Occupy For All Meeting Notes Dec. 22 2011

Sorry for the delay, all! I (Maggie) was very lame and spazed hardcore and didn’t post these in a timely fashion:

Introduction to Meeting:

Facilitator Selection:
Facilitator: Nathanael
Stack: Joshua
Notes: Maggie
Time/Gatekeeper: Chelle

Group Intros

  • Joshua – Detroit, EMU
  • Jeff – Northville (Visiting from LA)
  • Ian – OAA
  • Chelle – O4A, OAA, Occupy Ypsi
  • Brian – Occupy WCC to start next semester!
  • Kent – O4A
  • Jacki – OAA (media)
  • Lindsea – O4A, OAA
  • Chris – Clinton living in Toronto
  • Nathanael – O4A, float around
  • Sue – Occupy Flint on the phone!

Call to Action

  • Read by Jeff (thanks!)

Agenda (5 min)

  • What is our meeting’s goal?
  • Review
  • Plug in’s
  • Vibes

Covered Process signals – Maggie

Group Memory

  • Last Saturday – Occupy Detroit (5900 building) notes on OccupyForaLL.wordpress.com
    • not official – no agenda
    • 4-5 people talking, expand to about a dozen
    • heart of occupy and what it means to us and what’s focusing on
    • people still observed process, despite it not being “official”
    • firs O4A outreach in DTW
    • Lots of really exceptional people there
    • good contacts, lots of ppl interested
    • trying to keep O4A calendar updated

Action Group Report Backs (2 min ea)

  • Jeff – Occupy Los Angeles – Monday, General Strike May 1st – called for gen strike committee and subcommittees – those arrested have been relesed
  • Jackie – working with Kathleen, have taken over Clare’s job of media and press for OAA – but OAA is in a bit of disarray, they are figuring out what is going on; Kathleen is writing stuff going on about the country, looking for places to put it; K – writing, J – Social media guru; contact Ian
  • Brian – working on Occupy action to get signatures to repeal PA4, 150 signatures so far! Public space and occupy – went to a mall to get signatures; Occupy as public space – every where is privatized, so it’s hard to get public areas to get people to talk and sign things; SO PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION! Michigan Forward website will have info
  • Sue – DA at Debbie Stabenow’s office; EMFM (PA4) – interested in doing that, wants to get signatures; work with church’s in city to get signatures, and get into communities, these are the people who voted for the mayor and they’re the ones getting screwed
  • Kent – Flint is on private property, but it is for sale; work on fundraising to buy property? Have back up properties – but things are sturdy; definitely safest place in the city
  • Sue – Flint knows how to rock it out!

