February 11th, Saturday, GA Notes

Moderator - Ryan

Notetaker – Bunny

Timekeeper – Keilah



Committee Announcements

Arts and Rec

Occupy Chicago Rebel Arts Collective

2215 W. North Ave

February 24


February 15 Protest


Daley Center

Rally at 6:00pm

DAC meeting Sunday at 12pm


Sunday 7pm


Working to organize Treasury, Finance, Donations

Meeting at Cermak on Sunday at 2pm Room 700

Thinking about renting storage space at Cermak since Grace Place is closing

Social Media

Livestreaming and livetweeting – not going to be tweeting people’s names out to the twittersphere. You can request not to be livetweeted. Discussing alternative social media platforms. Needs help on Occupy Chicago Wikipedia page, Google Plus, and reddit.

Secretariat needs help. Calendar for meetings. If you see the email, don’t ignore it. Or you can email Keilah and she’ll email it to you.

Secretaries organize proposals and put the schedules together and make sure that the minutes go up.


Calls For Assistance

Joe Iosbaker – 24 Anti War and Solidarity activists who are facing serious repression from FBI. February 26 at Casa Atzlan Carlos Montes speaking.

Rachel – Press Committee – Columbia College on the ground – What do you think about the war on Terrorism? Outreach for Occupy Chicago…would like to start a working group for public outreach project.

Andy – This week has brought in reality that some of our members are not very well off – mental issues, drug and alcohol issues. Starting working group to outreach to different places to help these people out.

Todd- The Wifi Project is looking for people who have time during the day to make phone calls.

American activist were arrested in Bahrain. 97339886642 State Dept in Bahrain 202647400 in DC 2026476575 alt DC. We’re supplying weapons to the other side to crush the Arab Spring there.

Gregory – former prisoner for six years in solitary. February 20 Occupy for Prisoners. 5pm at La Salle and Jackson to Metro prison. Meeting Sunday at 2pm at cermak. Focused on ending mass incarceration

Matt – A7 working group. Meeting next Sunday. Want as many activist groups as possible.

Occupy El Barrio February 17 at 7 pm. Precious Knowledge movie screening at

Human Thread Gallery.

Occupy SE Side – Crystal needs people.

Queer Working Group looking to do a march on April 21. 

Occupy Rogers Park is looking to do outreach in northern Rogers Park where there has been a lot of violence has been happening. Forming an Alliance with a dance group called the 808s. They’re interested in working with Occupy so they want to facilitate by supporting their performance on February 13. 1610 W. Howard. 10 dollar donation. 7pm.

Andy – Gay Liberation network action against Cardinal George . 10:30 am Sunday February 12 735 N. State Street




Voting Proposals


Labor March

Andy from Labor

Immigrant and Labor march on May 1

Proposes OC actively seek out labor and immigrant organizations already planning marches to organize mass solidarity


Stack –

What solidarity actually means. How we go out and fight side by side with other organizations to build our movement too. Start explaining concretely to other people why we are fighting how we are fighting. We are place where people can come and turn back the tide against the thousands of cuts against us. I think that this march is a clear start to how we are going to do that. People who are getting behind this should really mobilize and help.

Andy is proposing that OC fundamentally and wholeheartedly orient their resources towards a mass immigrant labor march. They are saying THIS IS WHAT WE ARE DOING ON MAY 1.

Mike – Wanted to speak really quick about outreach. Glad to see new faces but what he would like to see is more immigrants. Make this a safe space where they can come and voice issues. He would also like to see more organized labor and he feels like the march could be a major step towards building those ties.

Speaker – would like to see how this is a rival call to the adbusters call.

Speaker – wouldn’t say it was a rival call. 100s of thousands of people on the streets, a show of our power, tell people what we are right before NATO.

Rachel – one thing that we are hearing from interoccupy is that other occupy cities are doing general strikes that they might not be coming OC to protest. They might be working on another date closer to the summits.

Andy – there is a labor meeting every Tuesday at 6:30 at Cermak.


Next Proposal:


Content Moderation

Andrew – Tech

Gives the tech committee the consent to remove content that is in direct conflict with the established message of OC. Content on forums will remain unfiltered.

Abel – Can you give us a concrete example of what could happen?

Andy – Someone who maybe decides to write a blog post about blowing up a building. Say during NATO G8 someone posts about another group doing other tactics, it needs to come down.

Abel- the current system needs six approvals to get to the front page and he thinks this is censorship.

