General Assembly Minutes 10 DEC 2011 (1 PM)

Main Facilitator: Joe. Stack: Dan. Minutes: Katy


PROCESS: Introduction to Consensus

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


  • On Saturday, Jan 21st there is going to be a People’s Tribunal about the corporation Monsanto and their practices. This is going to be held in the law courtroom in Lesar Law Building on SIUC campus. Sarah will share more information as it becomes available.
  • Tonight, Dec 10th is the Gaia House’s 1st Annual Interfaith Holiday Bash: Christmahanukwanzadan from 6-11 pm. This is a major fundraiser for Gaia House. The cost is $10 at the door and includes food, drinks, raffles, and entertainment from S.I.W.A.D.E, Kid Tiger, and Nile Breeze Dance Company!
  • At 2:30 pm today, following the GA, the Recreation Committee is having a teach-in on mending clothing. Please join them and bring your clothes that need mending!
  • There is going to be a show on Wed, Dec 14th with bands, short films, performance art, and visual art at 8 pm at the IMC.
  • The Outreach working group will be meeting at the IMC on Tues, Dec 13th at 6 pm. All are invited.
  • On Thurs, Dec 15th we will once again be protesting at the Federal Building in Carbondale from 12-1pm. Please share this event with your friends.
  • Marilyn would like to thank everyone who came to the Peace Coalition’s vigil for UN Human Rights Day today!
  • The next New Humanist Forum will be on Sunday, Jan 15th at the Carbondale Unitarian Fellowship, 105 N. Parrish at 12:15 pm. Rich Federer will be speaking on the topic of corporations are not people.
  • Reminder to please write all events on the calendar located in the IMC so that everyone who might be interested can see them.
  • Anyone who wants to be added to the Occupy Carbondale Google Group should add their email to the sheet being passed around during the GA. The invitation will appear in your inbox as being from the Group.
  • Ashley has been in contact with Occupy Springfield and Occupy Chicago. 2 of Occupy Springfield’s members were arrested and fined $500 for chalking on sidewalks even though there is no city ordinance against chalking. Rich Whitney stated that one of the occupiers was charged with defacing public property and that he is currently in the process of getting copies of their citations in order to offer them legal advice. If you would like to express concern, please call the Springfield Police Dept at 217-788-8311. Occupy Springfield has also posted some interesting videos about what they have been doing on their website (
  • The group Occupy Congress is planning an event called Million Tent March for Jan 17th, the Tues after MLK Jr Day. Dan has done some research and it would cost about $244 dollars roundtrip on Amtrak to go to DC. He will keep us updated and is planning to go if the event happens. It was also suggested that it might be possible to fill a bus which would cost about $65 per person.
  • The next meeting of the Human Relations Committee will be Monday, Jan 9th at 6:30 at the Carbondale Civic Center. This is one of the advisory boards to the city council.
  • The next meeting of the Sustainability Committee, another advisory board of the city council, will be on Thursday, Dec 15th at 6:30 pm at the Carbondale Civic Center.
  • We will be having Film showings every Friday at the IMC. For now, they will be at 5:30 pm.
  • We need rugs for the drumset for the show at the IMC this Wednesday. Please contact Ashley if you have a rug you can donate or loan.
  • Ashley would like to organize a radical Christmas carolers group. Anyone interested, please see her.
  • There is going to be a Meet and Greet with the new WDBX board members tomorrow, Dec 11th from 5-8 pm at the Township Hall.
  • Gaia house has a garden which was not used this past year.


NOTE: The following notes are a summary of points brought up during the new discussion section of the GA. All thoughts are those of individual attendees of the GA and are NOT official statements of Occupy Carbondale.

  • Charlie Howe told the group about an author named John Michael Greer who was recommended to him by Bill Perk. Greer wrote a book called, “The Long Descent,” about peak resources whihc he recommends we read. Ashley also suggested the book, “The Long Emergency: Surviving the End of Oil, Climate Change, and Other Converging Catastrophes of the Twenty-First Century,” by  James Howard Kunstler which inspired her to become a bike commuter.
  • The topic of the community garden was brought up. Per Kyle, Jason is working with the city to get this started but it will likely be some months before this is established. Reminder of the importance of learning to grow our own food.
  • Aaron would like to do a teach-in on MAP model for developing goals and measuring movement towards goals and is wondering if people would be interested. He would be open to help if anyone is interested.
  • One of the challenges of our occupation is that we do not have any visible symbols of the 1% here, the closest thing would be the Federal building. The government is not really the problem, the problem are the poweres manipulating it. We should join other occupations in major cities for their actions. We should also be a presence at candidate forums for the upcoming elections, raising important issues and researching where candidates are getting their money. This is not yet actionable but should be thought about.
  • There are some representations of the 1% in Peabody Coal and Ameren. However, these are not very visible symbols.
  • The Big Muddy IMC is not just limited to Carbondale but the whole rural community. We need to create positive forward movement; “protests” can feed into negativity. Going to DC for protests may take energy away from things we can do in this area.
  • Anyone interested in farming can come to Hollow Pumpkin Farms and they would be happy to teach you. See Fran for more info.
  • We need to have more radical action like general strikes, mortgage strikes, not paying income taxes (fueling the war machine).
  • We need to make this a narrative. Where do we want to be 2 months down the road? 1 year?
  • We need to set plans and goals within the group even if they are not publicized.
  • Idea to go to Walmart, spread out and Mic check. Could also do a flash mob/carolers.
  • Idea to possibly try to support the labor dispute with Long John Silvers in some way.
  • There is an organization called Project Vote Smart which collects information regarding campaign financing for all candidates.
  • Everyone is encouraged to sign petitions against the Detention Act and write Congress.


PROPOSAL: Cancel the General Assemblies currently scheduled for Dec. 24th, 2011 and Dec. 31st, 2011.

  • RESPONSE: Consensus
  • Note: This proposal, which concerns the structure of the GA process, has now passed the required 2 GAs and is now in effect.

PROPOSAL:  Eliminate from the consensus process the first “Intervention” step and the vote that follows it, so that if a proposal is blocked in the first vote (following the discussion) the process goes straight to small group discussions.

  • Discussion: The main reasons for this change are to streamline the process and to allow more voices to be heard in the group discussion, as opposed to the interventions. Some expressed that they felt the group was already a small group discussion, however others felt that even smaller groups were important for less dominating voices to be heard.
  • RESPONSE: Consensus
  • Note: This proposal, which concerns the structure of the GA process, has now passed the required 2 GAs and is now in effect.

PROPOSAL: Turn off the lights in the IMC during the GA.

  • Discussion: Facilitator suggested that we put up signage encouraging everyone to be energy efficient but this does not need to be a proposal. The lights were turned off.
  • RESPONSE: Withdrawn


  • RESPONSE: Consensus


  • The General Assemblies scheduled for Dec. 24th, 2011 and Dec. 31st,2011 are cancelled.
  • The first “Intervention” step and the vote that follows it are eliminated from the consensus process. If a proposal is blocked in the first vote (following the discussion) the process goes straight to small group discussions.