October 22, 2011 7pm
General Assembly Minutes
Moderators: Laura and Chris
Stacks sign-up: Mike
Note taker: Sarah
(Laura) - Thanks for being here right now and occupying this space with us. This is a nonviolent peaceful movement. Thank you for using the designated smoking areas (located by the rotundas on the street level).
Hand signals review (Chris):
- Agreement - Undecided - Disagreement - Wrap it up - Point of interest: factual - Point of process - Louder - Block – This signal should be used very seriously. Use a Block when you have a safety issue or a moral disagreement with a proposal...
Purpose (Laura): GA's are a time to make Consensus based decisions.
Consensus Review: 9/10ths rule – If nine out of every ten agree, then the decision rides. We have now amended the process for consensus voting. After a proposal is brought to GA, we will open the floor to clarifying questions, then open to concerns about the proposal, followed by possibly resolutions offered by the member. After this process is concluded, we will vote for Consensus. If a conversation is going on too long, we will suggest the proposal is tabled so a work group may address the issues further before bringing the proposal back to a future GA.
Stacks Review: If you have something to say or announce related to the occupy movement please see one of the two facilitators located over here. Stacks are a way for you to make announcements, present ideas and find others that share similar values to create work groups and get stuff done! Please keep in mind this is not a time for SOAP BOXING. That happens after the GA. Because everyone’s time is valuable please try to keep your announcement to 1 to 3 minutes. While work groups are reporting during GA feel free to sign up.
----WORK GROUP REPORTS----
(Chris) - Health and Safety (POC - Dan): This group addresses first aid needs of our members. As a reminder, Occupy Harrisburg is a nonviolent, peaceful group. H&S is arranging training to deal with and diffuse potential violent situations. Everyone in this movement should read the ACLU pamphlets (found at the Information table) regarding personal, proper behavior and media rights. H&S needs help! If you would like to be trained in assisting in diffusing potentially violent situations or to assist this group at all, see Dan.
Public Relations (Brett): This group works with the local media to help frame Occupy Harrisburg's message. PR is currently working to put out the word on next week's Halloween party on Saturday October 29, 2001 @12-8pm on the Capitol steps. There will be a parade!
Movement and Development (POC - Mike): This group is working on making contact with other Occupy groups. M&D is working toward planning a Pennsylvania GA hosted in Harrisburg. If you want to assist in this project or would like to travel to other Occupy groups, see Mike or Tyler.
Hospitality and Morale (no POC present, Holden speaks): This group works on gathering and organizing food supplies. Additionally, H&M organizes morale events (music, poetry, art, drum circle). Tonight there will be a poetry reading @8pm. Next week there will be more morale events!
Finance (no POC, Jefferson, member, speaks): This group consists of 2-3 people who count donations each day and keep and independent tally of the funds. We are currently still using a cash system, as no account as been established.
Facilitation (Mike): This group works to help ALL members of our community understand the process of GA and to help evolve this process so that it arrives at a place that is best suited for our needs. Today a Facilitation teach-in was held @4:30pm. There will be more Facilitation teach-in/discussions! All are encouraged to join and discuss this process. Another session will be held following tonight's GA.
Encampment (Dan): This group is currently exploring several sites for future encampment, especially by doing a survey of Riverfront park in 5 or 6 designated areas that appear on our permit form. The availability of electric outlets is also being explored at each site. This group is also looking into the possibility of renting a building as a gathering point (with bathroom access!). More information on these options will be available later this week. Anyone interested in encampment or being part of that group can see POC Dan.
Point of Information: If we rent a property, we may be in violation of certain codes if people stay overnight.
- Dan responds: If we rent a building no one will stay there. Remember, we are working on all the details to avoid any negative legal ramifications.
Finance (no POC, Jefferson speaks): There is another donation box located on the table, as the donation box may need replacing. It has been brought to the attention of this group that the donation box needs counted and emptied daily. (Tyler): This group consists of 2-3 people who independently tally and hold the donation funds.
Logistics (no POC present, Sarah speaks): This group is currently working on making a consolidated POC list so the POCs can remain in direct communication with each other. Logistics encourages all to attend the Facilitation discussion sessions so the GA process can be adapted to meet our needs!
Marie – Expresses that she is happy to be here and has been preparing for this movement for years! She urges all to do their own reading on the nonviolent process (even before or in addition to the offered training), as we need to prepare for ANY eventuality. We also need to create a process to interact one-on-one with anyone who comes to this circle and seems to be under the influence of any substance, for obvious reasons.
Dan – We need a people trained in first aid on site 24-hours a day. Alcoholic beverages must not be consumed on site. Dan makes a proposal: NO ALCOHOL OR DRUGS WILL BE CONSUMED ON SITE.
Q: What if individuals consume off site and come to our area intoxicated?
A: We are addressing the consumption on site. If there are any visibly intoxicated people, we differ to H&S's training on diffusing these types of situations. H&S members must impose themselves in the midst of potentially explosive situations. The details of this policy is worked out within this group. All members should take responsibility in identifying these situation so we need the help of all of the members of our community. If you would like to assist in training to diffuse such situations, join Health and Safety work group, see Dan.
- AMENDMENT: We will consider this proposal only for the Capitol steps site at this time. The proposal will be readdressed if we move to a new site (such as the future encampment site).
- Proposal moves to vote. CONSENSUS VOTES, PROPOSAL STANDS.
Mike – This movement depends on participation Everyone needs to voice their opinions and ask how their talents can help the group. We are working to build a better community. Thanks to all for coming on a Saturday night when you could be doing something that involves less thought!
Jefferson – As a potential outreach idea for older people who do not have the internet or those who do not have access to a computer, suggests renting a post office box to allow folks who have no other means of contacting us to write in or send donations.
- Point of Information (Brett): There is a post office very close by with PO Boxes we can rent.
- (Carl): Warns against sending cash to a PO Box, suggests using PayPal for donations.
- (Dan): Agrees that PayPal is a good idea, but the PO Box is specifically intended for those who cannot use the internet.
- (Carl): the PO Box should be used for check or money order donations ONLY. This discussion is tabled for the PR and Finance work groups to discuss for future proposal.
Sarah – Was going to suggest the same as Carl, that Finance could look into a PayPal like account for donations and to hold the donations we already have. (Brett suggests WePay). Sarah would like to connect with the Finance group to discuss these options further.
Kevin – Suggests we move to a more high-traffic area downtown to engage the larger community.
Dan – Requests volunteers for cleaning and consolidating our area tonight.
Brett – The markers are all dried out! We need more supplies and cardboard.
Point of Information (Sarah): My car is full of cardboard, I have been waiting to unload it so our space is not too cluttered. (Members volunteer to help unload).
---GENERAL ASSEMBLY CONCLUDES---
NEXT GENERAL ASSEMBLY SUNDAY OCTOBER 23, 2011 @2AM
*There is a lot of uneaten bread at the Food Station – let's all eat the bread before it goes to waste!
NEEDS: Supplies for poster-making (markers, cardboard, etc.)
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