General Assembly Minutes — Feb 12


F: Audio. … Occupy General Assembly; Sunday February… [thirteen? twelve?] Twelve.

Overcast, a little rainy. [E: Good spirits].

Aknowledgement: we are on the unceeded land of the Lugunkgeon Natives; the Coast Salish Peoples; the state of Canada and the province of BC… their so-called authority is not recognized here; some native peoples have given consent for occupy to hold this meeting in this space.

… Positive presentations… anouncements?

B: There is an occupy the west coast conference next weekend. Olympia Washington. Anyone wanna go down there? Check that out on the Internet, it’s on the main occupy website.

David Arthur Johnson got arrested a week ago. He is in jail again. [Oh no.] There was talk he was going to continue it. [F: The hunger strike.] He said in his emails good-bye to his children.

It would be good to have an Island presence. When you go across the border if you’re going, you can just say you’re going to talk to some friends.

F: Announcements …? Positive presentations?

News from occupy Nigeria. Occupy Nigeria has been cut-off from the rest of the occupy movement. There isn’t a lot of communication in and out of Nigeria. When President Jonothan cut-off the fuel subsidies, occupy Nigeria confronted President Jonothan, nation-wide general strikes have brought whole cities to siezure. President Johnathan backed-down and restored the fuel subsidies. Occupy Nigeria is celebratory and jubulant about this outcome. Cut-off from the rest of the occupy movement, not widely reported, but right on! Occupy Nigeria!

B: I heard from someone from England, there are still tents at St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. The Superiors were allowing them to camp there because they didn’t want police presence.

C: Did you announce the meeting in Olimpia? [O: Yes. It’s announced].

N: In St. Johns City Hall has been unwaveringly supportive. On Wednesday the city cut off their power, they are now just using propane. They have extension cords, but they are the middle of the park and they have been told the extention cords are “unsafe”; I’ve been intouch with them. [C: Has it been continuous since the Fall? Amazing?] Yes. There have been many big storms, five. That’s inspiring.

Would there be an appetite for camping in Fernwood?

D: There’s barely enough warmth to stand out here in the rain for two hours.

N: The best spot would be in Gower Park. There’s a fence for signs and a banner.

E: It’s too cold, we don’t want to get sick.

D: In May I hear we will re-occupy. Occupy 5th. That’s what I was hearing. It’s indefinate.

N: I heard May 12th. I heard there is an International Labor Day Occupation World Wide on May 1st. That’s International Labor day.

Z: We could have flash camps?

P: Will there be general strikes here?

E: People are frustrated. There is a lot of anger and fear.

C: There is also this cross-Canada walk. We want to have a send off.

D: Does the walk leave here on the 1st?

Y: Who’s doing that? The Natives?

W: It originated in occupy.

F: K’s wife started that initiative.

V: So this is what is going to happen? I can put it on the Internet?

C: They have contacts. Across the country.

N: I would like to go to the Ferry Terminal the first day.

E: They are going to Nanimo first. There will be a mob-squad meeting at the Church on Thursday. [F: Thursday?]

A: Let’s camp in Fernwood. The U of Vic flash-camp was a good template to see how it works. We have enough time to feel comfortable.

F: What date:

E: It could be during the week as well?

A: Are you going to form a mobalization squad? Form a list now, take down names and emails.

N: Do we still have the tents?

E: Yep.

N: The supply tent?

E: Yeah, but the zipper doesn’t close all the way.

F: Announcements? Positive presentations?

D: Bill C-13. It’s an Internet spying bill, spying on every Canadian without a warrent. That will start tomorrow from the Harper government. There doesn’t seem to be resistance. [F: This bill is known as the Child safety from Internet Predetors Act?] Also the cariboo are in danger of extinction. Instead of stopping development which is destroying the cariboo, the government is going to kill the predators, the wolves. [R: Where?] Up North, and in the Tar Sands.

L: Is there a pressure campaign. To hand write letters and make phone calls?

D: Let’s approch the opposition parties?

L: There are opposed to it.

D: A unifiying of the Liberals, the Greens and the NDP.

L: There is a practical thing we can do. We need to make sure Nathan Colin get’s elected. Join the NDP and vote for him. We need a unity of opposition to the…. Only Nathan Colin is saying openly ‘let’s get all the opposition parties unified’. This weekend — there is an NDP Zionist who is also trying to become leader of the NDP: Tomas Volkaire, we must stop him from getting elected; the vote is March 18th.

C: Co-operate between the oposition parties to get rid of the conservatives.

O: It’s the only solution. The difference between Colin and Volkaire is massive. He is a big leader in the Zionist movement. I feel wierd joining a political party. But I see this is important. [L: It’s just a reform measure, an important stop-gap step, not a final solution.]

F: Presentaitons, announcements?

C: Has the walk this morning been mentioned? Five-hundred people walked from “Our Place” to the Museum. It was a success. There was no violence. The Natives led the walk in full regalia. There was drumming.

H: What about a walk every weekend. The rhythum will catch on. People know rhythmically there will be something powerful at one.

C: I totally agree. Organized.

F: Announcements or presentations? Three… two… one….


F: Are there any work group proposals today….?

O: I’ve gotten some emails back and forth following up on the Statement on Decolonization from a while back. Can there be some meetings to follow up on this, a meeting or two? Decolonization.

F: Is there a work group that already exists that could be a vehicle for this?

E: There is an Indigenous Liason Work-Group. The person who is involved in that is not here today. You could get his email.

F: Are you wanting to see some meetings this week about that? A panel? There are occupy meetings scripted for Tuesday and Wednesday.

O: Tuesday?

F: At 495 Burnside; Community of Christ Church. What would you like to get out of meet-up like that?

O: Hear what others are thinking and doing. Making connection between occupy and existing movements. I’m interested…

F: Can we check for consensus about having decolonization discussion on Tuesday night at the Church?

Umm… Is there a point of process?

A: That wasn’t a proposal, so there isn’t any consensus check. You can take a temperature check. It seems it’s going to happen on Tuesday. So let’s get on with the rest of the proposals.

F: So this is an announcemnt of decolonization discussion at the Church on Tuesday?

H: I’m blocking. [F: An announcement?] I’m for colonies; if the occupation of industrialism and carbon economy can exit itself; I don’t think colonization is an issue if we are in symbiosis with the planet and all of our kin. That we need to be evicted, that we are the problem doesn’t make sense.

F: Point of process?

A: The general assembly is for making decisions. I’d like to see this discussion happen at another time so we can get onto what we are supposed to be doing?

F: I was thinking of making a proposal about having a discussion on a night about a specific topic; there could be enough time to prepare, for people who are interested to be there, the night, etceteras?

A: Generally proposals are submitted before the meeting; and not made by the person who is facilitating.

F: We’ve seen proposals made by facilitators in the past; the facilitator steps down while they propose; I did advise the Process Group of my intended proposal…

O: Can I make a proposal…

F: Can we get a concensus check to see if a proposal can be made…?

A: No —

F: We can make a fiat decision on the spot…

E: She wasn’t making a proposal…

O: I was wanting to talk about issues that are important to occupy…. colonization, violence, conversation about this idea of occupation… I’m open to a conversation… I didn’t mean to…

E: No. There was some confusion if there was a proposal or not, there isn’t actually a proposal, there is an announcment… people are welcome to bring their ideas to that meeting; but now we need to get back to what this meeting is about…

F: Are there any other proposals…?

Are there any proposals?

[Ha ha.]

Any proposals?

N: Hey… where did that girl go…?

A: She had to make a phone call…. [Umm…]


F: Are there any other proposals…? From work groups?

… [Ha ha.]

Ok. I propose from tech group, I want to be un-banned from the occupy Victoria public discussion forum.

A: So my point of process is being called, you are facilitating and proposing.

F: Yes. Who will facilitate for 20 minutes? R?

N: Ok. But I don’t think this is a fruitful discussion.

A: Ok, then R, if you are facilitating, it’s up to you, is this a proposal?

F: I want my account reactivated.

N: This isn’t the means to do it.

E: Yeah! The tech group isn’t even here.

F: What’s the mean’s for doing it? I was imagining that the Assembly would consense to reactivate my account, then that request would be sent to the site administrator, and that would happen. The TOS says —

A: Are you still facilitating F?

