GA Minutes: 12.18.11

Categories: GA Minutes, General Assembly

Oakland General Assembly


Approximate Start Time: 2:35

Approximate Head Count: 91

Notes updated by MR




F: We are trying something new today.  We’d like to collect ideas for forum topics from the crowd.  If you have an idea, come up here and we’ll write your idea down.

GA participant: We would like to have a special speaker lead a workshop and forum about empathy.

F: Would people like to have the empathy discussion?  Would people like to do both?


  • I think we need to stick to the structure we already have.
  • A workshop is not what needs to take place during a GA.
  • We invited this speaker to come to lead the forum not as a workshop, but as part of the GA.  We were told that it would be OK to do this.  I feel frustrated about the miscommunication here.

 F: Here are the forum topics today – empathy, safe and welcoming GA, linking OO with Central Labor Council, reconciliation between the GA and the vigil, outreach events, foreclosure defense, public elections, or none of these.

GA participant: Mic Check!  I propose we go to proposals now since we have quorum.

F: The Facilitation Committee cannot change the structure during the GA process, but you all can.  What do you all think of this idea?

GA participant: People can vote later and do forum topics now.

F: Perhaps we can take stack to talk about it.

  • We haven’t had quorum in a while, so let’s vote now and talk later about whatever we want to talk about.
  • For me, conversations build community.  Proposals can be divisive.  It’s important for us to come together and talk.
  • Please, let’s do the proposals.  We can build community through voting on proposals.
  • I’m a visitor and I like what you all are doing.  Please stop bickering about things that don’t matter.
  • There should be a GA for committees so that random people don’t just come into GA’s and make random proposals.

F: We counted your votes and we found that more than 90% of you would like to move toward making proposals now.  That is what we will do.


  1. GA at the Oakland Police Station: This proposal has been pulled and will be an autonomous action.
  2. Buy Local: Proposers not present.
  3. Taking of a Social Center: Postponed until Wednesday
  4. Treat Proposals at Living Documents: Proposers can make changes to their proposals during pro’s, con’s, and discussions during the GA process.  This should be done so we can improve upon our consensus model.

Clarifying Questions:

  • Isn’t building consensus about discussion?  – Yes
  • Would a proposal still be a living document after it passed? – (Notetakers are not in agreement regarding the answer to the question.  Please refer to livestream or to audio: )
  • Would this replace the friendly amendment process? – I am not speaking to that.  This is about the initial presentation of a proposal.
  • At what point would the changes be made within a proposal? – During the discussion as we have it.
  • Can any one of the proposers make the changes? – Yes.
  • Would a proposal be rewritten so changes aren’t made and forgotten? – Yes.


  • I wanted to do this for the name change proposal, and it would have passed if we could have hashed it out.
  • This is a common sense proposal.


  • My concern is it sounds like a good idea until we start doing it.  People will be frustrated.  This is something you get outside of GA.
  • When we had tents here, proposals were more vibrant back then.  Come here and talk to people before you propose ideas at the GA.


  • I agree that people should talk about proposals with as many people as possible.  This is going to help us to work toward consensus.

Vote Results:


YES: 87


NO: 2

10th and Mandela Funding and Endorsement – TAC Committee: We want endorsement from the movement.  We need food, towels, toiletries, towels, toothpaste, etc.  We are also collecting food and medicine to the community.  We need $500.  We have a moving crew that will pick up used furniture and bring it to the home.

Clarifying Questions:

  • Are there written standards regarding smoking and drinking? – Yes.  We have house rules, house administrators, and agreements.
  • Who owns the space? – We run the lodging upstairs, and Just Cause is in charge of the space downstairs.  They have the legal right to the land.
  • What budget plan do you have? – It’s for necessities.  You can come with it to see that we are buying things for the house.  Everything will be put online.
  • Does this have to go through finance? – It needs to be passed through GA since it is over $500 and it needs to go through Finance.
  • Who can we talk to get involved? – Call 510 282 1121.  You may also talk to Just Cause from 11am to 8pm.  The address is 1437 10th Street.


  • I’m in favor.
  • You can support the cause by buying some of this artwork (through the Foreclosure Research Action Committee).  We’ve been using the proceeds to repair the house.

Vote Results:


YES: 97


NO: 0


  • Anti repression: – We meet Tuesdays at noon at the Brown Couch Café except for 12/20/11.  Let’s support our comrades who are in jail, particularly Truth – who was arrested on 11/2/11.  His court date is Jan. 31st at the Davidson Courthouse at 12th and Oak.  Three others were arrested this week.  Arraignments are coming up soon.
  • Vigil: We’d like to keep holding the vigil down.  We need your support!  We would like reconciliation between the GA and the people supporting the Vigil.


  • (Ali) Thank you to everyone here.  You all are beautiful – thank you for what you did for me!  My bail was $500, and we were $100 short.  The bail bondsman worked with us.  I’d appreciate it if you could donate money for the remaining $100.
  • (Ali) Thank you – I collected $100 here for bail and extra money too.  I would like to put this money on Kali’s books for the commissary.  Is everyone OK with that?  OK, that is what I will do.
  • Check out the free box.
  • Media committee meetings are live streaming now.  Hellaoccupy website is linked to OO site.
  • Labor solidarity committee is debating the relationship with organized labor, concern with union leadership selling out workers.
  • Medics are available 712-8129,  They are now providing wellness support for occupied houses.
  • Contact person re permit for vigil Becca:  Vigil folks need support, connection, supplies.  Monday there will be an action in response to the clamp-down on umbrellas as “structures.”
  • Apology was made for disruption at Friday GA.
  • Holiday schedule: GA only Monday and Wednesday until 1/8.  Facilitation committee meets noon those days.
  • Contact Guy at the vigil regarding an action to burn student loan letters.
  • Mike is supporting a constitutional amendment regarding public elections.  Contact him on Facebook: Amendment 28.
  • Be aware of the National Defense Authorization Act about to be signed by Obama.  OO could be considered domestic terrorists and detained without any legal rights.
  • Evan from New York Occupy spoke about their process.  Identity politics is challenging their ability to have conversations in a civil way.


I left early at 4:30 pm before all announcements were made and before the forum took place.

 These minutes now include MR’s notes – she stayed for the whole GA.  This is a compilation of our notes (12/20/11).



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