Ryan- proposer should just clarify, not debate

James – Maybe not for front page, since they have to go through proposals. FA? Maybe just blog posts since they don’t need approvals. She supports it but wants to make sure people are not being censored. She wants more clear guidelines so tech doesn’t just take stuff down that they don’t agree with.

Speaker – Want it moved to a different section of the website with an explanation, not completely removed from the site. If GA does not agree with the removal, it can be replaced.

Matt – this proposal seems really broad, which he doesn’t like. He doesn’t see how this falls under what the tech committee should be doing. SM runs our Facebook page and Twitter and we trust them. Press sends out statements. He doesn’t think that Tech should be in charge of it. He knows that tech is a small committee and he thinks he’s a big responsibility for such a small committee.

POI- Josh – Website is not social media which is why social media is not involved.

Matt – he thinks if SM is not interested, it should be handled by another committee, not tech.

Speaker – If you vote for this, please do not vote for the Chicago Principles. If we are later going to be voting to experess solidarity with CANG8, we get to set our own identity by speaking in public. Solidarity with other organizations is not solidarity with 99%.

Chris – Wants to draw comparison against free speech and fair speech. The forums are meant for debate and none of that will be censored. She says from experience from running other medias where they struggle with same thing. Do they want to be a raw, free speech site where orgs like KKK can post about things that defy everything we agree on or do we tell them to get their own website. On the front page, there is a double step for the people who run the website for the people who actually show up to GA to have their space. It’s way of balancing of where we are at and the face we are putting forward without discouraging dissension in the forums in a way more open way/

Mike – there is a reason why we have things that are specifically designed as principles because we have a 90 percent approval. It’s really ahrd to get things passed by 90 percent. That’s a huge thing. Stuff that doesn’t matter gets passed easily. There have been heated debates. In contrast, the six person system goes on the front page that represent us.

Zoe- On the front page, there is a side bar that says unapproved content. Would you also be going through and taking things out of that?

Andy – He doesn’t suspect any problems but this is mostly targeted at the unapproved content. Essentially, yes.

Zoe- I fully support this.

Kelly- I’m not entirely sure why there is any dissent. Tech manages the site, it seems counterproductive to tell them this is not their role. The site is the public face and should be in line with what was approved with 90 percent. If a small group of people can get something on the front page that fundamentally contradicts our message, it should come down.

Josh – Supports it because he doesn’t seem a problem. OC represents the GA. Collection of those people who live in Chicago and Occupy. If something on there doesn’t represent the GA, it doesn’t represent our movement. It makes sense.

Rebecca – if we approve this proposal, is everything going to be flagged to be read and how are you going to catch something before it becomes an issues

Keilah – worried that something might be taken down that isn’t as controversial as it seems to be and it’s taken down and the information doesn’t get out. FA? that it’s not a vote to get it put back up via temp check by GA.

Andy – this is a pre-emptive thing. I don’t like to censor.

Abel – This has not been discussed in tech committee so this is not a tech proposal. I don’t see this as a proposal from tech committee, it is a proposal from Andy. It’s not the responsibility of the tech to moderate content on the website. Tech provides the tools that allows OC to do what they want with the content. We should allow other committee to moderate.

Ryan – when this originally came up, there was an incorrect post about where GA is and we didn’t have a mechanism to take it down.


Next Proposal:

Rachel – Chicago Principles

Voting on each proposal separately

Few reasons proposal: Solidarity, Media Campaign – does not want to talk about protesters vs. protesters or protesters vs. cops. Our message needs to get out. CANG8 is the main group organizing for the summits in Chicago. We’re hopping on their organizing and out of respect to them and the huge coalition that they created, we should sign.


Stack –

Joe Iosbaker – CANG8 – in favor. He first learned of this in 2008 at RNC protests. They took part in permitted march of 30K. Last big antiwar march of Bush administration. Everyone abided by the St. Paul principles. He knows that they work from personal experience. Historically, these principles arise from WTO protests in Seattle.

M- Strongly in favor of passing the principles. These are really important given the conversations that have been happening in different occupations. Biggest protest on the planet and we are lucky enough to be working with other orgs before people get here. People are concerned with our actions being mistaken for other peoples actions. Adopting these principles will allow us to focus on our business without worrying about everyone else. What we have to do wis foucs on the task at hand and we need to unify because our resources are nothing compared to theirs. We have a principle that says we are non-violent but he suggests taken off peaceful.