Special Topics (things requiring discussing, consensus, etc.) 5 min time limit

  • Last Detroit Summit
    • Lindsea – Summits are a way of different occupations getting together, mainly specific to MI, but Toledo was at the last one! They’ve been happeneing every two weeks, alternating weekends and weekdays; usually a DA earlier in the day, or some way of taking advantage of larger numbers; 7PM are GA – report backs, discuss thigns to do state wide (regionally, now!)
    • Thistle coffee shop – corn bread and greens (yum!) two proposals passed: statement of purpose and guidelines for inter-occupational summits (posted online – occupyforall.wordpress.com)
    • Agenda template also approved
    • so that way the hosting occupation can have some guidelines and how to organize around it
    • ended up going to 5900 building, hung out, planned dance party
  • Proposal: 2x per week Action Assembly
    • Nathanael – proposal: two regularly scheduled AAs Mon 7pm, Sat 2pm – alternate btwn Ypsi and Ann Arbor; also frequent action assemblies outside washtenaw county – contact locations in advanced (contact in advance so it’s scheduled regularly)
    • COmmunity recors in ypsi; cafe ollie; workantile; yellow barn; michigan league; united methodist church on state – idea is to contact these people in advance; can add more
    • One on weekend and one on weekday will allow for broader reach of participants
    • also constant stream of activity
    • constant process practice
    • constant stream of information online for people to be involved
    • Currently meeting once a week, wherever the schedule fits (so this way it will be a reliable way for people to know when we’re doing things
    • concern – until we get a place locked down right away for at least one, it might be hard to do two : RESPONSE: decide meeting times, and then email people and on basis of if meeting time fits that we’ll schedule meetings at location – so first step is to agree on time, not so much space : COUNTERRESPONSE: want one place, one time, regularly scheduled – if we focus on one and have it set in stone, then focus on the one
    • Concern – to much reporting on what happened at the last meeting, would it be more confusing to have the catch-up constantly? Also too many meetings might be hard for people to schedule
    • Concern: burn out?
    • Temp check – mainly meh
    • Amendment – have one Action Assembly, another just a friendly gathering; to see if we can get people there – have AA locked down time and space; have another thing where it’s just a topic discussion – then we can see how many people attend, and then once we get a feel, we can lock down a second time/place
    • Temp check on proposal with Amendment: approval
    • Monday 7PM and Saturday 2PM meeting
    • Propose: Monday be AA, and Saturday could be the discussion – those with interest, can attend on Saturday; Monday is ending of old week, beginning of new week; Saturday is a little more free-flowing: TEMP CHECK: pretty positive
    • FINAL PROPOSAL: TWO MEETINGS, MONDAY IS ACTION ASSEMBLY, SATURDAY IS DISCUSSION BASED MEETING; STARTING MONDAY JANUARY 2ND: CONSENSUS PASSED!
    • Kent will have a FB up every week – contact him if you have a topic to discuss on Saturday (idea of having a pool of idaes, and the topic will be consensed upon at the meeting)
  • Ann Arbor Summit – Saturday January 7th!
    • Need to find a location
    • Need to plan an action pre-Summit (canvassing, protest, teach-in, potlucks etc)
    • Possibly some activity post-Summit?
    • (Reading of guidelines which are on occupyforall.wordpress.com)
    • List of locations (needs to hold 60 people) : Yellow Barn. Black Elk’s Lodge; United Methodist; Michigan League; small barn in Kerrytown; Brit; Hathaways house; Frenchies will be reserved for free (but might be iffy on numbers); The Friend’s Meeting Hall – Quakers, open to political speech (Brian will contact; will look into WCC as well in the future)
    • Idea: occupy Starbucks and pass out your own coffee (haha!)
    • PROPOSAL: PEOPLE WORK TOGETHER AND CONTACT LOCATIONS
    • PROPOSAL: WORKING GROUP FOR ACTION (teach in; volunteering [can work with Dawn Farms?] Teach-ins could be really good, especially in the New Year, really informative and way of gathering of large groups of people)
    • MEETING MONDAY AT 5PM AT CAFE AMBROSIA

****BREAK****

Brief Disucssion: what do you want to work on? what are you interested in?

  • Jackie – retired Prof from Wayne State (radio, TV etc) – find a way to get paid for what you love to do; trying to get involved in Occupy; will work with occupyannarbor.com and O4A to post articles etc; left wing politics for quite a while; critique of capitalism coming from Occupy movement is inspiring; holds a global critique of the system; involved in food co-ops in the past – history with process development;

Where do you see Occupy in 6 months?

    • Jackie – appealing to different demographics; some stuff happened recently around home foreclosures has attracted a lot of sympathy; particular homes that have been targeted have been targeted well; hope to see broader support; want to see non-violence support (makes violent reaction from police more extreme)
    • Lindsea: thinks it will blow up – more and more people are going to have their conscousness raised; whole winter to talk to each other, to become more radicalized
    • Chris: lives in Canada – different political system, different idea of democracy (not a two party system); Occupy Toronto is poorly facilitated; but parliamentary system, there’s a different kind of skepticism there;  reporting in States is poor, probably not so great in Canada
    • Nathanael: not much to add, several things shaping up; as Occupy moves more into a peace movement (it’ll keep economic focus, but add peace element) especially in reaction military build-up and NDAA and potential war with Iran; in the winter, time to discuss and radicalize and build skills in organizing as a movement; development of independent internet networks; Ham radio; various things we’re working on in the winter so that by the time warmer weather comes around we will be much more radicalized and mobilized; doesn’t think things will get better before things change – so things are going to get worse, and ppl will mobilize, either under occupy or not; people will be squeezed more intimately
    • Chelle: it’ll be warmer outside! more activity possible; huge things like port shut-downs will be more common than they are already; more radicalization and the response will be a massive police presence, and that moblizes people; thinks it’ll be more interesting in 3 years
    • Joshua: hoping that we can focus on more on each state have a collective message; what do we want? in 6 months – hopefully we are more organized and have greater effect on politicians, and that we are always in their face etc
    • Kent: at a tipping point, precariously balanced – we can fall a bad way: they force us to violence (giving us no other choice) or good (non violence wins) – doesn’t want violence (civil war)  – but in 6 months we will know which way we’re falling – next election, presidential election? wants to see more people awakened, either by choice or forced need to recognize how they’re being effected;  we’ll be into the summer
    • Maggie: all of the above!

