General Assembly Facilitator and Process Training

General Assembly Facilitator and Process Training

Saturday, February 25th, 2012

2-4PM

NorthStar Center
106 Lathrop St.
Lansing, MI. 48912

The NorthStar Center is hosting Occupy For All from Ann Arbor, Michigan, to present General Assembly (GA) Facilitator and Process Training as it relates to the Occupy Movement. Learn what are effective means of direct democracy decision making, the role of the facilitator within the group and how a GA can be used as a tool to reach inclusive, consensus goals.

Whether you a part of a local Occupy group or involved with another social justice group, this presentation has value. It is based on the participation and observations of the Occupy For All team, who have attended numerous direct democracy consensus based Occupations throughout Michigan. Many suggestions will be offered, including minimizing divisiveness within the group. Refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to have any particular questions, comments, or situations addressed at this event, feel free to send them to us in advance at OccupyForAll@gmail.com! Though we will still take questions at the event itself, it would help us be better prepared for some of those issues when we commence the training! We are very excited about this opportunity and look forward to seeing all of you on Saturday!

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The 8th Michigan Inter-Occupational Summit!

The Rally to End Corporate Personhood
&
The 8th Inter-Occupational Summit Assembly

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

3pm-6pm: Rally on the Capitol Steps

Michigan State Capitol
Lansing Michigan

7pm-10:30pm: Inter-Occupational Summit Assembly

2500 South Washington Street
Lansing, Michigan

The Eighth Michigan Inter-Occupational Summit In Lansing is Saturday, February 18, 2012 from 7:00 pm to 10:30 pm. Join other Occupiers from around Michigan.

Also, look at the Rally To End Corporate Personhood https://www.facebook.com/events/212938598802404/

The summit is being held at 2500 South Washington Street in Lansing

Michigan Inter-Occupational Summit

Statement of Purpose

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

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:
o Canvassing
o Teach-ins
o Protests
o Potlucks
– The Hosting Occupation is:
o Not required to have a camp.
o By volunteer only.
o Not required to provide food.
o 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.
o All represented Occupations will have the opportunity to give a report-back from their Occupation.
o This is independent from the Hosting Occupation’s usual General Assembly.
– There will be a Summit scheduled approximately every two weeks.
o Decided by consensus at the 2nd Inter-Occupational Summit at Occupy Flint on November 18th, 2011.
o The Summits will alternate between weekdays and weekends.
– The location of the Summit will be hosted by a different Occupation each time, as:
o an attempt to show solidarity throughout all of Michigan.
o 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:
o give notice to all Occupiers wishing to attend and need to make arrangements.
o give the Hosting Occupation notice to make arrangements for the Summit.

This is about the coming together of the Occupants from the different cities around Michigan so that we can Occupy Michigan. The point is to for us to join forces and interconnect. This is happening at meetings that are being dubbed Inter-Occupational Summits. Imagine large gatherings made up of those from all the Occupations in the region, imagine occupying Michigan, imagine coming together as a family. It starts locally then goes from there. There’s no reason that each state can’t get all the Occupations together to Occupy that state every so often. With total state wide solidarity we can go even bigger and convene on a national or international level. Each time the Inter-Occupational meeting will be held at a different camp or location.

Remember our strength is in awareness (understanding), empathy, perseverance and the unity of the masses. We must awaken the sleeping who are ultimately strewn all through out the system and just are not yet aware of the fact that they are also (as much as anyone else) a part of the 99%. We must come together as a family, not just as another cold political organization. We must keep the warmth, the purity, the humility, the leaderlessness, the openness of heart and mind, as well as the resolve and a relentless will. Come together, we must be the change we wanna see in the world cuz guess what, the gov, the media, the universities, the institutions, the police, the military, the “authorities”, the corporations, or anything else we are used to trusting or relying upon are not gonna do it for us, it is solely up to us. It is solely up to us to create a new world.

INTEROCCUPY SUMMIT AT KALAMAZOO FEB. 4TH, 2012

INTEROCCUPY SUMMIT KALAMAZOO 02.04.2012

Everyone is okay with being live-streamed

Hand signals review

Practice!

Stack with numbers – no names for ease

Quick intro – name, where you’re from

Kalamazoo

Chicago

Hastings, MI

New York

Paw Paw

Ann Arbor

Grand rapids

Lakeshore

G –

Muskegon

Three Rivers

Lansing

Wall Street

St. Louis

Ft. Wayne

(WOW!)

