-Moderator: We are a non-violent movement. We are going to be listening to proposals, and stacking to these ideas. Ray will be the stack taker.
Ray: I want to add, that we are non-violent, but I strongly suggest that we take self defense classes. We should be able to defend ourselves.
Moderator: We are looking for people to share experiences from the Halloween parade. Can anyone do this? [Moderator explains hand signals (spirit fingers, off topic triforce, etc.)]. We have a two minute time limit today.
Dave: Please turn human mic off. The Belmont and Halstead Halloween parade was a huge success. We were right behind the Burning Man fire spinners, handed out a ton of fliers, and gained huge support. A lot of people cheered us and wanted to know more about Occupy Chicago. It was a great success and a lot of fun.
Moderator: We will now be talking about the people from DC.
Patrick: Our trip to DC was really, really great. We got to meet the DC occupation. There are two occupations in the city. We took videos of them and their GA. I am going to talk about their actions. They shut down a construction site for racist practices. We talked about their strategy for how they took their park and we got their strategy peoples' contact info.
James: We met with three House representatives, including Dick Durbin. We talked about us getting a spot. We met with Danny Davis and our half hour meeting turned into a full hour. We talked to a staffer at Bobby Rush's office who had worked with The Black Panthers and Fred Hampton. We gave all of them a handout of our grievances. We are encouraging other occupations to go out there and tell them why we are out here, what we are doing here, and learn from them.
Patrick: Bobbby Rush made a open statement supporting us. He is the second to do so, following Dennis Kucinich.
James: They are making bottled water with a bamboo drinking fountain operation. They have a full working kitchen and spirituality circle. It is an amazing camp.
Brit: If you can't hear us and we need to re-institute the human mic please let us know. Now we will do committee announcements and then proposals.
Gretchen: This is a legislative announcement. Recently a republican politician made a statement supporting Occupy Chicago and was shot down by Republicans. Now a politician in the Illinois Legislature is going to be proposing a resolution. This will include not arresting peaceful protestors. We need people to support this. It will help us to dissuade more arrests and police interaction.
Ryan: I am going to be going to a webinar with organizers from occupations all over the country. We will exchange ideas and learn on communication. When it is done if the GA is still going I will come back and make a general announcement about it or do so tomorrow.
Bunny: I am with the Safety and Peace Keeping committee. We need peace keepers and medics, so please contact me if you can help. [Contact: email@example.com ]
Katrina: Hello, I am from Outreach and Arts and Recreation. I am here to announce a Saturday afternoon event for artists and families. This is so people can come out and support us without having to go to headquarters and march. It will be full of educational and outreach experiences. Artists will create art inspired by Occupy, people will post video clips, and it will encourage movement. Festivities start at 2pm. If you are interested in volunteering to make this an awesome event, raise your hand. We will come around and get your email. [ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Frank: I am from Outreach. We are sponsoring an event at Heartland Cafe, Monday November 7th at 7pm. The Heartland Cafe is in Rogers Park at Lunt and Glenwood [7000 North Glenwood Avenue, Chicago, IL]. I have leaflets, which I will pass around. We have a small problem; the leaflet says live music, but as of this we have no music. If anyone can help, let us know. We are looking for accoustic, without heavy amp, for the lead in. We need people to come and talk about Occupy Chicago. Tell us what it means to them and what it is about. We have have access to projector and there is a lot of stuff out there. We need a presentation put together and need volunteers to do that. The presentation would need to be about ½ hour and possibly include a montage of photos.
