GA Minutes: 12.21.11

Categories: GA Minutes, General Assembly

Oakland General Assembly

Date 12/21/11

Approximate Start Time: 6:00 pm

Approximate Head Count: 120

WELCOME

F: At the general assembly we try to facilitate a direct democratic facilitation process.  (Reviews hand signals) For legal support contact: 415-285-1011.  Write this number on your body or memorize it.  For text updates, text BAYACTION to 41411.  Please be considerate of those around you if you are smoking.

 AGENDA OVERVIEW

 FORUM

F: Please form groups and discuss topics that are on your mind.  You will have fifteen minutes for a discussion, then we will have reportbacks.

 Topics people discussed included

  • We need to unite our movements
  • Portland is experiencing the same things that Oakland is experiencing with the loss of camp/community
  • Examine how the United States allocates funds to military action and arms

 COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Antirepression/Free Kali Committee: Please support Kali. He is still being held on a probation violation. He was charged with 3 misdemeanors.  We saw him in court and noticed that his face was swollen and bruised.  We want him to be released so that he can receive medical attention.  He will not be released allegedly because he is homeless, but he does in fact have proof of residency.  We attempted to bond him out last night, but now he is being charged with a felony (assaulting a CO).  Dan Siegel cannot take this case.  Kali has a hearing in Dublin at 9am, Department 701 this Friday.  Come wearing red – that is his favorite color.  We need to support him and fight together.
  • Anti Poverty: Nurses are taking an action tomorrow, at 3300 Hawthorne.  We have been working with the TAC committee for the house at Mandela.  They need locks, cleaning supplies, food, etc.  oaklandacts@gmail.com
  • Events: Thursday there will be a forum at 6pm – Interoccupy discussion with OWS.  Christmas day we will have an OccuPresence from 9am to 7pm here at the plaza. Breakfast served at 9am.  Noon, we’ll trim the tree.  At 2pm there will be a holiday feast.  We’ll also have a vigil at 6pm.  We are also planning an Occupy 2012 event for New Year’s Eve.  Contact us: events@occupyoakland.org.
    • Facilitation: GAs will be on a reduced schedule, Mondays and Wednesdays, until Jan. 8th.  We have a new section on the website where people can comment on proposals.  The Facilitation Committee meets at noon on the days we hold GA.  Contact us at occupyoaklandfacilitation@gmail.com
    • Finance: Spreadsheet of all transactions is complete and will be posted to the website.  Nov. 30th was the last day transactions were accounted for.  $3,800+ remains for OO operations.  $14, 280 remains for bail and medical.  Grand Lake may give us around $6000 the fundraising event.  When we had a camp, we were receiving donations, but now we aren’t receiving daily donations.
    • Habeas Defense Caucus: We have an event coming up this Friday to fight the NDAA.  We need people who know how to socially network to spread the word about the Friday action at Bradley Manning Plaza this Friday at 3pm.  We need speakers as well.  If you cannot get to SF, meet us at 2:30 and we will arrange transportation for you to get there.
    • Interfaith: Winter Service, 10pm Dec. 26th. Saturday.  Saturday Dec. 31st, 2pm-5pm, conversation regarding spiritual struggles regarding this movement.
    • Labor Solidarity: We have an action coming up, meeting on 12/29/11 at the CNA on 2000 Franklin Street at 20th.  Contact us at occupyoaklandlaborsolidarity@gmail.com
    • Media: We need more people!  We meet Saturday at 4pm.
    • Occupy Oakland Ports: We are working to overturn Citizen’s United.  We meet Wednesdays at 5pm at the Plaza Café.
    • On A Boat Committee: We deliver furniture to homes that need it – we need more furniture donations.  We are our own union/collective.  Help us take back 10th and Mandela and hold it down.
    • Vigil: We need people to cook, sit in at the vigil, we need donations, hot beverages, drivers late night, and more.

 PROPOSALS

F: Proposals may be submitted to the FWG by three or more people.  Proposals are then presented to the GA.  We’ll have a round of clarifying questions, pros and cons, a final statement by the proposal makers, and then we will vote.

1. Emergency Proposal to Support the EGT Grain Shipment Action: This concerns a shipment due to arrive in Longview in MidJanuary.  There has been discussion between occupies to caravan to Longview.  We would like to support this action through the network we have already created. 

A woman approached the stage, took the microphone, and started talking about the importance of raising awareness about autism.  Another individual was also on stage, shouting incoherently.  Confusion ensued for about 5 minutes until the woman left the area.

Clarifying Questions

  • Where would these funds come from? – This is only an endorsement.  There is no finance component.  Any finance would be introduced later at another GA.

