General Assembly Oct. 22nd Minutes

Speaker – Describing Marshall consensus rules, the hand signals for consensus, objection, blocking, etc.

Panda – People magnet: children draw people in

Shima – Outreach is having a meeting at an undisclosed location at 6:30pm for the UofA student group

Will be meeting at the camp and possible going to another location

On the 24th, going to an open meeting on the city. Some people ant to talk about the arena discussion. We are looking to organize for the Oct 29th international day of action, and also the Robin Hood tax. Join the Listserv if you want to discuss it

Colton – Big hand for the Kitchen staff. But we need more volunteers. Proposal: We’re going to be serving everyone, but marshalls are going to descelate them. If people are being violent, and continue to be that way, then we should not serve them for that meal, but we should allow them to come back and prove themselves. Passed with consensus

We need more tables to take things off the ground, propane, and containers.

Jennica- Agenda: talk about strategies for tomorrow, ask for identifying amendments to the agenda

Bren -Proposal for bottom liners to come up for each group and be elected as leader? Passed and is added to the agenda

Wants to read something.

Bill – Proposal to put off reading thing to tomorrow.

Block: we need to discuss these items tonight

Block: We need to have a judgement on these items before we plan what to do tomorrow

Jennica – Would you be ok with those items being included in our strategy discussion?

Proposal to move forward on electing people for the working group leaders.

Direct Point:We are having a workshop tomorrow on the reasons for Occupy, and putting it in simple terms and engaging people. Workshop is tomorrow at 3 pm

We need to elect people to lead the groups first

Jennica – Looking for consensus to have the election before we discuss the strategy.

Is the point about expanding leadership?

It is about calling new leaders into some positions.

Asking again for consensus

no consensus

Mike – We should have the talk about whether we are staying or leaving before we start discussing other issues that will take up the entire night.

I think that before deciding the leadership roles before deciding if we should stay or go.

Direct point: No one direct person is going to be making the decisions, so who is in chare now or who is in charge later will not affect what we are going to do

I think that we should have the leadership rotate before we make a decision

We are split on this, so we are going to move on

Jessie – There are some hostile dynamics going on in some leadership roles, we maybe shouldn’t talk about it now, but we should have a conversation about that.

We should have a discussion of leader’s leadership ideas before we go to electing leaders. We need to stand as one body. We will see the leaders in the discussion on strategies.

Direct point about strategies: If some people get arrested, we will get weakened. Edmonton is cold, so camping may not be the best strategy, but regardless of what happens we need to continue to have general assemblies and discuss issues.

Explanation of what a direct point is supposed to be

Jennica – Proposal: A lot of these things will come up in strategy, so we should discuss this, and that we should listen to each other, and not just be angry with people we have issues with. We should start going into the underlying strategy, and any underlying dynamics will come up during the strategy. These discussions should be woven into the discussion on the underlying strategy. Passes with consensus.

Mike – A letter was posted on the cork board, and was taken down.

Mike Houdema – I have it on my phone : … “Melcor is the owner of the site occupied by occupy Edmonton. … Following a weeklong occupation, we … request your group respect edmonton bylaws.

Melcor has no objection to use of this site during regular hours

Melcor respects the rite to protest

Melcor requests that overnight occupation cease at 11pm, Sunday the 23.

They believe we are putting some people who need help at risk.

Jennica – any feelings on this letter people would like to discuss, any consequences or relevant info?

Read’s article “Protesters vow to occupy private park”. Proposal? We must remember what we are here … We are protesting corporations running our governments, … Austerity measures are hurting regular people, but coprorations are getting more and more power … Anti-labour … Student debt … outsourced labour … legal influence … selling privacy … control of military … Politician campaign financing … misinformation … colonialism … torture … war for government contracts … Do people agree with that? (People aggree) I propose that we accept this declaration to represent our movement.

Shima – Would anyone like to discuss their feelings on this proposal

Chelsea – We can continue to organize on these issues whether or not we’re in a park. We must make lifelong commitment, and we have built a strong network. In the media, we have tried to leave the door open to us leaving. It’s important that people know that we don’t need a park to fight corporate greed. We have action teams, so do try to find some of them. I hope this doesn’t turn into an aggression building excercise.

Bill – I feel that the act of taking the park is a symbol, and if we fold on that we may be seen as being able to be pushed on other issues. We have to accept the possibility of imprisonment.

Unless there’s another park that’s more suitable, we weren’t going to leave the first time, so why should we leave the next.

I think it is an individual choice on whether to stay or go. We may be assaulted with tear gas or rubber bullets. People are here for different reasons.

