The 8th Inter-Occupational Summit Notes

Thanks to Jessica from Occupy Lansing for taking notes for this event!

Eighth Inter-Occupy Summit
February 18, 2012, 7 pm
Lansing, Michigan

Facilitator:  Roman
Note Taker:  Jessica

I.  Introductions

II.  Stack

A.  National Guard drone training base protest suggested at last summit in Kalamazoo
-extensive domestic surveillance possible but drones are also used for bombing
-HR 658 – FAA Air Transportation Modernization and Safety Improvement Act signed into law this week
-National Guard used for domestic purposes and combined with NDAA, wide range of abuses possible
-Occupy Kalamazoo suggested this event
-PROPOSAL:  table until next summit – CONSENSUS

B.  G8 Summit protest proposed in Chicago from 5/19-5/20 at last summit in Kalamazoo
-Occupy Flint has 40+ capacity bus and may be able to help with transportation if fuel costs are covered
-a good source of communication for organizing national events is interocupy.org, which has conferences online
-wiretapping laws involved in Chicago where people will be arrested for recording public officers, although there is a lawsuit pending
-Midwest Occupy Conference in St. Louis coming up
-Chris from Occupy Kalamazoo received information from Occupy members organizing for the G8 Summit, and they left their contact information
-Occupy for All is working on an Inter-Occupational mailing list
-PROPOSAL:  table until next summit – CONSENSUS

C.  Emergency Manager law – comment by Dustin
-petitions to repeal Emergency Manager law due 2/22 and they will be delivered altogether on Wednesday, 2/29
-celebration at Central United Methodist Church in Lansing off Capitol and Ottawa at 11:30 am
-approximately 205,000 turned in and 160,000+ valid signatures needed by law
-by law, EM law can’t be used again until November once enough signatures are verified unless stopgap legislation is passed; although there is no such law currently in committee
-there are witnesses verifying the integrity of the signature verification process

D.  Inter-Occupy Summit scheduling
-representatives from Occupy Lakeshore believe every two weeks for summits is too frequent
-Discussion over weekly teleconferencing and monthly physical meetings begin
-Observation:  less frequent meetings lead to people forgetting meetings and lower attendance; thus such an arrangement could possibly backfire
-teleconferencing difficult to facilitate
-there is importance in having a face-to-face meeting with the momentum of biweekly actions
-summits may conflict with other meetings, but reducing frequency could further reduce participation
-Observation:  summits should be priority over regular meetings
-possibility to reduce actions down to once a month with larger actions, because people may be more likely to prioritize the summit if it only meets monthly
-with dwindling numbers during the winter time, the summit empowers cities they are being planned in
-Grand Rapids is excited to have its meeting
-disagreement over summit scheduling being proposed
-movement becoming technology based, and summits are designed to include those individuals
-prior summits have been planned two weeks in advance
-PROPOSAL:  weekly teleconferencing and monthly physical meetings replace current summit schedule – NO CONSENSUS
-planning actions a month in advance helps with turnout (Occupy the PGA has a goal of 10,000 people and has been promoted since the end of September)
-set of Inter-Occupational guidelines suggest action in city of each summit but not required
-use hash tag #allhandsondeck for events activists need help with
-Occupy Lakeshore will host Inter-Occupational Summit on 3/3
-Occupy Grand Rapids will host Inter-Occupational Summit on 3/17
PROPOSAL:  end all discussion on stack item and go on five minute break – CONSENSUS

E.  Occupy Michigan mailing list
-Kent created Google Group, which has a current total of 35 people and useful for promoting events
-sign up on contact sheet being passed around (only Kent has access to information)
-group is currently open and there is an option for a daily digest
-positive feedback on Occupy Lansing listserv

F.  Facilitator Training Saturday, 2/25, at Northstar in Lansing at 2 pm
-Occupy for All has seen what works and what doesn’t
-very important to resolve fighting, which breaks down the group
-email occupyforall@gmail.com, and Occupy for All will come to your town; special and unique questions should be emailed in advance
-working on national connections with long term goal to focus on national issues

G.  Comments from Rev. Pinkney from Benton Harbor
-“People’s Tribune” newspaper accepting articles – send to Rev. Pinkney (banco9342@sbcglobal.net) in the next week to be in next month’s paper, which is sent out across the nation
-Occupy the PGA Saturday, 5/26, in the middle of the golf course in Benton Harbor
-lawyers and security will be there so no one gets arrested unless they want to
-Rachel Maddow and Michael Moore haven’t confirmed their attendance but have not said no
-focus on college campuses and expanding numbers that way
-march will occur on Wednesday, 5/23
-working to ensure streets clear and camping on the beach possible
-targets are Whirlpool and KitchenAid
-PROPOSAL:  all hands on deck at G8, where Rev. Pinkney will be speaking, and for Occupy the PGA – CONSENSUS
-PROPOSAL:  Benton Harbor to host 5/26 Inter-Occupational Summit at Occupy the PGA – CONSENSUS

H.  Lansing Move to Amend
-Roman – elected president and Justin – elected co-president; acting as contacts between Move to Amend and Occupy Lansing
-working for a 28th Amendment saying corporations are not people and money can be regulated but not through a Constitutional Convention – rather pressure federal legislators through voter initiatives to pass the amendment and send to the states for ratification by three-fourths of the states
-next Move to Amend meeting Saturday, 5/25, from 5-6:30 pm at Northstar in Lansing
-concerns Sen. Bernie Sanders’s amendment proposal not strong enough
-contact lansingmovetoamend@gmail.com for more information

I.  Flint considering shutting down City Hall because of hikes in water bills due to privatization of water
-people are protesting by not paying their water bills
-questions about widespread water shutoffs and support for the city residents
-PROPOSAL:  keep thinking about event and spread to other occupations – CONSENSUS

J.  Ninth Inter-Occupational Summit Saturday, 3/3, at 7 pm being hosted by Occupy Lakeshore
-flier passed out and information will be published now after this summit to avoid confusion
-contact occupythelakeshore@gmail.com and www.occupythelakeshore.org
-Occupy Lakeshore covers a larger area than Occupy Muskegon
-great handouts and planning for upcoming meeting

