Minutes of the 60th Occupy Detroit General Assembly, April 28, 2012

Minutes of the 60th Occupy Detroit General Assembly, April 28, 2012

Facilitator: Christine
Stack: Sonya
Minutes: Hans
Time Keeper: Barb

• welcome
• approve agenda
• Working Group report back
• Announcements
• Small Group Breakout
• Proposals
• Closing

Agenda approved

Direct action
Meet at 7pm,
Working on a few campaigns around victims of foreclosure, a large protest around Bank of America May 9th. Planning for a May 2nd protest, bottom lined by Josh and Thomas, around the consent agreement, marching to coleman young municipal center from Grand Circus.

Arts and Culture
Focused on May Day support right now, making banners, blankets for campers, etc. This Wednesday will be the regular pot luck/jam session.

“Break the Dependency” work group
Jasahn is starting this today. Wants to engage people in the city on breaking their reliance on the existing institutions (corporate and governmental) for survival. Jasahn is working with another encampment that is raising a conversation in the neighborhood it’s in.

We’d like to lead a 10 minute “listening session” at the May Day GA in Grand Circus. Some questions were raised about it (how is it structured?).

Camping working group
Camping on May Day, joining the Joy road encampment afterwards. I’d like to see it in neighborhoods, libraries, etc. We’ve got folks in some roles, we still need a kitchen bottom liner and library bottom liner (Arts and Culture volunteers for the library)

Comfort committee
Reconstituting itself for camp at Grand Circus and Joy road. Meeting after GA today, we’ll be looking at the basement of 5900 . Also there’s the “really free market” starting at 3pm at Grand Circus on May 1.

We started sprouting seeds. If anyone wants to donate supplies or help, see me after GA.

We’d like to start our own bank account
Urban partnership bank is a nonprofit bank.

We’re working to make sure we stream all our events. We have needed some equipment to do that. We want organizations to be able to pick up our feed on May Day. Let us know if you’d like to tie in your stream to our feeds.

We’re working on cutting our meetings down to once a week, since people are working on other things. Typically we just discuss the agenda for the next GA, so that doesn’t always require a meeting. We’ll instead try to focus meeting about issues within our scope. Our numbers are dwindling a bit, so I would encourage folks to consider plugging in, or plugging back in. Meeting Monday at 7:30 at 5900, to discuss the May Day GA.

Jasahn: Camp at West Chicago and Appoline, set to begin on May 2nd. We need 15 bodies to commit to four or five days. It’s a higher traffic area than where we were before.

Josh: At our camp at Grand Circus, we’re also trying to have entertainment, speakers, performers on Wednesday May 2nd until we leave the park. Upon exiting the park we’re going to march to Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, starting around 6pm.

Tristan: I’ve got a petition against the suspension of the students who staged their walkout last Wednesday. They’ve had to stand up to parents, administrators, etc. admonishing them for it, so they need support. They’re considering a boycott of the schools starting on the May 3rd (separate from the “free school” idea). Please sign the petition.

Fuzzytech: Windsor Workers day of mourning. At 2pm
No Consent group: we have a declaration from the group that contains ten points. Looking to get a lawsuit against the Michigan department of human services (I missed what he said about the basis of it).
We need to get money from transportation riders. We’re trying to get a media campaign going, recording testimony from people on their experience.
Email: comais1@michigan.gov

Mill Meyers: Tomorrow at 5pm there will be a film and panel discussion about Kordra, the photographer who took the famous Che Guevara picture. 3439 Livernois.

Interoccupy conference is at 5900 tomorrow, starting 4pm. Speakers starting at 4, GA starting at 7pm.

Small Group Breakout
Open discussion on Public Act 4. (…amazing discussion)

Joe: I propose Occupy Detroit officially endorse the petition against retaliation of those students who staged the high school walk out.

Point of information: I’d heard of some gang rivalry problems between Western and Southwestern high schools.

Point of information, National lawyers guild letter was attempted to be delivered to the school board. It was rejected but the students read it and felt encouraged by it.

Point of information: lots of these schools already have a serious language barrier.

Questions: could we support this Monday meeting of parents by showing up offering support, maybe bring some water for folks or something?

Point of information, distributing this petition is a form of help. Calling Roy Roberts’ office is another way. The more this petition is getting out, the more it becomes clear that these students are representing a section of Detroit. The students are looking for an opportunity for another action, they are considering a boycott and making sure people show up for that rally would be very important. The student who pulled the fire alarm to get everyone out of the building was expelled and given a $500 fine.

Point of information: the meeting of the parents we may not be invited to, but the Clark Park free school we are welcome to attend. Could maybe network ourselves there.

This is a great opportunity, I’d like to make a banner for May Day saying Occupy Detroit supports the courage of and stands with the students at Southwest and Western high schools.

Jasahn: Friendly amendment: if people are expelled, we as a GA offer to mentor or fill in what would then be taken from them. We also offer legal support.
Joe: Amendment is rejected in favor of keeping it simple. Some of those things can be worked out with the spirit of support we’re already feeling.

Nina: We should be listening to the students for what kind of support they need, and base our actions from that.

Maybe we could offer as Occupy Detroit to pay that ticket. Have a fundraiser event around it!

Rakiba: If the ticket gets dismissed, I’m sure we could offer the money to something else they need. there is some past history of walk out action: the freedom school, etc. I think if we have an event we can include history about it.


We had an impromptu discussion, outside the original agenda, regarding youth outreach.


Global updates
There’s a lot coming up in Chicago during the month of May. May 20, 21, NATO conference.
The CISPA bill, a cyber “security” bill, made it through the House of Representatives. Point of information: there was less push back against this bill

There were stay away orders at UC Berkley. One of the things coming out of the demands over there was for the chancellor to resign. He did. Another demand was for the city and county to drop charges against the students. That’s being worked on.

All the charges against Occupy Philly were dropped.

Grateful for all these buttons being made!
Grateful for the work going into 5900!
For the decorations here at 5900!
For the discussion taking place in this movement!
Great discussion! We need more group discussion in GAs!
Grateful for Wednesday discussion group!
Grateful for the respect in the room!