Hector – I will stay and go to jail for this cause.

David – I don’t know why we have to see leaving this park as a defeat. Most movements are started by university students, There are parks near the university that we could occupy. The university crowd could make this movement grow and succeed. [Relocating to a place where we could get hundreds or thousands of members is a viable option.

there is something to be said for having everyone in one place, it is easier to organize, so even if we are not staying here specifically, we should find a place that will be our designated meeting place (like a bar or something).

Proposal:Would people feel more comfortable if we discuss tactics for if we stay before we discuss whether we are staying or going.

Jennica – once we’ve listend to the people currently in lined up, lets move on to group work

Chelsea – I’m not here because Melcor has allowed me to be here.

Shima – could we get more women making points.

People who are willing to get arrested should get arrested, and then we should move the camp somewhere else on Monday

We should keep people together to organize. Networking is important. I don’t think we need to occupy this space, but occupying a space is important. Less about changing the political system, more about changing ourselves.

Mike H – I want to say Thank you to everyone. I am not able to get arrested, but if people decide that we want to stay, I’m with you, if we decide we are going to leave, I’m with you. There are a bunch of possibilities with what police do: we may just get removed, trespassing tickets, charging and then dropping charges, dismissed charges, etc. We should discuss it.

If tomorrow people decide that it’s time to go, it’s not the end. If you have a cause like this, it’s easy to get the numbers, and it becomes a self containting unit. Everyone counts, so use this time to plan to make events and actions. This must go on wheteher we stay or not.

Before hearing about this letter, I thought we were stagnating, it was becoming less about the movement. It’s becoming a refuge for the homeless. I don’t believe that helps the movement. Now that we have a basic directive to leave, we should resist. I don’t want to obey the corporation, but if we want to move it again we should think about moving to another location. university, east lawn on the legislature.

If everyone comes to the decision to stay here, I am not going to leave my friends and walk away, but if we are here to change the world, you are responsible to continue to fight as long as you can.

I am confused as to why we are changing our minds. Shouldn’t we stick to our choices? Don’t give into fear.

It sounds like those who want to stay will stay and face arrest and the rest will cheer from the sidelines. The important thing we did was not to occupy a park, it was to build a community that is democratic and dedicated. We should keep meeting regardless of what happens

Lidnsay – Please keep this together whatever happens. We have to change the world and stay together. We have people following us online, and the movement is growing.

Jennica – We need to have a vote: there is stay, and if we stay we need to have a discussion on what will happen. We need to work on how we do our declarations and meetings. We need to work on how to keep our actions going whether we are here or in jail or whatever. Vote: should we stay or go?

Stay: Majority

Jennica – I think we have decided to stay. We are going to break into Spoke’s councils. We are going to break into different groups to come up with a plan for people who are willing to stay, and a plan b for if we get kicked out, what we are going to do. Legal team, support group, how to help people in jail, communications group to discuss how to keep connected. There’s a police liason role which is separate from communications.

Bill – direct point: Some people who are police liasons want to be in other groups, so lets do police liasons afterwards

Jennica – Ok, lets meet up with police liason first, and then have people break off from there. Everyone break into these groups

Jennica – Can all spokespeople please come up
David – I was on the Plan A committee.  We were discussing what to do tomorrow evening .  We have decided that if the police show up, it may not be at 11pm exactly, but we thought that the best thing would be if we could stay awake through the night, and get some rest tomorrow so that we can be awake during the night and be awake if/when the police show up,  We decided to stand, instead of sitting for legal purposes.  We decided that to have everyone gathered together until it becomes evident that we are getting arrested, and then have those who can’t be arrested siphon off to the sidelines.
JEnnica- We need to come to agreement
Bill – Direct point: Our idea is that when you are arrested, if an officer puts their arm on you, you must go with them so we do not escalate charges.

Shima – Spokeperson for plan B.  If there will be a dispersal, what to do next: Keep the momentum and message coming out of this movement going. Pssible arrival of a meeting place at Expressions Cafe, so if we are kicked out we can meet up there in a couple hours to have a GA.  We have a need of r acontingency plan for hwere peoples property is going to end up if we are taken away.  We ask that everyone who has property here, label your property with your name and pohone number,  We also ned a place where it will end up initally.  Any suggestions for large public spaced where we can put things?  I suggested Charles Simmons park.  We came up with the idea of collaborating with a group outside of the movement that has a teepee, or army tents, who want to get together with this group.