K.  Agenda for Ninth Inter-Occupational Summit
-Move to Amend will announce its new organization but concerns brought up over avoiding official affiliations due to accusations of co-opting
-any announcement can be made at the end of the summit
PROPOSAL:  move on to announcements unless someone wants to add another item to the agenda for the next summit – CONSENSUS

III.  Announcements
-“Revolution Truth” panel discussion on YouTube – very interesting presentation
-Occupy for All has an Inter-Occupational calendar with all events across the state on website in order to enhance turnout at events
-Occupy Detroit saved its fourth home from the eviction process by using a law requiring a dumpster be placed in front of the house to hold homeowner’s belongings and blocking the street so the dumpster couldn’t be placed
-Occupy Flint camp has reached its four month mark

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)

Occupy4All Meeting Notes, Jan. 23 2012

Occupy for All

1-23-12

Amer’s Deli

Meeting started approx. 7:30
Nathanael, Re, Lindsea, Maggie, Joel, Steven present (Kent showed up midway through meeting)

Facilitator: Nathanael
Notes: Joel, Maggie

7:30 – Maggie smashes Amer’s cup

AGENDA

1.1 Reportback
1.2 Discussion of future activities
1.3 Announcements

Introductions!

Re: I’ve been involved in a lot of different kinds of activism. Worked w/ Occupy Detroit, Lansing. Out of town for a long time, trying to get back into the swing of things.

Lindsea: I study community psych and social change, and I’m interested in activism/social justice work. We just had a dance party for occupy last weekend. Solid community-building thing. I just got an awesome internship at the Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice. I have kittens. My internship is “Climate Change and Eartch Care Intern.”

Maggie: I’ve been involved with Occupy For All, and a little with Occupy A2. Fallen off a little bit lately, but working to channel artistic side into art. Working with Edge for Occupy Lansing on graffiti projects.

Joel: From Ann Arbor

Steven: I was involved with some New York occupations, recently moved to Detroit. I’m trying to get a sense of what occupations are going on. I have a little experience with Occupy Wall St. and building occupations in Manhattan. The Oakland occupation, they’re talking about taking things that people need. When we were evicted from Zucotti, it made it a lot more difficult to meet and hold GAs.
Nathanael: So they’ve been occupying other buildings.

Steven: A lot of art galleries were occupied. There had already been some splintering, and there     were some campus occupations.

Nathanael: I’ve sort of been all over. I spent a couple weeks at Occupy Wall St. Since then I’ve done Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ypsi, U-M, and Occupy for All. To those who’ve never been, Occupy for All evolved to respond to interoccupational needs. We’ve developed a calendar, organized interoccupational summits, done some work with facillitation workshops, traveled to diff occupations, etc. In the future we want to do things with food, continuing to organize.

Reportbacks

Lindsea: At the dance party we had all kinds of creative outlets. The party was at 5900, the Unite Detroit building. There was music, Flint occupiers, a couple of guys from Wu Tang. It was the most like a camp some people had seen in a while. People want to do more things like this. We read the New Declaration of Independence (Emma Goldman).

Maggie: State of the State in Lansing, maybe about 100 people showed up. There was chanting and marching, and a roped-off example “classroom” to demonstrate the effects of education cuts.

Joel: “Nice little protest” is right. It was pretty weak stuff.

Maggie: It was disorganized. I went to school in Madison, and all-day protests worked well there. Maybe planning it like that would have created a bigger impact. It was a nice little protest.

Re: We wanted them to hear us from outside during the State of the State, thus the specific time. It would have been nice if we’d tried to get in, but there were so few of us, and cops posted at every entrance. Andre was arrested for wearing a mask, we called the NLG, but Andre’s friends had to go back to Kzoo that night. As far as we know he wasn’t mirandized, they wouldn’t tell us what his three misdemeanor charges were.

Steven: In NY, there’s a long history of protests and arrests. But when you get into smaller cities, smaller towns, the police are much more involved in governmental functions. It seems like the charges are much harsher in smaller cities.

Re: They can always tack on crap later. They were Lansing cops, right?

Joel: Yeah, but state troopers were the ones at the protest.

Re: Which is strange to me, Lansing cops are usually our friends. When were camping they were in constant communication with us.

Steven: So there was cooperation with the police, where the arrest occurred?

Re: It was at a bar afterwards. There hadn’t been direct cooperation at the event, didn’t seem like there was anything to collaborate with the police on. Anyone go to the MLK march?

Nat: The MLK march was pretty cool. In terms of numbers I heard between 400 and 1000, what was your sense?

Re: I’m bad at that kind of thing.

Nat: Yeah, we all marched from WCC to the gates of Snyder’s gated community. Great crowd, saw people from virtually every occupy I’ve been to. Seemed like everybody was there. It really reflected Occupy Michigan, and was cool to see. There was a little bit of speechifying at the gates by some clergy, who left right after and caused confusion, killed the momentum. Initially people wanted to stay until moved, but eventually moved on their own. Aside from organizing awkwardness, good march.

Re: There were some problems with ableism. I mean it was a long march, no denying that. People were helping each other out and that’s cool, but they delivered the letter way before most people could catch up. It seemed like the speakers were wanting much room for autonomy. Everyone’s empowered to do exactly what they want to here. There was some infighting; there were some people who were very much pacifists and non-violent occupy, and then there was BAMN and some recent Iraqi vets calling to hang Snyder.

Steven: That’s the thing about Zuccotti. You had speakers, but they weren’t amplified all over the park. A speaker wouldn’t necessarily be the main affair. It was a little more casual. If speakers have a huge stage, they can be cumbersome. With the people’s mic, when someone wasn’t interesting it wouldn’t be amplified. With megaphones and other equipment, there isn’t the option to kind of stop listening to someone who’s uninteresting or otherwise problematic.

Nat: I went to a rally…there were union folks with a bullhorn, but it only went a certain way. People tend to ignore that, especially when people are shrill and soap-boxy. With the people’s mic, you can cut people off. I remember when there were a couple thousand people there and someone got on the people’s mic with stuff about “I had this vision from God,” and then people stopped repeating. It also makes people focus.

