GA Minutes: 10.23.11

Categories: Announcements, Open Mic, Reflections

General Assembly


Approximate Start Time: 7:20 pm

Approximate Head Count: 113


Terms: FORUM is an open discussion centered around a topic that is affecting the group.  COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENTS are updates and reminders by committee reps.  GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS are open announcements under unspecified topics. PROPOSALS are items that are voted upon.  ???? denotes sections that were unclear or confusing to transcribe.  Italicized sections are my thoughts.  All bullet points are essential points made by speakers.



  • Sanitation (???)
  • The Children’s Tent is still open here.  There is a sister site at Snow Park.
  • Finance Committee: Meets tomorrow at 6pm
  • Arts and Crafts: more supplies needed, please help clean.
  • Medic tent: Please clean up after yourself.
  • Garden Committee: We need support in composting.



  • Union business is important to know about.  If they go on strike, we need to know about it.  They can support us.
  • Tomorrow, Monday at 14th and Broadway, we will have a birthday celebration for our second week.  Bring cake, balloons, etc.
  • Tuesday, there is a city council meeting.  We should meet together.
  • Women, Queer, Transgender Announcement: Do not comment on women’s appearance.  Do not cat-call, or whistle.  Do not touch people, or go into tents.  Do not invite others into your tent.  Do not tell women to do things for you.  Ask to be included before coming into the circle.



This is how proposals work: (explains)

CQ: What constitutes a proper proposal?

A: If you are making an autonomous action inside or outside of the camp, you can do it.  You can also choose to get the the endorsement of the group.  You can also get solidarity statements endorsed.  We also agree on things that affect everyone.

  1. Proposal to Change the Order and Structure of GA: We want to change the schedule to having GA on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Friday – GA;  open forum, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday. We’d like to change the structure so that we can sustain the process for individual facilitators, and get more people’s participation.  There isn’t enough time to have people express themselves freely during forum in GA’s.
  • Clarifying Questions: Can we replace forums with emergency meetings?  How would that be determined?
  • Response: “The police will kick us out,” might be an emergency.   Collectively, if the crowd needs it, we will meet as a general assembly.  Quorum is fifty people – and we would need a quorum.
  • CQ: How do we submit things if there is no GA?  Is there a psych team for people who need mental health support?
  • A: You can still submit things to us by finding us during our meetings.  We don’t know about a psych team, but you can check with Safer Spaces to lend services.
  • CQ: What about people who want to be part of this, but aren’t camping here?
  • A: Look at the website, or come to the camp and look at the board.
  • CQ: How will the open forum be structured?
  • A: We are going to ask Events Committee to do it.
  •  On the behalf of security, I’d like to say you can email us with ideas at
  • Con: Maybe reduce the number of days, but keep the forum in the GA.
  • A: The forum during the GA is a focused topic.  What happens on the other days would not be our business.
  • Pro: I’m pro, but with one concern.  The open forum is a critical part of community building and consciousness-raising.   I’m willing to help, but I can’t do it alone.
  • A: We need to streamline and consolidate the assembly.
  • Pro: I see a group of people who are really tired, and I see that they need more support.  I am also willing to step up tonight and take on Tue/Thur open forum.
  • Con: I am totally against this proposal.  This assembly is the heart of the occupation.  This to me shows that we are losing sight of our goals.  We need to talk and listen to each other.  I don’t want a band to play every night.
  • A: You’re misconstruing the proposal.  We want more speakers, and we want more dialogue.  I’m with you.
  • Pro: I’m in events, and we are overtaxed. Join us so we can make this happen.
  • Pro: We need music that is conscious and political theater.
  • Pro: I agree with the previous speaker. We need to use the media to our advantage.

Please remember to make your comments short and concise.



  1. Friendly Neighbor Policy: Zero tolerance for racism, sexism, harassment, violence.  Be respectful of all people and visitors.  Let our revolutionaries sleep between 12 am and 9am.


