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by Colin

DIRECT ACTION Meeting Minutes – May 30, 2012

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)


  • Parade through Farmers’ Market to site; set up (noon – 1:00) – Bethany will lead – Sue has costumes, signs, OCVT banner

NEEDS: People to march!

kazoos, drum(s), . . .

  • At the site (1:00 – 3:00)
    • “Caravan” – Margaret – parked in front to announce
    • Tables:
      • Library & Literature
      • Free Store
      • Free Food

NEEDS: 3-4 tables; canopies of some sort; food offerings; store offerings

  • People’s Mic (Arts WG)
  • Education & Empowerment WG – presentations with Q & A time:
    • Historical Context of the Occupy Movement – Jay (1:15 – 1:45)
    • Debt & Dysfunction – John (1:45 – 2:15)
    • Organizing 101 – Heather (2:15 – 2:45)

NEEDS: White board(s) – for schedule of events; perhaps for presenters(?)

(Chairs; canopy/tarp, if it’s rainy or really hot)

  • Healing space . . .
  • At the site (3:00 – 5:00) – General Assembly

OUR NEEDS from the GA & others:

  • ** People participating in the parade, & hanging out at our Pop-Up Occupy site
  • 4 canopies/awnings/tents
  • 4 tables
  • 1-2 white boards
  • nutritious &/or yummy food offerings
  • paper plates, cups, plastic utensils
  • (chairs)
  • miscellaneous tarps (to sit on or under)
  • people to post our flyers in places beyond Montpelier


  • Flyers to announce: Pop-Up Occupy in downtown Montpelier on June 9, noon – 5:00 – Sue will create; John will post in Montpelier

NEEDED: People to post flyers in other towns

  • Announcement to send out to our e-mail list in advance – Brian will work on this

Subsequent Pop-Ups:

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.

OCVT General Assembly Minutes 5/26/12

05/31/2012 in Facilitation WG, GA Minutes

Facilitators: Emma Lilian, John. Stack: Stephen. Notetaker: Jay. Attendance: 9

1. Working Group Reports

DAWG (Sue) – had meeting Wednesday night

  • Pop-ups – June 9th pop-up in Montpelier in combination with Farmer’s Market; food give-away; talking about cutting back to 1 pop-up per month instead of one every two weeks – Montpelier, Marshfield, Plainfield, Hardwick, Barre (Heather has met with Occupy Barre concerning it).
  • Citizens Bank picket – which is better 4-5 Friday afternoon or 11-12 Saturday?  John – who’s doing leaflet?  Sue – leaflet task to E&E; Emma describes bank-picketing in Burlington emphasizing positive alternatives.

Finance WG (Sue) – current expenses of c. $200 for buttons, etc. plus additional $48 for pup tents bought for Hardwick event.  Need authorization from GA to approve expenses so we can start to disperse c. $70 we have now in our coffers starting with oldest debts first; John – Should we have a Paypal button for our Website? Jay – Also expenditures for books for literature table; doesn’t need $ money anytime soon but this is another example why we should be considering fundraising.  David – let’s wait til later for fund-raising proposals.

E&E WG (John) – no meeting happened this past week; rescheduled for Monday; working on prep for Citizens United, tabling with the pop-ups.

Feminist WG (David) – met last week to formalize creation of Working Group; notes will be available shortly

2. Proposals

Finances (Sue) – let’s accept our past debts (buttons, books, etc.) as official OCV’s debts so we can start paying them. Stephen – we need exact amounts first. Jay – need to do some fundraising. David – how do we do the reimbursing. Sue – chronologically but first need to accept the allocations. Jay – we need money right now for ordering more buttons; all gone.  David – Do we have to act on every monetary proposal?  Dell – Let’s act on this proposal now. John – amendment to authorize the unfreezing of the $70 and for tabling the rest of this topic until later. Sue – happy to go along but we may need to address immediate needs somehow like Jay said.  Passed, as amended.

