Will: I know we have a rule that proposals are supposed to be short. This one is a little complicated because the law is complicated.
Occupy Nashville was served with a Notice of Adminstration Action from the Metro Public Health Department of Nashville on November 21 ordering the suspension of our permit to oeprate a food establishment in violation of the law. The inspector deemed occupy Nashville’s food services as constituting ‘an immediate health hazard’. The inspector advised in his official report that to give food to the general public, which includes citizens without a fixed residence, members of Occupy Nashville must attend a seminar. The next seminar is scheduled for January 10, nearly two months away. Occupy Nashville should sustain its occupiers and residents with nutrition, and the kitchen is currently closed by emergency. Occupy Nashville is unique in that we are a group of freely associated citizens and it is difficult to determine who is a member of the public and who is an occupier or resident of Occupy Nashville since we are a movement that strives for inclusiveness. Under the law, Occupy Nashville does not qualify for any exemptions concerning food service. Occupy Nashville must comply with the food safety laws by avoiding serving food to the public at large, while ON may provide food to our occupiers and residents. The penalty for violation is a criminal charge, a Class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $50 fine, and that the city may enjoin ON from serving food with a court or4de3r, and if we continue to violate the law subsequently, the court could end ON.
The legal team will appeal the decision as soon as practicable with the support of the ACLU. The logistics working group has been consulted on this proposal.
Let it be resolved that:
1.1 ‘Occupiers’ shall be defined as people who affirm their association with ON by signing the Code of Conduct and attending at least one GA.
2.1 Occupiers shall sign a form acknowledging their agreement to abide by the Code of Conduct.
2.2 A volunteer from the Logistics working group shall, upon a person’s signed acknowledgement of the Code of Conduct, attach a wristband distinctive to ON.
3.1 Food and beverages in their original containers are exempt from these rules.
3.2 Catering is exempt from this rule.
3.2.1 Catering is defined as
a) any person or group that employs no full-time or regular employees for the purpose of food service.
b) whose food preparation is performed solely within the confines of the principal caterer’s residence.
c) and whose food preparation business makes only occasional sales within a 30-day period.
3.2.2 A person bringing food to legislative plaza must servce such food immediately and in person. No volunteer occupier or resident of ON will store or serve food brought to legislative plaza if that occupier is not also a caterer.
3.2.3 A person bringing food to legislative plaza must serve such food immediately and in person. No volunteer occupier or resident of ON will store or serve food brought to Legislative Plaza if that Occupier is not also a caterer.
3.2.3 for the purposes of this proposal, ‘caterer’ is defined as a person who participates in catering.
4.1 Volunteers shall provide food and beverage which are not exempt by these rules only to Occupiers, for example any person who has not signed the Code of Conduct and is wearing a wristband as described in Section 2.2
4.2 Nothing in this proposal shall limit the ability for volunteers to provide food or beverages to any person who is an Occupier.
4.3 The Logistics working group will have the authority to enforce these rules through appropriate legislation either: 1) in dialogue with the Legal working group; or 2) through GA
4.4 All working groups are authorized and encouraged to reach out to organizations that traditionally serve those without fixed addresses, including but not limited to Food Not Bombs, to encourage them to act as a Caterer as described in Section 3.
LET IT BE FURHTER RESOLVED THAT:
1) The ON GA condemns the State of Tennessee and any relevant officials in the Metro government who seeks to restrict our ability to provide food to any person we see fit.
2) We are particularly saddened that the City of Nashville and the Karl Dean administration seek to restrict access to food during Thanksgiving, a time when we have traditionally celebrated the contributions of all Americans and gather around a common table to partake in a bountiful harvest. It is ironic that the corporate elite have infiltrated our government to deprive citizens of the decency to honor this nation during a week meant for reflection of all our collective accomplishments. Today’s actions have made have made clear that the City of Nashville does not believe that everyone is entitled to the American dream, and we call upon Mayor Karl Dean and his administration to reverse their decision immediately.