  • Clarifying Question: Will signs be involved in this?
  • Answer: We are going to make signs, and encourage people to check each other.
  • CQ: The quiet hours are between 12 am and 9am right?
  • A: Yes we can.
  • CQ: How are you defining violence?
  • A: If security has to touch someone, that is different.  This policy will help to avoid that situation.
  • CQ:  How do we police each other, as you suggested?
  • A: ??? (too many sirens to hear)
  • CQ: How is zero tolerance going to be enforced?  How does this change anything?  Zero tolerance implies that a consequence follows.
  • A: Maybe that could be a friendly amendment.  We want to adopt these as core values.
  • CQ: How many people camping attend the GA?  How are we going to educate ourselves to know what these policies look like?
  • A: We should see what the group thinks. This could be an agreed upon core value system.  Then we can facilitate workshops so that people can be on the same page.
  • CQ: Can we call them mediators instead of security or policing people?
  • To clarify: we have a security team looking for police.  The Safer Spaces Committee is mediating. 
  • But twice today, I saw a security person getting hostile with someone.
  • Point of Process: This proposal is about the policy, not about security behavior.  We encourage you to take your concerns to the GA.
  • We are going to break into small groups to discuss this.
    • Small group share-outs
    • We don’t want to give police a reason to come in.
    • It’s dangerous and a bad idea.  The terms are undefined.
    • It’s vague and the clarifying questions have been avoided.
    • Please make comments brief.  Please try not to repeat others’ comments.
      • I agree with what has been said – this is vague and the language is loaded.  We shouldn’t police each otherThe times perhaps should be amended for weekends.
      • My group liked it and it’s symbolic of our values.
      • It’s a good proposal, but along with the proposal we should have workshops on how to treat each other.
      • This is a work in progress.  We are a community and we need to have something to live by.  What is the political seriousness here?  What is going on?
      • Violence is highly contested as to what it means.  In revolutionary times, violence is needed.  Abuse is not necessarily violence (as a concept).  I appreciate the sentiment behind it.
      • Sexism and racism exhibit themselves in specific behavior, which can be called out.  Whether or not it passes, it needs to be modified.
      • Realistically, those statements are not possible.  People can be educated, but to truly understand it, they need to go through it.  Everybody has different perceptions, and that is hard to understand that.  Be true to yourself.
      • This is an anarchy experiment, in a way, so what do we do about violence and harassment?  Society’s problems come in here.  All of us should feel like it’s our job to come together as a group and mediate issues.  We need to stick together as a group.


  • Voting results: YES: 63% (40) ABSTAINED: (13) NO: (23).   THIS PROPOSAL HAS NOT PASSED.


  1. Marches Endorsed by Occupy Oakland: We want OO to march Monday at 7:30 am to the courthouse in support of a family of a person who is in jail.
  • Clarifying Question: Why not invite us to do that rather than bringing it to GA.
  • A: This is a national issue.
  • CQ: How can this march positively affect OO?
  • A: This protects other people.
  • Con: The GA should not have a vote around a legal case.  People can do this individually.
  • Con: There are some statements on that sheet I am not comfortable with.
  • Con: OO is not an endorsing organization.
  • Con: I agree with the other speakers.
  • Con: Marches are organized autonomously from here.
  • Voting results: YES: 2; ABSTAINING: 16; NO: 33  THIS PROPOSAL HAS NOT PASSED.



  • None


  • None



  • Black smartphone taken at 9:24.  $50.00 reward.
  • What will we do when the police come?  Let’s talk.
  • Are we against or for incarceration? Who is the enemy?
  • Film tonight: Zapatistas’ proposal
  • Knitting and Crafting Circle coming soon.  Knitting Classes: Sundays at 2pm for the next four Sundays.
  • Today we marched at Bobby Hutton Park. We were informed that we should be aware of the following: sanitation issues, composting/recycling issues, securing more portapotties, washing cookware and dishes in hot water, and consideration of using paper products.  Also: put things in boxes or bins and store them out of sight.





8:37 pm


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