Occupy Long Beach

we are the 99%

October 11th, 2011

6:20 meeting convenes

Facilitator goes over communication review process/hand signals for:
don't agree but not strongly
too long
strongly disagree / violate principles/ hard block

principles: non-violence, consensus, non-partisan, peaceful,
solidarity, non-denominational, sever injustices

Sonny – stack: stacks job ordering speakers also where / when to use
hard block – when discussing action use if you strongly disagree –
issue MUST be addressed such as action that would undermine the
movement. Asked people to say name before talking

Agenda announced:
Introduction to consensus
committee update
occupy collection
breaking into committees
time for announcements

Add to agenda?

Adding a Facilitation committee?
Response is that we already have one.

Talking about Saturday's Action - Start time 11:00 a.m.

Melanie talks about consensus process that all Occupy groups are using
and that some do not understand. It's a bottom up organization with
common traits:
Inclusive- all stake holders included and all perspectives get heard.
Wall Street stacks make sure that questions/discussions are not just
from one segment – all need to be heard – they get thought of others
Agreement seeking – Agreements should be wide spread or total.
Everyone gets to use their voice and this process can take a long time
– shooting for full agreement
Process Oriented
Hierarchy groups are discouraged – The way the decision is made can be
as important as the decision itself
This is different from adversarial process because it is Relationship
Building – people feel closer and there is more solidarity
Whole group thinking – we are all part of the 99% but we have
individual positions. We must reflect ALL
The Facilitator is neutral. Their job is to move discussion forward.
Facilitators can be changed if he/she is emotionally invested in the
current discussions
Stacks job is to make sure all get heard and to be in charge of
ordering speakers
Melanie emphasized that consensus can take a long time but important.
She went over that “dissent” means I don't agree but we can keep
going. Said that a signal called “stand aside” is used that means: I
can't do this action or I don't agree but I'm OK with the group moving
forward with this particular thing without me. “Hard Block” means that
you REALLY disagree with what is happening and that you feel it may
endanger the group.
Melanie got from Occupy Wall Street that proposed ideas follow the
same basic flow of what, why and how.
Melanie's personal comment was that she felt uncomfortable with the
previous night meeting. She thinks people are rushing the process.
There is strength in solidarity, which comes from not rushing process.
She questions the consensus process from previous night in regard to
picking a location to occupy

Stack suggested not to have the same people always talking. Important
decision made last night.

Someone suggested that if it is a big decision that we can announce to
come to particular meeting where consensus needed

Another person said that that was tried

Stack suggested maybe voting 2 nights later

Someone asked if the results had been posted on Facebook? Answered –
Not done yet

Other person wanted to make clear that this was not a vote but consensus

Suggestion made to have discussions on Facebook or maybe something
like that can be done. On line transparency.

Other person said that consensus takes lots of time and energy and
might be hard to do on Facebook. When trying to accomplish certain
goals they felt people should become part of the meeting.

Suggestion made to put agenda on the website

Proposal made to put the agenda on the website and or Facebook.
Consensus reached

It was noted that transparency is important and that minutes are taken
every night. Any skills that anyone has that could be offered would be

Louie said that it was good to have the agenda on website but what
about the homeless? Someone suggested that they can come to the
General Meetings for info.

Facilitator said we had gone off topic and that we'd have time for
that discussion later. Asked if we need to go over protocol?

Went to committee updates:
Logistics A: concentrating on needs for the first 24-48 hours of the
occupation. Mostly need all teams working together, establish a
welcome committee which would serve as the “hub” of the camp. They
were going to make a needs list.

Someone asked about donations. Suggestion made to go to the list
person who was present and could add needed items to list. Talked
about nee for off site kitchen. Asked that for the first 24 hours
people bring as much stuff as needed for themselves plus extras for
others such as tents, sleeping bags etc.

Off site kitchen being worked on. Someone asked “What about Food not
Bombs?” Advice given that setting up donation and distribution is
important and that Sanitation and Cleanliness important too.
Suggestion to bring all own food at first. Offsite kitchen for place
to cook because we can not have open flames at camp area. Someone
asked if food could be prepared by different people on different
night? Suggestion made for “Food Committee”
Person from Food not Bombs was here. He said that the Samoan church
kitchen might be looked at because they have offered it in the past.
He also knows a certified kitchen that he will check on.
There are restrictions on “sharing or serving food” Suggestion made to
just tell authorities that we are just having a picnic – can't get in
trouble for that.

