Past Minutes – 10/14/11 – 12/31/11
February 20th, 2014
Attendees: Marcia, Dianne, Alyce, Debbie (minutes), Barb, Victor, John Tyler
Ukraine: Barb wants to organize a big turnout at the vigil in support of peace in the Ukraine. Debbie agreed to email group if Barb sent her information.
TPP: Dianne gave an update of all the work the TPP group is doing to give presentations to various groups. They had 15 people at BUF and are preparing to present at Skagit Unitarian Church and Green party.
WAMEND ebbie gave an update on what was happening with wamend. (The volunteer outreach team is made up mostly of OB members). We touched base on where to get petitions, success in reaching volunteers, next training is the 24th, 5:30 at WPJ office 1220 Bay Street.
GreenPeace: John Tyler shared some information about what Greenpeace is doing internationally and right here in WA. Current work includes: oceanic habitat protection, rainforest issues, working with the city of seattle to set up “reserves” in the puget sound, getting large corporations to agree to stop getting paper from Asia Pulp and Paper, which has a bad record for rainforest deforestation, sumatran tigers, etc.
We adjourned early to infiltrate a fancy fundraising event down the street for Rick Larsen. Even though the sign on the door said “CLOSED FOR PRIVATE EVENT” one of us of us actually finagled a glass of wine, which was consumed as we listened to Rick schmooze with big donors. Ha ha.
February 13th, 2014
Attendees: Margaret H., Mike Z., Alyce W., Lauia L., Charles L., Marcia L. Facilitator: Mike Secretary: Alyce
Reports: County Council meeting, Monday, Feb. 10th. Mike and Margaret had attended the meeting. On slaughter houses there have been no permits so far and we will
wait 60 days to study further. On canabis: There have been permits issued inside Bellingham, but not out in the county. The decision is on hold. The Weimer request that there be more council control over contracts was defeated.
WAmend progress: Margaret and Alyce reported that there will be a meeting on Monday, the 17th at the Peace Center to train more volunteers (at 5:30) and distribute and to turn in completed signatures. Following will be the regular meeting to do more planning and coordinating of the work. Occupy people continue to work in many roles in the effort.
The Human Rights Film Festival will begin on the 19th so we will do more announcing and planning on that next week at the GA. Ronna (and Marcia?) is (are) working with Jobs with Justice to distribute information at the festival.
Introductions focused on our new attendee, Lauia, who had worked with Occupy SanFrancisco and is now a student at BTC. Marcia raised a new topic,
study area: Occupy Education. Experience of teacher and student raised many problems for students and staff as they are influenced by for-profit
infiltration into all areas of education. Students must use charge cards and pay each time they taks a test. Pearson-Vue materials are for profit
within the college especiall for GED adult basic education. Tests seem to set up for students to fail, pay.
ARE OTHER OCCUPY GROUPS DELVING INTO THE PRIVITIZATION OF EDUCATION AND NOT THE GOOD OF STUDENTS.
Are the failures of school bonds an expression of the “no new taxes” mantra that has taken over the needs of our citizens?
February 6th, 2014
Minutes of Occupy Bellingham meeting Thursday 2/6/14
Present: Barb, Debbie, Terry, Alyce, Dianne, Otter, Marcia (later), Mark (briefly)
Debbie on WAMend – petitions are out and ready to sign; we need signature gatherers. Next meeting of Whatcom MTA Monday 2/17, 5:30 pm at WP and J office. (Deb there early to give out petitions).
Dianne reported on TPP: Friday the 31stoffice, freeway bannering, Westlake Mall rally, Backbone actions – “spineless” citations to DelBene, Heck, and Kilmer’s offices. Town hall meeting Sat the 25th w/ Larsen in Skagit and Whatcom revealed LOTS of constituents very aware of the corporate coup danger here.
Deb- report on 4th Corner coalition meetings w/ DelBene’s assistant, and Rick Larsen (once), his assistant (twice.). DelBene has been harder to contact. Coalition consists of Occupy, WP&J, Vets for Peace, Community to Community, NW Wa Labor Council. Topics have been: Syria, TPP, Social Security, NSA; considering adding climate change, income inequality.
Terry and Barb reported on B’ham C to C and Western Action Coalition panel on TPP at Fairhaven, good speakers, on indigenous people displaced by Nafta, including Sakuma workers
Barb: reported on Socialist Alternative member Jordan, starting coalition here for minimum wage; temp check, everyone interested in participating.
Alyce- would like to review documents when we have time. actions at Larsen’s
Deb: report on WAMend: Edgar leading meeting last Monday, about movement-building. Fearful there may not be enough signature-gatherers, please tell everyone. Dianne to do
Facebook blast for trainings Sat and Sun. Request to turn in petitions to Occupy GA for collection, so we can track how many we’re doing. Alyce will pick up the N. county ones. Margaret has extra petitions. (Unitarian Church will keep extra blank one for photocopying – anyone can come in and request.)
Kim Jordan is looking for someone to take over Whatcom area as field coordinator (NOTE BY DEBBIE: I don’t remember this conversation, but I am not sure this is true I am working with Kim dailey), replacing herself. Debbie to table at Co-op.
Whatcom Human Rights Film Festival requesting us to table there about TPP (as Occupy).
Alyce and Sharon want to bring some adjustments to the documents to T and P.
Ronna is working on signs for all of us.
Terry reported on Occupy 12 Court resolution, defendants allowed to speak on their own behalf after plea bargain; Tee sang a song, Bob Burr gave powerful testimony. Terry suggests LTE follow-up for public exposure.
Marcia reported on Highlander West Adult Ed retreat, she and Cullen attended, purpose is to democratize education. Highlander in Tennessee is activist school where MLK and Rosa Parks were trained. “Experiencial Democracy” was the retreat theme, food security and food democracy were subjects.
Meeting adjourned at 6:30.
January 30, 2014 5:00 p.m. Occupy Bellingham Alternative Library
Present: Ronna L. (notes), Margaret H., Sharon V., Alyce W. (facilitator), Mike Z., Debbie C., Dianne F., Marcia L.
- The week in review:
- The House (Fed) passed a farm bill cutting 9 billion from food stamps and fuel assistance. There is a change in how they will fund crop insurance. Will Obama sign?
- “The gift that keeps on giving”: All mobile apps are linked directly to NSA. This includes Google maps and places you may have searched, etc.
- Snowden has been nominated for the Nobel Peace prize. A worthy cause.
- The Human Rights festival starts Feb 20 and has some excellent films. There are several venues this year. Something for everyone. Here is a link http://bhrff.webs.com/apps/blog/
- Pete Seeger died on Monday – he was 94 years old. We need an Occupy Bellingham Pete Seeger. Know anybody who has the talent to play banjo and lead people in singing?
- Kshama Sawant plans to take $40,000 of her $140,000 salary for herself and give the rest to charity
- Group in town continues to pursue the starting of a Highlander West school here. Here is their web site to learn more about this organization http://highlandercenter.org/
- Seven OB folks are going to Seattle tomorrow. Room in both cars for more folks. We will deliver a letter to Larsen’s office at 8:30 – banner on Alabama Street I-5 overpass at 9:00 – 9:45 and head south at 10:00. We plan to leave Seattle at 3:00 pm.
- The Town Hall meetings hosted by R. Larsen along the I-5 corridor were well attended. Dianne organized TPP bannering at Mt. Vernon and several of us showed up here in Bellingham for same. Most of the questions were about the TPP.
- Occupy Bellingham can take a lot of credit for educating folks to be able to confront Larsen on this issue. Forthcoming will be a summary of our actions on the TPP.
- Grayson interviewed on Thom Hartman – saying the idea of trade agreements is a lie and they are really treaties which should require a 2/3 vote in the senate.
- Sharon announced that KUOW (90.7) will have an hour on TPP. No time given.
Move to Amend:
- The Sunday session on January 26th was attended by about 30 people. It was a bit confusing as there was, as yet, no petition but talked about how to petition and some discussion about how best to start.
- There will be 2 more training sessions coming up: Saturday, February 8, at the ReStore, upstairs meeting room from 10:30 – 12 noon and Sunday, Feb. 9, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m., at the meeting room at the downtown Co-op.
- The petition is out and Ronna showed a copy. As soon as we can get them, we can start collecting signatures. Details about what to do with completed forms to come soon.
The Whatcom County Council meeting was well attended, mostly by private property folks who are very concerned that their land and their right to drill for water without a permit is being taken from them. The chamber was packed to overcrowding and folks out in the lobby. Many people held a copy of a “SPECIAL REPORT: Agenda 21 and How To Stop It” from the American Policy Center http://americanpolicy.org/agenda21/ Just the cover of the pamphlet was enough to deter this writer from going further! Marcia however thinks we should all have a copy.
A member brought up that our documents are not always clear, an example cited was that we use OWS (Occupy Wall Street) in the minutes and this is not a common acronym and that the minutes that spoke about the “People’s Assembly” http://www.ussocialforum.net/ that many attended was not spelled out as to what this was. Also noted that there is no mention in our latest documents (mission and objectives) that refers to the “1% or 99%”. There is a comment that it seems, to a new member, as “in speak” and greater effort can be made to included new members and avoid such “in-speak”. COMMENTS:
- Suggest we go back to visit the brochure (Debbie has already brought this idea forward) to include a bit about the origination of OB (Occupy Bellingham)
- The minutes are intended to reflect what was discussed and does not always include the explanation of terms or ideas. (these minutes have some links to help you learn about what was said)
- The term Capitalism is not clear in the objectives and there was some push back that the definition given was exactly what the task and perspective group meant in terms as simple as we could make them.
- If we can meet the objectives we’ve approved then we’ve done a remarkable job of making a better planet.
- It’s always possible to use wording that is more clear.
- Doing the minutes is an act of love for those who write them, an email goes out with the minutes asking for corrections and when given the corrections are made.
- The term “1%” has been dropped by most because there are far fewer who are the concern of Occupy. (1% of 350,000,000 is 3.5 million when there are only a handful, numbers vary, who are the concern of OWS)
- The term “99%” is still in use and Ronna has made a button for that.
- Ronna has a notebook filled with documents about OWS, the beginning and other such movements around the world. She has also purchased books about Consensus model that anyone is welcome to borrow. The Alternative Library also has many books on the subject of consensus.
Meeting adjourned at 6:15
January 23, 2014 Alternative Library Bellingham, WA 5:00 p.m.
Present: Ronna L., Margaret H., Sharon V., Alyce W., Frank, Mike Z. (facilitator)
- Backbone has invited us all to come to a meeting on Vashon Island, 6:15 p.m., on Tuesday, January 28.
- Clarified that that there will be a global climate convergence from April 22 to May 1…More to follow.
- NATGAT3 (National Gathering) for Occupy groups will be held in Sacramento this summer. More to follow
- TPP International Day of action, January 31st: There will be a rally at Westlake Mall in downtown Seattle, January 31st, at noon. The goal is to call attention to the Fast Track plan for the Trans Pacific Pact, which could have adverse effects on trade, environment and working people. Ronna offered to drive. Riders will be Margaret, Mike, Alyce. The plan is to leave Mike’s place at 10 a.m.
- Also on Friday, Jan 31st, in Bellingham, Community to Community: Edgar Franx, and Thomas will be on a panel to give information on the effect of the NAFTA treaty in the 20 years since it was enacted. At 1 p.m., the group will meet at Fairhaven College. Afterward there will be a march on campus to Red Square. See OB calendar for specifics
- Representative Rick Larson of the 2nd Congressional District will be in Bellingham, Saturday, January 25, 3 p.m., Norway Hall. This can be an opportunity for citizens to communicate with Larson on the TPP and Fast Track.
Move to Amend:
Margaret and Alyce attended the Whatcom meeting on January 20th. The initiative has been given a number by the Washington Secretary of State. It now is I-1329, the initiative to put this up to the people of the state for voting in November, 2014. To be on the ballot there must be 250,000 APPROVED Washington State voters. Whatcom County must come up with 12,000 approved signatures. We have over 150 people ready to gather signatures here.
On Sunday, January 26th, there will be a signature-gatherers’ training meeting. 1 p.m., Cordata Co-op upstairs.
There will be 2 more training sessions coming up: Saturday, February 8, at the ReStore, upstairs meeting room from 10:30 – 12 noon and Sunday, Feb. 9, 2:30 – 4:00 p.m., at the meeting room at the downtown Co-op. (late note – the petition is approved and will be printed by then and we can start the process.)
Mike reported that the Occupy table at the MLK Day, January 18, at the Whatcom Community College went well. We visited many people, received $23 in donations, and had people sign for Occupy information and for collecting signatures for I-1329.
Whatcom water issues are coming to the forefront. Alyce reported that there had been a well-attended meeting in Lynden on Monday, January 20th. Water quality and quantity issues were presented. Farmers in various watersheds offered to form organizations to monitor and deal with water use issues. The legal, fair sharing of water needs to be the goal of the original Tribal rights, city needs, agricultural needs, and impacts of small wells. The developers and small rural users are calling for massive attendance at the County Council meeting at the court house on Tuesday evening, January 28. Occupiers need to get educated and to attend meeting so that many interests are present and many voices are heard.
Friday, January 24 will be the next day for bannering at the corner of Railroad and Holly. 2-4 p.m.
Margaret moved to adjourn. Sharon seconded. Meeting adjourned at 6:15.
Submitted, Alyce Werkema, acting secretary
January 16, 2014 5 p.m. Alternative Library Bellingham, WA
Present: Mike Z.(facilitator), Margaret H., Sharon V., Ronna L., Debbie C., Evan, Dianne F., Karen Price, Marcia L., Alyce W.
Report and responses to the Peoples’ Assembly held Jan. 11 in Bellingham:
There were mixed reactions on the chance to meet new people from our area or Portland, Seattle. We heard a lot of words and ideas presented, but weren’t sure that we got to the bottom of things, that we had time or will to reach any workable solutions. We felt that people didn’t leave their resentments at the door but made divisive comments.
Wednesday, Jan 15, Ferndale Woods’ Coffee meeting with Rep. Suzan DelBene’s assistant Julien Loh. 10 people, (4 of us Occupiers). For well over an hour we went around the table to deliver the message that the secretly-negotiated trade deal is not good for American workers or democracy. The 20 years experience of NAFTA has led to problems in Mexico (dumping American corn, suing over American high fructose syrup) nor for the factories and jobs here. We do not understand why DelBene is considering voting for fast track. Is it money for the few or the good of the people? Ronna is compiling the notes from the meeting to send to DelBene.
Thursday noon (today) Dianne reported on a conference call. Topics included an action at Westlake Mall on Jan 31st to stand together in an international day of action against TPP. Maybe Jim McDermott could come. Ronna offered to drive her car. Debbie offered her van for transportation there. KUOW is planning a program on Fast Track, Boeing deal.
Assessment of our Friday action at RR and Holly in Bellingham on Jan. 10. Holding the two big banners and passing out fliers kept us busy. There are some behavior problems. Carrying the banners was a problem so we will roll them up as we move from RR to Magnolia and Cornwall. We will banner again on Friday at 2 p.m.
Move to Amend Report: The amendment now has a number I-1329. The Washington Secretary of State has not yet completed his assessment so the final approval has not yet come. But the group is continuing to sign on volunteer signature gatherers and to prepare for the training, Sunday, Jan 26th,
at 1 p.m. at Cordata Co-op.
Report of the T & P for our statement of Occupy Bellingham goals and objectives. Ronna passed out our document as it appeared on the 10th and the changes made since our discussion at that meeting. She gave out new wording of #9, #15, #16, #18. There was agreement that there is merit to the changes. Margaret suggested that we need something clearer on racism and that was added to objective #11. Common good was discussed. The Proposal was made to accept, with amendments as stated, the Occupy Bellingham Strategic Demands/Objectives/Goals for 2014 – 2015. AGREEMENT BY CONSENSUS Ronna will modify with the changes and post to the web site.
Whatcom County Council meeting report: Several Occupiers went to the County Council meeting on January 14th. There is value in being at the meeting to keep us informed, wiser, and effective, especially on the issues of growth management and water. The council meets next Jan 28, then February 11 at the Court House, 7 p.m.
See the Website for the busy calendar of events.
Submitted by Alyce Werkema
JANUARY 2, 2014
Present: Dianne, Mike, Sharon, Ronna (notes), Debbie (facilitate), Alyce, Margaret, Marcia
Ronna announced the following events coming up this month.
- Ronna passed out copies of the Mission statement to those who cannot print. It is now posted to our web site and she will disseminate it to other Occupy groups around the country.
- January 8 – Ronna and Alyce (so far) plan to attend a session at DelBene’s Bothell office to protest the TPP fast track and TPP trade deal, and ask her why she has not yet decided on how she will vote.
- January 11 – 10-5 Social Forum hosted by C2C. Call 738-0893 if interested. It will be held at 203 W. Holly, Suite 317
- January 18th – MLK annual conference at the WCC Syre Building. Occupy will have a table where we will present MTA literature and sign up petition gatherers, and pass out TPP literature.
- January 23rd Affordability Care Act- Update will be discussed at the St. Lukes Community HEC by United for National Healthcare. 360-398-2295
- Ronna announced a Global Convergence PEOPLE PLANET, PEACE OVER PROFIT to occur from Earth Day to May Day 2014. We will need time to prepare for this and generate alliances. Web site here to sign on http://www.globalclimateconvergence.org
- January 26, WAMEND/MTA will host a training session for petitions gatherers at Cordata Food Coop from 1- 4 pm.
- Sharon shared a few interesting pieces: one from the Weekly related to contrasting money spent in Washington on retail with people losing their unemployment benefits and one titled “What a difference 100 years makes”. She shared a paper re: myth and lies about single payer – excellent talking points. Web site for Public Citizen Here’s the link: http://www.citizen.org/Page.aspx?pid=524
- 9. Debbie pled guilty to a noise misdemeanor at the Camp eviction, which leaves 2 “victims” left, Russ and Herb. Those present expressed joy at Debbie’s decision. NOISE! She didn’t make a peep that day! Dianne proposed that we use some of our funds to help pay her costs, which she declined.
- Finance: We have a total of $700 dollars in cash and in the bank. We have had a couple of donations. Herb paid back the money lent him a few months back (THANK YOU FROM ALL OF US). The legal fund has $70. We will have some bills coming due in January for the Web site.
- A discussion was made about sending a donation to Occupy Rockaway in NYC. OWS/Rockaway is doing a great deal of good in helping folks start small businesses. Barb suggested we donate to them. All present agreed that since the notice from Barb went out to the OB-GA list serve we would suggest that individuals could decide whether they wanted to donate. CONSENSUS
- Debbie renewed the Occupy subscription to Whatcom Watch with her personal funds. All issues are available from her if you want it. Cost was $100. (Our last year’s subscription was originally voted on and approved for $50, to send to Spokane Occupy but no reliable address for this was provided.)
- MoveToAmend WG: The petition is expected to come out of the Sec of State by mid-January and then can start collecting petition signatures. Debbie agreed to assist with collecting data and will attend the next meeting of MTA-Whatcom. We will need 12,000 signatures in Whatcom County. The training is announced above. There is letter you may sign at: http://www.citizens-against-citizens-united.com/
- TPP WG: It is expected that Fast Track will come up for vote after House convenes on January 7. There is a rush to educated folks about this trade deal and fast track. Ronna and Alyce will attend a meeting with DelBene on Jan 8. PROPOSAL: OCCUPY BELLINGHAM will rally with our banners, signs and light panels every Friday (10, 17, 24) on the intersection of Holly and RR at 2 pm. At 4 pm, we will march to the Vigil site and display our light panels. CONSENSUS Debbie will work on press release, Ronna will ask Judith Greene to photograph the events, and we will attempt to participate in a “Twitter Storm”. Clarification that the Senate will get this vote after it gets through the House (or not). We need to stop it at the House level. Our TPP light panels were on display in Seattle during Obama’s visit last month. On January 31st (the international day of action on TPP) we will discuss at a later date whether OB wants to join a Seattle action with Backbone help to award a “spineless award” to the Congressman from the 8th congressional district who is strongly supportive of this deal. We discussed whether Larsen should receive this award and we agreed to hold off seeing how he votes.
- Task and Perspective WG: Discussed the objectives and Ronna will present to the GA online this coming week for discussion at GA on the 10th. We discussed general topics related to where we’re headed. New books mentioned were: Thom Hartman “The Crash of 2016”, Ellen Brown “Web of Debt”, article/interview by Chris Hedges “The Pathology of the Rich Revisited” and the video is here https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=L6unS2JF8TA Book by Yuval Levin “The Great Debate: Edmund Burke, Thomas Paine and the Birth of Right and Left”. We continually seek to build alliances and look for a “project”. The worker issues in our County and the jail were cited as worthy. Dianne noted that she is on the TPP conference calls and Ronna noted that she is on the INTEROCCUPY list serve.
Meeting adjourned at 6:00 pm.
DECEMBER 19, 2013
Marcia (Facilitate), Alyce, Mike, Dianne, Frank, Ronna (notes), Sharon, Margaret
ANNOUNCEMENTS – none
TPP: Dianne reports on a conference call with Kristen Beifus. There is an intended vote on Fast Track on January 7. The longer we can hold it off by flooding papers and congresspersons with letters and protest. There is a planned protest against NAFTA on Friday January 31 by the Mexican community. Dianne suggests we stage a protest every Friday with our TPP banners and light panels. Agreed to take this to the TPP working group to plan details with publicity nda start on Jan 10. This is the 20th year anniversary of NAFTA. The National organization is working on building alliances. ACTION: Flood congresspersons with phone calls and letters tell them NO FAST TRACK and NO TO TPP. Work with Community Community to build alliance. January 11 C2C will host a Regional Social Forum Dialogue from 10-5. Details to follow. Ronna will post as many events as she can find to the calendar.
MOVETOAMEND: Margaret and Alyce reported. There will be a training meeting on January 26 at the Cordata Food Coop. IT will be the kick-off for getting signatures for the WA State ballot initiative. Kim Jordan from WAMEND will be here to help educate the participants. Margaret will put this event into the Coop calendar, Alyce will take it to the Whatcom Dems. Ronna/Sharon will take it to the Coal activist meeting. Kim Jordan will arrange a time to get on the agenda at ReSources monthly coal activist meeting.
Marcia introduced an article about the US Economy that is one big hedge fund. Ronna will attach the link to these minutes. http://www.nationofchange.org/us-economy-one-big-hedge-fund-1387290696
Cancel General Assembly on December 26. Hold GA on January 2. CONSENSUS
Adopt the OCCUPY BELLINGHAM “Prologue and Mission Statement” presented by the Taks and Perspective Working Group. CONSENSUS It is inserted in its entirety into these minutes. Ronna will put it on the web site and send to other national Occupy groups.
PROLOGUE – WHAT MADE US MAD IN THE FIRST PLACE
The financial crisis that exploded in 2008 is not past but prologue. We have lived through decades of deregulation, deunionization, privatization and free-trade agreements. Many, in positions of power, project the idea of the “free” market into every corner of our nation’s life. In order to perpetuate this belief, they spread the idea that we “have an excess of democracy”. The stunning rise, fall, and rescue of Wall Street in the bubble-and-bailout era was the coming-out party for the network of looters who sit at the hub of American political and economic power. For instance:
- The largest players in the financial/corporate industries and the politicians who do their bidding have, for a generation, transferred wealth upward through increasingly complex financial mechanisms and maneuvers, leading to corruption throughout our economic system.
- Via the cult of Ayn Rand, Alan Greenspan and the propaganda of “free market” ideologues, American citizens have been and are being bamboozled into supporting strategies that have transferred billions to Wall Street while creating food shortages around the world.
- The Corporate Elite now dominate politics and kill labor unions.
- Indentured politicians and investment bankers are privatizing America’s infrastructure.
- Healthcare For All was abandoned to accommodate private insurance and drug companies.
- Our world has reached a stage where fewer and fewer individuals hold more and more of the wealth and the rest of us are falling into hunger, homelessness, and all the degradations of poverty.
The Occupy Movement is part of a growing group of people who are no longer willing to tolerate the tyranny of the few at the expense of the many. To quote Senator Elizabeth Warren, “The system is rigged against you.”
See also original OWS documents:
OCCUPY BELLINGHAM MISSION STATEMENT
Occupy Bellingham is an autonomous non-violent community-based movement begun on October 2011 that stands in solidarity with the intent and purpose of OWS begun on September 17, 2011 and Occupy movements across the country and the world.
Our mission is to peacefully call out, expose and oppose the unregulated corporate and capitalist economic structure(s) that are derailing America’s Democracy, further oppressing our citizens and causing a collapse of the ecological life structure of the planet. These structures now seek corporate sovereignty over nations and the people of this earth. We seek to educate the greater community and ourselves about ways to transition from our current system based on power and greed resulting in wealth for a few and misery for the many to building a new system based on the values of justice and human rights that lift up communities and heal the planet. We willingly and courageously accept responsibility of co-creating a more loving, vibrant, resilient and democratic Whatcom County.
Occupy Bellingham will accomplish this mission by,
- Standing in solidarity with other occupations, movements and organizations with a similar purpose throughout the world and,
- Giving support to and engaging with other local movements in their pursuit of peace and a sustainable earth for 7 generations, and
- In accordance with our vision established November 2012: “I want Justice and I want Democracy”, we will have clear, strategic objectives/demands/goals to direct our future actions.
See also original OWS documents:
Adopted at OCCUPY BELLINGHAM General Assembly by consensus on 12/19/2013
Make Friday’s an action day to protest TPP. Temperature check in consensus and TPP working group will work out details. Debbie’s return will be crucial to this action
Video showing was set up and the group watched a 25 minutes documentary by MoveToAmend titled “Legalize Democracy”. We then watched a brief portion of the training video that will be the crux of the petition gathering training to come. All agreed it had very useful information about the best practices for gathering signatures.
Meeting adjourned at 6:00 pm.
GA December 12, 2013
Dianne (facilitate), Ronna, (notes), Alyce, Mike, Sharon, Marcia
ANNOUNCEMENTS: Ronna notes that Dianne paid this month rent. Donations have helped all payers (Marcia, Ronna, Alyce and Dianne) defray their cost.
Marcia announced that there would be a First Congregational Vigil on 12/14 from 5-6
Marcia announced a project starting at WWU Adult Education for a retreat in the spring that will be about Democracy, connecting and possibly creating a Highlanders West institute.
REPORTS: TPP WG (Dianne, Ronna, Debbie)… Dianne spoke by request to the Fidalgo Dems on Tuesday 12/17 and Ronna accompanied for IT support. There is a move underfoot to rent the Lincoln Theater in Mt. Vernon and ask our Federal Reps (DelBene, Larsen, Murray and Cantwell) to come speak to the public as to why the TPP and “Free” trade in general is such a good idea. The objective would be to find an opposing point of view and fill the hall with interested public. Dianne mentioned this to Larsen’s rep Thomas Boucher with whom we met today (see below). Group is asked to think about what Occupy could do to further hold “their feet to the fire”.
TOWN HALL WG (Debbie and Barb) Subjects covered were
- Social Security by Dianne and the “ask” was (1) Do not put Soc Security on the table when discussing budget cuts;(2) Do not tie raises to the CPI but rather the CPIE which would grow the program and benefits ;(3) Raise the cap on payroll deductions and (4) Show more leadership.
- TPP – Dianne presented and reviewed the main talking points with the “ask” (1) No to Fast Track authority (probably will not come to vote before the break) and (2) NO on TPP
- Syria – Gene from VFP made the “ask” for(1) increase in humanitarian aid to refugees and displaced persons within Syria (2) Support HR 3526 to support and increase human aide and (3) Do not support Section 1251 (that we can go into Syria to support overthrow of Assad by using “any means necessary”.
- NSA – Barb presented the “ask” for (1) leadership and (2) bring back a Church type committee to provide oversight and regulation to this increase in citizen surveillance and (3) the USA Freedom act needs to go further.
Ronna reported that DelBene’s office was unable to meet over this break but would get back to her about a later date. As of this writing, this has not happened. Stay tuned!
MOVE TO AMEND WG (Alyce and Margaret) Margaret attended training in Seattle having to do with gathering petition signatures. She obtained a survey and is currently interviewing folks about their knowledge of MTA. They are working on getting out to local organizations to inform and recruit potential signature gatherers.
PROPOSAL: Spend one hour next week in GA and then 1 hour showing a film about MTA. Consensus.
ENVIRONMENTAL WG: (Ronna and Sharon will start) Ronna expressed concern that there is so much to attend to in this area and a larger Occupy presence is needed. Ronna summarized some of the last activist meeting but it is such a large agenda she can barely keep up. There is an oil terminal proposed for Vancouver, WA and she will get the scoping information out to the group.
DIRECT ACTION WG: (Herb) As was noted in the minutes from last week Herb will try to keep us informed about the next journey to protest to megaloads coming through Oregon.
Proposal : For Mission statement, T&P will work on it tomorrow to integrate the latest input and bring to GA on 12/19/2013.
Meeting adjourned at 6:00 pm
DECEMBER 5, 2013
Present: Ronna (notes), Alyce (facilitates), Sharon, Ottar, Victor, Herb, terry, Mike, Marcia, Dianne
Ronna obtained 2 new DVD documentaries: - Legalize Democracy from Move To Amend about their efforts and American Autumn from OccuDoc.org about the Occupy Movement today. This spurred a comment that Alternative Library would be happy to host a film series.
Coal activist meeting at 6:30 on Monday 12/9
Food No t Bombs is hosting speaker tonight at WWU Communications 125 at 7:00
- The Bellingham 4 is now down to two. The hearing to take place this week was postponed due to illness of the attorney.
- Herb reported on the direct action taking place in Umatilla opposing the megaload transport to the Tars Sands fields via local roads. These huge loads are over 300 feet long and can only travel the roads at specified times. The protest has stopped them for 2 – 3 days, which turns into more as they have to wait for permission to travel. Russ donated his van to transport folks who are interested in this action. The van stopped along the way to pick up light panels, light projection and other displays form the Backbone Campaign on Vashon Island. . Herb could not specify when the next direct action to Umatilla will be. He indicated that the second load would try to move around December 25 and then the 3rd load on Jan 6. Herb will send out word and details when he knows for sure. Discussion results:
- It was noted that the snow in N.D. is black from the Baaken fields.
- Also noted that it is documented that Williston ND is suffering from “Boom Town Syndrome”.
- Some discussion about the difference on Tars Sands oil (Bitumen) from the fracking oil taken from the Baaken fields. “We’re at a stage where we need to look at alternatives to dirty fuel.”
- Noted that ALEC is pushing to get a monthly fee from customers in S. CA. for putting solar arrays on their homes.
- Because of the jobs propaganda it is hard to get support from poor folks who are seeking work. December 23 is the deadline for Pres. Obama to sign on to building the XL Pipeline through the US
- WA MTA is meeting every other Monday. The local group is now an official affiliate of MTA. Wording for the petition will be finalized on January 20 and WAMEND will begin to organize signature gathering. This will be a volunteer effort so we are all asked to recruit volunteers for this petition drive.
- The Seattle Times had an op-ed piece by Jon Talton arguing against the TPP. Dianne wrote a response to him thanking him for the piece and sending along other pertinent information. The City Club in Bellingham will attempt to get a national speaker to talk about the TPP –
- Dianne has been asked to address the FIdalgo Dems after they heard her talk on the Joe Show – it will be Tuesday 12/9. Ronna will accompany her and attend to the technology for sowing the PowerPoint show made by Kristen.
- Sharon passed around a Newsletter from Jim Hightower titled the Hightower Lowdown. Ronna will put this web site on the link page to Good Reads.
PROPOSAL: Occupy Bellingham accept the submitted version of the Prologue and Mission Statement as put forth by the Task and Perspective Working Group. Much discussion ensued which resulted in a motion to table to proposal and go back to the WG to make the language more readable. This was accepted by consensus.
November 21, 2013
Ronna (notes), Alyce (facilitator)
Brief “go-around” with introduction and what’s up for us this past week. The following comments were made:
- The Legislative meeting with Rick Larsen aide was cancelled for this week.
- Ty is making more connections and will work with C2C on making a video.
- MTA – working on identifying organizations to present the action coming up for gathering petition signatures after the first of the year. Agreement that they are welcome to come to Occupy next month and present their needs.
- Germany has expressed interest in talking with Snowdon to understand how the hacking of their high officials was done.
- Greenpeace activists were released.
- Karl Marx was an advisor to Abraham Lincoln
Introduction of the pre-proposal to accept the Prologue and Mission statement presented by the Task and Perspective working group. Vote to be taken on GA December 5. In the interim, Ronna will send it out to the membership for feedback.
By consensus, the meeting was adjourned at 5:15 in order to attend the vigil for Philippine people sponsored by 350.org.
November 14, 2013 Occupy Bellingham GA at The Alternative Library at 5 p.m.
Present: Marcia, Ronna, Alyce, Mike, Margaret, Frank, Ty, Michelle, Michael, Moderator: Marcia; Secretary. Alyce; Stack, Ronna
We began with a Go Around for each person to introduce him or herself and to give a brief statement of what has been important this week. Ty is new to Bellingham, has found us through our website and is ready to learn more about this area. Michael and Michelle are WWU students who are among eight who attended a Powershift Conference in Pittsburgh and who now are working with the Cascade Climate Network. This was a powerful awakening as they met people from Rising Tide and 6,000 youth activists. Margaret reported on ongoing Move to Amend Whatcom organizing for the coming year and the initiative to present to voters. Alyce showed the petition for back ground checks for gun purchases in Washington. Marcia spoke of her thinking of her role in this group and of the importance of being civil and respectful to all.
Agenda: REPORT ON THE POWER SHIFT CONFERENCE IN PITTSBURGH, which OB helped to support students to attend. Pittsburgh was the chosen location because of fracking going on within the city. They gathered with 6,000 young people who had interest in environmental problems and climate change activism, who marched to the city hall and saw German shepherd dogs facing them as they sang “This Little Light of Mine”. Michelle took away that environmental problems are tied to social justice. Michael’s take away was that there is power numbers of people.
TPP REPORT: Dianne reported on the hour on Joe Show on Wednesday with Edgar Franks, Krisitn Biefus and Dianne. It was an opportunity to tell local people of the looming trade pact that is being secretly prepared to present to Congress. Debbie has an article on the topic in Whatcom Watch and a letter to the editor in the Weekly. Edgar is going to Bali to the next round on climate change. On Wednesday, November 20th at 6:30 p.m. there will be a teach-in at WWU Communications Building, room 115. Ty had followed information from our website to get up to speed on damage done by these trade deals. The freeway bannering on the 12th was attended by 9 activists, all signs were displayed and pizza was offered at 5:00 pm.
TASKS AND PERSPECTIVES: Ronna reported on last Friday’s meeting to develop OB vision, mission and objectives. The group has come up with preliminary language and will work tomorrow on refining a statement to present to the GA next Thursday, Nov. 21st.
Power Past Coal: Ronna reported on the meeting held on the 11th. They are beginning to tackle the issue of moving oil via train and there are a couple of workshops and forums activists might be interested in attending. Ronna will post these events to the Occupy Bellingham calendar.
- Monday, Nov 18, Whatcom Peace and Justice Center, 6 p.m.
- Monday, November 18th at 7 p.m. Unitarian Fellowship. Workers will report about current labor struggles
- November 18th Climate action workshop at 5:30 at RE Sources to integrate current thinking about train transport of fossil fuel.
- November 20 at 12 noon. World Issues Forum at Fairhaven College will feature Jay Julius (of Lummi Nation) speaking of their treaties and sacred land at Cherry Point
- Nov. 20th at 6:30 TPP Presentation at WWU Communications facility room #115. By Robin Everett of the Sierra Club
- Nov. 21st at 7:00 pm National Health Care for All will present about the Veterans Health Care as a model for the country.
November 7, 2013 OCCUPY BELLINGHAM GA – Alternative Library
Present; Penny, Ronna (notes), Dianne (facilitator), Margaret, Ottar, Mike, Debbie
Go Around for one minute:
- Most comments centered on the County Council election outcome.
- Nice to know that the election of the council was a plebiscite on the proposed coal terminal.
- “Be aware that the whole world is watching us”
- “Big money can sink anything (I-522 or GMO labeling) and how easily people are bamboozled. I am disappointed but won’t stop and will carry on.”
