Agenda & Minutes to GA, 10/17/11 (approved by consensus)

I. Weekend Recap
II. Announcements
III. Working Group Reports
IV. Camp dynamics
V. Direct Action/Next steps
VI. Memorial for CottonEyedJOe
VII. Soapbox

I. Weekend Recap
Everyone met at the Fishes at Caras Park, and after soapboxing marched by consensus process to stage protests at the office of Jon Tester, then the Wells Fargo branch (where everyone joined hands to encircle the bank branch — it’s a REALLY BIG branch!), then continued to protest at Rehberg and Baucus’ offices. We returned to the courthouse lawn for the Art Jam at 1:00 pm, where the good energy continued with poetry, open mic, music, and a circle dance. Sunday there was a spiritual gathering open to all beliefs. One concern expressed was KPAX reporting that we “Marched to Rehberg’s office,}” suggesting this action was against a Republican, neglecting to mention that we also marched to Baucus and Tester’s offices. People are urged to write in to the newschannel to point out that this (mistakenly or otherwise) reporting is slanted!

Monday has been a reorganization of camp. Tents are arranged in a more ordered way now, and wall tents and a 12ft teepee are coming so that there will be space for Work Groups to meet.

The importance of the teepee symbolically to reclaim the space is emphasized.

Camp is really tired and NEEDS SUPPORT! Please come by and camp or visit or just help claim the space!

II. Announcements
Send an email to occupymissoula@gmail.com to be added to the email listserv for Occupy updates.

KGBO 1290 (local talk radio) will put us on the air for live Q&A to help dispel myths about the Occupy movement. Contact Josh (who’s Josh you ask? glasses & handlebar mustache, has been facilitating a lot) if you are interested and he’ll give you the details.

Please remember to keep burning tobacco on the periphery of the gatherings! Your fellow humans thank you!

Don’t forget to check OccupyMissoula.org for updates and posts! There were Citibank arrests over the weekend of 22 people who entered the bank TO CLOSE THEIR ACCOUNTS. WTF??

III. Work Group Reports
Camp reorganization:

  • The camp needs someone to help with water runs-takes about 20 minutes, load up water buckets, drive to Pov center and fill them, return them to camp.
  • The evacuation and sprinkler blow out is done. New organization of camp is COOL check it out!
  • A finance committee is needs to organize donations etc. 2 people volunteered, if anyone else is interested find Curtis and he can point you in their direction.
  • The white wall tent is a meeting tent now. It is proposed that the teepee that will be here soon will serve as a symbol of reclaiming the space, and serve as a quiet space for relaxation and reflection.
  • The Declaration committee is meeting at 7pm at the Break on Wednesday. This date/time/place will be confirmed or changes announced if necessary) on OccupyMissoula.org. That’s right folks, that website is OCCUPYMISSOULA.ORG! Join the meeting to contribute, ot send an email to occupymissoula@gmail.com.
  • Study groups will begin meeting on Sundays at 2:00pm at the gazebo. Everyone is welcome.
  • Technology group is looking for content, everyone is encouraged to contribute content! There is a live chat up and a youtube page. Write to–yup you guessed it — OccupyMissoula@gmail.com to contribute content.

IV. Camp Dynamics
Grand Scale Idea/ Proposal
out for discussion: Length of stay is important, but pragmatically speaking, people camping are wearing out. Thus, proposal is to create a semi-permanent village, with more sustainable housing (think Longhouse structures, or wall tents) with communal living. Pup-tents won’t be adequate for the winter.

Alternative proposals were for squatting a building or taking the GA indoors for the winter in a visible and public location, then reclaiming the camp in the spring.

  • Concern: Restroom padlocks? Need to be 24 hour public! Problem: were filled with garbage in the first two days. Cost an extra $70 to clean them out. There is always one open, locks are for appearance. Partial solution: A garbage can will be placed prominently near them. If it continues, locks will be on them unless some brave individuals willing to fish out the bunk volunteer their toilet-scooping services.
  • Concern: Permit cost to protest? No-permit did not cost anything, a $200 damage deposit was put up by one Occupier, but it will be returned when no damage to the property is seen.
  • Concern: Please be aware that houseless folks are not the 1% and be kind with your words blaming “Indians” “drunks” and “homeless” is not inclusive, and doesn’t rain down positive vibes!

Food is vital to the spirits of the camp! If you can bring hot prepared food it will help!

Be prepared for counter demonstrations and how to respond when violence is imposed. The GA proposed and consensed that non-violent method of defusing violence will be the Whistle-Surround-Support model, and if this is not effective call 911 When someone is abusive, those nearby will whistle, everyone should respond, circle the violent interaction with locked arms, maintain non-aggressive body posture and peaceful energy, and support the person suffering abuse, trying to ease that person out of the potentially violent situation and peacefully encouraging the trouble-maker to leave. The circle should include both men and women, and even children, in order to defuse the situation! IF it escalates CALL 911! Adopted by consensus, training and mock demos will take place in camp. Those with experience are invited to help teach non-violent communication tactics for interfacing with the public, co-workers, dissenters, and the world.

V. Direct Actions/Next Steps
Thursday:
“Occupy the Oval” Student March with general public, will join back up at the courthouse lawn at 3:30.

Where do you suppose you can find more info?? You got it… OccupyMissoula.org.

Tomorrow (Tuesday): “Take Out the Trash March.” Community responsibility and outreach. March with signs around town during rush hour picking up trash.

****By consensus: 5:30 pm tomorrow****

General assemblies will be held on Wednesday and Friday this week only! Usual time usual place (5:30 at the courthouse lawn)

Free School: a shout out for help organizing, there are plenty of locations around town to hold classes, plenty of topics, just need interested minds. First discussion will take place on Sunday, 2pm at the gazebo. All topics considered! Got thoughts?

============================
Proposed future action: Organize a day of non-cash transaction, and involve local businesses.

Also suggested: There is one big sign up calling out the website, OccupyMissoula.org. Suggested we put up more signs and fliers directing the public to that site.

VI. Memorial
Action: There will be a Memorial held on Sunday at noon (10/23)for Cotton Eyed Joe, a houseless man who lived here for 20 years and was well known by the community. Organizers are needed to help, and should contact Travis at the Pov (call the main number there to reach him). (Passed/Consensus)

II. Soapbox
In lieu of soapboxing, there was general discussion and commentary about next steps for the movement and how to take the camp into the winter. It was agreed that in order to end the meeting on time, the discussion would continue in the meeting tent for those interested, and the meeting was adjourned.
-KB

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