[Contact: OCcommunityoutreach@gmail.com ]
Dave: We are going to do interactive theater “Brr, its getting cold out here, only going to get colder. How going to last through winter?” I'll tell you, and am glad you asked! We are gonna take this to people in neighborhoods so you should join the Community Organizing Committee and take this out to the people! Talk to me or Kelvin to do this and be ready to work, it takes work to start a revolution. “Now I'm excited. Dave how do I join!?” I'll tell you. Tomorrow, Community Orgnaizing training is going to be at Grace Place at 637 South Dearborn. This will be headed by Will. 2:45 pm; be there. [Contact: email@example.com ]
Evelyn: Social media. Tomorrow we will be standing in solidarity with Oakland. A general strike will be held there. We have a march 6pm and are going to city hall. We will have speakers there. Flyers on this are being spread around. Help us; tweet about it. Second, if photographer or videographer or online artist, email your media to firstname.lastname@example.org. Now for a Press announcement. We need more spokes people! The ones we have are burnt out. W need a diverse group for this. Contact us if you can help. [Contact: email@example.com ]
James: I am from the Alley cats and and we had a proposal announcement last week. Someone has flyers, we need them. As soon as we have flyers we can go out in pairs to communities that we are not reaching and pass out information. For those who do not know the Alley Cats are an awesome bike gang. We need help leading this. Also, from Diversity Committee; we are coming together with our brainstorm ideas. So if you have Alley Cats or Diversity ideas, please see me after the GA.
[ Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Brit: I am from Civil Liberties Defense committee. This exists as a space for those arrested and helps build a public defense campaign. It stinks that laws are on books stopping our free speah. We are fighting this with the National lawyer Guild and groups around Chicago. See me after ga to get in touch with us. Also, join our Google Group at email@example.com. If you have been arrested for Occupy Chicago it is vital that you join this group. We need to get you plugged in if you have been arrested or want to get further involved.
Kelvin: I am representing Secretariat. We had a discussion on our GAs an general organization today. Everyone thinks should have more of these, so watch out on Facebook, Twitter, our website, and headquarters for these discussions. It is important that we evaluate where we are in this movment, where want go, and how can get there. I am also here to say we want to set up weekly meetings for Community Organization in Chicago. If interested, talk to me afterwords.
[Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Ruben: I am from Tech. Our new website is live. All users who had access to post materials on our old site do not have access to this one. If you're on a committee, talk to Tech about getting access on the new site.
[Contact: email@example.com ]
Mark: I am from Direct Action. I just attended a Labor meeting with the unions. Tomorrow there is a march and rally standing in solidarity with Oakland against police brutality. On November 17th with Stand Up Chicago & SEIU, endorsed by OWS, on national day of action, we're planning with unions and expecting at least a thousand to take the bridge. There will be arrestable & non-arrestable actions. We have to discuss a lot of tactical stuff. A Direct Action Committee meeting will take place immediately after GA. Some of the unions have diff schedules so we might stagger some of the events and make it an all-day protest. [Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org ]
STANDING IN SOLIDARITY WITH OAKLAND
Brian: Actually this is a presentation, not a proposal. This is a solidarity statement with Oakland:
“As Occupy protests have swept the nation since September, so too have arrests and police violence. At the behest of municipal governments and the Wall St. bosses on whose behalf they act, police departments have dispersed or detained peaceably assembled protestors in New York City, Boston, Oakland, Denver and many other cities. In Chicago, more than three hundred protestors were arrested over the course of two weeks while peacefully exercising their first amendment rights to free speech and free assembly.
On October 25, Mayor Jean Quan and the Oakland Police Department violently repressed Occupy protestors, dramatically raiding their encampment and subsequently dispersing peacefully assembled protestors with tear gas, flash grenades and rubber bullets. In the course of trampling upon protestors' rights and property, officers of the Oakland PD seriously injured Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, leading to his hospitalization. Perhaps the most egregious use of police violence against occupy protesters thus far, these events lay bare the tenacity and brutality with which the 1% defends its ill-gotten wealth. Occupy Chicago strongly condemns such repressive violence and supports the Oakland General Assembly's call for a general strike Wednesday, November 2. We stand with Oakland in proclaiming:
- We stand in full solidarity with Occupy Boston, Occupy Denver, Occupy Wall St. and any other Occupy movement in the U.S. and across the world!
