General Assembly Minutes 2012-02-03

Agenda
Roles, respect check, donations, approve agenda – 5
Welcome, consensus review – 5
Announcements and news – 10
Working and affinity group reports and proposals – 15
General proposals – 10
Vampire hiatus – 5
Open discussion – 15
Open floor – 10
Announcements, appreciation – 5
Sail away!

Roles
Facilitator – Ahren
Stack taker – Karin
Time keeper – John B
Vibe checker – Ilene
Guide/greeter – Ian
Note taker – W

Lars checked our respect

Everyone is encouraged to donate what they can for our food fund. You can drop some cash in the hat at GAs, or put some money in our fund at the co-op on Main St.

Announcements and news

Tomorrow is a day of mass action against the potential war in Iran. We will demonstrate at the corner of 13th and University.

Tomorrow there will be a cash mob at the farmer’s market.

12 February – Occupy With Art. Bring your art—all of it! Paintings, drawings, poetry, dance, performance, music, and any and all other forms and media. We’ll host an art festival from 1 – 6 PM at the plaza. At 6:30, we’ll have an art GA, and afterwards we’ll take our art on a pub parade. There will be a painting party at the mansion on Saturday, at 4 PM, to prepare for the event.

13 February – Occupy the Heart, 5PM, outside the Wal-Mart on 13th St. We’ll protest Valentine’s day mass-marketing; bring your heartful signs.

Working and affinity group reports and proposals

Direct action working group – Ian

DA will have a meeting on Monday. Meet up at the plaza at 6PM.

SERCO affinity group – Lars

The next meeting is at 6PM on Sunday, at Spike and Erin’s. At 8PM we’ll have our first SERCO conference call.

Strategy working group – Lars

The group will meet at 4PM on Sunday, 5 Feb, to plan long term strategy and discuss matters like public presence, maintaining the booth, etc.

Secretarial working group – Walton

Walton will be at the SERCO meeting and call on Sunday. If anyone is inclined to take minutes at Sunday’s GA, please do so.

General proposals

Proposal (passes): the anti-war demonstration on Saturday will be an official OG event. Zot will be staffing our info booth, so if you’d like to drop off your things and pick up a sign, you can march from the plaza to the corner.

Proposal (passes): Lars read the text for an anti-war flyer, and it met with GA approval. Karrie will work her magic and post the completed flyer to the site. Lars will print a bunch out and bring them to the demonstration (though you’re welcome to print your own as well).

Proposal (withdrawn): the people’s mic should be optional at GAs. Long story short, this proposal prompted us to discuss the merits and drawbacks of the people’s mic, and our guidelines for its use. We currently have the option for speakers to “turn off” the mic, and further discussion and consideration seems imminent.

Open discussion

Annette suggested that we reimburse John F $50 for gas money and for the new whiteboard he purchased for us. The group generally supported this, and it will be officially proposed at the next GA.

Lars: the 4 February anti-war call to action was initially proposed by World Can’t Wait. According to WCW, the decision for this direct action was the result of a national conference call, but no details about that call seem to be available, which was a bit suspicious. The diversity of players, and their individual goals, in the current environment of movement-building requires us to think critically and act with political sophistication.

John B: the day of action is sponsored by about 50 organizations, and supported by hundreds if not thousands of others; the movement against the war is very wide.

Ilene: war feels imminent; this seems like an appropriate situation for Emergency Response. It’s less about the organization making the call, and more about supporting the cause.

John F: remembers talk of war with Iran in conjunction with the war in Iraq. There was action against it then, and this is an equally appropriate time to demonstrate against it. Israel is itching to move against Iran, and the US doesn’t have that much influence on Israel’s decision.

John B: US has been at war with Iran since ’79. Iran does not associate with the high echelons of the world banking system, and as a consequence that system classifies Iran as an enemy. US generals have said that we won’t follow Israel into conflict, so the US probably won’t follow suit, but there’s still a small chance of World War III.

Lars: we’re assaulted on a daily basis with propaganda that conditions us to a binary, for-or-against mindset. Developing political consciousness is about more than deciding whether someone is for or against war. There is a long history of betraying common cause. One of our goals is to develop community and devote our resources locally to things that matter to us.

Open floor

John B: open floor is about providing a space for any topic important enough to talk about

John F: the goal of tomorrow’s action is to alert Gainesville residents to the threat of war. People are too caught up in the daily rat-race to notice, and our action will show that there are people out there that are against this possible conflict in Iran. Politics is relative; your motivation for action should be your own. Finally, on an unrelated note, levity has a place in any discussion.

Mary: on Wednesday, trained to be an Occupy Suppl liaison. After the training, there was an interesting discussion amongst liaisons from across the country sharing what their Occupations have been doing, like occupying foreclosed homes.

Annette suggested that we bring back our discussion group, so that we have more time to talk about the issues that matter to us.

Ian: we need to distinguish between organizations and their motivations for making a call to action, and our own reactions to that call. We demonstrate for a cause, not in support of a group. Short notice makes planning events very difficult. Please disclose any events that are in the offing, and of course any concerns or misgivings associated with them.

Brooks: happy to see the Komen foundation backpedaling in defunding Planned Parenthood.

Karrie: tired, lots going on. After 13 February, she’ll be backing off a bit. She’ll still be with us online, and in spirit, even if not on site. And she’ll still be taking design requests—those are fun.

Announcements and appreciation

Chris and Ed are being forced out of their home, and their tax return was garnished.

The SERCO conference call is at 8PM on 5 February. You can register at http://interoccupy.org/SECall/ .

Lars appreciates OG; he’s grateful for our open-mindedness and willingness to tackle new ideas.

There’s a paint party for Occupy with Art tomorrow at 4PM at the mansion. There will be supplies, and a fire.

OG will protest the impending war with Iran tomorrow, starting at noon, at the corner of 13th and University. Bring your voices, signs, drums, and other noise-making/attention-getting implements.

Walton appreciates John F’s sense of humor.

The blood bus was the plaza today, and parked with its exhaust blowing right into the OG booth. The staffers talked to the driver and nurses, and they talked to their boss, and then graciously moved the bus to a more mutually agreeable location. We appreciate their respect for OG.

Ian: part of confidence is admitting where you’ve been, knowing where you are, and where you want to go. OG has helped him appreciate those things in himself, and gaining confidence in his future. He thanks and loves us.

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