Announcements – (future activities/actions/stuff) (1 min each)

  • Dance Party  – IF I CAN’T DANCE IT’S NOT MY REVOLUTION Saturday January 14 at 5900 Michigan Avenue in Detroit
    • Inter-Occupational!
    • 9PM
    • One DJ confirmed so far – willing to do the whole time
    • Quest Ion from Flint want to preform as well (need to get in contact)
    • Wants more Occupiers to perform or DJ as well
    • Might need help for set-up later
  • Kent – CSF – Community Shared Food
    • Like a CSA – you pay a certain amount and they will give you food for your own uses
    • Want to break it down a bit and have people cook for each other and help each other in other ways
    • We will buy food and make it and deliver it – can contribute money, or time, or resources
    • Contact Kent if interested!

Next Steps:

  • Phone Tree?

Closing

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Happy Holidays (Or Not) From Occupy For All!

To all our friends and fellow Occupiers,

We would like to take this opportunity to wish you the safest and happiest of holidays, whatever those holidays might be. For those of you that do not celebrate holidays during this season, happy inconsequential, ordinary winter season! We have been taking a few days to re-cooperate and prepare for the new year that is upon us! Do not fear! We aren’t going anywhere, we are just preparing for the long struggle that is ahead of us, while still fulfilling our obligations to ourselves and our families. 2012 is going to be a very exciting year, full of change and opportunities for action. We will not let them pass us by.

Peace and Solidarity to each and every one of you!

Occupy4All Action Assembly – Thursday, December 22nd @ 8pm!

Occupy4All Action Assembly

Saturday, December 22nd, 2011
8pm

Cafe Ambrosia
326 Maynard St
Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104

After a successful Summit and Action Assembly in Detroit, Occupy For All returns to Ann Arbor to regroup and prepare for the holiday break and the New Year! Join us for our last Assembly before Christmas and bring in the good cheer of Occupy! We will be discussing the upcoming Ann Arbor Summit on January 7th, as well as report backs from our various activities in Detroit the past few weeks!

Also, COOKIES!

http://www.facebook.com/events/314092741946753/

Occupy4All Action Assembly, December 17 Meeting Report

This is the personal account of a participant in Occupy For All’s Action Assembly on December 17th:

The Assembly never officially began and I couldn’t be happier about it.

We arrived at the Unite Detroit building at about 6:57pm and found only a few people lingering within the building. We had seen them before on our previous visit following the Summit in Detroit and it was obvious they were residents. Right away, we found a group of tables and made ourselves at home immediately. Without a doubt, the people at 5900 Michigan Ave are very welcoming and do not hover or cause any kind of problems. They are open to the use of the space and encourage Occupy-related activity within. While we were sitting and talking, we were approached by a young couple and began talking about the Occupy Movement. Her name is Sirii (sp?) and she is an Assistant Professor in Berlin, but originally comes from Iran. His name is Seth and while originally from the suburbs of Detroit, he hadn’t been home in ten years and was back visiting family for the holidays. He is going for his doctorate in Geography. They both have a keen interest in Social Movements and Socialogy and are in the midsts of researching and writing a report on the Occupy Movement. Needless to say, the conversation was riveting, and I mean that with all sincerity. Sirii had participated in the Solidarity Protest in Berlin and now was making a few stops in the United States to interview people in New York, as well as other Occupy hotspots. They were extremely nice and interested in our views and opinions in relation to their own experiences.

As the conversation became more and more engaging, the crowd continued to grow. Eventually, there were over a dozen of us sitting and talking, including several members of Unite Detroit and Occupy Detroit, respectively. Though many of us had gathered for the purposes of an Assembly, it was almost completely unnecessary and I was awestruck in the fact that we still observed the methods of process despite the fact that there was no real need for facilitation. We spoke about issues both local and abroad and I got the very real sense that we were all on the same page in regards to our views of how the global movement has gotten us to act locally, which in turn will effect the global movement respectively. We talked about the formations of community and how we needed to practice what we preach and show a new way of living.

