Facilitation Training Meeting Notes

Facilitation training meeting

Introductions: Maggie, Colleen, Kent, Chelle, Lindsay, George, Ashley, Lindsea, Eli, Nathanael

Background on Facilitation, ideas behind it

Direct Democracy vs. representative democracy

Rep – people are elected are chosen to speak for you, but it doesn’t mean they will

Direct – power directly in hands of people

Direct Dem process is incredibly important

Common in media to be a protest movement

Actually a pre-figurative movement – in our actions we want to prefigure our future; we operate under a new society we have to build it together

Pre-figurate (pre = before, figure = shape) so we are shaping our future through the present

Something we enact ourselves and how we organize

Consensus is radical

Different from status quo

For Americans it will be new and unfamiliar – people don’t understand what process is, requires a lot of learning

We tend to think of politics as something competitive, less about cooperation and constructive dialogue

Consensus is not voting; voting ensures that those who lose the vote are ignored or depressed

Consensus is collective decision-making, based on consent of individuals; dialogue to reach agreement by all members of assembly

At Sundays’ GA we had break out about what consensus is

So we will go through a small discussion about how direct democracy is different

Lindsea: consensus is non-hierarchical method of reaching a decision; making it as participatory as possible; shows social change in that it models the way our democracy is structured; better way fore everyone to be heard; very ground-up

Change to spontaneous discussion for 10 minutes

Ashley: important thing to be aware of, if people start doing things that are going to affect group negatively the group as a whole should stop it, instead of one person in charge; whole group as a whole take a stand against it

Nathanael: tyranny of majority, if 51% of people think something and vote for it, the other 49% are ruled in a tyrannical manner; through consensus everyone has a say, it’s radical from how we normally operate

Colleen: look for common ground, don’t focus on what differences are or where you disagree, instead of compromising, we agree to disagree; find and define that core set of values and actions or other beliefs that we can move forward together despite all of you differences on other things; what does that other person want or need in this interchange and how does that fit with your own needs; radical negotiation techniques don’t be afraid of getting your wants and needs, you can see common ground if you lay your cards on the table; traditional negotiation requires keeping private your “cards”; you must model the openness that is non-traditional; what facilitators do is do the risk taking, model the openness and find common agreements

Chelle: wants to get away from mindset is to constantly debate things; if your opinions are based on few facts (yelling from baristas, missed some points)

Lindsay: tries to avoid debating, but seek common ground; if you don’t agree, it doesn’t mean you’re against, but you have to find common ground; we have been conditioned to defend point of view, rather than letting it be open and hashed over; it takes a bit of humility to put something out there, it requires that, and Americans are especially not used to practicing

Nathanael: just because you disagree with something, doesn’t’ mean you have to be against something; there is a difference between negative fingers and blocks; signals mean different things and fit in a lot with what Lindsay is saying, it is about cooperation and not always getting your way

Lindsay: you have a proposal, how many people are not standing away from them; look at it from a goal perspective, not just getting a proposal passed

Lindsea: consensus seemed more based in reality rather than illusion; what happened in our system now is that majority if following minority under the illusion that their needs are being met; decision based thinking will allow everyone’s needs to be met

Colleen: the occupy movement has defined consensus as 90% – important to note that radical change trying to use consensus falls a party and can be hijacked by one person blocking

Chelle: Agrees

Kent: but you also know people if you are camping with, you know why they are blocking, which might be why encampments have better rates of proposal passes; blocks are extremely rare and important, they should be respected; it is moral and you feel very strongly; get a sense of community;

Lindsay: there is a consequence of throwing up a block; if I throw up a block and it still passes, you have a choice to leave community; I disagree with this so much that I am willing to walk away from this; if you throw up a block without that knowledge, then it’s just mean-spirited; you won’t be kicked out but hold yourself up to what the standards of a block is

Kent: what are you blocking? An action, you have right not to participate and you won’t be excluded; what are you blocking? This is a big thing for occupy for all

Chelle: introduce yourselves?

