GA Minutes: 1.2.12 HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Categories: GA Minutes

Oakland General Assembly


Approximate Start Time: 6:10 pm

Approximate Head Count:  81


(Review of hand signals; Review of the voting process)

We are now at 81 people.  We are trying to recruit people to join us so that we can reach quorum.


1. Buy Local Proposal: Proposers were not present

2. Rephrase Pros and Cons to Friendly Suggestions Proposal: The current system is formed as a pro/con debate.  This construct is combative.  We propose that constructive suggestions be given.  People can express supports or disapproval as needed.

Clarifying Questions: None


  • I like what I am hearing.  Another suggestion I have is that giving some people time to organize to reformulate their proposal if they don’t reach 90% approval.
  •  In other models, people say things like, “This is ok, but could we work on this?”  Allowing people to say what they have a problem with in a proposal is good.  Having that person say, “How can we work on this so you can live with it” is a great idea.
  • Another thing I have seen is “tabling” rather than having things debated.

F: We don’t have quorum, so we can do a straw poll.  As facilitators, we can vote upon this in the facilitation group and bring it back to the GA.

Response: I like this proposal and I see that people want to support it.  I only want to point out that if we leave it to the discretion of the facilitators to decide how they want to tweak GA, that sets a precedent and leaves the door open for other things.

Straw Poll Count

40 yes

10 Stand Asides

3 No

F: We’ll bring this back to the facilitation committee and discuss it further.

FORUM: We have not had a preassigned topic for the last few meetings.  After about 15 minutes of small group discussions, we’ll have share-outs.  Please form a group and talk about an aspect of occupy.

  •  We talked about outreach and why people aren’t involved – maybe people are busy or have other things going on in their lives.  We talked about the Jan. 28th action.  We talked about how our movement is critical to the nation.
  • We think we need to do outreach with specific organizations that we know and are already a part of.  Bring people to GAs and events.  Because of police brutality and harassment, people might feel it’s either unsafe or not worth the risk.  We need to let people know what we do and what has been accomplished.  We also talked about having events before GA’s.
  • We need to stay on point and spread the word.
  • We talked about joining with smaller occupations, like Occupy Silicon Valley, and perhaps setting up a monthly bay area occupy meeting.  We also talked about setting up a relationship with a sister city.  We talked about using texts, pagers, phones, and ham radios to connect with each other around the world.
  • We talked about raids and arrests.  We learned form the Chief of Police that the permit for the vigil has been revoked, and a raid could be imminent.  We are looking into negotiating with the police about this, because it’s an illegal revocation of the permit. (Recounts how many people have been arrested in the  last week.  More comments below in Committee Reports).
  • The police love it if we are compartmentalized.  Come back to the plaza and defend the commons.  We can drive them off verbally, as TAC has done with us (Tree People)
  • We need to share info about ourselves, show videos, do teach-ins, etc.
  • Occupella is singing in BART stations – singing political and resistance songs.


  • AntiRepression/Free Khali/Free Tiffany Tran: We have several people who have been arrested and need support.  Arraignments tomorrow at 9am and 2pm at 7th and Washington.  Tomorrow, bail will be reduced, but we need to figure out how we are going to cover the costs.  People are being abused, taunted, and threatened while in custody.  They are being segregated in cells, and are suffering other abuses. 415-285-1011.  We meet Tuesdays at noon, at the Brown Couch Café, unless there is a court date. Text “JOIN” to 510-343-6525, and you will get announcements when we need support against police repression.
  • Facilitiation: On Wednesday, we meet at noon.  Next, on Saturday at 4pm we will meet to plan the Sunday GA  Join us – we need more faces!
  • Labor Solidarity: We can use tactics outside of unions to support local worker struggles.  Come and support pickets, hunger strikes, etc.
  • Media: – join us!  You can express yourself freely, create an account and go for it.  We meet here at the plaza on Saturdays at 4pm.  Twitter: benzotweet.  If you need other support with media, blogging, come and meet us or contact us.
  • Occupy OPD Workgroup: We are still working on this…Stay tuned!
  • Vigil Committee: We have people here doing tree sits and staying here on the ground.  We have been holding the space energetically.

Q: Is the financial committee supporting the vigil?

A: People who are participating in the kitchen committee are still supporting.  Others have brought in food that is prepared offsite, or is uncooked.  I’m interested in following the Food Not Bombs model that is decentralized.


  • Hi, I’m visiting form Puerto Rico.  Yesterday’s march was wonderful, and so was the “Occupy the Rosebowl” event.
  • Sign up on for mailing lists so that you can communicate about what groups are doing.
  • Jan. 20th is the anniversary of Citizen’s United.  There is a ntl. mvmt. to occupy the courts.  We have an action in Oakland to be in front of the courts on that day – we’ll have theater, Occupella, skits, and more.  Contact:
  • We need to start some real boycotts  against companies who are…? (did not specify).  We should begin on Groundhog Day.
  • Wed. – 12pm – 4pm, we are working on a few actions for a roving street party.  First one will be a “pigyata” that will be a piñata we will break open and there will be surprises inside!  Also on Sat, 12-4pm we’ll have a work party.  This will also include TV bowling, jugglers, dancers, etc/. The hold idea is a “carnival of resistance.”
  • The UnConference: Jan 21st.  This is a space to share ideas all day long with each other about the occupy movement.  Childcare will be available.
  • Oak tree update: If you see the sprinklers on, report it to the city.  We’d like to meet Saturday at 1pm  to discuss planting ideas in the space (native plants near tree).
  • I photocopied some of the chapters and articles form this new book, entitled “This Changes Everything.”  Donate a dollar for each one you can…I can make more copies.
  • I have copies of The Constitution available.
  • SF Chronicle – Dec 13th edition says that there is a community group that holds a Sat. night vigil regularly.  The author of the article implied that Occupy has no connection to the black community.  What do you all think about that?  What if we joined this vigil?  Would anyone be interested?


7:43 pm


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