Facilitation (John) – problem of declining attendance; main focus should be WG’s instead of GA; Thus proposing monthly GA’s; goes through feedback on why people are leaving from OCV (see appendix).  Emma – Facilitation has gotten this “vibe”; Dell – Can’t we plan to tie the GA’s to the pop-ups? Jay – Very unhappy and bewildered with people dropping out.  What the hell is going on?  Seemed like things were going great guns at the time of May Day.  GA’s maybe every 2 weeks but not monthly. Sue – I could support that. Dell – Yes, people are more busy in the summer but hard to let go of weekly GA’s; a month is simply too long.  Stephen – Real action happens in the WG’s.  TJ – fewer meeting would cause attendance to dwindle even more; wants weekly meetings no matter how small. David – If goal is to make mass change, we aren’t doing that through the GA’s;“Fetishism of GA’s”  Dell – One of the things I appreciate is touching on a weekly basis with everything that is happening. Emma – We are repeating ourselves.  Can we move on?  Jay – responds to Stephen, David that (1) WG’s don’t have much attendance, energy now either so they would have to be rebuilt, too, and that (2) having and organizing GA’s are a basic principle of the Occupy Movement as shown by founding statement.  TJ – Deleterious to cut back; hang in there!  Stephen summarizes two sides.  No consensus.  Jay threatens to block if necessary to stop change to monthly GA’s.  Sue – So when is the next GA?  For doing it next week, not 2 weeks.  Dell – We must have a GA next week.  Stephen – Should we just have open discussion on this issue next week?  Jay – Thinks this is a very valid topic for discussion but concerned about top-down process.  Stephen – Trying to find a way to take the current load off the facilitators.  John – Perplexed about what we as facilitators should do next.  Emma – Proposal is to table.  David – Can we just withdraw the proposal?  Dell – So to clarify, we’re doing a GA next week with the first hour educational and second hour regular business?  Proposal stands withdrawn.

Fundraising (Sue) – let’s brainstorm; her idea – invite Michael Moore; Jay – event at Three-Penny Taproom?  Ad-hoc WG formed for fundraising; Contact Sue if interested.

3. Announcements

  • Jay – wants feedback for E&E Working Group on possible internal education session on Lowell Mt. and renewable energy; tepid response.
  • John & Emma – about the Montreal student uprising and wearing symbolic red cloth squares to show support.

Why people leaving, not involved:

  • Process isn’t right/fulfilling
  • Personalities are off-putting
  • Too academic, statistic-driven
  • Not enough heart
  • Nothing seems to go anywhere
  • No capacity to take on more, but always the expectation that more can get added (esp. point person)
  • Feeling guilty/uncomfortable when ideas come up – because of capacity issues
  • Not enough people taking on tasks
  • Draining
  • Plenty of other things to be learned from other groups/places – overlap
  • Feeling upset when ideas are shot down by facilitators
  • Waning energy as summer is coming/wanting to put energy into other places
  • Participating in Occupy has taken time away from other things – losing social connections
  • Proceduralism taking place of substantive discussions (which are more important than structure)
  • Life takes over: Family life is busy, children, work, sickness, death
  • Incredible diversity of viewpoints in meetings is hard, sometimes extreme in some case, some people can acknowledge or dismiss viewpoints, but hard to reconcile.

Discussion Theme: Where Do We Go From Here?

05/30/2012 in Discussion, Education & Empowerment WG

The Occupy movement arose in response to the global financial and economic crisis as a self-organized opposition to the rising socio-economic inequality, and the corporate domination and corruption of our politics and government that caused the debacle. Yet despite the continuing crisis and committed efforts, OCVT has experienced declining attendance at its GAs and apparently waning energies. This Saturday 6/2 from 3-4PM the Education & Empowerment WG will facilitate an open forum discussion on the “nature” of organizing, what our aims are or should be, and how we can get our group back on track and re-energized. Please join us for a vigorous, no-holds-barred discussion! (however, stack will be taken). As always, you are welcome to post any comments or relevant materials in the comments section below.

E&E WG meeting 5/28/12

05/28/2012 in Education & Empowerment WG

Education & Empowerment Working Group Conference Call 5/28/12
Participating: Dell, John, Heather, Jay

1. Discussion Theme: Options could be to suspend the discussion theme this week and talk instead about the proposal from FAC WG, or discussion idea of affinity groups, or historical significance of Occupy. Agree with suspend and talk about waning interest. Are the other ways that the weekly event of some sort could fulfill need. How Occupy can get more organized, lead a discussion on organization, what’s working and what’s not working. Posing the question if E&E should keep doing the discussions at all, very few people showing up. Voting with their feet with showing up for the GA portion afterwards. Whether or not we’re doing effective outreach to let people outside of our little group know about what’s going on. Give over our discussion time to getting more feedback. John will lead off the discussion and take stack, open for general discussion, Dell will take notes / butcher block notes. Heather will listen for points of unity.

