52nd General Assembly

4pm, City Square

Saturday 17th March, 2012

FACILITATION

Moderator: Scott Day

Moderator Support: Kylee Wyotee & Kenji Wardenclyffe

Minutes: Teigan Evans

Timekeeper: Celia

WORKING GROUP REPORT BACKS

SPOKESCOUNCIL

Teigan

About a month ago, the GA voted to replace the Wednesday GA with a spokescouncil meeting. Since it was felt that a lot of people didn’t understand spokescouncils well enough or at all, a mock-spokescouncil workshop was held, run by a guy called Vaughn. It was great. The first real spokescouncil will be held on Wednesday at 6pm. People need to form affinity groups for this. It’s all about the affinity groups.

KITCHEN

Kade

The kitchen is going good, but we need more people. We had our Monsanto event today – for which we cooked lots of food – and it was successful. No food for Occupy Friday, due to us being too busy preparing for that. Also we need people with vehicles. We had to hire a taxi to go dumpster diving the other day, which is useless.

IRENE’S

Warren

Irene is now over. Last rent has been paid. We need to be out by the 6th of April, in about two and a half weeks. Some people’s personal gear needs to be removed from the space as soon as possible. OM-owned gear can be moved to a room we have at Trades Hall. We may have some flexibility in regard to the moveout time, but I would prefer not to use that flexibility. If someone could out the word on Facebook about this, that would be good.

Point Of Information (Kenji)

An event should be created on FB.

OCCUPY FRIDAY

Scott

Reasonably good OF this week, if somewhat marred by the weather, especially the music festival Johan set up. Lot of discussion of whether we need a marquee tent in inclement weather. There has been some murmuring from the council that we might be allowed to do that. Also, we didn’t have the projector, so no movies could be shown. So there’s talk about sourcing a projector ourselves. And we need a corded mic as well.

Point Of Information (Yikes)

We really need a professional sound system, for several reasons.

Point Of Information (Kenji)

What happened to the sound system we had at Treasury?

Point Of Information (Ben)

It belongs to Ryan and Nat.

Point Of Information (Yikes)

We seem to have mains power at the moment, but we can’t rely on that. Also, we have a really good generator, that belongs to us. The light was a bit dimmer than usual last night I think. It’d be great if we had a big lamp of our own.

Point Of Information (Kenji)

The council do that deliberately. I have studio lighting I could bring in, but it needs power.

COURT CASE

Ben

Scott has proposed having a discussion about this. Case begins next Wednesday; not sure of the exact time. People can either go to watch inside, or participate outside. There will be an open speaker’s forum in Flagstaff Gardens across the road. [Explanation of the meaning of the case.] On the days of the case there will also be a silent vigil outside the court building, involving a line of people holding signs saying “[Why I Occupy]. I am the 99%” I really hope lots of people will get involved with that. People should *not* go into the courtroom to cause disruption – they will be charged with contempt, and it may also damage our case.

WORKING GROUP PROPOSALS

Open Discussion re: Court Case

Proposed by Media (Scott)

To have an open discussion about the upcoming court case.

Passed

Yikes

What time do doors open?

Ben

9am-10am

Scott

In terms of vigil, when should we gather?

Ben

9am.

Kenji

Generally when a case goes to court, they have a pre-trial session.

Ben

All of that’s been covered.

Kenji

Yeah but they do it anyway.

Ben

The affidavits were filed months ago. Everything’s been filed and lodged. We have two aspects to the case, it’s not clear if both are going ahead. But one definitely is. Anyone with any footage that compromises police or council, or otherwise relevant, please forward to Megan of Legal.

Yikes

But what’s being discussed next Wednesday is about bylaws, not the eviction and that stuff. So it’s just that stuff that’s happening?

Ben

It’s a joint litigancy by James Muldoon & Sara Kerrison against the Melbourne City Council.

Kenji

If we win, what effect does that have?

Ben

We will be able essentially restart a permanent occupation. [WIDE SUPPORT FOR THIS] No structures without a permit, but we’ll be able to get one. Signs (“advertising”) won’t be a problem. They’ll be more willing to negotiate.

Scott

Is the court case going to be boring?

Ben

Yes. Expect a bunch of legal jargon, and to be confused a lot. There’ll be drama, but it’ll be complicated drama. Go for solidarity reasons, not to be entertained.

Yikes

Any other actions planned for outside the court?

Ben

No, because it’s private property. We don’t want to look to silly or angry.

Scott

Would tentmonster costumes be a good idea?

Ben

In Flagstaff, but not outside the court building. In general, we need to be on best behaviour outside the court building; we need to be professional. Professional protesters.

Yikes

Is media under control?

Ben

Yes. Nick Carson’s on it. We need to be careful about talking to the media. Legal has recommended only selected people talk to the media about the case including Carson, myself and Joel Hynes.

