General Assembly Minutes 2012-01-01


Roles, respect check, donations, agenda – 5
Announcements– 5
Consensus review, welcome – 5
Working and affinity group reports and proposals – 15 (+1)
Open discussion – 15
General proposals – 10
New break of dawn – 5
Open floor – 10
OC news – 10
Other Occupy news – 10
Announcements, appreciation – 5
Clean it, load it, road it
Total time: 91 minutes


Facilitator: Karin
Stack taker: Gary
Vibe checkers: Ilene, Stephen
Note taker: Walton
Time keeper: Danny


Chris’s sons, Johnny and Brandon attended the GA. Chris thanks everyone for helping to bring them here.

A Rainbow Gathering is coming up in February. True Rainbow is based in radical self reliance, a shared value of Occupy. Ty would like to organize an event as a tribute to these fellow travelers.

Friday, 6 January: Bank actions at Wells Fargo at noon, and Bank of America later in the afternoon.

2 January’s GA will be a sign-making assembly.

Anarchademics has another radio show this Friday. Occupiers are invited to come talk about the consensus process.

6 January: a Take Back the Land workshop is planned.

Obama passed the National Defense Authorization Act on New Year’s Eve.

Working and affinity group reports and proposals

Media, via Chris

Regular meetings will resume soon, once the hustle and bustle of holidays has died down.

Movie night is still planned for 14 January, at the IBEW hall on NW 6th St.

We need 4 new volunteers to help pay for our air card service for the next three months.

Proposal (passes): Use $20 from the general donations fund to pay for January air card service and get our live stream back up and running.

Arts and Culture and Move to Amend, via Kenzie

As a joint effort between these two groups, participants are working on a street theatre skit about Citizens United, the 14th Amendment, and corporate personhood. Please join in if you’d like to write, or volunteer in some other capacity.

Food and Comfort, via Ilene

Proposal (passes): the GA on Wednesday, 11 January, will be devoted to Food and Comfort concerns, particularly developing new strategy and organizing new volunteers to help with cooking.
The 11th was previously reserved by Conflict and Support to hold a discussion between the organizers and the sleepers, but this has been postponed.

The group also needs people to help cook lunch for the 20 January event.

SERCO, via Lars

SERCO meetings are held each Saturday night at 6:30 PM. They are open meetings, and everyone is welcome to participate.

Proposal (passes): SERCO will use the domain

Sleeper affinity group, via Ty

Proposal (deferred): resume the practice of having coffee on the plaza each morning (“it’s kind of hard to occupy when you’re not tweaking on coffee”)
- Deferred to the Food and Comfort assembly on the 11th, along with the issue of breakfast; in the mean time, since there is no power on the plaza, occupiers are welcome to make coffee at the Zen center and use our official OG air pots. (Gary also reminded us that someone in the forums offered us a generator, which could help alleviate our power problems.)

Community Outreach, via Tommy

Friday’s GA agreed to have an outreach action on 8 January. It will be a test run of our mobile occupation. The location is still TBD.

Open discussion

Topic: ideas for organizing in a scary political climate (i.e., NDAA and other anti-activist legislation)

Obama wrote a signing statement for the NDAA [you can read it here: ], but this statement is not a part of the law.

ACLU does not seem to be particularly active in Gainesville; perhaps we should look into it, maybe contact the foundation about reactivating here.

Several people expressed the sentiment that actions like NDAA, and even NYPD’s actions, help our cause by provoking anger in the populace and inciting more people to demand political change, and turn to activism and alternatives like Occupy and consensus governance. We should focus on keeping that alternative strong and focus our energy on positive efforts.

Counterpoint: in the McCarthy era, many lives were devastated and chilled political activism into the present day; in the 1920s, the federal gov’t took extreme measures to silence activism. Discussion of political repression can be like watching a horror movie, and find a kind of gratification in the fear; we should learn from history to prepare for the future.

Government elements are dredging up the law used to indict the Chicago Eight, and using this and the NDAA to go after people civilly, criminally, and militarily.

General proposals

Proposal (deferred): hold a sit-in/demonstration in response to NDAA
-wear black bandanas
-do arts and crafts, spread love, education, joy, kindness
-fly a banner asking, “Is this what terrorism looks like?”
Nico suggested a friendly amendment that some of us could dress non-threateningly to counterbalance the “terrorist” façade and put everyone more at ease
The proposal was deferred to a later date for more development and concretization.

Open floor

Ed wishes everyone a happy new year, and thanks everyone for still being here.

Chris thanks us again for helping bring her boys down and making her Christmas wish come true. Johnny’s been recording the GA; his teacher is involved in Occupy, and he wants to show this video to his class in Michigan.

No one is scheduled for tent duty on Monday; please stop by in the afternoon if you can.

Nico: enjoys our presence here, and is glad that someone is finally doing something about our government’s behavior. He urges not to be discouraged.

Deborah will be joining us online more than onsite, but is glad she found us.

OG news

Karin and Walton occupied the dog park this afternoon. Everyone had a good time, especially the dogs. Bring your favorite four-legged friend out to participate in some direct dog-mocracy.

Other Occupy news

On New Year’s Eve, OWS reclaimed Zuccotti park while everyone was at Times Square. They took down the barricades, then marched through the city, followed by a police motorcade that ordered them to keep moving along or face arrest. About 4AM, the motorcade blockaded the occupiers and told them to disperse (who had nowhere to go since they were, you know, blockaded); many were arrested at random, including a legal observer with the National Lawyers Guild (who was arrested for being a lawyer using using his phone).

Occupy Boston celebrated Occupy First Night, and used their Occupy Bat Signal.

George Mason University’s Center for History and Media History has established an Occupy archive. They are requesting documents, pictures, and other materials. OWS also has an archive, which they’ve maintained since the first week. There is some discussion about the right to archive and the merits of an Occupy and an academic archive. Participants in OG are asked to consult with the GA before submitting anything to be archived.

The Smithsonian is also collecting Occupy-related artifacts.

Announcements and appreciation

Ilene appreciates Albie and Natalie. Woof.

Karin appreciates the cooks who prepared tonight’s traditional southern New Year’s dinner.


grumpy pelicanOctober 28,

grumpy pelicanOctober 28, 2011 @ 11:36 pmI’ve always thought that it’s groups and movements like this that are the most likely to be taken over by a leader if someone doesn’t already call the shots. In my opinion, they are fairly directionless with no clear aims, a lot of emotions but no agreed upon, logical goals and a fair number of folks who can’t or won’t speak for themselves. A strong and charismatic leader can do a lot with an army like that.

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