GA Notes – 10/30/2011

Facilitator: Denny
Timekeeper: Ethan

Announcements:

Roxanne showed us the Board she had put together to introduce the group to new members, displaying hand signals, giving coming events, and allowing them to see what committees were available. She encouraged folks to sigh up for the working groups.
- She also reminded us that the art contest is ongoing and submissions need to be in by November 11th – get the info to all your artsy friends and acquaintances.

Jim reported that Move-On was now operating to get Occupy Groups things that they need and feels that we should get them a list, since they seem to be respecting group boundaries more than they did at first. Kate has been working on a list of encampment needs that can be a starting point. Roberta noted that the Move-On coordinator comes to meetings so we should approach them.

Stephanie reported that the Wilmington City Council will be meeting at 6:30 at City Hall on Tuesday to take up the sign restrictions proposed for private businesses (restricting them from using more than 10% of their windows for signs, posters, etc). This is a free speech issue and an imposition on their use of their own property. Apparently the people arguing for the restrictions feel that the signs make businesses less attractive and don’t allow for a clear view of what is going on inside the businesses. Any occupy members who wish to speak on the sign ordinance are encouraged to do so (and appear early enough to sign up for your 3 minutes at the podium – but I checked the website and it looks like they might require you to submit a form to the city clerk before noon the day before the meeting – http://www.wilmingtonnc.gov/Portals/0/documents/city%20clerk/Request%20to%20Speak%20at%20City%20Council%20Meeting%20Form.pdf). If members go, remember to stick to the sign issue – we don’t want to hijack the meeting and make it about us.

It’s too late now but Denny announced his annual showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Juggling Gypsy at 8:00 tonight.

Reminder – that the weekend of November 4th at the Juggling Gypsy there will be events for support of OWS, with workshops, music, etc. all three days. We still need a volunteer to do an OWNC presentation for that event.

Committee Reports –

IT – It is believed that the issue with inadvertent display of IP addresses has been resolved.
Questions were raised about whether the group had a calendar on the website. IT is still working on this but right now people can go to upcoming events on the Occupy website to see what is planned. There is a separate event tab for discussion of proposed events or for proposing events. Eventually a lot of what is down the right side of the screen will be tabbed across the top.
We will be keeping Facebook for discussions but posting a lot of the other information will be more easily done at the Occupy site where information is more static.

Encampment – The committee is to meet after the GA today

Legal – A lot of new documents have been added to the Wilmington occupy site having to do with how to respond to the police, civil disobedience, etc. Folks are encouraged to check them out.

[For anyone watching the FB thread last night, we were able to welcome Chris from Leland to the meeting. Although I had staked out the area I believed he would be parking in, I did not catch up with him (although I did get the opportunity to ask strange men if they were Chris, got my last $4 cash panhandled off of me, and garnered some admiration for my bumper stickers from a guy who spent so long looking at them that I was genuinely starting to worry about his reaction). But happily, Chris found his way to our site on his own with the help of an awesome large banner bearing our wave logo.]

Stack:

Bank of America Protest will be next Saturday, November 5th, at the B of A at College and Randall. The times will be from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm. This is also the date of National Bank Transfer Day, but if you intend to close your account, start the work now because you will find that you cannot easily do it in one shot at the Bank.
The question of where to meet immediately after the protest was raised (this will be our GA – instead of holding it at 3:00 at Greenfield Lake). It was decided to go to the park off of Randall Parkway (parking at IRS building), where we will have a mini-potluck (Denny will bring the soda). We want to have the meeting as soon as the protest ends at 1:00 so we can try to get some of the protest attendees to the GA.
The need for an ass-kicking flyer for this event was voiced and Ethan and Holly volunteered to take that on.

The line-up for Tuesday night was discussed. We have two things going on then – Jim’s workshop/presentation on how to transfer banks, at which there will be credit union representatives, to be held at 7:00 at the Community Action Center (317? Castle St), and the postponed sign workshop from last week, to immediately follow, same place, at about 8:00. The sign workshop will double as a meeting of the creativity committee. It was propoed and passed that these two events will take place instead of the usual GA at Greenfield Park, with the friendly amendment that one member will be at the park from about 6 to 6:30 to redirect anyone who might show up that night, not knowing about the change of plans.

Encampment – We will be setting up an encampment somewhere on November 12th, either legally or, if necessary, illegally on public land.
There are two main prospects for our location – the City Hall lawn (Denny is still ascertaining what hoops we will have to jump through for that) and the private lot next to St. Jude’s Church at 26th and Market (with possible use of church kitchen).
The encampment committee will be working on a field manual after the meeting and will bring it to the GA tomorrow.
The need to make friends with local businesses was voiced – although there aren’t many near the St. Jude site
Denny is still investigating legal angles for the City Hall location.
We are still considering a Camp Name – Kate is behind “Freedom Flame” and Denny is behind “Liberty”.

The Art Event at Riverfront Park will be on December 3rd from 2pm to 5pm. Roxanne envisions a 5-ring circus, with bands, speakers, an art installation, interviewees putting on video why they are part of the 99%, food, and t-shirts to sell to make a little money for the group. We have the sound system. Jim and Chris from Leland both mentioned bands that might come.
BUT ROXANNE NEEDS VOLUNTEERS TO HELP WITH THIS!!! And she will put a sign up sheet on line.

Kendall brought up the suggestion of a letter writing campaign to get past generalizations being imposed on the group and to express requests to local prospective office-holders and representatives. Ron supported a desire for communicating specific grievances to the politicians/candidates. There were questions raised about the efficacy of letter writing, about whether it was counter to the movement to express specific requests on behalf of a movement that was striving to be non-specific, about whether it was too early in the history of the movement to make this particular move. It was noted that we were not yet in a position to force King John to sign the Magna Carta. And Stephanie stated that we could get a pretty good idea of the general respect with which our opinions would be met if we went to the Tuesday night City Council meeting.

The idea of a Veterans Day event was raised by Mark. The suggestion of a vigil was greeted with approval – the idea is to show gratitude to all servicement (including Scott Olsen – injured in Oakland) as well as re-affirming our commitment to nonviolence. Locations discussed included the POW memorial by the Coast Guard dock downtown, the Battleship, Veterans Park. We could read the names of the casualties. It was noted that this event was on the eve of our encampment, so we want to tie it in with the encampment rather than distract from it. Discussion of the event was tabled for further consideration.

Roxanne raised the idea of doing another vigil – no date discussed – in the future with drums, acoustic guitar, peaceful signs, handouts, possibly with printouts of lyrics for protest songs – Chris from Leland volunteered that he had a protest song on YouTube that would be suitable. Someone noted that there was an old protest song called “The Banks are Made of Marble” which really fit well today.

As the meeting had gone into overtime, the issue of workshops was tabled until tomorrow.

Next week’s facilitator will be Roberta, with Delthea (nominated by Denny) as her back-up.

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