Proposal for shutting down Cermak and getting back out into the streets: http://occupychi.org/phpbbforumforum/viewtop ... =10&t=2607
The above proposal was presented tonight. There was a lot of discussion on it at tonight's GA and more on Wed. There will be a attempt to vote on it this Wed because it is time sensitive. We need to give a 30 days notice and if there is not money to pay for June and we need to leave, then the lease signers are responsible for that rent.
Things brought up at GA tonight (from my memory)
* The Cermak space will not be accessible at all during NATO. The Feds are shutting down the building and will be using the roof for their own purposes. It was explained that this information came from the landlord.
* Overall, people seemed ok with getting rid for the 7th floor space, but there is still debate on the 5th floor space
* Supporters of keeping that space are concerned about having access to the people's library and to computer/ internet access
* Much talk about where to hold meetings. Some want the 5th floor to continue to house meetings. Some want them in public space (outside, libraries, universities, union halls, etc)
* Concern about finding a storage unit that someone can pay for up front and get reimbursed and what kind of access would that leave.
* lots of talk about donating things like excess clothing, food, etc to other groups that can better distribute
* concern about inappropriate use of the internet (not for OC business and used for personal things like porn)
* concerns that having meetings outside is not "safe" (IMO, nothing we do is "safe". I assume that our space is bugged, that we have infiltrators, and that everything on this site, in SM, and other sites, like out google groups, are fully monitored. There have even been reports around the country of people's phones being tapped. Please do NOT get lost in an idea that we are "safe" anywhere.)
*Money is a HUGE concern. Some feel that donations should be used for supplies (like posters, stickers, banners, fliers, etc) or for bail money. We have not worked much on increasing donation money.
Things that will need to be worked out include:
1) Storage space - either a storage unit or another space (like Grace)
2) What we need vs. what we can donate
3) Where to hold meeting in bad weather and/or for people with accessibility issues - My suggestion, use the library, universities, and union spaces (were options before and I am sure still are)
4) What, if any space, will we continue to keep and what it would be used for
I am sure there are more that I am not remembering or thinking of. Please add to the list and talk about the solutions. Please do not turn this into an anger venting discussion. Leave it to identifying logistical issues and coming together with solutions. Step up to research and reach out. Make some calls and ask if there are spaces we can use. Talk about what we NEED and not just what we would like in a perfect situation where our funds and space is unlimited.
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- Philip DeVon
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Philip DeVon wrote:GET RID OF CERMAK. At least 700, immediately. If SS or Police will be at Cermak in MAY then we need to terminate the lease altogether and get outside, or rent a smaller meeting space close to HQ and Grant Park.
Dump them both. If we need a space (and I'm not sure that we do), find a location closer to a train and/or downtown.
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We got along for 4 months just fine before Cermak, and yes we had Grace Place for storage but we can always try to find another space or we can rent a storage space for much cheaper. Or hey, here's an idea: we can get rid of a good amount of our shit because we have an assload of shit that we don't use/need.
As for computers, there are several libraries in the city. Meetings can be held in libraries as well, or in Grant Park, or in coffee shops, or at Multi Kulti. We have a lot of options that are much cheaper and better than having a couple dozen people sitting in a clubhouse.
I realize Cermak is not what caused our numbers to dwindle, I remember being at Jackson and Lasalle in December with two or three other people well before we had an indoor space. And while I do believe Cermak was necessary for a bit, it has caused so many divisions within the movement. The purpose of finding a space was for a winter base of operations. Winter is over. Hell, winter hardly even began.
From what I know of some of the camps in other cities, with all of the infighting and the freeloading and the safety concerns, this is the exact same case but with a $6000 price tag.
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The meeting w management was suggested by someone from the peoples summit to see what there options are IF we were to leave one or both of the spaces. After meeting with them a lot of things have been cleared up. There IS going to be something built by the city on the roof but it is just supposed to be a rely station kinda like a mini cell tower. The final word has come in that the building will stay open during nato but that large trucks coming in and out of the area might be an issue. So if we have supplies that need to be moved it could be a pain but not impossible. Also for the insurance needed for the ppls summit ochi would need to maintain at least one of the spaces.as much as it kills me to say it I do think keeping 501 through may would be the better choice. It kills me bc I really do not want to have to "police" the space for the next two months or longer. Please please please please please please!!!!!I need people to start helping me!!!!take personal responsibility for your actions and of those around you while in the space.CLEAN UP after yourselves n if you see something that needs to be cleaned or thrown away please take a few minutes and do it!DO NOT LET PEOPLE LOOK AT PORN or monopolize the computers all day with non occupy work. DO NOT LET ANYONE SLEEP IN THE SPACE OR IN THE BUILDING!!!!I just spoke w scott and he said he just caught someone sleeping in the hall last night!and this becomes so much more important when we will be getting thousands of new people very soon!we ALL need to stay on top of this!work together to build community and family. We are all in this together people so can we please start acting like it?
Please come out to GA on Wed for this! We need every voice!
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My only concern is that I have spent a lot of time, effort, and some of my own money to get our library up and running. Does anybody have ideas for an alternative space to house our books and other literature? I would hate to see them all get packed away and be inaccessible to the 99% they are meant to enlighten. Please remember that these are all donations, and these books speak directly to what we are protesting. It is very important, in my mind, to make them available to the public. (Possibly even more available to the public than they are currently.)
Also, please keep in mind that I have been in touch with Occupy librarians in other cities. Many are planning to join us in May, especially several coming from New York. The OWS Library is part of what inspired me to check out Occupy Chicago last October, and I feel lucky to have gotten to know some of their brave librarians. We are discussing ideas for direct library actions during NATO. I'd like to be able to show them our thriving library, not a storage locker.
