Day 11 Update – 7pm General Assembly Minutes

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Occupy Chicago – 7pm GA Minutes
Date/Time: 10/3/11, 7pm – met at Jackson & LaSalle and began march to 500 Congress in front of Horse statue, 7:32 – arrived at Horse, 7:35 – GA began
Location: 500 E Congress in front of Horse Statue
Attendance Count: Roughly 118 heads (no formal head count taken)
 
 
Important Dates
  • Oct 10th – Protest March of the Mortgage Bankers of America conference at Hyatt-Regency
Votes Taken (See “Things Covered” Section for details):
  • UNANIMOUSLY PASSED – Vote on Proposal of solidarity message to Occupy Wall Street
  • PASSED – Vote for Secretarial Committee’s GA efficiency proposal with friendly amendment (anyone can propose something for the GA agenda at Info Booth and be in the miscellaneous section of GAs without formal proposal)
  • PASSED – Vote on proposal to endorse the Mortgage Bankers of America protest march on Oct 10th
  • TABLED – Vote on End of Unconstitutional Wars Grievance – until it is reworded

Things Covered:

  • Announcements – Moment of silence for over 1,000 arrested; We are a nonviolent movement and GAs are not the time or place to endorse political candidates/agendas; Never turn anyone away
  • Reminder – we have passed 3 grievances
  • New Topic - Secretarial Committee presented GA efficiency proposal – suggesting procedure for submitting formally written proposals via the committees and the online forums so that GAs are used for voting and more things are accomplished; Idea includes an agenda for every GA (proposals may be submitted until 2pm for 3pm GAs and 6pm for 7pm GAs) – also proposed that committees meet after GAs to discuss/greet new members (Secretariat will upload what was voted on soon so everyone has access to it – it will also be at the Info Booth)
    • Stack - Request that we define consensus
    • Stack - Request for proposal in a nut shell
    • Stack by moderator – explanation of hand signals
    • Point of Clarification - Committees are online and in person and you can bring your proposals in writing or talk to them and build it together
    • Point of Clarification - There will be a binder at the info desk with info and platforms – proposals can be viewed here if we have received them
    • Off Topic Stack - Keep speaking area clear
    • Stack - Is there a procedure where people can address social conditions in Chicago? – Educational Committee
    • Stack - How does a committee give support to a proposal – 1 person on committee, full majority of committee, online?
      • Stack - Suggested in 3pm GA that proposals should have the support of 3 people
    • Stack - Suggestion that there be procedures for GA written out that people can access online and at the info tent
      • Stack – Secretarial Committee is already working on this
    • Vote on Secretarial Committee’s GA efficiency proposal
      • Vote: Yes – 116, No – 2
    • 2 Nos asked to explain their blocks – 1 was because they felt even one person with a proposal has a right to voice it and shouldn’t need the support of 2 others to submit, 2nd no same reasoning and question about who presents proposals – only committees or anyone
      • Stack - This proposal is also meant to open up discussions amongst committees and also new people; Suggestion that it could be amended to any 3 people supporting a proposal can submit it to a GA agenda – they don’t have to be on committees or we could completely remove the 3 person support/committee language all together
      • Stack - Suggestion that we post topics at the Info Booth that people can sign up for before GAs – whoever signed up gets to talk on the subject – then nothing needs to be taken to the committee beforehand
      • Stack - Suggestion that we have a voting process where if someone proposes something and someone else blocks it they have to work it out together and re-propose
      • Stack - We heard 2 ideas for how to submit proposals - we could do a hybrid – Proposals supported by 3 or more people and written out have higher priority and more speaking time but anyone can put any idea on the agenda – less thought out proposals will only get 2 mins
      • Question of Clarification - If we decide that some protocol isn’t working can there be an assembly to readjust that protocol with out having to re-propose?  Propose that if a 9/10ths majority votes an adjustment to protocol can be made without submitting a new proposal
      • Stack - Suggestion that we have a miscellaneous/catch-all category at the end of every GA where people who haven’t formally submitted a proposal can still present new ideas
        • This was recognized as a friendly amendment
    • Vote called again for Secretarial Committee’s GA efficiency proposal with friendly amendment (anyone can propose something for the GA agenda at Info Booth and be in the miscellaneous section of GAs without formal proposal)
      • Vote: Yes 101, No – 4 – PASSED
  • New Topic - Announced that a working group is forming that will be dedicated to formulating a list of grievances specific to Chicago – this group will be looking to work with the Outreach and Education Committees on this
  • New Topic - Clarification of committees – anyone can join them and they are their to get discussions started and ideas formulated before presenting to the larger group
