General Assembly Minutes 2012-01-22

Agenda

Assign roles, approve agenda, donations, respect check – 5
Welcome, consensus review – 5
Announcements – 5
Working and affinity group reports and proposals – 15
Occupy Gainesville news – 10
Open discussion: direct action – 15
Ants-in-the-pants break – 5
Open floor – 10
General proposals – 10
Other Occupy news – 5
Announcements and appreciation – 5
Head ‘em up, move ‘em out

Roles

Facilitator – John B
Stack taker – Gary
Vibe checker – Karrie
Greeter/guide – Stephen
Time keeper – also Gary
Notes – Walton

Ilene delivered our respect check

Karrie gave us our consensus review

We welcomed Alan, a member of the local International Socialist Organization chapter, who’s interested in activism with housing and foreclosures.

Announcements

On 28 January, at 1982, we’ll have our second Rockupy concert to raise funds for OG and celebrate our Capricorns. All ages are welcome, $5-$7 at the door. Features include local bands, free games, and good times. More information, and a map, is available on the Facebook pages and on our website.

Working and affinity group reports and proposals

Internet, via Karrie

Our Facebook community page is 3 “likes” away from 4,000. Tell a friend, let’s get 3 more.

The group has some concerns regarding events listed on the calendar.
-Downtown farmer’s garden, Tuesday and Thursday, 10-11 AM
-Radical cheerleading practice, Wednesday 5-6 PM
-Demonstrations at the corner of University and 13th from 2-4PM on Tuesday and Thursday
[John F pointed out that VFP demonstrates here from 4-6PM, anytime anyone would like to join]
If you’re a member of a working group responsible for any of these events, please contact the internet team and let them know if these events are occurring and ongoing.

The group also needs help with online tasks. If you’ve been a “silent” admin, please help out with the virtual chores.

Our Tumblr feed is one of our less active presences on the internet. The team is having a hard time keeping up with 5 different social media networks. If you’d like to take over Tumblr responsibilities, please contact the internet group, otherwise we’ll probably discontinue the account.

When sending photos, please send more than one per email—it’s much easier for our team to deal with that way.

Please be an active participant on Tacebook, Twitter, Youtube, Google+. People are sharing info with us, OWS retweeted us and recircled us on Google+; lots of great stuff is going on, so please read the comments and respond.

Please keep alterations to scheduled events to a minimum. Abrupt changes (like time and location) are difficult for the calendar team to keep up with, and complicate publicity.

SERCO, via Walton

The group met last night with Stephen, who’s offered his land for SERCO and officially joined the affinity group. All of the members that met reached consensus that we’d like to use Stephen’s land now that all concerns have been addressed and we’ve begun developing logistical plans. For the details, you can see the SERCO meeting minutes in the SERCO local forum.

Occupy Gainesville news

Dr. Bill Warwick will deliver a presentation on global economics at 6:30 on Wednesday at the public library. There will be a sign at the library directing us to the proper room, and the specific location will be posted by Wednesday. There should also be a sign at the plaza directing people to the library for this educational GA. The presentation will probably last for about an hour, and Dr. Warwick will answer as many questions as he is able.

We also talked about how awesome brother/Dr. Cornel West is.
Ilene: Dr. West said our skit was amazing, that she really looked and acted like a police officer, and that we are “artists leading the way”
John F: hugged Dr. West and told him that he agreed with his concept of love in politics
Michael: gave Dr. West a hug and kiss on the cheek; Dr. West made kissy noises and told him to stay strong
Carlo: just wanted to shake his hand, but Dr. West grabbed him and hugged him
Phil: Dr. West is the most approachable celebrity he’s ever seen, one who genuinely loves people
Karrie: jumped onto the stage after Dr. West’s speech, and he picked her out of the crowd and gave her a huge hug; told her that OG may be small, but quality is more important than quantity
John B: was mesmerized by Dr. West, and described his stage presence at UF as catlike; Dr. West embodied the ability to have an open and loving heart, impeccable intellect, and awareness of the challenges we face
At UF, a group waited outside Pugh Hall after the event. When Tavis Smiley exited, the group thanked him via human mic; Mr. Smiley twinkled. They did the same with Dr. West, who smiled and “absorbed into the group”.
6 people present tonight hugged Dr. West; only John F. hugged Tavis, and he’s damn proud of it

Open discussion

Friday, 20 January—Occupy the Courts—was awesome, so we decided to brainstorm options for more direct actions.

