    Proposer Response:We do not want to complicate things. We have factual information and we want to keep the proposal simple. This is a unifying thing. This will bring people together. These are general principles.
    Clarifying questions: Was that a restatement or an explanation? (The only thing that was added was that our solidarity applies to all future anti-war actions.) Are we endorsing the organizations behind the march? (No.) What level of endorsement are we talking about?
    (We are asking that occupy Boston took a stand on the question of wars.)
    Points of Information :None
    Serious Concerns: I’m concerned that the war effort is systematic of bad domestic policy rather than a root cause. I do not want to focus on the symptoms.
    Friendly Amendments: I would like to acknowledge the other wars, shadowy in nature, that our government is conducting right now. Stand the opening statement to “Occupy Boston stands in solidarity with.” Simplify the statement to we want to end the wars and our troops to come home. Change the wording to 99%. I would like to amend that statement to remove we and our to united state troops and they are not occupy Boston troops. It has a political implication.
    Proposer Response: We believe everything is symptom of an unfair society, that does not mean we can’t talk about the symptoms.
    Clarifying Questions: None
    Points of Information: Autonomous Action: we haz it.
    Serious Concerns/ Objections: None
    Friendly Amendments: None
    Blocks: They are direct demands from this group.
    Proposal was Tabled

    Marty: Statement of solidarity with indigenous groups.
    Clarifying Questions: Is there a written document?
    (Yes.) What does decolonizing actually mean? (It’s a process. We are inviting them to join in the process.) Do we have to leave Mass.? (No.)
    Points of Information: None
    Serious Concerns or objections: I feel this language is very strong and damning of us as a group. It is unclear from the current wording is inviting first nations who are not represented among us or this language was created already collaborated with first nations. I disagree with the language that we are all colonizers. Many people who live in this country did not come here at their own free will.
    Friendly Amendments: I would like all people affected by colonialism put in this statement.
    I propose that this statement be included with the statement that is being developed by the SPP. I propose that the word “decolonilize” be removed from the statement. It implies that all non-native Americas should leave and we cannot afford that kind of confusion. I would like to propose that the phrase “seek the consent of” be rephrased so that it does not seem like we are asking permission. I would like to add that we declared an occupy together day.
    Proposer Response: By decolonizing, it does mean to get rid of people – but to decolonize our minds and it is to acknowledge our history. We want to acknowledge that we seek the involvement of first nations. We hereby declare Columbus Day as indigenous people day.
    Clarifying Question: Is this a statement of solidarity? (Yes.) What do you expect to be done with this statement if it is approved today? (Make it go viral and spread the word.)
    Points of information: None
    Serious Concerns and Objections: They derail our movement and are a waste of time.
    Friendly Amendments: Boston indigenous name was something I really can’t spell, but I propose that we add that. I propose that we strike all language except the language that pertains to Columbus Day. My amendment is to propose that this document be directed to outreach and let them formulate a plan to reach out to 1st amendment.
    Blocks: No principled blocks
    Proposal Passed

    General Assembly Recap – 10/1/2011

    Hello all, here is a summary of our GA from this morning,
    (Saturday). It went from 10:30 – 11:10 am.

    Our opening points were these:
    – Talk about message
    -Restructure groups
    -New Group – Internal Communications

    Tactical Stack included:
    -finding cardboard and other materials to fix mud problem
    -team to adjust cardboard walkways
    -media needs new tent that doesn’t leak (since fixed)
    -organize things / new layout (since fixed)
    -dry socks available at tactical’s tent
    -keep morale high, things dry
    -after meeting, a group was going out to find supplies for walkways
    -Tactical has tent sealer & duct tape
    – Tactical also has shampoo & soap
    – find Alex, Robin, or Nadeem if you want to tweet something
    from the Twitter
    -toiletry donations go to tactical then they will be distributed

    Medical Stack included:
    -make sure you WASH YOUR HANDS
    -Dont share utensils, cups, ect. Thats a great way to spread germs.
    -Stay dry. Especially keep your shoes, socks, and head wear dry.
    -Use South Station’s hand dryers for immediate warmth.
    -Please don’t stay if you cannot stay dry & warm.
    -Check with tactical if you need means to stay dry & warm

    Message Stack Included:
    -Message sub group need to meet with all of media group to talk about
    message. (There was a meeting at 2 pm)
    -Democratic reform & financial justice are the two main categories of
    the message draft.
    -As we were in this conversation, the distribution man from Left Turn
    magazine dropped off a bunch of issues. Media tent has them

    Food Stack Included:
    -Before you handle food use hand sanitizer!!
    -If there are servers, let them serve you your food instead of serving
    -We have way too much bread and need ideas to get rid of it.

    -anyone interested in joining this group met with medical & tactical
    to set up the actual group for sanitation

    Legal stack included:
    -Looking for recruits to sit / stand at legal table. Daytime / weekday
    shifts. Texting lawyers, ect
    -Recruits should E-Mail legalq.occupybos…
    -someone from legal & media talk to police about generators to find an
    answer of if we can use them (we now have power)
    -Find bike generators if needed
    -We voted on it being okay to talk to legal about generator situation

    Outreach Stack included:
    -Working on document about how to go about doing outreach
    -The way to build solidarity is not just to go to people to bring them
    to our movement, but have ourselves open to helping other
    organizations. If we help them, they will be more willing to help us.
    -Create list of organizations who have rallies coming up and need help
    to establish relationships and through that, we will be bilding out
    group through those we’ve helped.
    -Make sure everyone is on E-Mail list. Check everyday for new members.
    (Internal Communications is now in charge of signing in new members)

    Other Points:
    -If you want to join multiple groups, go for it!
    -Let outside groups know how original we are so if they join us, we
    will respect and take their ideas into consideration.
    -We had another eye flush training at the medical tent following the
    GA (thanks Medical!)
    -For new members coming to Internal Comm., maybe give them a list of
    three things that will introduce them to the group they are joining.
    -We need to discuss our list of demands more in depth at evening GA.
    -Quarter cards are great for reaching out to everyone. They fit in
    your back pocket and are easy to pass out to help spread the word
    about Occupy Boston. Teams should go to T stations and pass the out.
    -We need to remember to maintain our system of respect, especially for
    new members to see so they can get an idea of how we work together.
    -The local Farmer’s Market brings trucks in at 9 am on Tuesdays and
    Thursdays. They use the gravel path so we need to make sure to always
    keep that path clear.

    General Assembly dismissed at
    -We also had a meeting about arranging tents (now all rearranged)
    -During our morning GA, Channel 5 News filmed it.

    Contact us

    Occupy Boston Media <> • <> • @Occupy_Boston