Steven: Potentially the people’s mic can reach a wider area than a megaphone.

Re: MLK march in Detroit, same day as the march on Snyder’s home. I’d never been to one before. I’d been used to radical stuff, and there were a lot of moderates there, so that was different. I was all pumped up for a rally, and it started in a church. There were so many speakers, it seemed like a squandered opportunity to do more. It wasn’t the worst way to begin. There were choirs, and one choir for at-risk youth. The at-risk youth choir seemed like a good idea. The march itself was kind of tame, in part because we came from such a variety of viewpoints, people there for all different reasons. Greatest strength was that it was amazing for networking. All kinds of flyers, newspapers, information being passed around. During the march, instead of shouting slogans I was talking to other people and making new contacts. That’s something that we overlook in marches and rallies sometimes, what an enormous networking opportunity it is.

Nathanael: All-day teach-in, in two diff rooms with a total of six talks and a plenary session. I talked about labor organizing (especially Detroit area), there was one about race/gender (incl. Immigration, the rights of women or queer/trans immigrants, these are the most vulnerable populations when it comes to abuse of immigrants – the policies of the 1%) the french revolution, one about alternatives to capitalism. The alternatives to capitalism had an esoteric academic segment, a historical segment, and a down-to-earth “this is how you do it” segment. Latter one talked about the nitty-gritty getting along with people, learning things from people, etc. After that we did break-out sessions and talked about the future of Occupy.

Re: Whole teach-in was refreshing, but what struck me in the breakout sessions was that I knew everyone in my group, except for one person. We really need to reach out to people who aren’t involved already. We’re turning into a little bit of an echo chamber.

Discussion of Future Activities

Joel: We should talk to people in sportsbars, etc.

Re: I realized I was not talking about politics to my friends who I perceived as more moderate. I slipped up once and discovered a radical friend. Talking to our families is huge. This is largely a youth movement.

Steven: There must be people in Michigan who have done some occupations in the past. Weren’t some of the Black Panthers in Detroit? They have a lot of experience with organizing. Autonomous Collectives?

Joel: I do know of an Afrocentric farm in Detroit.

Steven: In some of the occupations – schools are more complicated because of age differences between professors, different levels of tenure, and their politics are influenced by their job. In my experiences it’s been inter-generational. I would talk to people who were 50 or 30 or whatever, it varied widely. In Oakland, I’m not sure what the age breakdown is, but I would look with Detroit – look for older, more experienced organizers.

Nathanael: As a population, in Michigan we’re very alienated. We have to drive to get anywhere. A lot of us are working, involved in our own lives, consumers, not used to being with people/having difficult discussions with people we disagree with. There’s so many things, and a lot of it’s just geography. This state is suburbanized. Not as many common spaces. We’re – a lot of us haven’t organized. We’re not used to organizing. Labor has been either co-opted and transformed (in the past 50 years) to something that isn’t viable. People in Ann Arbor don’t know what’s going on in Detroit and vice versa. It’s been a challenge just simply getting connected. We’re stuck within the same old patterns.

Steven: What’s the UAW doing in terms of Occupy Detroit? I saw some UAW signs in some protest in New York, so someone wanted to. One thing I noticed about Cairo was that without the working class, it wouldn’t have happened. They’re still struggling, but without the working class they don’t have the ability to use production for their own means. In Oakland they tried to work with the unions, and got them onboard for the first port shutdown (maybe behind-the-scenes support for the second). The UAW is still probably a major union. The working class is important

BREAK

Natty: UAW’s involvement in DTW

Steven: can send photos of the protest; would like to see if UAW has any interest in what we’re doing

Natty: there have been solidarity rallies, but don’t know the extent of the involvement; UAW posters etc at rallies, but again, level of involvement is unknown; groups will bring to DA actions already planned; AFL-CIO are working on some social unionism, which is the action of doing and providing community needs, they have an office where they do community organizing; at wall street it was a complicated relationship, solidarity rallies, when Zuccotti was going to be evicted that the unions brought a lot of numbers

Steven: there was this day of action and at the end of it we were going to occupy major hubs in transit system; MTA (service that runs the subways) agreed to support these kind of gatherings (not really occupations, but conversions) they gave support; I don’t think it was anything like oOkland, where they were working with a very organized union with union leadership that’s been co-opted; if we go to the UAW will say fine, as long as their members get jobs, and once we get jobs’s we’re done; that’s why there should be a focus on more than just jobs; jobs, 9-5 is fine, but should not be the sole goal, replace current system; in NY there were a lot of anarchists as well; Teacher’s union is also important to get involved

Natty: occupy is ambivalent about unions; they want jobs predicated on preserving the middle class, but is it even possible to have a middle class anymore, do we want a middle class? Felt like the people’s mic was a way of avoiding co-optation by unions (who use megaphones) people’s mic prevents co-optation

Steven: if we have a union rep, or an elected official that gives a speech, you don’t get to hear the voice of the “unofficial” people or union members; that’s very important, to speak to many people, to hear from many people because they may not agree with leadership; some of the occupations that had open negotiations with city officials were subsequently co-opted, or the city officials wouldn’t go along with demands, so non-negotiating is important tactic to note; Oakland, no negotiations with city officials, no police or invitations/negotiations with police (contentious issue in New York) there were instances of violence against gender etc, and in those cases its a great opportunity to find ways to have more options; get bigger tents etc, these things are happening over time, that’s one issue – it’s contentious, on the one hand you don’t want police in the community, but on the other hand we don’t want people to feel bad in that way; issue of occupations – do you invite police or not? You want to be sure not to censor anybody; look at oakland and they came out with no police, and with occupations of buidlings – no police, no media coverage (corporate media) and in those cases you have to have discussions of what media you want to have and what photos etc to put out;

Natty: one thing i’m curious about is what people want out of occupy right now; we’re at a juncture, especially in MI; we all have things we are passionate about, and certain visions, what are they and how do we ave them come to fruition? How do we work with our circumstances?

