General Assembly Minutes 2012-12-01

Roles
Facilitator - Ilene
Stack - Chris
Time Keeper - John F
Notes - Annette
Vibes - Laura

Agenda
Announcements
Occupy Storage
JAM Poster
Walmart Protests - Past and Present
Fundraising
General Discussion

Announcements
Mary B - Vets For Peace Winter Solstice Concert is this Saturday, Dec 8th at Unitarian Universalist. Tickets are a donation of $10 - $30 John and Mary have tickets. NOTE: There will be no GA on this night, Occupy Gainesville will be attending and setting up a table at this event.
Laura - Kickball Saturdays continue at Northeast Park every Saturday from 11 to 1 pm.
Ilene - A Gainesville Gift Circle will be held Monday Dec 10th at the Downtown Library at 6pm. Bring snacks to share and a gift time or service to put in the circle.
Chris - Anarchy 1 Radio (anarchy-1.org) is broadcasting Democracy Now at 6 pm, Mon - Fri
Mary B - Move To Amend's SE Regional Conference is Fri Dec 14th - Sun Dec 16th, at the Unitarian Universalist
Group - Protest Walmart on Waldo Rd this Sunday 3-5pm

Occupy Storage
It's time again to go through our occu-supplies and find better homes for them. John has them in his garage. It was agreed that people will be invited one last time to come see if anything is theirs on Wednesday at noon, then we are donating the remnants. Cooking items will be donated to Food Not Bombs, tents and sleeping bags loaned to IWW, then donated to plaza residents, and the garden cart is being donated to the Edible Plant Project. Last call - if you have anything in John's garage, better come get it.

JAM Poster
Karrie's beautiful poster of Occupy Gainesville in Bo Diddley Plaza has been matted and signed by many, but not all, occupiers. If you have not yet signed - please see Annette asap and sign it. The poster will be framed and given to Eduardo at the JAM for hosting our anniversary party. We want to have the framing finished so we can give it to him st his birthday party, Friday Dec 21st. Remember also that Chris is now working there on Fridays - let's go hang out.

OG Light Brigade
John, Zot and Callie will set a date for us to meet and manufacture LED lighted letters. These will be used to spell out Occupy messages in the tradition of the Overpass Light Brigade. John says there are enough lights for about 17 letters to start. (The meeting was set for 5pm Tuesday 12/4 at Callie's workshop. )

Walmart - Past and Present
OG's Black Friday protest against Walmart went extremely well last week. It was very effective with a turn out of about 40 people holding signs on Archer Rd. About half were from OG, and others were from the unions, SDS, former Walmart employees, and others who answered the call. TV20 did a story that was mostly positive, although not accurate on several details. NEXT UP - Discussion about Walmart and the effectiveness of protests. Annette read a memo from Walmart corporate headquarters to store managers. This memo was intercepted and posted online by the group OURWalmart. Whistler pointed out that fans of the corporation have been losing the online arguments. Laura said comparisons to Costco are also hurting their image. Chris warned that Walmart retaliates against workers, going so far as to shut down stores. John thinks they won't shut down a store in the holiday shopping season. It was decided that since the company is obviously sensitive to protest activity, we should keep the pressure ON. Another sign holding action will take place this Sunday from 3 - 5pm in front of the Waldo Rd location.

Fundraising
Chris pointed out that we have funded a lot of good things lately, but our account is getting low and we should be thinking about some fund raising ideas. All agreed that funds will need to be raised on an ongoing basis for upcoming events. Whistler - we should be pushing our T-shirts. Laura will take some to consign again at Hear Again. Ilene - shirts and buttons sold well at last year's Winter Solstice concert. Other ideas - possible events at the JAM, 1982 or the Midnight. Laura - our local activities should be highlighted for donations. Nancy - we should put the donation hat back out at GAs.

General Discussion
Laura - it might be good to host another Barter Day event at the Northeast Park. John - we should have the Occupy Gainesville banner at the Walmart protest. Mary B - Analysts are saying that by "changing the conversation", the Occupy Movement was a factor in this last national election. Chris - her hometown of Detroit has been destroyed by this recession and is going to be dissolved into the county. This is a true tragedy and other cities may follow. Annette - Occupy is setting examples of self reliance and putting 'people over profits' with the anti-foreclosure actions, the Occupy Sandy Relief effort and now with the Rolling Jubilee. Laura - appreciates all of the members of this group and likes the good examples set by Occupy in that it is multiracial, non-sexist and it's thinking is international - this is huge. Ed - has noticed a paradigm shift on Facebook. Chris - the great thing about occupy is that it sticks with the big picture. Nancy is grateful for 'twinkle fingers' as a way to sign approval. John - a huge HMO called Kaiser Permanente came out and declared that GMOs are hurting people. It costs them money if their members get sick. This could be a turning point. Michael A - too bad their announcement didn't come earlier, Proposition 37 in California might have passed. Chris - her son started a band and she recognizes occupy issues in their lyrics. Laura - thinks there is a positive effect on children. Her son is organizing a games group. Mary B - the Occupy Sandy Relief took off so quickly because of the experience they had gained from organizing the kitchens and infirmary in their earlier encampment in Zuccotti Park. She believes the Occupy Movement is a gift to the next generation.