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#OccupyDameStreet General Assembly 7pm 10th of November 2011
Facilitators: Monica & Sharon
1. Consensus & Decision making
2. Any Other Business
Intro to Occupy Dame Street, hand signals, working groups.
The Planning General Assembly (GA) took place on Monday 7th November which agreed the topics for the General Assemblies for the week. The GA agreed then to focus today on Consensus & Decision-making.
Document explaining Consensus was prepared by the Facilitators group and is now available on the Occupy Dame Street website (under Consensus section). Facilitators introduced the topic by reading from this document:
“What is consensus?
Consensus is a way of reaching decisions. It is a process which brings together the views of all members of a group but it does not mean that all have to agree on everything or abandon their personal values. Consensus decision-making requires that we share a common goal and are willing to work on issues together so that all concerns are addressed and we find a way forward. It is about creating an environment in which everybody feels welcome and safe to speak, get their views acknowledged and validated. In the consensus process, we share the responsibility for transforming our principles into meaningful change. Through the process, the group proposes amendments to the original proposals until everybody is comfortable with them. “
A way of guiding decisions, requires we share a common goal.
Shared responsibility for transforming our beliefs into meaningful change.
Does not mean unanimity -> principles to action
Not talking about things forever.
Not just what we do but how we do it.
Ensures that individuals are not over ruled
Respect the process, it is a process.
If you oppose you need to explain why and suggest a solution.
Points from discussion:
->GA is good, democratic voting is suggested.
->As a side effect to the consensus system it has protected us from a
revolutionary political party
->examples of decision – UN? Irish activists on boats? Israel?
->No point in UN because of veto.
->Democracy is not a single way of doing things. Democracy has to look
at the rights of minorities.
->90% rule has merits. Unanimity can be a bit silly (eg 1 person blocking 2000)
->Consensus doesn’t always work, but it generally makes a better
decision and better than a poor decision made quickly.
->Facilitators should be neutral
The formal system of consensus decision-making using proposals was explained, from the document:

After a proposal there can be clarifying questions. Then discussion of concerns, then amendments to the proposal to address the concerns. After amendments there is the call for general consensus on the amended proposal. There is a call for ‘stand asides’ similar to abstentions. There is a call for blocks. Blocks are normally based on principles of the group. If you need to get past a block you must allow for an amendment or more discussion or clarification. Those who block must give reasons and be willing to work on finding solutions.
Points from discussion:
->Should there be a percent in terms of blocks?
->Along the lines of the fundamental principles is there no problem with
a 1 person block?
->Who decides if it’s on the fundamental principles?
->It can be held up by smart asses (1 person)
->We wanted to create a space that citizens can contribute and feel
confidant that they will be heard without perception that they will
be used as a mandate for political.
-> Percent is exactly what the government does
->With consensus it will end up watered down.
->Who decides whose block is valid?
->Better to piss off 1 person than 2999
->We don’t have 1000′s of people yet, when we do then we can change.
-> We are 5 weeks old, give us time to grow.
->Who gives 2,999 people the right to decide for 1?
->One person must gather people around.
->Concerns about tyranny of minority
->What’s wrong with our system is not the electoral system… The
argument about people getting pissed off about being overruled. It
doesn’t matter because majority should decide.
->I have used the block once to stop a religious event. The block is
the one thing that empowers the individual. Its disrespectful to ODS
to even talk about it now.
->Its decisions that were taken quickly that got us where we are.
->We couldn’t get consensus to use consensus, sometimes we can take three weeks to make decisions.
->We did get consensus on using consensus.
->We voted on using consensus.
->SWP have a TD in Dun Laoghaire, why not use public assemblies to
decide when there are decisions to make in the Dail?
->Amendments and counter-proposals works and it doesn’t water down.
->If there’s consensus more people can buy in. Brings people together. It’s not 2 sides who is making the decisions? It’s the people
-> People/parties can go do whatever they want in a different place e.g. With banners
->The problem is not capitalism, there’s always a 1%, if there’s only
1 person then they don’t have a point if they cant get 1 more person.
->That 1 person even if they are only 1, you can’t say they’re wrong.
->When 1 person blocks, then it can get redrafted and full consensus.
->1 guy can be bought, society is about compromise.
->Like a jury, until you get the full 100% keep going through it.
->Pros and Cons for both sides.
->Elephant in the room, people don’t trust every one.
->There are groups that flood ours.
->SWP has tried to subvert this.
->Compromise is lazy.
->I agree you can be 1 and right. Some decisions you can take weeks
for. Some you can’t, eg. Garda coming to evict. Parties can only flood
if they have the numbers.
->Our consensus is working, it’s slow, If it comes to a point that we can’t move
forward then we can look at it. Its a sizeable minority each time
there’s a block (not one person)
->Movement is not hear to fix things over night, it might take 10
years. It won’t matter if decisions take a month. The movement is not
for Xmas. Don’t rush us.
->Working on things together we can take time if necessary.
Use of example of extending GA to 8.15pm as example of process.
Any Other Business
  1. Public going by on the street interested in other issues e.g banks, need to bring them in
  2. Mention of DCTU 2.5 hour workshop happened earlier that day. DCTU issue will be discussed at GA on Monday 14th November.
  3. Reflection week with series of conversations about ODS will start next week. Being hosted by outside group.
  4. Suggestion of 24 hour working week
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General Assembly – 6pm 9/11/11