- We condemn the police raids in Boston, Oakland, Nashville, Austin, New York City and other similar attacks that have targeted the Occupy movement across the country!
- We stand in full solidarity with Iraq War veteran Scott Olsen, who suffered the most brutal manifestation of the police crackdown on the Occupy Oakland encampment!
- We support judges and any other city officials who have refused, and will continue to refuse carrying out any acts of violence and repression against the Occupy movement in the interest of the 1%
- We urge all members of the 99% to take action on November 2nd to send a message that we will not be silenced, despite the attempt by mayors and police departments in Boston, Oakland, and across the country to repress and stifle our movement.”
Our proposal is online.
[ http://occupychi.org/phpbbforum/viewtopic.php?f=10&t=791&p=2808&hilit=oa... ]
Since this action is tomorrow we will take an emergency vote one it. We propose that we march to city hall to stand with Oakland in their protest against the violent repression ordered by their mayor, Jean Quan.
VOTE PASSES, none opposed.
Kara: I am an organizer with Jane Addams Senior Caucus. I am here with leader Anne Marie; a Sofskia Health Care Organizer.
Anne Marie Cunningham: On Nov. 7 at 10:15 we will have a rally at Federal Plaza with a march past the offices of Sen. Mark Kirk & Dick Durbin. In the plaza, we will have representatives from Congress Jan Jakowski, Danny Davis, and Mike Quigley. We will also have a number of Aldermen who will sign a commitment to ensure no cuts to social security, medicare, medicaid, and affordable housing as these affect seniors, their children, and the future of our nation. The march is to challenge our senators Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk.
Kara: We are inviting you to join us, along with thirteen allied organizations & unions. We are hoping to have about 600 folks and want Occupy Chicago to add to those numbers. Federal Plaza is at Adams/Dearborn. [Reads proposal from online]
Britt: This proposal has been online for over 5 days. Since we saw a lot of spirit fingers on this proposal, will allow Moderator to call the question if we can take a vote on this this evening.
Moderator: We will take a stack on this proposal.
Mark: We need to clarify whether we are simply endorsing the action, being offered an open invitation, or if we are mobilizing the movement through the Direct Action Committee to be an official part of the event. For a friendly amendment: we should decide which it is. I do not have a preference but I don't think it makes sense to vote until we clarify.
Kelvin: For a Friendly Amendment: Actions like these are really really important. It's what we need to do to win the country back for the 99%. Usually we don't have as much time to mobilize for these actions, but for this action we have a week. I think we should do our best to bring as many people to this action next Monday as possible. Let's show Mayor Emanuel and our Senators and politicians that they should not put public programs on the backs of the 99%.
James: I think it's really important to bridge the age gap of our movement & bring people of all ages together. Most of us don't have to worry about social security, medicaid, or medicare right now, so we should go support our elders.
John: I am in favor of supporting this action. Politicians are doing the bidding of 1% and cutting our social programs. We want to make clear who's responsible for what we are fighting against. We should go to this event, support it, and get more people involved in our movement. This will help us prepare for our Nov. 17 action. I encourage everyone to see this as an opportunity to challenge those responsible & grow our movement.
Stack: Direct Action is having a meeting tonight. We are happy to put this action on our agenda. Respect your elders!
Vote to support this action passes UNANIMOUSLY (only the second time ever this has happened).
Proposal - Flying Squads Presentation II:
Evelyn: I presented this two days ago and will propose it for vote officially tomorrow. [Quote: Nebulous resistance concrete (On War Major General Karl Boskwitz)]
Flying squads are tactical controls of 10-20 activists participating in small scale actions to disrupt the operations of large scale corporations. They need to be able to operate without every action being approved by the GA. We must find way to let them operate independently without violating the GA due process. Actions must represent the opinion and will of Occupy Chicago. Direct Action Committee should reasonably be allowed to operate independently within framework.