Re: i’ve been talking to a lot of people about this, trying to gauge where people are on this; it has been such an all inclusive movement, some people think we need to keep working within the system, or vote democrat; some people say if we want meaningful revolution, we have to determine what that is, the different levels of participation; civil disobediance. don’t know how to gauge if ppl are iwlling to partake in CD; Occupy Lansing – TARU was always around (Dept of Homeland Security)

Steven: TARU – ass’td with FBI, HHS, record ppl on camera at protests, try and develop face recognition. They probably have so much footage, how are they going to even do that?

Natty: one idea circulating in my head for the past 20 hours or so has been having guerrilla meetings; occupy places that should be commons, or are commons that have been disrupted: classrooms, Michigan union etc; meet a place, then decide to have a meeting somewhere (Starbucks but not buy anything, or bring your own coffee) – “safe” level of civil disobedience; with MI we haven’t begun to utilize space in a manner to renovate our thoughts. The dance party was like a camp without a camp – it was a space, everyone came to contribute (made posters, cleaned up space; art supply table; BYOB bar; supplies and ladders, musicians) it was a camp where everyone contributed what they had – short time commons and magic happens! Seems like in A2 we’ve only tried to occupy authorize places prior – reserve a place, or buy something. Set up a people’s library in the student union; hack into University databases and give people access to public resources – little actions that subvert business as usual in terms of how we use space.
Re: good way of acclimating people to the idea of civil disobedience

Natty: don’t reserve a place for a meeting; don’t use a business as a business – Starbucks is a commons taken away from us. In order to participate in a space, we always have to have a monetary contribution. Need to create a space and reclaim the commons. We in ann arbor faltered because we didn’t think about how we used space, or how it was essential to occupations

Re: Los of energy spent on camps that may have been better spent elsewhere, but it did have that factor, that addition of communal space

Steven: space makes out reach so much easier; ppl can come in and out as they please, but then you can get complaints etc; having a location open to everyone except police because that way we can self-police you don’t want to be caught by police; media is a big thing, if in a space not a park, but a building, you have the opportunity to decide what media you want to disseminate; one of the reasons for that is if you have someone who has a pending legal case or immigration status issues, you don’t want photos taken – a park can be to exposing on some level

Kent: thinks we’re too spread out, not just in space but in priorities as well; if you get stung by one bee, not so bad, by a hundred? you’re dead; as occupation in A2, MI, US… we all have issues and they’re all valid, but what do we as a collective have as a priority? If all of us narrow our focus, we will see results and acton and resolution and attraction; one of the biggest issues people have is, what are we doing? While we can recognize the common thread through all our issues, the “common man” doesn’t

Steven: OWS, there is no occupation right now, but there were discussions about making demands (and OWS doesn’t speak for all occupies, obviously) but that there are no demands that we can make ourselves, so why are we asking an authority that we recognize as illegitimate to solve our problems? Oakland was meeting their own demands, providing food and shelter

Kent: I agree totally, everybody keeps asking what we want from them – we shouldn’t answer them, we should show them. Oakland as a unit shut down the ports together; the problem is that we are so separated still, things take a longer time; same could be said for government regulations – because people were interested in various things, not the immideiate threat, we can’t get anything enacted (NDAA bill for example)

Steven: yes, agreed on NDAA action; what specific action to be taken against that, there was a contingent not interested in getting involved with recognizing that the branch of govn’t has authority over us; I sympathize with some of this, so much of what happened in NY is that we’re done with representatives speaking in our place and we’re not having it, and so because of that, and because so many people thought that the government is illegitimate that there was an antipathy towards it

Kent: agree completely, its a vision we all share, but we’ll regret it when we’re all sitting in Guantanamo (note taker’s note: Saul Alinsky!). We’re all hoping that when they use that power, we’ll know about it, but we probably won’t. We have to recognize our current system, not necessarily work out within it, but realize it’s all there and not live in fantasy lives. All our issues have a rightful place of protest, but we need to agree that the immediate threat needs to be resolved – prioritizing does not making somethings less important, just a plan of attack; anonymous took down websites and made themselves known as one attack

Steven: certain exclusivity to anonymous; seemingly easy task that gets the most traction, sitting in the street can cause a ruckus, and you don’t even have to know all the computer skills. In terms of participation, how do we know how they make decisions?

Kent: considering what they do, they have to remain secretive. We don’t all have to go after something in the same manner, but the topic must be attacked by all; once we “resolve” something, or see a goal fulfilled then we can move on to the next one. That way people will jump on the bandwagon and support us; the things occupy suffers from the same thing that govern’t suffers from – so many special interest groups, and while they’re all valid, but they stop the machine – stops us from progressing. people’s issues shouldn’t be assumed to be less because it’s lower on the list – once we get something done, there will be greater and greater support. Also enjoys the idea o fspace, alternative lifestyle, foods, timebanks etc; need to appeal to all groups – radicals by taking spaces, non-radicals doing time bank potluck issues; once govn’t collapses, if it does, we have a model that’ll take over – we’ve already been living the model

Re: exactly, ppl talking about institutional -isms, people saying we need to address so many different things, and some things aren’t being recognized etc; free classes (trying to do stuff with free schooll in ann arbor)

Kent: why dont’ we have full force of all the occupies promoting that, it would make up for 6 weeks of promoting it alone; small scale example of what we can do

Natty: having a GA would be a great revitalization of that

Steven: Occupy Detroit GA Tuesday; Wednesday Egyptain march/rally; some of the conversations once we start going and working with different groups we’ll be able to hear what their issues are and translating it into an issue that means more to you etc

Natty: that’s an important thing for you (Kent)

Kent: Occupy Flint is resolving homelessness! Go to FL will be like, where the hell is flint? But if it’s OCCUPY MOVEMENT solving homelessness, that’s different; united message they couldn’t forget it, don’t yell, don’t have separate goals; all chanting the same thing – powerful; we can ignore a million different voices, but a million voices in unison cannot be ignored; all of us are doing important and good thigns, but we need something big to happen – we need something big to happen as a movement, especially coming out of winter. WE NEED SOMETHING BIG COMING OUT OF WINTER!

