GA Minutes: 12.9.11

Categories: GA Minutes, General Assembly

Oakland General Assembly

Date 12/9/11

Approximate Start Time: 6:25 pm

Approximate Head Count: 110


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.  Practice respect by refraining from interrupting others when they are speaking.  Please approach the stage at the appropriate times.


I. Welcome

II. Welcome Announcements

III. Agenda Overview

IV. FORUM QUESTION December 4:How can we better facilitate communication with other movements around the globe?

V.  Reports from Committees, Sub-committees & Caucuses

VI. Overview of Process

VII. Proposals

VIII. Action Announcements

IX. General Announcements 


F: Please discuss: How can we facilitate/better build communication and collaboration between movements around the globe.  Please give concrete examples in this movement or other social movements of the present and the past.

  • We can use the internet to consolidate anything we do in this movement.
  • We should educate ourselves about issues.
  • Reach out to other movements, set up weekly meetings, and talk about what is going on.  Talk to friends out of town over the holidays.
  • Get clear on the issues so that you know what to communicate.
  • Set up conference calls.
  • Have a newcomer message on the website.
  • Contact other organizations who have coordinated large events and follow their best practices.
  • Invite other people from other places to come and share ideas.
  • Have continuous conversations online across the world (ex. – a video dialogue).
  • Some of these are good ideas, but they can be problematic.  We need secure ways of communicating over the internet.
  • When those of us in this movement travel, we can intentionally make announcements or give messages to other participants in movements in different cities.
  • Have a centralized webspace for all of the movements.
  • Have more secrecy – less communication in public.


  • Arts and Crafts: We need supplies, if you can donate.  Bring them down on the day of the shut down.
  • Facilitation: No GA Monday during the Port Shut Down.
  • Finance: We meet Thursdays at 6pm.  We only have $6,000 left, so please consider that as we review proposals.
  • Foreclosure Research Action Committee: Performance in the plaza tomorrow!  Donations encouraged.
  • Kitten’s Action: We are meeting here tomorrow at 12 noon.  We’ll role-play, form teams, and at 1pm we will send groups out all over the city to hand out flyers about the port action.
  • Labor Outreach Committee: We need the support of the committee we’ll be going through.  Join up at Little Bobby Hutton Park tomorrow afternoon.
  • Legal: The cases are still under investigation.  The DA says that youtube videos are still being reviewed.  This may be a year long process.
  • LBL: In spite of what the Chamber of Commerce said, according to a survey we employed, 80% of businesses reported neutral or positive feelings toward the movement.  There is an article in Oakland Local about it.  Local businesses who support the movement will be listed on the main website.  Grand Lake Theater is putting on a benefit – “V for Vendetta.”  Let’s round up people and make sure every seat is filled.  Doors open at 6:30.
  • Medic: Dispatch – 510-712-8129  This is not a replacement for 911.
  • Outreach: We need volunteers to collect information from people at the West Coast Port Shut Down.  Email;
  • Tree People: Our occupation has been going on for a month.
  • TAC: We need people to sign up for shifts and workshops at the new community center.
  • Vigil: We need food and tactical and logistical support.


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.  We have a process for financial proposals.  The finance proposal is presented (see form on website).  We open for a round of clarifying questions, then straight to the vote.  The thresholds are the same for all proposals – 90% approval,  70% for amendments, less than that will lead to a proposal being tabled.

  1. Tree People Financial Proposal: We propose that we receive $3,000 to clean, prune, and connect five trees to create structures.  We need climbing rope, carabiners, harnesses, pulleys, cell phones, flashlights, food, waterproof digital cameras, Purell, toiletries, clothing and jackets, sleeping bags, walkie talkies, a bicycle, and more. This could help protect the people in the movement from the police, and we could place the sound equipment into these structures. We will hang banners from the trees for greater visibility of the movement.

Clarifying Questions

  • How do you rationalize asking for half of the remaining money? – (no answer)
  • Are there going to be any more financial requests?

