Minutes for the General Assembly on Saturday, 11-19-11

November 19, 2011 in General Assembly by Bryan

I haven’t had time to write the recap, so here are the actual minutes for our eighth General Assembly on November 19th.

Occupy Baton Rouge GA 11-19-11

General Assembly Meeting

Saturday, Nov/19/2011
Note taker: Dave

Working group updates

Facilitators Working Group
Nathan asked for suggestions for how to make GA process smoother.  No comments were given.

Student outreach working group
For student issues group, there was a suggestion to go out to free speech alley for student outreach.  Around 10:30 or 11:00 ish.  Proposal accepted.  We will meet at 10:30am.  Nathan will be out there around 11:30am to setup the table.

Encampment working group
Our lawyers said that he can find out how much it costs for insurance for the encampment.  We need to talk to him.

General Discussion

Discussion on actions for the 25th
The General Assembly was opened up for discussion about actions on the 25th.  Suggestions were made for Anna Byars to speak on the 25th.  Maybe ask TogetherBaton Rouge to speak on the 25th, though Sophie thinks they won’t be interested.  Have an open mic time for people to share their experiences. Proposed time to start encampment and day of action?  10:00am?  Permit needs to be gotten for this action/encampment.  Equipment needed if we are going to have bands.  David Kirschner said he has a generator.  Ward has a generator.  If we use Ward’s generator we may need plywood as a sound wall, as generators are kinda noisy.  Have a tarp for the generator, as fluids can’t leak onto the ground in public areas.  First aid kits should be included.

We could use the fire hydrants for water, and city will meter us.   Lights might be necessary for the encampment.  Deadline for the port-a-potty is tomorrow.  Port-a-potty is 100 for first month, plus fee for service and delivery.  Worth noting that some public buildings will be closed because we are started up encampment on a weekend, so it may be hard to get to a bathroom.  We may not get a port-a-potty if we don’t get more occupiers.  Sean said that a port-a-potty is recommended for 8 guys for 40hours a week.  That is the upper limit of sanitary workload.  Tables and chairs are cheap to rent.  We might want to ask sympathetic people at Spanish town if they would like to help with the encampment by offering their houses for bathroom runs.

It might be a good idea to have a “needs of the occupiers” list on the website or google doc on the website.  Proposal accepted.

We do not plan on cooking on site.  So far we have someone cooking for the first day.  We have to buy food for after the first day.  If we need a bullhorn, we have one.  Ward also has one.   Also, the discussion about a type of direct action to take on the day of the encampment was postponed to the actual day of encampment.

The Iron Rail regularly has excess books.  In the past, they have talked to Dave and expressed a willingness to donate books, so having literate will probably not be an issue.  Dave volunteered at the Iron Rail before and is willing to contact them again.

Other discussions
A proposal was made to demonstrate in front of a Bestbuy on black Friday where there will be large crowds of people.  Some opposition.  Concerns about having enough man power.  Proposal dropped.

Sophie put forward a proposal to work on supporting local businesses, such as by limiting the amount of chain restaurants in Baton Rouge.  Proposal accepted.  It was later emphasized that this was a good thing to highlight about our movement, which is that we support local businesses.

Critical Mass could be asked to run by our encampment.  Someone said they would ask them about it. Dave also knows someone who does critical mass.

Ward brought up the point that maybe we should flier BRCC and email their student president.

There was a suggestion to get involved in some of the teachers unions, such as at LSU.

For the encampment Bryan is setting up interviews.  For example, he is talking to Jim Engster of the Jin Engster show, WBRZ, and Tegan Wendlen.  Tangentially, we might want to have a sheet with student debt, total debt, credit card debt obligations painted on it for when the media comes by the encampment.  Jim Engster said we can be on Thursday morning.   People who are going to be interviewed should meet up with Sophie.


Reflections on the White Light Nights experience
People from the OccupyBR went to White Light Nights experience and talked to people and fliered.  Brian had one pretty negative experience.  Brian focused on talking to the business owners.  Sophie had some confrontations at the White Light Nights also, but it wasn’t so bad.  Overall, people were really accepting.  Ward emphasized using the word corporatism.


News update about country and local Occupy movement
The 17th was a coordinated crackdown.  It was emphasized the Occupy is a basic reclaiming of public space.  It DHS and FBI seems to have been in a coordinated movement to shut down the Occupy movement.  There a movement against FBI oppression.  The FBI is raiding activists’ homes, such as Wisconsin union activists, Palestinian solidarity activists.  Nathan mentioned that Bradley Manning has been in solidarity confinement for over 6 months.