GA Minutes: 11.23.11

Categories: GA Minutes, General Assembly

Oakland General Assembly


Arrival Time:  6:30

Approximate Head Count: 117


FORUM (I was not present for the whole forum)


  • Black Friday Shenanigans: We are meeting late at night at 40th and Hollis in Emeryville at 11:45pm.  We will work morning shifts all the way up until the Shellmound protest.  Contact:
  • Business Liaison:  On Friday we’ll party here to support local businesses.  We want to attract attention to Mama Buzz Café.  They are at risk of losing their lease and may have to move due to gentrification. They have done tremendous work for us – including offering us coffee, food, and materials.
  • Children’s Village: None
  • Community Assemblies: We’ll meet Sundays at 4pm.  Also find us on google.
  • Events: We’ll serve breakfast at 9am.  Please bring food to share.  From 12pm to 5pm we will have speakers and performances.  At 2pm, we’ll have an open mic about greatfulness and we’ll begin feasting.
  • Facilitation: We train on Sundays at 12 noon.  This time will change in the future since the schedule has changed.  We meet on GA days and noon.
  • Finance: We meet T/TH at SF Pizza at 6pm.  Weekly Report on Income: $26,600 raised; $7,100 spent;  We still are looking to place funding into a credit union.  We have a temporary spending procedure for any 5 people to request $100 or less to spend.  This will be posted tonight on the finance website.  Contact us:
  • Interfaith: We’ve set up a daytime tent.  On Friday we are having a swap.  If you have anything at home you’d like to trade, bring it to the plaza (12pm-5pm).  You can find us on FB.
  • Reclamation:  We help people defend against foreclosures and eviction.  We meet MWF, 4pm at 14th and BWay.
  • Sound: We need to pay for the truck that has been impounded.  We also want to buy more sound equipment. Look out for a proposal to support this payment.
  • Tactical Action: See later announcements.
  • West Coast Shut Down Assembly:  We will shut down the ports with other groups (San Diego, Portland, and Seattle may join).  We meet daily before the GA at 5pm.  A key meeting will be this Sunday, because many people will be able to attend.  We’ve heard talk that the ILWU is not going to support the shutdown.  Legally, they can’t say they will support it.  We are hoping and expecting that the rank and file will not cross our pickets.

PROPOSALS (7:13 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. Emergency Proposal: Vigil at the Plaza: We propose holding a 24 hour vigil – it would include tents, library, interaction with the public, activity, etc, but without sleeping.  A vigil is completely allowed and would not be interfered with, whereas camping is illegal.  We would also like to like to form a committee to begin meeting tomorrow at 4pm.

  • Clarifying Questions and Answers
    • Where would we set up tents?  It’s too muddy.  We heard it’s not allowed. – Security guards may not legally tear down tents.  We can get a restraining order against the city if this happens.  If we set up on the concrete, it combats the “grass argument” from the city.
    • How does the park’s hours correlate with your plan? – I am unaware of that. I need to see an ordinance.
    • What are the statutes that say a vigil cannot be interfered with? – (Not answered)
    • What plan is there in regards to scheduling? – That’s why we want a committee to organize things.
    • Would the kitchen be used to shut us down in case it’s not up to code? – The kitchen can be problematic.  We’ll have to begin without it and then work on incorporating it.
    • How can we sustain having a sleepless environment? – We do not have to have the same number of people all night.  We can rotate in shifts so people are always here.  We can start small and build onto it.
  • Pros
    •  Let’s do it tonight.
    • The cops have said that they will not interfere with any set-ups in the park as long as there is no lodging.
    • This is the best way to get this going, using a legal loophole.
  • Cons
    • None
  • Response
    • A city employee did come to me just now and tell me that there was a curfew in the park.  However I am aware that we have video of the Chief of Police saying that 24-hour protesting is legal in the park.  Sleeping is allowed, legally, in an area that’s near the curbside and the sidewalk.



Yes: 119

No: 0

Abstain:  11

 2. Proposal to Change the GA times: We propose that schedule be adapted so that the GA is held on Sundays at 2pm.  This will encourage participation of families, the elderly, and youth.

