General Assembly Minutes 01-29-2012

Occupy Harrisburg
General Assembly 

Opening (20 minutes)
Thank you for being here right now and occupying this space with us. This is a nonviolent peaceful movement. Smokers, please be kind to non-smokers and smoke several feet away from the doorways.
- Assign Roles
Facilitator:Darryll| Peacekeeper: Rick | Timekeeper: Darryll | Scribe: Cat | Notetaker: Melissa |Doorkeeper: Carol Stacks: Jackie
- Proposals
- Review of Proposed Agenda+
This agenda was created this past Wednesday by the Facilitation Working Group. Meetings are held at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore at 5:30 pm and last approximately one hour. Darryl asked to insert agenda item of Rescheduling Time the Sunday GA Meets. Group Consensus: Affirmative.
- Review of Hand Signals:
Agreement | Disagreement | Undecided | Point of Information |Point of Process | Louder | Move it Along | Block
Working Group Reports (30 minutes)
Each group will report on what they’ve done in the past week, and what’s planned for the coming week
- Direct Action: Mary H.: Is it fair to say something now re: March this evening in solidarity with Oakland. This is a national phenomenon. Other cities are rallying tonight. Sue and Carol have candles. Anyone have more to add?
Sue: I’ve been watching all day. There are solidarity marches in major cities. Occupy Oakland tried to occupy a vacant building and turn it into a community center. They were met with tear gas, rubber bullets and beating. There were 300 plus arrested including journalists. Occupy DC also under attack as we speak. This is an opportunity to re-energize the movement. Put up the event to keep posted on Facebook: 7 to 10 PM
Jackie: Proposed March from Capitol to City Hall. Good time for us to show that OH is still active and paying attention. Weather is in our favor. It’ll be cool but not rainy. 7PM: Rally at Capitol Steps with March following. This takes us back to our roots.
Marie: Asked: Will the March be later?
Sue: Rally at 7 then see turnout and decide when to march.
Karl: Where to where?
Sue: Capitol to City Hall.
David J. A million people taking to the streets in Egypt. To me, this resonates with what’s happening in Oakland.
Jackie: I put it on forum- got feedback that this could be good. Keep it at 7.
Marie: I’ll come late and hope to find you
Jackie: Hopefully you’ll hear us.
Marie: Pretty important step that’s happened – glad it’s gathering steam quickly. (Sorry Marie…missed it…)but she mentioned lack of medical care being a problem .
Karl: Lots of politicians advocating property rights over civil rights. This is wrong and anti-occupy.
Mary: Satori Farm Hearing Tuesday, Jan. 31, 9:30 AM. 228 Walnut St. Harrisburg. Federal Courthouse. Facebook event on OH. 15 people are signed up.
February 27th: Rally for Social, Economic, Gender and Racial Equality in Solidary with the People’s Revolution in South Africa. Same time as the White South African project on the Capitol Steps. We need help with this: We are looking for:
-Karl Lay needs help contacting churches and community leaders
-Creating flyers on economic and social justice
-Large peace flag
-People to de-escalate
-Teach-in re: restorative justice
-Tell friends
Direct Action no longer meets two times a week. It is now Tuesday at 8:30 PM. See Mary H for more information.
- Finance: Darryll: stepped down from Facilitation to report: empties box at steps twice a week, sometimes more. Keeps the cash til it reaches one hundred dollars then deposits in Members 1st account. Have 400. Now. See transactions on the website : links to a googledoc.
- Facilitation: Darryll: Today’s agenda formed by two people- Darryll and Amanda. We would like more people and more input. We meet at Midtown Scholar BookstoreWednesdays at 5:30.
- Paradigm Shift: Amanda: meet Tuesdays at 8 PM. Our regular meeting site closed so this varies in location. We’re working with Moviate to show ACLU videos on racial profiling. Give us your phone number and we’ll text you re: the location: We’re flying by the seat of our pants.
