"OP Beyond Dilworth" Meeting
Greg - intro: things we already know
We decided at last night’s GA, we will be meeting at 4pm at Rittenhouse Square the day after eviction. We don’t quite know when eviction is gonna happen. There is also a chance we’ll be marching to Roundhouse if there are people in jail at that point. 2nd thing we decided is that all future GAs at Friends Center.
There are plans for a press conference occupy a foreclosed home on Tuesday to support Florence Mason.
[discussion of details/controversy, and rumor about Clergy support]
Occupy Spaces is another group looking into potential abandoned properties that we might be able to rehab.
Reasonable Solutions WG has signed a permit for Thomas Paine Plaza, does not include tents/camping/etc, and hours are limited from 9am-7pm.
Ivan - Homeless folks who want to move to Logan Square will be helped by OP at 4pm.
Greg - Harvey and Dennis are organizing a location for safe space for homeless. Not OP, but some of the folks living here have plans to go over there.
Rita - Friends Center is opening today at 5pm.
Jack - It’s open to all Occupiers who are not going to smoke, do drugs, cause drugs, and their camping gear must remain outside building. Must be respectful of pre-planned events there.
Pastor Pete - Will be open until 10pm tonight, if there is an eviction tonight it will be open overnight.
Dave - Not open indefinitely, just during eviction night.
Greg opens Stack, will point to hands.
Concrete plans that people are working on now?
Dave - CoC is working with Interoccupy.org to create and maintain list of committed Occupiers so we can have a network
Z - Recaps Trina from Chicago’s message:
[from 11/26/11 GA notes: Hello OP brothers and sisters! I come bringing love and support and solidarity from OC! We feel where you are right now. I want to tell you really briefly about our eviction history. We tried to take a camp in Grant Park. We had 3000 people march and rally. We tried to set up tents. 175 people were arrested. It’s not that scary. Did it again next weekend, had 130 people arrested, including 2 nurses from Nurses United who were providing medical support. Came back two weeks later with a smaller action and were evicted again, but we’re still strong and still fighting. Winter Building Chicago Spring: we spend the winter building an indoor community space and getting out to all the neighborhoods of Chicago, telling them who we are, why they should be with us, why we stand with them in all their struggles. Community service, Direct Actions in neighborhood, flyering, teach-ins in neighborhoods, taking this out of Center City to the greater city, so that come Chicago Spring, on April 7, that we can make a large showing that we’re still here! Chicago winters are cold, Chicago police force is nasty, but they can’t shut us out, can’t shut us down, we will still be there in the spring! We need you on April 7! In Chicago if you can, if not here. Our social media team would like you to tweet with #APR7, we’re trying to get the word out, trying to plan now, so Occupies can say “We are still here!” Love from Occupy Chicago!]
Jack - When you’re setting up your plans, do you want to start with everybody shifting immediately, or should be begin with infrastructure? Should it be pre-planned or evolve naturally? I suggest we have initial setup group and then invite in people to already.
Marshall - What’s been set up here has been a pretty organized infrastructure for beyond Dilworth. Working Groups have been established and will continue to function. Job of members of WG to come up with ideas to take OP in all these different directions. We might not have a camp anymore, but DA will still be planning marches. There are so many different options. Without the camp there isn’t as much ability to catch up on it and know it exists. Big issue: without centralized place, how to
Greg - Heard ideas about staying together online, also another physical encampment with legit infrastructure, and staying involved in WGs that continue beyond Dilworth. Other ideas?
Z - Occupy Homes and Open Home and how Occupy could have open Occupation, maybe an Open House on a monthly basis that would make it easier to find each other and connect/reconnect. In addition to community, one of real values of Occupation was it’s a fabulous place for organizing. Other idea: would like to see Occupation be everywhere, with window signs and yard signs saying “The Occupation is here” and whatever issue you want to represent. Open House and yard signs.
