40th General Assembly

6pm, City Square

Wednesday 1st February, 2012

FACILITATION

Moderator: Jase

Moderator Support: James

Minutes: Dan

Point of Information (Scott)

All proposals must be written down

Procedural proposal (Sara)

Everyone should sit in a circle

Procedure approved.

WORKING GROUP REPORT BACKS

EDUCATION

Kat

Occupy Melbourne had a workshop at Rainbow Serpent, mainly organised by Baron. It received a hugely enthusiastic and positive response.

OVERNIGHT OCCUPIERS

Michael

We have re-established a 24-hour presence in City Square. Anyone is welcome. All you need is a sleeping bag.

Point of information (Teigan)

CBD occupation is hugely positive. As many people as possible should come down so the small group of permanent occupiers don’t go insane.

OCCUPY FRIDAYS

Scott

Diminished numbers due to Tent Embassy anniversary and  Rainbow Serpent for the last Occupy Friday, but nonetheless it was felt to be the best ever. The coming fifth Occupy Friday will be held  at City Square from 10am to midnight. Planning group is operating on Facebook and are planning up to Occupy Friday 8, anyone welcome to help.

TENT EMBASSY

Kev

About 10 Occupy Melbourne people, as well as many from other Australian occupations, were present at the Tent Embassy for the 40th Anniversary. Much was learned  from the Tent Embassy about long-term consensus decisionmaking.  The media reported very dishonestly regarding confrontations between peaceful protesters and police in Canberra. Elders and community are not divided.

Point of information (Michael)

An elder asked Michael to thank the Occupy Melbourne group for their support.

Point of clarification (Teigan)

Will there be a discussion circle on Friday ay 6:00 with the Canberra occupiers?

Tent Embassy (Kev)

There’ll be a debrief session first.

EDUCATION

Scott

Education is trying to reinvigorate itself, with some inspiration from the presentations by Melbourne Free University. We need numbers. Meetings every week at 4pm Thursday, this week at State Library. Occupy Friday workshop at Irene’s regarding logistics and creation of banners—someone with car needed. Irene’s don’t want us to just give out their address – Kat, Jason, Nick, Scott, and Cobina can help you get there.

KITCHEN

Connie

At a previous GA, Moustafa made an undertaking that there would be daily witnessed and recorded accounts of the kitchen budget. This has not been adhered to. Connie finds Moustafa controlling and abusive.

Moderator asks for a vote on whether Moustafa should have an opportunity to reply to GA. Passed with 51%.

Moustafa

An accounting system is in place. There are records of deposits and withdrawals from the kitchen. Moustafa wishes to work less in the kitchen and concentrate on networking and promotion. A gas bottle has been purchased for $45, a cutlery strainer, sanitiser. Total approx $60. Goblets from Bunning’s – $25. Food and cleanliness aren’t free , they cost time and money. Fuel alone has cost Moustafa $60 out of pocket.

Point of clarification (Ben)

Did Moustafa consult kitchen regarding purchases?

Five minute break to mediate issues within Kitchen Working Group.

First Aid & Care have volunteered  to mediate issues in Kitchen after GA. Proposal passed by 100% consensus.

FACILITATION

James

In 2012, Facilitation is going to be the funnest part of Occupy! Next meeting will be 3:30 Saturday, where a roster will be drawn up for facilitators followed by a sexy party. There are jelly beans at Faciliation Working Group meetings.

WORKING GROUP PROPOSALS

None

INDIVIDUAL PROPOSALS

Backup location for GA

Proposed by Joel

That we plan a backup location if there are tramworks here on Saturday, which are too noisy, otherwise we may lose numbers.

Point of clarification (Sara)

Where will the backup location be?

Joel

Seeking ideas.

Point of information (Nick)

I suggest Gordon Reserve Triangle.

Point of information (Sara)

Fed Square, 28th February will be large protest in solidarity with Indian general strike.

Point of information (Scott)

Security guards very aggressive at Fed Square.

Point of information (Ben)

Fed Square is private land.

Amended proposal

That we discuss potential backup locations.

Not passed.

Speakers against

If it’s noisy, let’s just decide on the day where we’re going.

Amendment (Kenji)

If it’s noisy we use a PA system.

Passed with consensus

GA at steps of State Parliament

Proposed by Nick

At the General Assembly after next, we move the Assembly to the steps of State Parliament, just to try it out.

Point of information (Jess)

City Square has been reestablished as our base. We are regathering energy and momentum . We need consistency and simplicity to help people reengage, whether raining, tramworks, whatever.

Point of information

Someone could stay at City Square to direct people to Parliament.

Consensus not reached.

Speaker for (Kat)

Our movement is progressing because we are flexible and keep trying new things. Going to the steps is in keeping with that.

Speaker against (Teigan)

We need to be focused during this period. GA numbers have been small lately. We need to maintain our focus on reoccupying City Square.

No consensus.

Amendment (Joel)

That OM hold a direct action, on either Tuesday or Thursday next week, to demonstrate our democratic methods.

No consensus.

Speaker against (Stu)

How better to demonstrate our democratic processes than just having a GA there, not a direct action.

Speaker for (Teigan)

This is a win/win: it demonstrates how we do things without disrupting the flow of GA’s at City Square.

Speaker against (Nick)

Holding a General Assembly on the steps of State Parliament is a statement that counterposes direct democracy against representative democracy. Direct Actions can be done whenever without needing GA approval. Nobody will be confused, especially if we have a  week’s runup.

Speaker for (Michael)

Shows we’re not giving up. Also I am sick of hearing about this proposal which has been repeated since December.

Speaker against (Dave)

Our GA process is dysfunctional. We need to get it right before we show it off at State Parliament.

Consensus not reached.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

BEN

We purchased $700 worth of banners on the basis of a pledge that never materialised and are now in debt. The purchasers are facing a lawsuit. Please help.

KAT

Thanks to lady who brought bags and bags of food just now! Also, we have recently had success taking over an abandoned building and turning it into a Social Centre.

EM

The Australian Services Union have largely won their campaign for payrises at Fair Work Australia. Ross House and Father Bob’s are now clean—thanks to all who helped!

JOEL

An event called Positive Parks, which seems similar to Occupy, is probably of interest and can be seen on Facebook.

KENJI

Film screening on Friday. Please come. We need more arts in City Square.

NICK

Occupy Wall Street has adopted a modified version of Occupy Fridays, called Occupy Town Square. Difference is that it’s mobile. Look into it. They have articulated it very well.

MOUSTAFA

On Sunday 5th of Feb, State Library, there will be a protest against the attacks on protesters in Syria. Kitchen equipment on loan to Occupy Melbourne will be equired by its owners this Friday, necessitating purchase of gas bottle. I’ve been advised by my doctor to avoid strenuous activity so would appreciate any help with packup and setup.

SCOTT

Workshop at Irene’s 6:00 tomorrow, meet Education Working Group at State Library 4:00pm.

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