One particular individual I found most fascinating was James, a lifelong member of the Detroit community and a veteran of the Military. It’s still hard for me to wrap my head around the idea that people younger than myself can be considered veterans. Though soft spoken through most of the meeting, his views on the treatment of veterans and money in politics were extremely insightful and gave a perspective that I had never considered myself, having had different experiences and having never served in the Armed Forces.  It is the gathering together of a variety of views, just like James’, that make me so thankful for the Occupy Movement.

So after a long discussion about the importance of Occupy, the question was posed, “So now what?” With all of the information we have and the “awakening” we’ve all experienced, where do we go from here?

That’s when the wheels really started to turn. We had to start taking action. We had to start spreading this knowledge to others. Just like we had experiencing our own awakening and some of us had “radicalized” because of it, we couldn’t stop there. A very interesting metaphor was made because of this.

When we talk among fellow Occupiers, we are gaining validation and that gives us the charge to move onward. Conversations such as these allow us to recharge and invigorate ourselves. We need to send that charge out in to the unknown in hopes of connecting with other people and getting the charge working for them. After “depleting” our own charge, we come back to the group and charge up again, preparing to send it out. Throughout this conversation, we made the challenge to ourselves to do something with this energy we were creating.

An idea about conversations on the bus was posed and development began. Much like Town Criers and Bards, we could use our information and knowledge to awaken others in the most simple of places. By talking about these things, people were bound to listen to us. But also by listening and gaining insights from others, we could find out what had been troubling them and move to work on those things to show that change was coming.

By the end of the evening, I was so invigorated that I knew I needed to act and start making things happen. I needed to start talking, not just to fellow Occupiers, but those that had not joined the Occupy movement as well. Truly, it was an unforgettable experience and I look forward to meeting with my Detroit family again in the near future.

All For One…

In our Winter, we shall not forget the Spring

Happy Birthday “Arab Spring”

Today, the “Arab Spring” turns one year old.

After months of violence, the Libyan people toppled Gaddafi, Yemen’s leader is working on a deal to leave power, protests continue in Bahrain, while Syria remains in chaos. Tunisia and Egypt toppled their leaders and both along with Morocco recently held elections.

Who could have guessed a year ago that people would topple regimes, hunt down dictators, make presidents flee for their lives, and hold the the first democratic elections…   and all of this inspired by the act of one single man:  Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26-year-old Tunisian street vendor who made $5-10 per day selling produce out of a wheelbarrow.

When Bouazizi was only three years old, his father, a construction worker in Libya, died of a heart attack. Bouazizi was only 10 years old when he became the primary breadwinner for his mother, his ill stepfather and five younger siblings.

As Bouazizi grew older, the people of his town—Sidi Bouzid—knew him as a friendly and generous young man who often gave free produce to poor families.  Generous also to his own family, Bouazizi sacrificed his dreams so he could afford to put his younger siblings through school. Bouazizi always aspired to go to college and hold a job with more prestige and a higher salary than peddling his cart of produce.  He applied to a number of positions including the Army, but—rejected—Bouazizi continued selling fruit and vegetables at the market to support his family.

Bouazizi’s difficulty finding a good-paying job was not out of the ordinary in Tunisia. In 2010, Tunisia suffered from an average unemployment rate of 14%, Sidi Bouzid reportedly endured a 30% unemployment rate, and in other towns similar to Sidi Bouzid in the interior of Tunisia, the unemployment rate for university graduates can reach 50%.

Since his childhood, Bouazizi endured regular harassment from local authorities and government officials about his cart, but on December 17, 2010 something changed.

Claiming he did not have the proper permit, officials harassed Bouazizi, confiscating his produce and his scale worth $100.  After refusing a fine/bribe of around $7, one female official insulted Bouazizi and allegedly slapped him in the face in the middle of the public market.

Humiliated and angry, Bouazizi marched to local government headquarters and demanded to meet with an official to retrieve his $100 scale so he could continue selling produce.  When the governor’s office refused to meet with him and hear his case, Bouazizi, angry and desperate, took drastic action.

He bought a can of fuel and doused himself.  Standing in the middle of traffic in front of a government building, he asked, “How do you expect me to make a living?” and he lit himself on fire.

The act was horrifying, but many people related to this young man’s struggles.

This humble man leading a simple life, through one desperate act, galvanized the feelings of frustration, anger and desperation into inspiration and action for an entire country.

Maybe the revolutionary spark lit because his story is so familiar?  Many knew a Bouazizi in their own town, and many saw a little Bouazizi in themselves.