- Health and Safety: Sue: haven’t met regularly. Re: cold weather issues: we did a teach-in re: dressing in layers etc. Left brochures on cold weather preparation. Donations of clothing have helped keep Steps people warm. Watch for hypothermia: winter isn’t over yet. Also left info on Steps re: tear gas treatment and protection. In light of what we’ve talked about the likelihood of police action tends to increase as we go along. Protect yourself physically and legally. Protect yourself first. Questions?
Dave J. I stopped at the Steps and asked what they needed and they said handwarmers. There are only 4 left.
Steve: (Occupy Supply liason) Showed a case of handwarmers: He brought two cases!!! One is closet at Friends, one at Steps.
- Public Relations: Chris Bu. There are a couple of things going on. We are submitting an Op-ed to the York Daily Record , the Patriot News and any other paper that will print it. We posted a draft on General Discussion. Got lots of great feedback. Second draft done and posted to the Google General Discussion. Also have copies here. In conjunction with Movement and Development and Outreach there are two Occupy Your Brain posters are ready. Please take a couple, make copies and post anywhere: telephone poles, cafes etc.
There are two events on the Monday Occupy Your Mind series that take place at the Midtown Scholar Bookstore at 5:30 PM. Feb. 6: Professor Thomas Place speaks on the Freedom of Assembly-First Amendment Right. Directly applies to Occupy. Please try your best to attend.
February 20th: Democracy and Education: The Circle School Founder speaks.
Last week I showed promotional posters: Take some; I added the website at the bottom and these have various quotes from different people trying to relate to all kinds of folks..quotes from George Burns, Mohammed etc. What people have been hearing is corporate crap-outright lies. We hope this outreach will result in new blood.
Working on a press releases about Satori Farms. ?? Brett and Brendan are helping with PR behind the scenes. We need help. If you have something for PR, let us know.
- Capitol Steps: Carol: Met last week. Sparsely attended (4 attended). Things are working well at the Steps. Only have one person signed up for meals on Tuesdays but meals appear. Please continue this! Let Carol know if you need more. Refrigerator didn’t work so we are still in need of one. We meet on Tuesdays at 6 PM at Friends House.
Dave J. Does Occupy really use the kitchen? The daycare at Friends would like to use it but Friends has given Occupy priority in the use. Carol: We can talk about that later.
Karl: Can we talk about February 7?
Darryll: Can we add it to the agenda. Consensus reached. Done.
- Mission Statement-: Karl: Working on it- Would like feedback- haven’t gotten much. I have developed two strong statements using wordphrases: SOAP and ECLIPSE. Khaldun has helped with this.
Darryll: Concerns?
Barb: There’s a group working on Visioning every Saturday at Friends. It would be good to collaborate re: this.
- Movement/Development: Darryll: stepped down as facilitator to report: Other Occupies have been calling- especially Lancaster and York. Darryll’s short on ideas: You can contact them yourself if you have any.
Karl: Going on Tuesday to York GA: Would like people to go with him. See Karl if you want to go.
Re: February 7th for Governor Corbett’s budget proposal: ideas: Karl: March with a casket. Do trial of Tom Corbett.
Melissa: Occupy Salem displayed a “bat signal” on their Capitol. I don’t have the know-how or technology for this but I think it’d be cool to do something similar the eve before and of the Budget address. Also, I’m participating in the Interoccupy Phone call tonight at 9 PM which will be discussing actions re: Feb.7th if anyone has any ideas for me to bring to that call.
Steve: Was anyone on the Regional Call last Monday? (no one) York, Lancaster, Pittsburgh and Philly all want to join an event at the Capitol on Feb. 7th.
Jackie: Christ Lutheran Church’s Medical Mission clinic was mentioned in the paper recently. This is on Allison Hill. We should reach out the them ..go in as Occupy and give them a donation.
Karl: Invite them to a GA
- (others?)
Energy to the Steps Report (3 minutes): Darryll: There are two batteries. I’ve been checking the voltage and charging them when they’re low. Nick Marino has battery charger also. You can call him to arrange charging. Caution: Charge at the lowest setting to get a longer charge. Dan V. contributed a small stove good for heating small things like burritos. There’s also a heating pad which can go under a coat to keep someone warm for hours. Any questions? None.
