GA Notes – Sunday, Nov. 20, 2011
Facilitator: Hershe, Stacker: Camilo/ Maddie, Note taker: Maria
New folks: Peter, Marcos, Chris, Joseph, Stephanie, Eddie, Dave, Robin, Tin
We have 3 proposals brought forward from last Sunday GA 11/13/11:
1. Have only (un)Occupy Albuquerque – dismantle all other names, websites, and facebook pages. Start a new (un)Occupy facebook page.
2. Two separate groups, one GA – do actions together and have a Cooperative Action and Solidarity Organization group to solve issues of multiple websites, planning, URLs, etc.
3. Two separate groups, two separate GAs
Straw poll of where the group stands right now: #1) 14 2) 4 3) 6
Jessica: I support #2 proposal. I think it would not be productive to have 2 GA’s. Each group is weaker by separate GAs I have been able to be fluid between both groups and respectfully participate.
Stephanie: Agrees with proposal #2
Elaine: Maybe the best way to proceed is with a fishbowl technique and have a collective conversation to hear one another.
Amalia: Prefer to keep the process as a big group. I wish I could stay with #2 but my experience feels like there has been no trust built to continue with same GA. Consensus has not been honored.
Erika: I don’t think my proposal got on the table from last Sunday – that we find a way to work together as groups through an organizing/coordinating group, like a spokes council model.
Elaine: (direct response) We are still 1 group- your proposal would need to have a split first before being considered. Can yours wait for after this consensus?
Kiya: We made decisions as a whole group at GAs that were not honored. There has never been any accountability by the 504 Yale group for its actions.
Michael: (un) Occupy has said over and over that the trust was broken, but that happened when (un)Occupy stepped outside solidarity with Occupy Wall Street.
Terry: When we split we look foolish. Work this out or look bad.
Andy: Kiya asked for an acknowledgement that the occupy group admit to its actions. Michael has asked the same thing from the group. There will be no acknowledgements made. The most votes in the straw poll were for #1. Can we speak to proposal #1?
More people have arrived, so second straw poll is taken: #1) 13 #2) 11 #3) 11
Erika: I personally didn’t feel I was in one group or the other. (un)Occupy seemed like a splinter. I didn’t take a stand on name change. It didn’t seem like a issue until exclusion happened. All voices have to be heard for there to be 1 group. I will say that there have been actions outside of GA consensus, actions from both groups outside of consensus. If there are ever blocks then discussion should be tabled.
Jason: The reason I came here in the first place was because the actions were good. I feel the name change was a division- Let’s work as a whole.
Josh: My personal issues are that (un)Occupy takes us away from Occupy Wall Street’s goals. I have kept working on OWS. I don’t come to GAs because there is work to do. I’m doing it and I love everybody. These discussions get us nowhere. I’ll keep doing the work myself. I am in consensus with the world.
Jessica: We are here to build a world of peace and change. We can’t bring other folks in if we are not together. We must be one or we’re wasting our time.
__?__ Thank you for your comments. Even with 2 groups and 1 GA we will keep doing the work, we can keep going.
Amalia: It’s important that we remember that we live one of the largest indigenous land bases in the country. We are unique, we are different. The name (un) came from our desire to address those issues. How can we “occupy” something that is already occupied? But it also came from our belief in shared power – not the status quo – the corporate model. We didn’t want a People of Color tent somewhere off in the corner. We said we would share power between POC and White allies. We brought forth in consensus something beautiful. But consensus was not held, trust was broken. How do we come together in 1 GA? We need to ask why did the name come forward and why has it been dishonored?
Terry: Please don’t take offense – we are all equal. We are here for one reason- corporate greed has targeted all of us. Don’t let segregation be the divide. Don’t let race issues and the color of our skin divide us. We are one people.
