OCVT General Assembly, Montpelier VT 5/12/12
Working group reports back:
- Feminist group trying to find meeting. if you’re interested in joining (dudes too!) contact kelly, heather, or bethany
- Direct Action WG – look for minutes of DAWG meeting on website. another proposal will come up later. looking for a new meeting time – moving from tuesday to maybe wednesday – if you’re interested get onto the email list or email heather or comment on the blog. dates and locations for popups tentatively:
- june 24th @ VBC
- barre will happen when they ask us
- plainfield july 7th/14th
- northfield 7-21
- waitsfield 8-4
- worcester – 8-14
- waterbury 9-8
- hardwick 9-27
- montp 10-6
- ? – if you don’t have a lot of time for meetings what can you do? tap in, talk to bethany, heather, brian, others.
- ? – will there be permission – sometimes yes, sometimes no. depending.
- so the agenda – feed back has been heard on capacity and being doable. starting with direct action at noon and following up with lunch and workshops 1-3 and then GA 3-5. this is the truncated version. a direct action would depend entirely on whats happening in the town – banks are a possibility. foreclosed homes a possibility. Planting gardens a possibility. Working with contacts in town to do actions that make sense w/ feedback. point of information – in barre they want to put up signs at all foreclosed home. plainfield red store for sale action other ideas. maybe goddard neighbors should be contacted cuz they’re upset about biomass plant.
- E& E – did not meet this week but they need a discussion topic for next week pls come to john/heather/jay. suggestion of banking structure – john will be doing this at the VBC 6-24. kelly’s leaving the group due to business over summer. please join the team. madeline has proposed working on leaflets for the popups – graphic representations, brochure w/ when and wheres and solidarity statements, website, vision statement. if you want to give input send it to sharrow32[at]yahoo.com. also maybe contact arts group. madeline would also like to make a sandwich board. discussion for next week could be start of debt conversation and also pull together research about the banks in montpelier.
- VBC – the schedule is basically done, the poster is out – they’re all around town and being put up. contact josh.
Regional statewide GA – two new working groups formed outreach/logistics and communications. logistics will rotate by location ad hoc. there is a point person from this group needed for outreach. facilitation is rotating participation in those and others are welcome to do so. marie is point person on communications for this GA. we’re just missing someone for outreach. volunteers? communications WG focuses on statewide internal communications. outreach is more along the lines of promoting stuff. Jay will be outreach point person. maybe a google group will get started? yeshua might be on that too. tokar – there was hesitation on mayday for people taking on dates. the dates have been deleted from the proposal, has there been any progress on agreeing to host the next one? heather – the dates were a separate item on the agenda, not part of the proposal. upper valley had a GA last week and consensed on holding the january one. heather will check in w/ burlington. jay – at the last GA upper valley wanted to do something in july – they’re now thinking of having a more social event in july where they’ll invite occupiers to come. they wouldn’t be asking for the statewide GA apparatus. jay re: outreach – someone from ny has been in contact – does anyone want to join a phone call. also, today in worcester there is a regional occupy gathering w/ an action – we need to get networked with them all too. lets pass this on to communications.
statement of solidarity and autonomy – the statements passed with some changes. under solidarity a bullet was added for protection of the earth. in the statement of autonomy 2 changes. first P2 at the end – all consensus decisions are publicly available. this in response to the importance of having donations made be transparent to local groups. last paragraph – large changes made. around other organizations – challenge other orgs to do what we’re doing. new text frames why and separates the last sentence into two. if people aren’t happy w/ this in the future we can reopen the discussion at any time.
OCCUPY at Independence Day Parade: lucy – july 3rd parade participation – we should be there and have our messages too. last year workers center joined, the coop was negotiating a contract and they were in the parade. why not occupy? lucy got a letter a month ago asking her org to join (grannies?). maybe it would be cool to go as the 99% and dress up. people could get together to decide what we want to do. its a big parade. this is the proposal. Womens Inernational League for Peace and Freedom (WLIPF) founded by jane adams back in the beginning of the 20th century – this is the organization that wants us to join. jay – is the workers center planning to come? Not as of yet, but WILPF says the more the merrier. last year they were not unwelcoming and it was good.
Consensus – passed. who can coordinate with WILPF for a couple meetings. deciding on signs and theme and whatnot. can we make the feminist caucus that point? heather would like a reclaiming democracy theme for the 99%? it seems appropriate. does anyone want to be the liaison point person? It’s more appropriate to ping it to DAWG.
