Occupy Chicago Day 67 11/29/11 7pm General Assembly Minutes

General Assembly November 29th 2011

Evelyn, moderator. Kelvin, stack. Patrick, time keep. Edgar, minutes.

  • Format, hand signals, rules.
  • We are non violent, non partisan, peaceful movement. Everyone is welcome.

-Agenda is read out loud.

-No human mic due to the amount of speaking we must do at G.A. tonight.

-Committee announcements:

  • Secretariat: Meetings which usually occur Sundays at 4pm at the corner bakery on Jackson & Michigan have now been moved to Thursdays at 5:30 at the same location. Sunday at noon we will also have facilitator training, location TBA.
  • Teach in on stopping cps school closings Sat. Dec 3rd  from 10 am to 2pm at 4445 s Drexel blvd, King College Prep for more info call 312.329.9100 or visit www.ctunet.com. December 13th 6pm 125 s clark street Vigil at Board of Education. Dec. 14th 6 a.m. speak out! At the Board of Education monthly meeting 125 s. clark.
  • Mona: I do traditional medicine, I would like to offer my time and services tonight.
  • Civil Liberties Defense Committee: submit your name to NLG if you want to fight charges from the occupation attempts at the torch. Email stats.occupychi@gmail.com.
  • Legal committee meetings: on Tuesday and Friday (location TBA)
  • Outreach committee: We would like to ask G.A. to participate in canvasing tomorrow morning at 10am or 3pm at Shirley’s house 11651 s Artesian, near Western. Tell people about the eviction and about the bank that foreclosed on them.
  • Social media: You must put events on the website calendar and link with all your info to social media. This will make the process of getting you out there more efficiently and will help get more people to come out to events.
  • Press committee: we are meeting Thursday at Roosevelt university at 5:30pm room 516.
  • Mark from Housing: Office space showing tomorrow at 3pm 2341 s Michigan ave. After G.A. that day, housing will have its meeting at Mcdonalds 111 W. Jackson near HQ.
  • Conflict resolution: State and Jackson Barnes & Noble meeting location about proposal to involve mediation between members, peace circles and peace councils. At 5:45pm tomorrow.
  • SEIU is organizing a trip to Occupy D.C., and will pay for busing to take Occupiers there. There are places to stay around the area. Get Patrick your info to get signed up for this, his email is Mr.robinson.pr@gmail.com. We have a small number going and we need more people to take advantage of this opportunity. Dec 5th-9th. Are the dates you would leave and come back.
  • Friday 5:30 Safety & Peacekeeping committee will gather at HQ and decide to go to a location from there. This is a reboot meeting.
  • Anton from Occupy the South side: we occupied L cars, it was successful. Tomorrow, parents of murdered children killed by officer sierra will will have a rally and will have a separate march against police brutality on January 1st .
  • Occupy Chicago has been referencing local politics and working with organizations to block the CME tax break bill. It passed through the senate, but in the house it was blocked by 99 votes. We are making a difference. We can claim a victory.
  • Social media will call attention to the CME tax break bill topic through Twitter, Facebook, etc.

-Call to Assistance

  • Max: an idea for action on Saturday. Australia will have march for marriage rights for gays and they along with other countries would like to have events on this day as well.
  • 99%: on 66th & MLK drive a man is Occupying his Roof. Come Occupy with him this Sunday. New beginnings church.
  • Evelyn: Sexist and misogynistic remarks have caused me to take a break from Occupy. I am also not the only woman that has gone through this. We need to raise awareness on this issue. I will start setting up monthly trainings. evelyndehais@gmail.com, evelyn@occupychi.org If you know how to do trainings and educate, please contact me.
  • Kelvin: I will explain to you how the break works: right after the calls to assistance, ask us for help or to clear up things about our G.A. or any other general questions so far.