Hershe: Recognizing racism doesn’t divide us – colonization does. We all responded to a call from NYC to stand up to Wall Street. Wall Street’s direct lineage is colonization. We figured that if the white guys who started camping in Zuccotti Park had thought a little more deeply, they wouldn’t have chosen that word. Look at the statements coming out of NYC, Oakland, Philadelphia and Boston in solidarity with decolonization and trying to make if right with people of color who weren’t included. Look at us – we were people of color and white allies from the beginning! When we chose to put that parentheses and those two little letters in front of “occupy” – that was a compromise for people who weren’t ready for “decolonize.” This resistance has been going on for hundreds of years.
Stephanie: I’m new to group. Is there a plan when we will talk about actions here?
Great agreement from everyone! We are all ready to get to action!
Peter: I’m also new. Is there a documented history and a way to permanently honor the name change? If not, there should be.
John: At the meetings when we talked about changing the name we talked about using Liberate Albuquerque. It was done through consensus. In taking (un)Occupy as our name, we are not going outside OWS. We have adopted the OWS declaration as part of our own. We have always been allied with OWS.
Elaine: #1 proposal is not workable, because even if we came to consensus about it, people aren’t going to give up their websites/facebooks; #2 proposal is a problem because we have not had accountability so it can never happen. #3 proposal can be the only way to go.
Erika: Let’s try to go towards #3 proposal. To be in support of the occupy group doesn’t mean that we are against (un)Occupy. But the name change was not in consensus and until that can be discussed there cannot be 1 group.
Andy: Like Amalia said we can’t look at the economy without thinking about slavery as the foundation of capitalism. And we still have institutions of slavery today – look at what happens with undocumented workers. I say proposal #3 – 2 groups 2 GAs but maybe we could come together as a larger ABQ GA on Sundays. (un)Occupy Albuquerque is the full-fledged movement.
Margaret: If we have 2 separate groups, how can we do actions? Will we lose people?
Christian: All of my actions have been as an individual in the movement – co-existing with everyone. (un)Occupy has not acknowledged to Occupy its wrong actions. I have behaved on my own autonomy. We must move forward towards action. #3 proposal is good.
Bill: Actions are what brings various groups together. Last week’s labor action at Paseo + I-25 is an example. There were many groups there and we worked with them – Move On, labor unions, etc. In the beginning, OWS came out with a very “hippie” sounding statement- that we should all work together as one people. It was a “white washing” of history and people said, “wait, there is racism.” If you really want to build a multi-race, working class movement to destroy this system there must be a point of equality. (un)Occupy Albuquerque is what I call myself- I know that we will bring together many people and 2 groups is okay.
Sky: I haven’t been to many GA’s here but I have some ideas. I would like to do a flash Occupation and bring people here to do it here. Please come and see me if you’re interested.
Jason: #1 is too much and a waste of time. #3 is too much difficulty in splitting. It’s a name game. #2 is our best luck. We can have action groups and GAs together.
Camilo: We did start another GA at Saw Mill Lofts and there was a huge influx of new people. All our flyers said (un)OccupyABQ, our website said (un)OccupyABQ and not 1 single person asked about the name – it was not an issue, it was understood. They all wanted to know more about OWS and the movement. Both sides have correct points on the process issue but I need us to examine how much autonomy do these GAs have? Is OWS our new federal government? This name change didn’t come from NYC but does that mean it’s not valid? I don’t have an opinion, but the name change was a local decision. I think we need to have at least 1 joint GA on Sundays.
Lack of support for proposal #1, so it’s removed from consensus consideration.
Elaine: Andy’s add-on seems like #2. It feels like our best option is to try for consensus on #3.
Bill: What if we agree on #3 but come together 1 day a week to discuss actions?
Max: Can we not find 3 or 4 issues that both groups could decide to work on?
Bill: (un)Occupy will continue full of actions and discussions and the other group will have a meeting somewhere else and each group will do its own internal work and its own actions with the understanding that we’ll try to come together at some point in the future when both groups are ready.
Consensus consideration on Proposal #3:
Carolina: (Stand aside) I’ve listened to all of this and the split is not from the name. I agree and support the reality of (un)Occupy. I don’t want to put energy into 2 groups, I will stand with (un)Occupy. I’m disappointed in the other group that they can’t move on to allow our whole group to move as one. I wish we all had the same political analysis.