AGENDA:

Check-in, Basic info

St Louis – Midwest occupation

–       Occupy St. Louis – national conference; 30 cities so far; teach ins speakers etc. planning for G8 summit and actions; march 15-18 – Occupy St. Patrick’s day march; educational learning experience; many occupies coming together; limited posters for information! Can collect contact info – various websites, FB event sites – St Louis is hosting, but not SL affair – everyone participating has helped plan the event as well as attending – give them contact info, but also contact Zack:  occupythemidwest@gmail.com occupythemidwest.org;  What do you need help with? Need logistical support – food, tents, basic stuff; there will be camping and alternative housings for people who don’t want to camp; be prepared to camp by bringing your own tent and some food (can’t feed everyone!) there is a WePay account for donations – any amount is helpful!

Occupy Chicago – G8

What the political and legal environment of Chicago and motivation of why ppl should attend; invites from OC for spring events: Rachel from OC press committee, Super Bowl occupation retaking the camp tonight! OC has April 7th – all allies and occupiers in Chicago to take to the streets – we are here and strong and ready for the Spring; Adbusters has called on people to camp – not OC call to action, but they want to participate, look for call to action in the future; OC wants to help occupations in the region to help out with press – contacts, press releases, media list – will help train and education – contact:  press@occupychi.org direct request to Rachel

Coalition against NATO G8 – giving ideas of what to expect in May; gathering of global 1% – unique opportunity to push back, life time opportunity! Do not allow the 1% to intimidate you – this is something they’ve tried to do; head of chi chamber of commerce (people should be boarding up windows etc.) police training 1300 cops in riot duty; sit-down shut-up ordinances rammed through city ordinance website Chicago.indymedia.org  series of articles about anti-protester ordinances they just rammed through; almost all of this is permanent, the G8 protests are just an excuse to pass these so quickly; quadrupled the penalty for violation of parade permit ordinances; if you put in parade permit you have to have 1 million dollars insurance, and guarantee that the city won’t have to pay for damage, banner or sound equipment carried by more than two people have to have permission prior; Chicago is a one party town – controlled by democratic party; NATO G8 summits are good time for rahm Emanuel – “mayor 1%” – leading recipient of campaign donations, very pro war, no accident that G8 and NATO are in Chicago – unique opportunity for our side – Despite Chicago 1968, that was the beginning of the end of the Vietnam War – our movement exposed the brutality of the 1% on both parties; Pres Obama’s big party – going into election year. This will be extremely important time to push back. DO NOT BE INTIMIDATED. Working with NLG, have a permitted march for sat May19, national Nurses’ union march, whole ton of un permitted stuff; may 12-13 there will be stuff. Question: for those who cant’ go and spend a whole month – hoping events will be posted, or other contact info? May 19-21 are summits; events around national delegations in preceding days.  Can we get more detail? Place to camp? That was called out by Adbusters, so logistics are not planned – OC has to deal with that, no place to actually camp, no places to rally etc. – that needs to be organized if that happens. Is NATO/G8 is that a hot topic beyond Midwest occupations? Great deal of discussion already, OK is already enthusiastic about it; the G8 issue is universal for occupies all around the world; how do Michiganders transport themselves? Chicagomassaction.org – march route for permitted march on May 19; national special security action – federal government can come in and wipe out permits or dramatically curtail; logistical information will be up within 3 or 4 days – ride board, housing board are in development – hope something will be up within a week; south shore – that takes you within four blocks of the sat may 19th march; detailed information of how to get from all forms of transportation; churches have offered up camping spaces – there is 0 overnight public space in Chicago (same problem in 1968); international focus – questions from all around the world; austerity measures going in Europe have people pissed off at G8 and their own governments. McCormick Place on the lakeshore is where the actual G8 meeting takes place. Email Andy Thayer for more information (also on FB): ccawr@aol.com

Facebook.com/presscomm

Question: show up in waves? Or do we have a plan b, mass arrests every day?  This is why we’ve been working with NLG for several months – can’t guarantee there wont’ be arrests, basically been organizing this since July – the city has arrested organizers repeatedly; 65 million dollars on “security” – how can you spend that money when you just cut mental health clinics in Chicago by half? Believe we are winning PR battle; What can we do to help? COME. Just be there (answer met with cheers and applause)

