General Assembly Minutes 2012-02-21

Agenda

RRAD (roles, respect, agenda, donations) – 5
Welcome, consensus review – 5
Announcements – 5
Groups – 20
News – 10
Amorphous break – 10
Open discussion: all-women’s GA – 15 (+30)
Air-clearing break – 10
Open floor – [dropped]
General proposals – 10
Announcements – 5
Load up, roll out

Roles

Facilitator – Karin (Lars, and then Spike during open discussion)
Stack – Spike
Time – Erin
Vibes – Lars
Greeter/guide – Karrie
Notes – Walton

Tommy and Lars gave our consensus review

Announcements

22 Feb, 2:00 PM, the Koppers Superfund affinity group will meet with Bea (whose home in the superfund area is being foreclosed – see 19 Feb notes for details) at Mama Mia pizza to learn more about her situation and how we can help her.

22 Feb, 7:30 PM, the food sovereignty affinity group will meet.

Groups

Direct Action working group – Lars

The group met yesterday to discuss F29 (protesting ALEC and shutting down global corporations who are writing our legislation); our target will probably be either Bank of America or McDonalds. See Lars, Karrie, or Karin for more details.

On 8 March, there will be a singing protest at the courthouse during the foreclosure auction.

They also discussed the OG Emergency response system.

11 March is the anniversary of Fukushima. Some OG members are going to St. Pete for an anti-nuclear/clean energy demonstration at Progress Energy.

16 March is an international anti-Monsanto day of action. Because many of the DA group’s members will be working on SERCO, and the closest major protest locations are Felda and Homestead, they are not planning any action at this time, but plan to demonstrate against Monsanto in April or May.

SERCO affinity group – Walton, Lars, Spike

This past weekend, the group did some more work clearing land for camping and gathering firewood, and a few campers christened our fire pit that evening. We also started designating specific camp sites and other spaces.

Confirmed workshops:
-process
-men’s accountability
-regional networking (led by Cindy Milstein)
-ecological activism
-anti-oppression
-activist self-care
-figure out t-shirt numbers and color

Other suggested events:
-women’s GA
-radical cheerleading workshop

Tasks for this weekend:
-make signs
-make crew list boards
-draw up a list of supplies
-fix the bridge
-mark property boundaries
-work on lighting (current ideas: battery-powered LEDs, Chinese lanterns, ground batteries)

If you have any useful links, or any ideas, please post them in the SERCO forum at the OG website.

If you have any ideas, or if you plan to attend SERCO, please register at the website ( http://occupysoutheast.org )

News

Ed and a few others stayed overnight last night, along with O.G. McTent. There was no hassle, and everyone stayed warm.

Open discussion

There was some confusion on Facebook, and certain members of the women’s affinity group thought that men were being allowed into the private group, and felt their space was being violated. Tonight’s open discussion was dedicated to clearing up the confusion and addressing this and other issues regarding the upcoming women’s GA.

The all-women’s GA is intended to be a place outside the normal male-dominated culture, where women can feel safe expressing themselves and deal with issues specific to them. Men are not excluded from the GA; they are welcomed and encouraged to sit and listen, but the point of the assembly is to devote the discussion to a historically marginalized segment of our population. It is NOT, nor was it ever intended to be, a decision-making GA. There will be an intro, a fishbowl discussion, and a conclusion.

There was a great deal of contention on the subject. Below are lists of support for, and concerns about, the all-women’s GA as they were expressed in this discussion.

All-women’s GA
- a celebration of International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, and compensation for no national or federal holidays dedicated to a woman or women’s issues
- a special space for those who are less included in everyday life
- experimental assembly meant to expose (by absenting) male dominance at our meetings
- part of the experiment is to see if men are willing to consent to just listen
- men are encouraged to come and listen to the issues, gain a new perspective, and consider what it’s like to have their voices silenced
- opportunity for men and women to discuss the GA will be provided, either at the meeting’s conclusion or at a later GA
- men’s privilege is often normalized to an extent that neither men nor women realize, and neither sex realizes the ways that women are being oppressed; this GA provides an opportunity to bring these matters into focus for everyone’s benefit

Concerns
- title/name (“All women”) may be causing some friction; uninviting and unclear
- single-sex/gender GA is exclusionary, alienating, divisive; it is not “general” in the sense of being all-inclusive (one of the foundations of Occupy), nor is it a working/affinity group GA
- turns bias against the majority
- removes men from this discussion of women’s issues
- preserves the sex divide of the old world we’re trying to overthrow

Other notes
- the stack taker and the facilitator are responsible for making sure that everyone is fairly heard; there are often interruptions and interjections, both by men and women
- feeling resistant? Try it first and see what happens. This movement is founded on trust. Men can participate by supporting and refraining from acting for one evening.

General proposals

Passes: Thursday, 22 February: SERCO affinity group GA at BDP

Announcements and appreciation

Tomorrow, 7:30 PM: Food sovereignty meeting at BDP

Thursday, 23 March: Nerdy and Dirty Science Show at the Lab

Ed appreciates Lisa and Phil for the tea last night and this morning

Spike appreciates everyone who stuck with the meeting, and their dedication to working things out

Whistler appreciates our determination

Kai appreciate’s Karries passion for the women’s GA

Quill appreciates our well-behaved GA dogs

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