Direct Action Committee would submit to GA a menu of tactics that flying squads may choose from when planning specific actions and a menu of targets. This should satisfy for need of accountability while allowing independence and spontaneity. Tactics may range from Green (Arrest Unlikely) to Red (High Probabilty of Arrest). Independence will allow us to keep the element of surprise.
Example of actions could include:
Picket Line, Die-In, Banner Drop, Slow Down (legally slow biz of targ), Ambush (infiltrate or surround a target discretely), Pamphlet-ting
Examples of Targets could include
Chase Bank, Citigroup, Chi Board of Trade, Rahm Emanuel, McDonald's, and others [GA boos after each target. Boos loudest after Rahm Emanuel].
Mark: I was part of this discussion early on. Some items were taken out of the proposal just now, which I think this are very important. The reasonable range presented by these menus may shrink or expand depending on our political position at any given time. We want to ensure the Flying Squads' actions do not conflict with the actions of the movement. At any given time, the GA would determine what level we are in. Suppose we're at Level 1: At Level 1, the only allowable actions would be small 10-20 person non-arrestable, controlled actions. Under different circumstances we might be at Level 2, maybe up to 50 people, maybe a limit on how many actions per day. At Level 3, no limits on number of people or actions. The idea is of autonomy so GA does not get bogged down but at same time GA would regulate overall activity. I think this is an extremely important addition to this proposal.
Kelvin: I completely support this. I think this should apply to all committees except for a select few. The GA can't stop individuals from doing things. If someone wants to go organize 30 people to do an action and call themselves Occupy Chicago, they can already do that. I think we need to find a system in which we allow for all the energy of this movement to funnel itself effectively. An alternative thing to consider is things only need GA approval if we're going to attach the name of Occupy Chicago and do massive publicity about it. In general, I think moving toward decentralization is good.
Moderator: I oppose this. I think all proposals should start here and get voted on like we have been doing.
Stacker: I'm all for anyone who wants to give these targets trouble. The strength of this movement is in our numbers. If we think about how Occupy Wall Street held Zuccotti Park, they put out a call where tens of thousands of people came. I am all for individuals doing unpredictable actions but we should keep in mind the strength of this movement is in mobilizing our numbers and that Flying Squads should not take up too much of our time.
Evelyn: Point of Clarification: Occupy Wall Street is already doing Flying Squads and keeping people involved.
Britt: Point of Clarification: This is not a proposal to replace mass mobilizations but it is a new tactic or procedure of protest.
Mark: I am concerned about the accountability of the Flying Squads. It's true anybody can do an action but we don't want to put our names on every action. We want to ensure our actions are disciplined, non-violent, on message, and keep within the aims and purposes of our movement. I just want to see some mechanism for accountability. If people find some Flying Squad's actions objectionable, then those Squads should account for it.
Max: The point of this proposal is to handle accountability on the front end. We can have small actions in a limited number of places the GA decides on using and a limited number of tactics the GA approves. I would like to note that to keep the energy of this movement going that we should have more actions like this.
Laura: I support this proposal. This gives Occupy Chicago the mobility that will be necessary to maintain any momentum through the winter.
Patrick: I support this proposal. A lot of people support us who cannot make it here. They should be encouraged to take action however they can. For instance, starting Nov 5th, we have committed to a dedicated action against Bank of America until they either stop lobbying or pay their taxes or until they bankrupt themselves. There will be some bank actions where we can shut down bank branches.
Lucas: The way the proposal is written it is not clear that we are simply establishing a framework, which I think we are. The idea is that we will develop these lists and right now we're saying that the Direct Action Committee can commit that framework. But we will have to vote on these menus, as a Friendly Amendment.
Mark: To respond to what Kelvin said: I want to clarify that it's not quite the case that people can go and just do something in the name of Occupy Chicago. The idea of the Flying Squads is that we're formalizing a set of standards so that people can act autonomously without fear of being condemned. Also, I would like to remind that these actions should be photographed and filmed as much as possible.