Democracy Now march 30

Now DC wants and DC spring in March

Want different occupies to endorse it

March 30 – show unity en masse of occupy movement

Money of go government is biggest message; negotiating dates (arrive on 30th, 7th is teach in etc., a concert a week after) how might we consolidate it all, so if people can’t come for a whole month or 3 weeks show we have mass numbers

Sign up sheet – want one person from each occupy – take a statement to your GA to see if we get endorsements (right now there are 11 on the list, including Wall Street) really the first nationwide thing – looking for people who will coordinate outreach and to start out with, people can join the call tomorrow at 9 on interoccupy – you have to sign up (nowDC.org  they will have info for call – also interoccupy.org)

January 17th gathering – that was nationwide, how is this different? How will it be more than that? We will make it that – its up to us, we already have several thousand people who are on the calls that people will participate it – we need to grab it, grab a hold of it and show unity – powerful statement

Is the 30th the main day for that?  Yes, but stuff going on after that; the 30th – probably one massive one for people, but then others can stick around

American Spring – motive of the whole action? Context to be read (proposal) – its being rewritten (needs to be what we’re for as much as what we’re against) This is about a visibility thing, to show people that we’re here

Contact: nowdc.org;  ksputney@gmail.com for more info

Part of occupy groups from DC? Nope, from K-zoo; occupy only? Initiated by occupy, but other groups are welcome to participate

Organizing by region off the country; anyone wants to be a regional rep would be great

STL conference – Now DC could be a great opportunity for a teach in and getting more people involved

There are many DC events, is there a way to communicated, coordinate? Others probably have more specific focus; this is supposed to show solidarity;

In DC MacPherson park there wasan occupation; October 11 a coalition of groups that did a sit in on freedom plaza – same time as OWS so it turned into occupy – so lots of those same groups merged and want March 30

Different groups don’t get along – heard that Occupy groups might be getting together; as of January 17th there are still two separate groups

 

Printed media

New Idea in K-Zoo is to network with smaller towns around our city; so printed material to help people understand and get educated about occupy, gmos, corporations etc.. – solid facts and figures (some in center of circle) – also has flash drive of folder full of graphics (find Lee) leeholdridge@gmail.com is contact

Citation or bibliography verifying Just grabbing – but says fact check it, let him know if stuff isn’t accurate and he’ll pull it;

Most of the charts do have website citation

Video all GAs in their entirety and put it online – surprising number of people will sit through a 3 hour video (25-50 hits on each video) Decided as a group to never shut off camera, though sometimes edited – like name calling, or revealing info about medications etc. it gets edited – if its harmful to their group or another group it’s cut

Printed Media is working with Google docs, but is a learning experience, so it’s developing

Occupy Lakeshore

List of grievances

Petition for a regress of grievances – agreed by the GA

Asked to meet with reps in Washington – but are going to send them the list – get a feel for a temp check with our group on what they have

At end of reading, met with applause!

Fear of corporations taking over our schools, esp. with citizens united – so that money will go to school board members who will make our schools owned by corporations – huge concern;

How do we integrate this into the march 30th demonstration; also can health care as number 3 not 10? These aren’t’ in order of importance

Once nice and cleaned up – put it on the internet and have people sign it; it is posted on Facebook page and occupythelakeshore.org; move on has a spot online you can make petitions with and they’ll take it for you to government; change.org will also allow you to post petitions

Occupy Muskegon with news (OM News)

Free media and reporting of events is the only guarantor that democracy has had; w/o free media democracy doesn’t stand a chance. Pair in Muskegon own the Muskegon paper; dozen people were at city council meeting protesting and spoke at city council meeting; local news all the arguments of contractor (who paid 3.5 million for property) and nothing of protesters – but they stopped that silence, because they have their own news, following up with their own research, presenting news to the public – doing the job of the media – refusing to be interviewed by news (OMN is actually interviewing main news sources) occupymuskegon.net\omnews

Encourage community to write articles, research, investigative, editorials etc. and other occupy groups can and should send them materials and to use it as a means/nexus of sharing information; all occupies should start their own – become a people’s news, not a corporate news

Send news: on webpage but, occupymuskegon@hushmail.com

Lots of info on fb page still

Omnewswire.tumblr.com

Askomnews.gmail.com

Request of OMNews: will you take over Michigan media center, collective that abandoned project – but still around, perhaps take it over and we can all use it?