-Proposal Presentations:

  • Proposal #1 Josh:


“The House of Reps and Senate are both considering bills that would severely affect the freedoms of the American people. The “Stop Online Piracy Act” in the House of Reps and its companion legislation “Protect IP” in the Senate would make it legal to shut down web sites that have any content which infringes on copyright. This will endanger sites like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Youtube, Reddit, Etsy, Tumblr – any site with user-generated content. This will censor the free speech of millions of Americans across the country and benefit only the interest of corporations. 


Corporations in the recording and movie industries are pouring millions of dollars into these two bills. This is exactly the kind of corporate influence in politics that Occupy Chicago is here to fight! We propose that we publicly denounce these two bills, and mobilize our supporters to call their senators and congressmen to voice their strong opposition, and take action to fight these bills!” (Direct Language of Proposal)


  • Proposal #2 Ruben:


“Committees which have an established voting system can not change the voting system without it passing through the current voting system.

This prevents a small group of people from coercing the rest of the committee (and even Occupy Chicago where the committee is tasked with making decisions that affect the entire movement) when the previous vote or votes did not satisfy them.

I understand sometimes voting can be blocked by a minority, but this should be solved by dialogue between the affected parties and consensus building, not through arbitrarily changing the rules of the committee.”(Direct Language of Proposal)


  • Proposal #3 Laura: presenting something drafted by Dr. Lora


“Hi, this is Dr. Lora and I just verified that we can move our GAs indoors starting this Thurs, for 2 nights a week---yahoo!!!

UE Hall, 37 S. Ashland has said that we can move our GAs indoors starting this Thursday, Dec 1st and continue there, indoors, on Thurs and Sunday evenings for the rest of the winter until the Spring.

The cost will be $50 a night. We can go night to night, week to week or month to month.

We will get a 100 person capacity hall with 60 person capacity downstairs meeting area with full kitchen. People can come and go from the downstairs area to the main hall.

We can stay until 1am and open at 6-6:30pm
It is handicapped accessible for the main room.

There is ample and free parking on the streets around the hall and it is 5 blocks to the Blue Line L stop at Illinois Medical District, also Ashland Buses stop near.

UE is a very supportive Union who will not be endorsing Obama in the next election, they have already had their convention for this year and did not to endorse him. They are supportive of all of our work including standing up to Rahm! They will not withdraw their support of our work, they are with us 100%

We have the possibility to get some storage in the building if we enter into an agreement with Stand Up to share their small space, 20 by 20, just for storage. That would cost $190 a month, if we all agree and they are open to the idea, then we would get 4 free nights for the main room, so we would save $10 amonth.

The space that many of the Housing committee is looking at is 500 W. Cermak, it is very, very close to the Fisk Generating Station (power plant) at 1111 W. Cermak, this is a very dangerous area for anyone with respiratory disease, the respiratory challenged amongst us should be able to come to at least a few of the GAs to support our work. Pregnant women and children also should not go to 500 W. Cermak, the air is really not good for anyone but we should have some available meeting times for those whose health would be negatively impacted by going down to the Cermak location.

We need 1-2 people who would be responsible for the keys and willing to sign at least a nightly or weekly agreement, Carl Rosen of UE is willing to meet
us there this Thurs or at another time to help acclimate us to the space. We would be responsible for set up and clean up of the space. They have liability insurance for the normal use of the space.

So $50 a night gets us inside for our GAs on Thurs and Sunday going forward. That would be $400 a month for 8 GAs and other meetings. This is a centralized location and a beautiful historic Workers Hall.
My email is drlora2@yahoo.com.”



-Proposals to Vote On Tonight:

  • 1. Chicago Teachers Union:


“Mayor Emanuel has signaled that he wants to reignite the school closing effort, but this time at a much higher level. A leaked memo from the Chicago Public Schools reveals that Rahm's new team would like to close nearly 140 schools in the next two years. Currently the Chicago Board of Education is dominated by 1 percenters, including billionaire Penny Pritzker and former Chief Executive Officer of the Board of Trade, and current president of the Board of Education, David Vitale. In recent years, parents at many schools have led vigorous efforts to fight the closings and been able to stave off the attacks through militancy, partnerships and resilience. They deserve our support!

