The issues we discussed were
The issues we discussed were
Next Saturday we are planning a 1-hour event in Montpelier. From 12 to 1 pm we will have our banner and signs at the Farmer’s Market where we will use the People’s Mic to present our viewpoint. Please come and bring with you text (poems/prose/ideas) that we can use with the people’s mic to present to the folks there.
If you like, let the Direct Action Working Group know that you can make it, and let us know if you have any questions.
Bring chairs, tables if you have them, food to share
Note: small group present, rather than break out into separate working groups, we chose to form a single group discussion
Present: Sue, Margaret, Marie, John, Dell, Diane, Christian, Mark, Cheyenne, Colin, Yeshua
Note: Open agenda / stack taken
Plainfield – issue: Biomass Plant @ Goddard
oh, by the way… while we’re on this topic..
Barre – Occupy Barre is meeting this coming Tuesday 6/19 @ 5pm in front of City Hall – discuss here first
Marshfield – Issue: poverty – Food Shelf need is on the rise (like 5x a few years ago..)
possible workshops / talks:
where in Marshfield is an open question, options aren’t the best
Decisions will be futher solidified after meeting up with Occupy Barre - we need representatives to go to their meeting!
05/31/2012 in Direct Action WG
DAWG Meeting Minutes – May 30, 2012
Present: Sue, Brian, Margaret, Dell, & John (representing the E & E WG)
1. Pop-Up in Montpelier June 9 (noon – 5)
NEEDS: People to march!
kazoos, drum(s), . . .
NEEDS: 3-4 tables; canopies of some sort; food offerings; store offerings
NEEDS: White board(s) – for schedule of events; perhaps for presenters(?)
(Chairs; canopy/tarp, if it’s rainy or really hot)
OUR NEEDS from the GA & others:
NEEDED: People to post flyers in other towns
We are considering our Montpelier Pop-Up to be our try-out; we will meet the following Wednesday to assess how it went, and make plans for subsequent pop-ups.
Meanwhile, Brian will check with Heather about Barre connections . . .
2. Citizens Bank action – update: We continue to work on putting together an informational pamphlet about the issues, and alternative banking options. Heather has just received information from the Burlington group. Sue, Brian, & John agreed to work on creating a pamphlet when they get information from her (not this week, however). Brian will contact Gwen to get clear information about alternatives.
3. July 3rd parade in Montpelier – we have the basics (tent costumes, signs, banner) – encourage people to march and make a good showing!
4. Re. the Direct Action gathering in Philadelphia June 30 – July 3
Question for the GA: Does the GA want some members to go to Philly, to represent our group?
5. Next meeting: Weds., June 6th at 6 pm at 170A Cherry Tree Hill Rd. (off Towne Hill Rd.) in East Montpelier.
05/23/2012 in Direct Action WG
DAWG Meeting Minutes — May 23, 2012
Check-ins: Brian, Sue, Heather, Dell
Reassess our plans:
1. Citizen’s Bank:
3. VBC: Place for re-energizing and connect with others
4. Hardwick Parade on Saturday:
Present: Brian, Sue, Bethany, Heather, Annie
Point person: Bethany stepping down as point person. None of the participants present could step up. Bring to next GA. Potential for a teamwork model of point person instead of just one. Maybe Brian, Sue and Dell (if we ask her) can combine forces.
Worried about momentum of projects and responsibility that befalls the coordinator. Brian will call next meeting. Brian will ask for space above the coop. Actually will meet at Heather’s in Barre at 6 pm.
Meetings will stay on Wednesdays 6-7, Mondays in the same time frame work too generally, though some conflict.
Feeling a little discouraged. Going to need more rallying and hand holding of local contacts that needed. Maybe we need to think about going to other towns where we know we have people. Maybe we need to be more spontaneous and not have everything planned out before we do it. Could it be something that is just relatively small but still a presence?
Burlington has had a few pop-ups. Just set up tents in a park. Talked to people in the neighborhood.
Maybe we should start with Montpelier, go out to the east Calais occupy farms, check in again with Barre.
Plainfield and Hardwick still feel very do-able. Would hope that we could get the Plainfield people to organize it. Ask to use the church space. Annie will help Brian think about doing one in Plainfield.