For now, I agree we can lose 700. I would hold off on terminating the lease on 501 until we have an alternate space to store supplies, including our library.
I'll be at GA tomorrow night to join the discussion in person.
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Occupy Chicago has been here 6 months and at this stage we should be huge. How many times have we heard what has sent people away? Lack of visible presence anywhere, and the google groups come up over and over. When have we changed that?
Lack of an indoor space made things challenging to say the least, but it has not made people leave, as many of the other things we continue to do on the regular do.
Can we recognize what drives people away and try to do the opposite so we can draw people in? In a city of millions it baffles me why it's a shock to have more than 20 people attend GA regularly. Which is a reason why we are even having this conversation about Cermak.
We aren't hitting the numbers we need to do many things. We dont have enough people to keep both spaces open. We don't have enough numbers to hold the corner and protect our possessions. We don't have enough people to hold ANY location indoors or outdoors, for 24 hours a day.
This problem will persist where ever we go because we aren't getting to the heart of the problem. We are just stuck on the symptom. The problem is we suck at outreach and keeping people in the movement. A symptom is we never have enough people to do shit effectively for any extended period of time. Thus, the movement is not growing at the rate it should be.
I feel Cermak is unnecessary. The price for one. We aren't exactly raking in donations. We have a HUGE spring ahead of us and we need money for bail, supplies, equipment, and who knows what else. Are we going to spend every last penny on RENT FOR A PLACE PEOPLE CAN'T EVEN SLEEP AT? It is alienating for the simple fact we don't even have a sign up at EVERY GA, or greeter at the door during GA to welcome people coming for the very first time. There is no directions at all besides a sign that says Occupy Chicago room 700 just past the 2 main doors, if people even look that far. How the hell can they get to 700 if they can't even get in the front door? When I have been there, I have made a sign and used my own phone number to help people up. About 20 first timers called to be let up. How many ppl do we loose for good that took a cab/bus/train/car- $$$$$$ to get to us, but cant even get in the building? Last, as great as it is to have computers and Internet, to be able to shower, eat, and be warm, those things never started a revolution, or draw more people to one. Being in the streets with the people does. Being visible does. Educating people OUTSIDE of the movement does.
Being upset and showing the world your righteous anger like our brothers and sisters across the globe are doing. Tunisia. Syria. Egypt. London. Oakland. New York. Those movements are so huge because of constant PUBLIC outcry. Those revolutions are still being fought. They have literally been in the public eye and visible since day one.
I think educating the people is very important, but learning and educating isn't only limited to a makeshift library, it can happen anywhere. More importantly, why are we only focused on educating those who are already awake? Those who are occupying Cermak are there for a reason, and they already have a little more knowledge than Joe schmo who tells us all to get a job. We need to start educating those who have no clue about this stuff, not only occupiers.
Internet, which almost anyone can access from a phone, friends or relative's computer, public library, or cafe or bookstore is another reason i hear to keep Cermak. If you occupy, you know someone who has one of those things that will let u use it.
I know I don't always have access to Internet, I know its a privilege not everyone has. I dont have internet at home, I get that. It would be nice to be able to access it at all times, but if I had to choose internet or a revolution happening globally, mostly outside, I would pick the latter.
Besides press, or social media (both of whom operate fine to my knowledge via mobile phone Internet and whatever other means.) No other committees majorly rely on internet for day to day tasks. I'm on SM and have never used a computer at Cermak. We don't have a constant live stream that requires Internet 24-7. In fact we only have 1 streamer who can't even really do that anymore, and SM uses our phones to tweet and FB. We really don't NEED Internet at Cermak because it's so readily available in so many places for free already in the city. We just WANT it, and it's convenient.
Tech might be the only other committee who really needs Internet to contribute daily to OC. And other than making/running the website, I honestly don't know what else tech is responsible for or manages.
Internet, library, shower, food were the main reasons I heard for keeping Cermak. As far as food and shower go, if you are so concerned with feeding and showering the people, let them into your homes to use your shower and give them a hot meal as I have done many times for many occupiers who had no place to go. If you are homeless, u can use my shower and I can feed u. Not every day, but there is at least 50 ppl reading this who care and I'm sure would offer the same.
It is absurd we are paying so much for a place where "we can't feed more than 20 ppl" I've been told by keyholders, ppl can't sleep, nobody can do real work cuz there is always drama, and we have maybe had only 1 GA with over 100 people.
Committee meetings: Move to J&L or anywhere out in public because it's warm out. Stop blaming the weather.
3rd warmest winter on record for Chicago.
It's not even April and we have had record highs for this time a year already.
Fairbanks Alaska has an outdoor occupation.
If it's too cold or not good for elders etc, There are coffee houses, cafes, schools, libraries, other places to meet. This idea that it's McDonalds OR Cermak Alone for meeting places is silly.
The only reason I would see to keep it is because we need it for NATO with all the out of town ppl coming and supplies. We have no storage. But rumor has it we can't even use it at all during May so.....
None of us joined this movement so we could pay thousands of dollars from our donations a month for Internet, library, food and shower for a handful of people who even bother to show up for these things. We joined to occupy and change shit remember? Let's shift the focus back to that.
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I work until 9 pm and am leaving soon to do so, so I can't come to the vote tonight or even take the time to comment much further.
I hope that people are reading this and that the vote tonight will be a reflection of what is needed to be done to move us forward. I also hope that there will be an Occupy 2.0. We must get back to our roots or we will die off as a movement, or at least our current one in Chicago will. The writing is on the wall. Ask yourselves, is the action that I take truely representing the issues of the 99%?
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