We propose that Occupy Chicago join with the Chicago Teachers Union and more than 18 community organizations and public sector unions to endorse as well as promote our December 3rd forum to organize against school closings, join us in a camp out in front of the Board of Education on December 13th and come together at a speak-out at the Board of Education on December 14th where we will challenge the Board to stop it's undemocratic attack on our schools. We will argue that city leaders must support not dismantle the schools we depend on.” (Direct Language of Proposal)


Stack (3 events stacked together but voted separately, open 10 minutes):

  • occupy movements focusing on housing and occupying foreclosed homes. Education and schools is another site we should concentrate more. Occupy Englewood has sent out an emergency call because of the lack of support for education in their community. Education is the site were so many people’s futures are determined.
  • Working schools trying to get into contact with other info to collaborate. We also need to reiterate the necessity to occupy spaces. Any type of space.
  • Support for both events. Education is a right. Everyone should get free public good quality education. Bourgeois do not care about 99%, it is disgusting.


  • Next Proposal


  • 2. PFAC:


“ The purpose of this demonstration is to draw public attention to College practices and policies that are anti-labor and harmful to college faculty, staff, and students. These include: escalating union-busting activities; declining working, salary, and learning conditions; bad-faith bargaining; and unilateral attempts by the College to control the work place, the work force, working conditions, pay rates, and every aspect of employment, study, financial accounts, student welfare, and institutional mission.

We propose that Occupy Chicago join and help build support for the PFAC demonstration on December 6 and 7, 2011, beginning at noon (lasting about two hours), outside the Columbia College administration building located at 600 S. Michigan Ave, where the College Board of Trustees will be meeting on both days.” (Direct Language of the Proposal)


Stack (open for 5 mins):

  • In support of this event. Trying to draw board of Columbia College and the public’s attention to union busting is important because it is bad for everyone. In support of this event.
  • 77% of Columbia teachers are part time. This is bad, poor paying and no benefits. We get called “over educated” and this is bad. Education is frowned upon by right wingers. They are trying to turn us against each other saying that it’s a white collar versus a blue collar thing. We are all the 99%. This is a trend across the board which is the increase in part time jobs and decrease of livable wages and benefits.
  • happy to see faculty at cc stand up. Compared to own schools situation, both situations are ridiculous. We need to fight for this.


  • Columbia College made a point of hiring faculty that are part time artists too. This idea supports both teachers and artists.


  • Next Proposal


  • 3. Secretariat, Nicole:


“In response to feedback about recent General Assemblies, Secretariat has presented the following proposal to increase both efficiency and representation at GA. We are planning on calling for a vote on Tuesday (11/29). If this passes by 90% majority, it will be published on the home page, announced at all GA's this week, and the new procedure will be implemented Sunday (12/4), meaning no GA that day.

Proposal (to be voted in 3 parts):
1. The Secretariat is asking the General Assembly to allow the same autonomy for this committee as every other committee in Occupy Chicago. The current practice of calling "Format" at any deviation does not allow us to make adjustments to the daily agenda of the GA to act in the best interest of the movement as a whole. Such autonomy could involve rearranging the standard structure based on another event that is happening, like N17 by opening with Soapbox. In the spirit of transparency, any significant changes will still be brought to the GA in the form of a temp check before moving forward. This flexibility will also allow us to experiment with alternative GA structures without having to call for a formal vote to permanently change procedure. Currently other occupations around the nation allow their meeting facilitators to make adjustments to GA to suit the needs of the movement for that day.

2. We propose limiting the official General Assemblies to Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. By changing the 7pm GA to only 4 days a week it opens more time for discussion, committee meetings, planning sessions, and other community events during the non-GA days. These days were chosen in the hope that the variety will have at least a few days that work with everyone's schedule. It also takes into account other existing weekly nighttime meetings like Occupy Rogers Park GA on Sundays, Occupy Pilsen GA and Labor Outreach meeting on Tuesday, ect. Over the last 2 months Friday and Saturday have been the days with the broadest participation. Friday and Saturday also provides two days in a row for extended discussion when needed. By limiting GA to 4 days per week, Secretariat will commit to well crafted agendas, overseeing the assembly to ensure everyone is heard and represented, and taking and posting minutes.