    • Stack - Outreach Committee is meeting after GA
  • New Topic - Proposed that a group meets at 5:30 at Columbia College and moves north toward HQ stopping at all downtown campuses and collecting students for protest on the way – arrive by 7pm GA
  • New Topic - (also submitted at 3pm GA) The Mortgage Bankers of America are having their annual conference in Chicago at next week, Oct 10th - A few unions/community organizations are planning a protest in the streets in front of Hyatt-Regency and moving to Art Institute from 4pm to 6pm in response to the conference - Proposal to endorse this march (showdowninamerica.org)
    • Vote on proposal to endorse the Mortgage Bankers of America protest march on Oct 10th
      • Vote – 1 No
    • No asked to explain – there is a committee for this now and they also don’t think we should focus our energy on crashing their party
      • Point of Clarification - This proposal was made under precious procedures; this event is expecting 5,00people
      • Stack - We should be there but not endorse because we are an independent mass movement and we don’t know who else is endorsing
      • Point of Clarification - Fight for Fair Economy, SOUL, Northside Power and a number of other groups are endorsing
      • Point of Clarification - Proposal is co-supported by Outreach Committee – this is a great way for us to connect with other Organizations and Unions many of whom are already endorsing us
    • Vote called again on proposal to endorse the Mortgage Bankers of America protest march on Oct 10th
      • Vote: Nos – 4 – PASSED
  • New Topic - Propose that we discuss grievances – formal written proposal to end overseas wars/occupation
    • Wording – “Our nation continues to spend the majority of its budget on military interventions overseas.  While many agree with the original intent of the war in Afghanistan – retaliation against those who attacked us – with the death of bin Laden and most of al Qaeda that goal has been achieved.  There is no longer any reason for our presence in Afghanistan.  As for the invasion of Iraq, the vast majority of Americans believe this was a mistake to begin with.  It is not the place of America to police the world.  We therefore propose the immediate end of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the withdrawal of all troops, combat or otherwise, stationed in those nations” – Pointed out that most of us at Occupy might never have agreed with occupation of Afghanistan but a majority of people in our country did at one point so that is why the language is written the way it is
    • Stack - This grievance politicizes us – we should be strictly concerned with corporate oligarchy
    • Stack - Proposal is good but needs some more rewording – focus on war spending/budget and not the wars themselves
    • Stack - Endorse this proposal further that these issues are indeed connected to economic issues as that is where the money is going
    • Stack - Note that Afghanistan/Iraq wars are not for security reasons but for economic power
    • Stack - We should on adopting the grievance with the understanding that it can still be reworded
    • Vote with caveat that language will change so as to reflect the majority
      • Vote: Table proposal until it is reworded
  • Motion to continue GA past 75 min meeting time so those on stack may speak
    • Motion PASSED
  • New Topic - Proposal to allow blockers of a vote 24hrs to think before 2nd vote so they can properly prepare their arguments
    • Stack - Submitted proposal at 3pm  for this 24hr consideration time as well as changing the format from a 9/10ths super majority to a 70/30 majority, proposal is several line items long and can be read online under GA Assembly category, will help prevent further delays in GAs and will still be representative of the majority
    • Stack - Proposed that their be a printed copy of all proposals on-site for those without internet access at HQ
      • Stack - Copy will be in binder at Info Booth
  • New Topic - Anyone who wants to moderate can sign up at the Info Booth
  • New Topic - Reworking of 2nd NY grievance “True Shared Sacrifice” will be given 24hrs consideration and then voted on - can be found online under grievances
  • New Topic - Proposal of solidarity message to Occupy Wall Street – “To the frontline in solidarity from Chicago.  We thank you for your inspiration. We see your struggles with law enforcement.  We hear your cries through un-amplified voice. We are envious of you access to sleep - a different city with different particulars.  Together we share the spirit of openness and change.  This winter we may both freeze but the echo of our shared determination will feed the fir for our ands and our heart.” (punctuation added by minutes taker)
    • Vote on Proposal of solidarity message to Occupy Wall Street
      • Vote: UNANIMOUSLY PASSED
    • Stack - Focus on banding together, sense of community is inspiring – Awesome and thank you all
  • Announcement of current committees – Education, Secretarial, Tech/Media, Arts & Recreation, Housing, Outreach, Transportation, Medic/Safety GA Structure, Police Liaison, Press Liaison, Food & Organization - if you want to join any of the above committees email info@occupychi.org or join at info desk – committees are now denoted by color coded arm bands
  • MEETING ADJOURNED