Reposted from Voices of the Arab Spring on Tumblr

http://voicesofthearabspring.tumblr.com/post/14351916482/happy-birthday-arab-spring

4th Inter-Occupational Summit in Detroit! (December 15th, 2011)

4th Inter-Occupational Summit in Detroit
December 15th, 2011

Introduction to Summit

–          Consensus given upon the reading of the Occupy Wall Street Call to Action. The document was passed around, allowing most attendees the opportunity to read a sentence or two.
–          Facilitation Team Introduced:

  • Facilitator: Kent (Occupy For All)
  • Notes: Vikki (Occupy Detroit)
  • Stack: Dave (Occupy Detroit)

–          Introduce Attendees (Represented Occupations)

  • Occupy Ann Arbor
  • Occupy Detroit
  • Occupy Lansing
  • Occupy Flint
  • Occupy For All
  • Occupy the Lakeshore (Formerly of Occupy Muskegon)
  • Occupy Our Homes
  • Occupy Toledo
  • Occupy Traverse City
  • United Detroit Affinity

–          It is noted that Native Americans do things in a clockwise direction. A group is being founded called “The Dead Indians for the Liberation of White People”. (Information requested on the speaker, whose name I can’t recall)

Introduction to Process

–          Kent did a brief explanation of Hand Signals. Very little clarification was necessary.

Agenda

–          The Summit Purpose is read as a working document, followed by consensus from the Assembly.

  • “The summit is a gathering of individuals from all of the various occupations in hopes of opening the lines of communication between those occupations and helping to establish goals and inter-occupational actions.”

–          The Agenda is reviewed and given consensus by the Assembly.

Occupation Report Backs

–          Occupy Ann Arbor

  • No Report

–          Occupy Detroit

  • Direct Action: Working with Latino Community to increase numbers. Using 5900 Michigan Avenue building for meeting.
  • Sustainability: Have a meeting planned for Saturday. Encouraging every Occupation to take on a Sustainability working group to coordinate across the Occupations, as well as a Love Mother Earth Orientation. Model of how to create sustainability within this movement. Focusing on creating a new world government with sustainability. Contact: killiankob@yahoo.com
  • Suggested Viewing (Side Note): http://youtu.be/O1RlyoDYDzg
  • United Detroit:Has 5900 Michigan Avenue space to be used for the movement. Open 9AM-10PM, 7 days a week. In Southwest Detroit (Michigan Ave/Wesson Intersection). Wobbly Film Night – Sunday at 7pm. Direct Action Meeting is on Monday at the same time as 5900 Public March.
    • Still Need Website URL
  • Annual MLK March: March to Governor’s House following MLK March. Inviting all other occupies to come to event.
  • Education: Seeking others who have done teach-ins and research. Looking to spread knowledge. Contact: franshore@yahoo.com
  • Outreach: Reaching out to community groups who have been doing this kind of work. Going to them and figuring out what their issues have been and how the movement can help. Looking to start massive outreach with speakers to go to these groups and clear the air, talk to them and explain what we stand for and what we do. Seeking volunteers. Outreaching to a couple of Church Groups, including those that offered the Thistle Café as a space. Also in contact with: Grey Panthers, St. Allouysis, Royal Oak Democrat Club & DSA. Hans is starting a Social Justice Center. Contact: mrddaly@gmail.com
  • Media:Ongoing projects include: Reaching out to Nation Media about the Emergency Financial Manager issues. Working on Press Releases, 99% Profiles (asking Occupiers to submit their stories to be featured on the website), Spring Photo Show (A travelling art show featuring alternative forms of occupying spaces). Also interested in International Artists who are projecting images on the side of buildings. As an example, projecting image or text on the side of a bank for Bank Transfer Day.
    • Contact Caroline about promoting events. Use Facebook or E-mail. Contact: Carriex2@gmail.com. Put “Event” in the subject line to avoid Inbox flooding.
    • Coverage is very important. Without coverage, some believe it didn’t happen. If you want coverage, don’t be afraid to ask or it.
  • Location: Identifying spaces. Some of the places that have been offering space for free are having funding cut. Moses, Conglomeration of Churches are doing the same thing we do but are more grass root. Having some of the same problems we do.