- Questions/Concerns
{Break} (10 minutes)
Brett: There are possibly 50,000 oil refinery workers striking over safety on Wedesday. WE will know by MN on Tuesday if this is happening. Philly is shutting down 3 refineries. This topic was added to theagenda.
No War On Iran: National Day of Action Feb 4: Lots of Occupies are involved in this action.
Discussion on what the General Assembly wants to do in Solidarity with the event:
Any ideas?
Karl: Suggests greeting people in Farsie. ..just like “hello!” “Say hi, how’s it going?’
Mary H. Direct Action discussed this and decided this was too short notice to work on developing something
Brett: See if any local groups are doing an action and join them?
Group agreed.
(8 min)

Feb 7 Corbett Budget talk :
Karl: Tuesday PM going to York GA 5:30. Would love to bring someone else along. See Karl. Give input, listen and coordinate. Only time to bring this back to discuss would be next Sunday’s GA. I’ll finish up my play on the Trial of Tom Corbett.
Chris Bu. Governor addresses join session (House and Senate)
Brett: Public can’t go in; He offers a line by line budget so we’ll have to see what it says
Steve: Interoccupy call with Lancaster people. Occupy Harrisburg should act as a host to these groups . They didn’t know how the Capitol works: need someone to show them the ropes and have food provided.
Barb: For the Gov. Inauguration, our anti-fracking rally had food and hospitality here at Friends house before and after the protest. We could do that for this. Also , I just went to DC for a rally and we wore referee shirts and blew whistles. I have 6 that we could use for this.
Karl: Facebook it. Place 2 rally points (before and after) with a fall back point for emergency medical needs. Don’t post the fallback point.
Darryll: Planning can happen outside this meeting.
Feb 27 Love Rally (to counter the White Supremacy group who will be protesting) : Discussed earlier: Further logistics can be discussed outside of this room.
(9 min)
Community Outreach
Discussion on how we can be more involved in the community.
Jackie: talked online about this. Contacting churches to do GA’s in the churches is an idea. Also, can we enter the rotunda during the day-carrying signs? Can we ask Andrew?
Darryll: Official answer by Sunday?
Jackie: From Andrew or the Capitol?
Darryll: Bring as much info as can to GA (sorry…lost who was going to do this)
Woody: The most important thing is to talk to people as yourself, as an occupier. The only real way to connect with people. We are a community.
Melissa: The Unitarian Church (Clover Lane) is planning to have Jefferson Pepper talk about the Occupy Movement on February 12th in their adult forum. Jefferson is listed as the contact person on the website for people wanting more information re: Occupy Harrisburg. Is he still around? Should he still be the contact or should there be someone else?
Karl: Jefferson doesn’t need to be the face of Occupy. We should go to the February 12th event. All of us are the face of Occupy.
Marie: Jefferson is good at talking. Having him is good. His time is limited. I’d suggest replacing the phone number with the Steps phone number.
Cat: No! Don’t do that!
Sarah: Does anyone else have access to our PO Box?
Darryll: I have a key to it. I check it a couple of times a week. It is largely empty except for a few ..(newspapers?)
Brett: Jefferson is supposed to be our media contact. He should be involved in this discussion. He was the only one willing to get involved and the only one who is media ready. Anyone else want to get involved with being media ready?
Chris Bu. I’d like to remind everyone that only one person came forward. That was Jefferson. Before we get too far, he needs to be involved in this conversation.
Woody: Someone (I can do this) should contact him.
Dave J: Ask Jefferson to attend a GA once a month.
Sue: Movement and Development should reach out to people who have faded away and ask 1) Are you ok? 2) Did something happen? Did the direction we’re going in turn you off (not just the cold weather)?
Darryll: We can see that outreach internally is breaking down. Can we put a time frame on assigning a new contact or bringing Jefferson back?
Chris Bu. We should contact him. I hate to set a deadline . We should contact him and ask him if he is still with us or not.
Barb: In any organization, there is a person to represent the group as a whole.
Carol: If Jefferson is speaking on Feb. 12th maybe he can come to a GA that day as he’ll be in town.
