General Assembly Minutes 2012-07-28

Roles
Facilitator - Whistler
Stack - Nancy
Time Keeper - John F
Note taker - Annette
Vibes - everyone

Agenda
Announcements
OG News
RNC
Protest at Bank of America
Day in Court (almost)
Food Servers Awareness
Dog Park
Appreciations

Announcements
Joseph - now working at Omi's Catering and says they have food to donate. Food Not Bombs can call him for pick up times.
Nancy - Doug needs a ride to Palm Beach County.
Pat - The City Council meeting is coming up, we may want to be there.

OG News
Coral says several OG members pooled their efforts to construct a fence at Erin and Spike's. Pallets are NOT easy to work with.

RNC
There are new maps and articles available online On the Coalition To March web site. There is another web site called resistRNC which is not affiliated with the Coalition. Members planning on attending the protests at the RNC should be aware that security for the event has been very heavily funded and will be extreme. The Selmon Expressway (Toll Road 618) will be shut down for the 3 days. All county offices downtown in the County Center will be closed for 11 days, and there will be no street side parking in most of the event zone. Vermine Supreme and other activist-comedians will be performing in Tampa on Monday night Aug 27th.

Protest at Bank of America
The Committee to March on the RNC held a demonstration in front of Bank of America on University Ave to invite Gainesville to join us at the RNC. Local groups who are part of the Coalition were represented and there was a strong turnout. Nancy said she was happy to see so many young people joining in the OG led chants. The action was peaceful and the response from passersby was overwhelmingly positive. Police were called, of course, but were friendly and skipped the usual lecture about property lines. A very positive action!

Day in Court (almost)
Many OG members and supporters were present for the scheduled hearing of our Motion To Dismiss the trespassing charges against 30 OG participants. The majority of members are represented by attorney Geoffrey Mason, with Jennifer Zadakis, and Bill Salmon also representing individual members. Nancy C said there was a good article in the Sun today. She noted that even the judges commented on the city's poor timing. There was much discussion on why the city might now feel the need to have input. All agreed that the arrests were obviously unconstitutional and that we should use the next 3 months to become more informed, prepared, and supportive of our attorney's efforts in our behalf. Nancy J said many people not in OG have expressed their support for OG and surprise at the delay. She believes we should go for an even larger turnout in court next time. Many expressed gratitude to the attorneys. Coral thinks we should, at the very least, bake them cookies.

Proposal
We will gather and discuss the 1st Amendment and this case and the details in the State's Response so that we might be better informed.
Consensus reached.

Food Server's Wage Awareness
John F announced he would like for us to develop an info card to inform Food Service Workers of the threat to their minimum wage. The card would contain basic info and a link to a web site. Many servers still have no idea what is going on behind the scenes to steal part of their wages. There was overall support for this.

Dog Park
Pat Fitzpatrick said we should remember that all these local issues are tied together. He would like members to help think of a slogan to point up the unfair city spending for things like this dog park ($198,000), while not spending to help the local homeless. The dog park was not needed and is not in use, it was just a ploy to deny the homeless a place to sleep.
Nancy J suggested how much in cost taxpayers per dog. Whistler thinks we could wear dog costumes and picket. Please contact Pat with any ideas.

Appreciations
Coral appreciates that we are finally getting more rain.
Annette appreciates all the people who came to court and to the protest.
John F appreciates the 3 attorneys: Geoffrey mason, Jennifer Zadakis, and Bill Salmon, who work to defend us and the 1st Amendment pro bono.