Day 56 - General Assembly Minutes

Date/Time: 11/17/11; following Day of Action March
Location: Thompson Center for most, then ended at Jackson & LaSalle
Attendance Count: none taken
Moderator: ?, Timekeeper: ?, Stack: Kelvin, Note Takers: Mey

Vote to condemn Rahm Emanuel on the city budget
Open discussion on where Occupy Chicago should go from here
Committee Announcements
Call for Assistance
Then Cupcakes!


  • Occupy Southside
    On Tuesday we took city hall, they knew we were here but they all choose not to listen this time.  We were at city hall because the mental health clinics that are used by 1000s of people in Chicago are being sold. Rahm Emanuel knows the people are dying of health mental ailments.  And the city is tying to privatize 7 of the clinics.  We made a huge success on Tuesday because we united 100s of Chicagoans who are tired of being abused.  On Monday we will have a meeting at 530 pm at 6146 s. ?gangwood? to plan our next action. But before I leave I want to remind everyone that channel five is giving Rahm Emanuel a chance to tell Rham Emanuel what a great guy he is to all of America.  I am saying to you FIGHT BACK channel five tell all your family and friends because Rahm Emanuel is going to break Chicago.
  • I am a CTA bus driver. I am a proud member of my union I do important work in this city. I am proud to work with amazing people. The public transit workers of Chicago, each one of us, are leaders on families and communities.  Thousands of unions and workers work 365 days a year 24 hours a day, we work very hard and do our jobs well.  If we did not do this the city stops.  Chicago transit workers have been under attack. We are here with our allies so that further attacks against us will be met by our organized resistance.  We are not alone.  Workers in the Chicago region and other workers around the world are under attack as well and under blame.  There are many opportunities to resist.  These encampments are not just college kids who will leave during summer but working people who are here to stay. If we are to move forward social movements like this one, we must look to the social power of the working people.   We must enlist the discipline, the leadership, the legitimate authority of workers. We are gaining confidence and gaining power using it to benefit our movements.  Workers, we must be unafraid to lead our communities to mass action like this one.  Through struggle we will become confident enough to run things our selves.
  • We are sick and tired of the 1% trying to rob and destroy our public schools. Next month Rahm Emanuel will announce a public school hit list of over 100 schools that he wants to close down.  (hiss) We will be conspiracy teachers.  The teachers that work hours in these communities inspiring children every day they will be jobless does Rham Emanuel care? (Shouts: no)  Does Rahm Emanuel care about kids of Chicago? (Shouts: no) Rahm Emanuel’s kids go to privet schools that cost 20000 per year. They get music and art and small class sizes.  Our kids deserve the same as Rahm Emanuel’s kids.  We will not stop marching until all kids of Chicago receive the same resources as Rahm Emanuel’s kids.  I have a question for you when the 1% tries to privatize schools will you stand up? (Shouts: yes) I have 1 more question at the public school closures when the parents and teachers are pouring their hearts out will you speak up? (Shouts: yes)  Whose schools? (Our Schools) Whose jobs? (Our jobs) Whose city? (Our City)

[The following speaker spoke in Spanish and was translated phrase by phrase to the GA.]

  • My name is ??
    I’ve been striking for 5 years and 8 months.  And I’m here because I believe in 99%.  We need to organize. We’re going to show the bankers whose got the force.  We need your support to march to congress hotel.  In today’s newspapers they should say they’re taking our jobs   si say puede? (Chants: Si say Puede)
  • Hello Chicago
    I’m here to speak about the undocumented.  We have been criminalized. When we take jobs, they say we steal them.  Where we live, they say we ruin neighborhoods.  We wouldn’t be here if it were not for economic warfare going down in Chili, the wars in Mexico.  There is a history to this and we refuse to be quiet. We are here and we’re not going anywhere.  They deported over 400000 people.  Families were separated. People put in private detention centers and others left to die, this is unacceptable. We are 99%. We have to stand with them because they are in the shadows but they wont be quiet any more we did it in 2006 and well do it again.  We are unafraid and unapologetic.
  • Occupy el barrio has already taken 18th and blue line? We want everyone to come.    