Scott

On the website, there’s info about the court case.

Ben

If you’re inside you should be fine to tweet – but *don’t* report any specific information about what’s happening: quotes, arguments, etc. You could be charged with contempt. No cameras allowed or anything. You can sketch; that’s about it.

Kenji

I’m going to film outside – but I needed to get permission even to do that.

Yikes

Has anyone thought about actions in response to the outcome of the case?

Scott

We’re at ten minutes. Do people want to take another five minutes? [PASSED]

Yikes

Let’s operate on the basis we’re going to have a positive outcome. How should we respond to that. Have a party in the square, what? The media will be watching.

Kylee

I like the party idea.

Ben

Note that noise regulations will still stand.

[Misc discussion about conflicting private events on the Friday]

Ben

If the case fails, it means they’re manipulating the constitution.

Simon Dicko

[laughs loudly] But they would *never* do that!

Yikes

Our case is very solid.

[FREE DISCUSSION ENDS]

Occupy Fridays Starting Time

Proposed by Occupy Fridays Planning Group (Yikes)

Occupy Fridays starting time should be changed from 10am to midday.

Yikes

We need people to get there as early as possible. The current starting time of 10am is unrealistic, and puts people off.

Point Of Information (Scott)

In my experience we’ve had four people literally organising the bulk of OF; I don’t think that can continue forever. We have to be there all through the thing. Often we arrive at ten, and there’s no one else at all there for hours.

Point Of Procedure (Yikes)

Free discussion of this for five minutes.

PASSED

Yikes

I think we could probably establish a rotating, flexible logistics team that takes the load off people, and encourages skill-sharing. The current group of people need to find some apprentices and show them all the little things that have to be done on the day to make the day work. There’s always a hundred things to do on the day. It’s a really good experience and people would benefit from doing it.

Scott

It’d be good for the organisers to take time off, so they can be more involved in the actual event as participants rather than facilitators and organisers.

Kenji

We’ve been mainly using FB to advertise, which is preaching to the converted and they’re still not coming. Although the Kony thing did well. We need to poster-bomb the city. [STRONG GROUP SUPPORT FOR THIS]

Scott

We should make a poster-bomb-the-city Event, maybe before the Spokescouncil on Wednesday.

Yikes

I think encouraging big creative projects at OF is a good idea. Like making a giant effigy of Robert Doyle, for example. I think that will attract people, and encourage participation as well. This is a public space, and we need to encourage the public to join us in it.

Kenji

You say people don’t like talking about politics. I think that’s not true. People *think* they’re not interested in politics, due to the way politics is normally marketed. We need to sell it to people.

Teigan

Yes. The dictionary definition of politics in the broadest sense is: “social relations involving authority or power.” That’s a lot of social relations. Everyone is concerned with politics, and everyone is interested in it. They just *think* they’re not. I think to a large degree because professional politicians want people to be disinterested in “politics”; that suits them just fine.

[VOTE TAKEN TO EXTEND DISCUSSION FOR FIVE MINUTES]

Yikes

I think people feel excluded due to their own ignorance; we need to overcome that and work on connecting with people in a really meaningful way.

Kylee

I went to an event where they had a typewriter, and people were encouraged to type suggestions and put them in a big wooden box. People loved that.

Yikes

Participation, and seeking feedback from people is good.

Kenji

What if we added a “creativity section” to the info desk? With chalk, instruments, and so on.

Yikes

That would have to be monitored and managed, but sure.

Kylee

A lot of our chalking is too preachy; it’s finger-wagging; it alienates people.

Teigan

Yes. This is a widespread and not entirely unjustified criticism of Occupy generally, and we have to watch it. We have to talk to people on their level, not talk down to them.

[DISCUSSION ENDS]

– Tabling of proposals from discussion:

1. “The Occupy Friday starting time should be changed from 10am to midday.”

2. “Creation of a creative space at Occupy Friday for music and art.”

3. “A promotional poster run for Occupy Friday should be done”

All passed with consensus.

Point Of Information (Scott)

 Prices of this & question of black & white re colour. General agreement on black & white.

Point Of Information (Yikes)

Poster runs are really fun. They’re even more fun at night. You see the world in a different way, and interact with it in a different way.

Point Of Information (Kenji)

[Elaborating on and supporting this].

Point Of Information (Scott)

So: 150 A3 b&w fliers, cut in half, costing $27. Meeting here on Wednesday at 4pm.

INDIVIDUAL PROPOSALS

No individual proposals.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Johan

We’re having a facepainting workshop next Friday.

Kenji

First: Invite your friends to OccFri. Second: I need to get more on-camera interviews re OM. Especially from women. Third: please don’t drink at OM events, especially GAs.

Kylee

And be considerate re smoking.

[GA CLOSED]

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