Occupy Chapel Hill
General Assembly, Tuesday, December 20th, 2011
Facilitator: Katya, then Amanda
Attendance: about 12
Not Visioning, Action!
Instead of a visioning discussion along the lines of what we have been doing, Katya suggested that we begin by concretely discussing lines of action we can collectively take. Like outreach, everyone should be part of the direct action committee!
Some of the proposed areas of action that have been discussed recently:
-Roses store action against the archconservative Pope family (Steve)
-Occupy Courts (Heather) / Move to amend: idea to pack/protest at federal courts on Jan 20th, 2 year anniversary of Citizens United ruling
-Health Care (Katya)
-Billboards (Harry): there will be a public hearing on 1/19 at Wake Commons in Raleigh with “expert” and public testimony, regarding the practice of profiteering from timber sales of public land from unnecessary clearcuts around billboards.
-Foreclosure/eviction defense: Ann Shy is working on a January 21st event on the topic; Katya is participating in the Occupy Durham working group around this stuff.
Based on interest, we broke into 2 groups, one discussing Roses/Pope actions and the other discussing Occupy Courts/Move to Amend actions. We discussed for 15 minutes and then reported back briefly. For more info on getting involved with those actions, contact Katya re Roses or Heather re Occupy Courts.
1) the Camp
2) Xmas occupy
3) gay marriage
1) The Camp…
K: against the continued existence of the camp; we should close it down. It’s not an actual encampment, with only 1 or just a few participants. It’s a burden and we need to move on.
M: being in a bar district we can’t control intoxication level in/around camp, unlike in other occupations.
A:We also have smaller numbers, so no dedicated security team, buddy system, etc.
G: Stage 1 has run its course. For the pre-MLK takedown, let’s have a celebration. Ask town council for permission to erect permanent monument at post office. Continue educating- radio show?
A: life cycle coming to a close. Sad, but celebration eases transition. We like gathering; we all want to have a place to keep on connecting.
H: can we have a daily presence at the P&J plaza, maybe 10-6 daily, staffed in shifts? Maintain visible presence and engagement without encampment.
M: continue GAs here, consistency is important. But let’s have nomadic encampments, different places each night. Reject the city-state agricultural civilized modes of organizing! Have it be festive, slumber party! (enthusiastic group response)
H: doesn’t want to see camp break down (he’ll have to go home!) but he has made true friends here and grown a lot. No regrets.
D: issue with losing camp is losing visibility, which has a powerful impact. With three pronged approach of nomadic occupys + indoor space + continued visible presence @ post office, all bases would be covered. Shock value/surprise + community engagement + stability and space to engage.
N: second celebration idea to mark transition; against asking permission from town council for anything. Maintain spirit of occupy movement; no renting space, no permits, etc. don’t become a “mockupy”. Let’s get a proposal for tonight re celebration/breaking down camp, have discussions of working groups for moving forward on the day of the celebration.
H: what day? They want to clean on Thurs 1/12 or Fri 1/13. party on 10th or 11th.
S: plant perennial trees in preparation for future gatherings.
E/A: let’s still have GAs at the post office, not all mobile; consistency is good, it’s warm & central, etc.
P: please not 11th- we want people to come to Guantanamo protest in DC all that day.
G: let’s have camp breakup, then GA, then party on Tuesday 1/10., establish working groups to move forward.
After various discussion and tweaking, we settled on:
Part 1: Having taking into account the discussion on the listserv, we propose that when the encampment is struck [tents broken down] prior to MLK Day celebration, we will not reestablish a 24/7 tented encampment at the Peace & Justice Plaza at the post office.
Part 2: We will strike the encampment on Tuesday 1/10, followed by a general assembly including discussion of working groups for moving forward, followed by a party celebrating Occupy Chapel Hill’s first months and our continuing evolution.
Consensus reached! Holy crap!
[Items 2 and 3, re: Xmas occupying and gay marriage, were tabled.]
WORKING GROUP REPORTBACKS
Direct Action [David and Maria]: there will be a DA working group meeting on Wednesday, Jan 4th at 6 PM at the post office. Main topic will be nomadic encampments, as well as others. The working group will be meeting regularly over the coming weeks- get involved!
Events [Heather]:Heather has been getting solicitations for events from outside organizations. Cool!
-National Day of Action Against Guantanamo is on 1/11. Buses/vans going up to DC; scholarships may be available. Peggy Misch will be carpooling to Durham the morning of to meet bus; contact her if you want a ride or more info. firstname.lastname@example.org
-Harry: Sunday discussion about online etiquette. Harry drafted “online good neighbor agreements”, available to read on website.
-Heather: Human Rights Center in Abbey Court has offered to help OCH with translation, since working group has disintegrated. Let’s keep that connection going!