General Assembly Minutes 2011-11-20

Gainesville General Assembly minutes, 20 November

Roles

Facilitator – Spike

Stack taker – Karin

Time keeper – Ricky

Vibe checker – Alex

Dish master – Ilene

Bin master – Alex

Guide/greeter – Mitchell

Note taker – Walton

Agenda

Roles, respect check, donations, approve agenda – 5 minutes

Welcome, consensus review – 5 minutes

Announcements – 5 minutes

Other Occupy news – 5 minutes

Occupy Gainesville news – 10 minutes

Working, affinity group reports, proposals – 15 minutes

Upcoming events – Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Barter Days – 15 minutes

Jump rope break – 5 minutes

Open floor – 15 minutes

Open discussion – the next few months – 10 minutes

General proposals – 10 minutes

Announcements – 5 minutes

Clean up, load up

Announcements

Things have been disappearing from around the tents. Geoff has brought us a bright pink bin to use as a day locker. You can put your things in there for safe keeping, but please don’t mess with anyone else’s items.

Expect yogurt for breakfast sometime this week—we need to eat it before it goes bad.

Willie will help the bin master get everything stowed and labeled correctly.

On human mic—please respect our decision to use the mic, and participate in the process.

Occupy news

Occupy Orlando is trying to organize a convention in a couple of weeks, and has asked Occupies from around the state to join.

Lars: problems with organizing ideas

Focused on lobbying

Seem unaware of how unrepresentative Occupy is at the moment

Instead of focusing on outreach to encourage political participation amongst the disenfranchised

But it’s good to have coordination and communication

If you’re interested in the convention, see Lars

A UC Davis faculty member wrote an open letter calling for the chancellor’s resignation. She stayed inside one of the buildings until protestors used the human mic to tell her that it was safe for her to leave. They opened a path to her car, and protested with complete silence.

Occupy Gainesville news

On Thursday night, the GA brainstormed the idea of protesting No Child Left Behind

Need volunteers to make it happen, help it go statewide

Possible target date: 16 Dec. (last day of school before break)

Lars: healthy boundaries for our work

Kindly direct known disruptors away from the main group

We can’t tell them to leave

But we can encourage them to move

Dealing with disruption would make a good discussion topic

John: it’s tough to anticipate an individual’s actions

Exclusion process will be most effective on a case-by-case basis

Working/affinity group reports, proposals

Process – Lars

To be proposed on Tuesday:

Hold decision-making GAs only on Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday

Agendas (set by the process group) will be posted online so everyone knows what topics will be discussed

Come to the process group to talk about it

Legal – Geoff

No arrests since yesterday

Still needs a number of people to contact him

A list will be posted online

Please help these people get in touch

The 29 cases are to be grouped and brought to a judge probably in late December, early January

Geoff will make a written plea of “not guilty”

Written plea – invokes a large number of rights for the individual charge

Everyone will go directly to a pretrial conference

Anticipates everyone signing a waiver of appearance just in case they can’t appear

However, everyone is encouraged to come

Attending court dates = media exposure

Secretarial – Walton

The entire secretarial team will be out of town from Tuesday through Saturday this week

The GA will need volunteers to take notes during that period

Food & Comfort – Jen

Karin will coordinate the Thanksgiving potluck

The potluck will begin at 2:00 PM

Tables and chairs are needed

Menu items will be merged onto the main calendar

Upcoming events

Michelle:

Thanksgiving will be great; casseroles galore

Black Friday

Distribute flyers

Front – educational info

Back – local shops & commerce

Also hand out Barter Days flyers

Go to Wal-Mart, mall; get our radical cheer & carol on

Barter Days start 4 December. “Bring yo’self!”

Ricky: repeat previous mall action on Black Friday

Thanksgiving Facebook event – people are RSVPing with the items they’re bringing

Suggestion: do something involving the community garden, to connect our Thanksgiving event to our use of government property to sustain ourselves

Karin:

Tell your friends about Barter Days

It would also be nice to have some professional goods and services on offer

Radical caroling – let’s get together and rewrite Christmas carol lyrics

Jen: Thanksgiving discussion

Lars: indigenous rights; a guest to talk about local history

Mitchell: history according to textbooks; whitewashing our own colonialism

Lars: Barter Days are a way to jumpstart an alternative economy

Based on what people have to give, not their participation in a wage system

How can we facilitate this system?

