Decisions Passed by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly

Ronald Cruz November 1, 2011 Climate Change, Immigrants Rights, Labor Movement, Police Brutality, Public Education Comments Off on Decisions Passed by the Occupy Oakland General Assembly
Occupy Oakland General Assembly mass meeting

Occupy Oakland General Assembly mass meeting

As of October 31, 2011

The Occupy Oakland General Assembly meets several times a week at 7PM at Oscar Grant Plaza (formerly Frank Ogawa Plaza) at 14th + Broadway. Everyone who attends may debate, vote on, and introduce proposals to this mass body.

1. Political parties and politicians

Occupy Oakland does not endorse any political parties or politicians, and does not seek endorsement from parties or politicians. We do not recognize the authority of politicians. Therefore, if a politician wants to address Occupy Oakland, they must come and stand in line, get on stack, contact subcommittees, etc. like anybody else.

2. Dealing with police who try to enter camp.

There is a general agreement not to allow cops within the perimeters of the camp. If police do try to come in, they are first asked politely to leave. If they do not leave, campers are called to come out and form a large group in front of the cops and yell, “Go home! Go home!” This practice was successful for small contingents of cops trying to enter the camp.

3. Encourage autonomous actions.

In order to keep the GA from being bogged down, and in order to allow for diversity of tactics, actions other than major events (like the General Strike) should be announced as actions rather than brought forward as proposals to be voted on.

4. Diversity of tactics

Occupy Oakland encourages diversity of tactics for actions that occur outside the camp. For example, during marches:
• when confronted by police, some people may want to attempt to have calm conversations with them, urging them to be non-violent
• some people may want to sit down in front of lines of police
• some people may want to express their anger by yelling at the police
• some people may want to attempt to remove police barriers
• some people may want to disrupt traffic or banks
• some people may prefer to remain on the sidewalk

We should be tolerant of each other’s approaches and respect different forms of protest, while being aware of our privilege or lack of it, especially when engaging with the police.

5. Media policy

We agree with Occupy Wall Street that corporations “purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.”
The mainstream media’s inextricable ties to corporate interests drive them to lie to protect profits. This undermines the discourse we have begun in occupations across the country and the world.
Due to this conflict of interest, we have set the following guidelines for all media.
All media and those with professional recording equipment will check in at the Media Tent, located in the Southeast corner of Oscar Grant Plaza.
Do not photograph or film people who are sleeping, receiving medical treatment, or have requested that you refrain from recording them.
Do not enter the kitchen, kid zone, or medic spaces as this disrupts their function.
Do not recording personal conversations and meetings without the express permission of those involved.
We encourage you to document the General Assembly, the primary stage for public gathering and discourse, held daily at 7pm in the amphitheater.
Make an effort to report on a diversity of voices and opinions; the media team is happy to help.

6. Letter condemning NYPD crackdown on Occupy Wall St. (passed 10/14)

Occupy Oakland denounces the violent police repression of protesters on Wall Street. Several of these protesters were brutally beaten and arrested, and one legal observer from NLG was run over by a police motorcycle and had his leg broken.
We here in Oakland say SHAME on the NYPD and Mayor Bloomberg and demand that all the protesters be freed and all charges dropped. We demand that Occupy Wall Street be allowed to continue without police repression.
Occupy Oakland stands in solidarity with the occupation movement that is growing in this country and the world. We call on all the occupations to support each other against state repression.

In solidarity,
Occupy Oakland

7. Solidarity with prison hunger strikers (passed 10/17)

A Letter to the prisoners on hunger strike in the Security Housing Unit (SHU) of Pelican Bay State Prison and those in other units joining them.
We, as members of Occupy Oakland, send our support for your strike against the cruel and inhumane conditions of imprisonment.
We honor you as defenders of human and civil rights, and stand in solidarity with your demands in the struggle over prison conditions. Our community at Oscar Grant Plaza has the opportunity to incorporate great lessons from your strike; the challenge will be to match your courage and to effectively advocate for all of your demands to be immediately met.
Your daily struggle, as victims of the prison-industrial complex, is a critical component of our ongoing occupation of public space.  The systematic nature of the prison system exploits difference and promotes divisions in an effort to divert attention from the actual problem –the criminal justice system itself.
Our solidarity extends beyond your strike against inhumane conditions within prison walls.  We also stand in resistance to all forms of oppression that unjustly channel many of our fellow brothers and sisters into the penal system.
Your bravery and dedication fills our hearts.  We pledge to raise awareness to your cause and do everything in our power to make sure your demands are met.

In solidarity,
Occupy Oakland

8. Solidarity statement with workers and students who go on strike (passed 10/19)

1. From this point forward, we offer our support for all strikes taking place in the Bay Area and specifically within Oakland.
2. We commit to offer practical and creative support to those who walk out from union or non-union work places, with or without union leadership.
3.This statement also applies to student strikes.
By issuing this statement, we wish to send a message to everyone in this city, that if you are fighting back, then we got your back. Talk to your co-workers and fellow students. Every grievance against this system is worthy of a collective response.
We encourage everyone, ourselves included, to no longer let our discontent boil beneath the surface. We believe the time to act is now.