Kelvin: My original point was that it's really important to discuss these values and frameworks for ALL things that have to do with Occupy Chicago. When some person or group does something in the name of Occupy Chicago that we don't agree with, then we know exactly when to call them out on it. At the same time, we can allow for our energy to be effectively used.
Stacker: It's important to have large actions. Those are most effective in getting what we need. Unfortunately, the other side knows exactly where we're going no matter how discrete we are. Therefore I think a menu of tactics will be useful in helping us act and keep targets off-balance. I strongly support this proposal.
Rico: The broader our actions our, the better for our movement. I don't think we need to have a set of levels for our movement. I feel these are too limiting. I think we should call it on a case-by-case basis. Decentralization is not the same as controlling our movement. Our movement is growing. We believe the 99% should have a say in how society functions. Therefore we should decide collectively what actions represent us and what does not.
Stacker: There were times when I felt people misrepresented the Occupy movement. We should have discussions about what not to do in the Occupy name.
Stacker: This sounds very anarchistic in nature. Points of Unity are different than demands and provide a more positive explanation of what we stand for and where the boundaries of what we don't stand for. I think discussing and publishing a formalized list would be really helpful.
Stacker: I like to watch a lot of documentaries because it really brings us to a new level of consciousness. Most of the public not like this. Concern of mine are that the information on our website and what we are saying to general public is not clear. Media is saying we have no demands. I propose we move our demands to the front page of our site. We also want things broken down into Flash animation, an easily understandable format. Also promote watching more documentaries, such as The Corporation, and Capitalism: A Love Story.
Jennifer: I am an open source developer and photographer. I have an idea for a street theater direct action I am going to present for Flying Squad, potentially. It involves embarrassing and challenging the people who got us into mess. It involves McDonalds job applications. If you are interested in discussing this come to Direct Action Committee meeting after GA.
Hyde: I got to go to DC. I was awesome. For those who were here when we were arrested we kind of ransacked this area. In DC they took it inch by inch, followed every rule, didn't get arrested. So maybe we slow things down a bit and gradually make movements into Grant Park.
James: We DESPERATELY need people to join Organization Committee. They are in charge of Grace Place where people sleep and store stuff and run headquarters and donations. These people are overworked and have very few people on their committee. Those people are here 24/7. Donations do not stop. Activities they help with don't stop either. Most of them are here all hours of the night; no sleep, picking up cigarette butts. They are under-appreciated. See Thomas or William to help them.
[To help Organization Committee, please see Seth at Grace Place or someone running the food cart]
Also, as far as DC goes, I think that it might be interesting to moving our headquarters. It is more important to visible than just staying there because of what it represents. Michigan Avenue is more populated and we should try to move headquarters to this park. We should set up tents until 11pm when park closes, but then stay here. We need a new strategy.
Mark: I invite everybody to participate in flying squad actions. The purpose is to attract media and attract those who take interest from this. A group recently did banner drops, a wide variety of other actions, and we had attorneys with us. I participated in this and we have film and video. At one point we had media people following us all day long, we even gave them lunch.
Peter: Hello, I am a student at University of Chicago. I just came from meeting at the students' campus in Hyde Park. This included discussion on a couple dozen peoples' actions downtown and more organization on campus. W are having a meeting/rally/demonstration next Thursday November 10th and encourage you to attend. We also need a big show-up for our demonstration on the 14th, where former CEO of Goldman Sachs, former Director of Treasury, main architect of the bailout Henry Paulson and Condoleeza Rice Former Director of Chevron, former Secretary of State and war monger will be attending a large event. We will show them what we think about them and show them our policies. We will be at Occupy Chicago and talking with the Direct Action Committee.
