Recap of the General Assembly on Saturday, 11-5-11

November 5, 2011 in General Assembly by Bryan

Occupy Baton Rouge General Assembly on 11-5-11

First, here is a link to the minutes for anyone who prefers the quick read.

On November 5, 2011 Occupy Baton Rouge held our fourth General Assembly.

We began the assembly with announcements and proposals from our Working Groups.

The Student Teach-in Working Group is planning a question and answer panel session to present to colleges in the greater Baton Rouge area. This group needs volunteers to research topics relating to the problems with our political and economic situation. Our next meeting is on Friday, November 11 at 7:00 pm. See the calendar for details on location. The Student Teach-in working group also requested ideas of movies to use for documentary viewings and discussion sessions.

The Women’s Issues Working Group recapped their accepted proposals from the previous General Assembly. First, they will start a collection of whistles to be kept at each tent in the encampment for safety reasons. Second, they will start planning a RAD workshop for anyone who is interested in learning self-defense. Third, they will ensure that there is a women-only safe space in the encampment. And fourth, they will request that any police presence include a certain proportion of woman officers.

The Facilitators Working Group announced that at the beginning of each General Assembly they will ask if there are any new participants. If so, they will go over the General Assembly procedures. They also proposed that anyone who hard blocks a proposal be required to present a counter proposal by the end of the General Assembly and that each hard block be recorded in the minutes. This proposal was passed to discourage the flippant use of hard blocks. They also proposed the use of a progressive stack and a two minute speaking limit for anyone who is on stack. Both proposals were accepted.

The Finance Working Group announced that they will be creating a transparency and auditing proposal for the next General Assembly.

After the Working Group announcements we opened the floor to general proposals.

A period of time will be left open on each General Assembly agenda, between general proposals and general announcements, during which people can stand in front of the group and present updates about how our movement connects to the national Occupy movement or about local and state elections.

A Steering Committee was proposed, but after some discussion the proposal was withdrawn.

Finally, it was proposed that we start discussing and voting on a list of points of unity. Three points of unity were accepted, and the list was tabled for further discussion at the next General Assembly. The three accepted points of unity are as follows:

1. Speculation and greedy, irresponsible banking practices are still a problem, even after the financial collapse. Much of this stems from the erosion of proper financial regulation, such as the Glass-Steagall act, and a lack of corporate accountability to the public.

2. Financing of education should be a priority in Louisiana as well as nationally and internationally. The paltry funding of education is a disservice to our citizens, and hurts the poorest and most underprivileged members of our society the most.

3. Corporations are not people and should not be treated like people under our legal system. No corporation should have the same rights human beings have. Corporate personhood needs to be eliminated.

Our fifth, and the next, General Assembly will be held on Wednesday, November 9 at 6:00 pm in State Capitol Park.

We are meeting on Saturday, November 12 at 11:00 am near the Farmer’s Market to march to our sixth General Assembly in State Capitol Park at noon.

If anyone does not agree with, or would like to amend, this statement of events, they are free to propose a vote on the minutes at our next General Assembly.

Occupy Baton Rouge General Assembly on 11-5-11