2. Citizen’s Bank: Heather will connect with Matt and Emma, help with layout, John, Jay, Dell, and Sue with help with wordsmith the flyer. Scorecard criteria info from Burlington too, see where we have gaps, discuss via email about where to research to fill the gaps, create a very preliminary scorecard, doesn’t have to be perfect, but a place to start. Give people choices, not be too directive.

3.  Teach-In: Put the teach-in off for the time being. Jay will connect with Scott to connect with Gwen once we’re ready to commit. Jay will stay connect with Andy.

4. DAWG Overlap with Pop-Ups: John doing a discussion about banking and debt, Heather doing something about organizing 101, Jay possibly about historical significance of Occupy, Arab Spring, Montreal, global context. John would like to connect with DAWG to make sure we’re on the same page. Dell will pick-up John to go to the DAWG meeting Wednesday at 6PM.

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by Colin

FACILITATION Working Group Meeting Notes, 5/24

05/25/2012 in Facilitation WG

Facilitation WG Meeting 5/24/12
Check-ins: Colin, Heather, John, Emma

Standing business:

  • Space: City Hall
  • Agenda for the GA (two-hour if needed):
    • Get someone to take notes. Intro – 10 min
    • WG Reports Back – 10 min
    • Feedback on Upcoming Opportunities/Ideas – 10 min
      • Direct Action – Pulse checking on Citizen’s bank protests (E&E (John and Heather at least) will help with flyers)
    • Proposal – 20 min
      • Facilitation – Discontinue weekly GAs. Next one on 6/9 during pop-up event. Then it’s VBC, so no GA. Next GA on 7/7. (John will propose)
    • Announcements – 10 min
    • Conclusion
    • Soapbox – Open
  • Roles for the GA
    • speaking facilitator: Emma
    • stack: Steven
    • notes: Someone attending
    • props (big paper/white board, banner, markers): Sue bringing banner
    • hand signals/outreach materials/agenda: John and Emma have copies of agenda
    • posting the FWG meeting notes to the blog/announcement: Colin
    • greeter/welcomer/de-escalator: Group effort

Other business, discussion

  • Discontinuing weekly GAs
    • Not getting many people at GAs. Is this working? What can we be doing differently/better?
    • Energy low
    • Summer is very hard, weekly WG meetings are hard. Commitment is too much.
    • Biweekly?
    • Once a month, with pop-up?
    • Good to bring a clear proposal and let the discussion change at the GA if necessary
    • Not many decisions lately, not much coordination happening. Not much need for GAs.
    • Next one on 6/9 during pop-up event. Then it’s VBC, so no GA. Next GA on 7/7.
    • GAs can’t drive the activities. WGs and affinity groups need to drive activities. WGs call for GAs.
    • Option for calling a GA when it’s necessary at any time.
    • PROPOSAL: Shift to monthly GAs with activities being driven by WGs and affinity groups. Next on on 6/9 during the pop-up. Following GA on 7/7. WGs can call for a GA when necessary at any time.

DAWG Meeting Minutes 5/23/12

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:

  • Flyer — Brian wrote to Gwen and will retry. E&E can help.
  • Standing question about whether weekly GAs are sustainable, thus whether weekly actions are possible.
  • Do one picket and see how goes, pulse check at GA on either Friday at 4-5PM or Saturday at 11-12

2. Pop-Ups:

  • June 9th in Montpelier? Brian won’t be there. Sue disappointed the first one is in Montpelier. If they are different enough, it might make sense to do them. Remembered that Bethany said she would help with a parade through farmers market and check with vendors about food. Can we get help from Arts & Theater? Feminist group tentatively working on teach-in(s)/workshop(s).
  • Maybe Barre in July, meeting with them later this week.
  • Maybe Plainfield in August
  • Maybe September for Hardwick

3. VBC: Place for re-energizing and connect with others

4. Hardwick Parade on Saturday:

  • Would like us to do a reading as People’s Mic
  • Made signs for folks to carry, and bought two tents for costumes
  • Jay sharing table with others from Hardwick (sustainability fair)
  • Sue spent money on tents for costumes, need approval for reimbursement through GA, probably should do a fundraiser because haven’t been reimbursed for the buttons.

Other business:

  • Lowell Mtn–action in July with wind turbines coming. Unclear where Occupiers stand on this issue. He also connected with Jay on a teach-in.
  • Point Person–Brian, Dell, and Sue are going to share duties.
  • Next Meeting–Wednesday, May 30th at Brian’s house. He will send directions.

