General Assembly Notes
Sunday, March 04, 2012 at 3:30 p.m.
Notes: Katya and Gordon
7 people were present
Note: we agreed to have a short meeting and end at 4:20 to enable everyone who’s interested to attend the Dirt film screening at the Carrboro Century Center at 4:30!
March 15 Save Our Homes call to action (Diane)
May Day (Katya)
Ideas of things to do during GA/restructure GA (Diane)
Spring enlivening/awaking of Occupy (Diane)
Miriam asked for a report-back on the Statewide GA on Saturday, Feb. 25
Katya gave a summary of the day and said full notes of the GA are available online.
There were about 120-150 people there. There was a march from the camp to the Capitol. There were teach-ins throughout the day on topics like the Democratic National Convention, Anarchy, De-Colonization, and Charter Schools (about 20 present). There was a GA which included updates from all the Occupies present (about 8-10 Occupies, post-meeting note: per the minutes there were report-backs from 16 groups!), as well as resolutions. We passed a resolution against corporate personhood, one related to voter suppression (post-meeting note: I was wrong it was actually related to ballot restrictions to make it easier to get another party on the ballot –Katya), several related to communication among the occupies. We did neglect to bring a resolution against Amendment One to a vote. It’s unclear how this was overlooked, the facilitator isn’t sure and I didn’t notice either.
Miriam expressed interest in connecting with the person who did the charter schools teach-in (Katya will make that connection) and pointed out that there are charter schools proposed in both Durham and Orange counties (with about 6 on fast-track procedure).
MARCH 15 CALL TO ACTION:
Diane circulated an email she’d gotten from MoveOn.org that she said had originated with Save Our Homes to do actions on March 15. Diane said she couldn’t bottom-line an event, but wanted to get it out there.
Diane said she’d forward the email to the listserv.
Katya reminded everyone that there’s an Ides of Love march taking place that day in Raleigh (11 a.m. – 1 p.m.) that’s in solidarity Against Amendment One, and so to be cognizant of that.
Diane said maybe an action could be at a different time. (someone suggested a specific location, but I will not include that in these notes since it wasn’t definite. Check with Diane if you’d like to get this info –Katya)
Katya did an update on the planning meeting organized by people from Occupy Greensboro on Saturday, March 3. Nine people attended. It was a good meeting. We brainstormed a list of about 25 partner organizations that we can all reach out to. Katya also mentioned that Occupy Durham was working on a May Day event themselves, and although the planning meeting was originally going to be this Thursday, due to a scheduling conflict, Sara from Durham proposed Sunday at 7 p.m., which is the same time as the next Greensboro planning call! So we’ll coordinate and plan to get all groups, as well as new partners on the call then!
Described planning to be in touch with labor and immigrant rights groups as well as Against Amendment One groups, since May Day will be just 1 week prior to the primary day.
Katya advocated Chapel Hill joining the efforts in either Durham or Greensboro (or both), but not doing our own separate event as well. Everyone present agreed.
Katya asked whether anyone had prior experience with May Day events either planning or participating.
Gordon described his experience at a Viet Nam protest event in Washington DC in the first week of May 1971. A large unifying, gathering concert on Saturday May 1 (see linked photos) – Sunday, riot gear cops trimmed 35,000 people down to the hearty 10,000 who remained on Monday to shut down the city, which to a great extent happened. Showing support for the cause, universities and churches hosted overnights for the protesters which resulted in the cops storming Georgetown U to haul off the temporary campers. It turned out to be the largest to date civil disobedience event in America’s history with the largest mass arrest in our history, 12,600 people (79 convictions).
More info here http://libcom.org/library/ending-war-inventing-movement-mayday-1971
concert photos – top row on Events page – http://www.lineformandlight.net/Guide%20Photos/events.html
Miriam asked where the local groups are planning to have the May Day events.
Katya: my thinking is wherever would be most likely to give us a permit to march in the streets, because I’d really like us to have May Day march in the streets, and not do a sidewalk march!
Miriam: then Durham. Unless someone can be in touch with Nelson Johnson of Beloved Community Center, in Greensboro. He might be able to help with having it be on the streets in Greensboro.
May Day can/should be something that galvanizes people. (Miriam mentioned Ben & Jerry’s gave money recently to Occupy, she thinks OWS, so there’s still energy).
Diane: suggested having an overarching theme, so it’s not just a list of issues. Maybe something like No Person is Illegal? Or Dignity and Rights for All. And concatenate Dream Act and immigrant deportation issues.
(post-meeting note: after watching the film Dirt, Miriam suggested to me that we include something about the earth in our theme. –Katya)
If you’d like to join the May Day planning conference call scheduled for Sunday, March 11 at 7 p.m., please drop Katya a line and I will get you the info once it’s available.
Diane checked in on whether we could agree regarding the May Day solidarity resolution that Katya emailed out to the listerv earlier in the day.
Katya did not read the resolution, but briefly summarized saying it mentioned a bit of history of May Day said this was in solidarity with immigrant rights groups and that we’d be in solidarity with other efforts.
The OCHC GA of Sunday has approved the May Day resolution, but with official consideration rolling to the next GA to allow people to read it over on the listserv and offer feedback.
We decided to quickly do announcements and then with the remaining time, discuss the two remaining agenda items.
Miriam: Anti-fracking resolution will come before the Carrboro Board of Alderman on Tuesday at 7 p.m. come show support. This resolution will prohibit trucks carrying materials for fracking from driving through Carrboro. Then they’ll move on to Chapel Hill. Want to expand to get more municipalities to vote on this.
Katya: Phone banking Against Amendment One is Tuesdays-Thursdays in Chapel Hill/Carrboro. Coordinated by Community Church of Chapel Hill. See the OCHC calendar for the details. Or check out the fb event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/112894638834455/
BACK TO AGENDA ITEMS:
IDEAS OF THINGS TO DO DURING GA – RESTRUCTURE GA (DIANE)
SPRING ENLIVENING – AWAKENING OF OCCUPY (DIANE)
Diane: Mentioned the visit to GA by UNC students on Tuesday and how that prompted the group to think about What is Occupy?
As spring happens, this’ll become more energized. We need to plan. Occupy has something both similar and different from other movements.
Without the encampment, we need to talk about what we have.
It was moving to have people testify on Tuesday about what Occupy meant to them.
We need to keep the conversation going. Focus on economic questions. Keep the 99% central.
Matt: making our presence persist. Repeat the same core messages.
Miriam: that’s when the police became more violent (when we became more effective with our messaging). When Tana came and spoke about the history of corporate personhood. That was effective. We need a teach-in on the nature of corporate power that would contain explosively viral messages. Dissent is being suppressed. We should have this teach-in before May day.
Idea: have a teach-in (or teach-ins!) instead of GA sometimes.
Matt: Have GA’s in new places. Parks: Umstead, Wilson, Anderson
Diane: Across the street on UNC’s campus.
Miriam: Invite Sacrificial Poets to attend teach-ins. (reminder: Sacrificial Poets are performing at Carrboro Arts Center: Poetic Portraits of a Revolution. Next shows are: Tuesday, March 6 at 8:00pm, Thursday, March 8 at 8:00pm, Saturday, March 10 at 10:00pm, Sunday, March 11 at 8:00pm)
Diane: would like to see a teach-in on history of tactics. Hopefully get us at Occupy doing more stuff.
Miriam: tie into great movements
Katya: there was a Popular Social Movements panel discussion recently at UNC. Matt went and said it was great!
Meeting adjourned at 4:20 p.m. to allow time for people to go to the Dirt: The Movie. http: //www.dirtthemovie.org/
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