Plan first for Montpelier : June 9.
Parade from Farmers market, need drummers. Bethany will email Deorsha.
Brian is going to connect with VBC workshop folks to see if they want to test run them.
Heather will put it to E and E next week.
Food: Skinny Pancake? Mad taco? Bethany will follow up with them. Three Penny too. Bagittos too. Ben and Jerry’s. Potluck dishes from the GA.
Annie will ask Carrie if she can give massages.
Kelly has a big tent, E and E has a tent.
FYI: Bethany isn’t available that day.
Burlington posted on the facebook page asking OCVT to adopt their resolution and have solidarity actions here. The resolution was posted. Demands actions:
There is a good part at the end about the acts not being directed at the employees.
State bank option has been brought up as a potential alternative vision.
What other bank’s besides Citizen’s are good/ bad? Who is local?
Northfield is still independently owned but do sell their loans. TD has tar sands money probably. People’s United bought Chittenden. VT State employees credit union has begun to work more like a big bank. There is also the Community National Bank. They are local and do invest in a lot of local community, but not sure where else their money is. And also North Country Credit Union.
We need to do some more research. We don’t need to take them all on at once. What would be good would be to be able to offer alternatives.
Down the road it would be cool to have a score card of banks in central Vermont. We might be able to tap someone outside of OCVT that has this information more readily available.
Do we move forward with Citizen’s? Wait until we have a more developed plan? Group feels that we can move forward with Citizen’s now, being able to answer about a couple of alternatives. Would also be good to have the statewide solidarity piece.
We could also move on getting a petition on the state bank. Anthony Pollina can help with some information.
NEXT STEPS: bring to GA with plan. Have pickets on Fridays during business hours. Noon-time. Brian will propose at GA. We will be looking for working group operational time in doing research and create materials and such.
BT: been talking to Plainfield and Northfield people. Has interested people. No one from either group has volunteered to do anything yet. Has some Waitsfield connections from the 350 stuff.
HP: has talked to Barre folks. They are into it with questions.
BP: touched based with a bunch of herbalists. Was going to craft letter with a clear ask, didn’t, is it still useful. BT has some contacts- Adrianne and Jill. Brian has been using the original proposal and thinks it might suffice.
DW: has been doing some thinking around it. Has been working with Margaret with some envisioning stuff for the VBC. We need some plain, clear information about the occupy issues in general to help people understand what they might be outraged about if they stopped and thought about it. Note: strategy team is working on something around this and is very close.
Questions that came up were around how are we going to ensure that we are coming into a community respectfully and not just dropping in, raising a ruckus and then leaving. We need to be realistic about what our capabilities are and convey those in initial conversations with the contacts in those towns. What is OCVT going to do with the issues that are brought up? What are we going to support others in those towns going to do?
Having actions in towns:
Is it feasible to have one in each town? What would we do in Worcester for example? In some communities it might be a really political one, on some it might be making a community garden. Maybe flood recovery stuff. We have always thought that we would be working with the contacts in the local community to ID the issues.
Do we have too many locations? Or can we integrate issues in different communities? What is the end goal of our doing these projects? What is the purpose? Is it visibility and creating noise? Is it that we take on what we bring up as an OCVT issue? Or that we let the noise build and if others want to take it up (ideally people from those communities) we support that as we can.
Barre: June 9
Easy issues around housing and foreclosure. After discuss we think that they best thing for us to do is to reach out to them and let them know that we are ready to come in solidarity with them.
Workshops that are lined up from VBC can be repeated.
Northfield: July 7th or 14th? No, let’s switch dates and have Plainfield first. BT has contacts, will continue to talk to people. We will send a list of contacts we each have in Northfield to Brian (after we talk to them about it first), he will start scheduling meeting that some DAWG people can go to.
BP will work with HP around Barre. Will talk to D and E B about that, and other Barre contacts like SL too.
Need to start thinking of carpool/ caravan
We may not let people know about the direct action piece, but yes about the workshops and general assembly.
Wednesdays? Need to put out a poll. Next meeting Wednesday at 6.