E&E WG Meeting Minutes, 5/18/12

05/18/2012 in Education & Empowerment WG

Education & Empowerment Working Group Conference Call 5/18/12
Participating: John, Jay, Heather

1. Check-in on Discussion Theme

  • John, Jay, and Heather ready
  • Open discussion, Q&A

2. Teach-In: Banking, Finance Capital

  • Guest Presenters?
    • John Halasz – global capital
    • Andy Christianson – interstate banking law (JM)
    • Gwen Hallsmith – state bank (HP)
    • Greek Crisis ?
    • Credit Unions – Matt Cropp (Todd Bailey?)
    • Connect with Actions (citizen’s bank, TD Bank North, state bank)
  • When: possibly 6/12-6/14
  • Where: Hayes Room, UU Church

3. Library / Inventory Document / Material Presentation Display

4. E&E Role in Materials for Actions / Events

  • First Pop-Up Workshops / Teach-Ins on 6/9
  • Materials for Citizen’s Bank action
    • Bailed Out or Not Bailed Out
    • Fiscally Sound, Customer Services, Bad Practices
    • Owned by Depositors and/or Democratic Governance
    • Type of Investments – Investing in Vermont / Community
    • Selling off Mortgages
  • History of Royal Bank of Scotland

5. Next Meeting: 6PM on Fridays is not so great. John will propose to meet-up at 2:30PM next Saturday or circle up with the WG to find another time.

Direct Action working group notes 5.16.12

05/18/2012 in Direct Action WG, Working Groups

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.


  • May 26, Kiwanis Spring fest parade:
    • A full day of events.
    • Check in at GA who can go.   If there is mass, we can use the banner and information from May Day.
    • Could get some cheap tents and turn them into costumes with the signs.
    • Sue will bring it forward at next GA.  Parade participation and tabling.  Sue will explore whether they will let us in.  Will have a bit of discussion and signing up.  Sue will also ask for old tents.
  • WILPF, Independence day in Montpelier.
    • Open invitation, feels like we should do it and commit.
    • Make poster starting next week at the DAWG meeting
    • Tent costumes.   Could ask GA if there are old tents that folks don’t want anymore. Keep eyes open at thrift stores too.
    • Bethany will follow up with Lucy
    • Maybe we can get someone to make a youtube video.

Citizen’s Bank:

  • Sounded like there were a bunch of times people could just go, but we wanted to have a set time too.
  • Need to come up with literature.   Sue can take Burlington resolution and turn it into a flier or some outreach material.
  • Bethany looked at to look at a score card. Couldn’t find the criteria but did have a list of criteria that was easily accessible, what was there wasn’t about governance or such.
  • Burlington does have some resources.  There is also a website called public banking institute.   Will have information on statebanks.
  •  FYI: most of VT tax dollars are in TD Bank North.
  • We should connect with Matt Cropp in Burlington. Heather has had some conversations with him. Will see if he has information we can use.  Their slogan is “citizen’s bank is closing”
  • What are the criteria we want to look at.
    • How much, if any, did they receive in bail out
    • Where are their investments
    • State bank issue needs to be looked at.
    • Also might be good to check with Todd Bailey to see if there is a connection there.
    • Gwen Hallsmith might be another person to connect with.  Brian will connect with her.
    • E and E is also talking about this, we should connect at the next GA.


  • Northfield: Brian has sent emails out to contacts.  No one was able to step up
  • Waitsfield: no response to Brian’s email
  • Plainfield: no response about pop-up.
  • Hardwick: Open to us coming.

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.

Herbalists: Bethany

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.


Avatar of Colin

by Colin

FACILITATION Working Group Meeting Notes, 5/17/12

05/18/2012 in Facilitation WG

Facilitation WG Meeting 5/17/12
Check-ins: Heather, John, Colin

Standing business:

  • Space: City Hall 75-80 degrees and sunny – bring umbrellas/sunscreen
  • Agenda for the GA (one hour – e&e facilitating first hour discussion):
    • Intro & call for next weeks volunteers – 10 min
    • WG Reports Back –  10 min
    • Feedback on Upcoming Opportunities/Ideas – 20 min
      • DAWG – Parades? (feedback, not proposal) – Hardwick Kiwanis/Chamber parade in 2 weeks, July 3 parade in Montpelier
      • DAWG – June 9 in Montpelier?
    • WG Operations Time – 15 min
      • DAWG – Citizen’s research and other banks/credit unions research – Bank Score Card
        • Education – materials, a good simple effective flyer – why we’re here, what alternatives exist
        • Arts – signs
        • People to commit to being there
    • Announcements – 5 min
    • Conclusion
    • Soapbox – Open
  • Roles for the GA
    • speaking facilitator: Colin
    • stack: John
    • notes: Heather (or Emer or Jay)
    • props (big paper/white board, banner, markers): Heather
    • hand signals/outreach materials/agenda: Colin
    • posting the FWG meeting notes to the blog/announcement: Colin
    • greeter/welcomer/de-escalator: Heather if not notes

Other business?

