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.
– 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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.
– 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.
– 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: email@example.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.
– 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.
– 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
- Use this Statement of Purpose and Guidelines (https://occupyforall.wordpress.com/2011/12/16/inter-occupational-summit-statement-of-purpose-and-guidelines/)
- Amendment Proposal: Stay in touch with national and international level. Make it a priority to focus on national actions at Summits.
- No need to amend original document, but consensus is given that national events require attention during Summits.
– 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.
– 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: firstname.lastname@example.org
– 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.
– 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.