- “We may be bamboozled but we might be able to do something in Whatcom County – make it a GMO free zone as Friday Harbor did something like that.”
Announcements about upcoming events were made. These events are on the OB calendar.
WAMEND – Margaret reported that starting January 1 signatures will be gathered for a citizen’s petition to the WA State legislature to Amend the Constitution and say that corporations are not people. The first action is to gather volunteers (they will not be paid) to work on signature gathering for the petition, once the required number of signatures are gathered it will go on to the ballot and the work will entail “getting out the vote”.
TPP WORKING GROUP (Debbie), We are working very hard. Debbie submitted an article to the Whatcom Watch. Gearing up for November 12 and the freeway bannering where we will have pizza and information about TPP. On November 20 there will be a presentation at WWU by Robin Everett on the TPP. Eddie is working with us to get students involved. Debbie and Dianne will be on the conference call tomorrow and will clarify the December 3 action.
Task and Perspective WG: Ronna reported that the mission statement is almost complete and we will work on a prologue statement to express the reason Occupy came into being.
Students from the Power Sift conference are ready to attend OB-GA and report about their experience. Ronna will contact and set a date. Consensus for this.
PROPOSAL: Occupy Bellingham request a 15-minute presentation about the Community Bill of Rights being proposed by Stand Up Whatcom. There was consensus on this by the group. Ronna will contact Stony Bird to arrange – probably in December.
October 31, 2013 Alternative Library. OCCUPY BELLINGHAM GA
Margaret, Alyce, Terry, Ottar, Mike, Mark, Debbie (facilitator), Ronna (notes), Marcia
- Ronna showed some books she has obtained related to the consensus process. One book was donated to the Alternative Library in OB name and is available for loan. Ronna will loan the remaining books to anybody from OB. Alyce borrowed one (by Starhawk).
- Ronna showed the group a sign project she is working on – culminating in an action of 100 people with 100 signs.
- Mark announced that a national action is being planned for Nov 12 related to TPP. Those present from the TPP working group indicated they would seek more information and work on this at their next meeting. Agreed by those present that we could stage a bannering and light panel brigade on the pedestrian overpass on that day and set up our tent and provide pizza. Will propose it next week, if necessary.
- Margaret indicated there will be another meeting of MoveToAmend on Nov 4 at 6pm at the Peace and Justice Center.
- Alyce – announced the IdleNoMore/Indigenous meeting sponsored by Western Native American Students at WWU on Friday Nov 1 (for students) and Saturday Nov 2 for the public at WWU.
- Alyce announced the Veterans For Peace activist workshop Sunday, November 3 at 5:30 at the Co-op Annex on Forest Street. Elliot Adams will be the speaker.
- Mark suggested that Occupy Bellingham do something on “Black Friday” (November 29). There was some confusion about the purpose of this day. Clarification indicated it is known also as “Buy Nothing Day” as it is the day after Thanksgiving and known for the marketing strategy to kick of the buying spree of the holidays. Comments about a proposed action included:
- What would be our message?
- What would we hope to achieve?
- What is the goal of any action we might do?
- Who needs to hear the message (the audience)
- Banks make huge profits from credit cards (which would most likely be used for this shopping spree)
- We might not want to take away from local merchants.
- Actions are good.
- Make a mass funeral march for the American Consumer.
- Ronna reports on the “Recap of the Totem Pole Journey” and slide show at the Unitarian Fellowship on October 28. The slide show depicted all stages of the Journey and the people and media they met en-route. How the totem pole gave them a reason to make people pay attention to the issue (and brought the media). The photos that Paul Anderson took throughout the journey were sent worldwide and many have watched/looked at them. A point was made that this project took years to plan. This made the point that all good causes need to have a focus and a “gimmick” to get the message out. Actions can be very powerful if there are symbolic and Visual aspects to it.
- Ronna reported that she attended a meeting of Stand Up Whatcom. This is a group working on making a Whatcom County “Citizens Bill of Rights”. This is the same group that ran Prop 2 petition to the City Council and it was not allowed on the ballot. She made the following pre-proposal: Occupy Bellingham request a 15-minute presentation about the Community Bill of Rights being proposed by Stand Up Whatcom.
Meeting adjourned at 6:00 and open session followed.
October 24th Alternative Library 6 Present, No Facilitator, Mark: Minutes
(Minutes have not been submitted. From my memory, we had working group updates from Move to Amend, Tasks and Perspectives, TPP- djc)
October 18, 2013 at the Alternative Library.
Marcia, facilitator, Ronna, notes: Mark, Mike, Debbie, Slim, Steve
- Political forums:
- Saturday, October 19, 9:30 am. Ballot issues and Bellingham School board Forum. City Council chambers, 210 Lottie. Questions from the audience and broadcast live on Channel 10.
- Thursday, October 24 6:30 – 8:30. League of Women Voters for Bellingham City Council and Port at Bellingham Municipal Courthouse 2014 C Street. Questions from the audience. Broadcast Live on channel 10.
Agreement that these did not need to be posted to the OB web site calendar.
- Totem Pole Journey presentation: October 28 at 7:00 pm at the Unitarian Fellowship, 1207 Ellsworth. Jewell James and Paul Anderson will tell the story of the recent journey showing Paul’s stunning photography. (posted to calendar)
- An Idle No More event is planned in Canada for early November – watch for more news.
- Task & perspective WG. Ronna reported that they are close to presenting for proposal and vote the Objectives of Occupy Bellingham. The objectives as they stand so far were passed around and discussion ensued. Mark offered another objective, which will be entered into the document. Dianne offered a rewording of one of them. The plan is to: 1) finish up the objectives and present them for approval by GA, 2) finalize on the invitation letter and 3) send it out to the general membership (contact list). Then T&P group had an open discussion about consensus and elements of running a meeting. Namely, that we need to be more self disciplined at meetings, remember the guidelines of hand signals and safer spaces and that our work is for the “good of the group”.
- Fourth Corner Coalition: Debbie reported that this group would try to get reps DelBene and Larsen to meet over November recess. The three topics chosen were TPP, Syria and/or closing Guantanamo, and the Budget related to cuts to Medicare and Social Security. Debbie clarified for the group the news about DelBene’s action re: immigration bill.
- TPP: Debbie reported that the WWU student group Western Action Coalition (Eddie) will help us get a venue at WWU for November 18, 19 or 20. Robin Everett from Sierra Club will present the Slide Show. When the date is known we will flier and post to the web site.
- YES on 522: Debbie reported that Haggens, Wall Mart and Fred Mayer were targeted for passing out fliers and all together 130 fliers were passed out. She and Dianne were asked to leave at Wall Mart and Fred’s as the passed out fliers near the entrance (private property). Debbie thought it worked better when working in the parking lot. The Movie Genetic Roulette will show tonight at the Bellingham Library at 7:30. Mike has offered to help table. Ronna and Debbie tabled at both Co-op stores over the past 2 weeks. Ronna reported that Alyce had 15 in attendance at the Lynden library on Wednesday evening.
- TACOMA SCOPING FOR LONGVIEW COAL TERMINAL: Mark reported on the rally outside the Tacoma scoping for the Longview Coal terminal. There were 250 in attendance; it was lively with many Backbone props that we are used to seeing. Ronna received a report from FUSE WASHINGTON “There were 850 people in attendance at the hearing and 750 were opposed to the terminals. We ruled the speaking testimony with 50 speakers opposed and 12 in support”.
DISCUSSION ON CHANGING GA MEETING TIME: Debbie helped us wade through the Doodle poll that was done this week. There were 6 replies with no clear time indicated that was best for the whole group. Several ideas were discussed:
- There is really no conflict with Alternative Library Friday night events.
- Friday evenings are not good for many of the group for personal reasons.
- It is important to consider working schedules, which makes day times difficult.
- Ronna offered to help Alyce with a ride back home after dark. All were agreed that “OB needs her”.
- Another Doodle poll will be offered to the entire contact list when the objectives and letter are finalized and sent.
The group agreed by consensus to change, as an experiment, GA to Thursday from 5:00 – 6:30.
Ronna will change the calendar and post to the Google group. Debbie will announce to the contact list.
Meting adjourned at 5:30. Thanks to Marcia for a well run meeting (her first as facilitator) and the snacks.
October 11, 2013 4:30 PM Alternative Library
9 People present, Dianne: Facilitator’ Debbie: Minutes
Yes on 522 Working Group
Genetic Roulette Movie Showing: Debbie reported that the movie is on for the 18th. Announcements were sent to the Weekly and WPJ calendar, postering has been done downtown, fairhaven, WCC, and we need someone to poster at Western. Dianne voluntered. We need a couple folks to sit at an Occupy Table at the movie. Mark said maybe, Dianne said yes. Mark is trying to get a showing of the movie at the grange.
March Against Monsanto. March starts at 1 at the flea market (old wilson toyota across from BGO) Dianne mentioned that there will probably be signs available, left over from the last march.
Alyce and Dianne are trying to get letters to the editor into their respective papers.
“Food Fight” on PBS was really good.
Tasks and Perspectives Working Group
Dianne read the latest revisions in the “Strategic Objectives” that were the result of today’s working group. They are looking for input. The objectives are important to show that our work is focused and thoughtful. We discussed: the meaning of “basic income guarantee”, is medicare included in entitlements? Federal reserve statement is unclear to us at this time, CIA statement too broad (could include grocery stores), can this small group tackle all these items?, It has a totally national focus. The intent is to combine it with the letter that Marcia drafted and send it out to the whole email list. Temperature check: the objectives got 31/2 votes as is now. The group will type up the new changes and bring it to the GA next week.
Last week we chose 4:30 on Fridays as a temporary GA time. Debbie and Ronna will create a “doodle” survey and we will choose the time that most people can come. We will try to have that done next week. We decided keep the time at 4:30 for next week, until doodle results are figured out.
League of Women Voters Forum:
Marc says that some folks are organizing a local group and he will wait until they organize to ask them to come speak.
Move To Amend Follow Up Meeting: October 21, Whatcom Peace and Justice Office, 6:30 pm 1220 Bay Street
We talked briefly about future non-violence, legal representation, “modern civil disobedience” (generally meaning withdrawal of participation), consensus and facilitation, welcomed new participant,
Meeting Adjourned 5:45 ish
October 4, 2013 OB General Assembly
Alyce: Facilitator, Mark: Co-facilitator, Debbie: Minutes; 7 present
Talking stick was introduced as a tool to help keep stack.
Minutes from last week were presented and approved.
(details on events can be found on OB website calendar)
*Oct. 5th Day of Action in solidarity with farm workers at Sakuma
*Oct. 9th and 13th GMO OMG at Pickford
*Oct. 16th “Genetic Roulette” at Lynden Library
Oct. 17th Scoping hearing re: Longview Port in Tacoma, Ronna will look into possible bus.
*Oct. 18th ALCOA Cherry Point Clean Up.
*Oct. 18th “Genetic Roulette” Bellingham Library, sponsored by OB
*Rising Tide: Mark attended a workshop. RT is taking a stand on climate change, indigenous rights, anti-colonialism and big banks. He encourages OB to support this group. We discussed possible “endorsement” but decided that was not appropriate at this point. Ronna will research. Mark will see if they want to come speak to a GA.
*Mark recommends that we watch “Occupy Cascadia” about the coming together of activist groups throughout the region.
YES ON 522 Working Group Report
Debbie started a working group, and would like help. So far we have scheduled a showing of Genetic Roulette at the Bellingham Public Library on Oct. 18th, created a flyer to dispel information, and have recruited two people to hand them out. (note:Ronna volunteered to help after the meeting). Alyce organized a showing of the same movie at the Lynden Library. Two “Emergency” Proposals were introduced: (group decided they were both time sensitive due to the upcoming elections)
Proposal: OB sponsor the showing of Genetic Roulette on the 18th. (This will not cost any money.)
Unanimously Approved with little discussion
Proposal: OB will endorse YES on 522
Unanimously Approved with little discussion
WA Fair Trade Coalition
Proposal: Occupy Bellingham endorses the Mission and Principles of the Washington FAIR Trade Coalition, is grateful for and accepts the offered free membership in Fair Trade Coalition, and will appoint an Occupy Bellingham member as liaison to the Washington Fair Trade Coalition.
Friendly Amendment: The TPP working group will choose a liaison.
Strategies and Objectives Proposal Discussion tabled for today
TPP Working Group Report
Not much has happened since June Training Camp, but group is coordinating with Western Action Coalition to bring a speaker from WA Fair Trade (or Sierra Club) to do a presentation on TPP for Western Students. Waiting for venue and date. We are getting info out to public by tableing at the co-op.
Move To Amend Working Group Report
Margaret reported that the Sept. 25th event with Ashley Sanders was well attended (75 people) WAMEND has an initiative in the state legislature to approve a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. Signatures will be required to get it on the ballot next year, and collection will start in january. Volunteers are needed and a sign up went around. Next meeting of MtA is Oct. 24th at WPJ. They are working on starting a local affiliate, Move to Amend Whatcom.
Alyce is Grateful:
Alyce reminded us how precious our group is and the wonderful bonds we have forged through our activities over the past two years of Occupy. Everyone was grateful for this reminder. Lots of twinkles. Recent TruthOut article shared by Ronna on the lasting changes due to the Occupy movement was mentioned.
Meeting Time for Next Week and Future GA’s
We discussed conflicts with Alternative Library friday evening events, core people and their schedules, parking issues, folks that work. We decided to try 4:30 for next week and see how it goes. For future meetings, Ronna and Debbie will try to form a “Doodle”. and see what works for people.
September 27, 2013
September 20, 2013
Occupy Bellingham GA at Alternative Library
Ottar, Mike, Ronna (notes), Alyce, Donna, Marcia, Slim
Introductions were made – the group met Slim and all introduced themselves.
- Strike is possible at BTC – stay tuned via email, Facebook and the web site. Three issues, Wages, workload and surveillance.
- Totem Pole Journey – In Spokane today and will be back home September 27. Ceremony at NW Indian College and Cherry Point.
- September 21- League of Women votes forum on gun safety
- September 21: 350.org event in Seattle – bus heading down
- September 21: evening program for 10th Annual Peace and Justice Annual peacemaker award ceremony at First Congregational Church at 6:30. Ellen Murphy will receive the award this year.
- September 26th : Affordable care act is explained at 7pm at the monthly health care meeting.
- September 28th: Alternative Library is holding a book-moving brigade starting at 12 noon.
- September 25th: Ashley Sanders from MoveToAmend is presenting at the Norway Hall at 6:00PM
- Question asked if whether we could do a direct action tomorrow night (Saturday) re: TPP at memorial park after dark with light panels. “We’ll try”
PROPOSAL AS EMERGENCY: PROPOSAL 9/20/2013
Occupy Bellingham donate $50 to ReSources supporting their efforts to send 8 students to a national Power Shift conference to learn about non-violent activism related to environmental issue and will attend a GA meeting to give report.
- Occupy Bellingham has ties with ReSources and the environmental work they are doing and they solicited this donation.
- All movements need younger, educated people to carry on the work.
- The students will return and plan for workshops to educate our community about the issues.
ACTION: CONSENSUS (with amendment) AND RONNA WILL DELIVER (delivered $50 + $100 fundraised in name of Occupy Bellingham)
FROM THE WASHINGTON FREE TRADE COALITION
- Mission: A global trading system that benefits people and the planet
Principles: Trade needs to….
- Create broad-based economic well-being
- Be developed through an open process that includes all voices of society
- Insure that labor, health, environmental, and human rights are protected and promoted, and are not trumped by commercial and investor interests
- Reinforce a strong, consistent, open, international legal system, accountable to democratic institutions and respectful of national sovereignty and indigenous rights
- Promote economic activity that is sustainable for the long-term, in all countries, rich and poor
- Agree to be listed as a member of the WFTC on the WFTC’s website, in position papers and other WFTC documents
- Nominate a member of your organization to be the main point of contact with the WFTC. Someone who can attend quarterly member meetings, receive the WFTC monthly e-newsletter, action alerts and trade policy updates
Pre-Proposal for GA 9/20/2013:
Occupy Bellingham endorses to the above statement, is grateful for and accepts the offered free membership in Fair Trade Coalition, and will appoint an Occupy Bellingham member as liaison to the Washington Fair Trade Coalition.
- We have developed strong ties, have been working with them on TPP, and cosponsored a TPP action camp summer of 2013.
- This is an opportunity to work with labor on several issues
ACTION: There was consensus on this and we will make formal vote next GA and nominate or take offers of liaison with the Trade Group.
After a lot of over talking and rebuttal dialogue the group is reminded that it is best to use hand signals and get on stack to speak. Consensus does not involve argument.
Strategic Objectives for 2013- 14
Adapted from InterOccupy Strategic Working Group Top 10 Objectives 2013
- Abolish Corporate Personhood. Amend the US constitution: inalienable constitutional rights are for natural individuals, not corporations
- Nationalize Healthcare
- Establish a Strong “Commons” to protect the Earth and nourish all communities including indigenous, immigrant and incarcerated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commons
- Enact a Large Scale Sustainable Energy, Jobs, and Environmental Recovery Program.
- Replace All Entitlements (Social Security Trust is excluded) with a Basic Income Guarantee http://www.usbig.net/whatisbig.php
- Stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership
- Discontinue the practice of using federal reserve notes to back US currency and replace them with U.S. notes.
- Dismantle the CIA; end private military forces and prohibit private intelligence agencies.
- Stop the Patriot Act, NDAA & Drones.
- Institute a carbon & other natural resource use tax based on “full resource use accounting” and allocate the revenue derived from it for a Basic Income Guarantee. http://ossfoundation.us/projects/environment/economics
- Break up the Big Banks, restore Glass Steagall and Brown Kaufman Amendment.
PRE-PROPOSAL FOR GA 9/20/2013:
Occupy Bellingham adopt the above “Strategic Objectives for 2013-14” adapted from InterOccupy 2013 Strategy Working Group and modified at OB-GA on 9/20/2013.
- All of the statements above supports the vision of Occupy Bellingham
- Clear objectives will help guide our efforts in the future
- It is about time our demands are stated clearly.
- Add, “Restore Glass Steagall and Brown Kaufman Amendment” to #11. Accepted change.
- Delete #2 from original proposal: Agreed
- #5 Need to eliminate Social Security from entitlements since it is not in the same category. (added exception)
- Mark expressed desire to include Publicly Funded Elections and A free Press. He is asked to write the actionable language to bring to next meeting for discussion.
- Suggestion that this work belongs in a working group.
- The current GA is so small it can, at times, serve as a working group.
- The statements are too vague and need to specify action.
- The statements will not resonate with the public.
- The statements are actionable and are objectives from which strategy and tactics need to emerge.
ACTION: Language modified to accommodate discussion and suggested/agreed upon changes. Further discussion next GA.
- Marcia suggests that all Occupy Bellingham slogans and messages reflect our primary purpose of identifying, exposing, resisting the vulture and predatory corporations. That we purpose our actions to reflect and tie the action back to the money. That we do things that reflect back to the original purpose of OWS, the banks and predatory corporations. . (consensus)
- Donna reveals that she donated 50lb of chard to the food bank and used an Occupy sign as she was doing this.
- We could write the agenda ahead of time and pass it out before the meeting on the Avenue to get folks interested in joining the Occupy Movement.
- We should consider why someone would want to join the Occupy Movement.
- In order to reach out to others we need to get our own house in order and our personal shit together as well.
A brief discussion was held about a better time for GA. Friday at the Alternative Library is a busy time (party night) and we may not always be able to arrange our GA for 5:30. Ronna will work with FutureMan to look at different times.
Adjourned at 7:00 PM
9/13/2013 MINUTES OB- GA – Alternative Library Started at 6:00
Members: Mark, Ronna (notes), Mike (facilitation), Marcia, Kav, Alyce, Cullen (Futureman).
· September 19th – Coal Activist meeting 6:30 Fairhaven Library
· September 21st: 350.org Bill McKibben speaking n Seattle. Bus to ride down for free 8:00 Rite Aid Sehome village and back at 5 – 6.
· September 21st. – 10th annual International Peace Awards Ceremony. Starts 5:30 Maritime Heritage Park and then march to First Congregational Church for event at 6:30.
· September 25th – 6:30 Ashley Sanders barnstorming for MoveToAmend will speak about the petition and the history and current state of Corporate Personhood
· September 27th: Lummi Healing Totem Pole returns to Bellingham and a blessing and ceremony is planned for the 27th starting at noon at the Lummi NW Indian College on Kwina Road. See calendar for details.
REPORT: NW CORNER COALITION Meeting with DelBene staff. Jay Tomkus was the staffer who met with us, listened carefully and did his best to tell us what DelBene is thinking. She is “non-committal” thus far on Syria (leaning against military action), undecided about TPP (leaning against fast track), and undecided about her actions on the immigration bill being formulated in the house. She is given a name of an Hispanic in the house who left the caucus. Our main argument was about the increase in militarization of the border and the Senate version leaves out too many people already in the country. No comment on the Dream Act.
REPORT: TASK AND PERSPECTIVES GROUP
1. Marcia has done some research which seems to indicate that our group may adopt any “rule” or “process” we see fitting (with approval from GA). An example might be to use some of Robert’s Rules of Order to get through our meetings. Though OB seems to have signs for some of these processes, i.e., instead of “Call the Question” – OB uses the VEE sign for “let’s vote”.
2. Talked about affinity groups and how they might be used to pull the community together. Question arose as to who would decide the process to follow?
3. The need for effective messaging was stressed. Using social media, phone calling, emailing, and reaching out to young people. The need to move quickly for spontaneous events.
4. Syria is being used as a distraction from the pressing problems of domestic needs going unmet and not even talked about. Need to GET TO WORK – health care is a good example.
5. It would be timely to have a workshop on how to best use technology.
DISCUSSION: ReSources has asked Occupy Bellingham to help fund 8 students to attend a PowerShift Conference in Pittsburg, PA on October 18-21. The request was sent to Ronna and she will forward the request to the group. This is a group for young people to get up to speed on activism related to environmental issues. Discussion centered on how much money OB could raise to help with this cause. Marcia makes the case that we are somewhat strapped for cash r/t paying rent now. Suggestions ranged from affording $50 (reasonable) to $100 (this is too much). Ronna will raise it again next week as a pre-proposal.
ALTERNATIVE LIBRARY: Meeting started late because we toured the building and found out where Futureman plans to put things. Here are the comments made:
· IT will be fun to see how ideas grow for using this space.
· We want to participate in building the Alternative Library
· One person expressed disappointment about our agreement.
· IT will be wonderful to work with young people.
· IT is a pleasant place and it will be fun to contribute to the aesthetics.
· IT will be a great place to draw people in.
· It will give Occupy a more visible face to the public.
· We can set up and operate a table when scheduled through the library.
· Futureman tells us other participants include: An art studio in the upper space, Cullen will have office in the loft, an NGO working with autistic kids will rent the lower office space, they plan to have reading, art gallery, library, theater events, and open consignment space, a children’s room.
· Alternative library will offer assistance with holding events, promoting and advertising it.
· OB may contribute to the monthly newsletter.
· Occupy is welcome to DONATE books to the library.
NEEDS THAT ARE UNMET SO FAR INCLUDE:
Tall sturdy bookshelves – 8’ or taller.
Hot plate, eclectic water pot, or even small electric stove.
Small table lamps
IN order to use the library you must be a member which means $5/year if not using, if using the library it’s $5 per/month up to total of $100 then you are a lifetime member.
Discussion about changing the date and tie of Occupy General Assembly to either Wednesday or Thursday. Mainly because Friday is the party night and it may be difficult to schedule regular meetings on Friday. Bands usually set up around :30 – 6 pm.
Ronna will attempt to create a DOODLE POLL to assess the interest of the group.
A work party is scheduled for Saturday, September 28 starting at noon. IT will start at MakeShift (current space) at 306 Flora Street and will proceed in brigade fashion to move all the books from one place to the new place. IT will require about 100 people.
Meeting adjourned at 7:15.
6 September 2013 GA MINUTES – Public Market
Mike; facilitator, Ronna; notes, Nancy, John, Charles, Margaret, Dianne, Alyce, Mark (late)
Introductions were made
Agenda: Announcements by Alyce , Ronna, Ottar &Charles:
- She received an email from R. Larsen asking her opinion about the Syria issue
- Second Syria rally on 9/7/2013 starting 1200 at 5 corners intersection. It is on the calendar and blog site.
- Sikh temple will hold its annual harvest celebration and have invited the Sakuma workers to this event. IT will start at 11 – 1130 at the Sikh temple on the Pole Road (east of the Guide)
- There is an interview with Janet Marino from Peace and Justice Center on KGMI Alyce found it to be excellent.
- Sept 21 is the 10th Annual International Day for Peace. Ronna will post this to the calendar.
- There will be another farm workers fundraiser in Conway on 9/7/13. In Mt. Vernon
- September 21 – 350.org will sponsor 2 buses to Seattle to take part in a rally from 11 – 2. 350 Bellingham in partnership with Friends of the San Juans, Safeguard the Southfork, Northwest Indian College, Power Past Coal and other grassroots networks will BUS to Bill in Seattle! Seattle event is from 11-2pm. Buses will depart Bellingham at 8am and arrive back in Bellingham 5-6pm. The buses will stop in Mt. Vernon to pick up people from Skagit and Island Counties. Reserve your seat TODAY!!!! We only have 94 bus seats! Seattle event page - http://350seattle.org/9-21.html Bellingham Stop – 8:00am Rite Aid in Sehome Center. To reserve a seat on the buses for Bellingham and Mt. Vernon Stops, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or (360) 201-3093
- Coal activist meeting on September 19th at the Fireplace room in Fairhaven library. Same agenda as on the 9th. Ronna has it on the calendar.
- Alternative Library would like help with moving and needs a truck to help with that.
- LoveLetters4theplanet: Please check out this blog about the Love Letters 4 Our Planet campaign that is a TIME-SENSITIVE campaign, requiring action in the next couple of weeks. Here is a blog featured on climatemama.org that describes the campaign and is easy to share with all your friends with families and teachers too. http://climatemama.com/blog/6424 This is an extra effort to help get out the vote on Western’s campus!!!
AGENDA: REPORT by Dianne re: NW Corner Coalition. Occupy, VFP, Peace and Justice and C2C met with Rick Larsen to speak to him on three topics for which we have great concerns: Syria, TPP and the new Immigration Act going through congress. She reports that the TPP future has gotten worse since the tobacco companies wanted the same rights as other corporations, which is not being held liable for misdeeds. Tobacco at first was going to be “exempt” and have a “higher bar” but they resisted and won with a very low bar for accountability to consumers. On Syria, the group is pleased that Obama is taking the Syria War to congress. This group will meet with DelBene representative on September 12 at 1200. We will discuss the same topics.
Temperature check reveals full support for these three items of discussion.
Further report: Rick Larsen’s office has asked to continue these talks in the future.
AGENDA: PROPOSAL by Ronna
Occupy Bellingham support Ashley Sanders’s barnstorming presentation on September 25th with a donation of $50 to the local MoveToAmend of Whatcom.
A question was raised – do we have the money? A member indicated we have approx $500 in our treasury.
ACTION: PASSED BY CONSENSUS
Move to adjourn at 6:05. After which we had an “open mike” for anyone wanting to express anything
Topics touched on: ongoing revelations about Snowdon case, Countries trying to build their own fiber networks, NSA and their involvement in building de-encryption software, Larsen saying on his Facebook page that he would like to re-do the patriot Act and FISA court, Kudos for joining with Alternative Library, there will be a big voter drive at Western when school starts, The Bill Moyers show with John Lewis should be watched by all, Marcia is at a retreat center in New Mexico, it’s the 50th anniversary of the march on Washington, 2 movies- The Prize Net Time and Prohibition are a must see about this history, Put the jail on the waterfront – it s no good for anything else, Labor needs to be organized by community not industry, Spokane Occupy is protesting Scott Walker’s appearance in the state, American Prospect has a good piece on the “blue/green alliance”.
August 30th GA
August 16, 2013 Public Market 5:30 – 7:00
Attending: Charles, Marcia, Barb (note taker), Pam (welcome guest), Dianne, Mike, Herb, Kathy, Terry, Ronna (facilitator and stack), Mark, Donna, Otter.
1 “Go around”. Each person present is asked to introduce themselves and take 2 minutes to tell the group something about themselves:
a) Marcia, Non-violence takes courage
b) Pam, 4 issue that concern her: Coal, ALEC, TPP, Blue-Green Alliance
c) Dianne, Key words for our movement are respect, mindfulness, strategy. Check out the Moral Mondays on You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WQ1QHmpnEgU: REAL NEWS – 16 minutes with interviews: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rHpVOZQxJkw : On the ground with Mike Checks and chanting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w00_AVktfJw : Amy Goodman and Democracy Now: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hUeq2f7GZjM: A Duke University analysis of this action http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hUeq2f7GZjM
d) Mike will enjoy listening to day
e) Mark: wants to start a debrief on the weeklong Backbone workshop
f) Herb: Has a different view of the “struggle” Will report on Summer Heat at the Columbia
g) Donna: Here for the heck of it.
h) Kathy: still learning the ropes.
i) Terry: Still learning the ropes. Feels he is a “witness” to the activism occurring today and that “everything is related”
j) Ronna: Learning the ropes re: facilitation and will keep trying to improve.
a Move to Amend movement’s Ashley Saunders in B’ham Sept. 25th 6-8pm. Fliers coming out soon. Proposal to co-sponsor with $50 was tabled until next meeting. Proposal: Occupy Bellingham support Move To Amend barnstorming tour and co-sponsor the event in Bellingham with donation of $50.
b Proposal to support National Gathering of Occupy activists NatGat2 at the end of August. Proposal withdrawn. OB is listed as a Cosponsor of NATGAT2. A web site of the events taking place. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hUeq2f7GZjM
c Debbie organized a meeting with Congressman Larsen that will take place 8/21. Focus will be on Syria (VFP), TPP (Dianne) and Immigration (Edgar for C2C)
d Potluck At Mary Mullen’s next Friday, 8/23 @ 6 pm GA will be Cancelled
e Democratic Party Benefit for Farm workers @ Boundary Bay Monday 8/26 @ 6:30 pm\
f Debrief by Mark Waschke on Backbone Campaign Week @ Marcia’s will be announced when organized
g 9/17 is 2nd anniversary of OWS, action plan needed. Referred to as S17 and will have a strong focus on TPP.
h TPP days of action start 8/22 – 27. This is aligned with the latest round of negotiations in Brunei. We will use our banner and light panels to demonstrate on the freeway. Dianne will organize this action.
i Gathering to remember Eleanor Bonner from Peace Zone. August 30 – after vigil at downtown public library.
j Power Past Coal:
i) Totem pole journey http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hUeq2f7GZjM
ii) August 28 reef net ceremony has been cancelled.
iii) Legislative session #4 taking place at 7:30 (after Ranker’s appearance at Village Books) in the Fairhaven library.
k Mark asked volunteers to make a small coal train. Several volunteered.
3 SHARING SPACE WITH THE ALTERNATIVE LIBRARY:
Ronna will draw up a proposal to share space on Railroad Ave. next to Casa Que Pasa. Discussion:
a how much room is there to hold our meetings? Can that space be dedicated to meetings/gatherings?
b The attic space is limited as a space for our large items such as banners and tables.
c Can we put a table outside to promote OB and ask for donations
d We would have to staff this table if we did it.
e Can there be a trial period of a few months?
f Can we exchange work for rent, such as staffing the library, make renovations, etc.?
g What is the tax status of Alternative Library – can that help us in any way?
h Some present do not like the idea of paying rent.
i It might be necessary to ask Future Man to come to GA gain.
j More members of Occupy should go scope out this site.
A “temperature check” indicated the majority were in favor of exploring this further.
a Summer Heat – Columbia River – Rising Tide Portland and 350.org sponsored event on the Columbia river that was attended by OB participants on 7/27/13 on the I-5 bridge over and in the Columbia River. Around 250 activists in more than 100 boats took to the river for a symbolic blockade and massed under the Columbia Bridge. More activists gathered on the bridge, and three climbers repelled down with a long, transparent banner that read, “Coal, Oil, Gas: None Shall Pass.” http://earthfirstnews.wordpress.com/2013/07/28/portland-activists-blockade-columbia-river-in-symbolic-protest-against-fossil-fuel-shipments/
b Moccasins on the Ground – Direct Action Activity 8/23 – 8/25 to stop Keystone XL pipeline in White Hall, Montana. Herb will be the OB ambassador at this action. http://www.peacefuluprising.org/MoreMoccasins
c TOP Education Task & Perspective meetings at Marcia’s on Friday’s from 1-3 pm Philosophy of non-violence & measures to empower the oppressed.
d Kathy led the group in a sing along for a song learned at the Backbone Training Camp. DO IT NOW
a Facilitator must stay neutral
b Facilitator should have a co-facilitator for the times he/she wants to speak
c There seemed to be tension in the group around the topic of DGR and non-violence
d Should try to assign time limits on the agenda for topics.
e Facilitator should not stack.
August 9, 2013 Public Market 5:30 P.M.
Present: Ronna (facilitator), Mike(stack), Terry(notes), Deva, Kathy, Bonnie, Carlye, Herb, Conor, Marcia, Otter, FutureMan, Tee, Ian, Jonah and Spencer.
Ronna gifts us each with a handy print out of Occupies “Principles of Process” and begins our meeting with a reading of said principles.
Intro and “go around”
Terry- Marks the passing of Eleanor Bonner and remembers her kind and gentle spirit.
Deva- Continues to divide her time between BC and Bellingham (and she is warmly welcomed!).
Mike- Has been reflecting on the role of capitalism in our lives.
FutureMan- Has come to share news of the Alternative Library’s move to a new space.
Conor- Happened by so wanted to see what is new.
Carlye- Is with “Stand Up Whatcom” and is working on a “Citizens Bill of Rights” for B’ham.
Herb- Hanging in there with Occupy B’ham. All part of saving the planet.
Ronna- Here to fight the corporate takeover.
Bonnie- Committed to change for the better.
Marcia- The work we do is sacred. Is interested in finding the root causes of the problems we face today.
* Ashley Sanders will be in town on September 25th to speak on Move to Amend.
Looking for a venue. A Preproposal is made that Occupy B’ham co-sponsor this event and support it with a $50.00 donation for costs.
* NATGAT2 (second annual National Gathering of Occupy groups)
Will be held the end of August in Kalamazoo Mi. We are given a preliminary version of a Vision Statement that is being developed and are asked for Feed Back. A Preproposal is made that Occupy B’ham support this conference with a $50.00 donation.
*New Links have been added to the #OB web site.
*The Pot Luck with the Peace Zone folks and Occupy group is on track for August 23rd, 6:00P.M. at Mary Mullen’s back yard.
*The farm workers strike in Bow is still happening. They still need supplies which can be donated with C2C in B’ham. Please do not be calling the farm at this time.
*TPP day of action is August 22. (more info to come).
*Power Past Coal: Meeting August 15th 6:30 P.M. At Fairhaven Library. Same agenda as on 8/6/2013.
*Totem Pole Journey: A new totem pole will be taken on a journey around the North West to the Powder River Basin leading back to a ceremony at Cherry Point and a possible Mass Gathering of activists from both sides of the border at the Peace Arch crossing to celebrate this journey. (No actual date yet for this action). More information at http://totempolejourney.com/. There is a petition to sign on this site. Ronna will post this site to the OB Web site links. Ronna points out the insert in this month’s Whatcom Watch. A piece by Jewell James on Lummi history leading up to the current dispute over Cherry Point and the proposed coal port.
Herb reports on the piece in this month’s Whatcom Watch about the prosecution of local activists. The B’ham 12, the Occupy 4 and Ten. Many Kudos to Whatcom Watch.
Kathy tells us that “Food not Bombs” has an opportunity for someone to serve. Zak will be moving on and there is an urgent need to replace him. Ronna will explore and get this information to the OB email group.
FutureMan shares news of the space that the Alternative Library is moving to and his intention to make room for many groups to share this space. There is discussion over the opportunity that this offers Occupy B’ham to have a base in town. We understand that time is coming soon for us to decide if we are in or not. To clarify and expedite these discussions Ronna is nominated and elected to be Occupies liaison person with FutureMan and the Alt. Library until this collaboration is established or resolved.