Is there a sense of peace and tranquility of being “Occupy Om”? (laughter and applause)

Occupy Report backs (2 min each)

Occupy Lakeshore – petition; occupy congress on Jan 16/17 participation – news says several hundred, but blatantly wrong – media came during first part of the day (meet and greet etc.) then media left for the day, actual march later on – 3000+ people in the march; more clear and concise report – Russia Today and Taiwanese news had most accurate representation of it; participation of community college, did q and a etc.

Occupy Muskegon – quick recap; campsite was in early days, lasted 2 months, not enough campers for security (private land with permission); now meeting in private homes; museum of afro American history in hopes of making contact with more diverse groups; city commission meetings, township board meetings; also emergency action to prevent smoke stack demolition; monitoring situation of Muskegon heights – may be shutting schools down in 3 weeks due to lack of funds; investigation into the few million dollars a school lost to a ponzi scheme; been having movie nights – peak oil, federal reserve, transition movement films; newsletter WEST WIND has been published; OM News has not officially launched but is running; several benefit concerts in blues bar; doing those to raise money; have about 15 active (active!) members working around the clock; any given times someone will be up streaming articles and posting things – very tight hardworking crew. Want to recruit new members within next month or two; future will be very active. Also have been working with city boards to remove fluoride from the water; working on county banking mainstreetmatters.com;

Occupy Grand Rapids – trying to get occupy our homes together – help prevent foreclosures by occupying lawns and preventing police; talks of general strikes; move to amend group formation – us constitutional amendment to prevent corporate personhood; slowly making progress on an occupy coloring book will eventually put it in pdf form; Google: occupy community bill of rights – lawyers put together a document (on AlterNet, perhaps?) for cities and you plug in your city and state name; really free market – no money sales! No camp because people were pooping in it

Occupy Ann Arbor – momentarily died, but coming back! Occupyforall.wordpress.com

Occupy Lansing – Lansing move to amend will have its first meeting at going wired café – 2121 east mi ave; feb 18th corporate personhood rally at state capitol in Lansing; wants contacts from people working on move to amend email for Lansing move to amend (also Facebook) lansingmovetoamend@gmail.com Occupylansingoutreach  Meeting every Sunday for general assemblies, at 5 we’ve been doing DA meetings

Occupy Paw Paw/Lawrence – small so far, go out weekly and picket, talk to people, no camp yet, but making baby steps to catch up

Occupy Kalamazoo – biggest event so far has been this summit; focusing really hard on foreclosures and with moratorium now etc.; K-Zoo is still small, but growing and merging; Occupy Detroit had a victory with the Garrison’s home (yeah!) Needing to understand how to be more organized in order to prepare for all the amazing things happening this spring and summer. There is another communication manner – interoccupy.org – set up of national phone conferences (Monday night is the largest call 50-60 people at largest around country) only a communication method – no actual actions taken (NOAM CHOMSKY WAS ON A CALL OMG) all occupy oriented

Occupy Detroit – very involved in anti-foreclosure stuff; garrets, 1515 Broadway and another family were all saved from foreclosure!  Jeffery Whitters

Occupy West Palm Beach – big action, stopped infornt of Hugo Boss and mic checked why they were evil; GAIM conference – hedge fund managers (GIANT billion dollar things) and two arrests – but in Huffington post for disrupting conference; there is a camp and a bunch of people living at it; moved to old city hall

Sustainable economics for Occupy discussion

Rick Todd: Working on a project for a few years, Eco Village Development; in order to be effective with sustainable economics program; design is an armature to hang social entrepreneurial ideas on – main feature is replication; yurts for example, inexpensive way of living – way of fitting current villages to change and be eco village. Each village would be building another eco village as an economic activity – it’ll have an impact and economy of scale. Paper: Kalamazoo People Zoo – zoo where you can observe people living sustainably

Working group was established, but over holidays somewhat dissipated

But is passion – soon to build a “hobbit house” on some land

Eco village not just for Kalamazoo – because they plant others in other places – break away from main stream economy which is essentially the problem (infinite growth on a finite planet is ridiculous)

Contact Rick Todd  kzopeaceaction@gmail.com

Transition movement – this is along the lines of TM – allows people to respond to marketing, you don’t have to change ideology to change mode of living

Summit planning

Occupy Lakeshore (in Grand Haven) – already have a hall to hold it in – putting together modular training program getting into occupy movement all the way through direct actions, what to do if you’re arrested etc.; members who are good activists and performed in different roles and they are bringing in people who have nation training  – people can decide what module they want to participate in throughout the day before the summit

Occupy Grand Rapids – will organize and possibly organize for March 17?