  • Posters – conversation about general postering announcing our regular GA. Something for a future GA Ops discussion
  • Feedback on why people leaving (why they have left) – from asking people why they’ve stopped coming – How can we make the Occupy experience address concerns of those who are leaving AND how can we focus in tightly/intently on deepening the commitment level of those who get/remain involved. Maybe a topic for upcoming GA.
    • Process isn’t right/fulfilling
    • Personalities are off-putting
    • Too academic, statistic-driven
    • Not enough heart
    • Nothing seems to go anywhere
    • No capacity to take on more, but always the expectation that more can get added (esp. point person)
    • Feeling guilty/uncomfortable when ideas come up – because of capacity issues
    • Not enough people taking on tasks
    • Draining
    • Plenty of other things to be learned from other groups/places – overlap
    • Feeling upset when ideas are shot down by facilitators
    • Waning energy as summer is coming/wanting to put energy into other places
    • Participating in Occupy has taken time away from other things – losing social connections
    • Proceduralism taking place of substantive discussions (which are more important than structure)
    • Life takes over: Family life is busy, children, work, sickness, death
    • Incredible diversity of viewpoints in meetings is hard, sometimes extreme in some case, some people can acknowledge or dismiss viewpoints, but hard to reconcile.

Discussion Theme: The Banking System 5/19 at 3PM

05/16/2012 in Discussion, Education & Empowerment WG

Please join us Saturday, May 19th from 3-4PM for a discussion on the U.S. banking system. John Halasz will offer a brief compressed account of the workings of capitalist banking and credit, how it generates credit/debt without quite depending on a prior pool of savings/loanable funds. Additionally, we’ll look at how, even though banks compete with each other, they are tightly inter-connected and leveraged as a system and individually. Finally, John will explain how they operate through maturity transformation, borrowing short and cheap, and lending longer term at higher rates.

This trifecta creates a banking system that is prone to runs, panics, and financial crises, which requires supports and regulations to work “properly.”  When credit and debt out-run the productive and income-generating capacities of the real economy, the banks find new ways to evade their regulatory capital requirements through off balance sheet vehicles and lending to leveraged financial businesses outside the scope of official regulations, thus further leveraging the financial system (and loading the real economy with debt) through what has been called the “shadow banking system.”

Jay Moore will then briefly discuss the rising concentration of U.S. banking over the last 30+ years and the post-crisis/post-bailout policy of “regulatory forbearance,” a.k.a. extend and pretend. Heather Pipino will then briefly introduce legislative efforts to form a VT state-owned public bank. May a lively discussion then ensue!

For your consideration here are some background materials:

A business news article on how the largest banks post-crisis are dominating business lending:

A commentary by Simon Johnson, a former IMF economist, on the recent Obama administration “settlement”, (i.e. coverup),  with the major banks for malfeasance in mortgage servicing:

An earlier longer article by the same fellow on the bank bailouts and the capture of the political system by Wall St.:

A chart of the consolidation of the 4 largest U.S. banks today since 1990:

And an article on a state owned public bank:

Feel free to add further informative links in the comments section below.

GA Notes 5-12-2012

05/15/2012 in Facilitation WG, GA Minutes

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] 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 – 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. 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.

DIRECT ACTION meeting 5.9.12

05/12/2012 in Direct Action WG, Solidarity Actions!, Working Groups

Citizen’s Bank:

Burlington posted on the facebook page asking OCVT to adopt their resolution and have solidarity actions here.   The resolution was posted.  Demands actions:

  • Have branch close and leave city
  • Ask customers to boycott bank and move money to credit union

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.

General Discussion

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.


  • BP will update organizing tool.
  • People will start activating their contacts.
  • We will work towards Plainfield on July 7th and Northfield to July 21.

Meeting schedule:

Wednesdays? Need to put out a poll.    Next meeting Wednesday at 6.