Carlye tells us that she is with “Stand Up Whatcom” that grew out of another group called “Coal Free B’ham”. They are creating something called a “Bill of Rights Whatcom”. To this end, they are wanting to build as much interest among activist groups and individuals as possible. They will start a new petition soon and hope for the November ballot.
We are all invited to an informational Party on September 11, 2013 at 5:30 on the 3rd floor of the Herald Building.
They are also involved with putting on “Democracy Schools”. More info at their web site, www.StandUpWhatcom.org
Meeting Adjourned: 6:40 P.M. to make time for a presentation from Jonah Mix on “Deep Green Resistance”. (the following notes are by Ronna) Jonah presented the basics of what Deep Green Resistance (DRG) stands for such as “normalizing the nature of militancy”. He explained, “we will not save the earth, creatures on it or civilization with our present means of protest”. He stressed several times that DRG is a non-violent organization while at the same time they advocate “any means possible” to counter those they single out as destroyers of the planet. They claim to want to create a climate where people will arm themselves and fight back. He announced the formation of a DRG Bellingham (three current members) and the goal of recruiting members to build a strong “core” with a goal of radicalizing them. Their website is http://dgrbellingham.wordpress.com/
August 3, 2013 at The Market 5:30 – 7 p.m.
Present: Alyce W., Barb. S., Dianne F., Mike Z., Otter, Terry
Agenda topics: Meeting place. Marcia’s ideas for focus. Move to Amend. C2C migrant workers action. Effective meetings.
After the opening comments by each attendee. Terry presented information from Future Man on a plan he and people from the Alternative Library have about moving to a new location where they and other groups in Bellingham could meet. They are talking to the ReEntry Coalition and WhAAM and possibly NW Youth Services. Each group would sponsor and pay a portion (maybe $100) of the rent which will total about $1600 a month for the location on Railroad Avenue. Barb S. made a prepoposal that we continue to work with the groups to see if we could work toward an October 1 move.
Terry described what he remembered from Marcia’s thoughts and statement on centering, focusing on the purpose of OWS. This is an intellectual statement, a branding for what we are planning and doing. The greed and power of the controllers of our country and world challenges us. We need to have RESILIENCE as well as RESISTANCE.
Move to Amend. Dianne and Alyce reminded the GA that Ashley Sanders will be in Bellingham on September 25th to lead study/organizing/ action. Ronna, Kim Jordan of Oak Harbor, and Robert Metzler met on Monday to plan with the college and community. We need to help organize and plan.
C2C continues to work with the people who are negotiating with Sakuma Farms for better pay, living conditions and dignity. We need people to contribute supplies or money for the workers, to call Sakuma Farms(757-6611) to support workers. There are MOnday night meetings in Mt Vernon at 6 p.m. and it is important to have support for the workers now.
Deep Green Resistance. Herb is at the Backbone workshop so he did not bring Joshua Mix to speak at out GA. We will expect him to speak at next week’s GA at 6:45 a.m.
TPP is preparing for a day of action on August 22, the day of the next negotiation of the treaty members in Brunei.
The County Council Elections are of vital importance and Barb encourages help for Carl Weimer’s campaign.
Terry led us in our debriefing to have us remember and focus on upcoming issues for this week: The Preproposal, the Deep Green Guest, the TPP and what to do now.
Facilitator, Barb Secretary, Alyce
July 26, 2013
Present: Kathy, Herb, Dianne, Mike (facilitator), Alyce, Terry (stack and co-facilitator), Ronna (notes), Barb, Otter
Principles of Process were read aloud.
Comments were made at “go-around”
TPP: Report by Dianne
- Adding the Sierra Club to the TPP PowerPoint presentation made a big difference. Filled in a lot of “holes”
- The TPP banner made at the Backbone workshop was too big and heavy to be easily managed. The message is unclear. We should work to make it say less and make it easier to carry and hold.
- Need a TPP working group: Dianne, Kathy, Mike and Ronna (present) agreed to serve.
- WE need to challenge ourselves to get the work out to the public and become our own media. Examples:
- Got Occucards and can table with the information we have
- Get on the Joe Show
- Mike is writing a song about TPP and ALEC
- Dianne is working on a resolution for the Bellingham City Council. There is no time line and she will bring to OB for endorsement when it is complete. Can we add the County Council to this?
- Write letters to the editor about free trade and the TPP
- Poster in town. The poster would have to be very brief. Ronna will check to see about legality. (Reviewing the Broken Promises Poster Project, http://www.nativeamericannetroots.net/diary/1000/pine-ridge-poster-project-up-running-photo-heavy Looking at the photos it seems that owners of buildings are asked if the posters can be placed on the walls.) Therefore, we will ask owners of buildings.
- PRE-PROPOSAL: Occupy Bellingham be ready for action when the resolution is submitted to the City Council ALL AGREED BY TEMPERATURE CHECK
ACTION: Dianne will submit the resolution to the minutes.
MEETING WITH CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS: Report by Barb
- The three agenda items (asked for by the legislators) will be TPP (Dianne will present), Immigration (Janet will present if not C2C), and Syria (Gene will presto)
- The venue will be a “round table with short presentations of 3 chosen topics.
- The working group named itself “Fourth Corner Coalition”
- Barb and Debbie are still working on a meting time with each of the legislators. (Barb with DelBene and Debbie with Larsen)
FARM WORKERS STRIKE – BOW
Sakuma workers are back on the job while negotiations continue. The Nation magazine was there for interview. IT is getting wide press while not here in our town! Supplies are still needed and can be delivered to the C2C office on Holly Street (Clover Building).
Sakuma is challenging the workers by threatening to use the guest worker program ( Federal H2B) who could be moved in to break a strike. While H2B has been in existence for some time now the new immigration reform bill would increase the numbers allowed.
POTLUCK: Ronna and Ellen will work this out and choose a date. Because of the time line needed August 23 might be the date. Save that date and the announcement will be forthcoming.
VASHON ISLAND BACKBONE TRAINING:
Dianne was unable to find a “young person” who would attend. Nathan from our group has agreed to go and sponsorship was given by members present. Debbie will give $50 from the OB treasury when she returns. Those present agreed to stand by our commitment to look ahead to future generations to carry on this work.
SUMMER HEAT ACTION VANCOUVER, WA Herb
There are 2 vans going and there are 2 seats left. Leaving at 0500 from Starbucks Sehome. We will have 2 banners related to fossil fuel. There will be a symbolic blockade of the Columbia River and demonstration form the I-5 bridge. There will be workshops starting at 10 and the action will be a 2 pm.
ACTION: Herb, Kathy and Mark are encouraged to represent Occupy Bellingham at his event. Take some TPP cards.
- Nothing new on the proposed August action.
- August 6 at 6:30 is the Coal activist meeting at ReSources
- Labor people who attended a democratic committee meeting tried to derail the support from democrats for the resolution against the proposed terminal. They were not successful in their effort.
- August 1 (Thursday) at 5 PM will be a County Council candidate forum at the Bellingham HS. It is sponsored by ReSources and FutureWise – BE THERE
- The above dates are on the calendar
- There is a request from Liz Meyers (outreach coordinator) asking for participation, endorsing or making a video for the NATGAT2 (National Gathering 2)in August
- Herb has many short videos and will explore making a YouTube video.
- Ronna will reply to Liz about our efforts. (done and a few photos sent)
- Debbie, Marcia and Ronna had planned to attend but the cost turned out to be too large to do it.
- Motion made to send $50 to support and endorse NATGAT2. Unanimous agreement.
INVITATION FOR DEEP GREEN RESISTANCE TO VISIT OB NEXT WEEK
Jonah Mix has asked for 15 minutes of our time to tell us about the move to create a chapter of DGR in Bellingham. Discussion as to whether it would be appropriate for him to give this talk at the Potluck but no one in favor of that. Ronna reminds us all that there is a link to this organization on the OB web site. ALL AGREED TO THIS REQUEST
HERB ASKED TO GO ON AGENDA TO DISCUSS FUNDRAISING
Herb showed the group a petition he is working on and being paid to collect signatures. I-594 is about voting to approve universal background checks. He also worked on a petition obtaining signatures for an opposing view. The payment for this is $1 per signatures that are verified. He proposes that: OB uses the Washington State Initiative process and possibility of being paid to collect signatures as a means to raise funds for OB. He is unsure about what other petitions are available. Currently there are none.
- Many Occupiers need to earn rent money and it would be hard to give such income to OB.
- Those who do not need to earn rent money (retired on SSA) don’t have the time for this but could consider making time as a fundraiser.
- Anybody is welcome to get on board with this process and donate to OB what he or she wishes.
- OB should support only progressive initiatives for this purpose.
- Add such petitions to the OB Info Table.
ACTION: The group by majority vote authorizes herb to inquire about a group such as OB doing this action as a fundraiser. 7 in favor – 2 oppose Herb will report to OB-GA.
Terry and Mike got roles confused. Terry took over the facilitator role as stacker.
Agenda should be completed before meeting begins.
July 19, 2013 PUBLIC MARKET 5:30
Terry (facilitator), Kathy, Mike (notes), Marcia, Dianne, Debbie, Herb
- A go-around
- TPP – what next – report by Dianne. We need to find a focus. Had a meeting at Marcia’s but need more discussion. Motion for another working group to meet at 1:00 next week at Dianne’s instead of tabling at library. All agreed.
- Report/discussion on Summer Heat.
- Vashon Backbone workshop – Dianne is working to find a young person to go. Motion made to spend $50 OB treasury to help send. Motion passed unanimously.
- Potluck with Peace Zone folks. Date still being discussed.
- PowerPastCoal – Vans being organized – see website/Facebook
- Totem Pole Journey – we want to support with help or money
- Debriefing – go around
Motion to adjourn at 7:10 pm
July 12, 2013 GA at the Public Market
Present: Ronna – notes, Mike -facilitator, Terry, Marcia, Dianne, Barbara, Nathan, Otter, Carol,
We did a one-minute check in by request:
Terry: Occupy GA could be more productive, we are not living up to our potential, asks folks to stay after to become part of a facilitation working group. (See terry’s notes)
Ronna: happy to be returned to GA and working on all we have ahead of us.
Dianne: Gave information about the burning of the beet field brought up two weeks ago. IT is a leased field by a company who are not allowed to grow this food (GMO?) in their own country. She responded to WAMEND that we would not be very involved until after the Nov election.
Marcia: Would like to see time limits on topics ad shares concern about the amount of time some topics have taken. Meeting could go back to the origins of OWS and OB with actions coming out of GA.
Carol: “in awe and thankful to be back in the GA” “This is action (the GA)” The beet issue makes us a third world nation (where something illegal in one country takes place in another with fewer laws against the action). Mentions the rolling fast in support of the Guantanamo prisoners. Ronna will forward the email that gets folks to the Doodle sign on for this action. IT is not an OB action and folks are asked to follow their heart as to how they want to participate in this action.
TPP Presentation on July 17th at 6:30 at Re-Sources. Group agreed to banner on the freeway overpass from 2:30 – 5:30 then on to the Re-Sources building at 5:30 and banner on Meridian until the meeting starts. Mike, Marcia, Dianne, Terry will go to the freeway. Carol and Barb will step in at the Re-Sources. Dianne has sent a press release to all local papers.
COAL Ronna attended the Power Past Coal meeting and reports the following:
- Need to write letters to our local councils about the serious water issue involved in this proposed coal terminal.
- Attend political forums and bring up the water issue. (see agenda item political forum)
- Get the facts about water. Will scan and send the talking points out in separate email.
- Corps of Engineers will not do a regional wide EIS and this puts Anti-cola folks in better position.
- Could write a letter to Maria Cantwell (has the Coast guard on her docket) to mention the proposed coal terminal would interfere with cruise business.
- Ronna agreed to take to OB whether we would participate in a summer heat action at the Peace Arch Park.
- They will hold legislative workshops to help people understand how to analyze policy, track bills, and create lobby groups. Stay tuned.
- Longview scoping is starting and will be in Tacoma on October 17. Re-Sources will plan a bus to attend.
- Art Hyatt is starting a Labor Practices group to explore the “unholy” alliance of the Chamber of Commerce and unions.
- July 27th will be a protest off Cherry Point beach with a rendezvous of boats off shore.
- The Lummi Nation (Jewell James) is carving a totem pole to travel across the West and be delivered to the Power River Basin. It will travel from September 19-29. Here is the web site for that. http://totempolejourney.com/ Should we participate in a “send off” for this journey?
We’re set and ready to go. We will have some instruments with us to help the march. Ronna will try to contact Mark re: his long banner. Ronna has the other banners and will bring them.
Make sure to have donation jar at the table.
Handouts will be about TPP and will have a Move To Amend petition.
Marcia brings to the group a book called Harvesting Justice. IT is full of resources and web sites to access. Rosalinda is our local resource s for food justice as it is very linked to farm workers and the immigration movements. Barb tells us there is a food justice conference in Seattle coming up and she will plan to attend. She is encouraged to get in touch with C2C to find a ride.
July 27th at Vancouver, WA. A blockade of the Columbia River is in the works with actions on the shore. The flowing is from an email from Jill (350.org) about this event. Ronna will post this to the OB group so members can enroll to be on the bus.
- It was mentioned on Monday about the 350.org Summer Heat action at Columbia River on Saturday, July 27th. This is one of 8 regional major events happening around the country the last 2 weeks of July, so we need to get as many people from around the region to this one!!!
- I asked for a show of hands and 16 people wanted to go. I have organized for two 14 passenger vans, costs donated.
- I have posted the event on 350 Bellingham Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/events/167545540093333/.
- It will be first come first serve for these 2 vans organized from 350 Bellingham…so…if you want to go, please email me directly at email@example.com ASAP to reserve a seat. If you want to drive yourself and a group of friends, yes, PLEASE GO!!!! We need lots of bodies at this event…The action at 1:30 will be a group photo of boat blockade across the river and people on the bridge and on both sides of the riverbank.
- Leaving 6 am sharp from Sehome Starbucks parking lot, then returning at (to be determined…4 or 5).
Ronna agreed to bring to OB-GA a proposal to work with PowerPast Coal to stage an action at the Peace arch Park in mid August against proposed Coal terminal. We would attempt to get Canada folks involved. ALL Members present agreed to this coalition and to work on this action.
DEBRIEF THE BACKBONE WORKSHOP:
A full debrief will occur at Marcia’s on Friday July 19 at 1-3. Some Discussion occurred here:
To be successful a group must
- Research the intended project
- Build a team that works well together which allows for flexibility and spontaneity.
- Have a clear idea of the goal wanting to achieve.
- Plan strategies around research, goals and target.
- Debrief after the event/action/project
- Action and meeting require similar processes
Ronna will invite Ellen, Mary Mullen and Andrew.
Suggestion made to sponsor (partially or fully) a young person to attend the Vashon workshop in August. ALL AGREED Nathan agreed to explore whether he would ike to attend. Possibly someone from Lummi, or Andrew. Reinforced that anyone without funds can attend Backbone workshops by calling and making arrangements.
LIAISON WITH PEACE ZONE FOLKS
All present agreed to hold a potluck during our meeting time on August 16th. First must find venue (Ronna will ask Mary Mullen) and then Marcia offered as did Dianne. Ronna will invite Peace Zone folks through Ellen Murphy.
MEETING WITH CONGRESSIONAL LEGISLATORS: after a short discussion Bara is asked to take it back to the working group (Barb and Debbie) to get more structure (considering the comments about successful actions earlier in the meeting) and then bring it back to GA when things are more clear.
POLITICAL FORUM: tea Party Forum Wednesday July 17th at 7:00 at Ferndale HS. It is on our calendar and it conflicts with the TPP presentation so it involves a decision. IT is imperative to change the composition of our County Council. Mentioned that a news article mentioned that while $60,000 is the amount normally spent on county elections this election may generate 1-2 MILLION in outside funding.
Whatcom Winds has been formed with a coalition of 4 progressive candidates (2 incumbents and 2 oppose incumbents). Canvassing is starting immediately to get out the vote as it is usually lower during these “off elections” the office for Whatcom Wins is the ground floor corner office in the Herald Building.
REPORT ON CITY PLANNING COMMISSION: They are discussing amending the Shoreline Management At to allow, in the log pond area, a mixed use and extending the height limitations to 50’. It seems to be getting “pushed through” and it is confusing.
- July 25th – Carl Weimer will hold a meet and greet at Marcia’s house
- July 26- Project Homeless Connect will be providing services to the homeless without access to services. They are asking for volunteers to help. This is a rare opportunity to give service to our community. http://www.whatcomvolunteer.org/events/project-homeless-connect/
July 5, 2013 Public Market
Terry, Mike (facilitates), Nathan, Kathy, Carol F., Diane, Marcia, Barb and Barb’s young friend, Herb, Marcia (notes)
Use agenda/practice using agenda set forth beforehand, in this case what the T and P working group had come up with
Set agenda with new items
Start with checkin, 1 minute, about what’s been happening past week: chocolatada, privitization and congressional townhall
Working group report out–Diane and Marcia: rapid response team idea,Del Bene and Pete peterson and appropriate behavior on our part, Terry brings up issue ofmaking sure our info is good before we send the troops into the field
Terry: proposes a 5-5:30 facilitation working group before the GA, also putting time limits to sections of the agenda
Post agenda and then throughout the week others can add to it, have a subject line for these emails entitled presetting agenda (?) table for further discussion
Discussion of preproposals from previous week: getting clear on what was voted on last week and what the current discussion is about: agree that solidarity with Snowden be posted, the other 2 proposals by Herb are withdrawn
Barb: call on our representatives to offer townhalls to protect our democracy
WED. July 17 at Resources, 6:30- 8:30, Kristen Beifus for TPP presentation
Send announcement to OB GA email list about Pride Parade
6-28-2013 Terra Organica
Visit with Ellen Murphy. She reports that the Vets for Peace are doing a “rolling fast”. I understand it is in solidarity with the detainees at Guantanamo.
Start Meeting 5:30 p.m.
Those present: Kathy, Herb, Mike, Terry, Debbie and Mary. Marcia joins us later.
Facilitator- Mike. Minutes- Terry.
Debbie tells us of efforts to collaborate with WPJ, C2C, Living Democracy and Vets for Peace to come up with questions and demands to take to Rick Larson and Susan Delbene.
Not known what tangible action is next with this.
Discussion on collaboration with the Peace Zone group. Debbie reads Ellen Murphys’ letter to us on the topic. Talk of various approaches and decide on a Pot Luck Get Together. We invite them and are now awaiting their reply.
Pre Proposals Herb has 3.
1. That #OB stand in solidarity with Edward Snowden, and that we support his
nomination for the Nobel Peace Prize.
2. That #OB stand in solidarity with the autonomous destruction of GMO sugar beet fields in Oregon.
3. That #OB stand in solidarity with the torching of the Shot-Hole drilling equipment
in New Brunswick, Canada. (This is part of a fracking operation.)
Discussion of Pre Proposals. Herb goes on to share that his hope is that these proposals will begin a debate both within the present group and with the larger community through our web site. A thoughtful and passionate discussion did follow with questions about the nature of violence and non-violence in regard to Civil Disobedience.
A Proposal was made to put these 3 pre proposals on the front page of the web site with links to the Pre Proposal section of the Forum Page. After considerable debate and a vote of Three For, Three Against and One stand aside the proposal failed and the Pre Proposals will go to the Pre Proposal section of the Forum Page as has been our usual practice.
Report Mike and Marcia Work Group.
They have been looking at the influence of corporations on our lives and they would like to develop some teaching aids to help show their findings. Perhaps some charts and graphs. Marcia suggests the merging of existing groups, Education and Task and Perspectives into one group dedicated to exposing the Corporate Coup d’état we are suffering.
Report Pride Parade. July 14th. We are there. Details pending.
Report Kathy has Greeting Card type cards with useful info on issues that #OB supports. They would be good to have at our Info Tables to hand out or to sell. We allocated $20 to her for expenses.
Meeting Adjourned 7:15p.m.
June 22, 2013 5:30 p.m. Bellingham Public Market
Present: Alyce, Herb, Joy, Kathy, Marcia, Mark, Mike, Otter, Ronna, Terry
Agenda: Announcements, Blockade, Peace Zone, TPP workshop, Court Hearings, :Rest Stop
Announcements: MoveOn Rally for student loans interest rates: Rally Thursday, June 27 noon, Holly and Railroad. We need to have speakers to protest the doubling of rates and stories of what this will mean to our young people, information to hand out ,forms to sign.
United for Health Care movie, Escape Fire Thursday June 27, 7 p.m. at St Luke’s 3333 Squalicum Parkway
350.Org is planning a rally tp protest fossil fuel developments throughout the USA and specifically proposed coal ports on the Columbia River. It is planned for Thursday, July 27. They request that people use non-violence and speak, dress and act with dignity. Ronna will attend the Power Past Coal meeting in July and will find out more details, i.e. times, buses going, etc. The web site for this is http://joinsummerheat.org/
Peace Zone: We have been working with people from the peace vigil and peace zone and occupy for the past 2 years. Following conversations at the vigil there is a question of our having joint meeting with the Peace Zone. Discussion of the pro’s included having more people to be involved in discussions and actions. There is the possibility of meeting at the Peace and Justice office on Bay. Some con’s included taking more time for discussion at meetings and possibly limiting topics of discussion and action. Do they keep minutes that we could see? Should we give it a try one week a month or weekly for a month? Ronna will check out ways to organize and to unite.
TPP Workshop: The workshop held here in Bellingham, June14-16 was a big success. Ronna planned the food and Debbie stepped up when Ronna injured her back. Many people helped with cooking, child care, team building. Backbone people were excellent. We experienced team building among our Occupy people, Peace Zone people and people from throughout the state. Thanks!
Court Hearings: Herb gave a report on the Thursday, June 20, hearings for both the Bellingham 12 and the Bellingham 4 at Bellingham City court. The judge refused to accept the motion to dismiss. He set another date for continuance on Sept. 17. Rick Peterson who has been the city of Bellingham Prosecutor is quitting to become a Public Defender. After 18 months of dealing with this issue we want a solution. Ideas included going to City Council meetings to speak for ourselves and our speech rights. Finding out what the city has spent on the police action and now on court expenses and point out that our rights are ignored and $$$$ are being wasted.
Joy spoke about the power that the police and sheriff have over us. The question of the huge jail raises questions or what we people of Whatcom could better do with some of the money being requested in order better use it for the good of community. Joy is presenting a Vibrant Futures Conference July 2 to get different people thinking and talking and visioning of what we COULD do and be in a local centered community.
Rest Stop: Mark pre-proposed that we plan another weekend at the Bow Rest stop to meet people and to earn some money for equipment for projecting messages. We will carry on discussion and vote at the next GA.
June 14, 2013
GA was held at The Market, 5:30 p.m. Attending were Alyce, Astrid, Marcia, Mark, Otter, Terry
With the TPP meeting going on this weekend at the Labor Hall, the 6 of us gathered so that we could welcome any new people coming to the regularly scheduled meeting. Astrid gave us a crystal so that each person could hold it when speaking and then pass it on to the next person to speak.
Topics of importance:
- The NSA spying revelations and how that will capture the imagination and determination of people
- Lack of a budget in Washington State, especially due to the Senate.
- Community to Community had an important meeting at the Unitarian Fellowship and had important complaint about the use of Border Partol on 911 calls. Reporters from the Herald and Tribune covered the action at Lynden City Hall, Friday at 10 a.m.
- Lummi have been reaching out to the greater community through the coal issue and also participating in important water rights meetings. The Lummi play at BHS drew 800.
- Occupy Love at the Pickford, June 11 again drew a good crowd and good participation
- Can we make room for fierce, powerful, inclusive LOVE. A high place of support.
- Astrid spoke of her experiences in Occupy Portland and of her search for occupy presence in Bellingham. Bellingham seems to be BIG ENOUGH and SMALL ENOUGH for significant study, interaction. What is OUR role? What is the role of cooperation? Great groups include Vets for Peace, C2C, ReEntry Coalition, Peace and Justice, Interfaith, Catholic Charities and Just Peace, Lummis, Unitarian Fellowship, etc.
- Could we think of a big rally, guest speaker? Should some of us talk with Joy Gilfilan, local organizer?
- Astrid enjoyed Portland visits by Tangerine Bolen, Margaret Flowers, Kevin Zeese.
We adjoiurned with people going back to the workshop with Backbone., Alyce Werkema
June 7th GA Minutes
10 present, Debbie Minutes; B.S. facilitator
Tipple and Talk
Local Progressives are starting a “Tipple and Talk” Gathering to discuss issues. The first on will be in Birch Bay and Dianne will gather more info.
Enbridge Ride to Conquer Cancer
An affinity action group brought attention to the ludicrous fact that Enbridge (builder of pipeline moving tar sands oil to the canadian coast) is a sponsor of this cancer fund raising event. Last year’s ride was documented by Herb and tents set up to accommodate the riders in a park in Mt. Vernon were rescued and distributed to those in need. There are five rides across Canada and the BC riders refused to allow Enbridge to sign on as sponsor. The 2013 ride will be passing through next Saturday the 15th and spending the night in Mt. Vernon again. Anyone that wants to go and show support of this group and their decision should contact Herb.
TPP Trade Training Workshop June 14th – 16th at the Labor Hall http://backbonecampaign.org/
The TPP working group reported that work continues to get food, housing and participants for next weekends event. Group will probably smaller than anticipated, with 20-25.
Pride Parade: July 14th start at High School, table at Farmers market (last year’s web page http://www.bhampride.org/)
We have signed up for a table and plan to march in the parade. John has agreed to drum for us. Marcia and Astrid are on the working group. Ronna will bring the table stuff and we will all bring signs. BS suggested making flyers to hand out and put on cars to advertise that OB is participating in the parade.
Tasks and Perceptions Working Group
First meeting of this group today lead to discussion of where we started and where we are headed. An idea came out of the meeting that we have a large social gathering later in the summer (after the InterOccupy Meeting in MI) to start a discussion with the larger group. The group also agreed that a way to focus our attention on all of the many issues facing us would be to “Be The Change” and focus on local issues that revolve around corporate power. ( Jail, Community gardens, slaughter house, coal). Another suggestion from the group was to include a “current events” portion to the GA, in order to abring perspective to our group about what is going on around us tied to OWS and financial equality. BS stressed the importance of the Citizen’s United Issue.
Dianne reported that they are writing an initiative to go on November’s ballot to support a Constitutional Amendment to overturn Citizen’s United. Yeah!
Barb suggests forming a working group to get support from other peace groups to form a colaition to submit a letter to Rick Larsen and Susan DelBenne requesting a meeting to discuss the wars in the Middle East and finding out what Military/Industrial corporations donated to their campaigns. Barb will start letter, Debbie will help.
Lummi Clean and Sober March tomorrow 10am
Lummi families with march tomorrow to the Wex Liem center to show support for those that choose to stay clean and sober.
Terry suggested a pre-proposal to stand in solidarity with the protestors in Istanbul. After a discussion to work on language, we decided it was an “emergency” because it is a timely issue and many will not be at the GA next week. The proposal is:
“Occupy Bellingham stands in solidarity with the peaceful resisters of oppression in Turkey.” 8 yes votes passed the proposal. Herb abstained from voting because he stands in solidarity with all resisters, not just peaceful ones.
Occupy Love- June 11th 6pm at the Pickford-
We bought enough tickets on line to make the show go forward. (minimum of 5 had to be sold for the movie to be shown) If you know anyone that wants to go have them contact Marcia or Debbie, or they can buy them at the door. Posters were distibuted to put up around town.
5/31/2013 Public Market– 8 members present Debbie, Facilitating;Ronna, notes
3 minutes a person for report, announcements, sharing.
Dianne reported that the Monsanto/GMO resolution passed by 5/1. That there were 100 people at the march on Saturday ending up at Terra Organic. Since then Steven Trinkaus has been asked to speak in a few places.
She reported on her experience at the DelBene forum with the Concord Coalition. She and Terry stood outside for 2 hours holding a banner that read “WE ARE NOT BROKE WE ARE BEING ROBBED”. At one point, they were asked to move to the roadway (in the rain) but then allowed under cover on the sidewalk. There were about 8 people there from Whatcom County. Dianne is following up with any action form DelBene on this event.
Alyce reported on her experience at the rest area fundraiser, on the democratic “tent” at the farmers Lynden parade, that Joy Gilfilen is interested in pursuing the Federal building for a worker collective and is having a conference on July 2 at WCC Syre center, workshop one titled Vibrant futures. GO to www.UnitingCreatives.com for more information; that she is starting a letter writing group I Lynden, Attended the Carl Weimer kick off where issues of the jail were foremost, and finally that “people are getting tired of being snookered”.
Ronna asked that we be more tolerant of personal differences and if an issue is not dealt with in the present moment that it be left alone.
Mike reported on his experience at the Lummi event that it was inspirational and he learned about the issue of water and coal. Happy that Beth is doing great organizing to bring diverse activism groups together. On the personal issue brought up by Ronna he suggest we discuss differences in political issues and leave personal issues alone. “Our real enemies are class enemies”.
Mark reported on his experiences with the rest area “fun was had by all”, met interesting people. That XR news service has its second posting and he has gotten some response.
Terry reported on his experience at the Lummi event and sated two “takeaways”
(1) Seeing all the activist groups present was profound and (2) He was touched by what they were saying about not wanting sympathy but rather wanted to educate people about what the tribe is going through and that it is not history but is happening NOW. That it includes all of us.
Then, speaking of enemies he realizes neo-liberalism is the real enemy of our movement and GREED. It’s an attitude we are at war with and that “We are in a real war”
Debbie reported that the rest area event raised $540 of which half was given to the Hildes legal team. Leaving $270 for our budget. She expressed gratitude that Terry appeared “off schedule) which allowed her to have a few hours rest and that Otter wouldn’t leave while she was alone. She froze the left over cookies and will bring them to the TPP action workshop. She announces that Occupy Love is having a second showing and tickets need to be purchased.
Marcia wants to form a working group to talk about “the line of march”. This is a term she takes from the Radical Education book we read and it means where did we start and where are we going? “Can look at things that we’re doing and does it match our line of march”? All present agreed to meet about this issue. Are we in line with what Occupy is doing in other areas? She read a quote from W. R. Pitt on Occupy. We will meet next Friday from 1-3 at Marcia’s house to begin this work. Mike suggests we call this group Task (what should we do?) and Perspective (where are we now?) Further – how do we go from consciousness to activity, how to achieve unity of action. Comments:
- We must know the enemy
- It’s a good time to look at our strengths and resources (time being the kicker here)
- At this point we should all be thinking of questions.
- Who are the leaders, marshals, publicity. We need enough capacity to do the work.
- Alyce says she has a friend with a long history of activism who would sit down with us to discuss the above points
- We need more focus and more reliable assignments
- We are working slowly as we are a small group
- Can we do this and leave the tabling option open
- Mike, Dianne, Terry, Ronna, Alyce, Mark, and Marcia will be in this group.
Would it be easier to do tabling if the materials were in town. Both Debbie and Marcia agreed to store these materials. Debbie has a truck that can haul them, Marcia does not. The others with a vehicle that can haul are in the county (Ronna, Mark and Terry)
- Materials should be housed as a unit or else no one will know who has what and where things are.
- Can we alternate weeks for these two issues.
- We will put it on the agenda for the first T&P meeting.
PRIDE PARADE – JULY 14
Agreed to participate. Last year was a lot of fun. Daine will seek JohnNeighbor for drumming as he led our group last year and it was fun. Ronna wil get the banner ready. Debbie will pay $25 to get a table.
We are having challenges recruiting folks for this workshop. OB-GA seems agreeable to sponsor a member to attend but no takers at this meeting. Debbie has sent flier to contact list and will do it again. Dianne and Ronna agreed to sign on. Mike asked to be a kitchen worker. Members signed up for donating food items and Ronna is pursuing other donations.
Adjourned at 7:00 pm.
May 23, 2013
8 attending, No facilitator, Debbie: minutes
Report from Ronna this afternoon: they were pretty busy and went through 4 dozen cookies already. Marcia clled DOT to see if we could assist with bridge detour information and we got no guidance, however they were impressed that we thought of calling.
Monsanto March May 25th:
Herb: 180 people have signed up on the facebook page, however they do not allow Protests in Ski to Sea parade. ALternative plans include a march before (meeting at 10 at Skateboard shop on Grand Ave) and maybe one after. Regardless, there will be a strong contingent of pro organic (non GMO) foods and farmers in the parade. There are actions in over 300 cities worldwide protesting Monsanto.
Pride Parade, July 14th 12pm
General consensus on pre-proposal to support our participation in this event. Marcia and Astrid are starting a working group. Bring drums.
Ten’s Mic Check:
Ian gave us an update on Ten’s case. We would like to be informed of court dates so people can come in support.
Next court date is May 30th at 2:30 Bellingham Municipal Court.
National Defense Authorization Act:
Astrid gave us an update on this trial and appeal. Obama administration is trying to argue that they haven’t actually used the act yet.
There will be an encore showing of this film at the Limelight on June 11th. Get the word out to the folks that were not able to attend the last sold out show. Marcia will check with Warren to see if he wants us to introduce the film again.
Trade Action Camp:
Debbie brought up the possibility of OB sponsoring on member to attend the camp. We discussed various ways that a person could be chosen and if we could afford it. Marcia offered to contribute to the scholarship fund.
We could draw a name out of a hat. We could ask each person to write a paragraph on why they want to go, and how they would report back to the group to share what was learned. Each interested member could “apply for a grant” form OB and the GA could decide on a case by case basis.
Informal Discussion followed on topics including: focusing on the 1%, working group for visioning, how do we get more media attention, press releases for actions, coordination with other groups- pros and cons, big GAs as social gatherings and smaller working groups for actions, pot luck on city hall lawn or S.S. Noisy Waters, adding Spanish to website to encourage Hispanic participation.
May 17, 2013
Facilitator: Terry, Minutes: Debbie 8 in attendance
Occupy Love: Sold Out! May 21, Limelight
Alyce and Marcia will be introducing the film for OB and have been asked by TW to ask a question to facilitate a discussion after the film. We looked at a couple sample questions provided by TW. Marci and Alyce will work on this and choose.
Rest Stop Fundraiser:
We passed around the calendar for people to sign up. Kenny asked if there were guidelines for what we should talk to folks about. Debbie mentioned strict rules about not passing out literature, and only engaging people in conversation that ask us first. Marcia said ask them “how are things going for you these days”. Terry suggested saying that you say that you are speaking for yourself, not OB. Debbie mentioned that last time we discussed things that we were currently working on. We will post the rules and all volunteers should read them at the beginning of their shift. Brief discussion as to how to deal with people that are not sympathetic. We need cookies. Money lock box should be kept locked in a car.
We are checking in with Barb. We need Story, Strategy and Structure. On hold for now
Trans Pacific Partnership:
Dianne participated in web-inar about the Lima Round of negotiations. Protests occurred outside the talks, including Sierra Club and labor unions. Corporations will have the same powers as Countries. We need to SLOW them down. Next round of negotiations may be in Malaysia, not Vancouver as we had hoped and planned for. Dianne will work on talking points so we can write letters to Reps.
Backbone Trade Action Camp: June 14-17
OB is helping with this event by organizing the food and places for out of towners to stay. Ronna reported on the food working groups progress and we passed out a sign up sheet for folks to offer their extra bedrooms or yards for tents. We need to get our logo on the flier prior to sending it out to our group. Debbie suggested that maybe OB could sponsor one attendee.
GA Venue Proposal:
OB will hold GAs at the library lawn, at the site of the info tent. If Rain cancels the Info tent, the Public Market is our backup.
A quick temperature check made it clear that there were reservations about this. Discussion of other possible locations, many have associated fees. Kenny mentioned taking over a parking lot for a big Special GA. Tabled for now.
Lummi Nation Invitation:
We have been invited to a gathering with Lummi Nation to discuss the sacred historic village and ancient burial grounds at the location of the proposed GPT. We can send 6 people. Ronna, Marcia, Dianne, Mike, Sandy, and Terry volunteered to attend. Kenny asked if we could ask if it could be filmed so we could show all OB. Ronna said she would check it out.
