2011/11/06 General Assembly notes

Occupy Fall River General assembly “Minutes”

At OFR’s 2nd General Assembly(11/6/11), the group of us decided that it was important for each of us to talk about what ‘Occupy’ means, and what we wanted to see come out of this movement on both the local and national level. It was also an oppurtunity to re-introduce ourselves and talk about our concerns and convictions. Listed by first name, here are the ideals and proposals set forth in our GA:

Maryellen- The significance of the basic practices and protocol in the ‘Occupy’ movement. The questions of whether we should continue with our weekly meetings, or begin to think about alternate meeting times/places were also brought up. A statement should be issued on behalf of the OFR general assembly, most likely to be sent to the Herald newspaper for print.

Kevin- Interested in exploring political and economical concerns in our community. Brings light to the portugeuse demographic,and considering ways to reach out to said demographic. Wants to make sure ‘positive promotion’ is carried out by OFR(excluding violence, racism, foul language, etc. for OFR promotion). Voices concern regarding to the plight of those recieving benefits from Social security,Medicare, Medicaid, etc. Possible outreach to elderly. Echoes Maryellen’s thoughts on the Herald letter idea. Talks about John Kerry and supercommittee, possible outreach to Senator Kerry.

Nancy- 1st introduction to the group, looking forward to getting more involved and being a part of this movement.

Mary Jane- Concerned about making a difference in our community and the world at large. Interested in finding ways to help move the ‘Occupy’ movement forward. Curious about ways to garner support and solidarity from other Occupations. Concerned about the “forgotten youth” epidemic in the US, as well as other overlooked demographics. Concerned about the “$ bubble” in this country, wondering where all the money in this country has gone to. Joyous about the patriotism being displayed around the country as a result of this movement. Makes connections to the Civil Rights’ movement of the 60′s, ponders about whether this is a revival. Interested in ‘MAKING SOME NOISE”.

Justin- Voiced concerns about orchestration of outreach(how and who to “reach out” to). Interested in the concept of “Teach-ins”, wondering about the near-future possibility of these events at OFR. Talks of demographic-specific outreach to garner local support. Voices ideas about possible direct action, citing that DA involving public safety and budget cuts would help public image and garner support. Solidarity with public servants was also discussed. Voices concern about GA protocol, suggesting the day’s agenda should be discussed and finalized at the beginning of the GA. Cites structure of other Occupations and GAs, suggesting we research to find the most suitable format for OFR. Highlights the significance of reviewing OWS and OFR history for edification. Wonders about the possiblity of multiple meetings per-week, and combining meetings with social activities on an individual level.

Darren- Echoes concerns about the significance of outreach and garnering support from key local demographics. Significance is also voiced about reaching out to nearby occupations and community activists. Highlights the solidarity aspect of the movement, and is interested in furthering those ends. The need for legitamacy and diplomacy is discussed. Significance of patience is also highlighted.

Al- 1st introduction to the group, highlights his involvement with Brian(coordinator) in past weeks. Suggests that we make and distribute handouts to summarize our Occupation. Highlights income disparity in US, top 1% = 40% of US income. Aligns with “conservative” values, yet voices concern over the US military-industrial complex. Asks media team about facebook password change. Highlights the idea of abject greed, resulting in loss of sense of justice. Proposed statement for Brian, citing “simpler is better”. Echoes Mary jane’s concerns about flow of capital, and questions global economics.

Darrel- Highlights the fact that a vast majority of the US is not economically savvy, and voices concern about this absence of knowledge. Cites the Federal Reserve. Suggests putting flyers on windshields as an efficient outreach mechanism. Voices concern about the prospect of the american people being “set up to fail”.

Steve- Voices concern about change of venue. Stresses significance on establishment of process for OFR and general assemblies. Cites use of ‘ground rules’. Urges those involved to speak only on their own behalf, and cites the importance of the article ‘I’. Voices concern that every opinion in OFR is honored, whether agreed with or not. Cites significance of being respectful of differing points of view. Interested in the agenda for updating OFR newcomers. ‘Rules of order’ should be generally established. Stresses significance of ‘report-backs’. Interested in reaching out to those not already involved. Voices concerns about local issues(cites elderly, teachers, local parks), and how OFR can impact the community in a meaningful way. “Act locally, think globally”.

As you can see, we kept quite busy in the biting cold! There were many great ideas going around in our discussion, and everyone had a chance to speak their mind and let others know what issues matter most to them. We shared many of the same thoughts and concerns, which is indicative of the fact that we’re all basically on the same page. This like-minded core group is very passionate about this movement, and we’re all excited about moving forward!

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