3) Occupy Nashville stands in solidarity with victims of homelessness and those people without fixed addresses, since they are the most tragic victims of the prevailing corporatocracy that deprives human beings of basic rights to a warm meal and a secure place to sleep while corporate criminals rake in enormous profits; and
4) ON formally welcomes victims of homelessness and those without fixed addresses into the 99% and will continue to advocate on their behalf.
Who wrote it?
Legal working group, drafts through email, final copy sent to logistics and I discussed it during 10 minutes there. Essentially supported by ACLU.
Andrew: we can feed members, but we’re not allowed to feed the people who are not part of occupy and are conveniently taking advantage of the resources we have. We’re covered, we can feed ourselves, but those outside of where we’re here for the movement and for ourselves.
Will: there are exceptions for caterers: that caterer can serve everyone it wishes. Food in its original packaging, including cokes etc.
David: I did food not bombs here for 2 years, exact issue came up several times. They chased us around the city. They told us the law is you have to do certification. You go to a 2 hour free course, take a test a 2nd grader could take. The codes state that all the rules that apply to restaurants don’t apply to us. We can serve without regular food safety guidelines if we take this course and have a sign saying this is not health safety rules. They were very clear that the picnic argument was not going to fly: the police were not going to go with loopholes here. Picnic only works if you do not serve anybody who comes up. If you have loose rules about who’s in the organization, they will still bust you. If you’re asking a caterer to come here, you’re leaving them open to being cited if they’re not cited. If I come as food not bombs, I have to have the certificate, it’s kind of dangerous to do that.
Will: I consulted the law, and saw civic organizations can come in with impunity without going to classes as long as you’re not serving on subsequent days. But nothing restricts the caterer’s rights to donate food to occupiers. They could also come and serve whoever they wish.
Dave: that’s what I was told the police would not be dealing with.
Phillip: This is a movement, this is not a soup kitchen. We are not a mission. And we are not against the homeless. When it comes down to that you’re either on the bus or your not, and this is a blessing in disguise. Otherwise there are no reason for donators to be giving us anything because our donations will not be helping us.
Is the proposal for wrist bands and one meeting a week?
Just the wrist bands themselves are not enough to get us into violation. We tried to pare this down as much as we could, but we thought it would be a good idea to leave in the two statuatory exemptions so there is a provision to feed those who don’t meet the requirements if logistics deems it right.
Just one GA, not one a week.
People can drink water and can get single-serving, prepackaged food.
They’re using this to get their foot in here.
I’m willing to take the fall for this.
Trip: if enough people get the citations, they will take an injunction against all of you. If you violate the injunction that will be an excuse for them to come and take everybody out.
Jason: all this is a moot point if we do no cooking and it’s all prepackaged?
Michael: when the wristbands are issued, they’re supposed to leave it on indefinitely.
I’m open to any friendly amendments that would help identify folks. I don’t care how it’s done.
Bill: does prepackaged food apply to box lunches from restaurants that are wrapped in wax paper?
It’s a gray area.
Samantha: somebody orders 10 pizzas and deliver to camp?
If the individuals, the people eating can take the slices out themselves, I think you’re in safer territory.
John Robbins: I want clarification on hers first:
Dave: if you order a pizza, the deliverer served, you’re fine.
John: we have a water dispenser.
Will: logistics can sort out, it’s the details. The crux of the problem is what we need to deal with.
So if I go to the store and buy food that needs to be cooked and I give it to someone to help me cook it? Because we’re all family.
Will: I personally agree, but the situation is not that. The state of tennessee would have a problem about that.
Michael: boxes of pizza, people serving themselves. What if I bring pot of chili and set it down and people serve itself.
Will: under the law you’re a caterer. Under the statute the caterer is not a licensed person.
Some of us work in the kitchen, could we get the food made off site and have people bring it up here?
The person who makes it has to stay.
Trip: if you do that, you have to serve it immediately, you can’t save it for later. And you still face the problem that the cops may argue about it.
Will: if someone cooks it off site, it’s either self-service or they serve it to everyone it’s ok. Let’s not lose the forest for the trees or whatever, because if you are an occupier, we can have anybody cook for