2-2-12 Spokes Council Minutes

February 2, 2012 in Meeting minutes


Education- Tuesday was Ara Cruz’s Teach in, just prior to this meeting there was Chad Kautzer’s. Zoey Williams is conducting the next Tues Teach-in. Thursday will be the Foreclosures Teach in by Karinne Fowler.

No Confidence Rally, Feb 11th

Film & Video- Youtube channel created. Also, they put a call-out for live-streamers to help cover actions. It’s preferred to give 2 weeks notice to this committee about upcoming actions, through email (filmandvideo@occupydenver.org). Stretched thin w/ staff for this committee, so in need of people w/ equipment to support. Livestream equipment can consist of simply a 3G or 4G phone w/ backup battery ($70 approx.) and an account w/ a livestream provider. Androids work, for example.

Proposal to be announced at next GA for committees to maintain their own info on the OD website.

Nonviolence- Proclamation passed last Tuesday at GA, to be spoken at every action, that there is a basis of peace. Also, food will still be served tomorrow, regardless of snow.

Legislative- Feb 7th, action desired to Occupy the Republican Caucus. Desire is to have fun and create a discussion. Denver area caucus is supposed to be at Denver West High School.

Occupy DU is still going, and people can talk to somebody.

Tactics- Monday meeting at 6:30pm now @ Civic Center Park

Portal- on the “Inter-Committee Communication Board”…there’s a flyer canvassing list of volunteers ready to pass shit out, yo.

Action in D.C. From March 30th through some point in April to reconstruct the Occupy Movement.

Identity Studies working group has space in the Unitarian Church, Weds 6-8pm. It’s a beautiful space.

Does anyone have info of the October 14th arrests? Someone’s lawyer needs to know where the sidewalk policy came from– which cop said it was ok to be on sidewalk.

Someone was arrested last night, at a non-Occupy event. Donations being accepted to get him out… (lotsa laughs, and lotsa dollars flowing into the hat)

Long-Term Action Plan/Visioning Group/ThinkTank thingy group– to talk about long-term goals of the Movement, what vision we have. First meeting is on Sunday, 3pm, Civic Center Park (regardless of snow)

Committee of correspondents, GA to GA communication being developed. Need volunteers w/ solid attendance and internet to contribute to this.

Action at Skyline skate rink, “Occupy the Rink”, a friendly mingling event being set up for Feb 11th (Sat). Time not set yet, but will be earlier in the day b/c there’s another action at the Sheridan at 5pm. If you donate a pair of new socks, you can get the skate rental for free.

Food & Water Watch, Friday at 3pm, planning actions against Walmart. Meet at 1536 Wynkoop.

Boulder County Fracking Coalition- February 14th, a senate committee on local policy will decide whether local gov’ts can create regulations or have no power at all. It’s somewhat stacked on the liberal side, though it’s important to voice public support for anti-fracking.

6 month anniversary of Occupy coming up 2 weeks… anything set up?

Agenda Items
Events Committee proposes upcoming events, and considering Action for 6 month anniversary of the Movement at Rep Caucus

GA Procedures Wants to move to 9/10 consensus at GA’s and want to start discussion (#1)

GA Procedures has been discussing the need to move to a 9/10 policy to better represent a consensus movement instead of 2/3 majority policy. How do committees feel? One key consideration is we’d have to introduce the “block” method, which is to say that one opposes a decision so strongly that you are willing to leave the movement if this decision passes. How do we educate folks on how to participate in this consensus system w/o abusing the “block”. “Block” stops the process and things don’t move forward until that is addressed. If that issue is addressed and remains, if it’s only one block and otherwise consensus, it is simply counted as a “no”.

Occupy Chicago thought it was very unusual that we work w/ 2/3 policy.

Perhaps we should support a communication b/t a “blocker” and the person who is making the proposal to work out what the intention is and whether it can be resolved.

Occupy Boulder person has experienced this scenario. People can become a “swing” vote very easily. Be aware this policy introduces other dynamics. If you tell people a “block” means you’re willing to leave– people can sometimes urge them to follow through and leave the Movement.

9/10 is how a lot of the other occupies do it. It’s how we should– we’re not a majority-based movement. That said, there will be rough spots. Could be the same individuals continually blocking.

Can this proposal be split? 9/10 sounds good, block doesn’t.

We can create a culture around the use of blocks. A block can be something you’ll use once in your life within the Movement. This way we can self-regulate as opposed to eliminating “blocks” altogether.

9/10 consensus sounds good, just hope it doesn’t slow things down.

Idea of Consensus is nice, though I’m nervous about it. In other situations it can go for hours and hours. People who got tired would disappear and whoever was left got their way. On one hand, everyone must be able to be heard. Also we must always be aiming for consensus. Not sure what’s best. If someone does block, it is very serious, and they should be granted plenty of time to be heard.

