G.A. Meeting Minutes 12/6/11

GA/ Glenwood Coffee and Books/6:30-8:30

 

Stack-Dave
Facilitation-Todd

 

approx. 20 participants/not recorded

 

No agenda submitted

 

Announcements:

-Jim states that the “rapid-fire” email list is growing but more names would be better
-The online calendar needs to be corrected to state the new time for Sunday’s GA (4 to 6 p m).
-Trish announces the AFL-CIO’s (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations) protest at Howard Coble’s office on 12-8-2011. The protest supports the extension of unemployment benefits before Congress goes on break). The demonstration is at 11:30AM at Coble’s office (2102 N. Elm Street).
-The anti-oppression group will meet on Wednesday at 7:00
-Al will be gone from 11 to 3 on 12/08/11 but is happy to give someone keys to the shop
-Al announces that there is a computer available at Glenwood Coffee and books for anyone to use.
-The unemployment march will take place on Saturday, December 10. It will start at the Central Library and end at Government Plaza. There will be an open mic and scheduled speakers (orators). The march will address possibilities for creating employment.
-“Occupy Music” will take place on Wednesday at the Blind Tiger at 7pm to raise money for Occupy Greensboro. $5 Cover and $2 Beer. Hot dogs (meat and veggie) will be on sale too)
-Abolition Working ( Anti-Death Penalty) Group will meet @ 4pm on Saturday, December 10
-The foreclosure working group will meet on Thursday, December 8 at 7:30 at Glenwood Coffee and Books
-A teleconference addressing the use of social networking for the Occupy movement is a taking place at the same time as this GA.

 

Proposals:

-Trish Proposes a Community Picket outside of Wal-Mart. Her written proposal she provides the group reads:

“Proposal: 12/12 Solidarity Action
-Community Picket Outside Walmart on West Wendover Avenue, 3-6 PM.
-Solidarity with West Coast ports, where many Walmart products enter the US and recognizing that the reason workers can’t respect our picket line is because they have no union rights.
-Have flyers explaining the reasons for the picket (using the language issued b the West Coast occupations) , explaining why we need a union state, and info on how to get involved in Occupy GSO.
-Have a list for people going into the store of alternatives to Walmart that are community-based.
-Goal of 75 to 100 picketers.
-Use people’s mic during the picket to have short statements from union members, occupiers, consumers, etc.
-Would be great if art group could spear head picket signs (with sticks that make them easier to hold of that can be worn over shoulders).
-Carpool from Glenwood Coffee and Books or take Rt 1 Bus ($1.30, Free for students w/ID, 65 cents for seniors).”
-Ed- Working Group representatives at each GA:
Ed proposes that working groups provide reports once per week (at least). The reports would preferably be Sunday. He adds that flow of information adds integrity to the group and gets us on the same page. He mentions that new people could join Working Groups that are currently inactive.

 

Proposals that reached consensus:

-Trishe-12/12  Solidarity Action with West Coast Ports

 

Note taker:

Kevin Smith
kevinstewartsmith@gmail.com

 

Ed’s Proposal is tabled until Sunday’s GA. Working groups will be contacted before the meeting.
Below are more detailed notes from the meeting:
-Trish Proposes a Community Picket outside of Wal-Mart. Her written proposal she provides the group reads:

“Proposal: 12/12 Solidarity Action
-Community Picket Outside Walmart on West Wendover Avenue, 3-6 PM.
-Solidarity with West Coast ports, where many Walmart products enter the US and recognizing that the reason workers can’t respect our picket line is because they have no union rights.
-Have flyers explaining the reasons for the picket (using the language issued b the West Coast occupations) , explaining why we need a union state, and info on how to get involved in Occupy GSO.
-Have a list for people going into the store of alternatives to Walmart that are community-based.
-Goal of 75 to 100 picketers.
-Use people’s mic during the picket to have short statements from union members, occupiers, consumers, etc.
-Would be great if art group could spear head picket signs (with sticks that make them easier to hold of that can be worn over shoulders).
-Carpool from Glenwood Coffee and Books or take Rt 1 Bus ($1.30, Free for students w/ID, 65 cents for seniors).”
Trish mentions that the picket will advocate work laws for those who do not have union rights in North Carolina.

