Minutes General Assembly 7th December
started at 7pm in the kitchen due to strong wind.
- brief review of ODS actions at the Dail yesterday
- discussion – ODS: strategy, structure and purpose of GAs
- ODS was protesting in front of the Dail yesterday. We had pots and pans, leafleting. Lots of attention from ordinary passers by, lots of support and ‘fair play to yous’. We also occupied the Ministry of Agriculture, the European House and Davy’s foyer. We managed to hold the TDs for four hours staging a peaceful sit in in front of the Dail’s gates. We were physically removed by the police. A number of people got injured during the night and had to seek medical attention. An ambulance was called to the site as one of the protesters – John – was seriously injured by a policeman who, unprovoked, pushed him and threw him on the ground. The videos of the incident are up on YouTube (here and here).
ñ Proposal 1 – direct actions good for the occupy movement and should be an important part of ODS’ strategy. One direct action every day.
Agreed by consensus.
ñ Reaching out to communities and encouraging them to make use of some of the tools developed by Occupy. We can help them start things but then it is up to them to take the matters in their own hands.
ñ ODS does not want to be just another group – it is not about us in the Occupy – it is about the people in the communities, neighbourhoods, etc. Occupy can help them facilitate reclaiming their spaces.
ñ Let’s also expose the oppression of the state. Occupy movements in other countries were able to use this to their advantage.
ñ Not all direct actions need to be ‘aggressive’, there may be less ‘banging’.
Reply: sit in in front of the Dail might have looked aggressive but earlier occupations of the governmental buildings weren’t – good spirit. When we come in, we always emphasise that we have no intention of causing any damage or harm to anybody.
ñ Let’s be aware that the corporate media and the authorities want to see us as a bunch of criminals.
ñ Proposal 2 – a projector on site to show an info documentary to the public for tomorrow (Thursday, 8th December).
Agreed by consensus.
We then moved to discussing the structure and purpose of GAs. People voiced their concerns that the working groups were not proactive enough and that it is difficult to take actions. It was suggested that at the Active Participants Meeting tomorrow, people propose to have a changing and rotating passwords for FB, Twitter and YT and distribute them to a few people on the ground so that info can reach people faster.
ñ Proposal 3 – Structure of GAs (brought forward by Laurence):
“1. These guidelines can only be amended by a general assembly.
2.1. Unless somebody is under suspension all people have a right to attend all meetings, and cannot be restricted from attendance.
2.2. However someone whose behaviour causes serious obstruction or disruption to the meeting can be removed from that meeting if a proposal to that effect is carried.
2.3. All meetings must be advertised in advance.
2.4. There will be no proxy voting or co‐option.
2.5. Participation is restricted to individuals; no external organisation of any type will have any vote or deciding role.
3. GENERAL ASSEMBLY
3.1. The function of General Assembly is to approve proposals for policies and large scale plans, political directions.
3.2. The facilitation group will appoint a chairperson and minute taker who are responsible for its smooth running.
3.3. General Assemblies must be run in concordance with its written guidelines. These can only be changed at a General Assembly
3.4. The date of the next meeting will be decided at every meeting. It is the duty of the secretary to advertise the date and time decided.
3.5. Decisions of the GA are binding on the APM and working groups.
3.6. The agenda of the General Assembly will be set by the General Assembly itself.
3.7. The agenda and any proposals must be advertised widely at least three days in advance. This is the responsibility of the Facilitation Group. People who attend the meeting are required to read the proposals or documents prior to the meeting.
4. ACTIVE PARTICIPANTS MEETING.
4.1. The function of the APM is to coordinate activities in conjunction with the working groups and to make plans and propose policies to the GA.
4.2. The agenda of the APM will consist of proposals from the working groups, which need to be made in advance of the meeting.
4.3. Decisions of the APM will be made by one member from each working group.
4.4. The facilitation group will appoint a facilitator and secretary for this meeting.
4.5. Active participant meetings must be run in concordance with its written guidelines which can only be changed at a General Assembly.
4.6. The APM decisions are binding on the working groups
5. WORKING GROUPS.
5.1. A working group works on specific areas of business as defined by a written mandate which defines exactly what they do, what they can do of their own volition, and what they need to propose to APM or GA. This mandate is decided by the General Assembly.
5.2. Working groups are created or removed by the GA as it sees fit. The GA will appoint the first convenor.
5.3. All activity done in occupy dame street must first consult and co-ordinate with the relevant working group.
5.4. The functions working groups are:
5.4.1. To implement plans by carrying out the tasks in its area of interest,
5.4.2. To make feasibility studies and make plans where necessary
5.4.3. Make proposals to APM or GA if needed on plans or policies.
5.5. Each working groups will have a convenor whose function is
5.5.1. To ensure that a member of the group attend the APM.
5.5.2. To organise the groups meetings and ensure that it chooses a facilitator and minute taker.
5.5.3. The convenor role must be rotated on a regular basis.
5.5.4. To make a weekly report of activities to the APM
5.5.5. To ensure that the group accounts to the treasurer for the budget of the group.
5.5.6 Other than the duties stated above, the convenor is not a manager of the group. All members of the group are equally responsible for its decisions and workload.
6.1. All people involved have an unrestricted right to information on all areas of business of Occupy Dame Street.
6.2. All people who work in the movement have a right to communicate with all other people involved. That right must be facilitated at all times.”
3.2.it says ‘a chairperson’, should say ‘two co-facilitators’.
3.4.says ‘the secretary’, should say ‘a facilitator’.
3.7.says ‘the agenda and any proposals must be advertised widely three days in advance’, should say ‘ the agenda and any proposals are advertised widely and preferably, three days in advance’.
4.3.is contentious. More discussion in a larger GA needed.
5.2.is contentious. More discussion in a larger GA needed.
7.1.says ‘right to information on all areas of business of Occupy Dame Street’ should say ‘ right to information on all areas of activities and affairs of Occupy Dame Street’.
Consensus that Proposal 3 should be discussed further at a GA next week and decision will be made then.
- Proposal that we discuss how the ODS money is spent (should go to an Active Participants Meeting).
- Proposal that there is an investigation on why and how the solar panel got damaged (Active Participants meeting).
- Proposal that minutes from the working groups are posted on the website (should be brought up again when making decision about the structures of GAs).
- There was a meeting of Occupy Exchange today and the Exchange is willing to be open to us for GAs etc. (to keep us warm during winter)
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Statement#OccupyDameStreet is a people’s movement, which stands in solidarity with and is inspired by over 1,400 (Occupytogether.org 15/10/11) sister occupations in the evolving global movement initiated by the people of Iceland, Greece, Spain, and the Arab Spring. We use tactics of non-violence akin to scenes of peaceful resistance in Tahrir Square and Wall Street. This is a diverse people’s initiative, unaffiliated with any political parties. We are the 99%. We stand together against political and economic corruption. We stand for equality and social justice. This is a "leaderless resistance movement" with people of many nationalities, backgrounds, genders and political persuasions.