About 25 people present, a few new faces.
OE = Occupy Edmonton. GA = General Assembly. WG = Working Group (a subset of OE participants who come together to organize tasks around a bundle of needs of the organization).
Review of process
Review of roles of GA
1) Bullet point updates - excluding: Facebook / internal comm, Finance, Gear Update for now.
— please leave proposals and discussions out of this for now, and write down your concerns and questions.
— Yuletide Occupy Event. Need major info push. Friday Dec 16th. Looking for comms support.
— needs storage bins, a few dishes, and also need transportation, and large pots.
— NVCommunication, on the 22nd, 7pm, hoping it wont conflict with GA.
— we have 260$ in lockbox, $1700 online (mike h is setting up account), there are some outstanding fines re: calgary action and flash occupation.
— Also, $3500 set up at Wholesale sports and $4000 at Cad tire from OWS donation. Also looking to set up account at bank.
Facilitation WG is becoming more active. Scheduling weekly meetings to figure out facilitation process, will start to do workshops on how to facilitate, also workshops on understanding the process.
— some folks are underhoused from our movement, there are commune and co-op ideas in the works.
— Also at toronto occupation eviction: negotiated 2 housing workers to be at former site to direct homeless and undersheltered people to resources in the city. Might be interesting to ask the city to consider the same.
— need more info from WGs about press release needs, timelines, and also need some guidance on press release parameters: what needs a press release?
Immediate logistical needs:
2) Claiming gear from Police lock up
Bill has forms that we need to fill out to get our stuff back. Gear hasnt been claimed yet. Most of the tents. would need a large truck and storage place, and people to help pick it up.
Dave has a lot of occupy stuff at his house. Like a mountain of it. Doesn't know what's there. Looking for help and someone to go through stuff to make inventory.
Jeff has been helping move stuff. However, he is looking for financial support for diesel gas. Coordinate with him.
There's still stuff at GP warehouse - stuff is organized. Storage area is being said to be okay at GP. Maybe need a timeline of moving stuff down the road.
Marty also has stuff at his house- same story, inventory and coordinate.
Also looking for our laptops.
Proposal to do complete inventory at locations and bring back to GA.
Bill has detailed list of items, most items not marked. List came from police.
Proposal to have a holding pickup area, weekend at GP. Announce weekend pick up, need transpo from other holding areas, and then transpo to move stuff to peoples homes.
5 ton truck available.
Proposal to have a pick up crawl.
Proposal to organize pick up day/ crawl, transportation, and so on. Bill willing to bottom-line this.
Idea to take pictures of stuff, post on facebook, tag people/ occupy and give 2 week timeline to claim.
3) Tent Donation to Calgary
— Calgary has an eviction notice for friday. - not sure about sending tent down.
— Calgary needs people - worry that items will just be confiscated.
— Calgary wanted media release and people coming down.
— Disagreement over press release, we will discuss after.
— Need more info from Calgary on what they need from us.
— Clarification being sought on needs, and some members at GA are working on getting it.
— Update: not looking for gear, looking for people. but after 2pm you will be found in contempt of court.
— Proposal: due to limited financial resources, propose that if people want to go and support at 2pm, that we do not cover the potential fines.
— Contempt of court is a criminal charge - potential jail time. spectrum change, but would still require legal support ($)
— Discussion on solidarity - ways to show solidarity, issue of resources.
— Idea to have people who are incurring fines do some fundraising work.
— Announce the call for solidarity over the list and acknowledge we will not come to consensus tonight.
— Media release support to be discussed after the GA
— People can do what they want out of solidarity, we will revisit fines down the road.
— Also issue of ongoing legal support: our legal support in edmonton probably would not represent us in calgary. dont know about if they can switch the trial to edmonton. calgary does not have strong legal support. legal support is much more expensive than a fine.
— Also idea to do community service instead of fines?
— idea: have a meeting between arts and finance - get fundraising ball rolling.
Addressing tensions around some issues:
4) Facebook and internal communications
— role filling,
— difficulty around appointment of admins,
— how is fbook administered?
— idea to have 2 admins, one attends GA, one is available moreso mostly online
— originally a handful of admins, then it grew with more admins added.
— idea to have admin list on page, as well as clear rule that admins do not post personal opinion, merely articles and facts.
— admin process and protocol to come forward
5) Working Group membership, autonomy, and accountability to the GA
6) Finances and membership of finance working group excluding gear update
(Internal comm stuff is first because the proposal we want to bring to the table will nicely segue-way into talking about WG membership, autonomy, and accountability.)
Qs to group:
- how do people join working groups?
- who decides on this process?
- what about accountability to the GA vs autonomy for decisions/process of WGs
- need for transparency
— Definition of working groups.
— ie arts: how many posters to make? dont want to report in for every single detail, but WGs report back. anyone can join, anyone can go. sustainability of WG
— question: is there distrust of working groups?
— support a certain amount of autonomy, but also need identified for transparency
— WGs need clearly defined mandates, areas of accountability
— physical document of working group book, summary of meetings, ideas, projects. kirk is willing to bottom line but would need cooperation from all WGs
— after first sharing circle, there was general agreement to not have one person bottom lining a whole WG.
— previous understanding is that people on finance cttee would be elected to finance given issues of security.
— committee accountability.
— GA seems to care about make up of some WGs, membership, tasks, and so on.
— Make a wiki to create online info, also could maintain group membership visibly
rotation of roles with trainings involved
— idea to have election of all members, to some disagreement. potential issue of non-importance of non elexn
— suggestion for inter-committee meetings: helps with organizing, helps with transparency.
— suggestion that election to other WGs except finance becomes a barrier.
— issue with auto-rotation: worry about skills and aptitudes and abilities to line up. but also what about skill-sharing and avoiding over-specialization
—— WGs have accountable processes to bring up to GA but decisions taken by WG are autonomous. This means that not every decision must be reviewed by GA before going forward. —— Documents should come together of what process and protocol is of each WG.
—— Add in mechanism that if GA doesn't like what a WG is doing they can use consensus to redirect the WG. Passes.
— Idea to also have open sessions of WGs: as a way to catch up. Fuzzy so left until next GA.
7) Activist Burnout and post-camp tensions, and what community can do to support / alleviate.
— People feeling silenced, alienated, angry with process
— GA - every other night - was thought that it was agreed, with spokes councils between GAs
This takes up the rest of the time at GMCC. All camp and action related issues tabled.
We decide that rather than holding another GA on Sunday, we propose that we meet for a mediation / sharing circle meeting to work out personal and political issues. This is later scheduled for 2PM Sunday at Expressionz Cafe. Next meeting will be scheduled then.