“What About These Promises, The Treaty of 1855″ Play at Bellingham High school June 1st $10
Susan Delbenne and the Concord Coalition May 29th Skagit Community College Cafeteria 6-8 pm:
Dianne informed us of a meeting Delbenne (1st Congressional District) is having at Skagit Community College with the Concord Coalition. The public is invited to help with budget cut proposals, cutting the budget equally across the board. In other words austerity measures. Dianne suggests that we should protest the meeting outside. Debbie suggested also having fold attend that are in the district. Suggestions for signs: No SS Cuts, Stop Corporate Welfare, No Entitlements for the 1%
From the web:
The Concord Coalition is “dedicated to educating the public about the causes and consequences of federal budget deficits, the long-term challenges facing America’s unsustainable entitlement programs, and how to build a sound foundation for economic growth”
May 10, 2013 Public Market – Terra Organica 5:30 – 7:00
Alyce, Margaret, Sandy, Dennis, Herb, Mike, Ronna (notes), Terry (facilitator), Kenny, Marcia, Mark
Announcement that the Post Office is having their annual food drive tomorrow (Sat., 5/11/2013). IF we donate food put a little note inside from Occupy Bellingham
MOVE TO AMEND: Alyce reports on her and Margaret’s attendance at the Move TO Amend convergence in Portland. People came from Oregon, N. Cal., Utah and Wash. D. Cobb and Ashley Sanders organized the groups. They learned the beginning of this country and “We The People” comprised 5% of the total US population. At this time Corporations were not included but were feared and thus given “privileges” to do certain things for a certain amount of time. These privileges were granted through the states. At that time they had to exist for the public good or lose their privilege. The first ruling came through San Francisco vs Santa Clara. Today corporation charters state they exist for the sole purpose of making profit for the shareholders and have now gained citizen status. Move To Amend works differently in states. Oregon believes the Bernie Sanders Move To Amend is incomplete, as it does not tackle the personhood part. Alyce and Margaret learned that areas need to organize chapters, gather signatures with the objective of building capacity and keep growing. Many people are on the side of this movement and they are gaining allianaces. The movement does not adhere to any particular party affiliation – Democrats may be against the movement while Republicans may be in favor of the movement.
Washington has WaMend which is wiling to come to Bellingham to help us organize ourselves around Move To Amend. Ashley Sanders is coming here in September and we could organize around her trip. Discussion ensued as to how we get enough momentum and bodies to be functional. MoveToAmend.org is added to OB links. Alyce and Margaret with Mark by phone will form a working group.
POWER PAST COAL: Sandy reports on the meeting.
- Four council members (city) signed the leadership statement. We need to ask candidates running for council whether they will sign this statement.
- There are three sites left for terminals. Poser Past Coal is networking in Canada.
- Question was raised about how to get a table in the Farmer’s Market. They tried to get a table but couldn’t. Discussion/speculation indicates they don’t allow politics inside the market but can be on the sidewalk.
- Divestiture at WWU. Students voted to accept and now they will develop an alumni campaign. i.e., “I’ll donate money to the endowment if it divests – - – - .”
- Talked briefly about the anti-Indian meeting held here in Bellingham by CERA and that there was to be a community forum on May 27 with the Lummi Nation. Some discussion about how we refer to our indigenous people – Indian, Native American, First Nations, etc. Bet approach would be to ask them.
- TPP was briefly mentioned.
PO BOX – Pre-proposal to keep the box. Late call form Debbie indicates it is necessary to have our bank account so she will pay the next year.
GA VENUE: Suggest staying on the library lawn. Pros for the public Market: We are exposed and visible, We can get food. Cons for the Public Market: Loud and hard to hear, WE take space away from potential customers. Some options for further exploration: Another indoor space and/or a different day. PRE-PROPOSAL: OB holds GA at 5:30 on Fridays on the Library lawn on the site of the information tent. The backup is at the Pubic Market if weather cancels.
OCCUPY LOVE: We met the threshold for tickets sales so the movie is a go. (Late note: IT IS SOLD OUT) We were told if it sold out the Pickford might pick it up. Ronna announced that Transitions is asking if we would like to co-sponsor their next movie which is Money and Life and a trailer can be seen at this web site http://moneyandlifemovie.com/. Discussion in:
- Transitions Whatcom could be good allies,
- They are local and not national but still part of the solution to making a better world.
- Meet them ½ way to build a united front (vs popular front)
- They have laudable ethics.
There is a set of questions that Ronna will bring to the next GA to help with the discussion at the movie
WEEKLY ACTION S REPORT:
- Bank of America was successful. Marcia handed out cake; Terry made so many signs we had to hold two at a time. There was a significant police presence but they were friendly and engaged in discussion with protestors. Mark raised objection to the term PROTEST and indicates he would prefer DIRECT ACTION. Our direct action closed the bank this year! Eddie and another student went back east to the shareholders meeting with a proxy – they hoped to be allowed to speak.
- MARCH FOR DIGNITY: Wonderful. Two water stops along the way, great food, potluck, music, speeches. Notable that there was no mention in the Bellingham Herald. Write a letter to the editor about that!
Talked about need of a bullhorn. Herb did some online research during the meting. They range from a Wall Mart model for around $30 to an industrial model for around $175. Tabled for now.
REST AREA: Mark did not bring the sign-up sheet so paper passed around to capture phone numbers for those who would assist with this action.
BELLINGHAM FOUR: The group approved unanimously the proposal to split the proceeds of the rest area action 50/50 with the legal team and the GA.
TPP: There will be a training camp on Friday June 14 through Sunday June 16. We will seek home stays for folks and a food-working group has been set up with Marcia, Alyce and Mary Mullen.
FORECLOSURE: This is about Barb’s house. The details are sketchy but hat her loan has been turned over to Freddie Mac. Question whether we want to “occupy”. Result: we need to learn more about this situation so we can be strategic and structured in our actions. We all need to research this topic to see what other places have done, Minnesota has had some success. Ronna will send a note asking Barb to write her story.
May 3 PUBLIC MARKET 5:30
Otter, Diane, Sandy, Mark, Mike, Debbie, Marcia, Terry
Mark reports on light show
Immigration march Sunday May 5
Rest Stop Action: preproposal that the proceed be split 50-50 for OB and the OB 4 defense. It is important that,everyone who participates in this action knows this. Terry brings up the 10% rule for OB that 10% of donation goes to legal fund and that this is will not be added into the 50%.
Marcia and Alyce open the movie and need to contact Warren Miller.
Change the venue of OB’s GA
This is discuss and tabled
TPP action training
Stills needs a venue
B of A action
Talk about need for a bullhorn and one of things for OB to buy.
Call and response: the problem and then the solution. This action is directed at the board of directors and shareholders to influence the public.
Barb’s House if Foreclosed
How to help. Occupy Barb’s house. A call for someone to research how other Occupy Groups have done this.
May 9 and endorement of Democrats
A yearly meeting and this one is important because GMO’s are the issue
To be a part of this (for the good of dealing with GMO’s), you must have been a Democratic member for 2 weeks. Go to whatcomdemocrats.org
May 10 Action
Bannering freeway overpasses To End Corporate Rule. It is the 126th anniversary of the ‘ruling’ that gave corporations personhood. For more info go to movetoamend.org
May 11 Fairtrade vs Free Trade
Downtown CoOp 10-5pm
Preproposal: to show the documentary We’re Not Broke to the public, similar to our ALEC workshops
APRIL 26, 2013 PUBIC MARKET – 5:30
Terry (facilitator), Ronna (notes), Mark, Donna, Ziggy (quest from Spokane Occupy), Sandy, Mike, Alyce, Marcia, Otter.
Bellingham 12: Ronna reported that she collected $15 for the Bellingham 12 at their hearing on 4//18. This is down from the $65 she collected at the prior hearing.
Homeless Project: Alyce reported on her attendance at the County Council. She did address the homeless issue in open session since the hearing was delayed a month. Date of the public hearing for this issue is not known. Steve will keep us posted.
TPP Training campsite: We are getting closer to finding a site. Grady (works with concert venues) has eagerly joined us and will be working hard and staying in touch with Backbone folks over the next few days. Ronna has some hope for the Hopewell Grange and is waiting for their member meeting to discuss on May 2.
Bank of America Protest (May 8): This turned into a working group meeting.
Ziggy reported on the Tax Day action in Spokane and their protest at Wells Fargo. They had 8 people who were able to enter the bank and stuck it out for the duration without incident. They had 200 people in the rally. He thought this was accomplished by phoning. They had chants and a couple of songs. The police left them alone as they have a “pretty good” relationship with the local police. They presented “demands” obtained via SEIU or Washington Community Action Network (he didn’t know these details)
Occupy Bellingham will rally at the BoA at 4:00 pm on May 8
- Donna agreed to phone the contact list. Ronna will ask Debbie to send.
- Alyce will research slogans and songs and get them to the ob group (Terry specifically)
- Too big to fail – too big to jail
- Need some kind of sign of the National Shareholders meeting
- Mark will make sign Robbers that will be placed under the BoA logo and photographed.
- Ronna will do a handbill (from the national poster), bring her camera, and post to the calendar and web site.
- A bullhorn would be helpful
- Terry will make some signs
- Marcia will make small blurbs about the subject to pass out and chant via “mike check”
- Pass out Move Your Money brochures
- Banners (people not profits especially)
Move to Amend Conference Portland: Alyce and Margaret are going. Alyce reported on a conference call she got in on which was helpful. She will continue to stay on the conference calls and feels useful information will come from this for action.
Earth Day Activities: They were fun, colorful and cheerful. Bidder 70 was a wonderful film and Tim DeChristopher is a real hero. All who attended various events noted there was not much evidence of anger in the rallies. Suggestions for future actions:
- Hold town meetings to discuss the issue
- Get local Mayors to join the Mayors Alliance Against Coal
Nobody stepped up to take a lead on either of these ideas.
OCCUPY LOVE film showing: Ronna will send the flier out tomorrow. All present were encouraged to get to the ticket web site and sign up, as we need 50 pre sales to make it fly.
REST AREA ACTION:
- Mark suggested we think of this as an opportunity to make neighbors versus a fundraiser.
- The dates are over Memorial Day weekend – Friday 5/24 (12 noon)– Tuesday May 28 (2 am)
- Ronna will make the sign-up sheet more user friendly and hand to Mark who did a great job at the last event.
- Terry will make a FREE COFFEE sign for the freeway using reflective paint
- Discussion about receiving money into the general fund and then deciding how to spend it. (Receiving versus disbursing). We have discussed this before and minutes reflect this but no decisions had been made.
FARM WORKER MARCH FOR DIGNITY: Sunday May 5
Some discussion about how to get from the end of the march back to our vehicles. There could be a bus. Terry will park at the Maritime Heritage Park and could transport folks back to their vehicles. Marcia will only be at Maritime Park (foot surgery) and will be able to do the same. Folks talked about where they will pick up the march. From the Laurel Grocery, the Grocery opposite the mall or Cornwall Park. Terry will make some signs. Slogans: Workers Rights, Dignity for Farm Workers. Ronna will make buttons.
Announcement: Ziggy and others will be bat signaling this evening on the granary building and elsewhere.
INTEROCCUPY: Marcia will be on a conference call and is working to get up to speed about this group and their plans for the convergence in Michigan in August.
HEALTHCARE MEETING: Several OB folks in attendance. The Bitter Pill article was the focus of the meeting. Nurses from St. Joes indicated there were still major problems in negotiations and thanked Occupy for their presence at the rallies.
Adjourned at 7:15.
April 19. 5:30 p.m. The Market
Present: Sandy R., Mike Z., Terry, Marcia L., Dianne F., Charles L., Alyce W.
Update on court hearing for the (now) Bellingham 8. There was a scheduled hearing. There was no progress on any settlement on the issue. Ronna had attended and collected a $15 which she handed to the Larry Hildes. Chas. Law spoke on behalf of Occupy.
- County Council meeting, Tuesday, April 23 at 7 p.m., in the Court House. Dianne updated us on the possible vote of the Council against their funding of the remaining $300,000 needed to build the Catholic Housing project on Cornwall. Some neighboring businesses are encouraging council members to vote no. We urge Occupiers to attend the meeting to show support.
Bellingham UCC Just Peace Sunday, 10 a.m., April 21. Marcia invited Occupiers to attend this service to celebrate the peace and justice declaration of this congregation and she invited us to stay for the potluck.
Campsite for training for Backbone and other people and groups preparing for the TPP talks, possibly in Vancouver BC. Searching for a site to accommodate the people and the work has led to a site near Alger where a circus trains in an old quarry. Search continues.
Bank of America annual shareholders’ meeting May 8. Terry reminded that Occupy began and is strongest when it focuses on the abuses from the too big to fail–too big to jail banks. An action at a local bank could be organized. Anyone ready to organize?
May 11 is Fair Trade day. Dianne will check to see if the Co-op would work with us on a food table or display.
Move to Amend meeting, May 3-5 Portland OR. Alyce and Margaret H. plan to attend on behalf of Occupy.
Earth Day activities include: A Sierra Club march from Bellingham Farmers’ Market to WWU and Fairhaven. Bring signs. March at noon. Groups will table for just food, fossil fuel reduction, WWU divestment. Hope to meet Philippine TPP people. Do the Math–350 movies at WWU and Ferndale WECU Sunday evening, 6 p.m. Bidder 70, Monday
MINUTES OCCUPY BELLINGHAM GENERAL ASSEMBLY – APRIL 12, 2013
Public Market Debbie: minutes; Terry: Facilitator; Ronna: stack, 14 in attendance
Trans Pacific Partnership Working Group Update: Dianne gave a brief description of what the TPP is. We are working with Backbone and Washington Fair Trade to get the word out in the Pacific Northwest and plan for actions in response to the next round of negotiations, possibly in Vancouver. Monday, we helped organize the showing of a power point by Kristen Beifus of WFT to inform the community of the dangers of TPP. Representatives form many organizations were in attendance. This presentation is available for anyone interested in showing it. Contact Ronna, Debbie or Dianne.
Backbone wants to host an Action Training Camp in Whatcom County on June 13-16th. We are currently looking for an appropriate venue for this. Ronna handed out an information sheet which will be mailed to OB mailing list.
Dianne is writing a resolution for the City Council to sign on to the Tri-National Unity Statement, which opposes TPP.
Discussion about TPP ensued.
HOMELESS HOUSING PROJECT (Debbie)– Catholic Housing Services is building a low income housing unit for the chronically homeless. Promised funding has been withdrawn by the County due to negative feedback from a couple of businesses. Ken Mann (owner of property on Commercial) and Barbara Brenner both opposed the funding. We are asking anyone who feels this is an important to contact the county council in support of funding this project. The “Community Safety Alliance” is a group of businesses opposing this project.
Bellingham 4 Fundraising Working Group (Debbie) We have possible dates to do another rest stop fundraiser at the Bow Hill rest stop. We need people to help with this working group. Ronna and Sandy volunteered. A brief update on the eviction case followed.
Bellingham 12 (Ronna). In conjunction with the next hearing on this case, there will be march from the BNSF office on C St and Roeder at 1:30. to the Courthouse. Rally from 2:30- 3:30. They are looking for speakers. Charles volunteered to speak on the topic of Green Jobs. The GA gave our consent for him to represent OB. Discussion about the details of the original action followed.
May 5th Farm Worker March for Dignity! (Ronna) 10am-3pm This march starts at La Gloria at Laurel on the Guide and goes south to La Gloria behind the cheap gas station. (just south of Bakerview). The the march continues to Maritime Heritage Park. See http://foodjustice.org/archives/3014 for details.
Earth Day April 20th (Ronna) walk for climate control. From Farmer’s Market to Fairhaven College start at 1200 at Maple and Railroad. Sponsored by Sierra Club and 350.org Terry will make signs, Dianne and Mark and Marcia agreed to table. Ronna will see if we can.
Occupy Love- (Ronna) We are co-sponsoring with Transition Whatcom, a showing of Occupy Love at the Limelight on May 21 @ 6pm. Marcia and Alyce will introduce the movie. We are looking for someone to Track down the film maker Velcro Ripper and invite him to speak. Debbie agreed to do this.
Anacortes Bottling Plant, Tethys Project and UGA Expansion: (Charles) The city of Anacortes is fast tracking approval of a water bottling plant. It will involve over100 rail cars on already maxed lines, 5.5 million gallons of water from Skagit River (at a time when water conservation measures have been enacted for the residents) Comments against this plant need to get to the City of Anacortes by Monday April 15th at 4:30 Fax 1-360-336-9307 or online at www.skagitcounty.net/pdscomments No emails will be accepted. The process needs to come back to the people.
Open session: We talked about….
GMO March in Seattle: Not sure of date or details. Ronna will research and put on OB web site.
Move To Amend: meeting in Portland May 3-5. May 12th Mother’s Day Declaration March
Say NO to Drones April 17, Westlake Plaza Seattle: here is a link:
Ronna said she is open for suggestions as to what to put on Website. Send her ideas!
MINUTES OCCUPY BELLINGHAM GENERAL ASSEMBLY – APRIL 5, 2013
Public Market Ronna (note taker), Debbie (facilitator), Carol, Mike, Alyce, Terry, Dianne, Sandy, Marcia, Mark, Ellen (in and out)
COMMUNITY GARDENS (Debbie) The city of Bellingham namely Parks Director James King (in a unilateral move) wants to privatize the 3 community gardens within Bellingham. Here is the lnk to the article in the Herald: http://www.bellinghamherald.com/2013/03/23/2933406/new-management-of-bellingham-community.html He held a meeting of all interested parties where he was confronted by a lot of emotion and was unable to answer many questions. There is a good letter to the editor in the B. Herald (April 5 edition) by Jennifer Caudle of Happy Valley. ACTION NEEDED: Attend a City of Bellingham Council meeting and support Community Gardens: Write or email your concerns to the City at http://www.cob.org/index.aspx.:
Write a letter to the editor of a local paper: Most newspapers require your letter to be no more than 200 words. Include your name, address, and phone number. Send your letter to one publication at a time. firstname.lastname@example.org: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org State how important community gardens are for the health of our community. Debbie will have details at the next week GA
HOMELESS HOUSING PROJECT (Debbie)– This 42 unit project proposed on the corner of Cornwall and Maple by Catholic Housing Services is experiencing problems with funding due to concerns and complaints by local businesses. They are trying to stop the project and are threatening to sue. See the article in the Herald about this project. Debbie will report in more detail at next week GA. Currently local businesses opposed to this project include Boundary Bay, Kulshan Cycle, Jack’s Barbershop
ACTION NEEDED: Attend a City of Bellingham Council meeting and support the homeless housing project. Find their meeting times at http://www.cob.org/index.aspx Write or email your concerns to the City at email@example.com or to each Council member by going to http://www.cob.org/contact/council.aspx : Write a letter to the editor of a local paper: Most newspapers require your letter to be no more than 200 words. Include your name, address, and phone number. Send your letter to one publication at a time. firstname.lastname@example.org: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
AN IDEA WAS RAISED TO HOLD A LETTER WRITING PARTY. This action is taken by many activist groups. We shared that many of us are composing LTE’s while doing other work and then never get to the actual writing. This could help generate more letters and have fun while doing it. ACTION – deferred to another GA or until anyone who wants to host such an event steps up. (TWINKLE UP)
BELLINGHAM 4 (Debbie) A hearing was held this week on April 2. Larry’s new motion was not submitted in time for the prosecution and commissioners to read it so the hearing was granted a continuance until May 2. Russ has written a letter asking for funds and Debbie has sent it to ACLU, OWS, and the Center for COnstituional Rights. Another suggestion was to send it to the First Amendment Project. Web site: http://www.thefirstamendment.org/about.html If Larry does not get redress for the Bellingham 4 at the next hearing he plans to ask for a trial date.
POWER PAST COAL (Ronna). The meeting on Tuesday April 2 was very full with many dates and actions announced. Many will be discussed in Coming actions next. FOR NOW and ACTION
There is a lawsuit filed against the clean water act by 350.org, Sierra Club, Bay Keepers and Sound Keepers. ACTION: Power Past Coal is asking folks to collect coal from the waterways and other public properties. You may not collect from the railroad bed as it is trespassing. To help with this you must go to the ReSources (Power Pat Coal) headquarters to get the protocol and forms to use when collecting coal. IF it is done properly, it will be sent to a lab to make sure it is powder river basin coal.
COMING EVENTS (Ronna) She compiled the following list from her emails and the Power Past Coal meeting. Each is discussed below. There is not a lot of information about every item but rather an attempt to notify folks of upcoming actions/events.
|April 18||Bellingham 12 – protest/rally at BSNF headquarters to protest the recent ruling disallowing a “necessity defense”.|
This was presented by Bob Burr at Power Past Coal meeting. He gave no time but added that it would include a march to the courthouse. In addition, he mentioned having speakers. Ronna has emailed him asking for more information and has not gotten a response. All present agreed we need more information to be our best supportive selves and Ronna will seek this. She found this web site http://bham12.org/wordpress/ and sees a hearing scheduled for April 18 at 3:30.
|April 20||EARTH DAY – Fairhaven College hosting a festival. 11-4 Should we try to table?|
ACTION: Marcia, Dianne, Mark agreed to table if allowed. Ronna will pursue and notify at next week GA.
|April 20||Filipino American Student Alliance conference at Western Washington University in Bellingham. Presentations at:> 10:20am – 11:50am: Workshop #1 1:10om – 2:40pm: Workshop #2 2:50 -> 4:20pm: Workshop #3> Conference registration is required to attend. http://nwfasa.com|
Dianne reminds us that we received this from Edgar at C2C and that these folks coming up are interested in meeting some Bellingham Activists. Philippine US Solidarity Organization (PUSO) is interested in connecting with local activists in Bellingham working on the TPP. It would be great if you all could connect when they are there. Lots to do on the 20th. EARTH WEEK
|April 20||EARTH DAY – ReSources walk for climate control. From Farmer’s Market to Fairhaven College start at 1200 at Maple and Railroad.|
Sponsored by Sierra club, Power Past Coal and 350.org. More information next week. For now, we will plan to carry our FOSSIL FOOLS banner in this march. There will be posters to carry and possibly T-shirts.
|April 22 – May 1||From InterOccpuy – Plant a seed, have a community discussion, support Tim De Christopher, Show Bidder 70 (this might be happening at WCC – stay tuned)|
No information about this yet but stay tuned. Jill McKintyre (350.org) is trying to get it at WWU also and will be informing us soon.
|May 16-8 pm.||Climate Reality Project Presentation by Jill MacIntyre Witt – Cert. PresenterGarden Street Methodist Church, 1326 Garden Street, Bellingham, WA 98225|
Information only. Ronna will post to the calendar.
|May 3- 5||Regional Grassroots Democracy Convergence in Portland for Move to Amend|
Information only. Margaret Hashmi plans to go – Alyce maybe but getting doubtful.
|May 5||Farm Worker March for Dignity! 10am-3pmhttp://foodjustice.org/archives/3014 SHOULD WE CO SPONSOR?|
Did not discuss co-sponsoring – will bring up next week.
|May 10||Freeway bannering – MOVE TO AMENDhttps://movetoamend.org/call-action-may-10-127-years-enough|
This is a national action to celebrate 127 years since US gave personhood to corporations. ACTION: Find out more details: Make new banner
|May 11||International Day of Action – Washington Fair Trade, TPP, Move to Amend|
Need to find out more information about this action. Debbie thinks she could put it out to MoveOn when we know more.
|May 20||Unitarian Fellowship invites community to meet together with Lummi Nation to discuss Cherry Point 7-9 (on calendar)|
|May 21||(tentative) Showing of OCCUPY LOVE at the Limelight.|
This action was originally started by Marcia. Ronna is currently working with Angela from Transitions Whatcom and will keep OB informed. All present agreed that Marcia and Alyce would be best to help introduce this film. We will agree to table if appropriate.
|June 13||Lilac festival – Spokane|
Mark informs the group that Spokane OB is inviting OB-GA to join them for this festival. Mark will provide more details.
|June 14-17||BACKBONE Campaign training camp – Whatcom County|
This will be discussed in detail at the April 8 TPP meeting. We are seeking a landowner who could accommodate + or – 100 people for 3 days of training and workshops. Whatcom is chosen to be accessible to Canadian folks who might want to attend. The effort is to prepare for the upcoming TPP negotiations in Vancouver BC in July.
|July 29-9||Visionary Economy Conference for Whatcom County There is a cost for this conference. email@example.com|
Ronna will post this on the web site and have more information as she works with ReEntry Coalition
|August 21 -25||National Gathering of the Occupy MovementKalamazoo, Michiganhttp://occupynationalgathering.net/ Need volunteer to get us on board|
Debbie, Marcia and Ronna expressed a desire to attend this gathering. Marcia will take the lead in staying on touch with InterOccupy and informing OB-GA. Ronna will forward anything she has from them to Marcia.
PROPOSAL: Occupy Bellingham endorses comprehensive, effective and sensible gun safety regulations. Passed with 2 stand asides. Rationale: supports our vision of social justice and an endorsement is a sufficient action to have value.
After Adjournment at 7:15, Mark announced that he will be speaking at the “Spoken Word” at Village Books n April 29. This event starts at 7:00 pm and Mark is one of the last on the agenda.
OB Minutes March 22, 2013 Public Market 5:30 – 7:30
Otter, Diane, Pam, Terry, Mark, Ronna, Mike, Marcia
Ronna reports on ReEntry Coalition and how to involve OB: report on connection between prison system and privatization.
Propose that Ronna be the official spokesperson (ambassador) for OB at ReEntry Coalition. Terry makes a pre-proposal about term limits for different positions (representation of OB, ambassadorship, administration of website, etc) Ronna will make effort to write this proposal. Ronna requests meeting notes be entered into minutes: FOLLOWING: ReEntry Coalition meeting – March 19, 2013 by Ronna Loerch
I attended this meeting with 25 other community members to hear about the work of the ReEntry Coalition and gather support for a proposed Visionary Conference in May. The next meeting of this group will be on March 27 (Wednesday) at Garden Methodist Church at 4 pm.
- After introductions of those present, Joy Gililfen presented a slide show about the rudimentary facts of incarceration in Whatcom County and the various efforts of the local ReEntry Coalition. This slide show clearly demonstrated how effective Restorative Justice programs can be and how destructive our current incarceration policies are for individual citizen’s families and communities.
- A couple of local businesses that offer work opportunities for marginalized residents spoke about their opportunities.
- A daughter of a father who had been incarcerated for 20 years spoke about the ordeal her family faced during the 20 years he was in prison. She made the following statement which needs repeating:
If you don’t believe a person deserves a second chance you must be hiding something.
The basics of what I learned I probably already knew but the facts I learned were new and supported my belief that our justice system is broken and is a “decomposing system”.
There was less talk about the destruction that privatization of our prisons has caused than about the ways that Restorative Justice through ReStore Life Centers, Recovery Centers, MH courts, and Drug courts (to name a few) can serve as an alternative to this horrible system we find ourselves in.
The web site of this organization is posted on the web links (local) as well as here: http://www.whatcomrec.org/main.html
A web site and non-profit dedicated to assisting returning vets: They are incarcerated at a high rate and have a high rate of homelessness.
An article in April 2012 Time Magazine “Incarceration Nation”
SOME COSTS OF THIS SYSTEM
Since 1980 CA built 1 college and 21 prisons.
There is modern slavery in our prisons.
There are 90 border guards in Sumas who earn $150,000 per year.
Non-profits are stretched
Education is severely cut
Taxpayers can’t afford to pay more for this system
A jail planner’s job is to build prisons
40% of Whatcom Co. inmates have less than 2nd grade education
80% of Whatcom Co. inmates are in for non-violent crimes
2/3 of Whatcom Co. inmates have a mental illness
NEXT MEETING: Wednesday March 27, 2013 4 pm at Garden Street Methodist Church
Ronna reports on her meeting at ReSources this month and asks that her notes be integrated into these minutes. FOLLOWING: ReSources meeting March 3, 2013
- CANVASSING UPDATE. Will begin again when materials arrive. The printing is with Climate Solutions
- DIVESTMENT: WWU is going to be the first public university to formulate a plan for divestment. They have formed a study group and are very interested in pursuing this matter.
- Eddie told about his trip to D.C. and meeting with folks from different organizations. He met with 77 colleges at Swarthmore College. Shares the web site for New Economics Institute http://neweconomicsinstitute.org/
- FACT: WWU has a 48 million dollar endowment 1.5 million in fossil fuels.
- Voter registration will be a focus of the divestment group at WWU. They will then continue to recruit at WCC and BTC.
- Finally, he mentions a Rolling Stone article on divestment. http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/the-case-for-fossil-fuel-divestment-20130222
- Jon Shaunessy: Addressed the group about his interest in forming a coalition of the varied anti-cola interests in order to have a conversation and increase harmony between the various groups. He got some push back and many present thought we all had too much to do already and encouraged him to take on the leadership of such as group if he is interested. A signup sheet was passed for those interested in attending such a group.
- FERNDALE: There have been some inroads to the Ferndale city Council on the Coal issue related to water, possible need for immensely expensive infrastructure (10-15 RR crossings), tax costs which are not what SSA is projecting. Suggestions were made of where to go next; i.e., school districts (who won’t’ really benefit), LTE to the Record, community outreach.
- Toxics bill is still alive in the house. Clean Energy Solutions is a web site that members might find interesting. http://cleanenergysolutions.org/
- Erik Ericksen is supporting the Governor’s Climate Bill Study Group
- On SB 5805 on a fast track. Members are encouraged to call, email or write legislator to block this bill. Reassured that Inslee would veto such a bill were it to be passed.
- There was a brief discussion about Whatcom County Council elections and noted that Carl Weimer has filed for reelection to his seat. Further conversation was blocked, as this venue was not the appropriate pace for it.
- AREA WIDE: The Corps of Engineers is set to make a decision by May about whether to expand the scope of the EIS. There will be a future event and a ReSources bus ride to Seattle in support of this.
- Longview scoping will begin in June/July.
- THE Northern Plains Resource Council was suggested as an excellent resource on latest news. http://www.northernplains.org/
- Jim Robitaille reported on a filmmaking project “Coal Train” is still in the works. The project needs funding and expertise/help on editing. Some segments of the film were shown.
- CANADA neighbors: They are going to try to make it down for the next month meeting.
- ONGOING ACTIONS
- 350.org: There is a 45-day comment period in place for the Keystone XL project.
- Idle No More was at the Nooksack Methodist Church on Feb 23.
- BELLINGHAM 12 – there has been no decision on a “necessity Defense”. Court hearing happening on March 21 2:30.
- The following documentary Oil In Eden is recommended: http://www.pacificwild.org/site/press/1285692883.html
In addition, another Documentary On the Line, info here:
Diane reports on Citizens United. Whidbey Island has a group called Citizens Ignited. Gathering in Portland in May for Move to Amend issues. More info coming and will look into someone from OB going.
Diane gives TPP report. April 8 training the trainers for organizing against TPP. Fair trade not free trade. Working group on TPP is Diane, Debbie and Ronna. In addition, will go to training the trainers and Pam volunteers to go.
Review the fund-raising from last 2 meetings: suggestion for working group for fund raising. Reminder about connecting to interoccupy for funding. Pam suggestion for fund raising is political music jam and will check with Green Frog. Scratch garage sale for fund raising. Go over what transpired at last week’s meeting. Mark to take on dates for Rest Area. Other suggestions are contact philanthropist. Also discussion about getting fund raising back on board
Marcia still working on letter to be sent out to find out who is still OB, some discussion about this issue.
Terry wants OB to make a statement about gun control and Terry has a statement to be voted on next GA: OB endorse comprehensive, effective, sensible, gun safety regulation. Mayors and mothers against guns as a site to put on our website.
Pam reports on Tom Atlee: magnifying the bypassing of the normal official channels. Opportunities to take people without authority to discuss issues and then get it into the media: what do ordinary people think about gun control, for example. Key idea is people are really listened to. Citizen Deliberation Council is a randomly selected like a jury group of people to discuss and make decisions about important issues. Pam wants to explore this Monday a book group on one of Tom Attlee’s books. The Center for Sacred Education. Cienfuegos and Atlee are in Oregon. Pam will come back and report. Pam hopes this idea will catch on. Living Democracy is a very small party making decisions. Is part of Transition Whatcom. Discussion about morality.
Slogans of morality for OB.
Friday, March 15, 2013 Public Market Bellingham 5:30 p.m.
Present: Terry, Otter, Mark, Mike, Russ, Debbie, Dianne, Marcia, Alyce
Announcements: 42nd District legislators Buys and Ericksen in Ferndale HS, 11 a.m. Premeeting Machinists’ Hall 9:30 a.m.
TPP: Dianne told of plans for a forum here in Bellingham to inform people of this treaty being planned. There may be a big meeting in Vancouver BC this summer.
Plans for the Bellingham Four: Russ, Debbie, and Herb had met with Larry and Karen to discuss the current status of the charges against our Bellingham 4 who were arrested as our camp was removed from Maritime Heritage Park. Herb has offered to use his skills to help raise money for the costs. There may be a case that could be made and won about infringement of right to speech and gathering . That would involve Larry carrying on the case. After discussion, the assembly agreed that this group could lead an effort to support this continued action.
Sincerely, Alyce Werkema
I would like to add to the minutes (Debbie Cantrell)
Mark wants help starting a satirical news service. He read some of his ideas for pieces.
Terry announced March 17th Anti Coal protest at Semiahmoo.
Marcia and Mark reported on tabling efforts of the downtown coop.
Outreach effort: Marcia started a letter to invite feedback from the larger OB group. We discussed tone of letter. Otter mentioned making it a simple question. What did you contribute to OB? and what would you like to see happen? We discussed what our intentions were, to grow the group? and in that case what problems will that cause ( meeting place and the range of personalities). Still working on this.
Under Bellingham Four discussion:
Debbie clarified from last weeks meeting that OB does not have a legal responsibility (confusion occured due to the nature of the invoice that we received) to pay for the legal defenses as much as a moral responsibility. A temperature check was taken to see if anyone withdrew support for the $200 that was approved last week. Everyone agreed we should pay it anyway.
We took a temperature in support of Herbs fundraising efforts and it was overwhelmingly agreed upon.
Friday March 8, 2013 Public Market
Otter: Facilitator marcia: minutes; attending: , pam, terry, mark, debbie, mike, shane, diane, Islam,
Shane reports on Reconveyance: tea party property rights about lake whatcom. 8800 acres of land to be repossessed by Whatcom county. takes over custody of the land and out of timber production march 12, 5:30 pm county courthouse. It is under DNR commercial forestry. Reconveyance will allow old growth come back. Reconveryance means to make into parkland. Money for school district taken care of by a 500,000 dollar anon. donation to make up for lost timber sales. Group agreed to send announcement to larger OB mailing list.
Mark talks about earth first event Thurs. march 7: who bombed judi bari : dana lyons played and earth first founder spoke. Judi bari who was a founder of earth first. Refer this to last week.
Mark asked about Deep Green Resistance conference in Crescent City. Debbie reported that it is for members only, we received and email confirming this. Do we want to join?
Marcia’s pre proposal: to send email to the larger list to find out who is out there, and how to involve them more, etc. Marcia to start draft and send it around for all to work on it.
Pam reports on what Living Democracy is: started after a citizen’s group closed down a pig farm and then took on coal. A rift and power struggle ensued …. This group is a lot like Occupy. Tom Atlee model talks about citizen deliberation council: this is an issue of lots of groups who are not connected says korten, there is collective consciousness, movement of local ordinances for common sense view, conversation café. How to bust misinformation and use conversation café style dissemination. Website: living democracy .com. No coal involved with this group a lot of groups involved in this group. Control of message and the money. How to empower. Dan tap Scott: wrote wikinomics openness: empowerment transparency collaboration damien sweeny is local and central question is how to give the best quality of life to environment and people—is connected to Transition Whatcom. Creating local bill of rights. Different modes of achieving the same ends. CELDF has curric. For democ school and they get paid for this.
Ronna wants to represent us at resources and Terry suggest we do something like this with living democracy.
How to not burn out with going to your organization meeting and then representing this group at a council with a larger group. Citizen bill of rights to be drafted for localities. The best quality of life for the most people.
