Visions and Goals Minutes (continued) 10/20/11 12PM
Reports back from breakout groups
(The discussion questions were: What resonated with you about this document? What thoughts did it inspire?)
In this group conversation was more about confusion about what the document was designed to do, than about the content itself
Reads like a manifesto, not a strategy
Which direction should the document take: an internal strategy for OWS or a statement to the outside world about OWS? (Recommends the internal strategy)
The document talks about so many things, it would be helpful to categorize them by themes in a matrix, to be discussed in breakout groups. (Political organization, market economy, spirituality, sustainability, social justice, etc.) Also a suggestion to tap into other thematic groups, do the discussions there and then bring the ideas back to the larger group.
Question: reform the existing system, or disenfranchise ourselves and create another system on our own?
The document seems to be a reaction to the people who want demands, and an assertion that we don’t want to engage or fight the “shadow government”
Which should we address first: the content, or the style of presentation?
Language should be both concise and poetic
Are we changing the old system or establishing a new system? Is there really a difference between those or is that a false dichotomy?
There is a lot of energy and enthusiasm already built for the movement, it’s important to keep thinking about the next steps to go forward
So much of the movement is about process, so what is a healthy process? Where is the place of the individual,
Language needs to be of the people, and understandable no matter who you are
Focus on New York City / local emphasis is a good idea
There are groups outside OWS that have been working on these issues for a long time, we should learn from them and invite them into the dialogue
Likes the idea of “Baby steps” to start with New York, and be a model for other places
Realistically, how can we live our own life apart from the system? (Banking, cable news, etc.)
Necessity of a political avenue to make these visions attainable
Second impression of document: would like the language to be more informal, less rhetorical. More inclusive & evolving, less “finished”
Goals are lofty, but not unfeasible, now we need a way to get there
Interesting, exciting, surprising process ahead to learn from the discussion about all the ideas that different people really have
Needs to be world-changing
There are so many different aspects of life one person may not think of (for instance religious & spiritual harmony), there may be even more aspects that have not yet been mentioned in this document
Republicans hearing this would think Democrats wrote it out for us.. because they underestimate the intelligence and articulation present in this body of people!
Two feelings: impatience to get started with specific actions, but also patience to be organized and understand the different functions of visions, goals, and actions in the movement
We have “their” attention now, and it would be easy to start making demands all over the place but it is important to have a clear idea of where we’re going first
We can use this moment when we have “their” attention to gain some leverage and see who our allies might be in the political system and raise funds
The more we know about defining who we are, the harder it will be for others to co-opt OWS
Jim would like to bring a discussion to the group at a later date about data collection to gather these ideas. We are going to get involved with Think Tank and Open Source to pool ideas from more sources.
Gratitude for the respectful conversation in the small groups and the larger group
The language we use is very important, and it seemed to be common concern from small group reports
How exactly do we “create a new system”? Do we have to be outside the system to create a new one, and how is that possible?
Against the idea of a new centralized government for New York or anywhere, technology is neutral, neither good nor bad. Are we trying to change the system or make a new one – we are resisting the system.
Revolution vs. reformation: in the reformation camp. Start with reformation and then evolve that into revolution.
Vision and goals are two words. Visions have to do with how the whole world, how the whole system could be different. Goals might be mapped onto a locality (this occupation, this city), for example urban farming: a vision of what the world would look like if it were developed, and also a goal of what role it can play in NYC.
Two ways basically to change the system: elect new people into who care about what we care about, or revolt against the system. This is a peaceful movement, not a revolt, so is there a way to achieve change without it having a political aspect?
Revolution by reform. Take baby steps of reform until, over time, it has been a revolution
Outreach to other groups who have been working on these things, being informed by them and getting them on board (the 99%) is extremely important to be able to make reforms. One of our overall goals should be inclusion of everyone to make them feel like they are the 99% and this is their movement too.
Turnout at last night’s GA was really bad because of the rain, so we are going to ask to repeat the announcement for this group. (Re-reading of the announcement)
Proposal to skip to the end of the agenda and move the rest of what we have to tomorrow.
Friendly amendment: still talk about facilitation? Accepted.
Request to hear what the rest of the agenda was: another breakout group discussion about the next steps for the process of this group, report back, another dialogue, and an invitation to be a part of the facilitation for this group. Then a moment of silence and closing.
Speak to us after this if you’re interested in taking part in planning how we manage the group. Planning the structure of these meetings.
In this group, the older generation is an often-marginalized group so we should be aware of and sensitive to that.
Issues that emerged in the demands working group, do we want this group to address getting the GA to address that issue (how groups do the consensus process, etc.)
Tonight at the GA there will be the first presentation of the spokes-council organization. Under that model, this group and the demands group would both be thematic groups, not working groups.
The demands working group is oppressive to the people who attends their meetings. They will meet Sunday at 6pm at the Cube.
That was very negative, they are just a group, let’s just describe what happened…
Point of process, this is not about our group. Let’s close out this meeting and then have a side discussion if you want to about that.
As a group, we should decide what we have accomplished from today’s dialogue and where do we want to carry it forward from here?
What exactly is the point of the bullet point document? How are we relating to the current system? Language of the document is a concern. Local focus and systemic focus.
Important dialogue that was not brought up: why are we focusing on a global system and not just on Wall Street?
Moment of silence, meeting closed…