–          Occupy Flint

  • Direct Action this Saturday outside of Bank of America.
  • Fought against a struggle to keep camp. Has one of the last standing camps.
    • Had a letter from their lawyers saying the landlord might need them to evacuate the site because he was concerned he was going to be sited because the structure wasn’t fire safe. Because of the nature of their camp, they cannot be classified as “structures” and therefore do not pose a problem, however there was a lot of good media coverage.
  • Secondary Location: Talk about building an Earthen Structure. Killian offered to help with expertise and sustainability.
  • Flint needs will be posted on the web.
  • Had a successful direct action about the Emergency Managers and S.1867 at Debbie Stabenow’s office. Trying to stage a direct action every day. Have previously read sections of the Michigan Constitution over a loudspeaker. Possibly joining with Lansing to go to Carl Levin’s office.

–          Occupy Traverse City

  • Representative asked to speak for Occupation via e-mail. Relative to Occupier.
  • Having General Assemblies, but are not currently occupying a space because of smaller numbers and elderly occupiers.
  • Between 29 to 50 participants working to amend corporations as personhood.
  • Working with a local resident who is being foreclosed on
  • Held a protest in front of Carl Levin’s home against defense spending.
  • Organizing Occupalooza to help educate.

–          Occupy Our Homes

  • Group of activists focusing on stopping foreclosures.
  • Helped organize and execute actions to stop Kyra Williams from losing her homes, which caused the bank to renegotiate her mortgage due to the actions of Occupy Detroit and the media presence.
  • A lot of county foreclosures for taxes are used by banks so they don’t have to file for foreclosure.
  • http://occupyourhomes.org

–          Occupy Lansing

  • Closed camp because of draining resources. Focusing on direct actions and foreclosures.
  • Focusing on outreach and successful canvassing marches. Offering training on canvassing.
  • Volleyball Game on Capitol lawn. Will have the Grinch representing the 1%. This Saturday at 2pm on State Capitol lawn.
  • Organizing Group Meditation to support “The Seventh Global Brain Consciousness Movement Worldwide Meditation Event”. (http://www.facebook.com/events/237414329661707/) Check with Occupy Lansing Facebook pages for more details.

–          Occupy For All

  • Originally spun off from Occupy Ann Arbor due to internal issues in hopes of focusing on Inter-Occupational Action and Coordination. Don’t have a central site or location, but are constantly keeping up communications with other occupies. Want to help assist supply runs for other occupies. Here to support occupiers and assist them in doing the great work they’ve already done and continue to do.
  • Interoccupational Calendar (https://occupyforall.wordpress.com/calendar/). Includes national events several months in advance. Trying to keep a finger on the pulse of things.
  • Organizing rideshares.
  • Posting notes from meetings and Summits.
  • Next Action Assembly: Saturday, December 17th @7pm at 5900 Michigan Avenue in Detroit. A great opportunity for unofficial “mini-summits” and reports from various Occupations.
  • When Occupy Lansing broke camp, transferred supplies to Occupy Flint.
  • Trying to research CSF (Community Supported Food – Similar to CSA/Community Supported Agriculture). Will cook meals and do grocery shopping to help keep food costs low for those involved. Helping foster a sense of community. Will release more information as it becomes available.
  • http://Occupyforall.org

–          Occupy the Lakeshore

  • Separated from Occupy Muskegon. Muskegon too focused on their campsite and losing people because of it. Lakeshore acting as a catch all. Only existed for two weeks. Claims there were 100-150 people initially involved in Occupy Muskegon meetings, now down to 25.

After a brief break, began livestreaming Occupy-Detroit.us Live-ustream feed

–          Occupy Toledo

  • Have moved inside and no longer have a camp due to low turnout.
  • Foreclosure Action Group: Will be moving people into stable housing. Wants to help other Occupies to assist in stopping Sherriff sales.
  • Media: Currently reworking website. Trying to get flyers out to web and media.
  • Arts and Culture: Getting together to make a pamphlet to do outreach, encouraging people to look at the website.
  • Communications: Focusing on keeping the GA and other groups informed.
  • Currently enduring an arraignment for two participants that were arrested for walking in to a city council meeting with a sign with the first amendment on it. A laws was passed that says they can’t have any signs about free speech. Demonstrator was charged with felony assault on a police officer who assaulted her. Try to offer any assistance you can, including calling the judges office. Check with Occupy Toledo on Facebook for more details.
  • Had a demonstration with blank signs because that’s the only free speech they were allowed.
  • Having people dress as Santa to deliver a lump of coal to foreclosing banks.

