Occupy Nashville General Assembly Minutes
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Vibes: Ali, Joe
Opening Remarks: Raymond
In Nigeria for the past week or so there's been an active protest going on (#occupynigeria on twitter). General strike for past few days, shutting down city; deaths: 4 people killed. First major protest in Sub-sahara africa since Arab Spring. If the gov't hasn't taken back fuel subsidy (corrupt gov't removed their only benefit) by Sunday, there will be a crippling general strike, and will try to shut off all oil production in the country.
DJ: This is MLK weekend. Martin Luther King did not die for community service! Do service all the time, but ... This Monday there is an MLK Day convocation at TSU Gentry Center. There will be a symbolic march from a church down the street from TSU to the Gentry Center. The convocation starts at noon. We want all of Occupy to be there. The convocation is a slightly religious program, so if that makes you comfortable don't show. Also STCC has asked for our support in saving TSU. They have an action that they have asked Occupy Nashville to participate in, so come to the Direct Action meeting after GA. Otherwise show up at 9am behind Fisk University for the action. Jefferson Street Missionary Baptist Church before 11am is also a place to meet. Not from the plaza (too long).
Lindsey: We will be having a Direct Action meeting after the GA today. The actions this week: Sunday, a potluck at Ms. Bailey's house. She is being foreclosed by Chase; were fighting to save her home. Lots of media there.
Tuesday we had the People's Bribe, buying back legislators from the corporations. Inside autonomous people dropped "people's bribe" check onto the Senate and House". If that's more offensive than the under-the-table legislative money passing, well...
Wed.: an anti-torture action outside the Federal Courthouse, with intersting and positive interactions with law enforcement.
Thursday: action on Wilson & Associates (attorneys foreclosing for Chase on Ms. Bailey), to deliver a foreclosure letter on them; with mic checks outside, etc. More foreclosure actions to come.
Monday: MLK Day actions
17th: Occupy Congress, with a number of people going to DC
20th: Occupy the Courts
21st: 2-year anniversay of Citizens United
We encourage you *not* to send lots and lots of emails, instead come to the meetings.
Kevin: Volunteer liason with occupy supply, working with you to make sure people here can stay warm and active. We've raised $177000 and it all goes to occupiers. American made, union made, we have become job creators!
Jason: Blinker-Lite (port-a-potty provider) requests that our potties remain locked -- it's not a choice :-/ There are 9-10 keys on the camp, one at distribution tent at all times. (Johanne will state why)
Johanne: They asked for them to remain locked because large piles of trash, drug paraphernalia, etc., accumulated multiple times, and that's not in their contract. Ask: Unlock for use, lock when done, and make sure that trash and paraphernalia stay out. If we lose the toilets our legal position for staying here is at least weakened.
Tripp: If we lose the toilets, more likely than not, the State will turn us into the health dept., and we will probably be declared a health hazard and we would probably be removed.
(Temperature check indicated consensus that we keep the toilets)
2 options of things we can do: 1) get more involved with the camp that's here -- help out managing money, personalities, sanitation, etc.; 2) advocate for the camp being closed (not a great choice but maybe less demeaning than being tossed out)
Comments: Michael -- we're breaking their equipment with what we put in there, we should be better neighbors; also, closing the camp will never happen.
Johanne: I would like our financials spreadsheet and receipts and would like to make them more widely available. How about posting them on the forums. Temperature check was mixed so maybe this should be a proposal.
Around logistics: there's no proposal from them for today. Have $85 receipts for food. Not sure if someone needs to get paid, so maybe someone should get things in order for tomorrow's GA. [ Jason: there is a logistics proposal ]
Rick: Proposal: Consider shutting down domaine name occupynashville.orq.
CQ: What would that solve? "no more email threads, less arguments, get rid of a lot of problems."
CQ: What would replace it?
CQ: What if we only left it as a forum?
CQ: How can that prevent emails?
CQ: How many people would we lose if we shut down the domain? 30,000 per month
CQ: Have you talked to tech and who owns the domain? Yes and it is possible to contact the owner.
CQ: Would that also include the facebook/twitter? "not with this proposal."
CQ: What if someone lives far away? "They can find people in person."
CQ: Isn't this reducing freespeech? "you might look at it that way"
"We're working on a problem that is distracting from other business."
"It's counterproductive to take away the website. It's a powerful source of outreach"
"we are the face of occupy, we need to keep strong"
"It would be sucide to shutdown our brand."
"We don't want to lose our minutes"
FA: Confront indiviuals in person instead of in cyberspace
FA: Set up a email group for questions and concerns and create a mediation team.
FA: Add facebook and twitter to go dark.
Rick: I will table this proposal.