Mitchell

GA demonstrates that we can make our own decisions

Barter Days will show that we can have a community needs-based economy

A powerful statement and example of our potential

Geoff: Barter Days will show the community that we can do something for them

Mitchell: Commissioner Wells supports a bottom-up redefinition of “community plaza”

This would make him more amenable to changing the ordinance

Open floor

See Mitchell to organize and begin working on tasks to accomplish with the city commission

Gain support from commissioners for

Keeping bathrooms open

Transferring local government funds to a credit union

We’ve been lacking in donations; please remember what you get from OG, and give what you can

Idea for educating the public

Get a video projector to show films on the plaza

Help people realize what’s wrong with our country

The Quakers are still showing signs of enthusiasm

The committee that invited us to their hall will meet next Sunday to discuss how they can support OG

Monday, 29 Nov, 10 AM – Interfaith Action Alliance meeting

About a dozen ministers interested in social change

A few occupiers may attend

A Florida representative introduced a bill to overturn Citizens United

OG has the solidarity and self-organization and –reliance to sustain itself regardless of whatever happens in the government and the world

Tommy attended the Rosa Parks Quiet Courage awards ceremony today

Recognizing contributions to the community through organization and direct action

Some people expressed skepticism about OG, but were open to conversation

Outreach to the African American community must be based on building relationships and friendships with the community

The Police Chief was also present

He appealed to Tommy to go through the city commission to change the ordinance

Tommy asked would have happened if the Freedom Riders had done just that

The chief didn’t have much to say in response, but heard the concern

Open discussion

Lars: it’s fun to plan ahead, so we don’t have to worry when it comes time for an action

Possible actions to plan for

Event at UF within the first 2 weeks of the spring semester

Reach students before they become focused solely on schoolwork

MLK Day, 19 January

Participate in the local march as a group

Show solidarity with our community

Make are presence known to/through the media

Hold a potluck, discussion, and screening each Sunday

Informal interaction with the community

Continue Barter Days

Reach out to school children and their families

No Child Left in School

Invite them to the plaza for a different type of education

Set a precedent for participation over winter break

Sell more shirts

Increase availability during the day

Keep a few on hand, restock as necessary

Sell at our table at the Veterans for Peace concert

Fundraising concerts

At local venues

Lead up to one big show at the plaza

Invite political parties to the plaza for discussion on important topics

Picnics in the plaza

Join in the city’s New Year’s Eve party on the plaza

Workshops – make things and sell them – everyone can do something

Spike has access to stained glass – make “hangy things that tinkle and pretty”

General proposals

None tonight

Announcements (& Appreciations)

Dragonfly has offered to sell our shirts online (at no additional profit to themselves)

We could also sell them on our own site

Lars and Karin have started a Radical Caroling affinity group

A way to approach Black Friday campers

Rewrite the annoying melodies with radical lyrics

There will be practices – “harmony is cool”

Dress up as radical elves, radical angels, and go caroling

There will be a Direct Action meeting on Wednesday

Either 6:30 PM or after GA on Wednesday, depending on Tuesday’s proposal

Veterans for Peace will be at the corner of 13th and University on Tuesday from 4 – 6

Let’s get back to the streets and picket!

The FSU game will be a good time to begin interacting with students

Day 40 – we’re still here

Michelle really loves us!

Glad that others can be here when she can’t

We all pick up each other’s slack

Lars appreciates everyone who makes an effort to talk about positive possibilities

Mitchell appreciates everyone, and especially Tommy and Michelle for their efforts the past few days

And the people like Willie who are at the plaza all day

Juan Carlo appreciates our “1-man-armies”: Tommy, Michelle, and Mitchell

We all appreciate Willie for organizing the bins

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