Steven: spontaneous things that happen that calls attn to a particular issue, and starts effecting daily operations, even not a big single aciton, but if we have people who are trying to occupy their congressional offices etc, very sporadic instances of protest, it does add up over time; potential of maybe not affecting day-to-day basis; huge national events (Iraq war protests) – got very little attention, no media attention day after day; scattered protests that are more continuous might have a more lasting effect

Natty: seems like a couple things are going on – we need ppl to work on a whole host of things, but also pool resources and doo big mass actions; we’ve had a few successful ones – foreclosure day of action; we’ve had successes, Occupy Congress that brought attention to things. There has to be a way to better communicate so that we have a gage of what’s significant and where to do mass actions – shit’s gonna come up, and we need to have resources and call an emergency GA and promote the hell out of it, twitter bomb things etc; Obama is in town in Friday – OUM might be hosting an emergency GA – but only OUM knows about it, so how do we spread that information out? Need to be able to spread this through the networks – which are being formed.

Kent: one of the reasons to start Occupy Michigan listserv – I can’t check all those emails – just post what’s going on to that listserv and boom, we’re connected; we’re all doing good things – too often people say what they’re doing isn’t as important as what we’re doing

Steven: University’s, institutional problems

Kent: I didn’t respect that OUM needed to create a foundation for themselves before reaching out to others, so I got frustrated when that idea was blocked. But we have to realize that we’re all in this together, and all on the same side, so everyone has pure motivations. So if we’re not doing anything this day, why not supply bodies to this action? It blows when someone puts a lot of effort into an action and 5 people show up

Re: this is really ahrd to reach consensus on what’s most important. Always terrified of alienating people by back-burning their issues, but keeping priorities is important

Natty: have DA groups vetting actions, in some manner, so perhaps have a group of people monitoring who’s coming to MI and plan thigns

Kent: exactly, wanted O4A would do that – occupations are so busy with all their stuff, but we’re gong to tell everyone else what you’re doing to help share information so we don’t get stuck within ourselves. Absolutely agree with re – people can keep working on what they want, but drop our activity, rock this particular action and not promote our activity for that day, and then go back

Re: right, variety of voices, but a united front

Kent: memorable message that resonates with other people – need to resonate outside of occupy; better media coverage also

Steven: OWS message has been against representation of itself via the media; some discussions that the media will find an excuse to write something bad about us; they don’t send their best investigative reporters out there to find out what’s going on; occupation in New School building by union square had some good articles written about it; sometimes the alternative media might grab someone’s attention

Kent: the SOPA issue – that was a united front when we protested it on Wednesday; and now the bills gone! Even if people have to still work on their special issues, they can still take a small united step – you can’t just not participate because it damages both groups; we shouldn’t compete amongst ourselves

Natty: we need feelers, we need to be aware and know what’s going on; if Snyder is speaking somewhere, or Mary Sue Coleman, why aren’t we following them? There are plenty of issues that we aren’t doing, because we’re not broadcasting everything; we can’t be expected to go onto every site and pay attention to it all

Kent: yes! Why don’t we just get buses? People don’t have rides or finances or knowledge of things – it’s information and resources and the lack of them that we’re suffering from it; we’re lacking trust – I believe you’re doing the right thing

Natty: people don’t always want to do activity always; we’re still wanting to fit it into our schedule, even if we have legit reasons to do it part-time, we aren’t doing it in a concentrated manner – it’s not a lot of people doing stuff a lot of time; not a constant flow of activity. If we could all occupy the student union and made it a commons we’d get shit done

Steven: 24 hour access is great, that way you don’t have to take things in and out;

Kent: yes! If we all contributed a dollar, we could get an office space, but then the trust issues arise again;
Steven: abandonded places – no one owns it, so just take it; that could work and don’t have to pay rent

Kent: taking buildings, would be ultimate goal, but we don’t have enough people doing willing to do that yet

Steven: that’s why GAs are important

Natty: positive steps that we can take to occupy spaces during the day; acclimate people to taking commons; doing things through systemic channels, starts asking questions, what do we have to do to make a public space? it’s working together? it’s a shame that we don’t have a GA to report back on it; we can use GAs to mobilize the hell out of it

Kent: yes, but we also have to use it to back people and actions; they need to say we need help, and we all need to say “okay!”

Steven: if you ask permission then you give them legitimacy; if you don’t ask then you don’t have that issue. You just take it. If you petition you lose a little spontaneity; the reason Zuccotti was big was because we only had a few people but then it snowballed. it’s much more difficult when you have a huge police force and you have thousands of people and you have to enter the space; you cna’t trickle in, or they pick you off

Kent: yes, NY fostered that situation. Based on liberty plaza, A2 can’t engage in that. The only reason the camp is still there is because it’s not a threat – there was a potential for it to be a threat; but it never became a trahte

ANNOUNCEMENTS – ALL ON OCCUPY FOR ALL CALENDAR ON WORDPRESS SITE
Natty: Occupy Ypsi GA is 3 on saturday, no location yet; 1:00 at Cafe Ollie for a pre-meeting and walk over to the GA
Re: tomorrow at 5, cafe ambrosia – foreclosure discussion

1515 broadway in DTW – 6pm to prevent it from being foreclosed upon on the 25th and 26th – two day activity

25th 4:30 in DTW Egyptian revolution march and rally in solidarity – anniversary of Egypt revolution

DTW GA tuesday

Re is always organizing for transportation

Warming centers – 8:30 am on fridays at st andrew’s church; imaginewarmingcenters.org

Natty: tomororw at 6 in amer’s deli is OAA DA group – primary focus is working on rebuilding OAA; forums.occupyannarbor.org; they’ve been talking about solidarity day/event at camp; facilitation training at 6 Thursday; talking about reviving GA, finding permanent location for GA
OUM GAs are the following sunday (held every other sunday) – location TBD
Reading group 2PM at ambrosia on sunday – reading David Graeber (facebook event) -”sunday reading group” on calendar, up on various occupy walls
on the 4th in Kalamazoo is interoccupational summit – Occupy Bell’s brewery!
Washtenaw CAT every thursday at 7 in geo center – right west of liberty plaza
next monday will be another O4A meeting, 7PM at Amer’s Deli

Saturday the 18th is Lansing Summit! No more Thursday summits, they don’t work

Roses Good Company – google it, event going on

Student Socialist Union – usually every Tuesday 8pm 4th floor of MI union, but this week at 7PM they are meeting at Vale Co-Op to discuss the “Communist Manifesto”

6th Inter-Occupational Summit in Flint! (January 19th, 2012)

6th Inter-Occupational Summit in Flint

Thursday, January 19th, 2012

No actual notes were taken at this meeting. Everything is being recalled from memory.

