General Assembly Minutes 23 OCT 2011 (7 PM)

Main Facilitator: Kyle. Stack Facilitator: Meghan. Minutes: Treesong.

GENERAL DISCUSSION

Note: The General Assembly at 11 am decided to reconvene at the 7 pm General Assembly. This is why there are no minutes for the 11 am General Assembly.

PROCESS: Introduction to Consensus

  • The main facilitator explained our consensus decision-making process.

Summary of Minutes of Previous General Assembly

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Jason wants to work in partnership with Occupy Carbondale to provide food to Good Samaritan’s food pantry and the Bethel AME soup kitchen. Talk to jason with ideas or to help.
  • Mary Sullivan is an organizer for the Alternative Gift Fair. Talk to Mary or Jason if you want to get involved.
  • The studen anti-cuts group that has done solidarity with union will be holding its meetings here at the occupation site from now on as a show of solidarity with Occupy Carbondale.
  • On Tuesday from 12 pm to 3 pm there will be an event called “Conversations About Nonviolence”.  This is an informal event lead by Tod Kington, local nonviolence practitioner/trainer. All are welcome to attend and all are invited to spread the word.
  • We are looking for ideas for more events like the Bucky Dome Day and the Conversations About Nonviolence. Since we are occupying this space 24/7, we may as well fill it with educational/inspirational activities.
  • An officer stopped by during General Assembly to be sure everyone was okay. Officers have been stopping by fairly regularly to check on us.
  • This is a reminder that Occupy Carbondale had adopted an official statement in opposition to hate speech. Use of words such as “retarded” and “slut” are not conducive to creating an open and affirming environment. People are discouraged from using such speech, and people are also encouraged to call out such speech when they encounter it.
  • Gaia House would like to express its thanks to whoever was involved in cleaning out the Gaia House library, including but not limited to the last batch of cleaning on Saturday night. The Quakers meet in the library on Sunday morning and had an open/clean meeting space because of your efforts. Thanks!
  • Speaking of cleaning, let’s be sure to keep things organized and clean in general, both at the occupation site and on Gaia House land.
  • Washing your own dishes is great. Chipping in with cooking dishes or other random dishes is even better. If you see dishes piling up and have the time/energy, we encourage you to do some dishes. If you’ve never used the three-sink system before (dish soap, rinse, sanitizer), see the signs in the kitchen or talk to Treesong.

PROPOSALS

PROPOSAL: Hold a march on November 3 at 4 pm in solidarity with the unions on campus. This march will start at the occupation site, go to Anthony Hall for a rally, then return to the occupation site.

  • RESPONSE: Consensus

PROPOSAL: The General Assembly of Occupy Carbondale endorses the following policy affirming nonviolence:

We, at Occupy Carbondale, endorse a policy of nonviolence. Nonviolence, working from the definition offered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., means that our aim should never be to inflict injury upon those who perceive themselves to be our opponents, whether they are police officers or other members of our larger community.

Following the teachings of Gandhi, this would ideally include not only never inflicting injury, but also not bearing ill-will towards our opponents, in recognition of the fact that even our local opponents are members of our community; we are fighting for their rights even if they are unable or unwilling to recognize it. Our true opponents are not individuals, but rather injustice and violence itself, in all its forms.

However, we recognize, in Howard Zinn’s words from Disobedience and Democracy (2002), “that in the inevitable tension accompanying the transition from a violent world to a nonviolent one, that choice of means will almost never be pure, and will involve such complexities that the simple distinction between violence and nonviolence does not suffice as a guide”. We are a group of individuals who all possess free will. We encourage our fellow occupiers (and all people) to practice the ideal of nonviolence.

  • RESPONSE: Consensus

PROPOSAL: Orchestrate a musical event called Occupy Sound. This event will be open to all genres, all instruments, all methods of expressing our freedom using music.

  • Discussion: The event would be defined as a musical event and a creative expression of freedom rather than any sort of protest event. There were comments that while this is a good idea, it may be best served by forming a committee to investigate University policy and regarding music on campus [acoustic versus amplified, drums versus no drums, location/time, etc.].
  • RESPONSE: Withdrawn
  • Discussion: If anyone would like to be involved in this committee, talk to Bill.

PROPOSAL: Hold an art exhibit this Saturday at the occupation site from 3 pm to 5 pm. This exhibit will include previous signs/supplies as well as any new art.

  • Discussion: We should bring art supplies so that people who come can make their own art. People with critical or dissenting viewpoints are also welcome to make their own art as long as it is not hate speech and does not disrupt the process of other artists.
  • RESPONSE: Consensus

PROPOSAL: Amend the past minutes to include the full text of the 4 point proposal from earlier this week. Also add this text to our website’s “About Us” page as a  “basis for dialog” [versus an official statement].

