General Assembly 12/10/2011 – Raw Minutes (needs some editing)

Occupy Port Townsend

General Assembly


44 people at 2 o’clock – meeting will last till 4.

Started with a Mic Check and the human microphone. Followed by a decision to use an electronic microphone.

Stacey explains the process and Matt introduces Steve as timekeeper, Julia as scribe, Stacey as co-facilitator and Nita as stack taker. The proposal wrangler is Rachel. The proposal wrangler is a position Matt saw in Occupy Seattle.

The agenda which is posted on the wall is:

  • Welcome
  • Open Mic
  • Proposals
  • Working Group Time
  • Schedule of next GA
  • Community Announcements
  • Wrap Up

We are okay with the facilitation team. Matt reviews some of the tools we will use – hand signals, step up/step back.

Working Group – Report Back

3 people met with the police. Agreed to try and reach common ground and would like to talk to Connor Daly Chief of Police and Tony Hernandez – Sherrif. May see if there is a police person facing foreclosure. Also will ask about Homeland sercurity money.

Liz – Nonviolence Education

Stacey – Direct Action – foreclosed homes and occupying a home that is just about to be foreclosed around. Tents, banner drop and other ideas.

Communications Working Group – about 6 of us. Talked about communications and social networking.

Facilitations and Process working group – worked out the agenda and came up with a couple proposals that we will be hearing.

Open Mic – What is inspiring you right now in the Occupy Movement – what actions would you like to see.

  • Occupy the National Chamber of Commerce – lay down a red carpet and then lay on the red carpet.
  • Projection on the Verizon Building – like creative energy would like it to happen here.
  • Inspired by general concept of citizens taking over. Inspired by the people working against the biomass cogeneration plant. It will hurt many of us – all of us in many different ways – economically, ecologically and health.
  • Inspired by the influence the movement – LA City Council passed a motion against corporate personhood.
  • Inspired by Tod Pendlen – in Seattle. Movement against foreclosures. (Aaron)
  • Inspired by how people are working together to make change and how they are relating to each other, working together. Working to make every country better.
  • Inspired that we are beginning to lower our age participation in Port Townsend.
  • Inspired by what I saw in Egypt and traveling across Europe and all of us.
  • Inspired about what is happening right here. That it is happening everywhere. The energy is going into setting up this huge interrelated infostructure all over the world.
  • Inspired by The UN drafted an inquiry as to why the US government is not protecting peaceful protestors.
  • Inspired by the cities that are doing various actions around foreclosures. Movies – the Salt of the Earth, and It’s a wonderful Life.
  • Inspired by a $17 check in the mail from B of A for jury duty and to get local government to bank locally
  • Inspired by OWS changing conversations like about the Tar Sands.
  • Inspired by Occupy Seattle Button = Make Art – Make a Difference. Artists occupying themselves and their art.
  • Boggled by why the Port is suing the city, the state and the feds about Khai Tai Park. This is a true issue of Greed! Get the Port Out of Khai Tai Lagoon.
  • Inspired by people having the power to change their own lives.
  • Inspired by world wide direct democracy.

Open mic closed after 15 minutes.

Proposals: Many of the proposals are to build a foundation of this radically inclusive process in a new way of relating to each other.
Questioning whether we are radically inclusive because there is no one who voted for John Cain present.

The Proposer will read the Proposal.
Clarrifying questions. Proposer can respond.
Concerns – proposer can respond.
Friendly amendments. Proposer accepts or declines amendments.
Going to consensus by taking a temperature check. Facilitation watches and if there is not consensus then the issue is tabled to be worked on.
70/30 % split – we will view as consensus and will ask for blocks.