–          Other Inter-Occupational Announcements

  • Occupy Chicago is interested in starting an inter-occupational newsletter which will cover the entire great lakes area.  Are calling for participation from other occupies.
  • Steel Worker demonstration in Findley, passed GA, some of the people from Toledo and Detroit are going.
  • Occupy Bay City, Occupy Saginaw, and Occupy Midland have come together as one organizations known as “Occupy the Tri”
  • Occupy Alpena sends word that they regret having to miss the Summit, but appears things are going well for them.

Inter-Occupational Action Discussion

–          Occupy the State of the State Address. Wednesday, January 18th, Governor Snyder is expected to give his “State of the State” address.  Will be a big event.  Trying to find out how to infiltrate. More information available online. (http://www.facebook.com/events/110837689033577/)
–          January 26th, 2012 is the 175th anniversary of Michigan becoming a state. Planning a massive direct action to say we are taking our state back.

  • Do something regarding Emergency Managers?
  • Asked to remember that the original people who took over the state were occupiers that were genocidal maniacs. This is already occupied territory and it was taken from the native people. Quoted Sitting Bull in saying, “Let us put our minds together and see what world we can make for our children.”
  • Contact: kraelyn@gmail.com

–          May 25th, 2012 – Big golfing event planned because of the Emergency Manager. Want to have 10,000 people there. Occupy should have a big presence.
–          Lots of Colleges in the state. Should pick a date to do universal teach-ins on college campuses across the state. Proposed for end of March, beginning of April.
–          All working around foreclosures should do education about it on a state level.
–          Proposed Art Action by Edge from Occupy Lansing. Wants to have an Art/wheat paste day. Design art installation pieces all over the state that are rolled out on the same day. Find buildings that are willing to have this done on the side of their buildings. See Edge for more details.
–          Side Note: Visibility. Keep that in your head when creating and brainstorming for events. Power structure doesn’t want us complaining and calling attention, so that’s what we must do.

  •  Counter Point: There are lots of different voices to speak in and we should find different ways to speak and use them.

–          Tucker from Occupy Detroit proposes: Participating artists with international project with JR, take photos of people and put them on buildings. Talk of bringing them to Detroit. Approach JR with proposal to make this not just a Detroit but Great Lakes action.
–          Suggested Resource: Poor People’s Movements: Why They Succeed, How They Fail by Francis Fox Piven.  Very deep historical study shows what works and fails.
–          Graffiti Research Laser Tag.  Way in which form can do art legally
–          Hippies in the sky, flying high performance kites with streamers can get altitude so don’t have to rent a plane.
–          Land bank, paint boards on foreclosed houses.
–          Occupy for Democracy Affinity Group:  Occupy the Governor’s mansion.  Restrictions passed all over the country limiting people’s democratic rights.  Michigan voters have been completely disenfranchised.  No reason to vote because Emergency Manager can be put in place. Occupy Detroit has passed support for this action in their General Assembly. Want to pass it in all other occupies. March to Governor’s front door on MLK day.
–          Washington, D.C. trip: If you are interested, contact Occupy Flint at http://occupyflint.org/
–          Talk on National Defense Act, indefinite detention.  Art of war, know your enemy.  Want people to call and ask him to veto.  Want to set up a larger way to do this.  Powers that be are very scared that we are becoming very violent.  Want to communicate that we are very peaceful.

  • Counterpoint: Proposal to call president is misguided because he is prepared to sign the law. But appealing the president and the “powers that be” is wrong and should be avoided.

–          Propose that we go and welcome troops home, thanking them for their service.  Saying “Welcome home, brothers and sisters. Have some candy! Please don’t arrest us.”

  • Counterpoint: Have already brought in troops in place to stop rebellion b/c of economic collapse.  Should tie it in with all this other stuff.
  • Rebuttal: Clarify what idea is. Peace activist. Wording is important.
  • Proposal to welcome home troops turned down by Assembly after blocks and several disagreements. This is prompting a discussion and meeting to further review the returning troops and outreach opportunities.

Summit Planning

–          Next Summit: January 7th, 2012 in Ann Arbor

  • More details will be released as they become available.

–          Following Summit: January 19th, 2012 in Flint (unless otherwise noted).

