Day 53 - 7pm General Assembly Minutes

Date/Time:  11/14/11, 7pm
Location:  Hyde Park, on the Midway outside of the International House (1414 E. 59th St.)
Attendance Count:  non taken
Moderator:  Kelvin, Stack: ?, Timekeeper: ?, Note taker: Kyla


Kelvin: Special agenda tonight-- We have invited Southside groups to tell us about the issues they are working on here. (Explains procedure and rules of GA).

  • UChicago students read a statement in response to the postponement of the Paulson and Rice talk as well as a email sent university-wide by the provost that threatened disciplinary action for any violation of ‘freedom of speech’ or ‘open dialogue.’
    The statement, read in Human Mic: “We the students and the people of Chicago condemn Hank Paulson and Condoleeza Rice’s postponement of their event scheduled to occur on Monday, November 14, 2011 at the University of Chicago. Last night Thomas F. Rosenbaum, Provost of the University and Kimberly Geoff-Crews, Dean of Students emailed a statement to the entire university community faculty, students, and staff threatening disciplinary action against anyone daring to “disrupt” the event “disruption” to be defined as the university administration sees fit. In their email, Rosenbaum and Geoff-Crews invoke the concept of free inquiry in order to justify disciplinary action taken against those expressing such free inquiry. Such an invocation makes a mockery of the concept of free inquiry by invoking it in order to stifle truly free inquiry which would allow those who disagree to make their opinions known in a voice just as loud as Hank and Condi’s. The Paulson Center is a corporate forum where war criminals like Condoleeza Rice can merge corporate interests with academic legitimacy without being called out for their actions. Rosenbaum and Geoff-Crews do not care about free inquiry. They are only concerned about their reputations and the reputation of this university in the eyes of its corporate sponsors. We the students had no intention of shutting down this talk. We only wanted to express our frustration with the system of which Paulson and Rice are an integral part in a forum where our questions would have to be answered. Paulson and Rice’s postponement of this event suggests that they can’t handle free inquiry. Rosenbaum and Geoff-Crews’ threatening email suggests that they can’t handle free inquiry. With this statement we seek to puncture the illusion that this University already embodies its highest ideals. We issue a call to the University and to all universities to reflect on their basic commitments and recognize the ways in which they have fallen short. We issue a call for true free inquiry where those with money and influence like Hank Paulson and Condoleeza Rice do not get to speak louder than everyone else. We are the 99% and we call upon this university uphold its ideals.”


COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Internal Coordination - Mike: Working on a budget proposal. Come to the meetings on Sunday and Wednesday, at Roosevelt University at 6pm.
  • Housing - Mark: Working on finding a winter headquarters where we can sleep, base press/tech/outreach for communities and direct actions. We should be expanding over winter. Housing meeting Wednesday after the GA at 9pm.
  • Civil Liberties Defense - Austin: Collecting contact information from arrestees, both from those fighting and taking plea, we need to coordinate organized actions and make sure you know important information.
    Becca: Sign the petition for the demand to drop the charges.
  • Conflict Resolution - Sean: Meeting on Tuesday at 5.45, Jackson and State.
  • Visual Media - James: Meeting tomorrow after the GA. media@occupychi.org
  • Alley Cats - James: flier distribution bike gang.
  • Diversity - James: if you have connections to organizations working on diversity and/or you can help on this topic, please help to form the new Diversity Committee.
  • Labor, Outreach - Matt: Labor Meeting Tuesday at 6:30pm at Grace Place (637 S. Dearborne). Be ready to go for Thursday Nov. 17th day of actions:
    3:30pm March with Stand Up Chicago leaving from the Thompson Center. Tour and stories from Chicago-area workers as well.
  • Direct Action - Danielle: Day of Action on the 17th of Nov., leaving at 3:30pm from the Thompson center. Invitation to training for a particular action at Grace Place (637 S. Dearborne) at 9pm Tuesday, this will double as the Direct Action meeting of the week.
  • Occupy the South Side - Larnette: Occupy the red line, our first action, bring attention to the new CTA budget, check it out on YouTube.
    OSS meeting is at 3647 S. State, Chicago B library, at 3:30pm on Saturday, Nov. 19th.