Ed mentions that he’s been involved with NC unions since the 1970’s. He clarifies that the Right to Work Laws declare that not all workers have to join a union if their company is involved with one.

Trish emphasizes that anti-union practices of Walmart and Right to Work laws discourage union practices.

Audrey asks for examples of successful NC unions

Ed mentions three unions in NC: UPS (Local 391 of the IBT), Laurel Tobacco Company (BCTWI 317T), AT&T (through CWA)

Lynn asks whether the picket will take place on public or private property.

Trish says that a public road goes through the parking lot of Walmart.

Alex asks if this picket is intended to boycott Walmart or just provide information for people. He also mentions that we should take into consideration the implications of standing in solidarity with those shutting down ports. When ports shut down, workers are affected.

Ed says that the West Coast ports are backed by the IOWU. They have gone on strike during the imports of ammunition for wars. He says that our cooperation with West Coast ports are “inflammational.”

John K mentions that there is inherent risk and self-sacrifice involved with pickets. This is not a bad thing, but people should know what they are getting into.

Trish says solidarity with West Coast ports will be a good thing. They have already taken extreme measures for their cause. They have been involved with altercations with police and they have even dumped grain in the ocean to get their message across. They are more likely to succeed as a large group. She says that we should take people affected by this picket under our wing.

Andrew says he likes the idea of picketing Walmart but does not know much about West Coast port. Asks, “how do we keep people around and have a successful picket?”

Trish says that the actions in this proposal fit the call of the West Coast port’s request.

Dave asks where exactly this picket will take place?

Trish states that it will take place on the road between the Target and Walmart parking lots (Bridgford Parkway).

Lynn asks if people will actually go by the picketers.

Todd asks the group if they are ready to test for consensus and the
West Coast Ports Picket @ Walmart PASSES

The Second Proposal:
Ed proposes that working groups provide reports once per week (at least). He mentions that the reports would preferably be Sunday. The flow of information adds integrity to the group and gets us on the same page. New people could join Working Groups that are currently inactive

Al adds that this proposal would be good for getting newcomers involved with working groups.

Andrew asks if the Sunday report is a requirement in the proposal. Ed says no.

Alex states that transparency is good and asks if a written report is ok for those who can’t be at GA’s.

Dave says that we need more people and says that transportation issues hinder attendance. He wonders if the group could use money to get people to GA’s.

Trish adds that alternating representatives in each Working Group could prevent burnout.

Lynn asks if Sunday if the preferred day because of higher attendance.

Ed says that a real person should report back to the group and amends the proposal to have two representatives. Al asks if having Sunday reports is only a recommendation. Ed says yes. Al asks if the two-person report-back is a requirement.

Ed says that he would like to make the two-person report a “caveat.” He also proclaims that this occasion marks his first use of the word “caveat” out loud.

Al states that if the two-person report proves to be difficult, we could change it.

Lynn says the proposal is a good idea and that summaries should not take a long time. She says she is concerned about the two-person requirement.

John says it would be a good idea to let the reports take place on Tuesday or Thursday if the representatives could not attend Sunday’s GA.

Audrey asks if we haven’t been doing this already. Todd says that we have reports from working groups, but not from all of them.

Jim supports the two-person requirement and says it’s indicative of the working group’s progress.

Trish says that the “requirement” part of the proposal adds accountability but things happen that keep people from meetings. Working Groups could potentially go “inactive” if they do not report back. She also mentions that if the same two people always report back, burnout could occur.

Ed says that the two-person requirement is not intended to be “punitive” but working groups should have a presence at the GA’s.

