Occupy Central Vermont General Assembly Notes 9/8/12
09/11/2012 in Uncategorized
Occupy Central Vermont General Assembly, Sept 8, 2012
~10 in attendance
Working Group Reports Back:
- Last night in Hardwick, first Friday street fair. Met with folks in the proto-Occupy group there, and tabled. Met good folks and gave out food and drink and had fun. Last one of the summer, but should do it again next year. Excitement about us helping with a pop-up in Hardwick in October.
- Bread & Puppet. 5 or 6 of us and 3 or 4 from the Northeast Kingdom – 4 times at B&P. Good folks and connections; will continue to further relationship.
- Farmers’ Market tabling – Occupied a table that had been abandoned by the Culinary Institute. Enthusiastic response. Would be excited to do again. Made connection with FM Director
- People’s Convention – Workshop tracks on Environment, Food, Health Care, and more. Lots of people there. First day was more vision-based tracks, second was action-tracks. Time to talk about us as people getting better at doing this work. Also the first draft of the People’s Declaration of Human Rights. One focus of the convention is about how many disparate groups can work together – VT groups and around New England, student group from Montreal, groups from Philly. Common root causes – having enough people to affect real change.
- Barre – Moving towards neighborhood organizing and getting involved in planning proposals and other issues. People’s Declaration could be helpful.
- S17 in NYC (Sept 15 – 17, 3 days leading up to S17 day of actions including many attempts to blockade Wall St) – Large group of people going from Burlington. 3 or 4 of us interested in going. Marie is going with them – contact is Stephen Marshall; meeting tomorrow to discuss logistics. Diane from NEK going. Hostel in Harlem is affordable place to stay. Other communal sleeping arrangements being arranged – bring bedroll/towel. Also, bring your business attire to blend in with Wall Street workers. Megabus is another option ($25-30).
- S17 in Montpelier – Margaret made a flyer. What should the event look like? City Hall, State House, guerilla park. Signs, mic checking, workshops. Noon time good for traffic in town. Capacity: 6ish could do a noon action for 45 min or so. Less sure if they could do something longer. Maybe another gathering at 5; some interest. Would Dell be willing to arrange details of meeting? Margaret will talk to her.
- Occupy townships – None in Barre. Hardwick folks are interested; Sue and Jay are going to the “Think Tank” this Wednesday or next – can take more definite plans with them – Hardwick folks would take care of a lot of logistics. Saturday, Oct 13? Most folks here could make it. Can Jay and Sue work with Hardwick people to come up with salient topics and help develop workshops. Hardwick Electric Company – socializing utilities. Ag issues. Interesting blend of socioeconomic status. Contact Jay and Sue with other ideas.
- FM tabling – Not next week (many out for S17 weekend). Sept 22 from 11 to 1 in the “free speech zone”. Should bring our own table.
Questions for the group (in groups of 2 with reports back):
What would each of us like to contribute to the larger community?
What would each of us like to contribute to Occupy?
What would we like to accomplish individually, possibly with or through Occupy?
What can Occupy do for me?
- Create visibility around push for fiscal austerity and push for full employment. Can do leg work. Occupy can make him famous.
- Building movement power. Smash capitalism.
- Promoting involvement in direct democracy, alternatives. Value of learning more about banking/economic.
- Alternative model to education system. “What is a movement” discussion. Book readings. Communal wisdom – consulting around specific situations in our own lives..
- Focus on the things we have in common – especially the economic problems that so many people of all persuasions are affected by. Revolution of love and compassion.
- Getting many groups to work together.
- Talking up Occupy with a lot of people and can do more of that. Was at Bernie event and interested that Occupy themes were so present, also in some DNC speeches. Important to get more media attention (LTEs, Margaret just got an Occupy column for the Bridge, WGDR and WDEV radio shows,…).
- Can contribute a lot of writing. Good that it draws a lot of people together.
- Would like to initiate a new public works act. Would like to do more people’s mic., can contribute that and street theater. Like the idea of Hardwick’s think tank – for OCV/community. People’s cafe (fall coming – how can we be in the public eye without being cold in the street – Bagito’s is interested).
- Economic equality. Photography. Time for me to step up into specific responsibilities. Not shy when confronting the cops, but shy about forgetting people’s names and who’s on stack. Wants to keep Social Security and wants Medicare to come back.
- Elections teach-in. Presenting all the problems and alternatives. Something about the WPA, unemployment.
Folding group into GA as a whole (and contact/email list consolidation)
- Group-organized Facilitation? Worked well for this meeting.
- What email lists exist? DAWG-used for organizing, Discussion, Announcement.
- Current organizers will decide via email whether to use the DAWG or a new list.
- Incoming email? New, single email address (email@example.com)? No volunteers to check it, so will remove the Contact page from the website for now.
Put People First group
- Lunchtime meetup at the convention. Nice list of folks to talk about how a lot of the groups (VCIL, Migrant Justice, OCV, VWC, 350.org, Red Clover Collective,…) have regular meetings with low attendance – idea is a larger group meeting once a month or so where we discuss cross-group issues. Also around monitoring bills in the statehouse that would affect any/all groups. Logistical nightmare. Good way to know what resources we have in our community. Similar to what OCV was when it started, with people from lots of different groups. Hard time with the name b/c of anthropocentrism and enviro problems; apparently also some folks with problems around “Put People and the Planet First”. Should look at experience of similar groups in the past: Rainbow Coalition…
- Twinkles all around
GA schedule and educational events for the fall -
- Movie showing “Rise Like Lions” about early days and weeks of Occupy. Sue and Jay organizing.
- Get something ready this week for electoral politics and alternatives teach-in. Jay and John organizing.
- Environment teach-in. Brian and John organizing.
- “What is a movement?” discussion just after the election. Generally people like the library and Saturday afternoon. Margaret and Brian organizing.
- Stick with summer schedule? Totally ad hoc? Commit to a few events each month, with flexibility?
- Proposal: GA first Saturday of each month, aiming for one educational event per month. Loose schedule.
- Consensus reached
- David will organize Occupy Cafe at Bagitos and bring it to the DAWG list.
- Keith McHenry, founder of Food not Bombs, talk at UVM on 9/26 at 7
- Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein at UVM 10/13, evening