General Assembly Notes for 1-24-2012

Here are the General Assembly Notes for the second UW General Assembly 1/24/2012.  Click “continue reading” below to expand.

UW General Assembly 1-24-12

Orientation

  • Introduction, signals, etc.

Welcoming

  • Paul: here because it’s the closest to where he lives
  • Andrea: last quarter here, excited to see this space
  • Dough: work here too
  • Anna: FADU member

Working Group Updates

  • Usually this space is for working groups to update everyone
  • Facilitation officially the first working group to exist
  • Only rule of a working group is it has to be open for anyone who wants to be in it

Proposals

  • No proposals today, we will next week

Break Outs

  • Occupy Odegaard– starting a working group
  • United Farm Workers
  • Tabling/Outreach
  • Palestinian Equal Rights group

Report backs

  • Gonna start up an RSO for the Palestine Equal Rights organization. Meeting this Thursday at 5pm Thompson Hall 211.
  • Going to start a working group for Occupy Odegaard. We are going to devise a structured plan for setting up an Occupy encampment in the library, most likely the bottom floor where noise is not as much of an issue and “group work” is welcomed.
  • Tabling and outreach, decided that for outreach in general decided they need a larger group suggestion.

Proposals

  • Cody wants to change the idea of “binding decisions” within Occupy., to it just being a place for different groups to gather, express their needs, and receive resources based on how much people support them, and not based on whether the GA votes on things or not.
  • Biggest concern: This idea if we don’t say what we stand for does Occupy stand for anything? Occupys strength is that different groups do different things. Don’t want to be forming.
  • If somebody thinks it’s a good idea, they might go vote with their feet. Whoever thinks it’s a good idea will follow that person, so votes in the GA are not needed for this reason.
  • Do not want to be a part of a political party. Doesn’t feel comfortable saying we’re all on the same page.
  • Time could be better used discussing other things. Its always discussion GA’s that are more productive than decision making ones.
  • Policy is a big divisor. There is people who are gonna do what they are gonna do anyway. One thing that’s broad about Occupy is economic and social justice. A lot more done through discussions.
  • We shouldn’t vote on a bunch of things. If people don’t agree with something that’s being raised.
  • This is UW General Assembly, its not Congress. As soon as we start passing policies itsgonna narrow this group too much. This should be a place for people to get help from others.
  • There is not a lot of discussion for these actions that have been going on for the past 30 years or so. With Occupy Seattle, it’s a lot of discussion but at the same time they meet every single day and it blocks work groups from getting involved.
  • Someone shouldn’t be involved in something he/she doesn’t agree with. If theres no decision whether or not the group supports that, there might be problems for some people.
  • We should have transparency and accountability. We passed last week a proposal that you can’t say an action is endorsed by UWGA unless we endorse it, but people can act autonomously. That way if people smash a window and say they are part of UWGA we can say they are not.
  • Real way of seeing what people support is whether they do actions or not. Occupy Seattle has to deal with the person on the individual level.
  • Makes the GA more accessible to people that are just coming in. People can express their needs and resources. Voting can be very divisive.
  • When you don’t have clarity its whoever is the loudest that controls the process. One pro of voting process is that people have to have approval to do something, forces this type of discussion and forces others to stay in the discussion. Maybe we could have a process to call things to discussion. Usually whats published under the OS under proposals is whatever proposal is passed.
  • If we decide that we need to change this space after that there’s no good way to do it. If we make this our process then its going to be up to the facilitators to make any changes after that. We need to make collective decisions about website, place, time, etc.
  • A lot of the opposition to the decision making process has been falsely framed; only in the process of strict majoritarian voting would, say, 51-49 be an issue. Consensus voting has been completely missed in this discussion. You would lose your ability to say what the group overall stands for; this is a problem because it makes it difficult for Occupy to be communicated to the general public.
  • This group stands for democracy; stands for people assembling and acting together and helping each other out. Would add collective resources to this proposal. We can have this and consensus or voting is a separate decision. Not so worried about people taking over the group as a problem.
  • Certain circumstances may compromise the process. GA’s work well with spontaneity. This proposal is a little too arbitrary and ambiguous.
  • We need methods for transparency whether or not we have this proposal. Also, we should have some accountability processes. Time is also a problem.
  • This proposal will be tabled for further discussion next week.

Preproposals

  • We should meet two days a week instead of one.
    • We should have a different time also.
    • There was some discussion about changing the time. This GA takes place as a same time as Occupy Seattle. Two GA’s a week would be great.
    • Five O Clock difficult time for anyone. Its easier to see someone elses’ point of view if its discussion only than if it is a voting process.

General Announcements

  • If theres anyone here interested in civil disobedience talk to David afterwards
  • This Friday there is a 2pm march against Darigold, in solidarity with Darigold farmers, taking place at Westlake.
    • This impacts UW students because we get our milk from Darigold; also vital for the workers who are being threatened with a shotgun out of forming a union.
    • The ILWU workers just voted to accept a contract in a battle for a labor. In other words, the labor force just won the battle.
    • Outreach and tabling, please try to sign up if you can.
    • ISO Reform or Revolution in Thompson 211 at this Thursday at 7pm. Also, Palestinian solidarity meeting this Thursday at 5pm in the same room.

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