Colleen 2, Chris (brother and sister)

10 minutes to go over hand signals

Spirit fingers: means consent; origins in sign language for applause – agreement; joy and happiness, physical expression of excitement; a cheer; someone says something you like, or if you had that idea you can show it

Meh fingers: not sure if you are opposed or for; middle range; neutral; we want everyone’s opinion, even if it’s a meh; also a judge of a speaker and how they’re doing;

Temperature/vibes check on what is going on, or a future decision

Disagreement fingers: bad idea, I’m against it but will not leave it; I will step aside, but not interfere with others going forward; if there are enough people giving this hand proposer can go back and re-work and re-propose it (or given out for re-work – note about being conscious of language)

Blocks: violates key principles, it is a veto, NOT a no vote; intervention of a high court saying that a proposal is un ethical, we are all judges; VERY strong

Point of Process: does a number of things: off topic, it means let’s go back to topic; process is not used correctly; people take in info different ways, some people need big ways first or detailed ways first; process is how we’ve agreed to utilize time and space; you need to be careful using it, it’s powerful, discussion of details is not PoP – you potentially come off as rude, so be cautious; are they really on topic? A well facilitated meeting of any sort has an agenda and times for them; point of process may then mean that it goes into a different part of a meeting, or we’re going on too long come back to it etc. (need “parking lot” for writing out ideas, physically write it down so people see their idea has been captured, and will keep people satisfied);

Process: everyone is involved; hard to do any one thing if no one is following or on same page

Point of Information: if it is not a fact, then it is not a PoI; anything to clarify, and directly relates; should NOT have “I” in it

5-finger hand raise: put on stack; queue of people who want to speak either on

Clarifying question: QUESTION not a statement; no I believe, or I think – it is asking for clarification; should be answerable, don’t take forever asking it

Rolling hands: this is a friendly signal; music at the end of academy awards; universal symbol for “hurry the fuck up” but really it is a friendly manner; sum it up, wrap it up, or condense your statement; works in conjunction with people’s mic in OWS – ppls mic makes you speak in short concise statements; if people repeat after you, this motion is balanced

People’s mic is very very important, should be done nearly at all times; perception checking: say something repeats back, you know you are being understood and what needs clarification; you can realize you don’t understand something much faster

L-shape: louder

The more we utilize these the less negative or hostile these will be, more respectful way because you aren’t talking over someone


Facilitator: someone who has a view of everything that’s going on, alert; keeps things moving; but also keeps eye on general purpose of meeting; basically an MC, a certain power is weighted, but it must be used lightly; you are leading a discussion, not imposing will; an MC makes sure that things keep going and topics are discussed and agenda is stuck to; but also keeps an eye out for point of process; TOUGH, almost instantly the bad guy, even though you are doing this to help anyone; once people become more involved in process people won’t think it’s negative

Stack: person who has the queue, list of people who are speaking; raise your hand and keeper will acknowledge you



Vibe checker: keeps general eye on crowd; keeps eye on crowd, how’s it going, counts quorum; takes break, let people cool off; just go to facilitator and call for temp check or break

Co-facilitator, “the shield” helps facilitator run meeting


Nov 10th Action Meeting Notes

Occupy for All, November 10 Meeting Notes

Call to Action

United we stand, divided we fall.

Never before have these words been more important or relevant. We stand at the edge of a revolution, where our actions matter more than ever, and our solidarity with one another is the only thing that will help us see it through. If we become divided, then everything for which we have fought and struggled is lost. We call ourselves the 99% because, together, that’s exactly what we are. This is not a movement of individuals acting alone. This is not a movement for selfish agendas. This is an opportunity for us to speak with one voice, united, standing strong in the face of those who would try to silence us. Occupy for All seeks to empower all to use their voice, especially those who do not feel they have one. We seek to unite the various occupations and show that, even though we may be divided by local, state, and national borders, we are still together. Our goal is to open the lines of communication between the various occupations and to make sure that the things that are needed get to the people that need them most. We are not just here for ourselves, but for all who would stand under the banner of “Occupy”. We call on all in Michigan, the United States, and around the world to initiate autonomous action, and to become involved in inter-occupation activities. Solidarity!

We are the 99%. All For One, Occupy For All.


  • Facilitation Team (Kent – Facilitator, Kat – Notes, Nathanael – Stack, etc.)
    • Review hand gestures, use of direct response for small gathering such as this
  • Attendees
    • Name, Occupation, Working Group
    • Chelle, Occupy Ann Arbor, Direct Action, Education, Anywhere needed
    • Denise, Occupy Ann Arbor, Direct Action, Encampment, Anywhere needed (Is a lawyer by trade)
    • Rafael, Occupy Flint/State of Michigan for Working America, Working with Labor Unions
    • Brian, Occupy Detroit, Wanting to get involved in OAA
    • David, Occupy A2 (for 3-5 days), Working with Facilitation, Encampment, wants to help with communication
    • George, Works at medical school, Occupy Ann Arbor, goes to any meeting he can, went to Toledo with encampment field trip
    • Brooke, Occupy Ann Arbor, Direct Action, Visited Occupy Wall St
    • Maggie, Occupy Ann Arbor, Morale, Transportation, Wants to be more involved
    • Lindsay, Occupy Ann Arbor, Tech goddess, Morale, Social Media
    • Heather, Occupy Flint, Social Media

