Day 79 - 7pm General Assembly Minutes

Date/Time: 12/10/11
Location: Congress & Michigan
Attendance Count:
Moderator: Matt, Timekeeper & Stack: Caitlin, Note Taker: Edgar
Vibe Watchers: Lucas & Micah


INTRODUCTION

  • format and explanation of vibe watchers


COMMITTEE ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Conflict Resolution: Nine people went over how to build a discussion about roles. Conflict behavior will have another training session keep an ear out for that
  • Outreach: Occupy Chi has a theater troop, not in it but asked to do something for that. Will do “Occupy My Heart” about a banker. Dec 23rd at 3pm, free to attend already going on, just come out! Want to be on the front of website and want social media involved. It will be on website. Got a kickass cast, director and script. Everyone should come.
  • Housing: Mike: We hope we get through this tonight. After this we have lots of work and we need help so join us! Also there are sub-committees for handling properly. We want new faces, help us do this it will be lots of work. Help us! thank you
  • Education: 3 events from education committee on website [HERE]
  • Tech: Andrew: working to automate approval process. It is automated that for front page postings has to go through website. You have to physically approve the article. It must be on your blog to get on the front page. We have to work this out still. Go back to your committee figure out access one email from committee comes to tech to have access to new system so we did that. Also last night we were informed couple of days ago that other occupies want space on website. We will have this with links to smaller occupies.
  • Press/Social Media: Micah: stay warm. Social media hash tags will be used to try and get trending port shutdown # tag it
  • Labor, Outreach: Andy: four upcoming actions - 1. Dec. 12th West Coast Port shutdown party  2. CTU actions on  Dec. 13th & 14th, should be shown support  3. Dec. 15th Hyatt event  4. should be aware that we have been in contact nationally about an event on Mayday, maybe general strike.
  • Research: Josh: Trying to get together Tuesday afternoon at 12pm Harold Washington Library come talk to me after [research@occupychi.org]
  • Safety & Peacekeepers: Tony: stay warm wear extra socks, we should stay warm be aware of your health we want you to be here
  • Secretariat: tomorrow at 4pm we will have agenda setting meeting come talk to us if you want to come
  • Organizing: Storm: Email is org@hushmail.org we have clothes if you need them. Occupy the Hood and Anti-Eviction Clain are doing a training 12-4pm 8730 S Throop St. Come out


CALLS FOR ASSISTANCE

  • World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates: “Stand up speak up for rights and freedom.” Honarary chair Rahm Emanuel.  If you want help research why this is a bad idea
  • Donations: Half comm. annc/call to action: Looking for administrators and bookkeeping, this won’t take too much of your time.
  • Free Free Market: we're collecting donations collecting at 5560 S Woodlawn, Gallery b1e and 6902 North Glenwood. Looking for toys, appliances, food, etc for Woodlawn residents.
  • Trying to start Occupy Poetry, talk to Ryan.
  • Southeastsider. Trying to start a rally
  • Bring prepaid envelopes to Grace Place, guy will put singles in it mail to banks.
  • Has a newspaper.
  • Looking for money to purchase furnace/pipes for reclaimed foreclosures.
  • NB Church at 66th and king
  • G8: Keith is working on direct action for G8, needs help from tech and DA

 