Islam shows up and introductions again. He came to the BHRFF and found out about OB. He is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and is working for democracy in Egypt. He goes to WCC and will go home in June. He may come to more meetings. There is an article about him in the WCC paper.
Debbie reports on Bellingham 4. $ 1700 needed per person to pay larry and karen. Judge not dismissing the case. $4200 paid so far. who is dragging this on: larry’s strategy was to drag this on but doesn’t seem to be working. Discussion ensued about OB obligation to support the arrestees and the ridiculousness of the long court battle over a trespassing charge. Debbie suggested another Rest Stop fundraiser. Mark said he would help. Otter suggested that we bring suggestions for fund raising next time. Also talk about contacting Ralph to do another article on this issue of trespassing costing so much.
Debbie Proposal: to use $200 from general fund to be paid to Larry as a good faith effort towards the outstanding legal balance Herb and Shea. Proposal Passed
TPP report: tribunals will be set up to delete national laws that interfere with corp. profits. Chile and peru are organizing. Tri-national Unity Agreement to resist this. 1000 organizational signatures are needed. 400 are signed on now. April 8 will be a training for TPP protest. TPP transcends the commerce clause. The world trade organization in Brussels will trump
Adjourn but discussion continues with Islam.
Friday March 1, 2013 5:30 p.m. Public Market, Bellingham, WA
Attendees: Alyce W., David W., Debbie C., Dianne F., Mark W.(moderator), Mike Z., Ronna L., Shane R., Terry D.
Topics: Announcements, TPP, Lake Whatcom, WAMEND, Deep Green at Crescent City, Cinco de Mayo, Website
TPP: Dianne reported on connections to work on this fast developing Free Trade Treaty, Rosalinda G. is planning a meeting Wednesday at 3 at her office in the Clover Building. Kristin from Public Citizen is planning a forum in Bellingham in April. The big trade meeting will be in Vancouver BC in July.
Lake Whatcom: First: Shane reported on the action coming before the County Council on March 12th for the reconveyence of 8,800 acres from forest to park designation. Everyone who can should come to the council meeting on the 12th. Second: This is the time for submitting public comments on the 160 paged report on the total water quality of the lake (TMDL). ACTION: Ronna will post to the blog and calendar with links to information about both these items.
WAMEND: Dianne reported on progress on this state effort to move along the amendment to nullify Citizens United. There is fear that Senator Rod Tom will kill the bill that the House and Governor would back.
Deep Green Resistance Conference: Mark reported on his wish to attend a conference by DGR in Crescent City, CA., March 22nd. Otter said that he has a RV that might work to get people there for the meeting. ACTION: Ronna will post as soon as she gets more details
Cinco do Mayo: Alyce reported having word from Rosalinda G. of C2C of plans for a farm worker-immigrants’ rights single file walk from Lynden and Bellingham to meet somewhere near BelllWood Acres. This would be a chance to stand up, to walk for workers’ rights. No planning meeting has been set.
Website_GA relationship and function: Otter presented the pre-proposal from last week on the statement that the website should be subject to the GA on content. Administrators should report to the GA every 30 days. Ronna differentiated between Occupy Bellingham and OB General Assembly. While anyone may call himself or herself a “member” of Occupy there is only one OB General Assembly. It takes place on Friday at 5:30 to conduct the business of OB which includes: plans events and actions, gets reports from affinity groups, hears announcements, and records minutes. The website is the face of OB-GA–we encourage people to go there to know us. In keeping with our respect and safer spaces people need to be considerate and to discuss problems in a way and place where the group can witness. Shane proposed that the internet face of OB owes duty of care to OB-GA. There is a trust and a responsibility. We did a temperature check to look at response to the “spirit” of the proposal that came to 8-2 so we will table the topic and come back to it. Otter withdrew his proposal and asked that the next time a proposal is brought forth we make more attempt to maintain focus on the actual proposal.
Submitted, Alyce Werkema
PS. Notice that on the WAMEND issue, Dorothy Van Soest has invited everyone to come to the Labor Temple in Seattle, Saturday the 9th from 2-4 p.m. to kick off and kick up the campaign. Can we get carpools with other interested groups to join?
Friday, February 22, 2013 Bellingham Public Market 5:30 p.m.
Present: Alyce W., Dianne F., Marcia L., Michael Z., Otter W., Terry D.
Otter served as moderator.
Agenda: 1) Events for week 2) Report from Seattle Climate Action 3) Website issues 4) ALEC development 5) TPP report on gaining signatures.
1. Events for Week.
- Saturday, Feb. 23. Nooksacks teach about Idle-No-More at Garden Street Methodist Church , noon-3 p.m.;
- Human Rights film on Palestine-Israeli pain from killings, 7 p.m., Congregational Church, Marcia leading.
- Monday, Feb. 25. Human Rights Film Heist at Fairhaven College, 7 p.m., Debbie, Dianne, Mark (?) leading.
- Thursday, Feb 28, United for Health Care, St. Luke’s EducationCenter, 7.p.m.
2. Seattle Climate Rally. OB organized and rented a van with 12 people to go to GoldenGardensPark along the shoreline. Mayor McGinn spoke about the coal train and of divesting public money from fossil fuels. Terry reported a good time on the trip and at the Rally. Tee King also organized action at BoulevardPark with 20 people.
3. Website/Who—What IS Occupy Bellingham? We have a past of a year and a half with many different people attending early on and recently. There are people who have worked for/with us who are not now attending GA’s. There are open-ended committees, such as Website Administration, that have been formed and are not meeting regularly with each other or the GA. By consensus, we agree that changes in administration of the website must be brought in person by the committee so that the assembly can consider changes.
E-mails can transmit information and be one way to contact the general body, but presence is necessary for us to decide what is good for the group. We must be able to look at each other to share important ideas in safer, sacred space as we work for democracy. Some of us are timid and afraid of tension, but we must dare, care enough to trust and respect each other. Not either/or, but through respectful attention: wholeness.
Based on experience we had early-on about web sites, we affirmed that the website belongs to the GA and the people making decisions there. The administrators and GA NEED to work together. Otter presented a pre-proposal: all members of Occupy Bellingham Internet Working Group, Website Administrators, and facilitators must report in person to the GA on any Occupy Bellingham website activities a minimum of once every 30 days.
4. Dianne reported on her experience in Olympia at the Democratic Party meeting on February 18th. There was an important presentation by the Center for Democracy on their experience with ALEC and of help they can give us on analyzing Ericksen’s bills and use of power.
5. Dianne also reported of her work focused on the TPP—Pacific trade pact that is being promoted by the Obama administration and all sorts of power groups. She has gotten endorsement opposing the treaty by the 42nd and Whatcom Democratic groups, Greens, and more. Also the State Democratic Party signed on to oppose it. Kristin Beifus is the connection for Washing Fair Trade and she had conference calls, will come to Whatcom for a forum, and may be able to speak on air here.
We are remembering and compiling a list of actions, letters, news articles, contacts with other people and organizations. Quite a list!
We adjourned right at 7 p.m. Submitted, Alyce Werkema
FEBRUARY 15, 2013 PUBLIC MARKET
Debbie facilitating, Ronna taking notes
Meeting initiated by discussion about whether to use the stack speaking method or discussion method. Agreement reached to use discussion and use stack if necessary. The group is small enough that discussion (with respect) was appropriate.
- TABLING – Marcia and Debbie were at the Co-op today. “Really fun today”. Two people who stopped said they might come to GA to “check us out”. Questioned the lack of home address on the petitions. Debbie explained that an online petition does not ask for that information nor do petitions not based on some legislation. This group soundly defeated the subject of changing the name of Occupy to something else. It is known in over 80 countries. It might be relevant to add actions to the brand as it arises.
- ALEC report: The planning group had a meeting Thursday and agreed to a couple of changes.
- Changing the name of the group to Occupy Bellingham Get Money Out of Politics group. While a bit long, it gets to the comment above about connecting to the action. So for showing the movie it would be announced thus: Occupy Bellingham GMOP showing the “United Sates of ALEC” a Bill Moyers documentary.
- The group agreed to keep showing the documentary, since so many folks seem unaware. We will contact 6 groups to try for a showing once a month.
- The agenda will be more relaxed without plans to break into groups or try to get folks engaged in action.
- In lieu of C above, a handout will be created to give out at the showing re: pertinent web sites about ALEC, GMOP, and possible actions a person can take.
- SEATTLE 350.org/Sierra Club RALLY: Debbie has rented a 12-passenger van, which should take those who want to go. The list is in flux. Marcia and Ronna will be prepared to use their cars if necessary.
- FINANCIAL: There was some “funny” action around the PayPal account and Debbie has taken measures to safeguard this link. (changed password, new email address, deleted old admins) The account is still active but with no dollar amount in the fund. The money in the account has been transferred to WECU.
- WEB SITE: Two of the 5 members of the IT team who were invited to this GA are in attendance. The following comments were made:
- Concern is expressed that administrators are using the “blog roll” to post personal opinion pieces and this is not the purpose of the site, especially if the person(s) are not participating members of Occupy Bellingham.
- Administrators of the site need to be participating members of Occupy
- The question is asked what do we want from the web site and what is its purpose? Terry agreed to formulate a forum post with these questions in mind.
- Herb is acknowledged for his help in cleaning up the slight problem a couple weeks ago. Ronna further acknowledges the skills she gained from working with Herb.
- The idea of having several posts a day/week seems like overkill and not what those present want to see.
- Posting events that we will be engaged in on the blog roll is a good use of the site. (as well as having specific details of events on the calendar)
- The “blog roll” is a good pace to post what we’re doing and connect with other sites and events, i.e., climate change and the rally events this week. Ongoing would be posts related to GMOP which is an ongoing activity of #OB.
- There should be no personal opinions on the front page – that is the purpose of the Forum.
- Linking front-page posts to the forum might be effective for generating conversation about relevant topics.
- We might be able to find an IT person who can act as consultant when problems arise.
- We should ask the current administrators if they want to stay on in this role or whether they would prefer to act as consultant if problems arise.
- Many people who do not attend the GA consider themselves members of Occupy Bellingham.
- What to do when someone becomes a BLOG HOG? The front page needs to reflect what we are working on but we don’t want to get into enforcing.
- Occupy Bellingham is an inclusive movement but we need to seek a balance.
- Mike told a story about his experience with a very rigid organization and a very loose organization and within this continuum, there is a lot of room but at either end of the continuum there can be difficulty. It is not effective to be either TOO RIGID ———-OR ————— TOO FLEXIBLE. In the middle are the “free wheelers”.
- It is pointed out that asking web site administrators to participate is not being exclusive.
- Regarding the website there is AGREEMENT ON:
- The front page should reflect current issues for #OB working groups
- It is inappropriate to have personal opinion pieces on the front page.
- Terry will start a forum piece on the vision for the web page.
- DJ from Southern Cal emailed Debbie to ask for an interview about #OB. Mark and Marcia volunteered to speak to this person and Debbie will email this person with Marcia’s and Mark’s email address.
February 8, 2013 5:30 p.m. Public Market, Bellingham, WA
Dianne Cantrelle, Moderator Alyce Werkema, Minutes
Present: Alyce, Debbie, Dianne, Donna, Marcia, Mark, Terry, Ronna
1. The state Environmental Lobby Day will be in Olympia, Tuesday, February 19th. The United Church of Oly. will be the staging point. There will be ride sharing from Bellingham
2. The national 350 org.-XL Pipeline Action will be Sunday, February 17. Bill McKibben has invited people to come to DC for a mass rally. Several groups are sending some people from here. What can people do in this area? Sierra Club and Bill Moyer-Backbone are gathering in Seattle for a mass photo, shoreline-coal train learning, Seattle Mayor participation. Ronna will go and has checked out Hesselgraves about getting a bus or carpooling. GA approved persuing sending notices to other Bellingham groups and then finding appropriate transportation. We will have to know by Wednesday in order to plan for a bus.
3. Website. Herb and Ronna have corrected and improved our OB website. Currently there are several Administrators of the site: Erin, Herb, Ronna, Debbie, McKenna who can make changes. The GA suggests that we need to have some oversite and suggested that all the current administrators come to a GA in order for everyone to connect. The issue was tabled. Debbie will send out invitation.
4. Debbie C. presented a letter from Herald reporter, Ralph Schwartz in which he asked for help for Kimya Zahedi who is working on a Showtime Documentary on climate change. She is focusing on Gov. Inslee and Senator Doug Ericksen. Ralph suggested that we of OB share our ideas and grievances and information on his legislation. Mark W. and Alyce will check with Steve Lydolph to see what we can learn about Doug’s record on climate change.
5. Marcia presented the information on the Human Rights Film series. Many films are being shown around Bellingham for several weeks. On Monday, Tuesday the 25th, SDA will present Heist at Fairhaven College, 7 p.m. They have asked that some people from Occupy help in presenting. Dianne, Marcia, Mark, and Ronna will serve as leaders.
6. Report on the ALEC followup meeting at the Food Co-op, 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 5th. Present: Margaret H., Naomi M., Debbie C., Ronna L., Natalie Mc., Marian B., Marcia, Terry, Alyce. The interesting discussion turned somewhat from exposing ALEC to getting money out of politics. The GA tabled the topic until there is more time to refocus. We will try that meeting Thursday, Feb., 14th, 3 p.m. at the Public Market.
Meeting dismissed at 7 p.m.
FEBRUARY 1, 2013
5:30 Public Market Three MEMBERS Terry facilitator, Ronna – notes Start with a comment from those present: Ronna says she’s happy to be here and notes the team of Debbie, Mark, Alyce and Dianne (driver) who are attending the WA State Single Payer Health Care hearing today in Olympia, Marcia tells us the First Congregational Church voted unanimously to become a “Just Peace Church”, there will be a potluck in April to celebrate. She says she is involved in the Human Rights Film Festival coming in late February and the 1st Congregational church will be hosting 2 films. She shows us 3 books she is currently studying. Terry tells us there is not too much he is “worked up” about but notices Occupy Bellingham is made up of many diverse and strongly opinionated people but that we are not the 1% nor are we each other’s enemy. We all have a part to play or are looking for our part to play. AGENDA: Ronna reports on the web site: On Monday January 28, Ronna noticed that the banner was missing from the web site front page, the links to the pages in the menu displayed an error message when attempting to access them and Erin was deleted from the subscriber list. They were all corrected in short order except for the banner. She contacted Erin for help (the author of this web site) who could not fix it. She then went to the IT group and Herb came on to help. He managed to fix the banner after much effort and then went on the change many items on the site. Ronna asked for and got a working session with Herb on the 4th. Ronna claims to have learned a lot about working with the web site in this session and expresses gratitude to Herb for his teaching. Ronna will ask for feedback from the GA group about the new “look” of the web site (wider front page mostly). To get a handle on the subscription list Ronna will change all known GA members to “authors” and delete the rest in order to keep track of how many “new” subscribers there are since these seem to be spammers with fake addresses. All spam bots have been removed from the forum. Herb is putting on a new page called Photo Gallery Discussion:
- The Forum page is the best place for thoughts and opinions. We need to look at that page and make it user friendly.
- Ronna has added OUR GOVERNMENT to the left side of the page linking to the reps from the 40 and 42 district as well as our federal representatives.
- The front page looks good and serves a purpose
- It’s important when making changes to the web site that “what’s good for the group” is considered and feedback requested.
- It would be best if web site administrators are participants in the Occupy General Assembly (tabled for another meeting when more member present)
- In subscribing to the web site in order to author material transparency is relevant and real names should be used.
- The links are good and useful, Ronna will add a new link to online petitions
- Current administrators are: Ronna, Debbie, McKenna, Erin, Herb
PRE PROPOSAL: Occupy Bellingham encourages transparency in our group process PRE PROPOSAL: major changes to the #OB web site be made by GA consensus Marcia reports on ALEC. There will be a second follow-up meeting on Tuesday 5th at the Co-op connections at 6:30. Ronna indicates that she does not wish to be the facilitator this time and Marcia volunteered. Ronna will put it to the planning group for consensus. Marcia showed a book she is studying, “Living the Heart of Christianity” and that there is a good chapter on conducting a class/workshop, etc. IT is true to the principles we learned from the Brookfield book and Saul Alinski’s organizing principles. Terry indicates he is not on the Google group. Ronna will add him. Terry says that we need an old time advertising campaign to reach people in coffee shops, stores, etc. How do we get free advertising – street theater, tabling? Pamphleteering? Instead of telling folks about ALEC we should create a skit where we act like an ALEC agent. Mark and group called in a report on the Hearing in Olympia. HE tells us it was well attended with over 100 people from all over the state. Occupy Tacoma was there as well as doctors and insurance folks. Those who spoke were very articulate. People seemed receptive to new ideas; though the hearing board indicated it may not get on this year’s agenda. We are all encouraged to contact our legislative representatives. Adjourned at 7:00 pm
January 25, 2013
Terry D. served as facilitator; Alyce W., secretary; Debbie C., stack. Ralph Schwartz who serves as political reporter for the Bellingham Herald, was in attendance and therefore served as a member for this General Assembly. Terry asked each member in attendance to give a 2 minute introduction, including activities and insights of the week. Ronna L.—2 showings of ALEC, catching up on notes. Ralph S.—getting acquainted with various groups as Tea Party, Greens, OB: Dianne F.—Life-long studying oppression and injustice as in politics, banks; Mike—following Idle No More after our involvement at the Peace Arch; Marcia L.—Seeking safety and hope in seeking to change ideas; Terry D.—has been re-inspired since involvement in Occupy; Alyce W.—healthcare reform and writing about the Lynden Gun Show; Terese V.– Seeds of change, workshop, Transition Whatcom and water issues; Nathan—involvement in fracking and tabling. Topics for the Agenda TPP, World Fair Trade Move to Amend signatures United Health care Tabling Education issues Gun Sale in Lynden ALEC follow up and reforming for issues 1. Trans Pacific Treaty. Dianne presented request for a forum here in Bellingham as soon as possible to get word out to people of this area. Forum leaders would be brought in and we would help find the place and the audience. Dianne, Ronna, and Terese will work on it. 2. Move to Amend. Ronna presented that whereas we didn’t get signatures into the state for the initial action there, we will collect signatures for 4 more weeks and then send out signatures to Olympia and Move On. 3. United for Health Care. Friday, Feb. 1, the lobby/action day for single payer health care will be in Olympia. Ronna will put the State Health Security Trust Bill on our website. Aileen Satushek is forming carpools to Oly. OB members who can go need to contact Dianne or Alyce so we can coordinate with Aileen. 4. Tabling. Ronna and Nathan reported on work at Cordata and Downtown Food Co-Ops. Two people sit at a table, meeting shoppers, getting signatures. This came from actions at the Library lawn. More people can get the material and set up their own times to work. This expands democracy. Can add Tar Sands, XL petitions as the workers choose. 5. Education Issues. Education involves planning, strategy for future. We need to be intentional. Transforming. Making people and the environment safer. A presenter is transformed with the group as we share stories, discuss, reflect, act. We need a new awareness. 6. Gun Show in Lynden. This week Jan. 26-27 there will be a Gun sale at the Lynden Fairgrounds. There have been several letters in newspapers. Anyone from OB who wants to mark the Million Mothers’ Action can come to Lynden Saturday, 10:15 a.m. We will quietly hold signs, witnes 7. On the ALEC follow on the downtown Co-op. The meeting is Tuesday, February 5, at 6:30 p.m. Ronna has sent out notices to all the people who have attended our events. We leaders need to be at the Co-op at 5:30 to set up and divide tasks. Then we have to trust that other adults will step up and follow the chosen areas (education, healthcare, ALEC introduced bills and political moves). To bird dog our legislators. Having completed the agenda we had time for some new topics. Mark wants to get the Money out of Politics and is looking to produce street theatre to expose the damage done by the decision by the Supreme Court. Debbie raised the problem of the cost arrests of the Bellingham Four. Two people have been able to pay, but $3,000 costs remain. Is there a way to get money or attention or fundraising to cover outstanding bills? Brainstorm of connections of ideas: Rocket Donuts’ Jim Swift might be approached. Stellas. Wild Buffalo. Other friends. The assembly chose to put the matter in the Parking Lot as we think. Terry offered the word for our focus: RESPECT. This may be a new kind of hope. Respectfully submitted. Alyce V. Werkema
January 11, 2013
9 present Terry, facilitator, Ronna- Notes (corrections made 1/19.2013 by Ronna) A 1-2 minute “go around” allowing those present to speak what their mind. Dianne – Move ON has petition for Paul Krugman for Treasury Secretary. Need to keep an eye on Jack Lew as he is a bankster and has a history of deregulation, austerity measures, etc. This is not a good choice. Marcia: Shows a new book she is reading. Announces the B’ham Human Rights Festival will be a BTC and First Congregational church to name two sites. Stay tuned for more info. Her congregation will vote on Sunday to become a “Just Peace Church”. Nathan: US Gov is using an anti-fungal to kill drug crops. This brought back memories of Paraquat used in the 80’s to combat marijuana in Mexico. It turned out to be harmful to everything and everybody. Terry: Glad to be here – Attention is going to be on gun control for a while. Ronna: Glad to be here. Deva: glad to be here. Mark: Has a few good movies to share, Living Matrix and Inside Job to name 2. Jon: Brought in a notebook of old encampment minutes and bylaws. Ronna took it. Asked to be on the agenda about coal. Reminded group of the history of Whatcom Progressive Grassroots Network and that it would be beneficial to initiate such a group again. The effort would be to link all the current activism groups to work together. Those present agreed that all groups are working hard in the start of 2013. AGENDA: Proposal (Mark): Occupy Bellingham donate $50 for a subscription to Whatcom Watch as a gift to Spokane Occupy for all their past help and support: Discussion:
- They can read the paper online
- A member can pick up the paper free and send it on to Spokane
- The action would increase our connection to Spokane
ACTION: Consensus approved (Debbie will implement the motion) Discussion (Jon); Explains his absence to the group for 2012, i.e., “he took the year off”. Wants to work on the coal issue and bring a united front together. He reminds us that 10,000 signed on to Prop 2 petition. The needs to be confidence that a campaign will be successful and a purpose would be to gather input from people to encourage people to get involved in Power Past Coal. To “get on the bus” with resources. Get to the city mayors. Other input was about a Ridley Island Coal terminal, which is a new action. This will be in South Prince Rupert and will have open coal piles. Keystone pipeline is also a similar issue. First Nations are saying no to all of it and have founded 2 groups: Idle No More and Rising Tide. Discussion ensued about the Bellingham 12 action and that it was thought by many to be premature. Such an action needs many more people to be effective and as it occurred, it has lost its newsworthiness. Dianne reminds members that the action was originally intended to be in support of West Coast port strike and it has been misunderstood in the ensuing months. Alyce suggests that we need to expose the companies who are bleeding profits off for major stakeholders (the already wealthy). That we should write letters to the editor to expose such actions. Marcia, suggests we should try to work with unions to expose these harmful actions… Members advised Jon to attend a ReSources monthly meeting on Coal and contact Larry Hildes for news and progress related to the Bellingham twelve. Report: (Dianne): Thursday January 17th there will be a lobby effort in Olympia to turn in Move to Amend petitions. We are a bit behind and Alyce and Dianne are researching this effort so we can get on board. Ronna sent out the online petition to the ALEC and OB-GA working group a while ago – hopefully this added numbers to their effort. The TPP petition needs more signatures. Ronna asked Dianne to send it to her and she will send it out to others. PRE-PROPOSAL (Terry) Occupy Bellingham endorse sensible and effective gun control. Announcement (Ronna proxy for Charles L) – Charles will be attending the Mayor’s Neighborhood Advisory Commission meeting. James King, Parks director will be there and Charles would like to know if he could speak about the “unfriendliness” of the camp eviction. Members agreed that this is appropriate but reminded those present that when we speak we can tell that we are a member of Occupy but that we speak for ourselves. Second item is that Charles has asked the Bellingham Food Co-op to support UNFI union members (72 have not been reinstated and the strike continues) and not purchase product from the company moving these products. Further noted that Jobs with Justice is supporting this strike. ALEC report (Ronna): the group will present the second showing of The United States of ALEC on Tuesday the 15th at Ferndale WECU. Then again on Saturday the 19th at the MLK conference at WCC. The session will be at 1:45 pm. OB is also staffing a table in the lobby for the MLK conference. The ALEC planning group will meet at Alyce’s on Sunday at 2:00 pm to plan the next two sessions. Ronna is revising the Whatcom Watch article to include the two upcoming events and will get it in for the February paper. DISCUSSION: It is suggested at the ALEC follow-up hat OB should have a messaging phone number to provide better access to information and questions. After a brief discussion, we determined that we needed more information about the purpose of such an undertaking. Adjourned at 7:00 PM.
December 28, 2012 Public Market – 12 in attendance
- Shane is asking the Whatcom County Council to join the Planning Commission. HE asks that everybody who can attend open session on Tuesday, January 15 and indicate you would like a different planning commission and believe Shane would bring more balance to the commission. Letters would also be helpful. Ronna indicated she would somehow try to post this to the #OB web site.
- After a few late comers arrived and asked to be on the agenda we were reminded, again, to be on time or don’t expect to get on the agenda.
- Ronna, Marcia and Alyce reported on the tabling at the Co-op. The first week was not very positive and the second week was great. Met many supporters – people thinking us for our presence. Ronna reported there are two bins with tabling material. Nathan asked to take a bin to table at the Co-op. He asked to be able to put a petition to ban fracking. While it was agreed that there is no local problem with this issue it is relevant. Nathan agreed to report back. Ronna will arrange an email string/group for a “tabling working group”. The following is the web site for the issue. http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/fracking/ Next week will be at Forest Street. Alyce and Ronna volunteered. Karen agreed to follow through n her idea to use to PJC if possible. ACTION
- ALEC – There will be a brief meeting after GA. Dates are January 4 for follow-up, January 14 for Ferndale and west county residents., January 19 for MLK conference. (Marcia agreed to follow-up for a lobby table).
- 5. Lobby Day in Olympia. Open session starts January 4. Diane agreed to f/u to see if MoveToAmend is coming up and when and do some research on the MONEY. Terese found that Environmental Lobby day will be February 14. We all made a sigh of relief. PARKING LOT
- Karen made the point that #OB should have cancelled GA last week and attended the UNFI meeting on union busting.
- Karen – Told us that the two professors she mentioned a few months ago have agreed to hold a workshop up here on political economy. She requests sponsorship from OB for this endeavor. She plans to take the lead. Suggestions were made for contacts of Socialist Alternative, Alternative Library, and Green Party. Questions were asked about that type of funding will be necessary and what did sponsorship mean? Karen agreed to develop it a bit more and get back to GA. Dates are possible for end Feb/early March. PARKING LOT
- Financial – What tax/legal status does #OB want? Discussion about non-profits, club, what else? Nathan agreed to do some research into tax status of other Occupies TABLED
- IDLE NO MORE Charles explained this is a recent movement about the De-colonization of North America. IT is bringing awareness to the indigenous plight. Basically it has to do with PM Harper’s budget proposal called C45. It takes more land and resources and further “develops” the land on which these people live thus causing them greater underdeveloped satus,.ie.e, poverty and all the rest. The web site is here to learn more about it and especially Chief Theresa Spence. We will stay in tune for flash mobs and informed about actions. ACTION.
- Dianne presented information about Ralph Swartz a new political blogger for the Bellingham Herald. He has posted on his Herald politics blog, that he had run a series of articles on the right wing in Whatcom County, but couldn’t find any left wing groups to interview. Dianne posted on his blog that we have a very active chapter of Occupy, plus the Socialist Alternative and Green Party, (as well as Vets for Peace, WP and J, United for National Health Care, etc). Dianne asked if anyone would have an objection to her mentioning other names of Occupy members, if we sit and have a chat. There was total agreement and enthusiasm for her to speak to Ralph. In the meantime, he got back to Dianne and said he’s interested in talking. Dianne told him she can represent Occupy to him, but I may set up a meeting with him and a few others of us. I’ll advise him to listen to the Joe Show podcast as well, and read our op-ed in the Whatcom Watch.
Meeting adjourned at 7:00pm. Notes by Ronna
Dec. 21 minutes
The GA was pretty informal with only Debbie, Mark and I. Notes by Marcia Topics discussed Being on time for OB meetings and events, Debbie was by herself for 10 minutes before anyone showed up. Point taken and all agree to try to do a better job of arriving on time. January 14 is Lobby Day Update on ALEC and talk about the notice that was sent out. Discuss the anniversary/remembrance of the camp eviction. Long brainstorming of slogans for signs and the need to be short but impacting. Also, talked about lighting for this event, as it will be getting pretty dark and would be nice to have lights on the signs. Christmas lights would be great but we need a generator. Which led to thinking about the possibility of OB investing in a generator. Some of the slogans tossed around went something like this: no to riot gear/yes to …….; 1st amendment trumps grass; dismiss the charges on the Bellingham 4; can’t trespass in a public park; remember the eviction and the 4 who sat down for free speech; stand up for the free speech that the Bellingham 4 sat down for; Occupy is still working for democracy; the tents came down but Occupy still stands. Meeting ends with 2 topics for future discussion: fund raising and 501K status. December 14th 2012
Terry: Facilitator, Debbie: Minutes,Attendance: 9
Terry opened the meeting with an informal “open mike” for everyone to speak about anything on their minds.
2. ALEC teach-in update: January 4th is our follow up meeting for the larger ALEC working group which was created at the November 16th presentation. We will coordinate via email to create the agenda for that meeting. Ronna will send out email invites to Google group in a few days and again 3-5 days before the event.
January 15th, we will have a repeat performance of the presentation Ferndale. We will target Ferndale, Custer, Blaine, Lummi Island. and it will go on our website.
MLK Day at WCC: Marcia has submitted paperwork for us to present there and have an OB table as well.
Ronna submitted a preliminary article to the Whatcom Watch about ALEC.
3. Information tent update: New possible locations for tent include Community Coop entrance (both locations) and the the new WPJ location on Bay Street. Ronna will follow with WPJ. Terry would be willing to make a sandwich board sign for us to put on the sidewalk. Nathan said he was interested in manning the table at other times. Ronna said she would make the information material available for anyone that wanted to do that.
4. Announcement: Green Party teach-in on drones Proposal – shall we support? We were all in favor of supporting this event by posting it on our website.
5. Veterans for Peace Petition: We have been given a link to an on line petition asking for our government to bring our war dollars home. We will look into this further to see if we should print it out for our table, or email the link to our OB list.
6. Coal Scoping Hearing in Seattle Thursday December 13th: Mark gave us a brief description on the events. Included Backbone, Salmon and polar bears. Large numbers of anti coal people attending.
7. Encampment Eviction Anniversary: Marcia wants to have some kind of remembrance at the Friday vigil on the 28th. A working group formed and she will bring cake.
8. Syracuse Cultural Workers Calendars: The order that we made last month never came. Do we still want them? It seemed unanimous that we should re-order. Debbie will do that. We will sell them for $20.
9. Collaborating with the Alternative Library: Terry said that we have an opportunity to work with the Alternative Library. The currant OB members tend to be older, and we could benefit from the perspective of younger folks at the library as well as the use of their space. He suggested doing our ALEC presentation in a more theatrical form and getting feedback from the AL folks. Discussion about how we might make the presentation more memorable by “telling a story” or role playing. FutureMan mentioned that we could all become members by providing contact info and $5, and then we would have input as to the direction of the group. We could use the space for meetings, however, ofter band practices after 5 in the evening. They have 40 ish chairs. Ronna said maybe February would be good, as we are pretty busy right now. FutureMan said he could help promote events with his 600 person mailing list. Also, Whatcom Radical Educators Collective? is a sub-group of AL and is focusing on Teach-ins.
12/7/12 PUBLIC MARKET
7 members present Terry – facilitates Ronna – notes
Terry asked each person present o take a minute to say anything they would like to say before we begin.
Mark suggests we all take in the FRONTLINE show “Climate of Doubt”. http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/climate-of-doubt/
Alyce – reports on a talk with Ellen M earlier about how it is so important to stay connected with other groups.
Terry wanted to honor Dave Brubeck (died today) and told us that, in the early days 30’s and 40’s he would not play in any venue that was segregated.
- Pre-proposal from Terry That Occupy Bellingham donates $100 to Strike Debt http://strikedebt.org/ Rolling Jubilee http://rollingjubilee.org/ project. Discussion:
- We cannot know who gets the relief and it can’t be made regional or local (as far as we know)
- IT is targeting high unemployment areas for now.
- The Nation of Change http://www.nationofchange.org/ is collecting money to donate to this cause
CONSENSUS TO PRESENT THIS PRE-PROPOSAL FOR NEXT WEEK GA
- DEC 28 eviction of the encampment anniversary. What do we want to do? – do want to do anything? Discussion:
- It’s been suggested that we have a “healing” with the police department Ellen Murphy would be an ideal person to help with this.
- This needs an event planning group. Ronna said she will put this on the blog roll and ask for ideas and volunteers to work on it.
- We could send this invitation (to work on an event) to the contact list (Debbie will return from Florida this coming week).
- Do a street theater
- What venue?
- Write a letter to the editor (Alyce volunteered to work on this)
- Terry will stay in phone contact with Mark who wants to work on this.
- Report on ALEC
- The follow up meeting with the first group will be on Friday Jan 4 at 6:30 at WECU. Ronna will communicate with the Google group to invite them to attend> She has put out the preliminary email asking them to hold the date.. She will ask those coming to bring any and all petitions they have, and any ideas of ALEC legislation in the works in WASHINGTON Legislature.
- Emphasized that “#OB job is to expose these people”.
- Suggestion made to check out AlterNet http://www.alternet.org/ for good information about ALEC
- PARKING LOT – Ronna passed out a new “parking lot” and explained to those who aren’t familiar with this technique of keeping track of our good ideas.
- Members were asked to pay attention to the date on the footer to keep current with the iteration.
- 3 items were added after last GA.
- Noted that the ALEC item was in full swing.
- Mark noted that the Grange is interested in pursuing the WA state “Trust” (bank)
- Olympia Lobby Day will go on the agenda for next week (CONSENSUS)
- Information tent venue. The tent was cancelled to day after a major hail storm occurred about 15 minutes into the decision to set up.
- Ronna will check with Stephen Trinkas about using Terra Organic (she did this and this space is not available as the vendors do not want “political organizations” to set up in the lobby.)
- Ronna will check with the Bellingham Food Co-op
- Members are asked to keep their eyes and ears open to other possible venues.
- Marcia will check into WCC and Ronna will check into WWU.
- REPORT on the TPP RALLY
- Mark counted about 300 people
- The weather was very rough with gales winds and rain and cold
- Speakers were excellent
- There were many young people and people from as far away as Portland, Canada, Vashon Island (Backbone) and Seattle.
- There was a phone in from New Zealand where they are protesting this trade agreement
- After the meal event planners convened 3 working groups: FAIR-TRADE http://fairtradetownsusa.org/towns/wa/seattle/ WA BACKBONE WG http://www.backbonecampaign.org/ and ????
- Dianne and Alyce will work with Whatcom Dems to get a resolution at the monthly meeting about this protest.
- Marcia – announced that she would still like to work on a presentation/educational opportunity with a focus on empowering people in poverty. She will work on getting this idea more fully developed for the next GA and to get it on the Parking Lot.
November 20, 2012
Public Market – 8 present Terry: facilitator Ronna: Notes
Action: CLOSED SIGN – Dianne had the idea that we could post closed signs on all public buildings that have a furlough day as a result of budget problems. All present agreed we could do this. Dianne will find out what days they are closed and, for starters, she will post the signs on the doors early Friday and Ronna will help to take them down prior to the GA. A suggestion was to get some legal advice but group decided that if not allowed we could do this as an act of civil disobedience. Karen Weill agreed to check on the legality of such an action. Another suggestion was that we should do our due diligence to put more information on the web site with the back story about these closures.
CONSENSUS – YES
TPP rally for this Saturday at Peace Arch Park. We talked about details for this rally. Agreed that #Ob would put up the information table if possible. Weather and/or other TPP agenda might preclude this action. Ronna said she will be there at 12:30 in the parking lot with the tent stuff. Mark agreed to be there with banners. Marcia will bring cookies for the tent. Dianne has arranged a ride share from Railroad and Magnolia – she will be holding a sign to help folks locate her.