Philosophical Discussion

  • We are an inter-occupation action group.
    • We are not the voice of the movement, we are the support; we want to be able to support the entirety of the movement, not just any single occupation; this allows people to have an opportunity to contribute in ways other than camping
    • Lots of the work that needs to be done, communication etc, is sometimes difficult to do only at a camp
    • We take action; we want to be able to respond quickly and effectively
    • Help to foster communication between groups
  • We hold action meetings.
    • What is an Action Meeting?
      • Flint calls this “well-intentioned autonomous action”
      • No endless facebook debates, not tweaking others ideas endlessly, not being afraid to act
      • A2 may be apathetic and filled with ego, “fashion activists”; this can be a hold up
      • “Elegant anarchy” and leaderlessness can be scary
      • Let’s get messy!
        • get to the camp and build the banners; let’s just make it happen
      • Action Groups vs. Working Groups; let’s go get it done, people can flow in and out of these groups that come to be to fill and need and dissolve when the need is filled
    • An Action Meeting is where different opportunities for action are brought to the table and plans are made for how we can take participate in those actions, as a group or as individuals.
      • You don’t need anyone’s permission to do action; the reason to communicate it so that we can provide support, assistance, etc
  • Scheduling Action
    • It is our goal to be able to keep a calendar of Direct Action opportunities and meetings for all the Occupations we are currently in contact with. It is our hope that we can facilitate better scheduling of activities, so we can give those events the numbers they require.
    • We aim to assist in areas where there are needs.
      • Discussed more in Occupation Outreach.

Occupation Outreach

  • Finding out the needs of each Occupation.
    • Camp Need Lists
      • blankets, pillows, etc; help to provide these
    • Event Need Lists
      • tape, posters, etc; help to provide these
  • Promoting Occupation Events
    • Boost Attendance
    • Create a Presence
  • Going to another Occupation weekly as a small group
    • Create a cycle, where we can deliver goods from one camp to the next.
    • Get a contact person (or two) in each occupation to promote communication
  • Gathering of the Tribes: this week at Occupy Flint Friday Nov 18th; Direct Action @ 2 and meeting @ 7
    • Maggie/Lindsay/Chelle report: great sharing of info, what’s working, what’s not; didn’t have enough time to cover all the topics they wanted – is this a revolution or a revolution of the system (for example)
    • Potentially doing a weekly meeting; at least more than once a month; rotating occupations and scheduling a large direct action either before or after the meeting to have larger numbers
    • Talked about outreach, “marketing” – essentially outreach, raising awareness
    • Talk of Flint hosting Thanksgiving

Opportunities Within Occupy For All
These can be as needed/don’t have to be a permanent position

  • Point of Contact – Occupy ???
    • Acting as the Contact for Occupy for All within the various occupations
  • Transportation
    • Creating Rideshares
    • Delivering Goods
  • Facilitation
    • Organizing/Facilitating Action Meetings
      • Kat wants to encourage everyone to take part in facilitation; it allows us to speak the same language
  • Hunter/Gatherer
    • Gathering Supplies
    • Finding Opportunities for Direct Action
  • Scheduling
    • Schedule next Action Assembly
    • Keeping track of Calendar
    • Find out Occupation Events
  • Contact Sheet
    • Name, Phone, E-mail, Home Occupation

Web Presence

  • Website
  • E-mail
    • OccupyForAll@gmail.com
  • Social Media
  • Occupy Bulletin
    • http://occupybulletin.org
    • Recap of purpose and ability
    • We need to spread this info to as many different occupations as possible so that we can unite the feed and broadcast the info
    • Add the info; make it personal; we are building contacts with this
    • We will post the info for how to link on the facebook cause page and via email
  • About blurb
    • Occupy4All is a merry band of roving peaceniks based in Ann Arbor. We stand in solidarity with occupations across Michigan, working in various capacities to foster autonomous, consensus-based relations built on interdependence and mutual assistance. We are a needs-based action group whose aim is to expand and sustain the vision of the Occupy movement in Michigan, as well as across the country.
    • We are building a community and we are creating a network of support; we can create a sort of barter system, an exchange of labor, ideas, & help
  • Calendar: Assemble team
  • Graphics pool
    • Physical art, and want to have something like a business card that we can give out