Moderator: How y’all doing this night? This is a shining beacon of hope.  A beacon of resistance, a beacon of solidarity, a beacon of saying no more.  What you are saying is no more! No more cuts, no more violence, no more police oppression.  We are going to start GA in five minutes stick around figure out what democracy looks like. 
Occupy Chicago welcome to Thompson center! they let us in this time!
Alright welcome to GA at Thompson center
Hand explanations.
On the agenda is an actual vote that vote is on whether Occupy Chicago condemns Mayor Rahm Emanuel budget and all the cuts in it.


  • Condemning Mayor Rahm Emanuel's Budget - PASSED (0 opposed)
    Dennis -this proposal will be read then you can speak. If you want to speak line up behind my friend Kelvin.

[Important news report!] Occupy Chicago I have news for you 32,500 people are marching on Wall Street right now! That estimate is from NYPD! That means it’s probably double.  Friggin yea.

Rahm Emanuel budget is going to hurt the people of Chicago. We oppose the people of Chicago being hurt. I work in cook county emergency room as a nurse.  Yesterday there were 15 people waiting to go to mental hospital because they were having suicidal thoughts.  Usually only there are only 3 or 4 in this situation, but because they want to cut these clinics there will be more people who want to.  People are depressed because of this economy and this just makes it worse.  This going to destroy the city this proposal is very simple we Occupy Chicago stand against Rahm Emanuel and all 50 alderman who voted to cut these services. We will do everything within our powers to fight these cuts and this Budget.

  • Stack:
    • I just want to say I was part of the sit in and I’m very much opposed of the resolution of these budget cuts. Rahm Emanuel ought to be ashamed and I’m very sorry that we voted their behinds in there.  that’s nice and I shouldn’t be nice but I gotta keep it clean and if they think they can blow on us and well just go away they mistaken.  In the end they’re gonna need some mental help.
    • Hello everybody.  I want to tell you something I love everybody and believe me I’ve been through but together... [note taker could not clearly hear what the speaker said]
    • Hello Occupy Chicago I just want to say.  we got real tired on there on the fifth floor next to Rahm Emanuels office.  But every time we got tired more of you kept coming, that’s what we need for this movement to keep going.  We need to show the rich and powerful that we are not going to let them close clinics, and Libraries and we will not sit back and watch alderman sell us out. I 100% support this proposal because Occupy Chicago and the social movement its part of is more powerful than Rham Emanuel than all 50 alderman we beat back his budget.  Hell yea
    • Kelly: Listening to people talk about how they need their clinics.   I heard a couple people descried how these clinics saved their lives.  They said if closed they will die are we going to let them die. [Shouts: no!] That’s what I thought. This budget is anti poor and it is racist.  80% of the jobs being cut belong to black and Latino people.  This budget divides this city and we won’t take it.  This city is already segregated.  They think now they can divide us in new way. They can tell us it’s the unions and the rest of us in the 99% should point to unions and what do we think? No.
    • This vote tonight is not just sticking hands in the air it’s abut getting in the fight and staying in fight. It’s about saying we know who our real enemy is and make them pay. For the services and the jobs and the decent lives we deserve.
    • I want to know why their salaries were not negotiated for budget cuts. if they are public services that thousands of dollars does not include pension and other services I suggest that we bring attention to how much money they make and take away from us.
    • Good evening occupy I want to talk about money policy in 1913 at factual reserve income tax goes to [GA signs "Off Topic," some discussion]
    • Audit the fed, end fascism.

      Moderator:  There is a soap box section where anyone can get the mike. Right now we are discussing the proposal to condemn Rahm Emanuel’s budget
    • Occupy Chicago nice to see you all  if the democratic party is engaged in imposing austerity budgets on cities democratic party is leading class war on working people in this counties.  Coast to coast, line to line police are attacking us because of the democratic party.  before we talk to Rahm Emanuel we need to clear this up. this has been going on too long.
    • Drop all the charges on those arrested in October. Before we’ll even talk about anything
    • Democratic party are not lesser or two evils they are greater. They lie to us and we need a new party by the workers for the workers.
    • Rico from Occupy the South Side: We think this is the budget of 1%.  They are cutting down 2/3 of the public libraries.  As Occupy Chicago and Occupy Southside we must oppose this attack on 99%.  Come to next meeting Sat Nov. 19 at 3:30pm to say 99% stands against closing of public resources.
    • Hey what’s up Occupy Chicago! I have a very serious issue about budget, price of a city sticker going up.  this is bad news for people barely getting by as is.  People with two kids and a spouse, working at a minimum wage job the last thing you want to do is pay over 100 for a lousy sticker to put on car. This is garbage and that’s why I’m against Rahm Emanuel and his budget.
    • These cuts end with us in utter poverty this is a systemic effort to end the social gains our grandparents have fought for, until we have no free time to think until we are nothing but slaves.  This is a destruction of freedom through austerity.  Are we going to put up with this? [shouts: no] thanks