Terry: (Stand aside) I came because we could be unified. I was here for the name change and I felt really happy about it. Then came the labels. I am here to work on actions. I want to be unified.
John: (Stand aside) Both groups are working in the same geographical area, with 5 people in one group and 5 people in another. Even with 1 day a week it is wasting time. It’s divisive. I hope as time passes we will unite. I agree with Carolina.
Voices drowned out as jets fly over head.
Kiya: (Stand aside) That fly-by was not a coincidence – it was a reminder that we live in the middle of a military industrial complex. The powers that be- they can see that we can divide and conquer ourselves. I encourage the 504 Yale group to organize teach-ins to work on issues of oppression and privilege. I ask you to look around you when you meet and see who is there and who is not. WAKE UP. It’s the 21st century. We do not have time for this!
Hershe: (Stand aside) I agree with those who have already spoken. We are (un)Occupy ABQ and having our name reflect who we are is one of the best things about our movement here. I hope this separation brings clarity.
Consensus: Proposal #3 – separate groups, separate GAs.
Michael: Re: Occupy group – we aren’t having GAs yet but everybody is welcome to come hang out with us at 505 Yale during the day. We will be having the Chile action on Dec. 3 and a music event in Robinson Park on Dec. 4.
1. Should we have GA on Thanksgiving Day?
Consensus. We WILL NOT have GA this Thursday, Nov. 24, 2011.
2. Media Liaison Working Group
Camilo: We discussed forming a Media Liaison working group at Friday’s GA. Cisco brought it forward. How do we supply info to the media? Perhaps a group can collect all articles and provide spokespeople to do press releases – and a contact person and get their message from the GA.
Carolina: We also need to train a group in interview skills – how to be interviewed.
Elaine: Clarification: Digital Working Group exists. It has been fractured by the Occupy group, let’s not make a new group – let’s re-activate what we already have. New participation is needed – Camilo, Carolina and Cisco can join. There will be representatives at Tuesday’s working group evaluation meeting and the GA can expect a report back.
Hershe: The Digital Media group has been a little confusing because it is actually the merging of the Media working group we’ve always had (primarily Press (TV/print) and the Website working group. We need to clarify who is in each of them and how they function.
3. Saw Mill GA report back:
Camilo: As I’ve said, the GA was very successful. We sent out 400 flyers. There were 20 new faces and everyone said that they knew people who were interested in the movement but couldn’t make it to our GAs here. We need to have a group who can train others in starting up GAs. People had some actions that they wanted to try to do for the holidays – re: food distribution. Next meeting (TBA) will include a potluck and food drive.
Amalia: What is your vision as far as communication between ?
Camilo: I will try to be a liaison between both GAs. Maybe we could send representatives from (un)Occupy to their meeting and have a rep from Saw Mill come to our GAs at Yale Park.
4. Public Service Announcements:
David has video footage – a series to put together. What can we say about ourselves? Each person could talk about our reasons for being part of the 99%. A way to show what are our issues. If people would like to participate, contact David.
Max: People can also use channel 26 + 27 on Public Access to make programming to do the same thing.
Terry: Can we announce when we meet here at Yale Park?
Camilo: Thomas @ Channel 26+ 27 said he would announce for us.
John: We can make our own program and it will play 2 or 3 times.
5. Nob Hill X-Mas Event:
Camilo: We came up with the idea that during the “pedestrian stroll” there would be some “carolers.” We can make a point of saying thank you for shopping at local businesses. Is anyone here interested in this idea? I need support.
Summer: I’m uncomfortable with the idea that shopping can be a “political activity.” It’s not the right model – but using this activity as a method for outreach is good.
Camilo: Info and outreach ONLY. I will post on the website when the next meeting is – and we’ll meet here today after GA.
Max: Organizations can have table there, too.
End of GA
A man from Occupy Buffalo who just spent time at Occupy Tucson shared info. about his experiences at both sites. Buffalo has an encampment and the city government has been very willing to work with them. Tucson is having more of a struggle – lots of trespassing citations and no camping.