There is a suggestion for an alternate proposal to be brought forth that (a) a mediation group/team be formed to help de-escalate email/facebook/forum conflicts, etc, and (b) that we adopt a policy of suggesting people move to that group when flareups occur.
Logistics is asking for $150/week budget for gas, kitchen needs, etc. During the past few weeks, we didn't have a budget, then were under, then were under. So our proposal would be for $150 for this week for the normal logistics budget:
1. is $150 enough in this weather? A: we hope so. In the past when we've gone over we ask for reimbursement:
2. What were the details? $85 for gasoline, remainder on camp supplies (Tim handled that). Total overage was $85 apparently. Tim may have cash that would go towards that $85, so not sure without Tim.
3. How much was the budget for logistics prior to gasoline? $150. There was a surplus being carried forward. When winter hit we had mostly purchased supplies already.
point-of-fact: there has been a change in money handler for logistics in the past 3 weeks. It is interesting that gas doesn't seem to increase the cost...
1. Wasn't there a $400 week at some point and a $400 winterization budget?
Response: $400 winterization about a month ago, bedding, mats, plastic wrap, space padding, etc.
Johanne: last week $450 was approved. $150 was standard weekly. $75 approved by GA for restocking the kitchen. Refund of money that Johanne advanced over xmas when there was no logistics contact, etc. Reimbursement of electrical items for generator cable (previous failed), metal tray to stop oil getting on the plaza; breaker for generator; cleaning fluids for removing oil.
2. Does that include enough to make sanbags for securing tents?
Response: if that's something the camp needs, sure.
3. We have to have big strong garbage bags, if we're going to keep clean, etc. We have to have it and we don't right now.
1. Starting next week, can we put generator on a separate budget?
Seems like it could be brought back up next week.
Consensus: (all "ups", some abstentions) Proposal passed.
Chris: I'm also on logistics, mainly handling kitchen, etc.
Three part proposal, all about the same logistics area:
Proposal I: Relating to reimbursement. We had $72.57 for a resident occupier (Steve) who paid for food and water on the plaza. Johanne has the receipts. We would like to reimburse.
1. Same funds mentioned before? Yes.
2. Why didn't this go through the normal logistics process? Not clear.
3. After the weekly budget for logistics, how much do we have left?in
Response: roughly $3000.
1. A concern would be that separate reimbursements coming to GA becomes a pain. May be a pointer that something is deeper wrong with Logistics.
Suggested that this come back tomorrow, as it will not effect the timeliness of repayment to come back tomorrow.
Temperature check for coming back tomorrow was mostly positive.
1. concerned that delay past tomorrow, because money is needed today, that we run into trouble ("tomorrow at the very latest")
2. people buying food for the plaza, some of them qualify for food stamps, and we reimburse them with cash; is that some sort of fraud?
fact: this situation was cash, receipts should indicate, probably would be under-reimbursed...
Consensus was to bring this back tomorrow after meeting with logistics.
Proposal II): Asked for $75 which "didn't make it like I wanted it to", so asking for kitchen budget to increase by $35, including $10 for reimbursement of gas money (transportation). The kitchen budget would be $110 -- to buy food for all the campers.
1. separate from the $150 for logistics? Yes. Would be interested in working this out in logistics and coming back tomorrow.
Consensus is that this could come back tomorrow if necessary.
(No further proposals from Chris)
Kara: I've been doing printing, etc. Would it be ok if I get reimbursed $17.99 for a black ink cartridge. Have been pringing: codes of conduct, calendars for the camp, sign-out sheets, legislation / legislator information.
1. Do you have the receipts? Yes, in my wallet.
2. Don't we have a printer on camp? ... We have two printers on camp, both of which are out of ink cartridges, which is why she's been printing.
3. Is there a way that these requests can come from Johanne / through working groups? [ "Sounds like there is both uncertainty and agreement."] In the past I was voted by GA "Miss Printer Broad or whatever".
fact: "requests should happen in advance". Response: I was told in the past to just print it, etc. At some point things changed, etc.
(some of the concerns were coming out in clarifying questions above)
1. We really have to reign in how we spend money without prior authorization. We're all becoming more and more impoverished.
Response: I was told when the camp first started, voted on by GA, brought by original GA, by the time I got receipt in no one knows what to do with it any more.
1. In the future expenses be pre-authorized, and budgets dealt with in working groups as well.
2. Amend it to $36 so she can continue printing. (temperature check: 1 down, one middle, 10-12 ups)
3. Can we make the laser printer available for printing in the future, for which we already have ink for.
approval of $36 expenditure to Kara: all ups (a dozen or so?)
w/ a suggestion that we start looking at using the laser printer.
We finished a GA early! Also, it rocked. :-)