Introduction to Summit

Introduction of Facilitation Team:

  • Facilitator: Jake
  • Co-facilitator/Stack: Shadeed
  • Time: Jerin

Introduction of Attendees:

  • Occupy Metro Detroit
  • Occupy for All
  • Occupy Flint
  • Occupy Lansing

Intro to Process: Kent quickly reviewed hand signals

Agenda Overview

  • We took a single stack of issues we wanted to talk about. There were no plans for Occupation Report Backs. Everyone seemed fine with this.

Inter-Occupational Action Discussion

There was a discussion on Sovereignty, a process which allows people to give up their “contractual obligations” to the government, including turning in Driver’s License, Social Security Card, etc, etc. It essentially gives up some of your benefits and rights as a citizen, but it also grants you some sovereign rights as well. More information coming soon.

Kent made a proposal for the Inter-Occupational Summits to be moved to Saturdays exclusively. Because of the low turnout on Thursdays, it seems to be more beneficial to have the meetings on the weekend. The original intent was to have the ability for people that can’t show up on the weekend to show up on a weekday, but this wasn’t having the impact it should. Jerin made a counter proposal that there should be a Livestream Summit on the alternating weeks. Jerin and Kent are going to look in to this possibility. Consensus was reached on having the “travelling” Summits on Saturdays only.

Kent is creating an Occupy Michigan google group to sent announcements and urgent updates. This is not to be used for discussion. [email address] Talk to Kent after assembly to sign up or email him at occupyforall@gmail.com.

Jerin announced that the ACLU was looking to have a meeting with members of the Occupy Movement in Flint. He asked for a temperature check on the issue and it seemed like everyone was okay with the idea. Some concern was expressed about co-opting and it was taken under consideration and discussed, but overall, the group was in favor of meeting with the ACLU. An event will be organized.

Shadeed and Jake talked about trying to organize with Moratorium Now! and Occupy Our Homes in trying to find out information about Foreclosures and how to protest them. They decided to form a working group to research it.

Interest was brought up in creating an action against SOPA and PIPA. Kent suggested an action in support of Google in downtown Ann Arbor, protesting PIPA/SOPA. A group was created to organize such an event, but since SOPA and PIPA have been turned down in the days following the Summit, such an action may be unnecessary. This could be discussed at the next Summit.

Raphael from Occupy Lansing made the following statement:
“In light of the fact that the Supreme Court made a shameful 5:4 decision that corporations are persons, and recognizing that the group Move to Amend is a non-partisan effort to use the amendment process to refuse the Citizens United decision, we resolve that each Occupy should, if agreed upon by the General Assembly, contact Move To Amend at movetoamend.org, and work with them on our shared goal.”
There seemed to be a general agreement that this could be decided upon within the assemblies themselves. Throughout the meeting, there was concern over using the term “Occupy ______” in support of anything, because it speaks for more than just one group, it can speak for the entire movement. An example was brought up about the “Occupy Political Party” that was started in Washington D.C. without the consensus of the entire movement.

Jerin spoke about the upcoming General Assembly/Town Hall Meeting of Flint (not of Occupy Flint) and asked for help from other occupies in canvassing Flint and spreading the word. Edge from Lansing said that she could try to organize some people from Lansing to help. The event is set to take place on Friday, January 27th, from 6-9pm at the U of M Flint Kiva. The details of the event can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/events/234098966665360/. It is believed that the Flint Mayor as well as one of the State Representatives are expected to attend. All are welcome.

(I’m sorry, everyone, this is all I can remember. If you can think of anything I can add, please e-mail it to me at OccupyForAll@gmail.com)

Summit Planning

Next Summit will be Saturday, February 4th in Kalamazoo at 508 Denner Street, Kalamazoo, MI. The Facebook event can be found at: http://www.facebook.com/events/306523609384414/

The following summit will be Saturday, February 18th in Lansing, MI. Details to be announced at next summit.

Meeting Closed

NEXT SUMMIT MEETING
#Occupy Kalamazoo
Saturday, February 4th @7pm

5th Inter-Occupational Summit in Ann Arbor! (January 7th, 2012)

5th Inter-Occupational Summit in Ann Arbor

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Assembly was called to order 7:15pm – Adjourned at 10:10pm

Introduction to Summit

Reading of Occupy Wall Street Call to Action

Introduction of Facilitation Team:

  • Facilitator: Denise
  • Co-facilitator/Stack: Kent
  • Time: Maggie
  • Notes: Various People

Introduction of Attendees: Attendees came from all over, including…

  • Bridging 8 Mile
  • Occupy Detroit
  • Yspilanti
  • Occupy for All
  • Occupy Ann Arbor
  • Occupy Wall Street, New York
  • Milwaukee
  • Occupy Flint
  • Occupy Kalamazoo
  • Occupy UM
  • Occupy Benton Harbor
  • Occupy Our Homes
  • Occupy the Tri-Cities
  • Occupy Metro Detroit
  • Occupy Research

Intro to Process: Kent reviewed hand signals

Agenda Overview

  • Review Summit Purpose (Denise read purpose from agenda template)
  • Agenda Review (Denise reviewed agenda)
  • Agenda Plug-in (Kent took stack for proposals)

Occupation Report Backs

Occupy Detroit: Had assembly today. Don’t have camp, but have several spaces for meetings and office space. They’ve teamed up with various groups to do actions against library closings. 11 were arrested to one of these events.
There have been recent actions to repeal Public Act 4 (PA4 aka emergency manager law): emergency manager law means that 49% of black people in Michigan will be marginalized from the democratic process.
Unite Detroit Affinity Group has space at 5900 Michigan Ave
Several Detroit Occupiers have squats

Occupy Flint: Considering a bus sit-in for the next summit.

