GENERAL ASSEMBLY NOTES: Nov. 1, 2011
Facilitator: Thomas; Note-taker: Kate
Hunger Strike/Proposal to UNM President David Schmidly/Visitor Provost
Visit from Occupy Santa Fe members
Action Announcements (listed in order of occurrence):
WEDNESDAY 3-6 pm: Meet at Alvarado Transit Center downtown from 3-4 pm
Action at 4-6 pm: Groups of two or three people will ride up and down the bus lines in a coordinated way to cover ground, and engage in a conversation with our community members about why this movement is so critical, and as well as to hear the peoples’ concerns. Talking points will be provided for participants. We will be in communication with the bus driver’s union, and we will be paying for our own bus fare.
WEDNESDAY at 4 pm: There will be a faculty and student meeting in Anthropology 178 room for faculty and students planning actions in support of this movement.
WEDNESDAY from 7-9 pm at the UNM Law Library a Constitutional Law group that has been meeting since 1983 will have a class on foreclosures. All are welcome to attend.
THURSDAY at noon: There will be a teach-in at Yale Park in violation of the current permit. The folks participating are employed at the University and are putting everything on the line. Please show your support.
THURSDAY at 5:30pm: Carolina will give a workshop on dismantling privilege at Yale Park before the GA. It is not to blame anybody, it is a challenge for us to grow
FRIDAY at 5 pm: The Chile working group will meet at the Satellite across the street to work on flyers and other literature to hand out at event
SATURDAY at 11 am: Meet at Bank of America at 6605 Uptown BLVD. There are action flyers that can be downloaded at unoccupyabq.org for the event.
SUNDAY at 3pm: South Valley Marigold Parade/Dia de los Muertos. Meet at the parade lineup at Camino Familiar and Isleta the to get your face painted and to participate in the parade. Parade starts at 4 pm and ends at the Westside Community Center at 1250 Isleta Blvd SW.
NEXT WEEK: There will be teach-ins next week on Wednesday and Thursday form 11:30-2 pm in Zimmerman Plaza, weather permitting, or in the Sub if the weather is bad. We are looking for faculty and students willing to speak at any of these teach-ins.
UNM Provost Chaouki Abdallah has agreed to hand-carry a letter to Schmidly drafted by faculty at the UNM Law School in support of our group’s expression of free speech.
Someone talked to City Counselor Greg Wheeler about needing a public meeting space. He said the City parks are open form 6 am – 10 pm and we do not need a permit. Asked about other venues the city of Albuquerque has for us to use, he said they do not have an open policy for people to hold ad hoc meetings but he will look into it.
1,809 signatures on the petition, which were e-mailed directly to UNM president David Schmidly in support of the hunger strikers.
There are people present at the GA who are not working in the concensus model and striving towards consensus. This announcement will be repeated until there is mediation and unification.
There is food stored at Kevin’s that needs to be moved. Please let Howard or (him) know if you have storage space.
There is a slight problem with the web site: the “fabricon” on the web site is a Zia symbol. This is property of the Zia Pueblo. We should probably communicate with the Zia Pueblo to use their symbol.
Danny is a journalist who was in jail with MLK, knocked down on the steps of the Pentagon, and at UNM when students were bayonetted. Never leave this park. You earned it. Don’t go to some little park downtown.
In regards to tomorrow’s action, a member has printed stickers that say (un)Occupy Albuquerque, We are the 99%! The action is tomorrow at 3
Several members from Occupy Santa Fe have come to show their support with (un)occupy Albuquerque and would like to know any specific ways they can help.
We now have a web site at www.unoccupyabq.org
There are two web sites; one which the GA consensed upon, and one which was launched without the GAs consensus, which is occupyabq.org. Proposal for a discussion where people representing both web sites come together and talk about why this is the case.
There was discussion about our Tuesday Action Brainstorming meetings becoming regular general assembly meetings. This, and all other agenda items on the board will be tabled until Wednesday.