Al supports the proposal but doesn’t see the difference between having one or two representatives. Ed says that one person may be fine and we’ll find out.

Al encourages changing the proposal to require just one representative. If it’s insufficient, we can change it.

Lynn wants to hear from Working Groups about the proposal and find a place to wrap up the discussion and move it to Sunday.

Audrey says that non-present working groups aren’t necessarily inactive. She wonders if it would be better to have reports every other week.

Todd asks the group whether to vote or move on.

Lynn says its best to resolve concerns before testing for consensus

Dave calls a “Point of Process” and states that recently smaller GA’s have moved decisions like this to larger GA’s

Trish asks what makes a Working Group a Working Group. She says that they should have autonomy but some interaction with the GA should take place.

Andrews supports reports once a week and thinks it will be good for newcomers.

Alex seconds Lynn and Audrey’s feeling against making decisions for people who are not at the GA.

Audrey proposes seeing which Working Groups are represented at this week’s meeting. All working groups are represented with the exception of the media group and the research group.

Al asks if Ed is comfortable tabling the discussion of his proposal to another meeting. Ed says it is not a problem. Ed states that there is a difference between a Working Group and organizing independently.

Dave points out that in Occupy Oakland they define “group” as one or more people who bring a proposal to the GA. He also says that the Media Group needs to show up to meetings.

Audrey says that Working Groups are well represented at the GA and wants to test for consensus.

Andrew supports tabling the conversation to another GA because it encourages working together rather than have a new “requirement.” He compares making a “requirement” for Working Groups tonight is like parents pushing a daughter to show up at Thanksgiving. They may show up, but not because they are enthusiastic.

John also wants to table the conversation.

Jim says that this is a “Z” proposal, meaning that it is complex. He says the GA can’t make the Working Groups do anything but they should communicate with the GA.

Julia asks how we work out these issues.

Trish expresses that we should be able to prioritize but we don’t have a process for that.

Lynn calls “point of process” and so does Al. Lynn wants to table the conversation for Friday or Sunday and contact the working groups in the meantime.

The Group chooses to continue discussing this proposal on Sunday

Reflection
Al says the minutes from the last meeting have not been approved, but doesn’t really care. Ed says that Al should propose to abolish the approval of minutes.

Julia asks the group how work gets started when there is not a working group dedicated to it.

Jim expresses that the process for this may be flawed. Trish says that the parking lot is a good place for ideas that cannot be bottom-lined yet.

John says that proposals can turn into working groups organically.

Emily brings up the Occupy Social Media meeting to learn about intercommunications.

Trish mentions that she proposed the Unemployment march but other people bottom-lined it.
Dave says that there is no real protocol in place for proposals and unrefined proposals may make better announcements.

Lynn asks if proposals are made in the GA, then what is Julia’s topic?

Alex says that some ideas could be announced for discussion after meetings.

Julia states that we do not have endless resources but we could get on-board with actions that already have momentum.

Al expresses gratitude for the ability of this group to work together, especially in December.

Andrew says that he can learn from people in this group and that it reminds him of his admired friends in Atlanta.

Lauren reflects on the discussion and mentions the website’s request not to repeat agreements over and over in meetings.

Trish says it is important to stay on stack.

Lynn says she likes the fact that we moved Ed’s proposal to another meeting. She expresses that 10 minutes is not long enough to discuss anything.

Audrey apologizes for interrupting the stack during the meeting.

Alex thinks the groups should continue to approve the minutes of the previous GA. He says the Quakers do it quickly at the start of each meeting an that it is no big deal.
Lynn brings up a signal used in Occupy Wall Street that was shared by “Ketchup” on the Colbert Report. The signal is the wiggling of fingers pointed at the ground to express disagreement with a speaker. This is called down-twinkling.

Trish thinks the down-twinkle is too much like booing. Ed agrees.

Andrew says a stern look should suffice rather than down-twinkling.

Dave says that the last 15 minutes are for reflection and not discussion.