OCVT Direct Action Working Group (DAWG)
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
1. May 1 planning
Outreach: Calendar listing, Press release, Invite to other groups
2. Non-Violent Direct Action Training Planning
4. DAWG coordination
5. occupy store fronts
6. occupy cafe
7. july 4 participation?
Present: Dell, Heather, Bethany, Bian, Margaret, Yeshua
1. May 1 planning- Capitalism on Trial
Speakers still needed. Haven’t heard from Yeshua re: art volunteers. Yeshua put something out this morning with a call for help. It will be a hustle to the finish line. Will be a challenge to pull it together. Still need a script. Brian secured Martin Pinkus to be a defense attorney, can do a good cartoon villain.
We should reach out to arts and theater ASAP. David Klein is arts. He saw Yeshua’s call for help. Wondered if there was a script. We don’t need a whole script, just an outline where people can improve. He seems interested in it more. Dell will forward his email. Heather will connect with him more. Margaret also on that group. Brian forwarded David K’s phone # to Heather. The puppet that Janice offered probably won’t work. Not scary/ mean enough. Hoping to connect with Bread and Puppet to use one of their puppets.
Margaret will also bring it up at the Council of All Beings meeting. Not until the 22nd or so. Someone on the Council may want to be speak for all beings.
Heather will continue to reach out to more speakers. Need migrant worker, postal worker, non-union worker.
Need to pull together an ad hoc group to nail down the program next week.
* Heather will connect with David and try to get ad hoc committee going.
* Heather will reach out to speakers.
2. Non-Violent Direct Action Training Planning
Er!k and Eric Bachman and Dell on board with training planning. Thursday at 4:30 planning meeting at Capital Grounds. WIll be comparing curriculum with 99% spring training with traditional NVDA training to see what they can do for the full day. Will bring a flier for outreach this weekend. Heather will check with Yeshua to see if we can have a registration page on the ocvt website. This is different than the training on the 14th (from 12-3). The 14th will only be a 3 hour version of a longer 7 hour version training. 14th will be a grounding in the movement, how do we connect with the 99%; what is going on with the economy and an overview of NVDA. The 22nd will build on that training. Small planning group will also deal with outreach and such.
June 9: Barre, Dell connect with Jo-ellen
June 24: VBC
July 14: Northfield, Yeshua has a connection… Jeremy Hanson, Bethany knows the town manager. Patty and Scott Maning (Brian knows)
July 21: Plainfield, Ben Graham connection, Issue: Affordable Housing
August 4: Waitsfield, Dave Van Dusen in Moretown. Also could talk to the Big Picture Theater folks.
August 18: Worcester, Dell. Raw food cafe. Linda Wheatly.
September 1: LABOR DAY WEEKEND
September 8: Waterbury
September 22: Hardwick
October 6: Montpelier
Next time: think about our approach to these people/ places.
4. DAWG coordination
5. Occupy Store Fronts.
6. Occupy Cafe
7. July 4 Montpelier Parade planning (discuss next time)
Pop- up Proposal:
With input from the GA and DAWG participants, we have come up with this proposed vision for which we seek approval to move forward with.
To increase diversity of participants, accessibility to the Occupy Central Vermont Movement, and visibility of this movement, we propose to have “pop-up” occupy gatherings every other Saturday (with some variance) throughout the warmer months, starting in May and going through September, potentially into October.
These events would happen in different towns throughout the geographic area defined as Central Vermont. The organizers would be responsible for making connections in towns we would hold events and making sure that we are connected to the resources, issues, and people in those locations.
Events would hold a number of different activities including a free store and library, alternative health care options or resources, information tables, youth activities, educational workshops and the weekly general assembly. Educational workshop offerings would vary from week to week and could include political/ movement education or discussion as well as skills share information. We would work with workshop hosts to build ALL workshops around the “occupy framework”, addressing the disparity of wealth and hording of power among so few.
As we enter community around Central Vermont, we will work to identify specific community issues for that area and address them in our time there. This might look like a workshop on a specific topic OR it might look like a work session with OCVT participants to help clean up an area, plant a community garden, picket outside of a local institution which is not supporting its community, or some other related activity. These activities would need to align to the occupy framework and be articulated as such.