9. March on Saturday, October 22 (passed 10/19)
10. March Against School Closures Wednesday, October 26 (passed 10/22)

Meet parent groups at Mosswood Park on Wednesday 10/26 for a rally at 4:15pm, march to Oakland Tech High (location of school board meeting) at 5:00pm

11. General strike on Wednesday, November 2nd (passed 10/26)

Passed 1484 in favor, 46 against, 77 abstaining. See video of the vote
We as fellow occupiers of Oscar Grant Plaza propose that on Wednesday November 2, 2011, we liberate Oakland shut down the 1%.

We propose a city wide general strike and we invite all students to walk out of school. Instead of workers going to work and students going to school, the people will converge on downtown Oakland to shut down the city.

All banks and corporations should close down for the day or we will march on them.

While we are calling for a general strike, we are also calling for much more. People who organize out of their neighborhoods, schools, community organizations, affinity groups, workplaces and families are encouraged to self organize in a way that allows them to participate in shutting down the city in whatever manner they are comfortable with and capable of.

The whole world is watching Oakland. Let’s show them what is possible.

11. March to the Port of Oakland and shut it down on November 2nd, march to leave at 5PM (passed 10/29)
12. Pledge to defend student protesters who join the November 2nd general strike. (passed 10/30)

The General Assembly pledges to defend students who face discipline from their school administrations for participating in the Wednesday general strike. Any students who are disciplined by their schools are encouraged to tell the General Assembly, and we will take actions including protests, pickets, and occupations to defend their right to free speech and assembly.

12. Pledge to defend student protesters who join the November 2nd general strike. (passed 10/30)

The General Assembly pledges to defend students who face discipline from their school administrations for participating in the Wednesday general strike. Any students who are disciplined by their schools are encouraged to tell the General Assembly, and we will take actions including protests, pickets, and occupations to defend their right to free speech and assembly.

13. Declaration of Solidarity with Neighborhood Reclamations (passed 10/31)

Occupy Oakland, in solidarity with the Occupy movement and with the local community, has established the principle of claiming for open use the open space that has been kept from us. We are committed to helping this practice continue and grow. Here in Oakland, thousands of buildings owned by city, banks, and corporations stand idle and abandoned. At the same time social services such as child and healthcare, education, libraries and community spaces are being defunded and eliminated.

Occupy Oakland supports the efforts of people in all Oakland neighborhoods to reclaim abandoned properties for use to meet their own immediate needs. Such spaces are already being occupied and squatted unofficially by the dispossessed, the marginalized, by many of the very people who have joined together here in Oscar Grant Plaza to make this a powerful and diverse movement.

We commit to providing political and material support to neighborhood reclamations, and supporting them in the face of eviction threats or police harassment. In solidarity with the global occupation movement, we encourage the transformation of abandoned spaces into resource centers toward meeting urgent community needs that the current economic system cannot and will not provide.

14. Resolution to Prevent Deliberate Misrepresentation of Occupy Oakland (passed 10/31)

As Occupy Oakland’s profile and power has grown, politicians, police, and other established authorities have begun trying to open lines of communication with Occupy Oakland, and wish to identify representatives of our movement with whom they can negotiate demands.   Their proposed transaction frames our power as a commodity that we have wrested from established authorities, and we are expected to give it back it to them – to spend it – in return for their meeting certain demands.

The purpose of this resolution is to discourage people and organizations from representing themselves as delegates of or negotiators for Occupy Oakland without the sanction of the General Assembly,  and thus to preserve the power Occupy Oakland is building and ensure that it remains within the General Assembly.  We know that such meetings have already been happening and this resolution shall serve a warning to them that we will not tolerate usurpation (by supposed allies) of what we are building.

Occupy Oakland hereby asserts that the only line of communication with Occupy Oakland is the General Assembly and our committee meetings.  Unless they have the full knowledge and support of the General Assembly, no person or group shall participate in any formal meeting with established authorities intended to shape or inform official policies toward Occupy Oakland.   This includes meetings containing significant discussions of Occupy Oakland’s logistics, communications, group dynamics and politics, strategies for managing our activities, or our demands.

If it is demonstrated that any person or organization deliberately entered or participated in such a meeting without the fully informed consent of the General Assembly, Occupy Oakland will issue a public statement and press release containing our evidence and details of their actions, disavowing any connection between that individual (and any groups they were representing) and Occupy Oakland, condemning their unprincipled behavior, and discouraging supporters from future collaboration with individuals and groups involved in the meeting.

Proposals for public statements must be presented to the GA and will be released upon the agreement of 60% of the Assembly.

A copy of this resolution shall be sent to the Oakland Police Department, the City Council members, and the Mayor’s Office, with the expectation that they will not problematize the situation of any community organizations they communicate with by engaging them in such conversations without showing them this resolution. Community groups shall be encouraged to be a part of Occupy Oakland by joining our the General Assembly, and information on how to participate in the GA shall be made available to instruct them in how to properly and effectively do this.  Meetings that have occurred prior to this resolution are exempted. Private or casual conversations are exempted.

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