Idea of 9/10 is to not put speeding through things. It supports greater cohesion.

What’s to stop a few angry folks from stopping healthy flow of decision making out of spite?

It’s always a possibility that people will choose to disrupt healthy flow of decision making. It’s not the end of the world, and we’ll always be vulnerable. That’s life.

In San Francisco, you have no standing if it’s your first GA. That’s one way to protect the process.

When this first came up a month ago, I was passionately against it. I don’t feel like that now. Though the reason for taking it on being that this is what the rest of the Movement is doing… also, it can create intimidation if you’re one of the few voting against and your no vote is enough to prevent 80 percent consensus.

We are a consensus movement. Fuck whether it takes more time. This is where we get our power.

2/3 creates substantial dissent. It’s not as effective in ultimately getting shit done, tactically speaking. It shows true commitment at 9/10. We’re also more likely to be representing “the 99 percent” if we’re at 9/10 agreement rather than 2/3.

Most of our votes are passing w/ 90% anyway. Also, by going to 9/10, it requires that you get to work w/ talking to opposition before putting your proposal to GA vote.

GAP thanks the group for the input. Feel free to email gaprocedures@occupydenver.org or come to members personally.

Relationship b/t OD and Denver ABC

Note, Denver ABC’s website specifically states non-support for OD. They state that they are grateful for the relationships built b/t the two movements, but they say it is by and for hyper-nationalist, privileged, white middle class males.

Clarifying Q- What is it that makes some folks bring up issues of safety with regard to relationship w/DABC.

Answer- Some people think the cops are straight up bastards who seek overt violence. DABC does, and strongly.

It’s important not to lump DABC into responsibility for the actions of some individuals.

DABC does prisoner support and movement defense. OD is a movement.

Colorado Street Medics is looking to rejoin a relationship w/ OD.

DABC has literally bailed out members of OD, spending considerable sums of money on our behalf.

(Some heated discussion)

Generally- it’s a fussy relationship, but one with value and we should show them respect.

Puppets Working Group – Yay Puppets

Looking to get set up for puppet creation for display at DA’s

Puppets are incredibly effective– can be 20 feet tall, highly visible! Statue of Liberty planned, also Monopoly Guy. Fear is their weapon, creativity is our shield and our sword- we should show it.

House nearby is great for projects like this, 1232 Race St (“the Imaginarium”), with supplies available and plenty of space, with a cool community vibe. First Thursday of the month is a potluck and art projects galore.

Printing situation confusion regarding pamphlet project. Should there be a printing budget set up for Outreach?

Finance situation was tabled last week, are we ready to resolve it?
In short, no.

Just got a text from someone, ready to jump back in to OD and the finance committee.

Our finance situation needs serious consideration. We’d formed a Co-op w/ nonprofit status so we could accept donations on PayPal. We need to get our ducks in a row so there aren’t serious ramifications when it comes to tax time. For things like a printing budget, food for Occupiers, a separate Legal fund, how to accept donations is all part of our broader functioning. We need to discuss as a group, and also to obtain professional advice. Anyone know anyone?

Question from Finance Committee: who are members of the Co-op (Tanner acknowledges).

Currently our finances are dismal. Trying to set up a budget… until we have money to deal with it seems ridiculous to be setting up a budget.

Response from Finance: It’s more about donations, where the donor is earmarking. It’s less about budgeting and more about how we deal with a donor who is specifically earmarking where they want their money spent within OD.

Does anyone know what other cities are doing?

-Occupy Boulder has a bank account w/ X amount and each committee…

Currently we’ve got $600 in paypal, maybe $100-150 in bank account, and $200 in cash. Note, last night we spent $200…

Lots of this seems like something the Legal committee needs to just handle. Also, we should never allow our money to sink below $1000. Also, most of our money goes to bail anyway…

What would finance need from this council in terms of action/decision?

Response from Finance: other than bail, everything else ought to stay in one account. Having ten bank accounts under various individuals is a bad idea. This means we need more accountants to properly manage the figures. Earmarks are important too– from paypal and checks, earmarks can happen. Cash less so. Also, we gotta do fund raising– we’re broke. Don’t be afraid to ask for money- OD now has 2 credit card options where you can take credit donations through your cell phone. (So basically we can canvass).

(Lots of approval throughout the room)

Point of Info: there’s a canvassing group currently being formed. Also there’s research on a 501 c3 status. Just research at this point, no action in this direction.
(some disapproval regarding 501c3 status)

Re-Occupy the Park for Feb 17th?

Final Point of Process:
We didn’t get to the following agenda items-