Sample Day’s agenda:
10 AM set up and social time
11 AM workshop slots
12 PM Lunch and social time
1 PM Workshop slots
2 PM Workshop slots
3- 5 PM General Assembly
As workshops are happening, other activities can be happening also. Some workshops might be one hour, some might be two. Kids activities can happen at a set time during the day or run throughout the event. Free store and health care would ideally be available through the whole time, with some things like massage being at set times
In initial discussions, the DAWG agreed that we would need to let each location be built and billed as needed. In some towns, we might seek a permit, in others we would not. We would also have to play our outreach into each location by ear, balancing safety, accessibility and information sharing. We would look to our connections in each community to help define the best way to enter and do outreach.
The Direct Action Work Group would be organizational support, but functionality of organizing would happen through a sub-group focusing only on this. The DAWG has identified various supporting roles that would need to be filled for this project to happen. We believe OCVT has the capacity to fill these roles and encourage a OCVT members to step into these roles, even if they seem outside of their comfort zone, there are multiple layers of support available and this is an achievable, albeit ambitious, undertaking if many people carry the load together.
LONG TERM ROLES
SHORT TERM ROLES
04/03/2012 in Direct Action WG
OCVT Direct Action Working Group (DAWG)
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
Present: Bethany, Dell, Yeshua, Heather
1. Postal Update
2. 99% Spring/NVDA Training
3. Transition Town
4. May Day Check-In
5. Pop-Up Occupy
1. Postal Update: Letter going around to workers that OCVT signed on last week. Also a flyer posting tonight/tomorrow to the blog to be used 4/17 Tax Day Action. Download and print, or will have a bunch to pass out at action locations (i.e. Montpelier, maybe Barre, on 12PM on 4/17). Be great if Occupiers could come to pass out flyers and talk to people. Most people don’t know what’s happening but are outraged. We have a FAQs and other material to help people have conversations about it.
2. 99% Spring/NVDA Training:
3. Transition Town
4. May Day Check-In:
5. Pop-Up Occupy
Direct Action Working Group will be asking the OCVT GA to sign on to this letter on Saturday.
Dear Postal Workers,
We are writing to speak directly to postal workers everywhere in the United States. We hope you will take this letter and pass it around, copy it, and get it in the hands of co-workers in your own workplace… and also in other towns, cities and states across the country.
We are writing to tell you that you are not alone.
Your jobs have been put on the chopping block by a U.S. Congress that is determined to destroy one of the most valued public services in our country. They have put a fake – and impossible – demand on the USPS to fund the pension fund for 75 years into the future, costing $5.5 billion each year out of operating revenues. Their goal has been to close hundreds of post offices and distribution plants, lay-off thousands of postal workers, and allow the private companies to keep snatching up your work.
Millions of Americans oppose this.
We know that the founding principles of the USPS were to guarantee democracy by promoting communication and connection among citizens. The security of our correspondence is the cornerstone of freedom of expression… and that is the job of the USPS. No one has voted to give that up. It’s being slowly weakened and stolen… but it’s not gone yet.
We want you to know that members of the undersigned organizations are committed to standing by your side, and working with your unions, to protect the work you do and the service you provide.
We, members of the undersigned organizations, know that America becomes weaker every year as decent, well-paying, secure union jobs are eliminated by Congress. We know that our only hope as a nation is to maintain jobs during periods of economic recession. We know that unions are the main organizations that fight for equalizing wealth, so that workers can earn a fair share of the economic benefit they create.
We join you in your fight to protect your jobs, protect our post offices, and keep safe the public service we all need.
Vermont State Labor Council, AFL-CIO
Vermont Workers Center
General Assembly of Occupy Dartmouth
Pop-Up Occupy Planning
Reflections on feedback at GA:
How to move forward:
Brainstorm a vision of what we want it to look like:
Larger political issues:
These would be rotating workshops, not offered every time. We would define a set number of skillshare times and then plug people in to them. Each pop-up might have different workshops.
Each workgroup could have a ‘station’ like they do in NYC and it could be a check in place. We can reach out to WGs to see what they.
We definitely want to have a political education component at each of these. Basic economics, core occupy issues; also ID one or two issues that are current in each of the towns and try to focus the political education piece on those local community needs.