Facilitators: Cat & Ania

Introduction & explanation of hand signals.

Agenda: There are two key points on the agenda: the first being an
update on developments in the global Occupation movement and the
second being the proposed involvement of ODS in the DCTU march on
November 26th.

1. Global Occupy Update: A speaker updated the GA on developments
within the global Occupy movement. The Egyptian movement, which has
seen 12,000 people arrested since the overthrow of Mubarak issued a
call for solidarity to OWS. The Indignados in Spain are not occupying,
but the movement continues, with some major successes in the
prevention of evictions. Occupy Oakland called a general strike and
shut down the port with the help of the port workers.

Veterans for Peace & Occupy Movement: A US army veteran briefed the GA
on the involvement of veterans in the US Occupy movement. He
encouraged people to attend the upcoming protest in Shannon against
the use of the airport by the US military and highlighted the central
role the war economy plays in the prevailing, unjust world economic

DCTU March: The GA was briefed on the proceedings of the previous
meeting on this topic. An ordinary member of the DCTU then gave some
background to the march and some general information on the DCTU.
Questions regarding the political alignment of DCTU members were
addressed. The DCTU member explained that members of the union support
and identify with what ODS is doing, and want to work with ODS. An ODS
member expressed his view that the nature of the camp has led to the
rapid development of trusting relations between camp members, but has
also led to a situation where insularity can easily set in. Other ODS
members agreed that ODS should engage with other groups, but expressed
concerns about the demands of this particular march. Following the
discussion, a number of proposals were put forward:

Proposal #1
ODS participates in the march and:
- in the planning process, makes sure that the march has some of the ODS characteristics (e.g. human mic, carnival atmosphere, family march etc.)
- that there is a separate ODS “contingent” in the march (reason for that being that participation in the march does not mean that ODS becomes a part of anything)
- there is input from ODS about the demands of the march

that ODS does not take part in the march

People from ODS participate in the march but as individuals

ODS has its usual march on Sat, 26th Nov, on its usual terms

A concern was also raised regarding the negotiation process with the DCTU. Should delegates be sent to the meeting with the DCTU? Should they be allowed to make decisions on behalf of ODS or be sent there for information only and the final decision will be taken in a GA? Should everybody in ODS participate in negotiations with the DCTU (problem with “inviting” people)?

It was agreed that the proposals will be discussed further at the 6pm
GA on Monday, November 14th.

Other business:

A santa claus flash mob is planned, targeting Goldman Sachs HQ.
Initially this action was planned for Friday, November 11th. However,
the date & targets have been changed. Check the Facebook Group – Santa
Claus – Flash Mob The Banks for updates.

Thursday G.As will be held from 7PM from now on

The first official kitchen meeting will take place tomorrow, Thursday, at 3PM

Cat invited people to attend a skill-share weekend – with legal
training etc. See Cat for details.

Please note the minutes posted on 11th November were updated slightly on 13th November as there were a couple of points missing or unclear.