3. Finally we propose changing the submission deadline for proposals to be added to the agenda to Sunday at 3pm each week. This will allow for Secretariat to use their weekly 4pm Sunday meeting to set the agenda for the week, and post online by Sunday night to ensure transparency and accessibility to a wide audience. Occupiers will also be able to plan in advance to attend a specific GA based on the issues being discussed. If a proposal comes in after the deadline and the presenter feels it is an emergency that needs to be addressed before the following week, Secretariat will review the situation and if it is time sensitive, work it into the existing agenda. Procedure to get added to the agenda includes: adding the formal proposal to the forum then emailing Secretariat@occupychi.org directly with a link to the post along with the proposer's availability that week for presentation and voting. Alternatively, any formal proposal that is written down for those with no access to internet, can be handed to a member of the Secretariat directly during any General Assembly to be included in the agenda the following week. While Secretariat can read any proposal for the presenter if they are not available, it is in the presenter's interest to have a representative present as we cannot clarify any confusion, defend questioned elements, or approve friendly amendments. NOTE: an emergency proposal is anything DISCOVERED and BROUGHT FORWARD within the same week of that proposal item. If it was common knowledge, but was not brought forward in time, then that is not an emergency.” (Direct Language from Proposal)


Stack (open for 5 minutes):

  • This proposal rocks!
  • This gives us a lot of flexibility.
  • This committee works really hard, this will really help us be organized, and it will be good for transparency.
  • I basically want to say everything everyone else everyone is saying. Posting the agenda makes it easier to decide when to go to GA and makes sure proposals don’t get sneaked through.
  • Question: How long as this proposal been out? Answer: it was proposed on Sunday, and put online Sunday night.


  • Next Proposal


  • 4. Occupy UIC, Paul: 


“UIC has invited Mayor Rahm "1%" Emanuel to discuss the "Future of Chicago." Mayor Emanuel will be speaking this Friday December 2 from 12:00 p.m.-12:50 p.m. on the UIC campus, Student Center East, 750 S Halsted.

We think Chicago deserves a future FOR the 99%--not one that destroys us.

Occupy UIC would like to propose that Occupy Chicago endorse, participate and help build the protest being organized by Occupy UIC against Mayor Emanuel.

The protest will begin at 11:00 a.m. outside of UIC Student Center East (the Halsted entrance side) and continue until after the mayor's talk.

We also propose that the 1:30 p.m. General Assembly be held in the outdoor Quad of UIC.

*Remember where Rahm stands on public services and education*

-->Rahm pushed through (and the Aldermen unanimously approved!) a budget that destroys public services -- shortening library hours, laying off 200 service employees, privatizing critical public health clinics, and closing 6 out of 12 mental health clinics that serve underserved communities.

-->In the meantime, Rahm will announce the closure of many public schools, which will likely be replaced by charter schools.

-->The City of Chicago is also waging war on our community college system, trying to bust faculty unions and paving the way for ridding the City of general higher education and replacing it with technical schools.

*Remember where Rahm stands on Civil Liberties*

-->Rahm also is still refusing to drop the charges on over 300 peaceful Occupy Chicago protesters who were attempting to establish an encampment to call attention to their grievances.

-->Rahm is also dragging his feet on allowing for permitted demonstrations against the NATO and G8 meetings in Chicago in May and is trying to whip up fear of peaceful protesters.

*Remember where Rahm stands on Corporate Chicago's Priorities:

-->Rahm is trying to pass a city ordinance that will cut taxes even further for 2,700 Chicago corporations, which will cost the City $23million

-->Chicago-based corporations Navastar, Bayer, Boeing, and others pay $ZERO in income-tax

Don't let Rahm get away with forcing Chicago's workers and students pay the brunt of the economic crisis, while corporations get a free pass. Stand in solidarity with Occupy Chicago and Occupy UIC to put forward a different view of our future--one that prioritizes human needs, not corporate greed!