Issue

Conversion of Air National Guard, training center, in Battle Creek to launch drones, questions, discussion, reaffirm, proposal; drones will be going all over the world – more of a staging point – remote operators

Questions: we don’t know for sure if it’s just training or a drone center? They aren’t even sure, it sounds, that they don’t know what they’re doing; sounds like that pilots will be there piloting for recon and strikes; it has been called a drone unit

If we don’t have enough info now, perhaps we should discuss this at a later time – do research and reconvene at Lansing summit, or do a call prior to Lansing summit

Alterations to future summits?

Suggestion who has someone who comes in with laptop and portable printer – give contact info in advance and print it for everyone

Suggestion maybe a general time limit for talking – instead of asking opinion on how long people think they’ll talk for. Unless people talk to facilitators prior the meeting, or at least at the start

Suggestion maybe more of a stream lined process, slightly disorderly – the larger our groups will be the more difficult this kind of process will be

Suggestion interoccupy phone conversations have a standardized amount of time

Suggestion organize specific caucuses, like student occupations could be utilized – difference between occupying campuses vs cities; labor etc. or people involved more specifically in labor – that way we can bring them in and get them more involved; like an hour or two before the GA, focus on specific issues; bring together specific sectors of occupy together (could be implemented at the Grand Rapids summit when they hold it)

Methods of Communication

Everyone has email things – but if we all share emails with each other

Michigan Google group – email Chris with subject as : add to Google group  occupy737@gmail.com  everyone has control of documents that are in Google group

Are there any methods that could be more useful or used better?

Some occupies will put out text lists for emergency actions – a text can be sent out to everyone, like a document is ready and people can be informed

Interoccupy – if these GAs we can set up a call like this and hold conference calls so we can also communicate

Occupyforall.org     Occupy4all.org      Occupy for all Facebook page Occupyforall.wordpress.com    Occupyforall@gmail.com

Any other way to get events onto an easy to use calendar?

Can we get a newsletter out to all occupations – like, Google docs site where each occupy can update each other weekly or however often through a newsletter format

Transportation to Chicago G8/NATO

Want strong Michigan contingent there (cheers)

Good to have as many people for a short and do-able time period, which involves transportation, and where people will stay if they’re not going to camp

Seeing that we need transportation

Carpools, or greyhound or train ticket; occupy bus! Staged buses in cities across the states – there is a site, logistics support for occupation (no other info about it) everyone pays a fee, but once you hit a certain number of people that will cover costs then everything is paid for (if threshold is not reached, money is refunded)

Fundraising issues (bail, healthcare?)

Shirts – Marie Mason against ice mountain bottling plant – in jail for 21 more years; her abusive ex-husband admitted to arson at genetic engineering facility. Connects degradation of environment with poor people. In solitary for a year so far

Close summit (Closed out with collective OM)

The 7th Michigan Inter-Occupational Summit!

The 7th Inter-Occupational Summit Assembly

Saturday, February 4th, 2012

2pm-4pm: Meet and Greet, Possibly with Guest Speakers
4-5pm: March against War with Iran, Rosa Parks Vigil
5-6:30pm: Bring a dish to pass dinner, Music provided by Lee and Bob Buck

Urban Blends Coffeehouse
714 N. Burdick
Kalamazoo, MI. 49007

7pm-10pm: Inter-Occupational Summit Assembly

2929 Business One Dr.
Kalamazoo, MI. 49048

This 7th Inter-Occupational Summit Assembly will be held at 7pm with several actions earlier in the day, including a march to protest a War with Iran and a Rosa Parks Vigil. There will be guest speakers, live music, and a potluck dinner! Then we will move over to 2929 Business One Dr. for the Summit Assembly! It will be a day long event not to be missed!