Suggestion made for “Comfort Committee”

Sharon asked if Food not Bombs is vegan. Rep said yes and noted that
everyone can eat this type of food and that they can do gluten free as

Someone said that they felt that it was important for group to not go
along with oppression of animals.

Some suggested a class on knowing your legal rights before march on Saturday.

Alert was made that during the first 24 hours, group may have to sleep
on sidewalks, not in park.
A need was made for a 2500 watt generator. Derek asked if Rock the
Bike can be used. Someone said it was being looked into.

Suggestion made to work stuff out in committees

Loistics B – in charge of march/ march route /times
start at site of occupation 10 a.m. rally then march Shoreline to
Ocean to World Trade Center past banks then back to Shoreline
Help get people ready to occupy.
Someone asked the exact starting point. Answer: Shoreline Dr. and
Linden. We have people and organization so just get there early to
help. Will be posted on Facebook.

Media committee – Passed out rough draft pres release. Asked people to
talk to this committee if you have any media skills – writing, photos,
video etc

Someone asked if we can contact any other list serves with press
release. Someone said maybe a day or two before occupation. Thursday
is meeting with city manager.. Did not post results of occupy site
agreement so they think that the city council doesn't know. Question:
Can we start announcing now? Media committee asked if there was an
education committee? What about an Actions and Demands committee?

Consensus reached on proposal that we will start announcing and
release press release statement right away.

Civic Engagement Meeting with City Manager on Thursday. Group is in
contact with OLA people who negotiated with city.

Finance Committee We have guidelines for finance now but they haven’t
been voted in yet. Purchases $10 and under one signer. $11-49 need tow
signers and over $50 requires a GA consensus. Our account is still not
up because we are having a hard time finding a credit union that will
take group funds. We are working on that. If you have suggestions of
location, contact finance. We have a WePay account, working on making
that link live.

Rex came out to tell us about an action that is happening on Thursday.
It’s a Jobs Action Rally. It is put on by Move On, AFCLIO and is in
support of the Jobs Act that is stalled in DC currently. If anyone is
willing to go be at that rally it is at the Lone Sailor Memorial at
4pm Thursday. Ocean and Orizaba. Rex then did a bit of education on
the act, talking about political gridlock and party divisions. The Act
includes the Returning Hero portion which gives businesses tax breaks
for hiring war vets. It’s part of the Week of Action. Sharon asked if
we can have one of our group talk there, Rex said yes. He feels this
is a place where the interests he represents and our interests

Doug with Answer came to talk about Answer’s record of advocacy of
GLBT rights, Anti-war, poverty issues and to say that this is a
movement that needs all the parts and divisive tactics will dilute our
power. Answer is working with the Occupation movement and has from the
beginning. Occupy is bigger than any one group within it, we are
non-partisan and all part of the 99%.

Group Agreement – Peacekeepers will get together and make a plan for
how to handle people who come to our actions with the intent to
disrupt or discredit us.

General agreement that we want to have teach-ins that discuss how to
have conversations across the cultural divides.

Discussion of privilege and diversity. General understanding that we
need to be mindful that all groups have a voice and that we focus on
educating people about different stakeholders in this movement. If we
build this group from the beginning being mindful of these issues we
will have knowledge to pass to other groups. This is a movement that
requires sacrifice. If the meetings go long because we are working at
reaching consensus, that is what we need to do. A general
understanding that middle class problems aren’t the only ones this
protest is addressing. We are all part of this. Sharon addressed
concern that some people might be uncomfortable about being in
community with homeless population. We need to educate on this issue.

Concern that the meeting was being sidetracked by a topic that wasn’t
on the agenda.

General questions about our process and the need to educate new people
about it. Facilitating committee stepping up. Need to intro committees
and what they do at beginning of meeting.

Subject brought up that GA should be considered the highest decision
making body so that committees don’t start making decisions without
the full group approval. We don’t want to be forming bureaucracies in
our group. We need all stakeholders represented in committees. Others
point out that we have committees to speed up process to do early work
on issues and then bring back to full GA. General agreement on this.
Be mindful of the risk in committees making unilateral decisions. This
is the people’s movement.

Consensus Agreement – Take ideas to committee to develop and then it
must be voted on by GA. GA is highest decision making authority.