Marcia brought forth a proposal that when someone goes out into public to take an action under the banner of Occupy Bellingham that he/she/they come before the GA for approval of the action. Discussion included the following comments:
- Actions need to adhere to #Ob principles of non-violence, non-destruction and must have integrity.
- IF an action does take place outside of GA approval #OB can disavow this action via web site and in the GA (minutes).
- The nature if activism is that we get it wrong sometimes.
- It’s a given that there is no endorsement from the #OB GA id you’re acting on your won.
- We reviewed some past discussion that it might be worthwhile to appoint (GA approved) a liaison to another group (such as Terry who is working with Alternative Library around space)
- Ronna shared how Shane Roth, when speaking to the County Council would state he was a member of #OB but then state he was speaking as an individual citizen and not representing Occupy.
- We want to be sure to differentiate between an action ad sharing about Occupy to a friend/other person. Such as handing out a business card or how we interact with the public at the information tent.
ACTION: tabled as a proposal and agreed that we have these principles in place in the other documents on the web site such as Safer spaces, consensus, about, brochure.
- that there is a hearing for the Bellingham twelve on Thursday Dec. 6 at 2:30 at the Municipal Courthouse CR #1 at B and Girard. The judge will be deciding whether to grant a “necessity defense”. IF granted they would like to go to trial, if not granted they will ask for letters asking the prosecutor to dismiss the case.
- The Bellingham four will have a hearing in two weeks – the prosecutor delayed this time as he would like to review the letters asking for dismissal and a motion that was brought just two weeks ago by the defense.
- Karen is asked to send email information about these hearings to Ronna so they can be posted to the web calendar with accurate information
- 2 news articles that she would like all GA folks to read and then decide if there is any action we would like to take. She is asked to send links to these articles so we can read them.
- Reminded those present that there was an activity to attend the movie “Lincoln” tonight at 8:00 having ice cream at Mallards at 7:00.
Friendly reminder from Charles to use the hand signals we learned to indicate “temperature” of the group and agreement or disagreement. This is preferable to interrupting each other.
Charles brought up:
- The Super-Hero Lighted Bike Parade happening on December 7 at 6:00 downtown Bellingham Ronna will post to the web site.
- He passed around a handout listing several Whatcom County vacancies on boards and committees. He shared how valuable his experience has been since sitting on a City council.
- He provided a brochure for the Roosevelt Resource Center that he believes would be a nice opportunity to use for Occupy events.
Request that next week agenda talk about #OB doing some charitable acts.
Adjourned at 7:00 pm
GA Minutes Friday November 23, 2012
GA Minutes November 9, 2012 5:30pm Public Market
Facilitator: Mark Notes: Debbie Attendance: 10
Occupy In Solidarity: Marsha: Let’s Occupy in Solidarity with other groups and events, to help bring attention to things like foreclosures. We could all have Occupy signs. Ronna mentioned that she is looking into getting OB signs silk screened. We discussed ways to get people gathered on short notice. Charles said he had bad luck trying to get people to show up on short notice to an event. Events that have enough lead time can be brought to the GA. If you have an event you want people to know about, send it to Ronna, and she will put it on the calendar.
Partnering with the Alternative Library Report: Terry met with Futureman and said that they have a great space for teach in type events. Big, no chairs, downtown. WECU room is good, but we can not advertise in the paper or on the radio for those events. People at the AL are activists and would be good partners. We all agreed that talks on this partnership should continue. Charles informed us of a space in the Rosevelt Neighborhood, The Roosevelt Neighborhood Resource Center, that we could use for $10/ hour, with a kitchen. 2303 Moore Street.
350.org meeting in Seattle: Ronna said she has emailed to the GA google group a summary of the event. Bill McKibben said one of the most important things we could do for this cause is to stop the coal port.
Green Jobs proposal from last week: Ronna tried to get in touch with Jobs with Justice, but had no luck.
Partnership working group: Ronna has formatted the list of local activist organizations that we want to partner with. Mark thought we should get an Occupy member into each one of these groups. Charles said that there are tremendous amounts of volunteer opportunities available at the county and the city.
Rest- stop fundraiser: Nothing has been done, but we all agreed that if someone was so inclined to organize it, we would support it. Ronna said she could not staff it, unless we waited until spring. It was really cold at night last time.
Renewal of PO box: Debbie: Asked for approval to pay $60 for our PO Box for the next 6 months. Terry mentioned that we should support the USPS. They are under attack by the 1%, They want to privatize it and force them to hold retirement benefits for longer than other companies are expected to. We approved the expenditure.
Adjourned at 6:40 ish
GA November 2, 2012
5:00 at the Public Market – 7 members present
Debbie shared with the group the status of family members on the East Coast.
Bonnie asked for a proposal that Occupy Bellingham start making a list of “alternative” good jobs with the end goal of a list of practical solutions to take to city council. That a list of such jobs be available at the #OB tent. Discussion:
- “This needs a working group.”
- Communicate with Jobs with Justice to see if they are working on such a list.
- A good reason to start liaison with union groups.
- This should have a time line for completion.
- Jeremy is working with Mark Lowry on a green jobs proposal
- #OB could offer alternative jobs by starting to produce our own products
- Bonnie will contact Jeremy to find out what he is working on with Mark Lowry
- Ronna will add this to the parking lot
- Ronna will enter this as a pre-proposal in the #OB forum
- Ronna will contact Jobs with Justice about this issue.
Ronna offered a proposal that Occupy Bellingham adopt the following statement as our vision.
I WANT JUSTICE
- economic justice
- social justice
- environmental justice
I WANT DEMOCRACY
- I is simple
- It is inclusive
- “I” makes it personal as opposed to “we” which could put people off with the imposition of a “we/them” situation
ACTION: Full consensus to adopt this as Occupy Bellingham vision statement
Mark raised a proposal that Occupiers (Bellingham) who host out of town visitors helping with OB causes can be reimbursed for minor expenses (up to $50).
- This can be handled with current process of asking for reimbursement for expenses up to $50. This entails having receipts for those expenses.
- Mark is a wonderful asset to this group, making many liaisons with outside groups for the betterment of all.
- When these events occur calls should go out to the whole group for the possibility of donations, potlucks, gifts, etc.
- With no set dates for future occurrences this proposal should be re-visited at the end of 2012.
- ACTION: Proposal accepted by full consensus.
Financial Report: Approximate figures: 400 checking account; 450 cash in general fund; 120 in legal fund
Otter proposed that: Occupy Bellingham hold another freeway rest area fundraiser. That donations can be reimbursed by #OB funds up to the allowed expense (without GA approval) of $50.
- This needs a working group
- Reimbursement should be left to the individual contributor.
- Ronna reminds us that we were cold when the weather was warm and we should wait for better traveling conditions and warmer weather.
- Mark insisted that the minute reflect that Ronna should earn the “MVP” award for the last rest area fundraiser. She pushes back that she should share this praise with Mark who was able to put this event together without access to the Internet.
- OB should in future events project what the money is used for, legal costs, projects, etc.
ACTION: FULL CONSENSUS
- Ronna will post this as a pre-proposal in the forum
Terry reported on Partnerships Project and his contact with the Alternative Library. He is speaking with Futureman about OB using the space for inside meetings this winter and other possibilities. There might even be room for some storage. Terry will pursue and report back on progress.
Mark reported on some new contacts: A resource for the Pebble Mine information who works at UofW. That Big Sky- Big Money and Climate of Doubt may be documentaries we could show in the future.
Mark initiated an idea to work on a street theater event related to Corporate Greed. He will work up a proposal on the subject.
Debbie asked whether we should pay $60 for our post office box for 6 more months. She also asks for ideas about what we want and where we are headed as an organization, our legal status, non-profit.
- Could we get another agency such as Alternative Library or Peace and Justice to take our mail for us?
- We are only getting bank statements but have received 2 donation checks in the past.
- Can we get bank statements online?
- We will revisit the issue about the future at the end of the month.
- All agreed to keep PO Box for 6 months.
Meeting adjourned at 7:00. Then working group for ALEC met briefly.
October 27, 2012 in the library 5:00 – 6:00
6 member present – No proposals were presented and there was a lively, informal discussion about the following
ALEC update: we are set for November 16th from 6 -9 with the teach-in occurring from 6:30 – 8:30. So far Mark, Debbie and Ronna comprise the working group
Debbie asked for clarification about the news about Romney family members (a son) having an inertest in voting machines and whether this makes the risk of “rigging” these machines greater. Clarified that the interest is purely financial and should not lead to interference. It was mentioned that voter suppression actions by the Republicans has led to a call for International Observers to be present in some states where voter suppression is suspected.
Partnerships Project: Terry reports that there does not seem to be much interest and in fact is garnering some apathy and hostility. Suggests it may be wise to appoint a liaison person to work with individual groups so as to avoid duplication and a perception of “hounding”. Alyce has volunteered to work with Terry and others and Ronna continues to work to document/format existing Whatcom County organizations. All agreed this was a worthwhile project and should be pursued however slowly and carefully.
Ronna will update the parking lot for accuracy.
Spokane members were present at this meeting and their input was appreciated. They are confused about the varied anti-coal groups and wondered who was in what group. Those present were not sufficiently informed to answer this question.
October 19, 2012
Inside Library, bottom floor. 5 members present – start at 5:00 –ground floor of library.
The meeting was an informal discussion group with several subjects under discussion.
- Ronna reported that she has obtained the WECU education center for November 16th for presenting the teach-in “The United States of ALEC”. She has put this information on the Common Cause site and has asked for the DVD to show the documentary with Bill Moyers. Marcia asked to join this group. We will get together informally to discuss this event at the information tent prior to the election, then we will get to work to put it together after the elections. However the elections turn out it will be imperative that we start to inform the citizens about The American Legislative Exchange Council. Ronna has found out that Buys is not a member but a site she found does list Doug Erikson as a member. Overstreet staff has not responded. Koster was a member when he was in the State house and staff expects him to rejoin should he be elected.
- Partnerships Project. Ronna announced that she is behind in collating new member organizations in Whatcom County. Mark indicated he is finding many very pertinent organizations outside Whatcom that we should include. He believes we should cast the net wide. Ronna stated her dream to turn the Granary into an advocacy HUB. ACTION: Ronna will update the list she has started and send it out to members and bring hard copies for the next meeting.
- Ronna asked member present to consider learning how to Live Stream if they are interested in this venture. IT would be excellent to have meetings, the information tent on a live stream broadcast as part of getting our web site more active again. Otter indicated he would consider such an adventure and get back to the group.
- Mark initiated a discussion about the reading group – wanting to start soon and he has found a source who could audio tape our sessions which we would do in the circle discussion format we have sued in the education group. This would then be distilled down to a shorter version and be available for broadcast on the radio. ACTION: Ronna will change the Google group to include the reading aspect and send this out to members, making it an open group.
- Terry initiated a discussion as we were leaving the library about how Occupy Bellingham could recharge our focus to have a “better attitude” about asking for donations. He reminds us all of the Live Aid concerts (Live Aid was a dual-venue concert held on 13 July 1985. The event was organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure to raise funds for relief of the ongoing Ethiopian famine. Billed as the “global jukebox”, the event was held simultaneously atWembley Stadium in London, England, United Kingdom (attended by 72,000 people) and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States (attended by about 100,000 people). On the same day, concerts inspired by the initiative happened in other countries, such as Australia and Germany. It was one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time: an estimated global audience of 1.9 billion, across 150 nations, watched the live broadcast.around the world that raised money for the starvation drought in Africa.) and how millions of dollars poured in to help with this relief. The Occupy movement has such potential if we can get our message right. ACTION: Make buttons, use a large clear glass jar like at the rest area, and Get a slogan that works to motivate people to donate.
Possible: Donate for World Justice
Adjourned at 6:15 PM Notes by Ronna
October 11, 2012
6 members present Inside library bottom floor. Notes by Ronna
The meeting was a discussion meeting with no actual proposals but agreement on several issues:
- Anytime 2 or more people are together to work on a project that supports Occupy principles they may be considered a working group and can come to the GA to report on the outcome of the meeting or present a proposal to the large group.
- After the presentation of “U.S. of ALEC a possible outcome would be to follow up with our state/federal legislators to “force” cooperation for Occupy issues. Erikson is our only state legislator who is a member of ALEC. (Check out the email from Charles on 10/21/12 with a note from Doug Erikson). Ronna will secure a date for this event at WECU.
- Occupy Bellingham can explore making a grocery bag with our logo.
- Terry will explore the new Alternative Library site and report back next meeting.
- There was some talk about researching the Supreme Court Justices for behaviors that could lead to impeachment (bad behavior).
- Report on the Beach/Fisherman coal protest. It was well attended and resulted in an article in the New York Times. A beautiful day and powerful first nation speakers.
- Report on the Wal-Mart solidarity protest. IT seemed like a small group though the union folks were happy with the turnout. We handed out all handbills and got plenty of support from folks though many seemed embarrassed by shopping here and then getting the handout. A conflict for sure.
- Ronna continues to make Occupy Bellingham business cards. They seem more user friendly than the brochure for a quick access to web sites, etc.
Meeting adjourned at 6:00 at the closure of the library.
October 5th 2012 General Assembly Minutes
Minute Taker Debbie C. Facilitator Mark W. 7 people present
Announcements: Several upcoming events were announced, details can be found on our website or on the internet.
Dan Kammen- Imagine Energy Independence Tonight 7pm B-ham Highschool
Protecting the Salish Sea:
Northwest Fishers Unite against the Coal Terminal Monday October 8th, 2012 12 PM Cherry Point
Wal-Mart Protest: October 10,, 2012 (Info taken from forwarded email)
Why October 10th? On October 10th, Wal-Mart is hosting its annual investors conference in Arkansas to convince large institutional investors that the state of Wal-Mart is strong. Workers know this is not true. Stores are often understaffed, and workers’ health and safety are compromised to cut costs.
Wal-Mart store workers throughout the nation are taking action next week, delivering a message to Wal-Mart executives in Bentonville, AK that Wal-Mart has to change.
Join thousands of Wal-Mart workers and community supporters at Wal-Mart stores across the country.
For all actions, we will meet in front of the main store entrance at the appointed start time, and will be no longer than one hour.
3pm-4pm, 4420 Meridian St., Bellingham 98226
Mount Vernon (Supercenter)
9am-10am, 2301 Freeway Dr., Mount Vernon 98273
US for Precendent presents the Unconventional Convention October 14th 2012
Presence Studio, 1412 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA.
(taken from email)
“We will look at what we can do together to inspire and activate us so that our community can be a ‘precedent’ for other communities.”
Public Comment Workshop October 17th 2012 7 pm
(for Cherry Point Coal Terminal EIS Scoping)
The Healthcare Movie October 25, 2012 7 pm Unitarian Church, Free
Amy Goodman October 27th Everett, see Democracy Now website for details
Bill Mckibben November 7th 2012 Seattle Venue TBD
Rest Stop Fundraiser Report
Mark said that the event was a great community builder for our group, we all had a lot of fun, plus we got a lot of positive feedback from folks that stopped for coffee. Lots of people wanted to chat, many were concerned about our future. We raised around $400, but change and Canadian funds still need to be counted. $53 in expenses will be reimbursed out of the funds, for coffee, cream, cups etc. Most of the cookies were baked and donated by occupiers. (ThankYou!!!)
Discussion follwed about possible uses for the money. We discussed the 10% that is slated to go toward the legal fund. Someone said that we should make it more than10%.. Debbie clarified that the 10% was simply a legal fund and not promised to any particular need. The GA can decide when and if to spend that money. Marcia said we needed to be clear about what types of arrests we will support before they happen. There was a bit of discussion about the Bellingham 12 action Vs. the Eviction Arrests. Debbie said that the event on the tracks was GA approved action, although the outcome may not have been anticipated. The eviction arrests were never discussed formally at a GA, but many campers had the understanding that Occupy as group would support anyone that decided to stay in the park. Terry mentioned that we could help offset the costs that arrestees have incurred, possibly setting up a “legal Fund” grant that people could apply for. Maybe we could communicate this thru the attorneys. Debbie mentioned that the attorneys are working tirelessly for us, whether they get paid or not, and one was working for free. Marsha mentioned that it would be good in the future, if we could go into an action with a clear idea of what the expected outcome might be and Occupy’s commitment to potential arrestees. Discussion was tabled.
Book Group- Mark said he would like to get going on the Book Club. He suggested Billionaires and Ballot Bandits, by Greg Pallast for the first book to read. Short discussion on possible formats, then Marcia said that we should wait until Ronna comes back, because it was her idea.
Partnership Working Group- Terry would like to start a Partnership Working Group to come up with a strategy for working better with other organizations. He would like to come up with a system for outreach (ie liason for instance) or guidelines. A working group could fles out these details. Alyce expressed interest in this.
We had a short discussion on the upcoming election, the recent debates, and our limited choices. Democracy Now had a debate that included Jill Stein and Rocky Anderson (on the website)
Marcia would like to start each meeting with a little recap of our visions and goals… why we are here.
21 September 2012 3-4 pm Library lawn
6 present Mark-facilitator: Ronna – notes
Agenda set and approved
REST AREA fundraiser: Weekend of September 28 People are signing up – need more people to bake cookies though we will buy cookies if we run out. There will be a copy of the rules posted at the kiosk and you can go here. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/RestAreas/freecoffeeprogram.htm
To view the rules.
Columbus Day turned out to be too close to this event and so we agreed to put off scheduling another event until we can evaluate the success of the current event – AGREED
We reviewed the items necessary forth’s event and parceled out the duties.
People should be reminded to wear layers of clothing against the cold night air.
People baking cookies can call Mark to Debbie and drop them off.
People should bring chairs.
Viewing of “United States of ALEC” and educational opportunity The proposal was passed at last week’s meeting and this week a working group was formed (Debbie, Mark and Ronna) Debbie will look for a venue – most likely WECU and we’ll get busy on planning this event after the freeway fundraiser. Debbie has ordered the DVD for showing. As soon as we have a venue Ronna will apply to be a “party site” with Common Cause. The proposal passed last week (9/14/2012) is as follows: Proposal: Occupy Bellingham will host a viewing party to watch and discuss”The United States of A.L.E.C” a documentary about this organization featuring Bill Moyers. PASSED
Proposal: That #OB hold Friday GA at 5:30 pm on the NW corner of the library lawn where the information tent is currently. We will leave the open tent up and erect a second tent that has standing room and room for chairs if the weather turns bad. One person can stay at the tent while others attend the silent peace vigil. PASSED
A member suggested that we seek to identify as many activist groups in Whatcom County as possible and then begin to contact these various groups and talk about:
- How we can communicate better between groups
- How we can support each other in our individual work
- How we can avoid conflict
This effort should be taken slowly and not have any preplanned agenda. Slogans for a group in the whole are:
- Activists coming together
- Standing together for a better world
- United we stand
Ronna is compiling a list of activist groups and more suggestions were given at this meeting.
The first step will be to talk to people and do outreach.
Next GA – Friday October 5, 2012 5:30 pm on the NW corner of Library Lawn.
Meeting adjourned at 4:00 pm.
14 September 2012
Occupy Bellingham GA Notes – 8 present at the top level of Maritime Heritage Park
Debbie and Otter co-facilitator: Ronna – notes
Agenda set and approved
- Bellingham twelve is doing their own fundraising. The eight who are left (3 “pled out” and one “disappeared”) plan to take this to trial which will cost a lot of money. The event is happening at the Wild Buffalo on Tuesday 18 September from 6 – 10 m. This venue is giving the entire take to the Bellingham twelve. An error in the calendar will be corrected to reflect this fact. There is a new Bellingham Twelve Facebook page where a series of events is posted.
The event at the Wild Buffalo will have many musicians and will have a silent auction. After this event on Thursday 20 September, there will be a Rally prior to the pre-trial hearing. The rally will start at 1:00 on the steps of the county courthouse with speakers and then proceed to the Municipal Court Building for the 2:30 pre-trial hearing.
Proposal to put these events out on the bulk email to garner supporters. PASSED
Discussion included the following comments: The trial of the Bellingham twelve is the “leading edge” of the anti-coal movement in Whatcom.
- An error is made in the web site re: the Wild Buffalo fundraiser. Ronna will explore and correct ASAP.
- Debbie announces that she may be getting a PA system
REST AREA fundraiser: Weekend of September 28 People are signing up – need more people to bake cookies though we will buy cookies if we run out. There will be a copy of the rules posted at the kiosk and you can go here. http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Safety/RestAreas/freecoffeeprogram.htm
to view the rules. People who are baking can submit the cost of products for reimbursement from the donations collected. Any group is allowed 3 Weekends a year for this activity. Discussion ensued:
- Whether to sign up for 2 more events or wait until we finish this one and then decide.
- Working together on such a project will build camaraderie among those participating. The Information tent is an example of this.
- No discussion about how this money will be spent.
Proposal – Make one more event soon (date to be determined at next GA as Columbus Day is the next weekend October 8) PASSED
Viewing of “United States of ALEC” and educational opportunity
Proposal: Occupy Bellingham will host a viewing party to watch and discuss”The United States of A.L.E.C” a documentary about this organization featuring Bill Moyers. PASSED A short discussion ensued and all agreed this is just what #OB should be doing. Plans will be fleshed out in the coming weeks.
PROPOSAL: Occupy Bellingham should invite, as a good will gesture, the Bellingham Twelve folks to our next freeway fundraiser. The funds to be divided up by how many hours each person spent working the kiosk. PASSED
The following comments were made:
- Who are these people? There are 8 protesters let who want to go to trial. Herb, Andy, Bonnie, Tee, Bob, Zach, Ian.
- Review of how this action came about since now it is viewed as an anti-coal event when it started and was approved as a solidarity event with Oakland port action (a labor contract issue)
- Mentioned that the coal People did not see this as good strategy and the timing was not good.
- It is now spoken of as an autonomous action on the part of those who got arrested that day.
- People taking actions on behalf of #OB need to consider the good of the group. It was never agreed upon as an anti-coal action and the excerpted minutes below reflect this.
12/2 Dec12 Planning – Andy – Nonviolent direct action, solidarity with Oakland. Ports serve interests of corporations, not people. Our port serves local interests. Focus will be on BNSF railroads. Overeagerly profited from destruction of natural resources. Eminent domain, theft of native land. Owned by Berkshire Hathaway. Major corporations do business with BNSF. Wed noon, banner-making party.
12/1Events WG December 12 Action plans for West Coast Shutdown event are fleshed out. The GA discovered that a Press Release in support of the action includes statements against coal exports. Spirited discussion ensued.Erik G. will not be participating in this action, because of the firm public stance taken on coal. Erik requested a review of what the GA approved for this original event.
11/25 Events WG (Jon R.) still firming up details on the nature of an event to be held in solidarity with Occupy Oakland on December 12, 2011.
11/20 Events WG: More than 10 events have been planned between Dec 1 and Jan 31, including an event on December 12, 2011 in solidarity with Occupy Oakland’s plan to shut down its local port that day.
- Explained that on the spur of the moment (night prior) 5 individuals agreed to chain themselves together.
- With the current stance of the protestors pushing for a trial as an anti-coal group the original intent of worker solidarity has been left “in the dust”
- We should not have to spend our money on things we didn’t agree to. Noted that the minutes for our legal defense fund do not indicate how or to whom the 10% will be spent
10% of all moneys taken in by #OB shall be set aside in a dedicated “Legal Defense Fund”. The disbursements from this fund will be authorized by the GA. The fund will be started with $60 from current funds.
- Two present suggest that the B12 folks should come and talk to us about what they would like to do. Herb indicated he has been appointed “ambassador” to speak for the others in the Bellingham twelve.
Can we do an information table at the Peace March? Ronna states that, according to an organizer of the event (Janet M.) we may carry our banners and signs on the march but we have to leave them outside when we arrive at the church. Marcia will check to be sure and let us know next Friday at the tent.
Herb suggested that minutes be forwarded to those present for review of completeness, corrections, additions or deletions. Ronna (note taker tonight) agreed to do this. Herb will bring a more detailed proposal to the next meeting.
Herb suggested that we clear up some of the Google groups. Ronna offered to explore this and connect with Google group “owners”.
Pre-proposal: That #OB conducts Friday GA on the NW corner of the library lawn where the information tent is currently. Tabled till next GA
Next GA – Friday 3 -4 pm on the NW corner of Library Lawn.
Meeting adjourned at 6:30 pm. And a rousing mike check was had casting our raised voices over Bellingham Bay in a HAPPY ANNIVERSARY celebratory cheer for the founding of Occupy Wall Street September 17, 2011
7 September 2012
3 members present then 2 more – 5 total. Meeting begun at 5:30 at Maritime Heritage Park – top plaza.
Proposal: In solidarity with the Whatcom Peace and Justice Center #OB will advertise the 9th annual peace march and participate with our #OB banner in the march to the First Congregational Church on Friday, September 21 from 5:30 – 8:30. The #OB GA will move from 5:30 to 3:00 and will be held at the Libnrabry lawn by the information tent.
This supports our #OB principles of
- Advocateing for human justice
- Ending corporate hegemony (military-industrial complex)
Proposal: Occupy Bellingham will staff the coffee/cookie kiosk at the Southbound Bow Hill rest area from Friday noon to Monday at 2:00 am. This will take place the weekend of September 28th. Mark Waschke will take the lead for getting permit, staffing and arranging for supplies.
Principle: #OB is an autonomous movement and requires funds to operate and provide legal defense for those in legal proceedings, both the Bellingham twelve and the Bellingham Four.
Comments: We will explore #OB non-profit status to meet DOT requirements for either a EIN or UBI number. (late note: EIN number was provided and permit completed)
Proposal: Occupy Bellingham stands in solidarity with the Bellingham Twelve in their fundraising efforts taking place at the Wild Buffalo on Thursday 20 September 2012.
Meeting adjourned at 6:30
8/31/2012 3:00pm Library Lawn 10 members present (3 from Spokane)
Mark – facilitator, Terry – Stack, Ronna – notes
What is the protocol for what gets on the bulk email? By Debbie
Discussion centerd around a protocol – Spokane tells us their email list ebbs and flows with whomever is in charge at the moment of the “lsit”. A suggestion made that the admin group could deal with this if Debbie has a problem deciding but the group agreed that Debbie could use her own discretion to decide what can get on there. The group is reminded that we try to “save” folks from getting too many frivolous emails. Another suggestion was to put an event on a forum prior to sending bulk email.
How are events coordinated? By Marcia The NoCOAL! Event has not been announced by 4 other web sites that Marcia has checked in the past hour related to Anti-coal, Peace and Justice, veterans for Peace. . Further that members of another large anti-coal group know nothing of this event today. Suggestions made include:
- create a master list of all activist groups working in Whatcom County in an effort to coordinate actions.
- Incorporate such a lsit on our #OB web site and FaceBook
- Add contact person and phone number for each group
- People should try to give up territoriality and coalition with other groups to be effective in pulling in more people to an event.
- Be honest about who is putting an event together (It was thought that NoCOAL! was another group with similar name though this was an action developed by one or two people using the name of another group)
- In connecting with other groups #OB should invite them to use our calendar to post their events.
For further discussion – why is it important to have more groups at the table? How will coordination between groups and people improve our effectiveness?
Announcements by Barb:
September 17th is the one year anniversary of OWS. Spokane is celebrating this on the 15th with action (?)
The “Bellingham 12” are going to trial on the 20th. Barb will bring a proposal to the GA on the 7th for a fundraiser for this event.
- Someone suggested we create an action (pre-proposal) for World Protest Day
- Mark W. Will explore putting our tent up at the Bow Hill I-5 rest area for fundraising and giving information. Will report at next GA(9/7)
- Put on the next agenda discussion about Tran Pacific Partnership (TPP) – or “Nafta on steroids”. Have a demo in the park, do a “black hole” theater.
Meeting adjourned at 4:00
August 24, 2012 Marine Heritage Park
Note Taker: Debbie
Marcia :The Education group now sets up our tent on the library lawn on Fridays from 1-3pm.
The pre-proposal is that the GA be moved to the Library Lawn on Friday’s at 5:30. In the event of bad weather, the tent may be able to be left up for the GA. Short discussion on the pros and cons followed.
OB currently has designated Tuesdays GA for “internal issues” and Friday GA for “external issues”. There has not been a Tuesday GA for a couple months now. Pre-proposal was introduced a couple of weeks ago.
Proposal: Terry proposes to drop the distinction between internal and external issues, and deal with all topics during on Friday meetings. Passed unanimously
Barb announced that there will be a “No Coal Rally” on Friday the 31st at 5 o’clock @ the Federal Building, sponsored by Coal Free Bellingham and the Socialist Alternative. (Please Note: After the meeting I did some research and I see that Coal-Free Bellingham does not seem to be sponsoring this event, but NO-COAL! is. )She made the following emergency proposal:
- #OB supports the No Coal Rally on the 31st
- #OB will hold the Friday GA at 3pm at the Library Lawn, so we can attend the rally.
- #OB will set up the Literature Table at the Rally
- #OB members will bring baked goods to sell at our table to raise funds for #OB
- #OB will recruit people to attend with an announcement on the website and via our email list.
Working Group Reports
Montana Coal Export Working Group:
Marcia and Mark both gave a brief description of what the week was like in Montana. Marcia will provide a written copy that can be posted on the website.
Herb said that he was unable to attend. The money he was given from Occupy Bellingham will be returned to the financial working group.
Rest-Stop Outreach Working Group
Mark said he has researched manning the coffee stand at one of the DOT I-5 rest stops for the purpose of fundraising ad getting our message out. He said that he will find out what times and locations are available. We have to provide coffee and cookies. All donations collected would be ours.
Informal chatting on many topics followed. We all rejoiced at the pleasant and cooperative nature of our GA! Thank you all for attending ; )
August 3, 2012 Marine Heritage Park
1. Welcome and Introductions of new members – 8 members present and none are new.
2. Floor team: Debbie – process mover, Mark – alternate process mover, Ronna – note taker, Terry – stack taker
3. Read the principles of #OB and hand signals – accepted
4. Amended Agenda
a. Reports of working and affinity groups
Ronna reports that the Education WG held its first meeting on the library lawn with the pop-up tent. It was staffed by Ronna, Alyce and Marcia from 1:00 – 3:30 and took the place of the Education group meeting at Marcia’s. We were busy throughout the time we were there with folks coming to talk about their issues, ask questions and receive information. We handed out literature about GMOP, Move to Amend, Occupy Bellingham brochure, Public Financing of elections (washClean). We received a few donations, took several names for our mailing list.
Financial WG – (Debbie reporting) #OB has approximately $600 in the bank and held as petty cash
Herb reported on the affinity action to caravan to Montana for the CoalExportAction protest in Helena August11-20. The Land meeting which was to be held on the 20th was called for the 3rd (today) with very short notice. Late breaking news from the action committee is that the protest is now even more important and will carry on as planned. Thus far the following have been identified as traveling to this protest: Marcia, Mark, Herb, Bob B, Karen and Larry. Members are encouraged to stay in touch with each other for car pooling and other sharing of resources.
Herb reported on the affinity action of the “Mike Check” and states it is unclear what actions the County is pursuing at this time.
PROPOSAL: 10% of all moneys taken in by #OB shall be set aside in a dedicated “Legal Defense Fund”. The disbursements from this fund will be authorized by the GA. The fund will be started with $60 from current funds. Unanimously accepted as amended
Pre-proposal – Friday GA: August 3, 2012
Occupy Bellingham endorses the Peoples Initiative Proposition 2 put before the Bellingham City Council to be placed on the November ballot.
- · This proposal is now moot as the judge in the court hearing today placed an injunction on this proposal moving forward.
- · The city of Bellingham would have no jurisdiction for such a “Bill of Rights” – those agencies that might have some jurisdiction include Army Corp of Engineers, Whatcom County, Department of Fisheries and Department of Ecology.
- · Read Michael Lilliquist’s letter and response here: http://coal-free-bellingham.org/response-to-michael-lilliquists-letter/
- · #OB will keep careful watch on this issue and be ready to support actions which fall within our mission.
ACTION – Proposal withdrawn
Emergency Proposal: Occupy Bellingham supports those organizations such as
- · The action for the coalexportaction.org was endorsed last week.
- · As worded it is not actionable
ACTION – Proposal withdrawn
PROPOSAL: The following six words are adopted as the Occupy Bellingham Coal position KEEP THE COAL IN THE GROUND.
Discussion: The following links are useful for some late breaking information:
By Bill McKibben of 350.org http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719
By Richard Muller, a former climate change denier: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/07/30/opinion/the-conversion-of-a-climate-change-skeptic.html?pagewanted=all
Action – Unanimously accepted
PROPOSAL: Occupy Bellingham supports the Deep Green Resistance movement and blockade/action against the Tar Sands pipelines.
- · This is not an actionable proposal
- · It is a Moral action
- · #OB donated unclaimed encampment material to the blockade action planned in British Columbia in the next few weeks. Unanimously supported. See the following link: http://deepgreenresistance.org/dgr-caravan-speaking-tour-to-unistoten-action-camp/
ACTION – Unanimously approved
Emergency proposal: #Ob contributes $100 to the second caravan being formed to the Montana Coal action.
- · It seems that there are now two caravans being formed. Each has room for more riders. Marcia is driving with room for one rider, unclear who Bob Burr and herb are getting there.
- · Advised by group to stay in touch with each other by phone or email (Facebook not ideal as most are not on it).
ACTION – unanimously approved and Herb is given $100, which he will return to #OB if he does not end up going.
Pre-proposal: #OB drop the distinction between internal and external GA.
· Since we are not holding Tuesday GA (so few member) it is feasible to manage Internal issues at Friday GA when they arise
· If #OB grows in numbers, and a separate GA is needed to manage internal affairs this proposal can be reversed.
· Internal affairs would be best managed in a working group such as facilitation and any proposal should come before any GA being held.
ACTION – Unanimously accepted and Ronna will post to the Forum
Adjourned at 6:45 pm.
FRIDAY JULY 27, 2012
Minute Taker: Debbie C
Announcements: We are still waiting for the minutes from the last two GA’s. If you have them, please get them posted!
Emergency Proposal by Debbie C.
Background: There is an action coming up soon in Helena, Montana protesting coal mining in Montana. It is being sponsored by 350.org, Greenpeace, Rain Forrest Action Network and many other groups. They are starting with a non-violent CD training on the 12th of August and continuing with a weed of protests against the application from Arch Coal to build the Otter Creek Mine. See http://coalexportaction.org for more details. Marcia L. has volunteered to attend, with one or two other people.
Occupy Bellingham will stand in solidarity with the Coal Export Action, and donate $100 to the expenses of the trip to Montana, by Marcia and other Occupiers so that we are represented at that action. Passed Unanimously
Terry expressed interest in creating a proposal to create a legal defense fund for anyone arrested in past or future OB actions. We worked out the language and the pre-proposal is as follows:
10% of all moneys taken in as donations by #OB will be set aside in a dedicated “Legal Defense Fund”. The disbursements from this fund will be authorized by the GA.
We talked about several things concerning #OB such as
-We are all really happy about how peaceful our group. We love how well it is functioning and are exploring ways to grow the group with out adding dysfunction..
-Having a presence every week at the Farmers Market
-Tracking down the bumper stickers
-Silk screening t-shirts
-Marcia gave us a recap of today’s education working group. See minutes for details
-Art projects we are working on
-Sponsoring events like the 99% Spring Training, inviting speakers like Ellen Murphy or Serene.
FRIDAY July 20, 2012
Otter, Herb, Terry, Marcia, Diane
P re-proposal for OB to endorse Coal Action in Montana. The position is to leave the coal in the ground. Discussion follows about accommodations etc.
Herb introduces and pre-proposal to endorse resistance to the Tar Sands project. The deep sea port where the shipping goes affects Indigenous Canadians and their lands. It is in Northern BC near Prince Rupert where it will be shipped to Asia. www.deepgreenresistance.org is the web site resource for info on this project. There are speakers coming to Bellingham, to WWU(?)
Discuss and decide to research interstate commerce laws, that allow railroads to transport coal, to find out if changing those laws would be a good idea. I’m not sure if a pre-proposal was made about OB endorsing this.