K- she gets that people will think that people will misunderstand us because we are solidarity but we can fix that. We shouldn’t surrender the narrative to the people who want to focus on dividing us.

Speaker – The amount of the repression we are looking at us and they are looking to divide us. We are trying to establish and defend the movement democracy. Showing respect and asking for it in return. The second bit is to not allow media spin and police involvement. A way of establishing to what we are and what we want. Diversity of tactics doesn’t say that we are not going to discuss and criticize tactics. If we’re not having those debates, we’re doing a disservice. We should discuss and have robust conversations.

Zoe- Accepting principles will instill trust in OC from other orgs. All of the other orgs have by default and tells them that they trust us to do their thing and we trust them to do theirs. We need to establish trust with as many orgs as possible and we have not been around long enough to establish this. She also thinks that it should not be voted on together.

Jay- CANG8 – It’s a piece of paper. It’s what we do to support each other is what is important. The fact that the debate is well articulated is a good thing and that people have different viewpoints. There is no enforcement mechanism that is going to spank OC. It’s something that has sparked great debate. There is a crisis going on this planet and a lot people are suffering and that’s what spawned Occupy. I might not like the black bloc or I might but it’s not up to the Tribune to tell us to trash them.

Andy – CANG8 – He would like to focus on messaging for better or worse himself and others have been doing the media for CANG8. You’re lucky if you get two sentences in. We have an opportunity to focus on the violence on the 1%. The media doesn’t want to focus on that they want to focus on the violence of those other protesters. He’s never been asked about the violence of NATO G8 by the MSM. If he says one bad thing about another protester, the media will run with it. This about the face we put forward to the rest of the world. Pass them and take advantage of this opportunity to stick it to the 1%

Babur – Supports. These other orgs have been around before us and we need to come together with them and not waste our time and let’s get ready for the summits and do it together.

Chris – would like to a point about disinformation. To be honest, she’s speaks "as an old geezer and malcontent". PDA for Obama and there’s nothing better than call them a sellout but really, that’s not we want to be talking to. It’s a way of imposing discipline on people like her. We lead with affirming and it does another important tactical thing by the cops or media as a source of disinformation.

Andy – I am in full agreement. We don’t who is going to be with us. They could be orgs we have already coordinated with. It could be other occupations. We should not trash those relationships. We have opportunities to form relationships. Maybe they use a tactic we don’t agree with but we could make better alliances in the future. You don’t talk shit about other people.

Andy – In complete agreement. The 1% highly organized. This is a war. We’re in a battle. They want to exploit you. They know how to get it because they have solidarity. Do we want to keep bickering about forming solidarity or do we want to kick their ass?

Matt- In support. Deeply believes in solidarity. There is going to be a whole of people, a whole lot of diverse actions, all sorts of shit that we can’t stop because people are frustrated and they deserve to be. They are going to try to divide us. I was in St. paul where the principles were passed. Tear gassed, concussion grenades, in a cell for three days. I know who my friends are and I know who my enemies are.

S- I think we should support this. There is an OccuMyth that this endorses a diversity of tactics. We are going to agree to stay out of our way and we’ll stay out of yours. This is how we can insure we have safe spaces. This isn’t saying that we aren’t going to criticize or debate tactics. Those debates stay internal.

Samwise – I 195.5% support these principles. He misses the first principle. Everyone should vote for it.

Eric – CANG8- I wonder if it would be considered friendly Chicago principles voted on as a block. Not the product of just CANG8. To echo that they have been misunderstood. Doesn’t say you stand in solidarity with diverse tactics. Right to be respected and right to say those who don’t respect it can be asked to abide by it. Doesn’t say anything against criticism.

S- Yes I am in solidarity. I am not in solidarity with violence. As an individual, you can do what you want  but she doesn’t think criticism should be internal to the movement.

Abel – This is my first activism. The thing I like about Occupy Chicago is that it is non-violent. This proposal weakens that stance. Principles and expiration are contradictory. It makes no sense. Not respecting GA process.

Ryan – Process for re-proposal is simple. You can talk to people who voted no and try to assuage concerns. There must be more people present than the GA that it failed at.

Matt – We can’t have another version. These groups were already working on it. To say that we should modify for us is egotistical. There is nothing about these are going to change who we are. Are you proposing that we don’t participate?

S- I like for our movement to succeed which is why internal democracy is essential. Folks are saying that this is only for talking to the media. I don’t want people thrown out for people for talking to the media. The media is going to pressing this anyway.

s- Issue that noone brought is agent provateurs. What happened in Oakland and Seattle. Level of fear amongst immigrations because we can’t vet ourselves. Not saying we have to paranoid.