Moderator: alright its time for a vote.  time for democracy!
Voting - PASSED (0 opposed)

1we are the people
2we are united
3the occupation is not leaving


Were going to have a discussion about where we think Occupy Chicago should go from here. Generally. not geographically right now so if you want to speak about where the movement is going stack is right up here.

Emergency announcement:  Police are harassing us right now at HQ.  All right. The police are harassing our people.  But they can’t harass all of us we are going to march to Jackson and LaSalle and continue GA there, let’s roll out. 

[March to LaSalle and Jackson]

Who is pumped up?  This is great. We resisted austerity we stood up to Rahm and we spit in his face, metaphorically.  We can march but until we affect bottom line of 1% there won’t be any change.   That’s why the Occupy Chicago movement is committed to sustained boycott of bank of America and all other major banks we kick off black Friday. We are going to make the Christmas shopping season nightmare before Christmas for the banks. Organizing widespread boycotts, people are working on a website where it will be shown how much money the banks take out so investors panic and take out money, and more investors panic and more money is taken out. This takes out big banks but not other responsible small banks and credit unions.  Banks that provide good secure jobs and safe investments.  Instead of parasite big banks that do nothing , that make money by bribing congress and destroying homes.  One of these banks is bad the other is good one needs to be destroyed the other saved.  Which one do you think it is? It’s our money they use to steal our country and freedom.

Black Friday is buy nothing day! Party instead. Close your account on Fri.  We’ll give you tools to organize boycotts at local banks we’ll have that up on the site.  thank you,

Moderator: Alright its GA time. 

  • I have an announcement, about an event that everyone I’ve told has gotten excited about.  This is to protest the cme bill in house. They vote on it on the 29th and unless we stick hot fire up their butts nothing is going to stop it.
  • The CME Bill gives $200 million dollars to electronic trading, which has cost Illinois jobs over last 10 yrs.  We will have an action called SB 405.  We will meet at HQ and there form a single file line, a bread line, dress in raggy cloths if you want, and bring a tin cup.  We will march slowly to Quinn’s office in the Thompson center and ask for our handout. 

Moderator: Ok so, this is the earth, it was time to soap box on specific topic.  Where are we going from here? Kelvin takes stack. So line up behind him if you want to speak on people’s mic. 

  • I’m Zac I’m from new Orleans.  I’ve been visiting 8 different occupies so far.  I’ve been thinking about his a lot.  And I think for cities like Chicago that don’t anymore have an established occupation the best thing to do is a blitzkrieg of action. To have constant little actions that don’t require crowds but does require press.
  • So I propose that as a long term goal for entire movement we focus on changing our political system if we fix inherent problems in that all issues that many of us care about will become possible to fix once we get money out of our political process. so I prose that our demands should be to prohibit corporate donations to political campaigns furthermore I would like to see direct democracy on a nation level. many states have been doing this through state wide initiative these are not perfect but they are better than relying entire on Representative government. 

Moderator: alright i lost my time keep i need a new Timekeeper.  its now or never,  new timekeeper! [yay!] For those who might be trickling in right now we are discussing where Occupy Chicago and the larger movement should move foreword,  in both short and longer terms trying to addressing all the issues we’re here for.

