Day 20 – 7pm General Assembly Minutes

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Occupy Chicago – 7pm GA Minutes
Date/Time:
 10/12/11, 7pm – met at Jackson & LaSalle and began march to 500 Congress in front of Horse statue
Location: 500 E Congress in front of Horse Statue
Attendance Count: no count taken

Votes Taken (See “Proposals Voted” Section for details):
BLOCKED – Base Camp Relocation

Announcements:

  • Union/labor Committee:  we are working nationwide with occupies to connect and show solidarity with labor outreach in each city. We are making incredible progress! Solidarity with labor is paramount! We aren’t seeing this as committing to endorsements but rather expressing solidarity with labor unions that have already shown up and expressed solidarity with us! Did you see that march on Monday 7500 took to the streets, and we were with them! That’s what will make this sustainable- relationships built on solidarity! Other Occupies nationwide including NY, and St Louis love what we’re up to!
  • Gift circle:  this is an experiment in re-localizing economy. Explained the process and importance of sharing, and meeting needs. Basically sit in circles during our down time, and share needs that we have; tangible or otherwise. Then people who can help facilitate those needs can respond and connect. Passed out small flyers with more information.
  • Tech:  online coverage tripled in the last week. 45,000 followers on our social media networks! Please have three reliable members of each committee meet with T, Todd, or Andrew to get log-in information set-up for the committees after the GA.
  • Studio time available for any recording artists. In interested get in touch with Chris, he recorded the first song about Occupy Chicago!
  • Location:  Jerry from the National Lawyer’s Guild, will be talking after the assembly.
  • Political battle, we are being treated as a “volunteer army” by the police. Yesterday there was an “unsanctioned” march yesterday before GA. Some individuals were allegedly blocking cabs, and reaching into cabs and attacking suits. Need to address this.  [This announcement was later refuted by several people who saw and took part in the demo in question]
  • Yesterday the proposal to adopt a presented preamble was blocked , but nobody approached the presenter to explain why. Needs to speak with those opposed, so adjustments can be made and move forward. If you block, it is your duty to get with the proposer of an idea/action and work out the issues and represent it. You cannot simply block without action and expect us to make any progress.

Proposals voted on tonight:

  • Base camp  (Blocked: numbers not recorded)
    We need to find a home, we have been talking within the housing committee about finding a new location. On Saturday, all the movements around the world will be marching in solidarity with each other. Our GA should be moved to a quasi- corporate park next Saturday at 7pm. Has wifi, grass, Lakeshore East Park, it is not in the Chicago Park District so we DON’T need a permit! It’s on the north side of Mill Park. Owned by Magellen Group and is a public park, if we host a GA there people will be down for this idea.
    Stack line:
    • 3 concerns – housing committee is looking into legal and political options, Jerry (Lawyer’s Guild rep) is of the opinion that we have a long way to go before we are able to occupy.
    • secluded, not on any major streets, surrounded by buildings, like a family area and fountains. Not very visible. Wahtever happened to this land is my land?
    • many many other options: vacant lots owned by Columbia, Mill Park, or Balbo/Wacker. Please stay and listen to our rep from Lawyer’s Guild after the GA
    • GA there could be beneficial, we have nothing to lose.

Proposals announced for vote tomorrow:

  • Guidelines, Voting Times, Endorsements:
    1.  a letter was put forth that express some concerns, then formulated proposals out of this letter.
    Legal Guidelines – remain lawful and peaceful. Arrest as the last resort. Marching in street should be done with permit only. All committees should provide Tech time with point people to increase communication. All large scale actions should be approved by GA vote-all hands on deck. All marches will be done as a single group, buddy system should be used at all times. Live stream should be 24/7 to prevent our message from being tampered with. PR tool and safety tool. We are about transparency.
    2.  Chicago should reconsider its affiliations- this proposal is calling for no endorsements of any other groups, organizations, or unions. It would mean adopting a stance against alignments, endorsements, or affiliations of any kind. Occupy Chicago will represent the entirety of the 99%, and this means by not affiliating.
    [*** Please note that the previous should be regarded as a separate proposal! There was a mistake, and 3 proposals were presented as one. This lead to a stack about the second proposal instead of the first, and all committees involved apologize for this oversight. Unfortunately this proposal (#2) cited as having 24 hour status- it did not in actuality. This broke with procedure, and so the third part was tabled and all three will be addressed again at the 10/13 7PM GA].
    Stack line #2 proposal:
    • (Teamster):  Our only “agenda” for Occupy Chicago is support and solidarity! We are under attack from corporate greed; we are the 99% too-our pensions and our health care and welfare are being stripped from us. We come out only to express solidarity with Occupy Chicago- this is our movement too!
    • (Teamster 2):  I have been out of here a lot! I’m not in anyway asking for us to endorse them, they want to stand in solidarity with Occupy Chicago! Please give my union brothers and sisters respect! Talk to them and see why they are out here, talk with them about why you’re out here.
    • (National Nurses United):  and this is my movement as well! Nurses are out here every day in every Occupy around the country, but not in their union gear. We are not trying to co-opt your movement; we are here to support this movement, because we are the 99%. Our nurses invite you to come to their emergency rooms, and see what lack of healthcare, and poverty looks like. They are, and work with the 99% every day.
    • StandUp Chicago:  I cannot stand in support of this proposal because its asks for us to not endorse unions, and groups. Two times today StandUp Chicago has been with us, all week they’ve been with us. They’re gonna  keep being with us in the future; and we’re being asked to NOT stand with them? I’m not for that.
    • Dedicated my time tirelessly, my job recently has been to allocate support from our brothers and sisters in the unions. We cannot call this a revolution without incorporating our brothers and sisters in Labor.
    • unions are our people. Be transparent. Donation transparency needs to be on agenda.
    • Grow thousands strong, need new people arriving every night. To help their participation, at the beginning of every general assembly (GA). Only personal support to unions, not officially endorsed.
    • Language of proposal is unclear. This is a horizontal movement- when did we start taking orders from a national organization.
    • We are not only the 99%, but people exercising the same rights. Do we need to endorse every sit-in? No!
    • should always support in every way possible union members!
    • Infiltration? A lot of room when we don’t align.
    • no endorsement in the language of solidarity
    • I am a labor activist and journalist. Unions are our last line of defense, though imperfect, we should always show support for rank and file workers. This is their movement too!
    • as an original facilitators of OC,  only got involved to empower the working class

    Stack line #1 proposal:

    • This proposal doesn’t even use working language for this GA. It’s vague, and not worded with specificity.  It shouldn’t be considered until it is reworked with a definite perspective, with numbers attached, goal in mind.
    • members of different committees will be meeting after GA
    • safety first. I will not invite my friends , coworkers, to come join me at OC is they will be not be safe.
    • While I respect the proposal on the issue of security I believe that some things come up spontaneously, and will have to be dealt with spontaneously. Safety is huge issue- while this revolution is peaceful, it might get unlawful. We had 3 police bike escorts last night, all passersby were coming and going freely, were given right of passage. PR by mainstream media was bullcrap; we were not engaged in any illegal activity. Police were there, none of us arrested.
    • Understand your safety is never guaranteed in everyday life or being a part of OC. We are peaceful, and some people will never understand peaceful.
    • Proposals needs to be broken up int o chunks, and tabled and talk amongst ourselves. There is a lot to cover.
    • This proposal shouldn’t be presented at GA, it is rather a vital responsibility of the safety committee. Things such as this should be introduced in committee.
    • simply passing a proposal doesn’t mean it gets enforced- we should have training sessions to equip us for civil disobedience, direct action planning, and solidarity planning
    • can we please have more safety and security, and medical committee members?

    [look for the updated version of this proposal online today- friendly amendments will have been added, and restructuring of language should also be noted].

  • 2. Family Office Exchange Protest Taskforce Proposal:  Peaceful, protest of the 100 million in assets family forum, excellent opportunity to mobilize for the common goals of OC and provide clear protest message.
    Stack line:
    • political cause that we lend support to
    • lend encouragement to one another
    • Direct action committee should be formed, and organize these kinds of events.
    • Should be in front of the GA, so we know what actions we’re endorsing. Want to hear more about the Family Office Exchange network.
    • Let’s be organized and prepared at direct actions
    • If we protest family organizations there may be problems- even if they’re in the 1%.
    • People have a right to have money, and to enjoy themselves. Money is only a problem when it influences the government.
    • Last night felt dwindled, needed focal point to bring us back together, for us to come back to the OC movement. FOX is a consulting firm that works with the wealthiest families, in order to invest with one another. This is their annual fall conference, 500 families with $100 million+ come together and discuss how to expand their wealth at the expense of others

Additional announcements:

  • Let’s dream together:  What does the new Chicago look like? Let’s be creative and inspire change.
  • New GA Structure is awesome, it’s the backbone. It could use a little organization. Copies are available in printed form for people to discuss. Brief descriptions of format, and procedures.
  • We work with the committees to draft a “constitution” for the assemblies.
  • Will be bringing a few copies of “Robert’s Rules of Order” for us, and a hard copy to be kept in the Information Box. This will help with procedure.
  • Tar sands announcement: this pipeline threatens our natural resources, and our life here on earth. Moral obligation to prevent the expansion of the tar sands, and move toward 100% clean energy. Proposals will be submitted tomorrow formally. We are being effected by unsafe profit driven energy policy. Tarsandsaction.org