Kelvin – Last time I voted against, this time I am voting for is because of the sunset clause. There ought to be serious debates out our own principles. What is going to be important that we have enough people that buy into them. There’s no way to enforce them. Time to think about what solidarity really means. We need to have that debate.

Daniel – I have a worry of mine in regards to the Occupy movement in general that we get lost in a circle jerk of our own making. I support the no snitching but am less supporting of no criticism.

J- I heard about kicking someone out over not abiding and I heard no language saying that.

Josh – FA? I have a problem with no criticism. As an individual, I should be able to criticize on my facebook page.

POI- Chris – this is an organizational affirmation. I speak only for myself.




First thing up for a vote – May 1 action

0 Opposed

1 Abstain




Content Moderation

4 Opposed

10 Abstentions

49 For



Chicago Principles

4 Opposed

3 Abstentions

57 For



Sunset Clause for Chicago Principles

40 Opposed

13 Abstentions

5 For

Proposal Fails


No Snitching


3 Opposed

6 Abstentions

54 For



Weird business:

Should we allow person who got suspended on bad facts back in? Temp check:Yes

Occupy El Barrio and other groups have been working towards closing down the remaining coal plants. Rahm pledged to close them down and over 50% city council supports it. They are pushing the city council to have a hearing on this next Weds. Proposal to have social media promote this for now. Temp check: Yes.


General Announcements:

Chicago Ten showing tonight.

Dan and Carrie – We have pulled out of every meeting with city but there is a meeting with the Secret Service on Thursday for parade routes for NATO G8.

Trying to build allies for April 7 actions. If you have any contacts with activists networks, we’d appreciate it if you could reach out to them. Meeting for potential allies February 19. Potluck dinner.

Neuro Social Engineering flyer on table. Facilitate better communication.

Teaching a class on economic class at the hacker space.

This Friday was supposed to reserved for what we are doing well. Please come to that discussion. With regards to the vote, after we vote on stuff, we get lazy about looking back on stuff. There’s a lot of tension and disagreement about stuff. OO specifies what things mean. I think it’s good if we have those discussions. Also starting a working group talking about long term visions and goals.



Andy – I want to end things on something positive. The last few weekends have been rough but this weekend has been awesome. It’s been respectful. Everyone has been really on point and trying to work towards real consensus. As we move forward, we are getting more and more organized and we’re like a family. The atmosphere is vastly different that other occupations and we have something really good going here.

Abel – I just wanted to say that this is probably the worst GA for me. I feel very hurt to see the process being abused instead of people trying to respect the consensus. I feel people pushed the proposal through and worked around consensus.

Keilah- I think the power for friendly amendments should belong to the voters.

Jenny – I think there are anarchists and etc. and capitalism is demonized. A system can be tweaked to accommodate for people. Same with economists. Economists are descriptive scientists. It’s the most mathematical of social sciences.  We don’t have enough discussions about globalization.

Ryan – I have been meaning to talk about the amendment process that we have for months and I always forget. This is part of the general rules passed for OC early on. A proposer brings a proposal to the GA. During the presentation, people can offer amendments. If the proposal is friendly, it is added to the proposal. If it is not, the GA gets to decide. It’s done by  50% vote and it happens after the vote on the proposal. That’s supposed to be temp checked. That rule hasn’t been followed usually, it kinda got lost. We are working on a re-draw. There is a document out there that outlines them kinda well bit it isn’t great but I am going to work on making sure that gets done and that meetings adhere to that.

Kelvin – We need to start thinking about proposals how they would work for everyone. We need to start thinking about how we can bring up concerns and how we can move everyone forward with us and we need to work towards consensus. The other thing I want to talk about Committee of Organizing Groups is offering training. IRON network is hosting. Talk to him to get signed up.

When we talk about the Chicago Principles, there was a redundant amendment about OC being non-violent. I don’t know if people know what being non-violent means. When we know what that means in the context, it means a lot more than a word. In the civil rights movement, it was a way of life. It took a lot of training to get people using it in their protests. I’m trying to get folks on board to do some hands on non-violence training for our movement. I think that is something we could all benefit from and I am interested in talking to other individuals interested in fostering an understanding.

Sean – let’s imagine we’ve agreed on consensus, about voting and it’s pressure to support proposals.


Saturday, February 11, 2012 - 7:00pm