Ed: Don’t we have a PR group? Shouldn’t they be involved and be the contact point?
Brett: We are…but the issue here is we need a new one. Right now we have one and he was the only one willing to step up.
Darryll: Running low on time..let’s move on.
(8 min)
Rescheduling GA : Darryll: Some people can’t make the GA at this time.
Mary H. : How many is this a problem for? How many people are we losing?
Darryll: About 3-7.
Sue: It’s difficult to move. You’ll lose others. My question is “As we head back into Spring, will we go back to GA’s on the Steps?
Karl: I’m a strong advocate for going back to the Steps starting the first Monday after the 1st of April. Have a 7 PM GA there. Expand from that if we want. As far as Sat/Sun..have them no later than 6 PM.
Woody: Keep in mind that we may be bringing people in…I don’t see that changing the time is necessary…now people are realizing that this time is when the GA is.
Jackie: I tell people all the time that our GA is on Sunday from 2-4.
(5 minutes)
Oil Refinery Strike (4 min):
Brett: Every 3 years, unionized oil refinery workers look at a master contract. 18 oil refinery operators have died on the job because oil companies wouldn’t pay to fix a process to improve safety. The union just released a statement that the workers voted to have a general strike on Wednesday. I propose that we get a list of 20 people to take action at gas stations of the companies a die-in there or stuff like that. These companies are making money hand over fist. Brett agreed to be the main contact for more info re: this.
Open Stacks (5 min) Anyone can ask to speak about an issue related to the movement.
Dave J.: The World Economic Forum, a meeting of the 1%, meets every year re: corporate profit. It’s happening now in Davos, Switzerland. Occupy Davos was there outside. The people attending the Forum were polled with the question” Is Capitalism still viable?” So the top of the pyramid was debating this question! 40% responded no, 20% responded no and 40% didn’t have an answer. At the same time, there was a World Social Forum meeting in Brazil.
Karl: I understand we have people who have been arrested. It’d be good to debrief them. 3 things to ask them: 1) What was the purpose of your arrest? What did you intend? What’d you accomplish? 2) What did you learn? 3) Any regrets?
Jackie: Occupy DC has received a warning notice. They are looking to get rid of McPherson Square tomorrow. Earlier, a rep from the Park Service investigated and said Occupy DC was within their rights..that the tents were a protest. Now they’ve received a warning..probably political. Isa from CA needs to be contacted re: this. We’ll put his info on FB: Call him, e-mail him, twitter.
Barb: I was disappointed that there weren’t more of us at the fracking presentation the other night. Gov. Corbett now plans to lease 40% more of our state forests for drilling. This is against our Constitution. We need to get on board!
Jackie: I think we’re all behind this and the state is behind it (anti-fracking)
Karl: Point of info: The industry promised economic benefits and said that 200,000 jobs would be created from this. Now we it’s 20,000 with an equal number of temporary jobs. (to workers from out of state). Crime has increased related to this: Prostitution, drug abuse have increased. The Sheriff’s Departments have been told by local officials to ignore out of state license plates though it’s law that if you’re here for (more than a month?) that you’re to change your license to PA…not putting money into the local economy.
Barb: We learned a lot the other night. Radon gas is released from fracking. 30,000 are expected to get lung cancer. Krancer (Lead of PA DEP) is on TV saying we should have basements tested for radon and then he’s promoting fracking which releases it. This resource would only last 6 years and destroy other livelihoods.
Karl: And hunting and fishing.
Dave J. And drinking water. Marcellus Shale gas is billed as being clean energy but it may be dirtier than coal because of the methane gas which is worse in carbon leaks.
Mary H.: On a much lighter note, February 12th is Occupy Art Day. Guerilla art and Theater art and other art would be most welcome.
Chris Bu.: Received an e-mail re: Occupy Supply. There are 120 member liaisons. They are giving away a (5x11?) tent, 3 media laptops with webcams and 12 $100. Gift certificates. The nominations must be received by MN tonight. I’m willing to nominate us unless there are objections.
Steve: (Occupy Supply liason): Nominations don’t have to be a single person and Occupy Harrisburg can be nominated and many nominations may be received for the same. The link can be found on FireDogLake’s home page.
