General Assembly Minutes 2012-01-17

Roles

Facilitator – Lars
Stack taker – Gary
Guider/greeter – Megan, and Karin
Vibe checker – Karin
Note taker – Walton

Agenda

Roles, respect check, consensus review, donations, approve agenda – 5
Consensus review & welcome – 5
Announcements – 5
Working and affinity group reports and proposals – 10
Occupy Gainesville news – 5
SOPA breaka – 5
Other Occupy news – 5
General proposals – 10
Open discussion,topic: SOPA, PIPA – 20
Open floor – 10
Announcements and appreciation – 5
G Bye
Total time: 85 minutes

Announcements

Arts & Culture and Direct Action need your help with our street theatre performance for Occupy the Courts on Friday. If you’d like to participate, please join us tomorrow night for a rehearsal GA and on Thursday for our Direct Action GA.

Tomorrow is the SOPA blackout—do your Googling, Wiki-ing, etc. tonight before midnight.

20 January is Occupy the Courts. Dr. Cornel West will join us and give a speech. Lunch will be served at noon, courtesy of Food Not Bombs. We’ll also have a street theatre performance, and a speak out, both at the plaza and at the Federal Court building, and a march from one to the other. If you’d like to help set up, please come to the plaza around 11:30 am.

Saturday morning, there’s a GAIM conference in Boca Raton. A group of OGers are traveling there to support Occupy Palm Beach, and there’s room for one more in the car. They’ll also be traveling around the state to other Occupies, like Miami and perhaps Daytona and Tampa.

Working and affinity group reports and proposals

Internet, via Karrie

The numbers:
OG Facebook community page: 3,941 likes
OG Facebook group page: 993 members
Tumblr: 1180 followers
Twitter: 57 followers
Google +: 569 in our circle

We currently have some repeating events on our calendar that we need to verify: Radical Cheerleading, Wednesdays 5 – 6 PM; Tuesday/Thursday demonstrations at 13th and University; Downtown Farmers Garden Tuesday from 10-11.
Working group members, please contact the internet team and let them know if these events are still ongoing, or if they should be removed from the calendar.

Proposal (passes): The OG website will join tomorrow’s blackout protest against SOPA and PIPA. Our page will not have a total blackout, since we want to keep information about Occupy the Courts available; instead, we will fly a black solidarity banner with information and a link to the petition.

Secretarial, via Walton

Detailed meeting minutes will only be available for decision making GAs and SERCO GAs for the foreseeable future.

Working and affinity groups are encouraged to post minutes, or notes, or summaries of their meetings, especially for GAs devoted to groups, to publicly show that OG is active each day, and to keep our members updated and informed.

Legal, via Lars

Court dates scheduled for Thursday have been moved to 20 February. Others may be moved as well. OG may make a press release and stage a demonstration at the court on that day.

Occupy Gainesville news

Do you want an OG yard sign? Let’s face it—who doesn’t? Costs have been posted to the forums. Check them out, and join in the discussion.

Other Occupy news

Occupy Daytona Beach holds their GAs on Tuesdays. Our group traveling down to Palm Beach may try to join them after the conference protest.

General proposals

[Karin took over for these first three proposals, which was made by Lars]

Proposal (passes): We will have a contact signup sheet at Dr. West’s speech at UF, so that anyone interested can receive more information and updates.

Important details: Ricky and Tommy maintain our list of contacts. Anyone signing up will be asked to write legibly.

Proposal (passes): Copy text for an OG flyer, also for Dr. West’s speech at UF.
[flyer text]

What's Occupy Gainesville Doing?

2012:

• We're working to end corporate personhood and challenging the idea that money is speech.
• We're encouraging people to move their bank accounts to local credit unions.
• We sent a delegation to participate in Occupy Florida events and demonstrations at the opening of the 2012 Florida State Legislative session. [caps correct?]
• We're educating and empowering through neighborhood-by-neighborhood community outreach.

2011:

• We've been encouraging people to move their prescriptions to local pharmacies.
• We participated in an Alachua County Labor Party speak-out about healthcare.
• We sent a delegation to Orlando for a "People's Convention" which worked to draft a "Peoples' Plan" of legislative objectives and recommendations.
• We hosted several Barter Days in Bo Diddley Plaza, to encourage community self-reliance and trade.
• We celebrated winter with music, performance, and a bonfire at the Civic Media Center, in our first Rockupy concert.

Upcoming Projects:

Southeastern Regional Convergence of Occupations March 23 -25, which OG is coordinating. We welcome your participation and, for those able, financial support. Please vist http://occupysoutheast.org
Foreclosure activism. We are still educating ourselves on this issue. We welcome your ideas, enthusiasm and experience! Please join our google list at http://groups.google.com/group/OccupyHomesFL
Encouraging municipalities to move our money, educating about food security, working against Koppers Superfund, and more!

How do you want to change the world?

To get involved with Move To Amend, please write to movetoamendgainesville [at] gmail.com

To find out more about Occupy Gainesville, visit us on the web at http://occupygainesville.org and come to a General Assembly Tuesday, Friday and Sunday nights at 6:30 pm at Bo Diddley Plaza.

[flyer text ends]

We also agreed to add a bullet point regarding our development of a consensus-based decision-making process.

Nancy volunteered to print 100 copies, with our “Pardon the Interruption” message on the back.

Proposal (passes): We’ll use $40 from the OG general donations fund to print up a whole mess of these flyers (just one side).