  1. Proposal Wrangler Proposal – will organize proposal and put them in chronological proposals. Proposals must be given in writing before the GA.
    1. Clarifying Questions –
      1. before the GA – before the meeting starts – specific time or immediately before the GA. Answer: will be another proposal.
      2. How will we know who it is – that will be an internal communication tool – through a web site –or if at a GA the wrangler will be clearly identified.
      3. How would the wrangler decide on chronological order. Answer: The wrangle would track and organize
      4. Literacy issues for a third of the population. We will allow people to talk to the wrangle in person.
      5. No access to internet – issue of tardiness. If you are on the end of the list will it go to the next meeting – Yes.
      6. The lack of literacy – the Google Group will allow people to call in a proposal and Google will transcribe and will forward the voice message to the Google Group
      7. Do you have to be the person to lead the group or just to put stuff up? This does not address that
    2. Concerns:
    3. Amendments:
      1. To have a non-written option.
      2. Be able to do it right before the Proposal process at GA.
      3. Before the proposal part of the GA give people one last chance.
    4. The proposal a member of the GA
    5. Temperature Check:  Strong consensus – no blocks.
  2. The GA will address proposals in the order they are submitted. Before considering a proposal the wrangler will read the proposal and temperature check if the GA feels that the proposal should be considered.
    1. Clarifying Question:
      1. If there is not strong interest – the proposal will go to the bottom of the list and may get tabled. Then the person can reword it and  bring it up again.
      2. How about 60%
    2. No amendments,
    3. No blocks
    4. Temp check – strong positive.
  3. How are we going to handle a block? Do you want to hear the proposal. Strong positive.
    1. If blocks are presented: Facilitators call on individuals to express reasons for blocks. The presenter is given the opportunity to address block. Facilitator looks for ways to     If both blocker and presenter consents to a solution then    80% override.
      1. Clarifying questions
        1. If there is a block the facilitator asks the GA to come up with suggestions to end the block.
        2. The Coop Process is similar but: The person with the block had the responsibility to come up with a solution to the problem.
        3. This seems to leave it open to someone without good intentions to stop a process with a block for a week. Timeliness.
      2. Friendly Amendments:
        1. We should have a temperature check right after the block, which would allow the GA to decide if that block is valid. Then if the GA is clearly not in-favor of the block then the facilitator would say the block is not accepted.
        2. A block is only a legitimate block if it is based on a principle that is being violated. Then the group can ultimately come to consensus that the block is based on principle rather than preference. This is interesting but it is based on a statement of principles or values, which we have not yet agreed on.
        3. If you have a block you do get the opportunity to explain your block. Then a block resolution process. Open to amendments to deal with the block.
        4. After a person is blocked, after the temperature of the group is taken as to whether the block is based on principle or preference. Then the group’s temperature is taken as to if this is a matter of principle we won’t mind it being tabled for a week. Will be discussed by Facilitations and Working Group.
  4. (Out of time… what do we want to do. Do we want to extend time. No. So that proposal is tabled. Do you want to extend time – 5 minutes for another proposal. Let’s hear what they are. Media working group proposal will be discussed.)
        1. Proposal that a media working group will be created…. This is based on the Google issue….
        2. Temp check – another 10 minutes. Google groups proposal is chosen by group as next.
        3. Can we make the meeting longer. The GA can extend the meeting.
  5. Natavar reads the Google Working Group proposal. And reasoning behind it.
    1. Clarifying questions:
      1. Sounds like there are no alternatives. There are alternatives but Google could be set up in a week and you don’t even have to sign up to access it.
      2. What are the other groups. Read a statement from… Groups rejected – Facebook. 20/20 is hosted by Frank suggests CrabGrass, Rise Up.
      3. Request that issue is tabled to next week so that people can interact with the communications working group.
      4. Request to hear objections to Google. Objections are raised.
      5. Comment about decisions not written in stone, so Google could get us started and if we come up with something better – then we can change.
      6. Comment this might be one of the times that Occupy chooses to use a corporation. So use Google now then do research and maybe change later.
      7. Comment about getting started rather than waste more time.
      8. Time is over. People want to spend more time on this.
    2. Friendly amendments:
      1. Google groups will be used for the next three months then the communication team will bring back alternative actions to the GA.
      2. Give it one month. Give it two months. = passed
      3. Trust that the communications group will work this out with the expertise in this movement.
      4. Concerned about us getting into something many people are uncomfortable with.
      5. Response – occupy movement in Europe etc. uses Google because it is totally public and transparent. We do not want to put layers of privacy around this. Inserting email and password two times. Want something you do not have to subscribe to in order to access.
    3. Temp check on this proposal with 2 month amendment.
    4. No blocks.
  6. We now have 14 minutes unless we extend the time.
  7. Working Groups
    1. Money out of politics – banking – 2-4 Friday Undertown
    2. Facilitation – Tuesdays 5 Undertown
    3. Communication – Thursday 5 pM at Undertown
    4. Direct Action- 5:15 Weds. At Undertown
    5. Local money
    6. Biomass – were not ready to be a working group – will
    7. Nonviolent education – Mon. 12/12 Food coop – deli section
    8. Move to amend – To End Corporate Personhood – 11AM Weds. Undertown
    9. Wise Democracy –  Better Living thru Coffee 9 AM Tues.
    10. Agenda and Logistics – Fridays Undertown – time to be announced.
  8. Suggest all working groups to use Direct Democracy. All groups are okay with a facilitator showing up to help.
  9. Next GAs – goal to do GA once a week. But the holiday
  10. 12-17 2-4 location to be found. Smaller group can make it. Then the next one would be 1-7 @ 2-4.
  11. Thought that we might mix up our meeting times – to attract people who aren’t here. Communications team will put up a survey about this issue.
  12. Community Anouncements:
    1. Tonite 7 PM undertown support the Boiler Room auction
    2. Monday Shut Down the West Coast Ports – Park and Ride at 10 AM
    3. Local 20/20 – Steve Hamm – email list.
    4. Petition for moratorium on Biomass
    5. Local currency N 12/19 7 PM Dundee Hill Center 32 and Hancock
    6. Code Pink resource – for real heavy mail dominance. WomenOccupyingWallStreet – WOWS
    7. Matt offering a facilitation boot camp tomorrow at 1 to 2:30 at Undertown
    8. Activist Working Group – technical skills – Natavar
    9. Saturdays 12 to 1 – protest to end the war – at the Ferry Dock.

Mic Check  Concludes the 2nd Occupy Port Townsend General Assembly at 4:17.

  • Doug Milholland

    Sorry I was unable to attend the Sat. mtng Good work everyone! I will join the banking committee Friday at 2, and continue with my connection regarding wise democracy 9am tues


  • Barry Hussein

    Obama says he wants a BILLION DOLLARS for his reelection campaign. It’s mostly going to come from Wall St. and Unions. Will efforts be made to get THIS money out of politics?

  • Matt

    Hi Barry,
    Personally, I think we need to get all money out of politics. I don’t differentiate between different politicians and political parties. Money damages the ability of our democracy to focus on what it should be doing: solving problems and governing.

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