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General Assembly – 8th Nov. – 6pm

Facilitators: Sharon & Mick. Notes: Tom



  1. Friday 11/11/11 – Carnival
  2. Saturday 12/11/11 – March
  3. D.C.T.U. Proposal / discussion
  4. Any other business


Intro – one calendar month of occupation

  • Shout out to sister occupations
  • Reiteration as to why we are here
  • Explanation of hand signals
  • Reminder to check website for all information


  1. 1.    Friday 11/11/11


  • Events group speaks briefly about carnival atmosphere. Event will run 3pm – 9pm
  • Acts named and mention of art project.
  • Invitation for artists to join ‘The Freedom Project’.
  • Call for volunteers to help in all areas.
  • Question of date significance and theme for carnival. Answer: carnival theme and global day of solidarity.
  • Suggestion made to reach out to migrant communities and anti-racism groups about the art project.
  • Offer of display boards for art. Accepted
  • Call out for volunteers to distribute posters and flyers
  • Suggestion to make all past and present posters downloadable from the website. Media team will make this happen.


  1. 2.    Saturday 12/11/11


  • Spread the word.
  • Reminder of how to invite all friends via Facebook.
  • Question asked about if there would be a G.A. after the march.
  • Proposal to have G.A. after the march.
    • Suggestion made to have inspirational speakers for après march.
    • Proposal to have open forum and themes.
    • Suggested to make G.A. après march more appealing to new comers.
    • Reminder that there will be a video link up with Occupy Wall Street at 8pm that night.
    • Suggestion to re-cap happening of week passed
    • Theme suggestion: – “Occupy Movement. Where Next?”
    • Format of the GA/forum after the march? Same as before with live stream
      • 1. Reflection – on the ODS process so far.
      • 2. How? Why? Where next for the occupy movement?
      • 3. Prepared / professional
      • 4. Inspirational stories



  • Traffic
  • Numbers / Garda liaison
  • Technical point: press release?  Being worked on by media/events groups.


Two main Proposals:

  1. Inspirational speakers/stories – themed G.A.
  2. Garda liaison; Options proposed be Gardaí: – leave one lane open or speed up the march i.e. have less/no stops.

Keep stops in key areas? Westmoreland St. – O’Connell St.

Issues of safety raised if traffic is passing along with the march. Workability.

Question of consent: clarify – not stopping us just making a request.


Proposals put to consensus:

  1. Not to stop at all
  2. One stop
  3. Two stops

AGREED: Put to March planning group to clarify and bring proposal back to GA.


  1. 3.    Dublin Council of Trade Unions (D.C.T.U.) Proposal / Discussion

Offer to extend G.A. by 30mins – AGREED

Reminder of yesterday’s meeting points. Has been agreed to have initial discussion tonight; to allow for reflection there will be a second discussion at tomorrow Wednesday 9th Nov GA; finalisation of issue at GA next week (date to be decided).

Discussion structure for tonight:

  • Outline; Pro’s/Con’s
  • Split in to groups for discussion of topic
  • Bring points back to G.A.

There is a pre-Budget march on 26th Nov being organised by DCTU and the march will be happening anyway. ODS has received an invite to join the planning committee of the march and to participate in the march.

Points from discussion:

  • Union member speaker – talks against the unions and saying that they follow the government’s line.
  • Opined that it’s crucial to join the march and reach a wider number of groups.
  • Are trade unions de-facto political parties?
  • Issue of DCTU – point made about DCTU Facebook status about sectarianism and claiming the ODS have changed their principles. This did not happen
  • Voice of support for DCTU – always worked for the 99%
  • Call for DCTU board member names and what they stand for.
  • DCTU are a large group so it is difficult to name everyone involved.
  • Relate to workers not union bosses. Not affiliate / appeal to the 99%.
  • Ask DCTU to call their members to our marches (applause) if they ask ODS to theirs.
  • Not about leaders but about members.

Reminder of topic

  • Voice totally against ODS being linked with the unions
  • Reminder that the march is against austerity and not IMF and bailouts.
  • Union member speaks – one executive (of DCTU) ­­­tells of building solidarity along with everybody. Unity.
  • Point brought that some things have been discussed but not implemented such as, smaller discussion groups / horse shoe etc…


Split to smaller groups to discuss topic and develop pro’s and con’s (6/7 minutes), groups of five. Open your mind.


Key Points from the Groups:

  1. Concern on process / being rushed. Of enlarging.
  2. Acknowledgement of fear of leadership from DCTU.  Lack of trust and need to take leap of faith.
  3. [Pro’s] 5 speakers – opportunity to reach massive numbers. Opportunity to be on planning committee.  [Con’s] large SWP membership
    1. Concern of political parties linked to DCTU
    2. Focus on quality over quantity
    3. Not bullied by G.A. to align
    4. Not forget why we’re here
    5. Against rushing to get involved
    6. Why labels are so important to unions?
    7. Not talking to David Beggs talking to masses. Heated discussion in group. Issue of banners being laid down at ODS.
    8. [Con’s]  – broadly unsure / not enough information. – Consolidate Occupy first. – Their march so no input on banners etc…[Pro’s] – shared goal. – A lot in common with union members.