Proposal (passes): Wednesday night’s GA, and part of Thursday’s (which will be a Direct Action GA devoted to Friday’s actions and activities), will be devoted to rehearsing our street theatre skit. If you’d like a copy of the script, you can either print your own (Kenzie will post it to the forums), or you can bring 50 cents to rehearsal tomorrow (to pay for printing costs).

General discussion

Stop Online Piracy Act, Protect Intellectual Property Act

Under these bills, the US government would be able to issue take-down notices to prevent violations of law, based on (presumably) corporate complaints and IP rights holders—to the extent that if you posted a home movie on YouTube, and you’re drinking out of a Pepsi can, Pepsi could have the video removed. These walk the blurry line of “piracy”, and it would not just target individual items like videos, but entire websites (ie, YouTube could be blocked at the government’s behest). The internet right now is user-driven, based on interactions between individuals; if these bills pass, content creation would be severely restricted and the average internet user would be reduced to a passive recipient. It is censorship, stifling free expression and information exchange, in the interests of corporate rule, under the guise of IP protection. The internet would be reduced to something analogous to network television (which, as we well know, sucks horribly).

Congress as tabled SOPA, but this means nothing; it will most likely return, stuffed with new language, restrictions, and red tape. Obama has said he’d oppose these bills—but then, he also said he’d oppose the NDAA, and he’s since signed it into law.

The sort of tinkering that these bills require would involve messing with Domain Name Servers (DNS), opening up security risks and opening the door to viruses, worms, etc. The sites will still be available, but you’ll need to know the numerical address in order to access it.

The masterminds and supporters of these bills still think that the internet is a series of tubes (ie, they don’t know anything about this technology, by their own admission).

Opposing these bills is an opportunity for us to learn about the internet, what it provides, how it works, and how we can take better advantage of it.

Open floor

Kenzie will be speaking on behalf of OG on the 20th. She’s drafted a speech, and would like some feedback.

Nancy: Occupy the Courts is going to kick ass. There are a lot of people excited and interested, and they’ll be here on the 20th. Most significantly, we have the good fortune that Cornel West has agreed to join us; he intended to be at the Supreme Court, but a scheduling conflict has put him in Gainesville.

Lars shared a few exciting items. On the national planning conference call, someone brought up SERCO—people are aware, and they’re talking about it. Today, on Facebook, Queen Ra responded on behalf of Occupy Jamaica; she’s excited, and will keep in touch. Our Southeastern Region conference call is tentatively scheduled for 5 February; if you’re interested, please talk to Lars.

Karrie lives in the NE part of town, less than a mile from the Superfund. There are two groups fighting Koppers, but on a divided front: one wants to focus only on the benefits of cleaning the mess (which will be mismanaged at best), and another who is watching their friends and family suffer and die from poisoning. Karrie’s family moved into their house in 2001, found out about Koppers about a year ago. Prior to moving, her husband was perfectly healthy, and now he’s constantly sick. There is an art show on 2 March that has refused to accept protest art against Koppers and the unacceptable method for the so-called cleanup (being managed by a foreign corporation) This site that has been a Superfund for 30 years under the EPA (and the facility itself has been there since 1914). Because of this, we have poison in the aquifer, and the ash drifts over local communities and even the prairie. This is why she joined OG: to stop these corporations that are poisoning us and our land, to stand up to the half-assed government industries that are supposed to be protecting us.

Announcements and appreciation

The Fine Print is holding a fundraiser at Karma Cream tonight; head down to support local independent business and press.

The next Iguana issue may be out tomorrow; it will have two articles of interest, one about Move to Amend by Nancy and Tommy, and another about OG by Mary. Please pick up a copy, and share it with your friends!

Karin appreciates all the hardy souls for coming to tonight’s cozy little GA.

Walton appreciates Kenzie, Spike, Erin, Ahren, Ilene, Zot, and Coral, for all the hard work they put in this past weekend (and this very evening) on our corporate (non)person puppet for this Friday’s street theatre. If you see them, give them a pat on the back—they deserve it.

Lars appreciates the balance we’re striking between self-care and group participation. People have found roles and niches to fill, they’ve been willing to step up and help when they can, but they also take care of themselves and don’t overexert or overextend. This is the model of a long-term, sustainable enterprise.

Nancy’s son Reed is having surgery for a torn ACL ligament and possible cartilage damage. Please send some positive energy in their direction.

274 Comments

Hey ya'll ... it'd be

Hey ya'll ... it'd be revolutionary to inject some of that OCCUPY energy into a formerly great gathering that's in danger of going stale. Me and Carol Thomas and a bunch of other (old) people were really gigged when Gainesville Equal Opportunity Division started having anti-racism study circles, but we're frustrated now with great talk that ends with the audio. Won't you come (in me and Carol's place --- neither one of us can make it) on Wednesday at 5:30 at the downtown Library, the big wood-domed room up top. Please consider it. Also, remember the next Labor Party meeting dealing with Universal Health Care will be 6P on 1/31 at the ACEA (teachers) Hall on 13th Ave just west of 6th Street. KALI

at the various camps I&#8217

at the various camps I’ve participated in Europe there are organized rosters of separate media and police liason teamsthey wear special colored jackets and are designated to interface with media and policethe police liason team is usually legal experts or experienced activiststhe media liason team is usually media savvy activists or independent journalists themselvesyes, the MSM are cultural vulturesyes, the police are violentthat’s the system we have, sadlyits possible to be organized without being hierarchical

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