There are still tents up! Flint is the longest-standing northern-state encampment! They got solar and just finished assembling their wind turbine, which they will be installing shortly.

Check out occupyflint.org

Occupy for All: Ann Arbor-based group. Working on a Community Supported Food (CSF) project: people throw money in a pot or contribute labor or ingredients to feed people and share food. Brings people to the table sharing together. If you’re interested talk to Kent.

Regular action assemblies will resume shortly.

Going to be delivering supplies to Flint.

Inter-Occupy Calendar at occupyforall.wordpress.com

It was suggested time-bank might be useful to use with the CSF. Lansing has a time bank. They can help out. Also, has O4A looked in to CSAs? A Food-Not-Bombs model might be good for the CSF.

Occupy Kalamazoo: Been focusing on tax foreclosures. There is one neighborhood in K-zoo where each home is facing a tax foreclosure.

City commission in has been opposed to Snyder’s Domestic Partner Law. Looking to hold once-a-week benefits to bring awareness up and bring donations in. There will be musical acts!

Working on getting a .com website

Occupy Lansing: Working on foreclosure actions and awareness.

Planning community meetings to work with small groups of people

Preparing for Jan 18 State of The State

Occupy the Tri-Cities (Occupy the Tri): Rockupy the Tri. Summer concert. Coming up April or May – in planning now – music & artist & crafting event with discussion as well.

Teamspeak: this is a server where people can conference online. Occupy the Tri Facebook has info on this. Each occupation has its own room on this. One may record conference calls.

Occupy Wall Street (New York City): Andre from Brooklyn got on stack. He went to Zucotti after getting out of prison in mid-September. He had nowhere to live. Had no means, no money. Went to the park and was embraced and amazed by how people took him in. “It was like a refuge. It’s amazing to see you guys here and see how this protest and this movement has expanded. I’m really grateful. I’m really blessed to be here. This is the most important part. It’s the regions coming together. When I was at Zucotti, people from Kalamazoo came. If people came from someplace, they’ve had a place to say, they’ve had a place to meet.” Andre Helped in building and saw a sea of tents rise. Staying in Ann Arbor overnight.

A pair from NY is also visiting. They were there the last night of the occupation. People united to defend the park. It was inspiring.

Occupy Our Homes: Occupy Our Homes is an inter-occupy campaign focusing on foreclosures.

Model for the campaign to have teams of 5-6 that are able to handle the functions needed

There was a really successful action this Thursday. About 125 people in attendance. UAW 600 came out and helped the Henry family. They are not a union family, but in the areal of Local 600, which showed up in force. There was about 100 people there. All major media (TV and Print came out). Local 600 e-board is talking about producing an office/community center to build a social justice network. Central office to be brought together enabling closer interaction for the team. “Social Unionism”: expanding beyond collective bargaining. — organized labor can get involved with community.

Talk to anyone present about starting an Occupy Our Homes groups: Patti, Justin, Hans.

There are plans for educationals in the works. there are some retreats in the works, too.

Occupy Ypsilanti:
1st GA at was this afternoon Community Records, upper level of an Episcopal Church. Placement of Occupy Ypsi in the space brings many groups together with a common ground.  Much focus on community organizing. http://OccupyYspi.Tumblr.com

Occupy Metro Detroit:
First meeting at Gusoline Alley in Royal Oak on Sunday Jan 8.

Occupy UofM: The first GA was in November, followed by action where students handed out flyers and ppoke with those on campus about student debt situation and Occupy movement.

A big part of the Occupy UM platform concerns the accessibility of public education.

There was a mic-check at most recent regents meeting where they brought up issue of inaccessibility.

Next GA will be at Mason Hall – Facebook page for OccupyUM

Bridging 8 Mile: Getting to know each other is the key to bringing communities together. This groups specializes in bringing groups of strangers together to build affinity, love, and trust.

Events Jan 14 @ Fort St Presbyterian. Jan 15 @ Royal Oak Senior Center. Talk with David if interested. Website is http://bridging8mile.org

Occupy Ann Arbor: Warming Centers Initiative, now the Community Center Initiative. Started by campers at Liberty Plaza, which is a place where people who don’t have homes hang out. But during the winter there is no place for people to go. There is a homeless shelter in A2, but we’d like to start an alternative center where people can help each other, cultivate each other, cultivate talents and serve as a bridge between homeless and homed people. There might be a location set up soon. Q: Has anybody looked at the Borders? A: We’ve been demonstrating, but they aren’t going to give it to us. There was a hot-chocolate, fliering action this Wednesday.

Occupy A2 Direct Action has been active. There has been much involvement with Washtenaw Community Action Team, particularly on foreclosure action. Foreclosure Lawyer Jerry Goldberg spoke at WCAT meeting.

GAs will resume soon.

Teach-in upcoming on Jan 21 @ Michigan League – posted to Facebook & Occupy4All

Occupy Research: Collecting demographics for university research
http://OccupyResearch.net

Consensus on 5 minute break

Inter-Occupational Action Discussion

Consensus on 2 minutes for each individual presentation, followed by a 5 minute discussion of each topic

Kent is creating an Occupy Michigan google group to sent announcements and urgent updates. This is not to be used for discussion. [email address] Talk to Kent after assembly to sign up or email him at occupyforall@gmail.com.

Occupy Bulletin is being prepared for nation-wide.