Robert: I am representing Iraq Veterans Against War today. Scott Olsen also was a member of Iraq Veterans Against War. We want to invite Occupy Chicago to a November 11th protes at 11am at Wabash and Wacker. We need a speaker from Occupy Chicago to speak at our ceremony on Veterans' Day. We will work with a groups who want to do fundraisers for Occupy Chicago. We propose we develop a fundraiser committee.
Stacker: On Sunday Novemeber 6th from 1:00pm to 3:30pm at Loyola Law School on 25 East Pearson, near the Chicago red line stop we will have a meeting for those who have been arrested. Please attend. It is in a room on the 11th floor. Arrestees only please; we will ask non-arrestable to leave, for confidentiality purposes. Further information can be found on nlgchicago.org under the Occupy Chicago tab.
Brit: I am from Civil Liberties Defense Committee. We will have a meeting directly following the just spoken of meeting to talk further and touch base with those arrested and our supporters. If you were arrested and are not on our Google Group for CLD committee and or not receiving emails, contact CLD committee. [Contact: email@example.com ]
Andy: Rahm Emanuel is having a fundraiser tomorrow at 5:30pm at Nookies on Bryn Mawr, half a block east of the Bryn Mawr Red Line. I know this conflicts with the solidarity action with Occupy Oakland, but if you live on the North Side, consider coming to this. Will be doing a picket on Rahm Emanuel denying our civil liberties. I am also with CAN G8. We have been trying to meet with the city to let protests be within sight and sound of G8/Nato and demanding that the Chiccago Police Lieutenant stop issuing threats against would-be protestors. On Wednesday Nov 16th at 2pm, on 121 North LaSalle Drive we will have a meeting on G8 protestors' rights with the city. We will also demand that the city drop charges on Occupy Chicagoers for the two Occupdation Arrest and grant a permit for Occupy Chicago space.
Stacker: For those who enjoy poetry and art. We are having an open mic at 339 S Halsted.
Karen: On November 6th there is going to be a massive protest against the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. It will take place in Washington DC and buses and caravans are heading in from all over the US to attend it. We will encircle the White House to ask President Obama to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. On November 5th there will be a number of classes and events held in DC, relating to this. We were able to get funding to travel to this event from Energy Action Coalition in Chicago. Thus, another trip to DC!
We will likely be leaving on November 4th, late in the evening and arriving back very early Monday morning. We want to plan this to make sure that those working 9-5 jobs or who are in school can attend. We will be taking a caravan of vans and are looking for those who can help drive. If you can commit to attending this event with us, come see me after the GA.
[Contact: Spectrum@RiseUp.net ]
Andrea: I want to give a shout out to the neighborhood of Austin; our first site of Occupy the Hood. We had a great action there and stood in solidarity with people being evicted from their homes. We handed out fliers and got support from people in the neighborhood. There was also at police torture teach-in today, which was very interesting. For those who want to learn more on this, to come out to our teach in to tomorrow at 3pm. Will have games and fun stuff too.
Evelyn: If you make an announcement for an event for OC please also email social networking committee so we can promote your event. Please let us help you.
[Contact: SocialMedia@occupychi.org ]
Stacker: Here is a notebook for our tar sands pipeline trip to DC, please sign it to if you want to come.
Kelvin: On the topic of housing I have idea about a possible outdoor location. At the Thompson Center Plaza they have some Christmas Parade Festival every year. Here, they have permit set up to house an outdoor heated structure. I am going to a file freedom of information demand get information on this,in order to submit a similar permit to get us a heated outdoor structure at the Thompson Center. If they will not work with us, this could be a possible lawsuit for us! We must also realize how far we have come. We are bringing in a lot of people in very little time. We must stay encouraged and keep at it!
Stack: Final Comment. Do you all know that there are seven exchanges in the City of Chicago, more than any in any other US city. They all have visitor salaries, and you CAN have signs in them!
Moderator: Meeting adjourned.
*Minutes taken by Karen and Redwood: