After the usual order of business with the explanation of the meeting and review of signs, I announced the list of proposals (thanks to Rochelle’s ASM notes) and asked if each one was represented. One of the proposals from the ASM (Billy’s) wasn’t represented so that wasn’t taken up. There was a request to take up a proposal for a statement of solidarity with Occupy Oakland against police violence. We did a temp-check to see if people approved of it being included. Much approval twinkling was in evidence.
The first proposal was for the KBOO-Occupy alliance. Jimmy (the proposer) announced that he would be changing the proposal to not include a working group or committee as was originally proposed since this might be viewed as propagandist. He proposed instead a simple declaration of cooperation between KBOO and OPDX. The question phase tried to tease out what this meant exactly and what Jimmy was seeking was a strong statement of support. There was much discussion about how to make the language clearer and some concerns were raised about what was meant by words suggested like “alliance.” This went on through the amendment phase where amendments were proposed to make the language clearer. We tried several temp-checks to see if this should move forward but there was a lot of hesitation about just what this proposal really was and the consensus developed that this really wasn’t clear enough to make a decision on (with various statements of love and admiration for KBOO nevertheless). Jimmy finally withdrew the proposal and would try to restate it in clearer terms at the next opportunity.
The second proposal came from Labor Solidarity to support Portland Rising bus tour (Portland Rising) to call attention to unfair union contracts in various locations. Some clarifying questions were answered. There was some concern about how one of the unions involved had co-opted the Occupy name in the past. The proposers explained that they were aware of this but this was an action to support the union members, not the unions themselves. Two amendments were proposed to clarify the relationship with the union but after some discussion the amendment proposers felt these weren’t necessary and these were withdrawn. This moved smoothly into consensus and was passed. The third proposal was for an endorsement of the May Day 99% only action also by Labor Solidarity. There were a good number of clarifying questions on this one as to what the action specifically called for. There was some concern about this being a call for a general strike but it was clarified that this was simply a call for a diversity of actions to take place on that day. Amendments calling for clarifications to the action, but it was finally consensed that this was simply a call for solidarity with a number of actions taking place and not a specific action in itself so amendments were withdrawn and the proposal was passed with full consensus.
Side note: One woman had raised her hand for a clarifying question and said this wasn’t really a question but a statement. I asked if it was pertinent to the discussion and she remarked (words to the effect) “sort of.” Then immediately started reciting a poem, off her laptop, on the theme of occupy solidarity (I’m guessing – it was a long poem). After a few minutes of this (with no end in sight!) some people started making gestures to speed things up but the woman’s attention was wholly on her laptop. Justin said out loud to folks making signs to move on, “it’s your meeting!” As she finally posed for breath, others intervened and thanked the woman for the poem. “I’m not finished yet!,” she gently demanded. We suggested to her that she could continue reading it first during announcements, which she agreed was a good idea.
The fourth proposal was to send a letter to city hall asking for a homeless encampment. This proposal involved two parts: 1) the letter, and 2) a statement that if no action was taken then there would be a movement to recall city officials. The first part seemed to have no issues but there was much questioning of how to word the implementation of the recall. Amendments were proposed including bringing this to SC after GA, targeting specific names in city hall, and rewording of the threat of recall. It on discussion of each, an amendment to identify specific available properties was accepted. Other amendments were withdrawn. The proposed action passed. The fourth item was an emergency proposal to endorse a statement of solidarity with Occupy Oakland with regards to the recent police response there. Lumen read out the statement with much twinkling. Amendments were suggested to make the statement better with things like signs, Facebook and endorsing non-violence (in general) but these were perceived as more of details for working groups rather than amendments and this proposal passed without any issues.
The last proposal was the result of a tap on my arm earlier in the proceedings by the proposer. He asked if he could make a proposal about an action taking place the next day. Since this was also of an emergency. I told him I’d leave a space for him to ask the group. I felt this was also in the nature of an emergency proposal that didn’t have time for the ASM. Once all other proposals were done, I asked for any other emergency proposals. When the proposer raised his arm we asked him to briefly state the proposal and then asked for a temp-check if the proposal may be taken up by the GA. Much twinkling of approval. The proposal was read out for a non-violence march to be held the next day and details were given. No comments or concerns of importance were expressed when asked and this also passed unanimously.
Announcements were made as usual, including the rest of the poem (which took quite a while longer – long enough to finish an American Spirit Yellow). After other proposals, Antonio reminded everyone (with some nicely stylistic rhetoric) about the coming All Oregon Occupy activity coming in six weeks. The meeting was over a little after 9PM.