General Assembly Minutes 2013-01-26

Roles
Facilitator - Nancy
Stack - David
Timekeeper - Chris
Note Taker - Annette

Agenda
Announcements
Reports
Follow Up on Actions
Future Actions
New Business
Gratitudes

Announcements
Karen E - Planning with local MoveOn and other groups, a vigil/rally against gun violence. It is likely to be at Bo Diddley Plaza, the 3rd or 4th weekend of February. Approved by consensus that the announcement can go on the OG Fb page.
Vets For Peace meeting Wed, Feb 6th. Visitors are welcome. Non-vets can also become members.
The Radical Press Coffee Collective is having a fundraiser tonight and again on Feb 23rd.

Reports
Occupy Gainesville Light Brigade: Chris reports that the event last Monday for MLK day went very well. A good turnout of Occupiers produced the message: MLK RESPECTED WORKERS, which looked outstanding. The next day, Annette took letters to the regular Vets For Peace Tuesday protest and they spelled out END THE WARS on the very busy corner of University and 13th St.
Arrest Cases: Annette was told by Geoffrey that a conference call is being set up by Judge Jaworski for Monday afternoon. This call with be between the judges and the attorneys in the case. It may be that they are coming back with a ruling or it could be that they are addressing Geoff's second request for discovery concerning planned surveillance of the protesters. Either way, this may indicate that a ruling is coming up soon.

Follow Up on Actions
Occupy the FBI. Annette recapped the very hectic 10 days of planning for this event. All agreed the action went well, with participation from Occupy Gainesville, Occupy Jacksonville, Occupy Daytona and some other supporters. There was strong group effort with Zot and Coral providing lunch, Walton writing press release, Annette sending it out, Chris painting signs, Ed working on media, Ilene scouting parking and restroom locations, Alex and David covering the parking and chaperoning of vehicles, and Geoffrey and Tom legal-observing as members of NLG. Everyone shared the event on their pages and the rapid spread of this event on Occupy pages was an amazing thing to watch. Brit from Jax shot a good bit of video. The event was covered by First Coast News and the segment ran at 6pm and 11pm that day. Alex and Willie have searched the First Coast News site for the video without finding it. The possibility that it could have been suppressed was noted with the pledge to "get the link or make a stink!" Willie spoke of Jacksonville FBI office having a history of intimidation and over-reaching their authority in Gainesville going back 40 yrs to Co-Intel Pro days. Everyone expressed satisfaction with the event.

Future Actions
FBI Issues - Members of both Occupy Gainesville and Occupy Jacksonville said that believe that this is an important time to be keeping the FBI's misdirected efforts in the news. Three days after our protest in front of FBI HQ in Jacksonville, as luck would have it, PBS Frontline ran it's documentary called "Untouchables", an investigation into why the Department of Justice failed to bring any fraud charges against Wall Street criminals. The following day, Lanny Breuer, the Chief of the DOJ who was featured in the film, stepped down from his job. The PBS report asked many of the same questions that we had painted on our protest signs. We still want these questions answered. It was agreed that a Working Group will be formed with participants from both groups to develop a follow - up action involving a meeting with FBI administrators about these issues. Research must be done, questions listed, and a written statement of some kind created. Chris will set up a discussion page for working group members to use. Admins will be needed. Willie volunteered to be one. Some expressed hope that Geoff would also be an Admin on this page.
Wallmart Grand Opening Protest
Nancy suggested that we consider postponing the protest for now. After taking a public beating due to policies which keep workers in poverty, Wallmart has launched a PR campaign, announcing a program to hire returning veterans, buying more goods made in America, and promising more transparency in it's employee practices. Zot and Chris expressed concerns that their true behavior was not changing, just they're words and the unfair practices would continue - also, if now is not the time, when is? Willie pointed out that veterans will also be monitoring their claims. It was discussed more and agreed that we would follow the lead of the organization Our Walmart and join in with their next call for action. Proposal - Cancel protest for now. Consensus reached.
Next Light Brigade actions Chris expressed that there is more need for announcing actions in advance. We should get the schedule of the Vets For Peace regular protests. Nancy says participation is good and could be better once we have more letters completed. The next 2 work days will be this Wed from noon- 5pm and Saturday time tba, at Callie's workshop. Proposal: next message be "Occupy Gainesville". Consensus reached.
AIM Event An event called "Do Something Right For Once" is coming to St Augustine thanks to American Indian Movement. They are calling for the city to Close The Fort as a way to help people understand that the fort's entire history is not glorious. For the native peoples of Florida the fort is a place of torture and death. Zot would like to see a high level of support for this event. Chris reminded us of the Light Brigade letters that could be used. Zot and Annette agreed to meet and make additional letters. Elizabeth will be contacted about borrowing her "Occupy" van. This is an opportunity for us to network with and support our native and indigenous allies.

New Business:
Coffee Collective Nancy proposed that OG officially endorse the Radical Press Coffee Collective, so their efforts can be posted on our Fb pages. Consensus reached.
Travel Assistance for Nancy Nancy asked for assistance from our group to help her fundraising efforts to be reunited with her awesome, activist daughter, Mary, who has been out of the country, and who she has not seen for over 2 years. Nancy would like to spend her 50th birthday with her daughter, who will be in Spain at that time in May. Mary recently traveled to Palestine to help rebuild a family's house and she has been lecturing about this experience while traveling to study. Nancy is struggling to raise the funds to join her and asked if OG would allow her to post a fundraising request on our Fb pages at least once. There was much approval. Chris reminded us that mutual aid is one of our aims and that she was united with her sons at Christmas last year due to the efforts of our entire group, especially Karrie, who created the fundraising page for her. Proposal: OG will sponsor an effort to help participant, Nancy, to join her daughter. Consensus reached. Chris will create a page to raise $900 by May 15th .
T-shirt Sales Proposition Annette would like the groups approval to propose to the CMC that our OG shirts be sold there for a price of $13, with $4 of each sale going to the CMC. Consensus reached. Also Chris will speak with Karrie about ordering tank tops.

Bo Diddley Plaza Update Chris said that she has been in touch with plaza residents, saying that they are also her family. Slingshot and Jess, who were with relatives for a while, are back out there. Relations between the homeless residents and GPD have improved recently and officers are now allowing some of the sleepers to be on the mulch without disturbing them. There are more homeless here now than ever before and St Francis House is full. Hopefully, the city will follow through on it's plans to purchase the old jail site and open it as a One-Stop shelter.

Gratitudes
Chis says she has had a fantastic day, now ending with a fantastic GA, and it was good to make 2 new Occupy friends.
Zot is grateful to be working her ass off lately and it's wonderful to know that she has had the support of her Occupy family.
Nancy appreciates the visit from Alex and Willie from Jacksonville.
Ed has been grateful that OWS happened and even more so that OG happened.