Discussion of mission statement continues. Talk about developing a mission statement as we go along.
OWS/OB has got to defend 1st amendment rights. This comes out of talking about the court house open mic event where those involved are accused of starting a riot. How this action was outside OB that it was not a sanctioned OB action, it had not been approved by OB. Council was voting on essentially making a decision and then taking comment. Which is dangerously backwards. Again, something about 1st Amendment rights to be in the OB mission/vision statement.
Otter will be gone for a week or more.
Discussion about fund raisers and the defense fund, how Elizabeth and Zoe used to run the fund raiser group.
Some discussion about actions Herb and Tee have been involved in. Some discussion about how members who don’t self disclose about themselves and don’t show up regularly fall under suspicion, particularly when they are not known to people, are new to the area, etc. Some discussion of De-colonize Whatcom and how that relates to OB.
Respectfully submitted by Marcia Leister
FRIDAY JULY 6, 2012
MARINE HERITAGE PARK 5:30 about 8 members present plus guest from Everett OB – Mike laPointe ADJOURNED AT 7:00 PM
Process Mover – Debbie C. Notes – Ronna L.
Agenda approved by those present.
- QUESTIONS ABOUT PROCESS: The following comments were made
- What constitutes a quorum?
- The minutes have been searched for this and nothing is found to indicate there was consensus on what constitutes a quorum.
- “IF minutes are not taken and posted – it is as if nothing happened”.
- Agenda should be posted a week ahead (this would make the need for facilitation WG meetings)
- It may be beneficial to give working groups more autonomy. When they have a proposal ready for approval it can be brought to the GA.
- IF we have large groups #OB may need more structure. Specifically how to manage disruptive behaviors. See Sara Robinson editorial as a guide.
- The original #OB process has been effective for running meetings where there are no disruptive inappropriate behaviors present. Those processes (agreements) include the
- Main points of process,
- Hand signals,
- Process for proposal approval,
- Safer Spaces Agreement
- QUESTION: What are we doing – what’s the BIG IDEA?
- A suggestion was made that we hold a 2 day conference on Political Economy. Larry and Karen Hilde have located professors who would like to be part of such a program. Those present supported this idea. Karen suggested late September would be the right time. Karen and Larry are asked to work out a few more details and bring to GA for getting a team together to work on the specific details. For the moment thinking about a space that could be used for 2 days would be a good start.
- Announcing that on July 18 and July 26 at the Labor Hall there will be a Judicial Candidates Forum. Karen is asked to provide details to Ronna who will post it on the Web site.
- Ronna reminded the group that Ellen Murphy has agreed (and GA approved this action) to present a topic for education having to do with dealing with our inner violence. Ronna will get in touch with Ellen to work out more details.
- Ronna announced the Pride Parade for Sunday July 15 starting at 12:00 at Bellingham HS. We will also have a table at the Farmer’s Market at the end of the parade. Dianne is working hard to get John Neighbor to bring his band and march for #OB at this parade. We will collect handouts, brochures to put on the table. Ronna will make more buttons.
- Mark brings up the issue of Citizens United and would like to see some actions around Occupy the Courts but did not present a specific idea for an action. Ronna indicated that Bellingham City Council adopted a resolution denying that Corporations are People and money is not speech. WeWillNotBeDivided is working on a resolution for County Council and members of WWNBD will be meeting with council members 1:1 before asking them to bring this forward. GMOP from Everett OB met with Patty Murray and she seems receptive to signing on to the Move to Amend. There is an Interoccupy that those who are not on the Internet could access by phone. This might be a way to get information about what other Occupies are doing about Citizens United. It remains one of #OB’s main objectives.
- Debbie announced that MoveOn.org was going to spend the next few months actively pursuing the re-election of Barak Obama and asked the group if we wanted to endorse any particular candidate. We are reminded that the original OWS avowed to NOT endorse political candidates. A member present asked on what grounds would we endorse President Obama. No one offered any reason. A consensus was found that #OB would focus on tactics and issues and stay away from endorsing specific candidates.
Friday, June 29, 2012 (maybe some crossover from some other notes that were in my notebook, Marcia L.)
Open with a check in to “what have you been doing this past week” especially in regard to Occupy. Also, share any info we have gathered since last meeing.
Otter has been occupying Bear Creek with Mark at Mark’s place there. He and Mark went to Healthcare meeting.
OB and Ed working group have more to do than people to help and to do it.
Upset with not following through on ‘bullies’, that the fault is with other occupiers not doing anything or allowing it to happen.
Marcia shares from research that the idea of development from Radicalizing Learning, about people and groups is not neutral, the author’s idea is that it is more about wisdom and less about intelligence. The Nazi’s were intelligent but not wise.
Pride Parade and Where to meet if it is raining. Marcia suggest the lobby of library but no comment from others and no other suggestions.
Bystander enters GA
Terry from Tacoma is perfect example of the 99%: lost his house, his job, now living at The Mission. Is looking for work wherever he can find it. Was a well paid iron worker.
Mark is in touch with Occupy Olympia
Suggest to us that we get our name back from the sabotaged situation so that our website goes back to original : www.occupybellingham.org.
Development of people, of groups is not neutral. Intelligence vs wisdom.
Detractors and solutions
problems with people and personalities who want to just in without knowing the process and are flying off the handle. Ideal would be for people to show up and develop a relationship with Occupy: Ten’s friend (Zeke) who would moderate forum and Otter says needs to be people we know and who are active.
That these grops are building relationships and is what we need – our GA’s where everyone gets to talk and we get to know each other.
Ronna: set up a library page/resource on the website to put resources and writings (Mark has some writing to submit).
create restraint teams and role play for practice. OB enables these disrupters, we need a way to educate ourselves to the idea that we have a responsibility to deal with it. We need a way to educate ourselves on Occupy behavior expectations. We need a signal to surround disrupter and we need a team to do it. We need a way to educate ourselves to idea that we have a responsibility to deal with it. Educate ourselves on occupy behavior expectations. Whose GA is it anyway? What are you willing to do to insure group ownership/integrity.
Forums and websites to be treated as GA’s and working groups.
Come up with 10 issues.
Mission statement safety
Working groups to layout issues and solutions to present to general assembly. GA should be a report out from working groups
GA should be a report out from working groups
OWS: Break up corporatecracy, people’s voice opposing all injustice everywhere.
TUESDAY JUNE 19, 2012
Maritime Heritage Park 5:50 – 7:00 About 8 members present.
Process mover and note taker – Ronna
Agenda – Internal Issues of the Internet presence: Bulk Occupy Bellingham Mail, Web Site and Facebook page, announcements, misc. as time allows.
FACEBOOK: McKenna is nominated to be the fifth administration person on the Facebook page. She accepts the nomination and is unanimous approved by those present.
BULK EMAIL: Debbie C. is nominated to manage the #OB bulk email, she accepts and is unanimously approved by those present.
WEB SITE: Zeke and Ten agree to stay on as moderators of the Forum and do not wish to become “administrators”. McKenna agrees to stay on as an administrator of this site. Ronna, Debbie and Herb are nominated to be administrators of the official #OB web site and agree. Approval is unanimous. There are others known by present members of #OB who could be helpful for the management of this web site. Ten, Zeke, McKenna and Ronna will inquire into this by asking folks they know of and when a person is identified who fits with the current administrators and with #OB vision and goals they could be nominated to be an administrator. This would increase administrators to 5 with 2 as moderators of the Forum page.
Discussion ensued whether it would be better to hide divisive/offensive comments or delete them. No vote was taken on this matter. A suggestion was made that the moderators or administrators could make their own decision as to what would be best and can always discuss it with other administrators. One possible compromise would be to talk a screen shot of the offensive comment and save it elsewhere.
It is announced that Zeke is working on development of guidelines based on “Chicago principles” that will apply to both the Facebook and the Web site. When they are ready they will come to Internal Business GA for proposal and vote.
There was consensus that #OB web site should post a disclaimer similar to that on the Facebook page. Ronna will implement.
Next meeting for internal business will be July 10.
FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2012
6 Members present at Maritime Heritage Park. Ronna facilitator and note taker.
Prior to setting agenda we went around, introduced ourselves and responded to question “Why am I here?” A talking stick was used to make sure all had a chance to speak and 3 minutes was allowed for each person.
Agenda set and agreed upon by all present
- Mark Washke is inviting Bellingham Occupiers and any others to the Bear Creek Occupy teepee to celebrate the solstice on Saturday June 23 starting at 5:00PM. It is a social gathering and will be a POTLUCK. There will be a celebration bob fire. Bring drums, instruments and a dish to share. PHONE MARK AT 360-384-5202 for directions and more information.
- Debbie clarified after a question about our Facebook presence that there are 3 Facebook pages only one of which is the official Occupy Bellingham page and it is recognized by the #Ob LOGO the front page.
2. PROPOSAL #1 –
- Unanimously approved that Bellingham Occupy participates in the Pride Parade on Sunday July 15 and manage a table at the Farmers Market for #OB during the post parade celebration. We will bring drums and banners. We will need to make more signs appropriate to the event.
- ACTION: Ronna will post to the web site. She will register #OB with the parade organizers.
3. Idea/Proposal/Action brought up by Debbie
- There was unanimous agreement that Occupy Bellingham participate in a Move On action to present elected officials with signed petitions collected on MoveOn.org to overturn Citizens United (Move To Amend). Rick Larsen who has an office in Bellingham has already signed on to this Amendment. Patti Murray and Maria Cantwell have not but do not have an office in Bellingham; closest being in Everett and these might not be staffed currently. Discussion ensued about how best to take action for this.
- PROPOSAL: Unanimous agreement that Occupy Bellingham in solidarity with MoveOn.org will obtain, collect and send to our Federal Senators M. Cantwell and P. Murray signatures (possibly 8,000+) asking them to endorse overturning Citizens United and getting money out of politics. (Move To Amend).
- ACTION: Debbie will obtain the signed petitions from MoveOn.org. #OB will create a petition for collecting more signatures throughout the week of June 18. On Friday June 22 in front of the Federal Building in downtown we will mail these petitions to the official’s office in Everett. WG – Debbie, Ronna, Marcia, Dianne
- On Monday June 25 Marcia, Alyce and Ronna will appear on the Joe Show at noon to talk about Occupy Bellingham and what is happening with us. The group will construct a “script” or agenda at Education WG on Friday June 22. Then will get together once more to rehearse. At this point the script will include: How each of us got involved, What our issues are, What we are doing. Any ideas of what to include are welcomed. Email anybody in the Ed WG or bring your ideas to the next Friday GA.
5. Pre-Proposal by Dianne.
- Occupy Bellingham establish a temporary tent, put up throughout the daylight hours, to provide education and information about Occupy Bellingham and the Occupy movement underway. IT will be staffed by #OB members with the intent of spreading the Occupy message, gaining members and providing a presence of #OB. Discussion ensued about where it would be best to have this tent. The Library rear lawn, IN front of the city courthouse and on the Fairhaven Village Green were suggested. Dianne will do more work on this proposal within the Ed WG and will bring a more detailed proposal to the GA when ready.
6 Mark Washke arrived late and wished to proposal an idea of his. He would like each member of #OB to identify 4 cores issues each one has and to sate each of them out loud. When finished with these 4 core issues each person would then make a statement about WHY WE ARE IN OCCUPY. He sees this as taking an oath to work towards the stated goals.
TUESDAY, June 12, 2012
Union Hall 5:30 p.m.
Facilitation Team: Process Mover: Ian A.: Note Taker: Shane R.: Stack: Debbie C.: Time Keeper: Ian A.
It was announced that Ten is being prosecuted for “Disorderly Conduct with Intent to Incite Violence”. His arraignment date is 9 a.m. June 29th. No other details.
Debbie C. proposed that
“The following disclaimer be posted on the #OB Facebook wall: The opinions on this page are the opinions of the poster and do not reflect the views of Occupy Bellingham. Inappropriate language will be dealt with by admins.”
After spirited discussion and amendment, this proposal passed by consensus.
Tee King proposed that
“#OB take an absolutely-no-coal stance”
After spirited discussion, this proposal was withdrawn.
Debbie C. Proposed that
“#OB Facebook admins need GA approval
and all #OB Facebook admins must be featured.”
After spirited discussion and amendment, this proposal was passed by consensus.
Shane R. proposed approval of the entire existing roster of admins with one vote. Consensus could not be achieved, so this proposal did not pass.
The GA then voted on approving #OB admins:
After spirited discussion, three Facebook Admins were approved by consensus:
Approval of Herb G was blocked by Troy, Troy’s stated reason for blocking was due to uncertainty surrounding Herb’s becoming admin. There were 8 votes to overturn the block and 1 vote to uphold the block. The block was overturned.
Herb G was approved as an #OB Facebook admin by indirect consensus
FRIDAY JUNE 8, 2012
Meeting began at 5:30 at Maritime Heritage Park. About 20 people were on hand some coming late, leaving early and drifting in and out. Marcia, again, brought food from Food not Bombs. Several present and passers-by took advantage of that generosity. An #OB banner was put up. Two people came up to us and made a donation to the cause during the GA.
Marcia summarized minutes from the last Friday GA
AGENDA was agreed upon by consensus.
- WHAT LESSONS HAVE WE LEARNED FROM BEING IN OCCUPY BELLINGHAM SINCE OCTOBER. We sued the Circle of voices process and a talking stick to manage the conversation. 3 minutes were allowed for each speaker. The following lessons came forth:
- Ii don’t sleep well when engaged in #OB and wonder if this is a “good fit” for me. Dittoed by one other member but also added that this experience had been an enlightening experience as well
- People don’t get us
- Listening and reading – learning each other’s motives and takes on issues.
- Learning to work by consensus – the way motives can dovetail and we’ve begun that process.
- We can get bogged down in the process and lose sight of the goal.
- When the group has become so small we’ve used a short hand for running things and that has led to some confusion tonight.
- Asking the question “why are you here?” at the beginning helps to focus our minds.
- Most people are enthusiastic but want things to happen their way and then we get stuck in process.
- Need to keep our eyes on the prize and what fulfills that the best for the most people.
- We should focus on just a couple of things at a time. One would even be best.
- The article here http://www.jessicabell.org/?p=1015 is a good read for managing disruptions.
- Supporting others is very important.
- I’ve had fun (seconded by many). I’ve faced off some rough people but it is worth risking for a cause.
- Learned to understand it’s not about leaders but about keeping a safe space.
- Having a space where we can meet and learn is crucial to this effort.
- Meeting people are working to change the way politics is done in this country.
- The tents were a good first start, they established the movement. It would be important to have a central location.
- Being with other like minded people is stimulating and it would be nice if there were more to talk to. Being is a group is what it’s all about.
- Talking transforms into something that works. When you’re in(out in the field) it you can learn
- Learned to differentiate individuality (creative spirit) from individualism (out for one’s self)
- Learning to ask “What’s good for the group?”
- Finding ways that everybody can have a voice.
- Sacrificing old ways of being.
- No one has even needed to tell me what was going on – even though I came from a small community I got it right away.
- Finding so many people on the same page.
- Bellingham is a dream compared to Seattle.
- Big huge meeting are very different than small groups.
- We can be vulnerable to internal attacks via the Internet and we now have a second “operation Phoenix” starting.
- People’s anxieties about the future (of #OB and our country) should be lessened because we are with our tribe.
Throughout this talking period many ideas emerged for future events and processes and are posted here:
- Incorporate the question “Why are you here” at the beginning of each GA
- Have a space – however temporary .i.e., tent up in the daytime – down at night to educate others and a place to meet, get together and talk. Examples Everett holds a weekly potluck.
- Focus on just one or two issues, actions at a time.
- Develop an institutional Move Your Money Campaign – take it to churches, towns, etc. This is already started in Bellingham.
- Mark announces he has sticks and sign making material.
- Bring the message with art, music and creativity it will be heard
- Need to find a way to include Latinos in the movement. They were here in the beginning.
- DO our work in the working groups and when a group has a plan, announce it and bring the large group together.
- Build #OB into a solid respectable group
- Mark made the following announcement: #OB can help with the petition drive.
- Engage the media when events or actions are going to take place.
- Members should bring paper and writing tools to keep track of topic and jot down comments.
- It’s OK to ask people to come back to the focus when they stray off topic.
- Terry has invited Ellen Murphy to do a teaching camp on “INNER NON-VIOLENCE) and she has agreed to do this.
United for National Healthcare Events
Health Care Reform After the Supreme Court Decision
Thursday, June 28, 2012, 7 pm
St. Luke’s Community Health Education Center
3333 Squalicum Parkway, Bellingham WA
The Supreme Court decision on the constitutionality of the federal health care law,the Affordable Care Act, is expected in late June. This decision will have momentous consequences for the future of health care reform in the United States. We will explore both the possible consequences and the actions that health care reform advocates can undertake to win health care for all.
Information may come forth about a petition drive to get Single Payer Health Care in Washington State.
- Occupy your front yard. Mark has a teepee set up in his front year with Occupy signs and occasionally someone stops by who he can educate.
- GA PROTOCOLS
- Need to post minutes of each meeting.
- Figure out agenda for next meting prior to meeting and post it on the WEB site
- Follow established process for GAs
- Be a good neighbor and ask what’s good for the group while you’re in a GA.
- Possibly get someone to upstream our meetings again.
- Hold a monthly pot-luck
- Make the talking session with a one minute time.
- Be consistent in the facilitation
- Those who propose actions need to provide the necessary follow through.
- Use the talking stick and timing CONSISTENTLY
- THE WEB
- Herb gave a history of how the first official web site (currently in use in Japanese and about nursing) was hijacked by a member of #OB and how we got our current web site of www.occupybellinghamwa.org. The Facebook page has been an ongoing problem with much slander, anger “trolling”, [posts using aliases and other negative actions. Herb states that another “operation phoenix” is underway to highjack our sites again. It appears the intent is to initiate a “start over” campaign negating all the prior work.
- A proposal was made and passed that states “#OB deny Autumn Rayne the opportunity she seeks to become our web site administrator.” Passed unanimously.
- Proposal “Herb Goodwin be made a Facebook administrator” Passed unanimously.
- Until the Facebook issue is resolved place a disclaimer on the Official web site about the Facebook page.
- James Bauchman continues as a Facebook administrator. He was called and would like to remain so.
- Autumn Rayne has posted in the forum on the Web site a request that she be made administrator of the official #OB web site. Ronna announced that she is working with Erin to set a date and time to transfer these functions. Erin was called and indicated she did not plan to offer this opportunity to Autumn Rayne.
- The group agreed to hold a GA on Tuesday June 12 at the Labor Hall (Ronna will set up the space) at 5:30. When she gets the OK she will post to the web - early Monday. The agenda will be the issue of WEB Sites.
- Marcia will contact other Occupies to ask about IT and who might be out there to offer help.
- Bob (member present this evening) indicated he had Internet Web Page experience.
Minutes by Ronna – my disclaimer is my apology if I did not capture your comments in the way you meant them.
Minutes June 1, 2012
Actions for OB:
Flash mobs and Flash camps and Kettle groups Signage at the Federal Building Friday VigilMeet at the peace vigil with our Occupy signs each Friday (not using the vigil is an opportunity missed) and create a theme each week and go off to the side of the vigil so as not to disturb the vigil—make this a big secret and build suspense like tell people to be there on Friday, something is going to happen. Be cryptic.
Encourage participation in the previous action and support people's themes/ideas.Do GA's at the Federal Building vigils
Get info on housing foreclosures and occupy those spaces
Set up another camp? They can be shut down.
Create a marching band
Temporary encampments with high visibility and lots of people
We can show up wherever we want and exercise our rights
Plan different actions and aim for transformation not revolution
Reclaim our government which has been hijacked by the corporations and the 1%
How to increase our numbers in OB—even though we are few in number, a few can do what a crowd can't and even though we are few in number but not to worry about what we are not but what we are and how a handful can do so much and to take advantage of this size.
Occupy to Feed people: get leftovers from Food Not Bombs
Visions for OB
unite with other groups
support Jill Stein for President
deal with our own cohesive community
community center for OB—WPJC not accessible
Work on education and nonviolent communication
Consensus vs Inclusiveness
Consensus vs Robert's Rules of Order (consensus is fascinating to watch)
Use of FDR's Workers Bill of Rights: right to shelter, etc.
How to get the left wing to organize
We need some catchy slogans for OB
Shine a light on the concerns and ideas of Occupy and connect with people who feel like us
Use creative ways to accomplish what we want
The issues are bigger than individuals
The 1% manipulates the people on their behalf
Try to define the interface between the 1% and the 99%
We need local autonomy and interconnectivity
What first attracted us to OB and why are we still here?
We can't change the world if we can't change ourselves since Occupy is mainly looking 'out' and not 'in'
Coal is just another face of the problem
FRIDAY MAY 25, 2012 – NOTES
Meeting started at 5:30.
The meeting was attended by about 5 people. Notes were not taken. No proposals were enacted. The discussion was around the topic of “What would we like Occupy Bellingham to be? The discussion used the “circle of Voices” process to ensure everyone present had equal opportunity to speak. After an hour of talking we practiced some African drumming rhythms under the tutelage of Marcia.
Ronna announced that she had not contacted anyone as yet to help us start a marching band but had heard that John Neighbor has a marching band and marched around the farmers market last Saturday. Ronna will work on contacting the people on her list.
Meeting adjourned at 7:00
MINUTES #OB GA – 5/4/2012
Facilitator: Mark W., Notes: Debbie C.
Bonnie announced that she would be resigning from Occupy Bellingham, because it is hard to make the trip to town for the meetings. Mark kindly offered that we would not accept her resignation. She agreed to stay on the phone list, and wouldn’t mind being contacted about events.
Debbie announced a May 9th Bank of America Protest: 3pm Holly and Cornwall. We need help organizing this, so contact Debbie if you have any ideas, or want to help. We need someone to do outreach and contact the media.
Mark announced the formation of a Flash Camp Working Group. District Court inSeattle ruled that camps constitute free speech; therefore we have legal precedent for creating a camp. It would b great to have a presence in other communities, likeFerndale and Lynden. If interested contact Mark.
Debbie announced a May 11th Potluck instead of a GA,MaritimeHeritagePark. Bring a dish to share and your own plate and utensils.
Mark announced the creation of a Street Theater Working Group. He has the story, we just need a script and costumes and props and people to do it! Someone suggested contacting Idiom or Upfront Theater for help and resources, and mentioned that there are free Improve classes that could be good for contacting people to help. If interested contact Mark
Safer Spaces Feedback:
Herb has posted a pre-proposal to eliminate the Safer Spaces Agreement. Debbie asked for feedback from the group that could be taken to the Tuesday GA, so more people could have their views heard.
Shane- Will it be replaced with something else?
Terry- We ignore it most of the time, but it is better than nothing.
Larry- I would feel better if Herb were here to give us his reasons. I think SS is a good idea.
Karen- I want to keep it. It is not inhibiting anyone, and I have not heard anyone complain about it.
Working Group Reports
May Day Working Group: debrief for organizers will be at Debbie’s house Sat. May 6th at 5pm
Georgina- Why are they cutting down old growth trees? It isn’t right!
MINUTES #OB GA – 4/27/2012
10 Members present at Maritime Heritage Park
Process mover, stacker and note taker = Ronna
Agenda: report on sheriff pursuit of Ten for Council Action; Announcement MAY DAY; Ed Group report; report of 99% spring training; Announcement of pre-proposal; Pre-proposal from Mark; “challenge” from Mark W.
- Report on sheriff pursuit of Ten for Council Action. The chronology of the past days is brought before the group and Larry Hilde is now involved in helping ten with this issue. There is no admission of a warrant or investigation about this matter though Ten has been getting regular attempts to reach him for “questioning” as Officer Allan Smith pursues an “investigation.” Larry has contacted the head detective and the prosecuting attorney to ask for them to desist. Karen reminded all present that we never need to talk to any officer who might approach us with questions, even if they come to our home. We are to call our attorney of record Larry Hilde at 360-599-4339 if such an occurrence takes place.
- Announcement MAY DAY Sign making at Robyn’s on Saturday at 3:00 pm. call her at 303-5681. Still seeking help with set-up (5:00 pm) and take down (10:00 pm) at Farmers Market. Need help with hauling and trucks
- Ed group. A new member was oriented to the group and the work thus far. This individual would like to get on the Google group and Ronna will make this happen. Ene called in & indicates she has been busy but wants to stay in the group and looks forward to getting back in town.
- 99%Spring training. Some more feedback from Sandy that it ended abruptly. There is some information from this training about how to manage behaviors that impede group process and it might be beneficial to take a look at it.
- “challenge” from Mark W. He challenged #OB and those present to pitch a tent in the front yard as he has done with his teepee. This will garner attention to the Occupy Movement and move us forward as it will give opportunity to talk to neighbors as they become curious.
- Mark W. reported that the dem caucuses were poorly attended and #OB could have made delegate by simply attending. Further, that public funding of political campaigns is on the Dem platform for 2012.
- Pre-Proposal (Mark W.). that #OB start doing guerrilla camps, time limited, purposed, single issue. He was willing to change the name of the action to “flash camp”. Since the effort is not well described at this time, Ten offered to work in a WG with Mark to bring this into a proposal framework for presentation at a future GA. Marcia offered the help of the ed group to work through the planning stages of such an action.
- Discussion was opened about the pre-proposal on the forum for May 8 GA. “That #OB revokes the safer spaces agreement.” The following comment made were:
- I’m interested in hearing more about this.
- I’ve been to most GAs and I’ve not experienced any dissatisfaction with safer spaces I, in fact, just the opposite.
- We need to hear the reason for this proposal.
- There have been incidents where I wondered whether we’d come to violence, though I’ve never felt threatened.
- It’s a cumbersome statement but it serves and achieves a purpose.
- It could use a massive overhaul.
- Some of the issue is how it was presented and there was no ability to participate in its movement through the approval process.
- #OB needs to go on record for non-violence.
- Sounds like throwing the baby out with the bath water.
- Non-violence is hard to define.
- Respect is what we want but it, too, may be hard to define.
- Unless there is something to replace it, it serves a purpose.
Meeting adjourned (by fiat) at 6:50 pm.
Minutes GA 4/24/2012
2 members present at Union Hall (5:30 -6)and 4 at Courthouse (6-7)
Agenda at the Union Hall
1. The letter has been written on the Stand Your Ground proposal and sent to local State
legislators on behalf #OB and the Stand Your Ground WG. Further suggestions made for
putting it on the web as a petition (such as change.org or those other orgs that do this)
2. It was brought to the attention of #OB regarding the March 27 vote to reimburse the
99%Spring trip to Seattle, that a person voting on this proposal stood to gain from
the vote. The proposal was revoked at this GA meeting. There are no funds for this
generous proposal anyway.
At the courthouse:
3. Pre-proposal: That #OB revoke the Safer Spaces agreement
Discussion: “The GAs are being railroaded by making rules for people to follow” “There are
too many rules and we are losing members because of it.” “#OB is dying from safer spaces.”
“It was a mistake.” Question asked “What is inherently bad about it and how has it harmed
anyone?” Answer “People at the GAs say ‘Safer spaces, safer spaces’ during discussion. This
has the effect of suppressing conversation.” ACTION: this will be posted as a pre-proposal on
the forum and will be on agenda for vote on May 8.
4. Clarification discussion differentiating Affinity Group from Working Group. They are not
5. Short discussion about gaining people to the movement through action.
6. Information offered that Facilitation WG plans to work on language defining non-
violence for our local #OB. It will then come up as proposal for voting. Comments made
that each of us “just needs to treat each other as fellow humans and be nice” It was
pointed out that this idea is different for different cultures, i.e., “in some cultures today
rape is an acceptable way to act against another human.”
GA - April 20, 2012
8 members present. Debbie Process mover and stacker: Ronna note taker. Hand signals reviewed.
Agenda: Announcement Karyn, Robyn
- Karyn – in reading about MAY DAY event states “this is not an action, it is a fundraising event” and suggests the action that should take place is on Finkbonner drive. “That people have been asking others to show up with tools to rip up the road”. She indicates this is what she will be doing on MAY DAY. This is not an approved #OB event.
- Robyn announced there will be a sign making activity at her house on Saturday the 28th at 3 PM for MAY DAY. Please email her if you can make it and get the address. She asked those present to think about making cookies for dessert.
- Clarification asked about procedure of banning David from participating in meetings as there were only 3 people present at that meeting. “There was a GA where it was agreed that at least 9 people are necessary to pass an action.” The date of this action was not clear and it was unacceptable for Debbie or Ronna to search for this. Another member present agreed to do the search and report back.
Meeting adjourned at 6:30
GA Tuesday April 17, 2012
8 members present plus 2 guests from Occupy Adelaide
Treasury report, Advice/brainstorm, Bellingham 12 shindig, Proposal – from Tee, 99%Spring
1. Treasury: 52 in WePay, 400+ in checking, 5 in savings. We are not collecting money. Most
donations occur when we have street events. Debbie announced she would like to hold a
garage sale of left over camp items to earn some money for the movement.
2. How ot get information out to the community. Make a direct action event and post it, tweet it
to all Occupies, put it on facebook and twitter.
3. There will be a Bellingham 12 fundraiser on Sunday (21st) at The Old Foundry at 5 pm
4. Tee suggests #OB set up a tent somewhere large enough for one to two people to man it as
an “information desk”. We could make a banner for this. Debbie has a piece of cloth that would
make an ideal banner. Possibly have a better acceptance if it was more like a marquee. Ronna
indicated her dream to have a roving van that would accomplish this idea plus act as a library,
and be able to hold GAs in local neighborhoods. Tee is asked to bring this forward as a proposal
to the Friday GA since it is an external issue and needs to be written as a posting on the forum
page one week in advance.
5. Report on the 99%Spring training. It was a total success with one action group planning to meet
to work on getting money out of politics.
6. The coal issue arose as the group discussed how upset the union hall was that an anti coal sign
was brought into the building by error last week. It was an inadvertent error and the local 276
took it to their board and they agreed to allow us to use this building for meetings. The guest
from Adelaide advised #OB to to be PRO something rather than ANTI. He suggested advocating
for “Renewable Energy NOW” and the like. Also can look at Peabody coal as a corporation
which does not pay fair taxes and who is destroying our earth.
7. At 6:30 the general meeting was adjourned and our guest Jeremy Jackson gave a teach-in
on “Genital Integrity Education”. He is traveling across the US providing these teach-ins to
other Occupies. His session provided much information and many questions were asked and
April 10 2012
1700 State St.
Union Hall #276
Process Mover: Ronna L.
Note Taker: Shane R.
Stack: Ronna L.
Time: Ronna L.
Attending: Ronna L.; Shane R,; Debbie C.
Shane R proposed
"That #OB has decided to take disciplinary action against David F. for the conduct documented at the March 27th 2012 GA by severing ties with him. This means David F. will not be recognized at #OB General Assemblies, and shall not participate in #OB GAs in any way."
After spirited discussion, and amendment, the proposal was adopted by consensus with unanimous support.
Debbie C proposed
"That #OB pay $380.45 for balance due regarding the May Day event."
The proposal was adopted by consensus with unanimous support.
Two items are scheduled to appear on the agenda for next Tuesday.
Giving more autonomy to established Work Groups
One item is scheduled to appear on the agenda for this Friday.
A proposal addressing Washington State's status as a Stand Your Ground state.
There was brief discussion of having a potluck on May 11
March 27 2012
Union Hall #276; 1700 State Street; 5:30 p.m.
Process Mover: Debbie C.
Note taker: Shane R.
Stack: Debbie C.
Time Keeper: Debbie C.
Preproposal regarding Treyvon Martin slaying entered into record for vote at future GA.
I propose that...
In light of the slaying of Treyvon Martin in Florida, #OB is now aware that Washington State is one of the 17 states which has a "Stand Your Ground" law in regards to justifiable homicide.
That #OB takes the position that the language of RCW 9A.16.050, the state law regarding justifiable homicide, is excessively open to interpretation and is in dire need of clarification.
That #OB supports action taken by both branches of the Washington State Legislature to clarify the language of RCW 9A.16.050.
That #OB supports actions by all municipal governments in Whatcom County, including all cities and the county itself, to take an unambiguous position clarifying the nature of justifiable homicide within their respective jurisdictions.
That #OB supports a request for an official Attorney General's opinion on the matter of justifiable homicide within Washington State.
That #OB takes the position that Washington State should adopt those laws necessary to encode a "duty to retreat" into Washington State Law regarding justifiable homicide.
The text of RCW 9A.16.050 is reproduced here for reference.
RCW 9A.16.050 Homicide — By other person — When justifiable. Homicide is also justifiable when committed either:
(1) In the lawful defense of the slayer, or his or her husband, wife, parent, child, brother, or sister, or of any other person in his presence or company, when there is reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the part of the person slain to commit a felony or to do some great personal injury to the slayer or to any such person, and there is imminent danger of such design being accomplished; or
(2) In the actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the slayer, in his presence, or upon or in a dwelling, or other place of abode, in which he is.
[Note: as a pre-proposal, this was not adopted or discussed at this meeting.]
(Ronna L.) #OB will pay $72 for the rental of Maritime Heritage Park for May 1, 2012 action.
Adopted by consensus unanimously.
(Tee K.) That Debbie C and Marcia L be reimbursed for those out of pocket expenses (in the amount of $160) for 99% Spring Training in Seattle on March 24 and 25 not covered by donations on April 15th.
After amendment and discussion, adopted by consensus unanimously.
(Shane R) That #OB cancel Saturday General Assemblies.
Adopted by consensus unanimously.
I propose adoption of the following findings:
Members of #OB have a reasonable expectation not to be attacked, or subject to extreme hostility, from within the membership of Occupy Bellingham. This reasonable expectation applies at all times, and is not limited to General Assemblies.
That #OB has the right to enforce its non-violence pledge and has the right to sever ties with those whose actions prove incompatible with that pledge. ["Anger at injustice is non-violent. No verbal or physical violence or weapons. Do not resist arrest or run from the police, and respect designated coordinators and facilitators." (adopted by consensus on October 14th, 2011.)]
Finding that someone has failed to uphold #OB’s non-violence pledge is not the same as accusing someone of a crime, therefore it is inappropriate to hold #OB to a standard of proof associated with accusing someone of a crime (beyond a reasonable doubt) when enforcing the non-violence pledge.
David F.’s documented conduct between General Assemblies towards Erin H. has been such that Erin will no longer attend GAs or Workgroup meetings while David is a participant in #OB. Jeremy T. has also said that he will not participate in General Assemblies while David is a participant in #OB, based on this same conduct.
Members of #OB (including Bonnie B., Tee K., Barb S., and Debbie C.) have made efforts to informally resolve this matter between Erin H. and David F. None of these efforts has proven successful.
In response to Debbie C.’s efforts to find an informal resolution to this matter, David took an on-the-record position that he deemed Occupy Bellingham to be near the end of its useful life, and that he looked forward to that end. ["...The more of the immature bullshit you try against me, the more excitedly I await the end of Occupy Bellingham (very soon)."]
That #OB has waited several weeks to allow for an informal resolution of this matter and is satisfied that this matter has been given adequate time and attention to be resolved by other means.
That #OB finds Erin H.’s claims about David F.’s conduct, as supported by documentation, to be credible.
That #OB finds that David F.’s documented conduct toward Erin H. between General Assemblies is hostile at such a sustained intensity that it is incompatible with the non-violence pledge taken by #OB.
The GA chooses to take no action beyond adopting these findings today. On or about April 10, 2012, the GA will make a decision about what actions it will take regarding David F’s continued participation in #OB, unless this matter is resolved informally to the mutual satisfaction of David F. and Erin H. in the mean time. David F. shall have no right to participate in the vote on that decision, nor shall he have the right to block that decision. David shall have the right to fully participate in discussion to speak in his own defense.
[After spirited discussion and amendment, the proposal was adopted by consensus unanimously.]
The concept of affinity groups, which was taught at the 99% Spring Training was discussed in open session.
== March 22, 2012 ==
Union Hall #276; 1700 State Street; 5:30 p.m.
Process Mover: Barb S.
Note taker: Shane R.
Stack: Debbie C.
Time Keeper: Marcia L.
Proposal (Ronna L.)