F: The process doesn’t allow other committees to speak for the Financial Committee.

– A: Yesterday I spoke to Leslie from Finance.  Before money is allocated, the funds have to be requested.

  • Have you priced all of the items you need? A: Yes.
  • Are there donations? A: We are looking for donations.  We have received a few used items so far.
  • How will the training happen for people to go into the trees?  How would know that it would be safe for people? – A: The equipment that we would use would ensure safety.
  • Have you reached out to the climbing facilities in the area? – A: I appreciate your offer. (I was not able to hear the rest answer)
  • Should this include bullhorns? Have you itemized everything– A: (No answer to first part, but an itemized list was read aloud)
  • Have you collaborated with the sound committee to check about the sound system can be placed in the trees? –A: I don’t need to consult with the sound committee.

 (Two people approached the stage and wanted to add more comments and questions.  The air became very charged and agitated.  Shouting ensued around the GA.)

Point of Process: Why aren’t there any pros or cons?

 F: Stack has already been closed.  We are going to stick to the process that the GA approved, so there will be no pros and cons for this proposal.  Agitation is normal, but let’s not attack each other.  We want to remind you that all proposals are living documents, and no proposals are “refused.”

 (Shouting and arguing continued in my seating section during voting.)

 F: We’ll now take it to a vote.

Vote Results:

YES:  64


NO: 22

74% Approval.  This proposal is tabled for further work.

2. General Assembly at Major Events: We propose that a GA take place after large actions.

Clarifying Questions:

  • What would be the content of that particular GA? –A: No answer.
  • Why would we need to do this? – A: The actions that draw people are more representative of the city, unlike these small GAs.
  • Should we fix our own GA before expanding? – A: I think our GA is dysfunctional because it is small and only one kind of person comes here.  I’ve attended a successful GA with thousands of people.
  • Do you have logistics planned for thousands of people in a GA?- A: We’ve done it before, and it was easy.

F: I am a little bit stumped.  I want to support this process and this group.  We need to make ourselves more accountable.  We are all co-facilitating here.  We can all do our part when we know the process.  Let’s do a check for quorum.


  • More people should get involved.  This might attract more people to participate.  I support it.
  • It’s an excellent proposal, but refine it and work on some points.


  • I don’t care about any of this and I’m not letting the mic go.
  • It’s a good proposal but sometimes it might not work to have a GA at every action.
  • Not everyone will participate in mass actions.
  • We need to fix the process before we add more GAs.


  • Part of the reason why this process isn’t working is because there aren’t different kinds of people in the GA.  There seems to be some confusion about this adding more meetings, which isn’t necessarily the case.

 Vote Results:

YES:  56


NO: 14

80% Approval.  This proposal is open for amendments.

F: We have lost quorum.  We cannot continue voting.  The proposal makers have asked to table their proposal.


  • Financial Emergency Proposals have bumped other proposals down the stack.  One function of money is to alienate us for our neighbors.  We need to reconsider OWS’s donation to the movement to be detrimental to the movement.  Let’s reconsider how we are using money in the movement.
  • I am donating posterboards at the West Oakland action at 1:30.  I want the posterboards to say “End The Fed.”  Another idea is to have people to make a human sign with people at the port.
  • I have a screen printing studio up for use – talk to me with the rent strike people over here.
  • We need to create a bank blockade and an ATM blockade.
  • 15th of December: The Commonwealth Club is hosting a panel discussion, which will be aired on radio.  “Occupy, What Now, What Next?” is the topic.  Jean Quan will be there, which might be entertaining.

 F: Thank you for letting me host my first GA.


8:30 pm


One Response to “GA Minutes: 12.9.11”

  1. GNUWorldOrder

    There is a mention in the minutes of a new community center. Is that a reference to the vigil or is there some other new facility? I went through the GA minutes for the last couple of weeks and didn’t see anything. Guess I can ask around at the next GA.