GA Minutes 11.11.11

Categories: GA Minutes, General Assembly

Oakland General Assembly


Arrival Time:  6:15

Approximate Head Count: 110


This is the General Assembly.  It is based on Participatory Democracy.  This is how it works (description read regarding participation, the assembly, committees, etc).  This is who will do each role tonight (reads off who will facilitate, keep time, take stack, and be crowd advocates).


  • QPOC/POC: Meets MWF at 5pm on Franklin and 14th; Sundays at 4pm
  • Labor Outreach Meeting : 11am Sunday
  • March in Solidarity with Egypt: Tomorrow@4pm from the plaza.  BE THERE.  In case the camp gets evicted we will meet anyway.


  1. Welcome
  2. Committee Report Backs
  3. Forum
  4. Proposals
  5. Action/General Announcements


Temperature Check: In response to the shooting and death of the young man near our encampment yesterday, we could hold a forum.  We could also vote on proposals.  Let’s hold a straw poll.  OK, it looks like the majority would like to discuss proposals.

PROPOSALS (6:30 pm)

  • We have cultivated a modified consensus making process. (Explains)
  • Submit proposals to, or submit in person on paper.  Three or more people must endorse a proposal and be present during its presentation to the GA.
  • This is how we run the GA (explains process, hand signals, vote count, etc).
  1. Mandatory Paper Ballots and Open Source Software for Voting: Occupy Oakland should stand for the removal of corporate owned or controlled software, and stand for the implementation of open source software and mandatory paper ballots.
  • Clarifying Questions and Answers
    • What is “open source software?” – It’s software that is openly viewable and not for sale; fully accessible to the public.
    • Where would the software come from? – We have been working on it for 10 years.
    • What do you mean by “corporate?”  – It’s corporate owned and controlled.  We reject this.
    • Pros
      •  Our current system is very flawed.
      • I care about this because I vote – I know not everyone does, but I do.
      • Cons
        • We deal with proposals about camp specific needs and solidarity statements.
        • We don’t make demands. That has been our norm.
        • We don’t know enough about this software to make a decision.  


41.2% Approval.  If you have a friendly amendment, please get on stack now.

Yes: 45

No:  20

Abstain:  64


  • State that this resolution does not endorse any political leanings.
  • Make it a general solidarity statement without endorsing any specifics.

PROPOSAL RESTATMENT: We are amenable to both friendly amendments. Occupy Oakland should stands for the removal of corporate owned or controlled software, and stand for the implementation of open source software and mandatory paper ballots. This is not an endorsement of a political system.  This is a general solidarity statement with groups that are against corporate control of election systems.

Are there any pros and cons?  Now we are going to vote again. 

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: In case you were not aware, this encampment has received an eviction notice.  Please make your plans accordingly.



Yes:  49 

No:  33

Abstain:  19

2. November 19  Mass Action: To mobilize everyone we can and have a march for workers and families of Oakland against the institutions that are responsible for inequality, foreclosed homes, etc.

  • Clarifying Questions and Answers
    • Will this be nonviolent? – (??? I did not hear the response)
    • What time? – We don’t know.
    • John said 50%.  50% of what? – We would have 50% control of the platform, and control over the march itself.
    • How do we do this without being bogged down by the bureaucracy of the unions? – As much as I don’t like their policies, part of the union movement, they have to be there.  Their presence their will encourage the rank and file to participate.
    • Which unions are participating? – I don’t have all the details worked out now, because there are so many.  The CNA, SEIU 1021, City of Oakland Workers, Sailor’s Union of the Pacific, Unite Here 2850.
    • What is the plan for the foreclosed homes? – We haven’t figured that out.  You are welcome to come to the meeting to help us figure it out.
  • Pros
    • I think that this is a crucial move to link OO with the labor movement.  This is how OWS prevented themselves from being evicted.  We can use this link to expand the occupation as the season changes.
    • This could be something big to look forward to after the impending eviction.
    • If we don’t vote for this, what will we do a week from now?  Our movement needs to grow.
    • This isn’t an issue of leadership, or unionized/nonunionized workers; it’s about material needs.
    • We can unite and make the march even bigger than the previous one.  We can include more workers, such as domestic workers in wealthy neighborhoods who might be exploited.
    • Cons
      • Unions give support to the Democratic Party.  We want to be autonomous of that.
      • Think about the term foreclosure – please get clarity on what this means.

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: In LA, they are thinking of shutting down their port.  If we shut down our port in solidarity, how would you feel about that?  Seattle is thinking of doing this too.  The possible date for doing this is December 12th.



Yes: 106

No:  3

Abstain: 14 

3      Working Groups’ Application for Funds: We propose that we adopt this  process in how we spend money that people are donating, and how we know what people are spending money on. Working groups would register with the Finance Committee, ask 3 people to work with Finance committee, and submit a form asking to purchase what is needed.  Receipts would be returned to the Finance committee.  Parameters and thresholds for spending would be set.  Finance Committee would verify that the spending involved would be legal.

We need to keep quorum.  Please stay and vote so that we can make a decision.

  • Clarifying Questions and Answers
    • How would we know how much money to spend from the whole general pot? – This would be communicated between the Finance Committee and each Working group.  It would be reported at the GA also.
    • Another question was asked, but I did not hear it.
    • Pros
      • We can get the ball rolling and spend money for our needs, especially considering that it is getting colder.



Yes: 81

No:  0

Abstain: 18

We counted over 100 people in attendance, but we only counted 99 votes.  This gives us a quorum.


  • Event in OSF at noon on Sunday on the Criminalization of Survival.
  • There is a small amount of coffee for you in the medic tent.  Please let people keeping watch have that.
  • If you are arrested or see an arrest call 415-285-1011. Write it on your body.  It is the legal hotline number.
  • UC Berkeley, at Wheeler Hall- Derrick Jensen, 10am-7pm, Sunday (??? Unsure of details)
  • UC Berkley will strike November 15th.  We march from here to UC Berkeley on Tuesday at 2:30 pm in support.
  • Arab Resource/Organizing Center would like to invite you to a day-long teach-in tomorrow, 10am-6pm at UC Berkeley at the multicultural center.
  • 5pm march tomorrow to free political prisoners from the plaza, to the state building, to the jail.
  • Bad News: Chris Hedges will not be here, but he sends his love.
  • Great job everyone!
  • In Occupy Austin, three participants were in a serious car crash.  One has passed away and the others have been injured.  A moment of silence please.



8:33 pm

(This may be missing some information such as announcements or report backs.  It was raining earlier…it was tricky to take notes while it drizzled.)


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