Tonight’s General Assembly at Occupy Boston revolved around the ratification of two proposals.
The first was lead by the Facilitators working group. They proposed to hold four general assemblies per week instead of the usual seven, to allow more time for discussion of issues that effect the 99% and to allow working groups more evening time to meet and develop proposals. The GA will now meet Sundays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.
The crowd at the GA voted with consensus (which means more than 75% of people present voted yes) and the proposal passed with a couple friendly amendments.
Some voiced concern with the less frequent GA’s and one person in the crowd remarked, “It may seem that 4 general assemblies instead of 7 may been seen as a loss of momentum to the cause. I see it as everyone should be here 7 days a week, to make a strong point to get shit done. This is a serious matter, this is our lives this is our future. Why take 3 days off like it’s a vacation from work?”
A number of people voiced agreement with this sentiment. Most comments after this, however, were in support of the proposal.
“I think this is a strategic move to layer our process I don’t think it should be seen as a loss of momentum we are evolving our strategy,” said one audience member.
“The general assembly is supposed to be the end of a process. One of the reasons we don’t get through proposals is that there is not enough time and public accessibility for working groups to get more input on their proposals,” said another.
One participant of the General Assembly believed the proposal to solve some practical issues: “In my opinion this proposal solves two of our problems. The first is that because we have a very limited number of facilitators, having a GA every day puts those same people up there every day and that’s a problem for them and for the GA. Second is that currently the working groups are not as transparent as they ought to be. Both of those problems are addressed and improved by this proposal.”
After these statements of support there were two friendly amendments. One is that there remains the option for emergency general assemblies to be held on off days if the occasion calls for it. The second amendment is that on off-days there will be open discussions on topics decided upon at the previous night’s GA.
A second proposal ratified a letter of solidarity for Occupy the Hood, a rally in Dudley Square that is an initiative of many in economically deprived urban communities to engage communities of color in the Occupy movement. That letter will be made public as soon as it is posted on the Occupyboston.org wiki.
The crowd cheered loudly at the speaker’s call to diversify the Occupy movement. “This camp is majority white in a city of only 42% whites,” said the speaker as he explained why the proposal was essential to the interests of the 99%.