Pros/Cons

+ Solidarity is important.

+The Longshoremen shut down the ports and held a rally in support of justice for Oscar Grant.  If the EGT is not stopped, it will destroy the whole ILWU, the most militant union.

+We are independent of republicans and democrats.

Vote Results

YES: 123

ABSTAINED: 4

NO: 2

This proposal has passed with 98.4 % approval.

 2. Emergency Proposal for Solidarity with Egypt: This entails supporting two actions: Friday December 30th, regarding the struggle of women, and the other regarding a global day of action on January 25th.   It also involves general acts of solidarity.

Clarifying Questions

  • Do you have cities/locations for those events? – We’ll start in Oakland with a march and rally for the first event.  I’m not sure about the other event.
  • Do you have specifics about next Friday’s action?  – I thought of this yesterday, so I am still working out the details.

F: It has just been pointed out to me that a majority of speakers on stack have been white males.  I encourage having a progressive stack, and I may move others to the front of the line to have a greater diversity of voices.

Pros/Cons

+ I think we’ve passed a proposal like this before.

Vote Results

YES:  119

ABSTAINED: 0

NO: 1

This proposal has passed with 99.2%

 3. Establishment of a Large Social Center: We propose to occupy and hold a large building on Saturday January 28, 2012.  The building will have space for committees, an auditorium, and sleeping space.  The action will take place on a weekend in daylight, and will begin with a march toward the space.  The address of the site will be kept as a surprise, but members of different committees will know where this space is for coordination of this action.

 

Clarifying Questions

  • How soon would we get raided? – We wouldn’t be able to know this, just like how we camped at the plaza.
  • Are there any squatter’s rights/laws for protection? – There are laws that are complicated.  That would be a good conversation to hash out on committee meetings (5pm Wed/ 1pm Sun).
  • What would this place do for the community? – It’s what the community wants it to be.
  • What area of the city is it in? – Come to the meeting to find out.
  • What about utilities and water? – We can organize skill shares for that.
  • What about infiltrators? – There is probably no way to get around that.  That is why we’ve decided not to make this public knowledge too soon.
  • Are we going to stay inside or will we still hold events outdoors?  – It’s whatever we want to decide!
  • This is trespassing right?  How would we hold the space down and protect people from arrest? – We have done things in the past without permits and at our own risk.  We have to build strength in numbers.

Pros/Cons

+ We can go into the new year reenergized.

+ We should do it.

+ It’s cold and it might be raining soon.

+ This is the logical next step, after being evicted from outdoor areas.

- Part of our strength is our visibility.

- If it is in a residential neighborhood, we should build relationships with neighbors first.

- We shouldn’t forget about the plaza and the vigil.

Response

  • Neighborhood relations and visibility were taken into consideration.

Vote Results

YES:  110

ABSTAINED: 12

NO: 12

This proposal has passed with 90.16%.

4. Rent Strike: The proposers were not present.

5. Solidarity with OSF: We propose that we shut down the Financial District on January 20th, and form working groups to support this.  This would be a nonviolent action.

Clarifying Questions

  • What is the goal? – They will be blockading buildings and leading solidarity marches.  We want to support their action, and have an Oakland street party.

Pros/Cons

+ We should do it.  It was modeled after another action that completely shut down the Financial District after the Iraq War started.

-       It sounds like there is a plan for people to do whatever they want, like vandalism.

Response

  • We don’t want to limit people or encourage people to do any certain actions.  We are working on our movement and how to support what they are doing.

F: We cannot count the votes unfortunately.  This will be tabled until Monday.

ACTION AND GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Occupy Berkeley Update:  This morning the police handed out eviction notices.  Berkeley wants our support tonight and throughout the morning.
  • City Council Report Back: We showed in great number in the chambers to speak in opposition to the resolution to stop us from shutting down the ports.  Union officials spoke from the heart, our folks gave great speeches, and Elaine Brown was present  as well.  Today, we were asked to make a complaint with the Citizen’s Review Board.  I don’t think we should do it, but I just wanted to let everyone know for sake of transparency.
  • March against NDAA is this Friday.  We will meet at 2:30 pm, leave at 3pm, and meet in SF at 4pm.
  • SF Mime Troupe: We are working with OWS, OSF and OLA on a show.  We will be doing a free reading on Saturday here at noon.  It’s an adaptation of A Christmas Carol, told from a worker’s point of view.
  • January 1st: March to Fruitvale in honor of Oscar Grant.
  • Occupy Oakland Courts: We meet Wednesdays at 3pm

CLOSING

I left a little early because it was so cold.

 9:00 pm

13672

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