“That next Friday’s GA be held at St. Luke’s Education Center, and be adjourned on or about 5:30 p.m. to allow attendance at a 6 p.m. C2C potluck event.
Adopted by consensus.
The GA decided by consensus to form break out groups and follow up on a brainstorming exercise from a previous GA, and narrow down a list of over 50 goals to about four.
Group #1′s list
end corporate personhood/power
end war and imperialism/first nation solidarity
living wage for all/tax the 1%
Group #2′s list
End capitalism: corporate personhood/get money out of politics
Local sovereignty: petitions/resolutions/proposals
Police accountability: first amendment/peaceful assembly
Another product of the break out groups was this statement made by Jim
“We support everything that supports our neighbors’ ability to achieve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and we oppose everything that prevents our neighbors’ ability to achieve life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
[Note: none of these statements or goals was adopted by the GA, nor do any of these words represent the official position of #OB (yet).]
March 9th, 2012
Facilitator: Futureman, Stacker unknown, notetaker unknown
White Board Brain Storm
Justice: social, economic, environmental
Define fairness Restore Public Sector/ safety nets
Housing: universal right to housing
- Right to adequate food + water
- Universal health coverage
- End prison industrial complex
- End drug war
- Addiction is health issue, not criminal issue
- Legalize marijuana
- AIDS research
- Employment or income for all/ Living wage
- Tax equity – Tax the 1%
- WA state bank
- Student Debt forgiveness
- Free education through college/tech school/other (arts…)
- Radical education for all
- Learn experimentally
- Bring the arts back – to education/community
- Rights of Nature
- Environment protection
- No fossil fuels
- Renewable energy
- End nuclear everything – weapons, energy
Equal rights for All:
- First Nations:
o Solidarity with 1st nations
o Treaty rights
- Immigrant rights
Create direct democracy
- Defend 1st Amendment encroachments – Reclaim constitution
- People’s voice (obeyed)
- Police accountability
- Limit power of president
- Limit power of supreme court
- Media: High journalistic standards
Constrain or end capitalism
- Amend constitution
o No Corporate personhood
- Break up big banks
- Hold banks accountable
- Money out of politics
- End our wars
- Defeat imperialism
- Politicians accountable
- End prison industrial complex
- Anti-consumerism à self sufficiency
Local sovereignty – food, energy, environment, economy:
× Integrity of food supply
× Public transportation
× Local economy – no $US
× Local bill of rights
× Grow Occupy Bham
× Better ways to communicate with B’ham
- Eliminate federal reserve
- National transportation infrastructure
- Eliminate federal reserve
March 6, 2012
Process Mover: Dean T.
Note Taker: Shane R.
Stack; Debbie C.
[Note: The meeting was supposed to be at the Union Hall on State Street, however there was a scheduling conflict and another group was using the hall at that time. The meeting moved to Terra Organica.]
After introductions, Jeremy announced that his basement has to be cleared of all Occupy Encampment effects by March 21st.
There was an announcement that SSA Marine is employing canvassers in Bellingham.
Dean T. bought the GA a pizza [Note: Yay, Dean!]
Shane R. made an announcement that since this meeting’s location was changed at the last minute, this should inform the GA’s decision to pass any proposals without notice.
There was then a proposal made by several members of the GA
“that we have a team of 3 fact finders not directly connected to the conflict between [Members of the Internet WG] to gather information on the conflict and whether both members will accept mediation.”
After spirited discussion, the GA was unable to reach consensus on this proposal.
Jeremy made a proposal which, after a series of amendments, was rendered into two proposals, as follows:
“that if a meeting is disrupted, 5 minute break instantly;
if another disruption occurs by the same person in that meeting we eject the disruptor;”
“if emotional assault, or verbal or physical violence, is committed, that person is banned from Occupy Bellingham.”
Dean felt compelled to participate in the deliberations on this proposal and announced he was unable to continue as Process Mover, so the GA agreed by consensus that Shane R. take up Process Mover duties at that time.
The GA agreed by consensus to waive the 7 day notice requirements normally associated with proposals.
The GA, after spirited and lengthy discussion voted on the proposal language as amended.
Yes votes: 5
No votes: 1
There was a block by Herb G.
Herb explained the reasons for his block in two parts.
First, he was not in favor of the 5 minute break on the grounds that it serves the purposes of a disruptor to spend more of the GA’s time; Second, the proposal was not wordsmithed enough to be ready to be adopted yet.
In accordance with the process, the GA put the validity of Herb’s block to a vote, and the validity of his block was upheld. To render a block invalid, four fifths of the GA must vote that a block is not being used properly. (In this case, the votes were… Yes votes: 0; No votes: 0; Stand Asides: 1)
There were six voting members present (not including the Process Mover, who is obliged to abstain from voting). For a block to be sustained, at least 10% of those voting had to agree with Herb’s block. Herb’s vote alone represented over 10% of the votes at the GA, so overturning his block was statistically impossible.
The block was sustained.
Meeting adjourned by consensus.
March 2nd, 2012
Process Mover: Jeremy T. Note Taker: Shane R. Stack: Karen W. Time Keeper: Marcia
20 persons present as of the beginning of the General Assembly. The number of attendees rose as the meeting progressed, but no precise count was made.
At the beginning of the meeting, James B. made a passionate plea to the GA that #OB resolve infighting. He was unable to remain for the rest of the GA, but closed with “you are all awesome.”
There were introductions and announcements, then the GA agreed to take up the topic of the Lummi Nation and its concerns regarding SSA Marine.
Ten presented a brief report on the matter. He reported that SSA Marine has built roads on a place that is a traditional Lummi site.
Tee King proposed
“That Occupy Bellingham convey their support and solidarity to the Lummi Nation.”
The proposal was discussed and amended as recorded here.
The GA adopted the proposal by a unanimous vote.
The GA agreed to change topic to May Day.
Background on the significance of May Day was the subject of brief and spirited discussion.
Dean Tuckerman proposed
“That Occupy Bellingham endorse ‘A Day Without The 99%’ on May 1st; and
That Occupy Bellingham stands in solidarity with the international call for General Strike on May 1st”
The proposal was discussed and amended as recorded here.
There were 19 Yes votes; 0 No votes; 3 Stand Aside votes
The proposal was adopted by consensus.
Adjourned by consensus.
February 28th General Assembly Minutes
Facilitation Team: Jeremy, Future Man, Dean, Debbie
Jeremy opened the meeting with a reminder that according to the Mayan Calendar, the end is near, so we should
make sure to treat each other with respect. With that in mind, we started this meeting with introductions and a
brief statement from each attendee of “why we are here.”
Jeremy proposed a less formal agenda, with lots of time for open discussion on things that are important to us.
The group approved this strategy. We would make room for the 2 proposals that were brought by Strategy and
Open Session/Working Group Reports/Announcements
Get Money Out of Politics
Jeremy announced the beginning of this new working group. The first meeting will be at his house Sunday
March 3 at 1pm.
Rally Against Education Cuts
Erin announced that this rally will be Friday March 2, at Red Square at 3pm. We passed out fliers on campus
today and want help doing it again tomorrow. Meet at 11:30 in Red Square. It will be big! Lots of students.
CD Sales for Legal Support Fund Raising
Boris mentioned that we have made $200 for the legal support team. Everyone should help try to sell these
CD’s. Jeremy will take CDs to sell in Seattle in a couple weeks when he goes to attend their GA.
Facilitation Working Group
Ronna said that we had a fantastic meeting today with Future Man helping with our facilitation process.
Minutes will be in the Forum. Join Facilitation Google group if you want information. We will continue next
week. We need more people that are willing to be part of the facilitation team, so everyone come. Meeting 3:00
Tuesday at the Labor Hall on State St.
Green Drinks March 7th at 2938 Madrona Street
Herb announced that this meeting from 5-7 would be to dedicate a new eco-friendly house and that the Mayor
and County Executive will be there at 5:30. See Resources web site for more details
Bravo Sierra Working Group- March 5th at the Public Market 6-8pm
Shane announced the first meeting of this new working group. The meeting will be calling bullshit on our
group’s unwillingness to enforce its own rules. Jeremy expressed concern over giving power to this working
group to decide what we want to do.
Internal vs. External Topics
Terry asked what is the difference between internal and external agenda items, and who would decide. Short
discussion followed, most agreed that internal was the inner workings of the group, (ie. our process, financial
matters) and event planning would fall into external topics. The GA will decide if the agenda is appropriate.
Marilyn expressed the desire to engage in more activities to promote Occupy Bellingham. She suggested
making mugs to sell. She was directed to the outreach working group.
Outreach and Strategy Working Groups
Erin announced that because of overlap in topics and members, these two groups would begin meeting together
at The Old Foundry, at 5pm on Wednesdays.
Financial Guidelines Proposal
Ronna presented this revised proposal from the Financial Working Group
1. All significant* funded events approved by the GA must be accompanied by a budget of estimated costs.
2. Costs will be reimbursed by the FWG upon submittal of the receipt or invoice to a FWG member as
soon as possible.
1. All other significant* expenses (on-going monthly or those not specifically related to certain events)
must be approved by the GA. Date of GA approval must be part of the submittal.
2. Either #Ob can be billed directly or an #OB member can pay the expense and get reimbursement upon
submittal of receipt or invoice. No #OB funds will be disbursed without documentation
*Significant is equal to or greater than 50 dollars. All other purchases can be approved by the FWG (via
telephone or email communication) based on funds available after the 2 month reserve is considered.
Proposal Passed 12 yes, 0 No, 0 Stand Aside
Safer Spaces Accountability Proposal
Barb proposed the revised version of the Accountability portion of the Safer Spaces Agreement. A lively
discussion followed about the lack of the infrastructure to carry this out, the strong need to stop disruptions at
GA’s and stop alienating people, possibility of adopting this as “best practices”, undefined terms such as who
the Care Team is, addition of more complicated rules that can’t be enforced, how hard it is to change rules once
they are adopted, one idea to make it provisional (ie. to have it expire).
An amendment was added to have this adopted for one month, to give us a chance to try it.
Proposal did not pass, 7 yes, 3 no, 1 stand aside
Proposal will go back to working group, unclear on which one it should be, several people volunteered to work
on it, including Ronna, Future Man, Barb
February 24, 2012
Facilitator: Shane, Stacker: Claudia, Note taker: Barb, Time Keeper: Ronna
Jeremy read a letter from Egypt
Tuesday 2/28 11am meet @ Red Square to pass out fliers at Western for Educ. March on 3/2/12
Quatum Leap 2/29/12 @ 6:30 pm Alaska Ferry Terminal. Groups discuss what next for our community.
Coal Free B’ham 3/6/12 Packet Party and Training 4-6pm Unitarian Fellowship
Coal Free Campaign Kick-off with Public Photo 10AM City Hall
Mass Incarceration with Spearit; Prof. from St. Louis 3/8/12 4-5:30 Unitarian Fellowship B’ham Community
Urban Farming author 3/3/12 4pm Village Books
Brian Wilson 3/1/12 @ Village Books 7pm
Fundraising OB CD protest songs $10 from OB or at stores in town
Jeremy wants basement cleaned by 3/21 or will go to garage sale
Accountability proposal discussed and sent to WG for refinement
Finance Guidelines discussed and sent to WG for rewriting
Proposal to divide GA’s into internal and external matters – separate meetings 12 yes, 2 stand aside, 3 no didn’t pass. Discussion on not so much process and more action. Focus on issues, activist work. Futureman invited OB to Wednesday meetings @ 5pm at Alternative Library for projects meetings.
Proposal to focus on external activities at Friday GA and Internal issues at Tuesday GA 14 Yes, “0″ no. PASSED
Jeremy doing 20 1 min. video clips on home gardening for B’ham TV 10
Futureman suggests we empower WG to make decisions unless they are super-dramatic decisions, and report to GA on decisions.
Erin wants to plan for Education Rally on 3/2 at Fed. Bldg. and plan for May 1st action. Tues. @ 11am hand out fliers at Western Red Square.
GA 2/3 Friday
Facilitator-Debbie, Note taker-Erin, Approx 12 in attendance.
Proposal to officially endorse an event – “National Day of Action for Education” March 1st. Passed.
Proposal to allocate $100 to printing CDs. The proceeds will be split among the Bham 12 legal fund and the general Occupy Bellingham fund. Passed.
GA Meeting 1-27-12
Approx 27 in attendance.
The agenda for the meeting was approved.
The safer space policy passed last week. The 5 pt stack system is being implemented.
2. Group Reports
Legal Support Team- There is a benefit show on Feb 3 @ The Foundry. Posters and handbills are available and volunteers are needed for hanging posters. There was a grilled cheese fundraiser the evening of Jan 27. The pre-trial hearing is Monday @ 1:30; please attend for support!! Donations are also still being accepted for this cause- see Elizabeth.
Consensus Working Group- Nothing of significance to report.
Election Working Group- Met on 1-27-12. The election funding process must be changed and this group will meet again on Friday Feb 3 @3:00 @ Terra Organica to discuss how this can be achieved. Coming action may include proposal presentation to the new auditor.
Longview Working Group- There is a tentative agreement between the parties in Longview. ~13 people were @ the last event. Let Erin H know if you are interested in going to next event. There will be a “We Will Not Be Divided” meeting Monday Jan 30 @ 1600 State St @ 6:00.
Education Working Group- Next meeting will be held on Friday Feb 3 @ 1;00 @ Marcia’s house. Call Marcia if you would like to participate. Martha’s # can be found on the occupy web site.
Strategy Meeting Group- The minutes are on the forum. A long term vision of the community has been developed. Ways in which this can be achieved are being discussed. Next meeting will be held Wednesday Feb 1 @ 3pm @ The Foundry.
Gardening Group- A meeting was held @ Jeremy’s house. It was a cold day! They will meet again Sunday @ 3:oo at The Majestic.
Tee- There was a small rally. She made 80 brownies and 60 buttons and is working hard to sell these to support the legal defense fund which needs $$$$$. Tee reminded us- DO NOT BECOME COMPLACENT!
Be the one who acts on behalf of OB EVERYDAY! Nice work Tee and others!!
Robyn- DC was magical. Met people from all over including Raleigh NC where they had seen the B-ham railroad event on ustream. Robyn went to a networking meeting in which there was discussion as to how to bring people into the movement. Ideas included going to bus stations or “occupying a corner” which results in discussion and education of those stopping to question the protestor. Creativity is important to pull people in including music, drama, visual art, comedy, etc. Community service is also important. Go to www.occupii.org for information on and discussion with other occupy groups.
Bonnie- A call was made to the police dept oon 1-27-12 to get items that were taken from the campsite returned. “Claudia” @ the station advised that these items are being held as evidence. In addition, requests must be made to the city attorney with the specific missing item/items listed. Reference #11e46821 was provided.
Boris- Boris played a show last week and raised $81 for the “12”. People were into the Occupy cause and wanted to hear more. Let’s get the word out! Bob Burr mentioned that his friend attended and purchased a cd for $5 for the cause. Go Boris!
Zoe- A next step must be taken as to how OB should respond to the police action during the occupy eviction. The next meeting will be held Monday @ 7pm @ Wilson Libray/Room 377/WWU.
Mark- Mark attended the universal healthcare meeting held on 1-26-12. We must lobby the people on the healthcare panel if we want single payer health coverage in WA State. A couple of these panel mebers are willing to meet with Occupy if a meeting dat is established.
John- James B arranged for the “courthouse skit” to be played on BTV10, however, Kelli Linville approval is required. BTV10 & Comcast claim “PEG” (Public Education and Government), however the do not really live these words. Perhaps we could play our meetings on tv?? James B also has a new “release software” and this could also be used to our advantage.
4. Old Business
Proposal for this PDF to be our new consensus process. There was discussion and clarification on the % needed for a block (10%). There was great discussion regarding how a “stand aside” vote would effect the fraction used to determine the % of yes votes. It was determined that there are three voting categories; 1. Yes, 2. No 3. stand aside. All three will be included to determine the % of yes votes. A friendly amendment was added to raise arms for each of the three vote types. With raised arms, thumb up stands for yes, thum down stands for no and thumb to the side stands for stand aside.
This proposal passed.
6. Open Mic
Rod advised that 2 delegates are being requested from each occupy group/city, including Bellingham. It was determined that Rod will get additional info (who is requesting this, etc) and will then draw up a proposal.
Larry mentioned an interesting program on “information clearinghouse.org” in which a 4th world war was portrayed, and people in groups much like occupy, were targeted. Thus, beware.
Bob B mentioned that the community seems to relate more to “99%” rather than “occupy”. “Occupy” traditional has a negative connotation as well. Thus, it would be wise to use the terms that is acceptable to the majority (the 99%) rather than the term that is objectable to the majority (Occupy Bellingham). This additionally makes sense since we are no longer occupying a park, etc.
Bob B mentioned that 350.org has created a “blow the whistle” campaign. Information on representatives can be found on this site. People are to take this information, go to the rep’s office and “blow the whistle”. Bob B has referee suite ready to go for a local whistle blowing event. Please contact him if you are interested. Go Team!
The Davos Switzerland summit was mentioned. The theme is “transformational models”. It was suggested that occupy create our own “transformational model” that could be proposed to those in Davos.
Robyn suggested the elimination of the Saturday GA due to lack of attendance. A proposal will be submitted at which time this can be discussed further.
January 24th General Assembly Minutes
Facilitator: Tee K. Stack: Larry W. Notes: Debbie C.
Call for Potential Agenda Items, Approval of Agenda
We had a visitor from Occupy Vancouver named Britta, who was riding her bike to Baja. She was a great addition to our GA.
Working Group Reports
Rod L.:Possible settlement between ILWU & EGT. Action plans are ongoing, however, pending a decision.
Garden Working Group
Larry W.:Seed Swap Sunday at the Majestic, Gardening Working Group to follow. Bring tools for cleaning and sharpening. We have use of the parking strip in front of Jeremy’s house. Our goal is to have one mile of parking strip gardens.
Financial Working Group
Debbie C.: Anyone receiving reimbursement from OB that has not provided a receipt of invoice should make every attempt to do so. We have paid for internet, books and copying without receipts. Please get them to FWG member asap.
Tee introduced a pre-proposal to compile a list of local businesses and come up with a system so that we could boycott those that were against us and applaud those who were supportive of the ideals of OB. Many people felt that we should keep it positive, and try to avoid being divisive. John mentioned that rarely are businesses all good or all bad. Lots of good ideas were shared, and Tee agreed to work on the proposal a little more.
Rod L. wondered whether someone in OB had a consolidated list of media contacts for efficiently putting out press releases.
Larry W. mentioned that the word “Occupy” is at risk of being diluted by the main stream media, and wondered if it would not be prudent to proactively come up with a name we could use in the future. A discussion followed about the strength of being linked with the national movement, etc. Larry and Mark agreed to think about possible new names.
Tee K. mentioned that we should not become complacent. She has done many actions (City Council button distribution, visiting Books to Prisoners” as OB supporter) and encouraged all OB members to commit acts of Radical Altruism. Many people twinkled. Britta mentioned that they have had a Free Store with donated items and passed out Occupy literature.
Shane R. proposed that we change our block policy to:
A 4/5 of the GA is sufficient to override a block
A discussion ensued about adding a clause mentioning that a valid block only exists when the blocker feels so strongly about it that they would leave the movement, and that if the block was overturned, then the blocker would be compelled to leave occupy Bellingham after a second block. It did not seem like we had time to iron out the details, so the proposal was tabled for a later date.
General Assembly minutes 1/20/12
Facilitator- Barb; Stack – John R.; Note taker – JT; Timekeeper JIm R.
Old Business ( safer spaces)
Reports: Robyn and Rod delayed coming back from DC due to weather , not present.
Tee: Cookies and goodies for legal defense fund , selling pins also, ask for donations ,not feeling well, not going to sell later tonight due to weather.
David- Mega Upload ( a large file sharing network) was shut down by Feds. so group “Anonymous” hacked into FBI.gov, justice.gov and motion picture association’s systems . David reported that there were several Dems that did not change their votes on the floor.
Karen: would like to know Demorats that did not want to change their votes on the legislation.
David gave a short explanation of SOPA and PIPA – these bills were pulled from the house and senate floor.
Ian- Representative Lamar Smith receives a lot of money from the entertainment industry and would like to bring the bills back to the floor.
Debbie : Where’s Keith, Track him down, he has camp phone ( someone commented we are not funding phone, it was donated. David has no contact with him.
Larry: Occupy Nigeria : They have had threatening emails- they would be “taken down” members of the National Lawyer’s Guild is following the situation
Feb 3 – Legal support group- fundraising music event at the old Foundry, times posted on Bham.Org schedule cancelled food and cookie sale that was going to be happening tonight due to weather.
Still collectiong t-shrits for silk screening and designs for Bham 12 to sell to help with legal costs. Any artistic people that would like to contribute designs please do so.
Tomorrow 6-8 p.m. at WECU Ed bldg. 1/21/ Sat potluck and debrief re: debrief
re: coal train action ( note time and location just changed as of 1/21 see schedule)
Benefit show at The Old Foundry: 7:30 2/3 Friday – performers: Locust fire enclave/ Feather and Bone/ Sweet Medicine- it is on the calendar
Jan 26- meeting of legal support team- its on the calendar
Marilyn – I need a ride to the potluck
Andy 2/15 1:30 pretrial arraignment for Bham 12 – please show up if you can just to lend support as many people who can go please show up , at (municipal?) courthouse.
Karen- it’s important that the judge see a lot of support
Charles – the Bham twelve should call all of their friends and invite them!
Andy-re: Working Group: stopping the coal trains , we’re still trying to work on that and come to consensus about how to deal with this, please come to W.G.
Boris- Is there a link to that working group? ( It’s on the schedule on Bham .org)
David- Tech Work Group- We are having a meeting at WWU library at 3 p.m. Sat 1/21 – basic ways of using technology for revolution
If anyone want to learn how to livestream and you have the right kind of phone Erin or I can show you how to do it.
Go Daddy.com was a supporter of SOPA and PIPA , we are going to change servers for our web page if all in agreement, we want to switch to website that is more “green” and it is $37. per year. Name of server ” Fat Cow”” ( lots of twinkles )
Debbie: FWG – 2 months in reserve apporx $1400. We can save a lot of money by not using the Foundry .
If any one has any info or line on a possible space please call Dean, Debbie , Shane or Ronna
Penny- Shouldn’t it be close to downtown?
Jim R.- Haven’t we had enough donations to keep the Foundry for Friday nights?
Debbie: we haven’t seen those donations coming through to the finance working group.
John R.- Strategy WG – we’re working on a statement of understanding, like a vision statement of ideally what you want Bellingham Occupy to look like. Our next meeting is 4:00 Sunday at the Foundry.
Barb- Karen- Walter- Eric – Racial equality WG – at MLK day at Whatcom CC, people said it ws a good workshop. There were 2 workshops and an Occupy table, we received $40. in donations. A lot of people visited the Bham Occupy table.
Penny asked- what workshop topics were discussed- Barb: Talked about what has happened since MLK’s death and his last book “Where do we go from here”
Andy- Feb 11 Sat- Nonviolent communication and anti oppression WG -
10-4 pm at the Whatcom Peace and Justice office at Herald building.
Karen: Legal Comm: We are in touch with Longview “it’s still in the works” anyone interested in legal observer training get in touch with us.
Barb- who is organizing the carpools?
John R- I’ll be driving a large 15 person van- we can pile into that-
The longview action could happen at anytime, where should we all park , maybe the public market – Karen- ” someone will let us know”
Old business- Elizabeth – Working on safer spaces agreement, not accountabllity – She reviewed the 10 points of the agreement, there was a lot of discussion and on several points there were words removed and taken out of the agreement and all of those discussion will not be elaborated upon by this meeting minute taker: These are the Safer Spaces Agreements Tenets agreed upon by votes of the group .
The basic tenet is respect- respect eachother( our backgrounds, identities, ideas and bodies) – and respect the space we’ve created together
1. Everyone has an equal right to be heard and an equal responsibility to listen. People who are used to talking may feel the benefit of listening more , and vice versa.
2. However, strongly we might fell about a particular topic , we have a responsibility to resist abusive discussion.
3. Any behavior-physical or verbal that demeans , marginilizes or dominates others or that perpetuates hierarchies , is not welcome.
4. We have the responsibility to identify our own privileges- the things that sometimes give us an easier ride than others – and to actually challenge them.
5. We recognize the wide range of identities that people may identify with and avoid making generalizations or assumptions about people.
6. We recognize that anyone in the space could be currently experiencing or have experienced oppression such as violence, sexual violence, racism, economic oppression or homophobia
7. We have the responsibility to reject horizontal hostility and “in fighting” and to focus our critiques up the hierarchy to those in power , rather than against our own ( Occupy B’ham) community members.
8. It is everyone’s responsibility to challenge prejudice abuse and oppression . If we ignore it we are complicit in it.
9. We are all responsible for holding ourselves and our community ( OB) accountable for violations of the safer spaces agreement. If we are feeling uncomfortable, silenced , marginalized, we have the right to address this. If we are called out for an oppressive or problematic action we have the responsibility to listen and to respect others and the accountability process .
10. We recognize that creating safer spaces is and ongoing and fluid process . Marginalized groups, have the right to create temporary safe spaces at any time and add to the Safer Spaces Agreement as needed.
Karen: I ordered these books from YES magazine, you can borrow from Occupy Bham library or buy for $10.- $5. will go to donation to support Bham 12. legal.
Debbie- last year we agreed to pay Larry $25/ year , now he is asking us to pay $25- per quarter to retain him as our lawyer. Group voted and all in agreement on this.
No discussion on consensus working group tonight.
Ted: media working group, who do I contact regarding going through film footage of Occupy Bham- someone said contact would be James B.
David- We need to start having discussions about do we all want to go all week just waiting for Friday GA or should we all just start doing actions. You don’t have to have a working group to have an action , like if you want to go protest BOA, just go stand in front . Like “what can I do to mess with the 1% today”
Dean- “agree, we should have more actions, today was good, there were a lot of people there .
Karen: We need to get ” I am the 99% out there” We’re all the 99%.
Larry- There are a lot of autonomous actions, look at what David and Erin did during the Eviction, they just kept on streaming , and whatever went on is just gonna be out there.
Mark- the 1%, that’s like 3 million people , we don’t want to marginalize them just because they are the 1%.
John R. We’re out of time, I move to adjourn- meeting adjourned.
thank you and apologies for leaving out comments or not getting all comments verbatim. J.T.
Facilitator: Debbie; Stack: James; Notes: Barb
46 in attendance
Wendy – How to send back credit card offers
JT – Literature of Occupy @ Deming Library rejected by librarian. Meeting at end of Feb
Karen – Glad we are here
Rod – To DC on Sunday for Occupy Bham
James – Running for Superintendent of Public Instruction
Charles – New hand signal for “can’t hear”?
Robyn – Sent messages to WA Occupy’s, Olympia people going
Strategy – Vision/Values, what big picture strategy looks like. Resiliency in Whatcom great. Occupy can be the resistance. Popular resistance movement. Take the power away from corporations/govt for autonomous commons
Finance – Out of money.
Elizabeth – Feb 3rd Fri Benefit at Old Foundry. Donate food, t-shirts
Events – Occupy the Courts Jan 20th. Need cardboard and slinkies. Making costumes this Mon/Wed/Thurs
Whatcom Women – Meeting at Terra Organica
Tech – Unlimited internet
Coordination – Keep communications open
Legal – Longview Union EGT
Anti-Opression Workshop MPJC Nonviolent Communication Feb 11th
firstname.lastname@example.org for ride to Longview
Coal Free Bellingham Launch Party 4:30pm Zvanish Park
“That #OB present to the Bellingham City Council the following positions to adopt by resolution, or by a series of resolutions:
Support the position that corporations are not people and money is not speech;
That the City Council assert that those rights found in the U.S. Constitution are reserved for living souls within the city limits of Bellingham, and under no circumstances shall those rights be understood to apply to soulless “creatures of the state” such as corporations;
That the City Council commit to establishing, by ordinance, a method of publicly funding all elections for public office within Bellingham’s municipal government, to later than 2015;
Opposition, in principle, to U.S. military action against Iran in the Strait of Hormuz; Opposition, in principle, to the provision contained in the National Defense Authorization Act which allows for indefinite detention of persons without due process;
That the City Council commit to establishing, by ordinance, an Official Town Square for Bellingham no later than 2013;
That a Town Square is defined as a public space at which the expression of political speech is acknowledged to be the highest and best public use of that space, particularly when compared to other public uses such as growing grass;
That the City Council appoint a citizen task force to determine how best to establish an Official Town Square for Bellingham;
That the City Council petition the County for better nutrition to be provided to inmates held at the Whatcom County Jail;
That the City Council petition the Mayor’s Office to have the #OB General Assemblies broadcast on BTV10;”
Much discussion, some sections above taken out, noted by strikethrough.
Proposal regarding Safe Spaces and CARE Team from Zoie and Elizabeth. Ran out of time, mostly positive temp check, 2 “blocks”. Not voted on.
January 6, 2012 General Assembly Minutes
Process Mover: David F. Time: Erin H. Stack: Zoie Notes Debbie C.
David reviews Points of Process and Hand Signals
Approval of Facilitators
Zoie: I propose to eliminate the “Direct Response” hand signal. and replace it with two others. This hand signal is often abused as a way to get on stack It is disruptive to the speaker. Many other Occupys have made this change. The two new hand signals will be:
The “C” (hand cupped into a C shape) means Clarifying Question (one sentence ? with no opinion)
The “Pinky” means Point of Clarification
Approval of Agenda
Working Group Reports
Coordinating Working Group
Ronna L: Sign-up sheets are on the table for all working groups. Please sign up and make sure the information is accurate!!
Event Planning Working Group
Erin H.: January 20th Anniversary of Citizens United – Occupy the Whatcom County Courthouse from 2-4 pm.
We will try to get expert speakers
Media Working Group
James B.: We are in desperate need of people with experience to work with the great amount of video footage we already have
City of Bellingham Coordination Work Group
Jim R.: We are setting up a meeting with Kelli Linville introduce ourselves and to talk about our issues. Jan 20 or 21st. Herb: Also, there is an open house to meet Kelli at the Squalicum Boat House at 4 pm on Monday Jan. 9th
Racial Justice Working Group
Walter Y.: MLK Day Workshop in conjunction with WCC and Opportunity Council
We have been given Room 105 in the Syre Building. Volunteers needed to set up food and organize speakers. Be there at 8 am and sign up at volunteer table.
Lunch provided. $5 to get in.
Next Meeting: Thursday Jan 12th Woods Coffee in Ferndale (no time given)
Final Meeting RE MLK Day: Jan 13th 520 17th Street (Potluck)
More Info: Walter Young @ email@example.com
Consensus Work Group
Jon R.: As a result of the last Friday’s GA discussion on consensus, we worked on a draft for new consensus process. Copies were passed out for all to have. Basic aim, to discover opposition and work out compromises prior to making proposal. Blocks should be stated in advance. 4/5 majority can overrule block, but if 10% of voters support block, it stands. 4/5 vote needed to pass a proposal. Document can be found on the website (but I could not find it yet)
Womens Working Group
Karen: Please sign up if you are interested. As a woman, I have had a hard time working in the framework of OB. Let’s treat everyone as equals and with respect. Group will eventually be open to men. I have no meeting times or goals for this group.
Legal Working Group
Elizabeth: Meeting for Support of all arrestees: Thursday the 12th at 2:30 at the Coop Connections Building
We need fundraising, postering and legal support.
We have a lot of money to raise for legal fees; pass the hat…. Hat goes around…
Fundraiser at the Old Foundary Friday February 3rd for legal costs
Community Debrief on Dec 12th Action and Eviction: Saturday Jan 21st at the WECU Meeting Room (across from the CU on Holly) 6-8 pm Potluck. Informal discussion about events.
James B. Living Democracy will host a Coal Free Bellingham Event at the Squalicum Boathouse on Jan. 26th at 4 pm more info at http://coal-free-bellingham.com/
Jim R.: Pizza available at the Foundary Café tonight. Only $4 a slice. I will heat them up myself!
Andy I.: Non-Violent Communication Workshop is in progress. More info to come.
Also, a group of people are working on coming up with a stance on Coal that all OB participants can agree with.
Mark: Occupy Newfoundland is still operating with the support of their city.
Karen: Some Occupiers have been made homeless by the eviction. They need our support.
Erik G.: I propose that we make #OccupyBellingham the official facebook page of OB.
Stop going to the Occupy Bellingham Facebook page due to malicious content and attacks on active OB people.
Ian A.: Proposes that the Jan 20th Citizens United Occupation of the Whatcom County Courthouse, scheduled for 2-4pm, be extended until 5 pm and replace the usual march at the federal building that week.
Proposal Passes Unanimously
Mark recommends we recruit lots of people for this event.
Shane R. pre-proposed that OB approve that he negotiate with the City Council to adapt the following resolutions:
Support publicly financed elections
Support the End of Corporate personhood
Create an official Town Square in Bellingham
Affirm that all uniformed law enforcement officers be identifiable at all times.
Exact language will be worked out in a working group. See Shane for details.
Vote will be next Friday.
Erik G. Pre-proposes that we provide ~ $200 financial support to send a OB representative to Washington DC Occupy Congress 1 million Tents!
John T.: I will be passing thru DC at that time anyway, and I will go.
Rod L.: I grew up there and have friends and family, I would love to go.
James B.: people may have air miles we could use.
Karen: The process is too dysfunctional to do this. We have to work outside of the system in DC. The system is too corrupt. I will block.
Poverty March 1/16/2012 don’t know details
Robyn A: Occupy NH on CSPAN!
Karen: Open session should be first on the agenda. This is where people can unleash their passion and then allows you to focus your attention on the rest of the work.
Chuck: My observation is that too many people block. When someone volunteers to do something, let then do it. We should encourage all actions, we should let ourselves make mistakes, don’t worry about being perfect.
Shane R. ILWU Longview support caravan mid Jan. Details to come as ship gets closer.
Otter: PAC around Coal Issue has some support from some union members, we should invite them to join us. Plus, on our website under “ABOUT”, is about encampment – needs to be updated, maybe list meeting times
Larry W. :Gardening Working Group- sign up!
Pass the Jar for $ for The Old Foundary….
Meeting Vaguely Adjourned…
GA started and immediately decided to move to Woods Coffee House, Shane remained at Park until 5:50PM for late comers.
Facilitation: Jeremy, Erik(notes)
Reports on past Gas
@ city hall, we decided we will pursue occupation of a home in forclosure.
@The Old Foundry, we developed a new progressive stack (5 count)
And that we will advocate a Washington state bank similar to North Dakota’s model
@ Maritime park on Saturday we discussed the tech working group as a support organization, and will request notes from Connor to be submitted
FINANCIAL WG- All outstanding bills paid, about 1600 in $Bank now, Dean has checkbook
OUTREACH WG- 100 Brochures with information have been printed to distribute to community
Need Volunteers for canvas and more outreach
FOOD WG- Need to organize an inventory day, preferably on a Sunday afternoon
EVENTS WG- We had an event today 15-25 people came. It was a fun street theater and game.
There is a concern that the communication network needs updating.
There is a concern that we need to organize an address of the mistakes we have made to prevent them in the future.
It was noted that the U-Lock Strategy was very successful, and that it was shared nation-wide in Gas
We may need to adjust our confrontational nature with the public
We need to have debriefing sessions to address eviction, train incident, and other marches and rallys
Planning debrief may be a key part of planning a major event.
The internet WG reported a concern that City of Bellingham computers have attempted to access their computer, possibly attempting to “hack” the system and website, the IWG will be providing internet security measures for concerned owners of computers in #OB by donation.
Karen will be building a Women of Whatcom Working Group to empower and engage women in OB and the community
Gardening Working Group Weill be meeting at Jeremy’s house from 430-930 PM January 15. We will be discussing preparing soil for the farming season and starting sprouts, bring your own sprouts and provisions for this social and education workshop (Bonfire as well).
Ian Proposes that #OB financially support its members to protest in solidarity against EGT in Longview Washington.
Erik amends that the amount be $15 per person, $60 per car, and $450 total allowable at this time.
A fundraising focus point is this action, and a grassroots fundraising strategy is advised.
We also seek funding from Occupy Seattle, who has funding for caravans from #OWS