  • Jeff: I'm from Oakland originally from Chicago: After we were raided, the next week we shut down the port.  The plans we’re doing now is we try to take over foreclosed home and attempts to do neighborhood assembly’s for people who cant come to GA.
  • Goal: Last time I marched on Michigan Ave. was three years ago after Obama won.   This time though was much different because this time we were not dependent on anyone from the top leading us.  This time we know that we can’t and won’t ever again depend on Rahm Emanuel and these 50 Aldermen.
  • what the Occupy movement has stated has changed the politics globally and forever. The 99% has finally woken up and said we will not sit by and take it anymore! Moving forward is symbolized by our march and actions tonight. We need to stand in full solidarity with everyone in this city.  We are under attack, we need to reach out to all the 99% in Chicago. we can tap into them and hurt bosses where it matters most.
  •  Mike: by show of hands how many people know what collateralized debt obligations are? [4 or 5 raised hands] I believe a movement cannot try to influence others if they do not understand the basic reasons why they are here. Show of hands how many people know what [note taker missed this] is? [4 or 5 more] I believe this winter we need to educate ourselves and our communities because when you understand the facts and how we were screwed it will be impossible for people not to come out and show their support. 
  • Greeting Occupy Chicago! I’m in favor the concept of organizing a third party of organized workers.  Something that represents workers and only workers, and is financed by workers. There are three million of us, we can break the strangle hold that the ruling class has on political systems.  I’m Mark, if you re interested please come talk to me.
  • Patrick: I like to use system against itself.  We talk alot about corporations we should not involve our selves with, but its important to remember the capitalists we should involve ourselves with.  People who talk about doing research and education, lets look for positive companies we can support.  We vote everyday with our dollars take stock of your cloths and fridge and send email to the companies you like make telephone calls tell them what they do well and maybe they’ll change something.
  • Tory: I’m 100% behind every idea of mobilizing in the neighborhoods blitzkrieg of direct action.  I’m using opportunity to tell about occupy south sides next meeting will be in Chicago b library by green line right near IIT.  I have flyer's.  want to see me ill be over here. Thank you
  • Larissa: Small suggestion tonight crystal and others spoke about role of Occupy el Barrio. This is not talked about enough! There are many reasons why all Occupy movements should partner and prioritize however in Chicago there is added reasons.  Before Occupy and possibly still now the immigration movements have been the biggest social movement going.  Its great we have an el barrio and some of us have started translating into Spanish.  We nee to work on setting up other structures to intentionally prioritize our immigrant brothers and sisters. This has to happen with more energy and urgency because many people in this city who have a stake in our movement but are not involved for obvious reasons.
    Direct response: Organizing immigrant community, there are people in our internal coordination working their butts off making sure that everything is on our calendar every event in all of our neighborhood and every committee and every GA and if you are on a committee pay attention next time you see email from internal coordination to get people out there we need to occupy every street corner and every public hearing and we will survive this winter and keep growing. 
  • Jeffery:  Taking money out of politics does not take money out of conspiracies.  does not take money out of conspiracies that killed jfk the conspiracy that killed rfk conspiracy that blew the tail off the plane of JFK Jjr.  think about it in new way.  Take money out of politics stop paying taxes. 
  • Tonight we proved we are strong we made name for ourselves as a movement be proud. in 2011 that was a major accomplishment however 2012 is coming and in an election year votes are the currency of the country some here have suggested new party.  This is not necessary what is necessary is that we as voters should voice our demands. Voters should be the new biggest buzzword. Everyone in the movement should be registered to vote and should actively register others. We should have big signs with the word voters!
  • Kelvin: I think we have created something very special with this Occupy Chicago movement beyond action and elections it’s important to think about the kind of society that we are starting to create and the culture we are attempting to change. We need to think about a new world I think the system is screwed, but it will change itself when all the people change their mindsets and realize there is an alternative.  Stop looking at each other as people from a certain place, this movement has brought together republicans and democrats and tea partiest, and radical communist. next time you see someone take the time to understand them, not where they are from or what profession they have because to create this society we need to have faith in all the people.  current society puts shackles on us, they work us like pigs, to create this new society we need to make this movement committed to making people feel empowered.  Everyone do what they think best and when the whole world does what they think best there is nothing anyone not police or military can do to stop them.
  • Peter:and I love you all! The 1% have weapons that they use against us more powerful than pepper spray and batons, their biggest weapon is partisanship we need to unite and not divide my speech is short cause I agree with him and he stole thunder.
  • My name is not important I stand here as a citizen of united states. I’m the 99%.  In 2006 a million people marched in the streets I stood as a citizen myself.  A Hispanic community organized a million people who marched for immigrant rights.  We need to bring in Hispanic and Latino communities. I just started the Occupy Chicago Latinos page on Facebook.  We are focusing on educating others on what is going on. spread the word.  We will be translating all post. My name is Gerardo find me with questions. 
  • Kyle: tonight we spoke about condemning Rahm Emanuel for budget cuts Chicago public libraries. 1/3 of budgets of the libraries have been cut.   If was not for libraries I might not be here speaking. I went to a library yesterday, I checked out ‘Doom’ and I forced Karen to read.  The closing of the libraries is unacceptable I am planning to start action against these cuts working with direct action we need to show the city that these cuts are not acceptable. that Chicago public library relies on funding for new books and speakers and workers and many other expenses. for educating for our communities, which is  key now more than ever.  if you’re interested come see me.   