Pastor Pete - Deeply troubled by rift between RSWG and others. This presents a real opportunity to demonstrate our unity by attempting a reconciliation. I have talked to people from both parties and both are interested and willing to talk. I know that moving forward we are more powerful together than separately. RSWG has space we can use visibly and prominently. Interfaith WG are willing to help facilitate a reconciliation. If you’re interested in seeing that happen, please speak to me. We can have differences but still work together.
Diane (direct response) - They went behind our back and they lied and I’m not comfortable right now as to whether they can act honestly.
Pastor Pete (DR) - All I’m suggesting is we explore possibility of reconcilitation.
Ivan - Would like to have permanent location somewhere. OP more than any Occupation has worked with homeless folks in a way that is unprecedented. Don’t want to leave that behind. Concern: Homeless folks have organized and found out places they can go. If OP goes somewhere else, City will have succeeded in dividing us. We can do more if we work together and it also is important symbolically. Don’t know what that looks like, but it’s not just about our protest/demonstration, but in working around the clock in some capacity to support each other.
Greg - Should I open another stack on brainstorming ideas?
Marshall - We’re one of the last encampments left in nation. LA is getting similar restriction: new permit, different location, no camping. They also offered to buy off Occupy LA, they offered office space and farmland for a dollar a year. It’s a very valuable proposition. Since City didn’t offer that to us, there should be a WG devoted to finding office space as a place to meet and organize a campaign. For our media to meet.
Z - Jody (Legal) works in a building, was talking about setting up an organizing center in that building, should talk to her about that.
Bob - 1) Continuing organization, need to keep communicating. 2) Be very cautious about electoral politics and politicians.
Jack - Unless you actually intend to take down the system as it exists, and bring a literal revolution, the system that exists is what we have to work with. Can we find good people within it to work with?
Marilyn - My main effort has been bringing OP to people who aren’t here. Was easy first couple weeks, people understood and sympathized. That’s gotten much more difficult as media picture of OP has worsened. What OP needs to do as it moves into next phase is find ways for people who aren’t interested in encampment to be involved beyond donations.
Rita - I support ideas so far, including idea of not bothering with electoral politics. One way to stand in solidarity with homeless is to fight poverty by fighting wealth (which causes poverty), continue DAs against institutions that cause them.
Coby - If it does get to the point where we can not be somewhere over night, perhaps we could use a space like TPP to keep our signs up overnight even if we can’t be there.
Jack - As for TPP, everything needs to come down.
[Much support for lawn/window signs, keeping visible message 24/7.]
Connie - Investigate rental properties on first floor of City, a storefront possibly to maintain physical location for office space and visibility.
Z - 1) As for reconciliation with RSWG, we should implement Conflict Resolution WG to deal with that and other social interaction issues. 2) Use winter to grow our roots, perhaps have storefronts in different neighborhoods for outreach, cheaper than Center City.
Marshall - Jesse Kudler has been doing something that all of us can do, anytime an article is posted, he emails writer and factchecks them. This is important and we should all be doing it! Fact check articles by contacting the writer and editor. Local weeklies are most responsive. Jesse is now getting emails/call from writers/reporters and they’re asking him for legit people that they can interview. We all read news, have internet hopefully, if you see something that’s wrong, contact the writer.
Edwin - Article in Philly Inquirer, I emailed the author, it’s a good idea.
Silvia - Is there a person to get in touch to straighten out Northeast Times?
[Will put Silvia in touch with Jesse and Chris G.]
Pastor Pete - With dispersal of energy, will be more difficult to coordinate DAs. Need to leverage our energy by using cellphones, Twitter, Facebook, to continue DA events.
Ivan - Repeating what homeless folks have said at GAs: OP’s physical presence has provided safety for homeless. Would like to maintain physical presence.
Z - Right now we do not provide safety, we provide conflict. Worried about Logan Circle plan. What can we do to provide support to homeless?
Dave - We are committed to
Z - We should set up another OP Beyond Dilworth meeting.
Greg Straw Polls on wrapping up meeting. Meeting ends.
Z - If people send out emails, make a relevant subject line.
Individuals present at meeting:
[will send out to email list very soon!]