Engagement with other processes can only be good for ODS There is a lack of trust between parts of ODS and unions/parties
DCTU is made up of Union members, it is the 99% (or part of it) DCTU seems to have a significant SWP participation: nearly every DCTU speaker from last Saturday’s ODS meeting with DCTU was an SWP member
We need to take leap of faith Doubts about whether DCTU reflects rank and file
DCTU have invited an ODS speaker for the event We need to remember our raison d’etre
ODS can engage in planning the march We are a people’s movement, why can’t the Unions (as individuals) get involved in our marches etc
We have lots in common with DCTU demands Not enough info
In working with DCTU we wouldn’t be working with David Beggs (i.e. the Union top brass) but with ordinary marchers who come out for the process We should focus on consolidating what we’re doing
Makes possible expansion of our movement ODS would want to have a say on issues such as banners


Technical Point:

When will this be decided upon as to allay fears of people not being around on a certain date?

Answer: will be talked about again at tomorrow’s GA, decision will be made tomorrow to fix date for GA next week when this issue of participation in the DCTU march will be finalised.  AGREED.

Detailed minutes will be on line and live stream has been recorded for reflection.

Will members of DCTU be allowed to contribute at tomorrow’s G.A? No objections; AGREED.

AGREED: Tomorrow no decision will be taken.


Any Other Business:

1. Consensus being discussed on Thursday, worry about decisions being made on major principles of Occupy.

Spread topics over a number of days / put on the back burner.

2. Point made that large amount of time is being devoted to DCTU, this may be form of distraction. GA schedule and topics have been agreed for this week so will respect that. Recommend to focus on Occupy issues more.


Working Group check:

Food: new kitchen being made Sunday, call for volunteers to help in all aspects.










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General Assembly – 7th November – 6pm

Facilitators: Ania & Sharon

Minutes: Mark

  1. G.A. Planning of topics & Process and how we might change it
  2. Report from meeting with Dublin Council of Trade Unions
  3. Groups and need for volunteers


1. G.A. Planning – Topics / agenda points:

A proposal was agreed last week that this GA would be used as a ‘Planning’ GA to discuss and agree the themes and topics of the GAs for the week. This is to allow everyone to input into what is discussed at GA.

The following topics were suggested:

-       Call for real issues

-       Debates

-       Discussion for direction of Occupy movement

-       Student spoke of untapped student support

-       Unions and DCTU proposal

-       Future of march

-       1pm GA – structure, focus, retain?

-       Having Thursday GA at 7pm?

-       Reports from global Occupy movement – daily? At one GA?

-       Referendum on the bailout

-       Consensus

-       To be discussed
- Process for voting / decision making within Occupy

-       Campaign on budget

-       Call for discussion / working group on housing

-       Occupy LSX (London Stock Exchange) wants co-operation relationship

-       Need for discussion on future ODS decision making process called for again
. Include examples from elsewhere,  others to share experience

-       Media issues: Marches, advertising, exposure
, use of online Forum

-       Fluoridisation? Longer discussion requested

-       Outreach discussion – camp volunteers. Giving camp issues more time.

Specific relevant political issues

-       Friday 11/11/11 – will GA happen?

List of suggested topics was read back and discussed to prioritise and fix dates. Following were prioritised:

Tuesday 8th November GA:  Friday 11/11/11 event + Saturday 12/11/11 march + DCTU – Trade Unions 26/11/11 March initial discussion

Wednesday 9th Nov GA: Other global Occupy actions – active protest
 + DCTU representatives present – discussion

Thursday 10th Nov GA: Consensus & decision-making within Occupy


  1. DCTU meeting feedback / discussion points:

- Co-operative march
 on 26/11/11

- Future assembly

- Meeting of DCTU march planning attended by ODS people in personal capacity for information

- Minutes of DCTU meeting distributed

- DCTU are marching anyway but reiteration of necessity of banners being dropped if they are to be entertained by ODS

- DCTU will have 5 people speaking with a large platform

–they want one ODS speaker

- General disagreements of trade union / banners / other party involvement

Proposed to allow four representatives from DCTU to attend Wed 9th Nov GA to participate in discussion. PASSED to allow notification to them; final agreement on their attendance to be discussed tomorrow at Tues 8th Nov GA.