Moderator: stack is closed

  • Jack:  i want to talk about the future. going forward people talk about voting and third parties we have to find more issues. for example the keystone pipeline.  good people in labor movement are all for this issue. but most environmentalists don't want the pipeline.  this is a lesson in conversation people who want same thing on divergent courses we need to support the people who support what we think is the best but we cannot sacrifice the good for the perfect. keep in mind as we support candidates who may support some but not everything.  thank you very much.
  • today we talked about moving money from banks.  but every one today may have eaten food that has been unethically sourced what to you need to do is garden for yourself.  if you're confused how to start get a shoebox but some dirt in it, get some basil or cilantro seeds.  water it and soon you will learn the first steps and this seed will be a metaphor for this movement.  when your cold or hungry water the seed and think about Chicago Spring and think about your food
  • Do not use the previous statement to grow marijuana.  peace love and America. that's about it.

Moderator: And with that the discussion is done for now and this GA is done.  but the notes and the min will go up because the wonderful beautiful multi-talented Mey is taking notes. The discussion will continue in the streets and in the forums if we continue to grow which we must.


  • Secretariat - next meeting Corner Bakery [on Jackson & Michigan] Sunday at 4PM, as secretariats we will discuss administrative stuff and set a schedule for note taking
  • Arts & Rec - Jim: On 25th of November. i.e. Black Friday there will be an Occupy Chicago show! there will be a bus to pick up occupies from grant at the horse at 8:30pm there will be free beer on the bus.  the bus is going to Maria's where there will be free food! from there we will go to the rock club Reggie's where Chicago's Afro beat project and get up with the get down will play before that there will be two DJ sets from 4-7pm at horse. [yay!]
  • Conflict Resolution - Sean:  i also dabble in security.  there will be joint meetings with security and safety here at HQ we will meet Sat. at 12pm.  we will also present at GA.  i look forward to working with everyone.
  • Organizational Outreach - tomorrow, Friday 3-5pm at Grace Place.  there will be a meeting of different organizations, any community organization is welcome.  we expect many religious and community issue organizations. we will meet to talk about how they can collaborate with Occupy Chicago.  the address 637 s. dearborne by harrison and dearborn st. that is this Sat. from 2-4 there will be a community  organization training on doing one to one conversation on how to get people to join Occupy Chicago and do something to change world.  if your interested please come this sat. 2-4pm at Grace Place.
  • Social Media - I will not speak on the behalf of the committee but if you have questions i will take them i will be off to the side and be willing to take any questions you have this brings us into next thing


Moderator: Anyone working on a project or on a committee and needs help.  if so come up and say that you need help.
ten second wait - 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10. none needed! oh wait, I was wrong.

  • in the next few weeks a couple of organizations being part of national campaign to occupy foreclosed homes and put families they have lost their homes into these unused homes.  they need help. they need people to hook up electricity  and to paint the houses, to  take out the trash we need people to talk to their neighbors so they support this.  if you are interested in volunteering talk to me afterwards.
  • my name is nick.   ill make it short in 6 week my punk band will be playing a fundraiser show for occupy Chicago.  fun! I’ll make further announcements closer to the date. 

Moderator: OK typically have an open soapbox but i think we’ve had enough but that's not my decision it yours! call to end all opposed raise hands. None opposed.

GA Adjourned


Thursday, November 17, 2011 - 5:00pm


Let's hear it for the undocumented

Why call people undocumented when all human children are heirs to our humanity ?


The undocumented are pilgrims in their own land.  Amazing how many people say they are Christians, but don't look out for their brothers and sisters, instead push their status down and accuse them.  I'm talking about you, Alabama. 

Preoccupied In Hell

Joseph Couture's picture


Even in the 99 percent there is great inequality.  A homeless man who represents the bottom 1 percent asked me to pass a long a message to you all.  He would love to be there with you if only he could, but he’s busy just trying to stay alive.


Read his story and the story of his friends here:  “Preoccupied In Hell”