PROPOSALS FOR VOTING TONIGHT

  • Occupy the Southside: Jan. 1st action - PASSED (unanimously in favor)
    Occupy the Southside proposes that the Occupy Chicago General Assembly endorse, support, participate in, and help to organize a southside march and speak-out against police violence on January 1, 2012. The march will be held on the anniversary of the murder of Oscar Grant by BART Police officers in Oakland, California. A proposal for a similar march was passed by the Oakland General Assembly.
    We whole-heartedly condemn the brutal murder of Oscar Grant that took place on January 1, 2009. But we know that the murder of Oscar Grant was not an isolated incident. Across the country, low-income communities of color face daily harassment by police, often resulting in physical abuse or murder. The Occupy movement has seen firsthand how brutal the police force can be. Over 5,000 people have been arrested for demonstrating their right to peacefully assemble. The videos of police destroying property, firing rubber bullets, pepper spraying at close range, and using violent means to evict the non-violent Occupy movement.
    Chicago is ground zero for police misconduct and brutality. In the last five years, 200 people have been shot by CPD, 40% of those shootings have resulted in death. Flint Farmer and Darius Pinex, both young Black men, were both shot by killer cop Gildardo Sierra, who should be put behind bars for murder. Chicago's legacy of police torture, headed up by Commander Jon Burge, terrorized Black and Latino communities in Chicago for over two decades, resulting in many wrongful convictions, including death penalty sentences. In the past two years, there were 111 cases reported of sexual harassment, abuse and rape by Chicago police officers. Of these 111 cases, only two resulted in disciplinary action for the officers involved.
    Our movement has to be clear that we will stand against police brutality wherever it rears its ugly head. We stand united with those communities who are most affected by police misconduct and violence. We ask that Occupy Chicago stand with Occupy the Southside as we confront police terror in our community.
    • Stack-  please only bring up concerns ask questions separately
    • No one for stack, motion to vote - PASSED UNANIMOUSLY
  • Secretariat: Approval Voting for the Indoor Housing Proposals - PASSED (0 opposed, unanimously in favor)
    Overview of housing vote: In order to facilitate consensus-based voting between several indoor housing location options, the Secretariat proposes the GA adopt an approval voting system for the Housing Vote during the 7pm General Assembly on Saturday, Dec. 10th, 2011.Approval voting is a system which allows people to express all of the options they are content with. The options are read out one by one, and people can vote for all of the ones they find acceptable. The one with the most number of votes wins, which is the option supported by the largest number of people. We will vote on three spaces, as well as none of the above. If you are ok with the first space, or no space, you can vote for option one, and. "none of the above". If you are ok with all of them, but want at least one of them, you can vote for all three but not for "none of the above".
    • Stack on concerns of voting-
      • Wanted to point out that 9/10th's is unproductive. I support this format for tonight
    • Vote - PASSED (0 opposed, unanimously in favor)
  • Housing: Proposals for Indoor Space - 500 W. Cermak wins with 69 votes
    Secretariat noted that there was a criteria established by the Housing Committee for selecting options. If interested, printed copies available [as well as info on the forums]
    To determine the order in which proposals were read, Secretariat drew the options from a hat:
    1. None of the Above
    2. 900 S Wabash - 
    Keith:  3900 sq feet. Lockable room with a safe door. Extra shelf space for tech 5x10. Wabash & 9th, 3 blocks from Roosevelt (green, red orange lines). No kitchen, only 1 bathroom. Owned by 1%'er. 150x18. exposed windows, corner property. 1st floor, handicap accessible. 1 stall, shared space.
    Price: $1650
    3. 500 W. Cermak - Zoe: Housing Committee voted to endorse this location. Lease is for 2 spaces to satisfy varied needs. 5 blocks from Cermak Red Line, It is 2.8 miles from Jackson and LaSalle and within walking distance from a night owl bus line; street and lot parking. UNIT 501: 3393 sq. ft., $3100/mo. - would be a working space for committees and a base for tech and other committees in need of lockable working spaces. It includes a kitchenette with a refrigerator and microwave. Bathroom with a private toilet, sink, and Jacuzzi bathtub. 3 soundproofed spaces that could fit 2-5 desks each. One soundproofed space that could fit one desk. AC is installed in unit. Larger meeting space for approx. 30 people. Two smaller rooms that could fit 10-15 people for committee meetings. Two eternal, wall-mounted, waterfalls. Unit 700: 2489 sq. ft., $2489/mo. -  large open space to be used for winter G.A. meetings as well as teach-ins, art projects, trainings and larger events organized and hosted by OC. Bathroom with a sink and toilet. Kitchenette with a refrigerator. Suspended shelving/storage area (previously used to support a projector). The floors below and above this unit are exclusively used for storage. Maximum occupancy of 622. All utilities, including electricity, heat (in some cases AC as well), trash, gas, and water, are included in the rent. Rent is month to month, it is also possible to pay a lump sum up front for an established period of time. Benefactor X has indicated their desire to donate around $3000/mo. towards housing for OC. There are private, working bathrooms available in each of the units we’re pursuing. Additionally the 5th and 7th floors have two bathrooms available for general use. Freight & passenger elevators are available for general use. Loading dock is available. We are free to paint the walls and generally make our spaces our own so long as we make no structural changes without management’s approval. There are separate, secure, inexpensive, storage units available for rent in the building. The building, originally the Thompson and Taylor Spice Company, was built in 1911. For more information regarding the history and politics of the area and building, please direct questions to Kristy or Bill. FRIENDLY AMENDMENT: Any of the following three qualifications will trigger a process of moving our base of operations to a new space: 1.) If the weekly average of GA attendance is greater than 75% of the legal maximum occupancy of the space. 2.) If the attendance on three consecutive Friday or Saturday GA's exceeds 75% of maximum occupancy. 3.) If any of the codes required by law for a commercial space to posses are discovered to be missing or unsatisfied.