Wynton brought up Occupy Colleges groups, we authorized him to go to
media and say that the local college occupy groups are separate from
Occupy Long Beach.

General discussion of how hard it is to keep the committees
functioning right now when we are all focusing on getting our group on
a piece of earth. Committees will grow as we have more time to focus
on them. Then we gave a list of the committees so far and updates.

Outreach- Found a solar generator for us to use. Also we would like to
have translators for other languages that are part of Long Beach
besides Spanish and English. Unions are looking at us and are willing
to throw their support in when we get big enough.

There was discussion about the move it along hand sign. It is an
important tool, but please remember that we are here to allow people
to use their voices. We want everyone to feel welcome speaking in GA.
Maybe if you see some people using that sign that could be enough and
the speaker probably sees them too. Let’s trust that everyone is
trying to be concise.

Jason had to leave, Troy Davis stepped in as moderator.

We are looking for donated port-a-potties. Help if you can! We could
use a camper if anyone has one of those.

Jerry contributed a reminder that the movement is as much about
internal change and growth as about the external things we want to see

Then we broke up into committees and reconvened at 9:56

Committee reports-
Logistics A –They will meet at 9am at Micky’s house to get supplies.
At 9:30 they will be at site to set up tents. 10am general arrival
time for organizers. 11:00 arrival time we are giving out to public
and pre-march rally. 12-1:30 march. 1:30 teach-in, open mic. 6pm
We don’t know yet exactly where tents will be set up. Logistics A has
a list of needs that should be on Facebook by now. Bring supplies for
logistics to meetings this week.

Consensus Agreement -There was a suggestion to have a talk before
march to help focus people in what we are doing and our non-violent
methods. That was agreed along with asking Logistics A to develop a
list of speakers before the rally. Logistics A will be wearing yellow
armbands. Request to keep things as earth friendly/biodegradable as

Reminder that while sustainable is good, it is also an elitist
position that many in our coalition can’t afford. Please remember not
to marginalize people who can’t afford sustainable solutions.

Logistics B didn’t meet because they already have their tasks
complete. See minutes from the 10th.

Logistics C, media committee –Need volunteers to help with social
media! Concerned that our website is not viable.

Consensus agreement –We get a new domain name, have a new web designer
get on development. Only one person doing it right now, but it needs
to be a group effort. Group support (not money, emotional) for current
web developer. We want Live Streams on site. Use OLA as a template.

Jonah would like to put a Literature Table up as a way to welcome
newcomers. Has a list of relevant books that we all generally agreed
upon. If others have ideas talk to Jonah.

Logistics D Civic Engagement –Group is meeting with City Manager on
Thursday. Sharon urges us not to lobby as individuals until after
that. Logistics D proposed reopening discussion of occupation location
on lack of consensus concern. One hard block and discussion starts.

Doug- we should have the mindset that the city would like to repress
us on the first night and do everything we can to have the most
defensible position.

Sonny- We need to make sure our process is working, he didn’t like our
choice, but we made one as a group.

More people means less city opposition, maybe we should ask OLA if
they are willing to send sleepers down for first night.

Melanie- I don’t think we reached consensus last night, I think it was
a majority decision. That isn’t the model we are using.

Is there a deadline we can work with on this issue?

Sophie- we need another sign that is between the hard block and the I
don’t like it but I will go along sign.

Chris- hard block. If we change spots we have to pick another date.

In logistic D we discussed emailing our entire list asking people to
show up Wednesday night for discussion and vote and staying with it
until we reach consensus.

Jordan –Yesterday there was one strong speech in favor of one
location. Propose we make multiple speeches for each location.

Julie-We need to decide now. 3 hard blocks.

Do research on both locations and then vote

Sonny- No we voted already, we need to hurry.

Aaron- we need to know who has influence in the areas, history if it’s
development. Researchers.

Research team formed Donald, Lee, Wynton, Keith, Louie Will do
research Wednesday and report to group.

Julie- Locations could change after we are on a site.

Aaron – if people have doubt about location or anything else it will
weaken our resolve.

Louie –Be realistic. We have 3 days until occupation date.

Consensus Agreement – We will discuss location again on Wednesday
night, and do everything we can to notify all people who have
participated in all our previous meeting that there is a new vote.
Lee, Micky and Sharon will write an email to whole group. Sonny will
post on Facebook page and tweet about it.