Michigan Inter-Occupational Summit

Statement of Purpose

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

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:
o Canvassing
o Teach-ins
o Protests
o Potlucks
– The Hosting Occupation is:
o Not required to have a camp.
o By volunteer only.
o Not required to provide food.
o 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.
o All represented Occupations will have the opportunity to give a report-back from their Occupation.
o This is independent from the Hosting Occupation’s usual General Assembly.
– There will be a Summit scheduled approximately every two weeks.
o Decided by consensus at the 2nd Inter-Occupational Summit at Occupy Flint on November 18th, 2011.
o The Summits will alternate between weekdays and weekends.
– The location of the Summit will be hosted by a different Occupation each time, as:
o an attempt to show solidarity throughout all of Michigan.
o 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:
o give notice to all Occupiers wishing to attend and need to make arrangements.
o give the Hosting Occupation notice to make arrangements for the Summit.

This is about the coming together of the Occupants from the different cities around Michigan so that we can Occupy Michigan. The point is to for us to join forces and interconnect. This is happening at meetings that are being dubbed Inter-Occupational Summits. Imagine large gatherings made up of those from all the Occupations in the region, imagine occupying Michigan, imagine coming together as a family. It starts locally then goes from there. There’s no reason that each state can’t get all the Occupations together to Occupy that state every so often. With total state wide solidarity we can go even bigger and convene on a national or international level. Each time the Inter-Occupational meeting will be held at a different camp or location.

Remember our strength is in awareness (understanding), empathy, perseverance and the unity of the masses. We must awaken the sleeping who are ultimately strewn all through out the system and just are not yet aware of the fact that they are also (as much as anyone else) a part of the 99%. We must come together as a family, not just as another cold political organization. We must keep the warmth, the purity, the humility, the leaderlessness, the openness of heart and mind, as well as the resolve and a relentless will. Come together, we must be the change we wanna see in the world cuz guess what, the gov, the media, the universities, the institutions, the police, the military, the “authorities”, the corporations, or anything else we are used to trusting or relying upon are not gonna do it for us, it is solely up to us. It is solely up to us to create a new world.

Baroccupy Obama: A Call to Action

This Friday, President Obama will speak about higher education at the University of Michigan Al Glick Field House. As citizens concerned about ensuring that education is accessible to all, Occupy Ann Arbor calls on the people of Ann Arbor, as well as on the UM community to stand in solidarity against the corporatization and control of public education by the 1%.

People will gather 8:30am Friday in front of the Blue Front store at State St. and Packard. Folks from Occupy Ann Arbor will be passing out flyers, then all will march together as close as we can get to the Field House for Obama’s 9:30 speech.

Bring chants, signs, noise makers, and good cheer as we stand up for accessible education!

Check out the Facebook event page here: http://www.facebook.com/events/286303971423199/

The Occupy Ann Arbor Direct Action working group has released the following call to action.

This Friday, January 27, President Obama will speak at the University of Michigan Al Glick Field House. Obama’s visit could not be more timely. As tuition costs rise, University President Mary Sue Coleman is becoming a vocal champion of market-driven “solutions” to decreased state funding. Last month, Coleman wrote an open letter to Obama in which she called on university presidents, business leaders, and wealthy individuals to tackle the rising costs of higher education.

It is becoming increasingly evident that leaders such as Obama and Coleman see education, less as a public good necessary for the health of our democracy, and more as an “investment” in stregthening US competitiveness in the global marketplace. At a time when the global economy is in crisis, Coleman’s aim to employ educational institutions in service of revitalizing the US economy may seem noble, but her market-centric language betrays her real priorities. When Coleman states that American business “has a vested interest in the talent and research embodied in higher education,” it becomes clear that she and her allies on Wall Street and in the US Chamber of Commerce want an educational system that serves the interests of the 1% over the rest of us.

Obama’s visit comes as Coleman calls for heightened collaboration between University and business leaders. UM is re-purposing ex-Pfizer properties to house researchers conducting corporate-friendly research and faculty “entrepreneurs” engaged in University-sponsored startup ventures. Coleman calls on wealthy alumni and “philanthropists” to contribute to University endowments, which in turn are invested on Wall Street and used to fund business ventures. These initiatives represent the same failed policies of corporate and political elites to drain public resources and impose austerity, all the while benefiting the 1%, whom our leaders have been quick to praise as “job creators.”