Next proposal – STRATEGY ad hoc group has been formed and busting it out. a draft document has been handed out. wordsmithing is awesome and has begun to happen and will continue. wanted to start w/ an intro about why strategy is important – this is brief so far. hopes are that having a strategic framework will help WGs and individuals see how what they are doing fits into the strategy or design things to fit into our strategic framework. Over time we may want to develop campaigns and have goals. right now we’re just identifying the big picture. 1) grow. 2) develop shared analysis. 3) undo the systems and structures inflicted on us. – DIY. 4) prepare for the counter-revolution/opposition.
Stack on POIs and CQs – jay – thinks we should all look at it. what is social-political status? economical could be added to that? john – class? Stack for general discussion – tokar – generally likes it. feels like points 2,3,4 all point to specific activity and things we’re doing. however number 1, which is the most important, seems too general. if, as this document evolves we should prioritize elaborating the first point. develop collective thinking on what kinds of campaigns, tactics, etc. then it would feel more like a real strategy document. maybe a more specific point about public visibility. katie – wants to appreciate whoever participated in making this. it really works for her. wordsmithing – yes but great work. john – points 2,3,4 are backing up point 1. jay – likes the sun tzu quote, likes it. some of our work isn’t reflected in how many people come to this or that or what have you. bill – in regards to P1. recently saw a flow chart of a hierarchy/process of activities and the first part is unaware people, then move to aware but not active, then to the active, then to the goal-oriented. there are things that make people in the back more prone towards the front. heather – thinks brian’s point is exactly right. thinks the text below point 1 i trying to get there. this will happen over time w/ each other. to some degree we’re planning lots of public event and this is to start us into a shell to think about this work esp w/ popups etc. though maybe we can’t quantify we can assess our progress. through the course of the summer maybe we will develop goals. margaret – experience at local PO – an old guy saw her bumper stickers and said he had a story about occupy. ‘i heard there was some occupier who didn’t have a job so some guy said he could get him a job but he turned it down cause it wasn’t 100,000 bucks a year.’ we need to overcome these perceptions of who we are and this will vary depending on the place we’re at. there’s class issues involved in all this. john – responding to bill – we want to broaden out and communicate w/ the public but a lot of communication occurs on the margins and we want to get networks of people going and talking about occupy and working gradually from the outside in and the inside out you get a circular flow. lucy – gave heather a DVD about goldman sachs and occupy wall st. that had a rally and then went over to their building. what was so impressive was how each person was speaking from their hearts – talking about losing housing, teachers being fired, real stories from real people. their community was different than ours but occupy was helping answer those problems. we need to keep thinking about what issues are important to our community. if anyone has wordsmithing suggestions please send to firstname.lastname@example.org – this list has been reignited.
Next proposal – DAWG – tokar – a request came in from burlington that we do solidarity work against citizens bank w/ them. in btown its in a very high profile location, in montp its next to sarduccis. there’s 2 main reasons why they’ve chosen to focus on this – 1) apparently owned by royal bank of scotland who’s been focus of many actions over the years. a major funder of coal and bad energy. also involved in the bailout in the US – received 200 mil dollars as part of the bailout of AIG. 2) some super sleazy practices – the bank systematically defrauded customers by reordering the sequence of transactions to maximize overdraft fees. DAWG discussed – there’s 3 major corporate banks in montp and the other 2 are in higher profile locations. research ongoing – Toronto Dominion is a lot bigger – they’re in the middle on a lot of issues – not the nastiest nor nicest. people’s united – the biggest bank in new england, based in bridgeport, been buying up a lot of small banks including chittenden. there doesn’t seem to be any particulars other than they’re a big conglomerate. it makes sense to focus on citizens – solidarity w/ btown and the two specific issues to focus on. talked about focusing on friday, borrowing language from the resolution from burlington. leafleting customers, info on better banking choices. john – royal bank of scotland was the largest bank in the world before financial crisis, went under, bailed out by brits, now 84% owned by the brit government – there’s a US subsidiary called RDS america. bethany – clarify that the proposal means we do a DA against citizens, encourage credit unions, continue to look at other banks in the area and maybe spread out but for now its completely focused on citizens in solidarity w/ burlington and other groups in the area.