In Solidarity,
Tom Alter for Occupy UIC” (Direct Language of Proposal)


Stack (open for 5 minutes):

  • Side note: a call from STOP came to Occupy UIC. They have organized a protest and will be joining this proposals protest, as well as the UIC graduate employee organization.”
  • Support for the protest! We still own you and we will be there!
  • Only concern are the tactics to be used, organizing meeting is tomorrow. Can we have a list of what exactly will happen? Response: outside protest organized outside student center as well as inside common to other indoor current protests around the country.


  • Support for the UIC event as former student of UIC. Very enthusiastic this rocks.
  • In favor of this proposal. Cant wait to yell at RAHM to do his job WOO! Will be there, we should all be there.


-10 minute break changed from 15 minute through temp check because it is cold



  • First Proposal (2 part vote):
    • Support for December 13th and 14th events hosted by the Chicago Teacher’s Union
      • 26 for, 0 opposed. Passes!


  • Support for event hosted by Chicago Teacher’s Union on December 3rd at King College Prep:
    • 26 for, 0 opposed. Passes!


  • Second proposal:
    • Support for PFAC  at Columbia College event December 6th-7th
      • 25 for, 0 opposed. Passes!


  • Third proposal (3 part vote):
    • Secretariat Proposal for Step One of Adjustments to General Assembly Procedure ( vote order was taken according to the order of the line items outlined in the text of the format):


-First line item: “1. The Secretariat is asking the General

Assembly to allow the same autonomy for this committee as every other committee in Occupy Chicago.”

  • 26 for, 1 opposed. Passes!


-Second line item: “2. We propose limiting the official General Assemblies to Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.”

  • 26 for, 2 opposed. Passes!


-Third line item: “3. Finally we propose changing the submission deadline for proposals to be added to the agenda to Sunday at 3pm each week.”

  • 24 for 0 opposed, Passes!


  • Fourth Proposal
    • Support for Occupy UIC event December 2nd Occupy Rahm
      • 22 for 0 opposed, Passes!


-General announcements and soapbox


Stack (open 5 minutes):

  • Dec 10th rally against coal plants in Pilsen. Time TBA. Meet at 18th & Blue island. March from there to Lasalle and Jackson HQ. Coal plant owners and their banks are located by Jackson and Lasalle. Plan to march there. Already voted and approved by Occupy El Barrio G.A. We are dealing with environmental racism and want occupy chi’s support.
    • Sad that we are separating. We need to work together. Show presence at HQ and keep it as solidarity and be positive
    • Should hold blanket or coat drive, food drive for Christmas. Awesome idea to help homeless. Also, work on proposal to work on organization of our stuff talk to James after G.A.
    • CLDC rep. few of us will fight charges. If you want to help and if you want to fight the charges, see this rep after G.A.
    • Next Thursday socialist conference at Columbia see Caitlin after G.A.
    • 2 announcements. Event: this Friday. Starts at 6 at multi culti 1000 n Milwaukee 4th floor. Local bands and poets. Sustainable fashion show at midnight. Free massages at nine. Free sketches all day. It is free, we encourage donations though. Event: food not bombs. Monday dec 5th 9pm  Livewire Lounge 3394 N. Milwaukee ave. punk rock karaoke.
    • Housing should pick a location already because its getting cold. People need to use the online schedule correctly. D.C. Occupy bus event is due by tomorrow.
    • Organizations having people’s thanksgiving on sat. offering occupy chi a reward. 10 spots open. 20th anniversary. 2 tickets given to each neighborhood 2 tickets. Barrio rogers park south side and the hood. Come see Nicole because she needs names
    • We should talk about gay community issues after G.A.
    • Proposal online that encourages committees to work with secretariat to facilitate discussion on committee related issues this way G.A. can participate in those discussions also. Tonight’s G.A. was awesome. We all have different opinions, respect all opinions.
  • General Assembly Adjourned!




Wednesday, November 30, 2011 - 1:15am