  • Kalamazoo has express interest, but was not present at the meeting.
  • If contacts and arrangements can be made with an occupation from western Michigan, plans may change, but until then, the plan is for Flint.
  • Possible Direct Action: Take seats at bus station in Flint until after bus leaves and security tells people to leave. Great action to sit in the seats in front of the Rosa Parks statue.

Proposals

–          PROPOSAL: Have an agenda template that we follow.

  • Proposal that this template be used. (https://occupyforall.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/inter-occupational-summit-agenda-template/)
  • Amendment Proposal: There be no working group reports
    • Amendment: 5-7 min for Occupation Report Backs
  • Amendment Proposal: If Announcements are at end of meetings, no one listens to them, people leave after Proposals.
    • Amendment: Announcements are moved before Proposals.
  • Proposal with altered agenda passed by the Summit Assembly.

–          PROPOSAL: Summit Statement of Purpose and Guidelines

–          PROPOSAL: Each of the different occupations begin to work toward a sustainability work group and a statement across the Occupations.

  • Consensus is given and Occupiers will report back to their Occupations to try and form such a group. Contact Killian from Occupy Detroit to begin coordinating communication.

Announcements

–          Raphael from Occupy Lansing: Ron Paul is supporting several issues that are in our interests.  Has said some good things occupy movement. Would like others to join him and temporarily become republicans and swarm the primaries.
–          Car pool to Findley to demonstrate in support of Steel Workers. Contact: fuzzytek2@gmail.com
–          When planning for summit, florescent lights hurt some people’s eyes, try to avoid those spaces.
–          Emergency manager law petition is available for registered voters to sign.
–          Really focus on “State of the State” event and come together and come to the Capitol and make a nuisance of ourselves.  Let’s blow up 18th of January.
–          Discussion group to meet in the next 2 or 3 weeks. Details are to be announced, contact Mark Tucker. Topic is detainees and to welcome home the troops.
–          Announcement that the amount of methane coming from seabed is about 100 x that what it was 2 years ago, means we are probably past tipping pt for methane.  Will mean much more global warming.
–          People can spend night at 5900 Michigan Avenue if too tired to drive back.

Close Summit

–          Due to time constraints, we were unable to take time for the soap box.

Note for the next Summit:

–          There were a lot of great ideas, but we need people willing to take point on those ideas. If you have an idea for an Action or Event, perhaps make a full proposal and be willing to spearhead that event. Putting ideas out is great, but if nobody actually implements them, they get lost in the shuffle and passage of time.

Inter-Occupational Summit Statement of Purpose and Guidelines

Adopted by consensus through the Summit Assembly on December 15th, 2011.

Inter-Occupational Summit

Statement of Purpose and Guidelines

Statement

–          What is the purpose of a summit?

  • To create a sense of community for Occupy across the region.
  • To increase inter-occupational communication.
  • A chance for a larger group to be more participatory in Occupy across the region.
  • A way of mobilizing more people within the movement.
  • A way for occupations to share information and experience for the purposes of collaboration as well as autonomous action.
  • An opportunity to use observations of the hosting occupation to strengthen their home occupation.
  • To discuss operations and implementation of the Occupy movement.

Guidelines

–          It is suggested that the Hosting Occupation arrange an event or action during the day prior to the Summit Assembly; this allows the Hosting Occupation to take advantage of the increased numbers that the Summit brings.  Examples include:

  • Canvassing
  • Teach-ins
  • Protests
  • Potlucks

–          The Hosting Occupation is:

  • Not required to have a camp.
  • By volunteer only.
  • Not required to provide food.
  • Asked to facilitate the Summit Assembly, but may request assistance from outside of their Occupation, if so desired.

–          The Summit Assembly is an Inter-Occupational gathering at 7pm.

  • All represented Occupations will have the opportunity to give a report-back from their Occupation.
  • This is independent from the Hosting Occupation’s usual General Assembly.

–          There will be a Summit scheduled approximately every two weeks.

  • Decided by consensus at the 2nd Inter-Occupational Summit at Occupy Flint on November 18th, 2011.
  • The Summits will alternate between weekdays and weekends.

–          The location of the Summit will be hosted by a different Occupation each time, as:

  • an attempt to show solidarity throughout all of Michigan.
  • a chance to be exposed to locations outside of Home Occupations.

–          Summit locations and dates will always be planned two meetings in advance. This will:

  • give notice to all Occupiers wishing to attend and need to make arrangements.
  • give the Hosting Occupation notice to make arrangements for the Summit.