We will post this on our facebook page and also to the email group

  • Friday, November 11th
    • Mic Check: Open Mic, Poetry Slam & Veteran’s Day Celebration (Occupy Flint) – 2-5pm @ Corner of 1st and Saginaw
    • Outreach Meeting (Occupy Detroit) – 5:30-8pm @ LAX 2nd Floor
    • Facilitation: Intro to Direct Democratic Process (Occupy Detroit) – 6pm @ Grand Circus Park (will not happen this Friday, but is usually at this time)
    • Cultural Night (Occupy Ann Arbor) – 8pm @ Liberty Plaza
  • Saturday, November 12th
    • Second Visit to the Bank(s) (Occupy Ann Arbor) – 10:30am @ Liberty Plaza
    • General Assembly (Occupy Detroit) – 12pm @ Grand Circus Park
      • Check website, location may change.
    • Survival Workshop (Occupy Ann Arbor) – 3pm @ Liberty Plaza
    • Media Team Meeting (Occupy Detroit) – 6pm @ LAX
    • PeaceNick Fundraiser for Occupy D (Occupy Detroit) – 8pm @ Phoenix Cafe
  • Sunday, November 13th
    • Comfort Meeting (Occupy Detroit) – 8am
    • General Assembly (Occupy Ann Arbor) – 1pm @ League -Vandenberg Room
      • Michigan League, 911 N. University
    • Media Team Meeting (Occupy Detroit) – 6pm @ LAX
  • Monday, November 14th
    • Quaker House Workshop (Occupy Kalamazoo) – 7-11am @
    • Facilitation: Intro to Direct Democratic Process (Occupy Detroit) – 6pm @ Grand Circus Park
    • Facilitation Meeting (Occupy Detroit) – 7:30pm @ LAX
  • Tuesday, November 15th
    • A Social Forum on Rebuilding Working People’s Power (Occupy Ann Arbor) – 7pm @ Michigan League
  • Wednesday, November 16th
    • Non-Violence/Civil Disobedience (Occupy Ann Arbor) 6pm @ Liberty Plaza

Actionable Steps

  • Website
    • Post Call to Action
    • Links to Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter
    • Posting Events/Calendar
    • 99%er of the day – help to inspire; give shout outs and props; give positive feedback
    • Want to create blog posts from our action team members
    • Report backs about our visits to the camp; keep the motivation up!
    • Very important to move away from 3rd party sites if we can; info is being censored
    • Lindsay; help make the website a central source of information; the calendar will let any occupation post directly to it so that we can have all the info in once place
      • potentially bumping up info for events that are a higher priority/featuring it; esp if it is a one time direct action over a weekly event
      • if we have an overall calendar, then that will feature all events; but we have something that “categorizes” the different events into things like high priority, weekly, urgent, etc
  • Scheduling
    • Next Action Meeting
    • Trip to Occupy Detroit
    • Trip to Occupy Lansing
    • Return trip to Occupy Flint
  • Encampment needs; want to create survival backpacks; add to list: need medical gloves, alternators (for Sincere to teach how to generate own power), plastic bags, newspaper bags
    • creating “welcome to the occupation” backpacks, provide vital info as well, share this survival backpack concept with other occupations as well
  • Encampment needs storage
    • Chelle offers space; have address if needed
  • Spreading Info about Occupy For All to provide an opportunity for people to contribute
  • Connect the cultures that are developing in the different camps; we should help to share these
    • occupyart on google +
    • what about a camper exchange w/camps? idea brought up at the summit
    • exchanging teach ins and education summits w/different occuptions
  • Get medical training info; street survival guide; print these and put copies in the backpacks as well??
  • Denise – thinks this is wonderful; gives away to distract from the bullshit; need to get ideas and energy flowing; how can we transition to having more people and also cleaning up the overwhelming amount of stuff going on?
    • open communication and contacts
    • hashtag and flash mob it via twitter as well
  • Heather from Flint; want to get involved in community action; maybe take a survey door to door, find out who people are and what they stand for; likes an “all hands on deck” hashtag, if this is the one thing you can come to this week, this should be it! Help to create a community online presence; we don’t want to shut people out by not speaking broadly; connect with other groups
    • get salvation army shirts; apply 99% decals that we make ourselves and upgrade them; then push the story through social media
    • David from Clinton has a contact with a sewing shop
  • Communication/Information Accordion – we push out a little noise, then we pull in more information; through Michigan for Working Americans; can find out where people have interest, put that “data” into action
  • We need a designated team of people who are willing to get arrested at any given time so that we can mobilize them!
  • Heather – shop local; how can we support this through the holidays?