  • Clarifying Questions and Answers
    • How will this affect committee meetings? – This is only for Sundays.  If there are any meetings on Sundays, they will need to change.
    • Would it start this Sunday? – Yes. (Facilitator later stated during the voting that the GA change would begin Sunday, Dec. 4th).
    • What about the other 6 days of the week? –  M/W/F 6pm.
  • Pros
    •  We should have an opportunity to meet each other in the daytime.
    • It opens up the GA for families and people who have things to do so they can get ready for the week.
  • Cons
    • Could this happen next Sunday?  We have the amphitheater for the teach-in.
    • I agree with starting this next Sunday so people have time to make their plans.



Yes: 109

No:  1

Abstain:  5

 3. Endorsement of 99 Faces: Presenters not present

4. New Year’s March and Speak OutPresenters not present

5.  Fruitvale Teach-In and Action: We want to go to Fruitvale to ask members of the community to speak out about how education laws affect their lives.  We also want to set up an information table to introduce knowledge about this issue.  We want to start this on November 30th at the Fruitvale Plaza.

  • Clarifying Questions and Answers
    • Who is ALEC? – American Legislative Education Council:  They contribute to negative laws against education.
    • What about charter schools in Fruitvale that are presently serving the community? – There are many different places ALEC infiltrates.  This speaks to the migrant community.  We are against charters giving out vouchers and taking money away from public schools.  Rally: 5pm.
  • Pros
    •  We have to stand in solidarity with Occupy Phoenix.
  • Cons
    • There is a charter school in that plaza.  The information that you gave about vouchers is false, in California.
  • Response
    • We just want to say that this is mainly about standing in solidarity with other groups who want to fight for people’s rights.



Yes: 97

No:  1

Abstain:  3

6.  Progressive Stack:Step up, step back” is a common phrase in our movement, encouraging 
white men to acknowledge the privilege they have lived in their entire
lives and to step back from continually speaking. However, this has 
not really happened and this progressive stack will help us address this issue.  We propose having a progressive stack for marginalized groups. Functionally, the stack would begin with 3 people of color, women, or
other marginalized group speakers, then rotate every other person,
(ie. 3 MG, 1 white male, 1 MG, 1 white male, 1 MG, etc…with stack, 
last speaker being a person of a marginalized group)

CLARIFICATION: This proposal was #5 in the queue and was not on the Agenda for tonight because we did not think we would get to it. The “99 Faces” proposal cannot make it tonight so, this was next on the queue.

  • Clarifying Questions and Answers
    • How would this work for people who have invisible disabilities?
    • What happens if there aren’t enough people in the stack who are marginalized?
  • Pros
    • I think that bringing this to the forefront would address the deeper issues.
    • I agree with what motivated the proposal, but I also agree with the cons.
    • It is a bandaid, but you need this bandaid.  It’s a good first step.
  • Cons
    • It’s easier to say than to carry out.
    • I don’t think representation speaks to the issue of sexism and racism.  We need to address the issues as they happen.
    • Why is it about color?  We are all human.
    • I don’t want to have to identify myself when I grab the mic.
    • The GA is already too complicated.  Just keep it simple.



F: We had quorum, but everyone did not vote.

Yes: 23

No:  20

Abstain:  23


  • Snow Park Potluck – tomorrow!  Join us.
  • Tactical Action:  Here are our camp rules when we set up again: No drugs and alcohol.  We have a security team.  You will have two warnings, and then you will be out.  Call us: 415-290-5102; Text us 510-282-1121 text TACTICAL.  We are planning something big for New Year’s – It’s called “Unify the Bay.”  We are also here to help anyone who is in danger of foreclosure.
  • We are going to have a donation of chairs here at the plaza for Thanksgiving.  Please be sure that all the chairs remain here.
  • Sunday 11am-5pm: All day teach in for reclaiming spaces, intro to squatter’s rights, guerilla gardening, etc.
  • Ft. Lauterdale was under the threat of eviction:  they successfully got an injunction.



8:40 pm (There were more announcements but I left at this point.)



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