  1. 3.   Working groups:

- FOOD: 4 hour shifts asked. Public meeting, 3pm Friday.

- OUTREACH: no members present

- Request for general assistance – drying laundry, general duties

-  FACILITATORS – call out for more facilitators and announcement of facilitation training following present GA

- Call for live stream operator

- MEDIA – Request for media skilled people & future training session

- EVENTS: Friday, large event from 3pm and request for volunteers and getting the word out.

- Friday’s event – stage, music face painting, general carnival atmosphere, comedy, poetry.

- Call for sound and/or stage experienced people. Reiteration of need for all volunteers

- Suggestion for environment work group. People volunteered

- Suggestion of Group for housing

- Actions Group – have been busy with camp duties

-       Call for more volunteers

Please note the minutes posted on 8th November were updated slightly on 9th November as there were a couple of points missing or unclear.

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Faccilitator: Paidrig, Minutes: Stephen Lacy

  • Suggestion to start a week of reflection
  • Offer to provide a different form of facilitation which gets more people included in the GA through splitting into discussion groups
  • News about the decision reached on special drawing rights at the G20 announced
  • Call for our money back “We didn’t cause the debt”
  • Call for different forms of protes
  • Call for proposals for a referendum
  • Claim that there was vote rigging in cork
  • Worry expressed that the media will create a false impression of what any referendum put forward would mean for the people of ireland.
  • The media would fear monger.
  • Letter from DCTU asking to send 2 people to a march planning meeting for the 26th of November (meeting to be held Saturday 5th of October)
  • Meeting will be held in pearse street

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  1. Run through of yesterdays minutes
  2. Run through of working groups
  3. Proposal for Event on 11.11.11
  4. Event this Saturday the 05.11.11
  5. World Human Rights Day 10.12.11
  6. Proposal Regarding ODS Calling for  a Referendum

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General Assembly

1pm, Nov 3, 2011

Facilitators: Sharon & Dave

Minutes: Emily


Section 23 Tax free rental income on property. Journalists are not covering the stories for fear of their jobs. Proposal that we form a working group on housing.


Talk about bondholders, proposal that the aim of this group should be to decommission the bankers.


Taxes – water, house tax etc. They will be able to stop these out of our old age pension, they are trying to pass legislation. We need to put out info on this and inform people, get them to rally with us against it.

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Minutes from the General Assembly – Day 26: 2nd November 2011


Facilitators: Sharon and Mark


Notes: Seamus


Intro was done – re-iteration of the fact that political parties are to be left behind when entering Occupy Dame Street.

Hand signals covered again.


Logistical points- the meeting on Thurs 3rd would be held at 7pm on trial basis.

No march on this Saturday along with minutes from 1st of November read out.

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Should We March on Saturday?
Processes, decision making and agendas proposal
1pm Assemblies – Discussion – Open Mic
6pm Friday – Decision Making
7pm trial basis of GA

1. March On Saturday

People made the following points or proposals at the meeting
Marches could have a more carnival atmosphere & not just 1 person speaking
Build march around specific events
Create Campaigns group
26-11-2011 – Dublin Council of Trade Unions March
Lack of time to organise for this Saturday
Be More Strategic
It was decided that the next march would take place on 11-11-11

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Facilitator: Aubrey

Notes: Daniel

Grievances were raised over the delayed starting of the Assembly and how the In House Meeting was the cause.

An issue of access was raised in relation to wheelchair access to the camp and the yurt and that it was felt that all meetings should be open to the 99% . An apology was given and the reason for the delay was because the in house meeting was to discuss camp issues & to deal with issues within the camp.

In regards to accessibility various responses were given , though wheelchair access wasn’t necessarily overlooked assurance was given that this raised concern will be dealt with. Also Reasons for the positioning of the yurt was due to the fact that it was only erected during the heavy rain fall and the main concern at that time was to provide shelter for those with ordinary tents being affected by the weather conditions/flooded.

It was also mentioned how occupy dame street are trying to provide within camp a personal space area for those staying continually as it is somewhat stressful at times for the camp dealing with night time traffic.

It was suggested that in house/camp meetings have to have a more open policy but it was explained that there are certain issues within the camp that can only be dealt with within the camp, like security etc.

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