Someone asked: Are we the longest Occupy?
Jackie: Asheville.
Mary H.: Anonymous released all of Mayor Quan (Oakland)’s contact information..her phone number, e-mail etc.
Melissa: There will be a Regional GA here on Feb. 24 in the eve and all day Feb. 25th. These have been happening..I don’t know details but I think the last one was in Scranton. Occupy Lancaster and York should know about these if they don’t already.
Darryll: There’s a FB event for that. Right now I only know the date. As I get more details, I’ll update that.
Darryll: We have about 4 minutes left. I’d like this to be only for people who haven’t said anything yet today. Does anyone who hasn’t spoken yet want to say anything? No response.
Sue or Carol?: There’s soup downstairs and Chili con Queso dip for after this meeting.
Dave J.: There’s Quaker meditation every Sunday here. It’s silent meditation and then if someone feels moved to say something they do. Some believe in God, some don’t. Everyone is welcome.
Brett: We really need a press release for tonight’s 7 PM event. Please do your best to make it to that. Brett and Chris Bu. will work on this after GA.
Steve: To follow up what Jackie mentioned, there were 140 occupations mentioned in one day in the nominating process for the Firedoglake gifts.
Brett: I’ve made a video of this GA. It’s too long to post on our site. I can post it to the youtubes on the show (Rick Smith Show). Does anyone object? Noone did.
Darryll: So we will upload this GA to the radio show’s site. No objections. We have some time left for anything else.
Barb: There’s a Progressive Summit in Philly.
Brett: It costs money but there are a couple of scholarships left.
Someone else : Today’s the last day to register ?
Halifah: I’m a Penn State grad student and I’m working on a project which I think could help with your outreach. I’m wondering how we could talk about it at the next meeting?
Woody: There’s a facilitation group. You can contact us and we can put it on the agenda.
Dave: Response to the World Economic Forum: The World Social Forum in Brazil is happening now. Its focus is on the world and the environment..ties in with Occupy. There will be interesting youtube videos about this.
Karl: Asked about D.A. Meeting and February 7th
Melissa-there’s an Interoccupy call tonight re: Feb 7th. to register
-A person from Friends Meeting approached me today and said he knows a folk singer who is pretty good who would like to perform for Occupy Harrisburg. I don’t know the singer but he mentioned that this could be a fundraising event for OH as people might be willing to pay to hear him. Group approved. Any ideas ?
-The Friends Meeting children did some cleanup of our grounds today and found lots and lots of cigarette butts on the ground. If you’re a smoker, please know that there’s a receptacle for your cig. butts near the door downstairs. Please use that. Thank-you!
Meeting Evaluation (8 minutes):
Darryll: How’d it go? How was your Facilitator? Everyone approved.
Someone (Chris Bu?): “Thank-you for opening the floor to those that didn’t speak. Here at Occupy, everyone always can be provided with a voice.
Woody: It was a little messy adjusting the agenda during meeting time. It was allright here due to the number of people but with more people it could’ve gotten out of hand. It’s also good if people limit the time that they’re speaking and focus on what you’re saying. There’s no reason for 10 people to agree re: the same statements
There was a comment on the stacks process but I didn’t catch it ..sorry!
Dave J: I have new contacts, but I couldn’t read the agenda.
Jose: Was there a doorkeeper? I didn’t get that.
Closing (2 minutes) Darryll: Moved to end the meeting : Thank-you all for being here. This is a peaceful, non-violent movement. Go in peace.
Melissa’s disclaimer: So sorry if I misquoted you or totally misrepresented what you had to say!
Didn’t write down who attended but this is what I remember…sorry if I forgot you:
Brett, Darryll, Mary H., Cat, Melissa, Rick, Roland, Will, Chris Bu., Todd, Khalifa, Khaldun, Marie, Carol, Sue, Barb, Dave J., Steve (Occupy Supply), Jose, Ed, Woody, Emma, Jackie, Karl D., Amanda, Sarah

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One Response to General Assembly Minutes 01-29-2012

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