We call on the people of Ann Arbor, as well as on the UM community to stand in solidarity against the corporatization and control of public education by the 1%. We call on everyone to see President Coleman’s promotion of “entrepreneurship,” capital investment, and “philanthropy” in the face of neoliberal austerity as intimately connected to the myriad policies that have unjustly concentrated wealth in the hands of a small elite. We call on various groups to organize actions around the University’s crackdown on organized labor and to actively resist the pro-corporate policies of the Coleman administration. We are the 99% and we stand for education that serves everyone, not simply those with the deepest pockets.

O4A Saturday Discussion Group, Ypsi GA

NOTICE: Our dear facilitator just came down with a little bit of the flu and is regrettably cancelling the discussion tomorrow. Stay tuned for future discussions! And don’t forget to check out the Occupy Ypsi GA.
Discussion Group
Cafe Ollie
42 E. Cross St.
Ypsilanti, MI 48198
1pm, Saturday, January 28

http://www.facebook.com/events/258975334171657/

After an engaging discussion on Monday evening, O4A will be hosting an informal discussion in Ypsi this Saturday. Join us at Cafe Olle at 1pm and we’ll discuss the strategies for moving forward with occupy and how we can take inspiration from the occupy movement to prefigure alternatives to the prevailing socio-political order.

Occupy Ypsi GA

Parkridge Community Center
591 Armstrong Drive, Ypsi
3pm Saturday, January 28

After the discussion, we’ll be heading over to the 3pm Occupy Ypsi GA. For more info on Occupy Ypsi and the Parkridge Community Center.

Check out http://occupyypsi.tumblr.com/ and http://parkridgecommunitycenter.com

The 6th Inter-Occupational Summit @ Occupy Flint! (January 19th, 2012)

The 6th Inter-Occupational Meeting and Protest

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

12pm: Flyer Canvassing Action
7pm: Summit Assembly

Occupy Flint Camp
Corner of 2nd Avenue and Martin Luther King
Flint, MI.

This 6th Inter-Occupational Summit Assembly will be held at 7pm with a canvassing action taking place at noon. All events will take place at the Occupy Flint camp on the corner of 2nd Avenue and Martin Luther King in Flint. Even if you arrive after 12pm, you can still participate in the action as there will be someone at the camp with flyers and instructions. The camp will also be having before the Summit Assembly, so please bring something to share if you are able!

Michigan Inter-Occupational Summit

Statement of Purpose

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

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:
o Canvassing
o Teach-ins
o Protests
o Potlucks
– The Hosting Occupation is:
o Not required to have a camp.
o By volunteer only.
o Not required to provide food.
o 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.
o All represented Occupations will have the opportunity to give a report-back from their Occupation.
o This is independent from the Hosting Occupation’s usual General Assembly.
– There will be a Summit scheduled approximately every two weeks.
o Decided by consensus at the 2nd Inter-Occupational Summit at Occupy Flint on November 18th, 2011.
o The Summits will alternate between weekdays and weekends.
– The location of the Summit will be hosted by a different Occupation each time, as:
o an attempt to show solidarity throughout all of Michigan.
o 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:
o give notice to all Occupiers wishing to attend and need to make arrangements.
o give the Hosting Occupation notice to make arrangements for the Summit.

This is about the coming together of the Occupants from the different cities around Michigan so that we can Occupy Michigan. The point is to for us to join forces and interconnect. This is happening at meetings that are being dubbed Inter-Occupational Summits. Imagine large gatherings made up of those from all the Occupations in the region, imagine occupying Michigan, imagine coming together as a family. It starts locally then goes from there. There’s no reason that each state can’t get all the Occupations together to Occupy that state every so often. With total state wide solidarity we can go even bigger and convene on a national or international level. Each time the Inter-Occupational meeting will be held at a different camp or location.

Remember our strength is in awareness (understanding), empathy, perseverance and the unity of the masses. We must awaken the sleeping who are ultimately strewn all through out the system and just are not yet aware of the fact that they are also (as much as anyone else) a part of the 99%. We must come together as a family, not just as another cold political organization. We must keep the warmth, the purity, the humility, the leaderlessness, the openness of heart and mind, as well as the resolve and a relentless will. Come together, we must be the change we wanna see in the world cuz guess what, the gov, the media, the universities, the institutions, the police, the military, the “authorities”, the corporations, or anything else we are used to trusting or relying upon are not gonna do it for us, it is solely up to us. It is solely up to us to create a new world.

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