CQs and PoIs – do we know their hours? are they open saturday mornings? hmmm, no. we could find out easily. they had said fridays at noon for potential action time. steven – are they supposed to coincide w/ other actions. there they’re doing saturdays and are doing some on fridays. will look into it. jay – likes the concept, likes moving money, but where to? credit unions are not a credit union. are we gonna research the places we’re recommending moving to? yes it was talked about. the criteria are ones we would generally agree to – real signs its community based. we have some contacts. heather POI – we’d talked about creating a scorecard and letting people make their own decisions. john – local banks are also a good option. bill – likes the scorecard, there’s a rating agency called bauer to look up credit unions and savings banks for 1-5 star ratings. sue – would be more interested in their investments than their financial stability. would like to see an investments scorecard. also, some come in from far away so saturdays would be good if the bank is open. margaret – timing is great for this cuz j.p. morgan and chase. we can scare people. colin – its open 9-noon saturday. heather – there’s also atms in barre, berlin, and northfield and there’s been interesting artistic ways that occupies have increased education around the atms. this could be a possibility.
Consensus – passed. DAWG will be in contact w burlington. Brian – when would people be willing to come? friday at noon looked the awesomest. heather – it only takes two people to have a picket line! we can all do this any time
WG MEETUPS – there’s some new people and some returnees.
- E&E will meet in the shade-
- legal defense ad hoc work group – bethany and josh had signed up to talk to the police. any brainstorming. meet on the steps.
- DAWG – open to people who want to plug in to anything thats happening esp popups, banking, etc. meet in the shade. also july 3rd.
Quick reports back
- LEGAL – talked about preparing for maybe meeting with the montp chief and what we’d wanna talk with him about. pulling together resources and connections for a legal response – connecting w/ support and knowing our rights. having a teach in broader than the GA open to all at a separate time around knowing our legal rights w/ a civil rights lawyer and a cop so they can be hearing each other and correcting each other potentially. jay – can you ask about jurisdiction around the POs? he got threatened with fed charges.
- DAWG – nancy is here from hardwick. sue talked w some folks who own the video store in hardwick about popup – they were stoked. talked about ideas about things in hardwick that can be plugged into including the spring sustainability fair which is the sat. before memorial day. have a table? flyer? parade? july 3rd parade brainstorm. putting info about citizens bank into a flyer for picketers. next meeting in person wednesday evening. nancy had an idea about participatory democracy play reading explaining market capitalism, central planning, socialism, participatory economics. sue has said she’ll scan it for people to review it. heather – this could be good for the arts and theater working group
- E&E – point person will be john since kelly’s stepping down. heather’s stepping down and jay will step up after travel ends in a few weeks. the website will be changed. talked about discussion theme on banking issues – tasks were taken. talked about bank actions and doing a teach in in may or early june for the general public more than just the VBC. displaying tabling materials better – exciting ideas – does anyone have large cardboard or access to it? talked about brochure and sandwich board. talked about the library – check if freeride can offer a corner – madeline and emer. heather – donating a grocery cart transportation device. looking for donations to the library – give to the education group – economics, democracy, history, social justice. also talked about display. josh – is it possible to plan stuff a couple weeks in advance so the word can be put out better? thats the intent and sometimes its better than others.
- margaret – council of all beings at statehouse 6-14/15 10-4:30. creating a space to speak about people who don’t have a voice in government. come and represent an under heard.
- josh – contact him for VBC posters
- madeline – question announcment – looking for information about the NATO protest. bus? jay – money being put up for 99 spring thing. heather will put a link in the minutes about a bus. maybe marie posted to the facebook. its the 18th 19th 20th – is the bus leaving friday? the nurse’s union is supporting the bus? jay will send out more info.
- heather – if anyone today isn’t on an announcement/discussion list – if you have links you wanna share those are a good place to do that. occupycentralvt.org and look on the right-hand side for ways to join announcements. for discussion look under resources – this is a 2way list.
- john – re: 6-24. basic questions about what people know and don’t know.
- tokar – talk about chicago reminded him that his union at UVM got a msg saying national unions are willing to subsidize people’s expenses who will go to wisconsin and help w/ the recall governor election thing. wow! PoI its not a recall but a new election. dude against the mayor of milwaukee
- margaret – there’s a new plan for the POs nationally and in her community that people are upset about. its even worse than the other plan so we should all team up on that. PoI there was a slight victory but then they came out with an austerity plan which is not better. labor notes conference happened and it was a topic of discussion. white river will stay open, that is the victory.