    4. 620 S. Dearborn - Dr. Lora: Ex-WaMu branch across from Grace Place. 2560 sq feet, $5500/month plus utilities. 840 sq feet for GA (340-people max standing). 2 full restrooms. whole space handicap accessible
    • Stack on all 4 options:
      • 1st I love the Cermak location, it’s got a Jacuzzi. I’m concerned about making the rent. Dearborn is closer.
        • Direct Response: benefactor x has offered $3000/month, we have about 25000 in donations, with more coming, including $10,000 from OWS
      • I went to all three, and Cermak is a little far away, the others are within walking distance.
      • I was in the minority that voted against Cermak last week. I was led to believe it was in worse condition than it actually is. Check out the pictures.
      • Who’s going to be on the lease?
        • Direct Response: We have discussed several options, but haven’t decided yet.
      • I like the Cermak, but I’m afraid we’d get to comfortable and stay year round instead of just for the winter.
        • Friendly Amendment: we should take a vote in March on whether or not we stay - NOT ACCEPTED
      • I’m pro cermak: We’ve sorted out all safety questions. Downtown is not the center of the world. Those safety concerns come from a white, middle-class perspective. This helps address segregation.
      • Internal of cermak is very nice. I believe there are some inspection issues with a lot of properties. Dearborn didn’t really have any problems, it’ll pass inspection. If we negotiate for longer periods of time, we can get the price down. Most of what we do is in the loop. We should maintain a central location.
      • Keith estimated that there’s a 3 month period, but winters often last longer. Proximity of space to McCormick Center (for G8) should be a consideration.
        • Point of Information: McCormick is at 22nd Street
      • Thanks to housing for all their hard work. I wish Cermak was closer to LaSalle and Jackson. Dearborn is very close and I like that. If we could, I say get both. Dearborn won’t be big enough. Cermak has lots of space.
      • Of the 3, Cermak gives us most financial flexibility, most space. We need to encourage people to come to GA in bigger #s. Winter is only so unpredictable, it will be warm by late May. Cermak is closest to G8/NATO
      • For Tech cermak is the most appropriate location, impressed with interior of building. We don’t have to have a storefront. In presentation, the owner wants to grow with us. Management would support us. I appreciate everyone’s work put into offering these options.b
        Moderator: stack is closed
      • Mike: Cermak proposal was worked on by me. We looked at many properties. Occupations want to join us and NATO/G8 can give us a thing to unify. We can have all the neighborhood occupations come with us and build a community. Questions about other properties. Concerns with other properties about utilities and security deposits. Do owners of other properties know that we are OC?
        • Point of Information: 900 S Wabash does not know, 620 S Dearborn does know.
      • Josh from housing: Dearborn place concern doesn’t have a good space for multiple uses. Dearborn place does not fit housing criteria well enough. It's cold lets pick wisely
      • Want to reiterate about not thinking about it as a permanent spot. People around the world will want us to have a camp close by for G8/NATO. Maybe we cant handle this we should consider this.
      • Thank you housing for the work. Concerns of Dearborn looks like a bank. I don’t want to work in something that looks like a bank. Cermak fits the criteria the best. This space will allow us to better build consensus building
      • Wabash: carpeting or electrical outlets? 3 months? Approved occupancy of this space? This is too incomplete but we should take it into consideration. Cermak isn’t safe you can break into it. Would rather say central. Cermak is too far south and inside dangerous neighborhood. Homeless will not have access.
      • Cermak is secure. Centralizing is incorrect we should expand. I'm from Southside. I want satellites everywhere. I don’t want to centralize. We should expand. Cermak has lockable spaces and committee spaces. We get more bang for buck at Cermak from amount of space and everything else. We think Cermak presentation is most prepared. Support this place. We can have an awesome cultural hub.
      • Concern about Cermak from labor point of view we will have look. Not only do we need to grow and expand, it is multi functioning but also we get to have it close to G8. Don’t be swayed by fear or violence vote wisely
      • Friendly amendment request: that ga is final authority on all matters pertaining to the space
      • Cermak is an awesome space. We can have space for childcare, we should consider. We need to include that and something that flexibility of Cermak offers
      • Wish cermak was closer. Will have to take bus and train. It is inconvenient for some people but not major. Dearborn has flaws, so does Wabash. Just one big open room not multi accessible. Wabash has one bathroom, concern. 150x18? Long narrow space. Does not sound like a great place to have meeting want to see pictures.
      • I worked near Cermak. I don’t like it, there are 0 witnesses for when we get raided. We can build stuff into Dearborn.
      • I like Dearborn. We can have meetings there, we can move back and forth from HQ. I don’t like the building or the neighborhood for 500 Cermak.
      • Midwest Occupations are looking to us to be a hub. Occupations want to come here and organize nationwide. Cermak is perfect for G8/NATO. Majority of occupations are being raided. We need a place that’s ours.
      • I really like 500 Cermak, been there several times. We are talking about carpools, bike chariots
    • Vote - Cermak wins with 69 votes
      • what happens is? Next steps: lease holder. Just one, best option. Occupy Chicago has no legal status. Housing will have meetings about soon. Then we need to find out about donations also. You can also sign up to google groups. Does this approval release funding? It will need to come back to GA
      • [Housing Committee Page: http://occupychi.org/housing]


GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • We will work on transport for Cermak. GA might okay for gas?
  • Last week spoke with a reporter from Boston. First occupation to have housing through winter. We are leading way! After all fighting, tonight was an incredibly cordial GA. Thank you for making this possible!
  • Downers Grove wants to get involved
  • Thursday Direct Action event got to support a family suffering. She is an Iraqi vet who lost her legs, fighting in congress. Wants peace for all occupies who supports us all the way.
  • This day is mens I get to join other committees!
  • We have fliers to hand out in neighborhoods we need to canvass and get businesses involved. We need to support and respect each other! We will have opportunity to build community and we need to pledge to do so! Can be community of entire city of Chicago. We need to work together!
  • Want to thank Secretariat. Hats off to them!
  • Call for volunteers Dec. 18th needs help from Arts and Rec to do face painting look for me after GA [or here]
  • Pastor Corey Brooks wants to know if anyone can come down tomorrow from 10am-2pm he wants help collecting donations.
  • I've been wanting to join for weeks, finally had a chance to come down. Been an activist for years. After 25 years I saw “this is Democracy” You made a decision based on what was best, no politics and personal issues. I actually feel blessed to be hear today.
  • I thought for sure we would start fighting, but I’m glad we were so peaceful, I really liked the voting system.
  • It was great that we all came together to make this decision.
  • One of Pastor Brooks’ Assistants has offered to do a teach-in on how to handle situations of violence. Wednesday (12/14) before GA, location TBA
  • I work hard on donations. We had a hell of a struggle, housing had a hell of a struggle. We are passed those major issues, now we can actually focus on what matters.  I am so proud of Chicago tonight.
  • I’m so glad I came out tonight. There have been like 80mil attacks on reproductive rights. Obama backed Sobelias’ decision to not let underage girls get emergency contraception, that is a serious issue!
  • ISO throws a kickass holiday party stone soup coop. chicagosocialists.org
  • I don’t get to come to a lot of GA's, I’m so glad I got to be a part of this. We will have other issues in the future, but I know we can face them.

Date: 

Saturday, December 10, 2011 - 7:00pm

Comments

What is your plan for when the troops assemble?

Tell me your not thinking of staying here through spring and summer!

Can you seriously not see the fatal flaw in this location. Look at a map. When the authorities decide, for whatever reason to contain or detain you, this centralized location makes their work much simpler. You have no where to go, and too few will be inconvinienced by their operations. Google it and look at the map! (Your up against a river with no boats.)

The FBI and the Chicago Police could not be happier with this decision.

"Midwest Occupations are looking to us to be a hub. Occupations want to come here and organize nationwide. Cermak is perfect for G8/NATO. Majority of occupations are being raided. We need a place that’s ours."

It will only be yours on the inside, only only for those foolish enough to come in.