The larger vision for one speaker was around showing self reliance, that we don’t need corporations to fill our needs, we can rely on each other, build a good name for the Occupy group, give something back and stand for something, not just against
Outreach around these events would have the message about why we are doing it, the vision statement for the project as well as the OCVT vision statement perhaps.
Yeshua is connected with the Upper Valley group.
Bethany will connect with Heather about connecting with them.
pop up dance parties, May 1…. Bethany check with Heather.
more information can be found on the SAGE Alliance website here
May 1 Statewide GA:
This seems more of a communications and facilitation role. From the minutes at Goddard, there was a breakout group who talked about the May 1 GA. Traditionally in Europe, it is focused on Labor. VT Workers center is focusing more on Put People First. Talked about how labor also means more than just union workers. What can occupy do as part of May Day?
We could connect more with those folks about doing more of a may day labor speak out, inviting migrant farm workers and others. DO it in a fun way. Kind of a mock trial way where we put the capitalist system on trial. Not part of the GA, but something that would happen between workers center thing and before GA. Heather has a contact list for people who were in that group. We could call for a statewide DA working group to help organize this. Arts and Theater could be pulled in for props. A & T doesn’t do props right now, but there are other people we could pull in.
Burlington group is divided about what they want to do on this
Heather can be point person for this sub-group. Will facilitate communication and will request help where needed from larger DA group. DA group can help think about whom to reach out to come and speak, brainstorm the look and feel of the event.
Facilitation WG feels that the statewide GA is in their bailiwick.
Agenda looks like it will be coming to consensus around proposals that have already been put out. DAWG can think about whether we have a proposal to bring to that. Let’s put this on the next agenda.
NEXT STEPS: put on agenda for next meeting.
May 1 General Strike:
there are some nice posters that were brought back from NYC. Maybe there is a smaller version we can download to put up.
Can we do some companion pieces around this? Maybe a statement about why this is important. Why are we striking? What should you do instead of going to work? Can we get three businesses to shutter their doors for some point of the day? FAQ sheet to do outreach with.
Education and Empowerment could potentially do their next topic around this issue. Heather will bring this idea to that group. Can they help with a FAQ sheet? Let’s have a discussion with them on Saturday. Brian can help contact business around this. Heather can think about Barre businesses.
NEXT STEPS: Let’s do a joint work group meeting with E and E at the next GA. Heather will contact E and E.
Nationally there is a call to do a day of action about post offices on tax day but that adds the confusion about post offices NOT being funded by tax payers.
Word on the street is the Tea Partiers and the Chamber of Commerce is doing something on that day at the statehouse. We could plan a counter protest. Also there is usually something about military spending done on that day. We could look at how to support that. We don’t want to call much attention to the Tea partiers, could do something in a different area, maybe at City Hall, maybe something before or after our GA.
NEXT STEPS: Support other groups doing work on this, Heather will reach out to WILPF to see if they are planning anything.
Something to consider: Doing a DA everyweek out on the street to increase visibility. Maybe something every other week? (see next agenda item – flash mob/pop up occupy)
NEXT STEP: Consider more next meeting.
“Flash Mob” / Pop-Up Occupy:
There has been dialogue about “what else besides encampments?” Idea was brought forward to have short 24 hour (or less) pop up occupations around central VT every Saturday where we could offer services like access to an herbalist or skill share or free library, and be in a location for a short time, go home at night, reduce problems with capacity. It would help raise awareness about our group, open us up to hearing more voices from central VT and lots of other ideas. Group thought this was a great idea.
Next steps, bring to GA for brainstorm discussion. Would like to be able let people in the community know that we are coming there. What actions/services do we want to be there, what do we want to offer, which working groups can be present to create a mini-Zuccotti Park? Where do we want to go, what issues do we need to think about? We would be moving the GAs to those locations. Festival zones! ~ Skills share, information share, etc.
Bethany will facilitated conversation around this and will send blurb to facilitation.
NEXT STEP: Discuss at GA, Bethany will draft proposal for time from Facilitation.
For the future: June Transition town day and potential statewide agenda will also be something we want to talk about more. Education and Empowerment also wants to be thinking about that.