PRESENTATIONS

  • Civil Liberties Defense - Rally & Petition to Drop Charges of Those Arrested [link to proposal here]
    Becca: from the Civil Liberties defense committee: A proposal to be read tonight, 24 hours before it is voted on by the GA tomorrow. Petition to drop charges of those arrested, who made a stand to be proud of that will not be in vain. Proposal: A rally on the Nov. 21st, at 4:30 pm at 121 N. LaSalle (City Hall) to serve three purposes:
    1) to demand charges of those arrested be dropped,
    2) to build support for arrestees 3) to demand a permanent home for the Occupation.
    [Stack will occur tomorrow before a vote]
  • SOUL (Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation) - Occupying the South Side
    Shauny: Working on Occupying the South Side’s underserved communities that are not represented and not heard. This is the time to reach out to those in need. We have been focused recently on the issue of sewers. In communities like Riverdale, Calumet Heights, Woodlawn. Here, when it rains, there is a sewage water backup. We have also been working on food justice and bank accountability, specifically surrounding foreclosures. We want to keep families in homes. I myself am going through a foreclosure, one of the ten on my block alone.
  • UChicago Climate action network - Chicago youth climate organization
    Caroline: Can share ways to eliminate consumption of fossil fuels in everyday life and here in Chicago. Against dirty coal plants in Chicago, in Pilsen and Little Village, a new project on the Southeast side-- a coal gasification plant and a cement plant. Fight to end the privileging of corporate profits before health; we have the right to breathe clean air! There will be a teach-in this Friday (11/18) at 7pm at the Woodlawn Collaborative at 64th and Kimbark. There will be free food and an open-mic afterward. This Saturday at noon there will be a rally in the SE side demanding green jobs. [exact address unclear]
  • SSN (Southside Solidarity Network leader) - Opposed to the UChicago ‘revitalization’ of 53rd Street with a Hyatt
    Breta: Opposed to the UChicago 'revitalization' of 53rd Street with a Hyatt, which is the worst in the industry re: injuries on the job and preventing workers from organizing. This project is receiving federal recovery bonds and TIFF money, and they want more. Let’s tell them: If you want our money, these worker’s must have the right to organize. There must be an agreement between the Hyatt and Unite Here! local 1, a ‘card-check neutrality agreement.’ Tomorrow [11/15], there will be a teach-in at 57th and Woodlawn, at the First Unitarian Church of Chicago at 7:30 pm. There will be stories of workers at the Hyatt-- these are strong women who we should join and support!
  • STOP (Southside Together organizing for Power) - Save 63rd and Woodlawn mental health clinic
    Alex: There is an upcoming action to save the 63rd and Woodlawn mental health clinic. Rahm Emaneul is trying to close half of the mental health clinics in Chicago. This, like the lack of Trauma Center on the South Side, is a life or death issue. There will be a city budget vote on Wednesday-- meet at 77 W. Washington to work on actions surrounding this.
  • Progressive Labor Party
    Nick: Against the ‘genocide’ and overworking of workers, budget cuts that kill people with no trauma centers and moving people to different clinics in Cook County. The city has money for cops but not for hospitals. Check out our international newspaper ‘Challenge. ’ We are all the working class. It is symbolic that we are speaking on the site of the first atomic bomb reaction.


BREAKAWAY DISCUSSION SESSION
Kelvin: A chance to speak with the South Side group spokespeople, then stack on discussions.


STACK LINE

  • member of the Progressive Labour Party: The UChicago students said they didn’t intend to shut the speech down, but they should have down just that. We shouldn’t be concerned about freedom of speech when it concerns people like Paulson and Rice who are 1% war mongers who can implement policies unilaterally. We should not let them speak, we should take back power for ourselves.
    • Point of information - re: Paulson. Bought a fellowship at UChicago, the ‘Paulson Center’ is not a physical center but rather a platform to give him a veneer of academic legitimacy. This is a speaking series, and we invite you all back for Bernacke, among others.
  • Larissa: Unveils her AWESOME banner that was to be dropped during the event: “Uchicago for sale #occupychi”


GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • James: Thanksgiving day parade-- human float? Anyone know the guy who proposed this and/or want to help me with it?
  • Joe from ISO: Wednesday 7pm discussion re: new budget cuts, how Occupy can fight back effectively. At the United Methodist Church at Kimball and Brightwood, close to Logan Square blue line stop.
  • African youth coalition against malnutrition, HIV/AIDS [other things listed, but note taker missed some]: Planning to participate in an international protest of a world working toward a common goal. During the G8 dates, the 17th until the 22nd of May. Many actions planned, stay tuned. Let’s show the world we are serious about ending imperialist wars.
  • Molly re: Social Media. Check her out @occupyuchicago; compiling events from the SSN/GSU/Occupy UChi. A platform to keep things rolling-- get in touch, especially Occupy the South Side and Occupy Chicago (downtown).


SOAPBOX

Date: 

Monday, November 14, 2011 - 5:00pm