Hunger Strike/Proposal to UNM President David Schmidly
UNM Provost Chaouki Abdallah attended the General Assembly, as President Schmidly declined to attend himself. The Provost said he was here to listen to us. Sebastian Pais read the following statement calling for the resignation of Schmidly, and recognizing the support of the Provost. Sebastian declared that we have won this battle, and the hunger strike is over. Sebastian read the following statement and proposal
I am happy that the provost of UNM has taken the leadership to come meet us tonight at Yale Park and during our assembly. We know it is unusual for the UNM administration to meet with such a large gathering of people not precisely wanting to pad their backs. We acknowledge the effort and respect you
We also recognize that the other thing unusual is our movement itself. A movement created by people from different paths of life, different ideologies, but with very similar struggles. We came together because we know that we can and it is our duty to strengthen our democracy and seek change in an economic model that is increasing the inequalities among equals. We fight for accountability in all levels of government. It saddens me that President Schmidly decided not to come tonight and be an example to all other public servants. While it saddens me, it allows me to see that we are on the right track. That accountability is missing and must be achieved at ALL levels in our public institutions.
It is my strong belief that this proves that he is not able to fulfill the requirements of his position and I voice again my vote of no confidence and recommend his resignation.
We know many in the administration are the ones truly in power and after Schmidly is out, they will remain, and the structural problems will also remain. We will talk about UNM’s accountability, its budget, and where the benefits of professors are going, in a different occasion. Just keep in mind that we may forgive but we won’t forget.
But tonight we want UNM to hear our proposal. Something that I believe we can all agree on:
UNM observes our right to exercise our first amendment rights anywhere on campus.
UNM will not request a permit from us for holding working group gatherings (of any of our current or future groups or teach-ins)
We will not have a kitchen on Yale Park
UNM and the assembly will open an ongoing line of communication.
Our Assembly meetings will be respected and allowed through a permit on Yale Park between 5pm and 10pm Monday through Friday, Saturdays and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
As in any place in the state security forces ought to defend community members from anyone or anything that may cause harm to individuals or groups. Assembly members will not hesitate to contact local authorities if they feel their security is at risk.
Questions the group asked the Provost:
What does the Provost do? (answer: High moral authority, but very little power.)
Would he recognize this place as a symbol of free speech? (answer: He will see what he can do.)
Will you try to get the trespassing charges dropped for those arrested on Tuesday? (answer: I will try, but moral authority may not be enough.)
Do you support the 1st amendment? (answer: Yes)
Will you support our right to the 1st amendment here or anywhere else? (answer: Yes)
Will you support the violent repression of our rights here or anywhere else in the country? (answer: No)
Kristen asked the university to recognize and respect their responsibility to respect the peoples’ rights to freedom of expression.
Sebastian will need 10 people and a camera to go to Schmidly’s office tomorrow.
Visit from Occupy Santa Fe:
On Tuesday 5 people came down in solidarity with the courage we demonstrated to stand our ground in the park. JD, a SF occupier was arrested with others. Across the street, where she was told to go to avoid police violence. she was bataaned with others and witnessed four people being maced. She wants an apology to all of us. Last night in the Santa Fe GA it was addressed to send 3 or 4 people to Albuquerque on how to show us support. Ideas:
raise funds for any fines or fees that those arrested face
people skilled at working with trauma and semantic body workers willing to come work with anyone who was arrested or who faced police violence
how to collaborate with media: there was very little to no coverage of the police violence that occurred
supporting us in any way to stand our ground here in this park
we want to share our ideas
Ideas for collaboration
– since you are closer to legislature: push them to pass laws strengthening our freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. We need to have laws that give people the ability to stay in the parks at night for a protest like this.
– Since you are close to legislature: work on ending corporate personhood and ending foreclosures
– Collaborating on representation for people who were arrested (looking at use of force and specific violations that happened that night) Jail support crew is looking for people who were arrested that evening to document stories.
– Albuquerque and SF bodyworkers would like to provide bodywork the day after a direct action