General Assembly Minutes 2011-12-14

Agenda

Roles, respect check, donations, approve agenda – 5 min
Welcome, consensus review – 5 min
Announcements, news – 10 min
Conventions: experiences, likes, and dislikes – 20 min
South Eastern Regional Convergence – 30 min (+2)
B-day break – 5 min
Other issues – 15 min
Open floor – 10 min
Announcements – 5 min
Clean up, party down

Total time: 1 hour 47 minutes

Roles

Facilitator – Lars
Time checker – Ahren
Stack keeper – B. Love
Notes – Walton
Vibe checker – Tyger Lily
Guide/greeter – Ilene

Announcements & news

OWS has found a new space; they will renew their occupation of space on 17 December

If you are a full-time occupier, or if you want to support one, you can sign up to be sponsored / sponsor at adoptanoccupier.org .

Conventions

Have a dedicated web page for info and updates. Maybe also advertise local sites and businesses.

Incorporate some unstructured time so people can just do stuff and hang out.

Provide a clear schedule, including meals; make sure that there is enough food for everyone, and enough access to toilets.

Solicit ideas from confirmed participants, and build a schedule through consensus; make this “everybody’s convergence”.

Schedule a group party at the end of the convergence, so that everyone has something to look forward to and the convergence ends on a high note.

Start with a unifying march to combine everyone’s enthusiasm.

Leave some open blocks for spontaneous and inspired workshops.

Hold morning yoga workshops to help everyone focus and center themselves.

Set up a listserv or a forum for discussion before the convergence begins, and so everyone can keep in touch after we finish.

Issue badges to attendees—good for community, good for security.

Southeastern Convergence
(Karin took over facilitation so Lars could take an active role in the discussion.)

Lars has been looking for locations and connections that can provide us with space. He’s also hoping that our Caribbean friends from Occupy Kingston, Occupy Trinidad, etc. will join us.

Denise knows of someone who wants to donate some bikes—we just need a place to store them. We may also convert some into generators.

This discussion ultimately led us to four possible options for the convergence:
-use the plaza for the whole shebang
-host everything on private property elsewhere (Gaia Grove, the blueberry farm, and tent city were suggested as possible sites)
-use a private location for sleeping, and hold our events at the plaza and city hall
-hold GAs at the plaza, and use a private location for other proceedings

Using a private location would let us set up comfort facilities and allow for less ambient interference. On the other hand, transportation and logistics may get complicated.

We may look into getting a permit to use the plaza for this event. This would allow us to maintain high visibility for this event.

Regardless, we need a safe space that will not negatively impact our community or our guests.

A concern was raised that other groups may be planning similar events. We should begin publicizing the event soon, but not before we have concrete plans.

Other issues

B.Love suggested that the stack taker briefly summarize the main points of any lengthy contributions to discussion (as they do in Tampa).

B-day break

Happy birthday, Julie!

Open floor

B.Love is glad that our Delicates offered Gainesville as a location for this convergence. He says we are one of the best, most well-organized occupations, and this is a good challenge for us.

Joanna would like us to know that, although she’s been scarce, she’s still behind the movement and is glad we’re still here. She’ll be glad to help out however she can from home.

Announcements

Tyger Lily: Rockupy will get the leftover kegs from a beer tasting that same evening.

Our “good lovin’” assembly about healthy boundaries and good relationships will be held tomorrow. We’ll have soup and salad for dinner.

We’ve got a few sleepers tonight—thanks folks!

Lots of cool stuff is happening Saturday:
-the Strategy working group will have its first meeting at 1:00 PM
-Spike will host a nonviolent self-defense and de-escalation workshop at 3:00 PM
-at 5:00, we’ll congregate on the plaza and head to the UUC for the Veteran’s for Peace Winter Solstice concert

Move to Amend held its first meeting today. About 15-20 people attended. They’ll meet again on 4 January at 5:30 at the CMC.

Tampa is starting a project to help individual neighborhoods organize.

B.Love will be visiting Tampa this weekend. He’ll be glad to convey any messages anyone may want to send.

Tyger Lily loves us all, and thanks us for being good sports and great humans.

157 Comments

Scott, I’m an indie

Scott, I’m an indie photographer. I support Occupy. But I have to tell you that the OccupyOakland camp is very hostile to photographers. My last visit to the camp, in broad daylight this past Monday, I was told not to photograph by one guy, and another guy was pretty much ready to attack me. I’ve been on the front lines with you guys getting teargassed on Oct 25 and Nov 2. I’m on your side. But I really have to put in some feedback here. I am tired of getting hassled and threatened every time I show up at camp to take photos. On Monday, I tried to show respect by checking in to the Media tent. I stuck my head in, introduced myself, and two or three guys in the tent immediately started squabbling with each other. I just left.If you push away and thug away the indie photogs, the only people left to frame the narrative will be the MSM. And you know what they do.Someone over there has to hear this message. I have the right to shoot riot cops in public, and I do. I also have the right to respectfully take photos over there at camp. But I can’t do so without being confronted, hassled, and threatened. And now you physically smacked around a journalist?Don’t try to justify that. Clean it up over there so your friends can help get a good story out about you. I used to think the only danger to me physically over there was from the cops. But lately, you guys are so on edge over there that you’re starting to be a threat to me.

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