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by Yeshua

Discussion & General Assembly 3-5PM on 05/04/2012

05/04/2012 in Discussion, Facilitation WG, Next GA location & agenda

Occupy Central VT’s next General Assembly is Saturday, May 4th from 3-5PM


We will continue outside again this Saturday, in front of City Hall in Montpelier. We will start with a discussion session – National Security State / Full Spectrum Dominance - from 3-4pm, with a 1 hour General Assembly following from 4-5pm. See the General Assembly Agenda below for more details.


Discussion: National Security State (facilitated by Education & Empowerment): Please join us for a discussion on the theme of the National Security State in the Context of Full Spectrum Dominance, the implications for political protest, and our responsibility as Americans living within the empire.


Agenda for the General Assembly

  • Intro – 10 min – call for next weeks volunteers
  • Occupy Vermont Report Back/Share – 20 min
    • Celebrate!!!!
    • Debrief and Report Back from march/rally/tabling [plus/delta/insight]
    • Debrief and Report Back about GA from others [plus/delta/insight]
  • Working Group Reports Back – 5-10 min
  • Working Group Break Out Time – 20 min (rally up and check in about Occupy Pop-In, not just for Direct Action Working Group to make successful
  • Announcements – 5-10 min

This week, serving our General Assembly will be: Yeshua (facilitation), Amy (stack), Jay (notes), Heather (props and facilitation), Steven (greeter/welcome), and Colin (de-escalation).

Discussion Theme: National Security State-Full Spectrum Dominance

05/03/2012 in Discussion, Education & Empowerment WG

The Occupy Wall Street encampments and protests have exposed the increased militarization of the police and heightened national security state. Protestors engaged in nonviolent direct action have been met with random and/or mass arrests, chemical weapons, and police brutality. OWS has lifted the curtain on an alarmingly militarized domestic police force, in line and supported by U.S. policy for global full-spectrum dominance.

Recent laws such as CISPA (Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act), H.R. 347 (Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act), and changes to NDAA (National Defense Authorization Act) have generated controversy over the implications for abuse of Presidential authority, illegal surveillance, and dangerous infringements on our constitutional rights.

What OWS is experiencing today has direct ties to prior U.S. history of the Cold War and McNamara’s “ladder of escalation,” which has built total U.S. global military dominance in direct relationship to U.S. global economic “interests.” We’ll introduce a brief background history to explore the basic question: What is this excrescent U.S. “national security state,” what sort of “security” does it seek to maintain, and in whose “interests”? Is the U.S. now actually only in an arms race with itself?. And how does it effect us, as citizens, members of the U.S. population, both in relation to how we view and understand our domestic society and how we understand (or not) the “outside” world?

Please join us for a discussion on the theme of the National Security State in the Context of Full Spectrum Dominance, the implications for political protest, and our responsibility as Americans living within the empire.

Saturday, May 5th from 3-4PM (before the General Assembly) outside City Hall in Montpelier.

There is a host of articles and resources on this subject.
Please feel free to add more resources and information in the comments section below.

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by Yeshua

Facilitation Working Group Meeting Minutes – 05/03/3012

05/03/2012 in Facilitation WG, Facilitators Planning

Cecile, Heather, Colin, Yeshua
Standing business:
  • Space: City Hall! (ColinG: check with library [Hayes Room]) — preserving relationship with library, cancel in advance (CecileG)
  • Agenda for the General Assembly
    • Discussion: National Security State (facilitated by Education & Empowerment)
    • General Assembly (second hour):
      • Intro – 10 min – call for next weeks volunteers
      • Occupy Vermont (OVT) Report Back/Share – 20 min
        • Celebrate!!!!
        • Debrief and Report Back from march/rally/tabling [plus/delta/insight]
        • Debrief and Report Back about GA from others [plus/delta/insight]
      • Working Group Reports Back – 5-10 min
      • Working Group Break Out Time – 20 min (rally up and check in about Occupy Pop-In, not just for Direct Action Working Group to make successful
      • Announcements – 5-10 min
  • Roles for the General Assembly
    • speaking facilitator: Yeshua
    • stack: Amy
    • notes: Jay
    • props: Heather
    • signage/hand signals/agenda: Heather
    • posting the FWG meeting notes to the blog/announcement: Yeshua
    • greeter/welcomer: Steven
    • de-escalator: Colin

Other business?

  • Strategy Process: on-going conversation, punctuated by outputs. Drill down to something more specific
    • more tangible helpful
  • Focused discussion on outreach/recruitment. Who isn’t in the room? (Lawyers, other resources)
  • Cecile’s participation for the next few weeks