Alan: stay relevant to the 99%; ISO is interested in getting involved and helping communities under attack from the banks.

Gary: talking to a pair of attorneys who are willing to put on a foreclosure workshop as a non-OG event; the Shimberg Center for Housing Studies will sponsor the event. There’s a thread in the forums on foreclosure for anyone who wants to join the conversation.

Carlo: we need to engage the community at large; we need to be more visible in town and make a presence in hotspots, like busy intersections

Katie: people come to GA if they’re attracted by an action, event, group ideas, etc.

Karrie: two ideas for further action—Koppers Superfund action, and Occupy Ninjas

Carlo: advertise events, actions on the radio and newspaper
WUFT is currently selling ad space for dirt cheap
Karrie will research ad prices and talk to the media team (and check on our bumper stickers)

Stephen: community service grabs attention and creates positive image

Cash mob—everyone shows up wearing their OG shirts and puts some money into the local economy
Florida Organic Growers is currently planning one for 4 February at the farmer’s market on 441, from 8:30 AM – 11 PM. There will be live music, a bounce house, food vendors, and other activities. There’s a Facebook event page, and it has been posted to the group.

Walton will comb through old meeting minutes to recover other ideas we brainstormed in our breakout groups a few months ago.

Monsanto will be at UF this week, from the 23rd through the 25th. On Wednesday, they’ll have a trailer parked on the north lawn. Suggestions included bringing some signs, doing a mic check, and having a “die in”. Brady also offered the services of a friendly skunk that’s living at his house.

Open floor

Early voting is this week; if you’re into voting, please make sure you do so.

Karrie: Occupy the Courts was awesome. We saw lots of new faces, and a few we hadn’t seen for a while. Remember what it felt like to stand with so many others, and that what we do is for all those who don’t have voices but want to be heard. Let’s keep doing more; it’s a lot of effort, but worth it.

John F, regarding arguments on the value of voting: he hasn’t seen a logical argument supporting the position. Achieving something through not doing something is a special case, like not stepping in front of a truck. Not voting is an abdication of duty in a (quasi) democracy, and forecloses on the possibility that the system is not totally corrupt, especially at the local level. Voting contributes to an aggregate phenomena that solely indicates having made a choice (often an unpleasant one). Not voting for the lesser of two evils means that people who vote for the eviler of two lessers can predominate.

Stephen: if you don’t vote, you don’t get to bitch

No general proposals tonight.

Other Occupy news

A Tampa occupier was detained for wearing an Occupy jacket (which he refused to remove) in the state building. Karrie mused about going there with her Occupy t-shirt on and seeing if they asked her to remove it. [Better yet, let’s find that guy who has the Occupy tattoo.]

John F: spoke on the phone with the Occupy supply group at Firedog Lake. Since the last time they spoke, 4 Occupations have been kicked out of their space, 4 have moved indoors, some (like us) only maintain a tent during the day, many are sleeping on sidewalks, others are enduring extreme cold, some are experiencing dissent between “organizers” and sleepers, some are taking action against foreclosures, and numbers are generally down (especially amongst sleepers). The hope is that warmer weather will bring increased participation to compensate for this winnowing. The sense is that Occupy is still strong nationally, but also still widely resisted by local government, sometimes to the point of harassment. We, here in Gainesville, have it relatively easy.

Announcements and appreciation

Carlo appreciates everyone who organized Move to Amend, and Karrie for all the things she’s doing for the cause.

Ilene appreciates everyone who helped out on Friday and all of our supporters, and hopes we inspired people to join us.

We welcomed Sheryl and Josh; Josh is doing a report for school about Occupy, and he spoke with a few people and took some pictures.

Karrie appreciates all the hard work and planning by the street theatre team; the skit rocked, the puppet was amazing; she was in awe, even though she was having trouble envisioning the project before seeing it, and promises never to get pissy again.

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