- We would like to offer to rent a Uhaul or van and gather up everything there in the mean time
- For plan b group, I suggest we march to the police station and chant/protest.
- One more thing about storage of stuff, we may be able to use the Greenpeace Sierra club storage warehouse.
Also if you have friends or family, please ask them to come down and make sure that your stuff is taken care of.
- They may do it the middle of the night, do we have a contingency plan for that?
- The plan is to stay up all night
- Expressions cafe will not be open at 3 am, so lets plan to meet at the Greenpeace/sierra club warehouse if that is the case.
- Proposal: Quick overview: Arrival at Expressions Cafe 99th st and 70th ave, abd we wiykd neet tgere ir at tge Greeboeace.Sierra club warehouse, and to have a buddy to look after your stuff.
- Ammendment: I think anyone who doesn’t want to lose their stuff should have it in the uhaul, but we must look like we are not going anywhere.
- Do we have consensus?  Consensus is agreed

Mike Hudema- Communications group:  We need people to get the word out, contact melcor, get as many people in the park as possible.  We are going to try to setup live stream, if there is anyone who wants to help with that, get in contact with me.  We are doing outreach to other groups to support us.  We have designated spokespeople to have questions and answers for the press.

-  Police Liason: This is a sensitive issue, so we must be respectful to each other.  There was a small group, we had a discussion with Mike Thomas, and the consensus that we came to was that since Mike has been doing a good job as police contact, he should continue as the phone number contact, but that Jeff and I and some other would support and consult with Mike, and to keep incontact about what is being communicated.  Any discussion about that?
Chelsea – I think it’s helpful if we keep geting updates about what the police and media are saying, and that we get prompt updates on that.
Chris – I think it’s a good idea to have a comittee, so that not only  single person needs to be around all the time, so I
- So is the the consensus that mike will continue to be the main communcator, and that there will be a group around him to help him disseminate that information, and that there might be some discussion about what is going to be communicated back to the police and melcor?  We seem to have consensus

Tevor – Legal: There are a number of us on the hail support team, we are going to collect information on people who are willing to risk arrest, you must fill out a form with your information (name, address, contacts, medical needs, pets, etc).  We are under the belief that unless youhave prior convitions you are likely not to be held, though you may be held if you sign conditions of release, some people have discussed that you not sign them, though that may result in you staying longer.  We are going to set up workshops on descalation, legal rights, possible legal consequences tomorrow night at 9 pm.  The role of the legal observer is very important, so if you are willing to be an observer please come down tonight, bring friends, video cameras.

Chelsea – We do have 2 probono lawyers who will represent us:  780-940-2550 Simon, 780-619-1420 Julia  Renoof law firm.

Trevor – We are collecting this info, it is being kept in confidence, and if people are arrested we will go into action taking care of those people.  We have a good group but we would like volunteers to help with requests and taking care of people.

Chelsea – it is highly likely that they will be taking people off the property and taking them somewhere else.  We are looking for people who can be at the release location, take food there, listen to them.  We also need peole for arrest release support for people when they are released.

Trevor – any questions?

- Would everyone like to stay together and march rather than meet at a Cafe?  That is what other groups have done

- The cafe was offered up as a “Next day” thing. for where to meet and have a meeting.

Shima – The cafe is for meeting, calling, getting information.  There may also be a meeting at the Greenpeace/ Sierra club warehouse.  We still need to check if Care Expressions is open to hosting us.  We’ll flesh out plan be a bit more tomorrow when we have mor information.

Trevor – Can I get a show of hands of people who are planning to be arrested and are yet to fill out a form?

Jennica – we did have a few pieces that were not addressed.  it is now 9pm.  Should we make a proposal on making a working document

Bill – we still need to have a discussion on leadership roles.

Jennica – I don’t think this is the right medium for that is a discussion, I propose we break and meet again at quarter to 10 if you want to be involved in that discussion.

- I think that being a leaderless movement is not a strength of this movement.  If we want to become a movement, we need a leader.  We have to find a process so that we choose our leaders so that they represent us, but eventually it is in the favour of the corporate and the govenrment if we don’t have leaders. We need people who have the best ideas for achieving our goals.
Shima – What we are suggesting is that we wrap up till 9:45 pm, people work on their comments, and we meet and sit in a circle and work this out without a microphone.  And the Working document will be moved till tomorrow, and that we don’t ratify them tonight, rather than dragging this meeting out tonight.

- Announcement: the new tent is a dishwashing tent

Permanent link to this article: http://occupyedmonton.org/2011/10/general-assembly-oct-22nd-minutes/

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