Occupy Buses to actions around the state. Seeking leads on obtaining buses to support inter-occupy events – oh.thatmalkavian@gmail.com

March Across Michigan visiting the Occupy locations – RedFang151@gmail.com

Edge from Lansing: A street art campaign that connects the various occupations,, like Banksy. The plan is to find buildings whose owners would give us permission paint and use as a street billboard. The image would change regularly. Want to use USPS to send zip drives with plans for each billboard. Q: Could we combine this with the foreclosure protest and make a priority of using boarded up houses. A: We’ve contacted the land bank to see if we could use properties. S: We could also use canvas as a medium. S: Someone knows a man who works with the saginaw police dept: started Paint Saginaw. S: Rasturbator program. This will allow us to print big canvases. S: Occupy Happiness in Ann Arbor has been doing similar things. Edge: 1) will need a fund to buy flash drives. 2) Edge’s group will design the first one, then would like a second city to volunteer to do the next one. Contact Edge at fort.love.om@gmail.com

Occupy all political positions – Transpolitical issues are key to being present in a position before all political parties as these issues are being addressed. Ethical education and outreach is needed before moving into this action.
Three part plan: 1) How much is needed for notice? 2) Consideration of ethical issues per community and how they resonate? 3) Branding of the Occupy movement to elevate selected causes. greatlakesian@gmail.com

Michigan Peace and Justice Commission forming to continue work such as Social Forum. Stockholm has a global teach-in on April 25 for handling the new economy facing the Occupy movement. Michigan Peace Network – at Peace Education Center in East Lansing. Check with Alan for information megiddo@umich.edu. Warming Center in Ann Arbor needs to be open and available.
Mid June celebration of 1960’s protest movement – contact megiddo@umich.edu

Mobilizing awareness of the results of signing NDAA FY2012 into law (National Defense Authorization Act FY2012).  Contact jobaloon@gmail.com

Jan 20 for Occupy The Courts  – check http://movetoamend.org for nationwide day of action marching on the Federal Courts across the nation. Contact gonzeeboy@gmail.com. Preliminary activities: David Cobb from Move to Amend for an action meeting to determine our community’s response to the Supreme Court and what we can do to join the national movement to Abolish Corporate Personhood on Monday Jan. 9th, 2012 6:30pm – 8:30pm, Cass Community Commons, (First UU Church) 4605 Cass Ave at Forest

G8 visit to Chicago on May 19-20 – http://g20g8.com.  Contact chelleybelly729@yahoo.com

Action against SOPA/PIPA – do not let corporations censor the internet, they are doing this based on fear for their copyright. SOPA – Stop Online Privacy Act [h.3261]. PIPA – Protect IP Act [s.]. Important to read the list of organizations supporting and opposing the bills. Use video and http://americancensorship.org/ to inform. Get people to sign the petitions, write letters to their congresspeople. Bring people together through phone calls in from the public. Possibly walk the street and invite people to speak with their representatives in street conversations. Contact Occupy737@gmail.com

Encourage people to get to know http://opencongress.org and on Android the Congress app by Sunlight Labs. wiccanwarrior@yahoo.com

Use twitter tag #OccupyMiSummit

Summit Planning

Next Summit will be at Flint. Thursday Jan 19, at OF camp 2nd ave and MLK

The following summit will be Saturday, Februrary 4th in Kalamazoo. Details to be announced at next summit.

Announcements
Dave: Occupy Detroit GA has passed a solidarity statement with Egypt. There is an Egypt solidarity event planned.

Jessie: Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice Protest against Guantanomo Bay, Wednesday Jan 11 noon-1pm

Esperanza: Keep the momentum up in standing up against Snyder.

Lindsea: There will be an inter-Occupational dance party, next Saturday 9pm at 5900 Michigan Ave, Detroit. Hobart Europe will DJ. Quest Ion from Flint will also perform.

Evan would like to bring attention to local groups doing work that has affinities with Occupy goals. Michigan Young Farmer coalition is working on making food happen in Michigan in the future. MichiganYoungFarmerCoalition.org. Other groups include Ann Arbor Free Skool, All Hands Hackerspace on Liberty, and Slow Food Huron Valley.

Kat: Check out http://Livestream.com/occupy_flint – How to write to the editors 2pm on Jan 21.

Nathanael is starting a reading group in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti to read texts critiquing global capitalism and exploring ways of moving beyond it. Possible authors to read include David Harvey, David Graeber, Naomi Klein, and Slavoj Zizek. If interested email nathanael.romero@gmail.com

David A: Talk to David after Assembly about his Bridging8Mile project.

Chris: In June. Occupy Kzoo. Work with Dance for Life, Dance for Peace to hold a dance marathons. Also, interoccupy.org is working on doing nationwide inter-Occupational coordination

Alan: Please support Warming Center campaign. It is absurd that we leave buildings vacant and don’t open these to the public. Movement for a Democratic Society, new updated manifesto on 50 anniversary for Port Huron statement. This will be in June. You are invited to attend. Talk to Alan if you’d like to be involved.

Kent: Occupy for All is working on a supply drive to Flint. Send supplies to folks who are going to the summit. Check occupy Flint website for details.

Denise: In May (no date set). Occupy the PGA for six days to protest what PGA has done in Benton Harbor, stealing land from people to build a ridiculous golf course. The PGA tournament is going to happent there. This was the last on-the-lake public park. This is an expensive, private golf course. NYTimes Magazine did a big spread on this. bhbanco.org

Kat: Arrowhead Media and alternative to the mainstream media for those who are sick of the MSM. They are just getting started. Every weekday at 2pm there is a livestream show. We’re working on developing content.

Alex: 21st there is a day-long teach-in in A2, Occupying the Future of Democracy

Alan: There is a petition beginning to make marijuana legal for everyone over 21.

Jeff: Tomorrow is the first GA for Occupy Metro Detroit.

Fuzzytek: OccupyMovementInformationbase available for bookmarking of interesting content. Shared highlights, sticky notes, and automated blogging from the bookmarks. http://occupymovementinfo.wordpress.com
NING platform social network for Occupy movements is http://occupii.org

Myke: There is an open forum to talk about stuff. There is a conference call set up where people can all for their personal phone calls. There are plans to have a podcast. Facebook.com/TheGrassRoot

Proposals

Suggestion that meetings contain an orientation to hand signals is a break-out period, which allows close introduction for new persons, those that know them can hold discussion about current topics. This topic will be tabled for the next summit assembly.

Work on an online way to bring outlying areas in through video & audio.

Meeting Closed

NEXT SUMMIT MEETING
Host Occupy Flint
Thurs, Jan 19 @7pm
Action is earlier in the day

Host Occupy Kalamazoo
February 4 @7pm

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

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…