  • RESPONSE: Two Blocks
  • Discuss: We already agreed to put the full version of the text in the old minutes but just haven’t gotten around to it. Can we just do that instead? Putting it on the “About Us” page elevates it beyond other people’s talking points which is the reason why it wasn’t put there in the first place. On the other hand, if our only concern is making this seem like our only statement on the matter, we could alleviate this concern by including other people’s talking points on the “About Us” page too. This set of talking points shouldn’t be penalized just because no one else has submitted any of their own.
  • MODIFIED PROPOSAL: Amend the past minutes to include the full text of the 4 point proposal from earlier this week. This  is a “basis for dialog” rather than an official statement.
  • RESPONSE: Consensus
  • “In an effort to establish a basis for constructive political dialog with our constituents and representatives now and in the future, and in the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street movement’s basic premise of “righting corporate injustices”, we adopt the following four points as a basis for dialog about the basic foundation for change that we are seeking:
    1. The legal definition of corporations should be stripped of all suggestions that corporations are “persons” with the same inalienable rights that we, the people of America, are entitled to.
    2. There should be strict limits or a complete ban on corporate/institutional contributions to political candidate campaigns. Any contribution made within these new guidelines must be fully disclosed to the American public by both the donor and the recipient.
    3. Corporations should be forced by law to pay their fair share of taxes through the elimination of key holed subsidies and tax code loopholes.
    4. On a local level, we stand in solidarity with the unions on campus in their struggle for a fair contract.

PROPOSAL: Include the Citizens United decision on our website.

  • Discussion: In order to make this a more sound proposal, it should include more detail on what language to include and how to include it. Once this proposal is made, we should also make the media aware of this decision. [It was also suggested that we should start sending our meeting minutes in general to the media.]
  • RESPONSE: Withdrawn

PROPOSAL: Change the time of 7 pm General Assembly to 7:30 pm.

  • RESPONSE: Several Blocks, None in Favor, Proposal Dropped
  • Discussion: There is no specific reason why 7:30 is better than 7 for most participants. We desire to keep the assembly times stable unless there is specific and pressing reason to change them.

PROPOSAL: Adjourn

  • RESPONSE: Consensus

SUMMARY OF CONSENSUS

  • Hold a march on November 3 at 4 pm in solidarity with the unions on campus. This march will start at the occupation site, go to Anthony Hall for a rally, then return to the occupation site.
  • The General Assembly of Occupy Carbondale endorses the following policy affirming nonviolence:We, at Occupy Carbondale, endorse a policy of nonviolence. Nonviolence, working from the definition offered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., means that our aim should never be to inflict injury upon those who perceive themselves to be our opponents, whether they are police officers or other members of our larger community.Following the teachings of Gandhi, this would ideally include not only never inflicting injury, but also not bearing ill-will towards our opponents, in recognition of the fact that even our local opponents are members of our community; we are fighting for their rights even if they are unable or unwilling to recognize it. Our true opponents are not individuals, but rather injustice and violence itself, in all its forms.However, we recognize, in Howard Zinn’s words from Disobedience and Democracy (2002), “that in the inevitable tension accompanying the transition from a violent world to a nonviolent one, that choice of means will almost never be pure, and will involve such complexities that the simple distinction between violence and nonviolence does not suffice as a guide”. We are a group of individuals who all possess free will. We encourage our fellow occupiers (and all people) to practice the ideal of nonviolence.
  • Hold an art exhibit this Saturday at the occupation site from 3 pm to 5 pm. This exhibit will include previous signs/supplies as well as any new art.
  • Amend the past minutes to include the full text of the 4 point proposal from earlier this week. This  is a “basis for dialog” rather than an official statement.
    • “In an effort to establish a basis for constructive political dialog with our constituents and representatives now and in the future, and in the spirit of the Occupy Wall Street movement’s basic premise of “righting corporate injustices”, we adopt the following four points as a basis for dialog about the basic foundation for change that we are seeking:
      1. The legal definition of corporations should be stripped of all suggestions that corporations are “persons” with the same inalienable rights that we, the people of America, are entitled to.
      2. There should be strict limits or a complete ban on corporate/institutional contributions to political candidate campaigns. Any contribution made within these new guidelines must be fully disclosed to the American public by both the donor and the recipient.
      3. Corporations should be forced by law to pay their fair share of taxes through the elimination of key holed subsidies and tax code loopholes.
      4. On a local level, we stand in solidarity with the unions on campus in their struggle for a fair contract.
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