The General Assembly meets in Lincoln Park at the Capital at 7 p.m. on Tuesday nights.
On March 13, 2012, the Occupy Denver General Assembly voted to move to a consensus model that requires 90% approval for any proposal to pass.
Below you’ll find an outline of how GAs are organized and run. Please read through! If you wish to facilitate a GA or learn more about the consensus process we use, please read the 11-page 2012 Occupy Denver General Assembly Facilitation Booklet (also available as in OpenDocument .odt format).
General Assembly flows in this order:
- Begin with introduction of process (at 7pm)
- Brief announcements
- Proposal discussion and voting (ending no later than 8:15pm, unless a time extension is decided upon by the group)
- Breakout groups
- Reconvene as a whole group for brief break-out summaries, any final announcements and farewell (at 8:45pm)
- Anyone can bring a rough proposal topic or general discussion topic for a break-out group. These are announced after proposals are completed, and people can choose which break-out group to join for discussion and/or planning
- Topics can be rough drafts of future proposals, planning or input sessions for future actions/events, or general discussion about topics relevant to the movement
- Breakout groups will be given a 5-minute warning by the facilitator at 8:40pm. Groups should discuss next steps in this time, if they have not already done so.
- The GA will reconvene at 8:45pm for report-backs and/or next steps from each break-out group
- Examples of next steps: gathering contact information, any further meeting details, and, if ready, a written draft proposal, a list of responsibilities that will need to be bottom-lined, and resources needed
Why use this Break-out Structure…
- Small group discussions are more conducive for the brainstorming, planning, and logistical stages of proposals than the previous set up, which only allowed the whole group to discuss proposals or issues
- Using break-out groups to work through early stages of proposals enables proposals to come to GA more prepared and with more people behind them
- Splitting the GA time into announcements, proposals, and breakout groups will encourage more efficient use of time, as we will not have a full 1 1/2 hours for discussion of proposals
- Break-out groups also put more focus on developing working groups that take on the responsibilities of bottom-lining the events or projects
- Break-out group discussions about more general topics provide a great space for newcomers to dialogue and get involved
Next Steps, or, How it will be implemented…
- The new procedure will be posted to the website for all to see
- Facilitator trainings will be held for more folk to become familiar with the process and step up to facilitate this process
- The new structure will be explained by facilitators at the first few GAs that use this structure
In order to communicate non-verbally and unilaterally we use hand signals!
- Hand raised: if you have something to say
- Raised Finger: Point of information – provides statements of fact related to previous stack item
- Raised “C”: Clarifying question – asks a question directly related to previous stack item
- Triangle hands: Point of order – stay on topic, issue from outside
- Rolling hands: You have made your point, respectfully move on
- Spirit fingers: I like this!
- Downward spirit fingers: I disagree or do not like this
- Peace fingers Respect each other, intense emotions casing problems
These are the roles served at GA to keep the process orderly and productive (Anyone can play these roles, just come to a facilitator training!):
- Stack-keeper: keeps track of who would like to speak, ideally of different gender than facilitator
- Note taker: takes notes, makes specific note of resolutions passed items tabled
- Vibes Watcher: pays attention to intense emotional or other factors affecting the meeting, intervenes with disruptions within the group.