Minutes of General Assembly, 2/8/12

Approximately 28 people in attendance.
Facilitators: Don and Paul
Time Keeper: Jared
Minutes: Amy


  1. If people spend under $15 the treasurer (Nancy at this time) will reimburse unless she feels uncomfortable with the request. If she does she will bring it to the GA. If the amount is over $15 then people need to get prior approval from the GA. When possible groups or individuals could bring a budget.
  2. The GA established a Criminal Justice Working Group with an emphasis on the pending Massachusetts 3 Strikes Law. Gary will be the point person for this He can be reached at tart@iastate.edu
  3. Mwanase agreed to be responsible for the Facebook page.
  4. We will discuss the Mission Statement next week.
  5. We will discuss the proposed Solidarity Working Group next week.

Agenda Review:

Amy asked for time to have direction action working group meet. This will be discussed in the open space time. The agenda was accepted as presented.


The minutes are all on the website. Don asked people to read them ahead of time. Deb asked for slight revision of the figure presented for the amount of money held offshore. The amount will be changed to huge or trillions. Roger can make the changes.


We have $112 and need to pay out $42 for color printing. The discussion of this led to decision1. (see above)

Three Strikes law

Gary passed out booklets about the Three Strikes Law. See decision 2.

Debrief Occubus

We discussed the facilitation training which stressed three things that the facilitator has to do. They have to be aware of the purpose of the meeting, keep the flow of the meeting going and follow up. Several people really liked the march and hope that similar things can be done in the future in the area. Some people were disturbed by a group of people leaving the GA to go to Northampton City Council. There was discussion of non- violence versus violence as a tactic and the view was expressed that we (Occupy Amherst) need to have a discussion on that.

There was a discussion about whether we should send a letter to the police thanking them for their behavior during the demonstration. Several people spoke against this. One person suggested contacting the organizers and seeing if they want to do it. Several people spoke about bridging the gap between the police and other public institutions and Occupy. Because of the disagreement this idea did not proceed.

Thursday Feb. 16 7 p.m, there will be a planning meeting for Occupy Western Mass.

Mission Statement

The various proposed mission statements were passed out. We will discuss them next week. People can comment and reply on the list serve until Feb. 13.


There is a website – interoccupy.org. There are Committees of Correspondence that communicate and network among the various occupy groups. The Outreach Working has decided that two people from it will be the representatives for the Occupy Amherst Committee of Correspondence. There was no discussion of this.

Sunday Meeting

The third Sunday of the month, staring Feb. 19th and going for five months, we will have a meeting at the Unitarian Society, 121 NorthPleasant Street, Amherst. It will be from 3-5. There was a discussion about this with some people wondering about the relation of this meeting to the General Assembly. Other people argued for it being a free form meeting with no agenda. This will give people an opportunity to talk about things that we don’t have time for at the GA. One person expressed the opinion that the meeting time should not be used for working groups to meet.

Labor Actions

Deborah presented several labor actions which represent opportunities for us to get involved. The Verizon workers would like small delegations to go and talk to Verizon. Deborah will coordinate this. There is also an individual letter campaign from the Campaign for Fair Food centered on Trader Joe’s. Deborah proposed a Solidarity Working Group. We will discuss this next week.

Occupy Education

On March 1 there will be a national walkout of college students focused on accessibility to higher education. UMass is planning a walkout. We discussed ways we could be involved. Manse will work with Amy and the Direct Action Working Group to plan this action.

Direct Action Working Group

The informational picket at the Bank of America every Monday from 12-1 is ongoing. The group has discussed approaching local businesses about where their money is held and encouraging them to move it.


Beth is starting a study group around the work of Gene Sharp. This will start March 1 at the Jones Library. More information will be forth coming…






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