F: No, I’m saying why I believe I am making a proposal.

A: Is this from a work group? Or from an individual? Is this a proposal?

F: This is a proposal. From Tech group.

A: You’re not on the tech group!

F: Who specifically is the tech group? Where is a list of tech group members?

A: Have you consulted the tech group?

E: There are people who are in specific groups.

F: Where is the list of the work group memberships?

E: I can say that you’re not —

A: It wasn’t submitted! This proposal wasn’t submitted!

F: I recall submitting it to the list serve and to process group and others.

A: This is not a proposal, it wasn’t submitted beforehand. If there are any other proposals — I don’t know if there were — let’s move along and hear those…

F: Are you facilitating?

N: Something was submitted before hand —

F: Right… This proposal was submitted.

A: Was text submitted.

F: Yes. And the list serve was disabled to prevent this proposal from being made. The list serve was turned off.

A: No.

F: When I tested and sent to list serves there was no “ping”, no messege back, it said delivery failure… I was removed from the list serve?

A: Is this a proposal or not?

N: Yes.

E: It sounds like we are wanting to have a discussion about all the shit that went on this week.

F: This is a proposal to be re-added to the public forum… and the list serve.

A: May I suggest we end this meeting?

E: Yeah.

N: A discussion is more likely to lead to your re-instatement….

F: Then I propose to know who are the admins?

A: No. No. So are we calling this meeting closed?

F: Then can I make an individual proposal?

N: Um…

A: I don’t think there are any proposals.

F: Mine? Can no one ever make a proposal here but you?

A: Are there no more proposals here? [F: Because you are facilitating?]

E: So shall we discuss now? It sounds like you have some things to discuss.

F: So is the meeting over now… what?

A: There are no proposals.

F: I am trying to make a proposal.

D: After proposals we do discussion.

F: I understand why that girl left now…

N: Let’s talk about it.


F: I was banned from the public discussion site this week. Last week I had proposed a discussion about sexuality, for occupy, and in conjunction with the UofVic sex week, “sexapalooza” … which was blocked.

[W: You know I can tell … by amongst you … you are very credible people … that will … prevail!! — the fastest kick-me-down eh?]

Here is the Martlet; the Martlet made this issue all about sexuality… maybe I’m not out to lunch, sexuality is important?

At e-deliberation I struggled really hard to get the issue of sexuality into the Executive Summary. And finally I did. I’m not sure how many of you were involved in e-deliberation…?

This image and text —

That’s okay if you don’t want to associate…

So what happened at e-deliberation made me think there is occupy support.

So I put this image with text on the public discussion forum; it’s an artist from Huston, it’s family nudism, it’s part of a bigger series of five photos.

The admin of the public discussion forum deleted the image and wrote that it violated the TOS.

I looked at the TOS of the public discussion forum — have you read this? Who wrote this? “appropriate”?!

I want to pass this around too. And this is the image and text that were deleted… if you’ll take those and pass them…

D: I never got to see the post. I’d like to see…

F: Can I put this all together to pass around… [A: How about the people who would like to read the TOS can pass it around….] And this is J’s letter… I think it’s so good, it’s about the relationship between sexuality and social change. Specifically I want to read one sentence… “True revolution must include an undermining of this heteronormative repression, including the privledging of heterosexual relations, monogamy and the nuclear family.”

If anyone wants to look at J’s letter… I’ll add that to the evidence pile… The text and image from e-delib, the text and image from the public forum, the Martlet on sex, the text of the sex-positive proposal from last week, the text of the oppressive TOS of the public site…

So I thought I was banned… not inaccordance with the TOS of the public site….

And… the TOS of the phpBB company alows discussion of sexuality; and nudity that is artistic and so on. So I re-added the image. At which point I was banned. Why? I was in-line with the TOS of the company, I was in-line with law, and the TOS of the occupy forum is not free and emacipatory, it ought to be deleted! Then I wasn’t able to reply to someone who made outrageous and nearly libelous coments against me. I now I have been banned all week.

N: Can we re-cap the conversation we had just before the Assembly started? One thing I think J’s letter draws attention to is that F’s ideology has a long scientific tradition, there is a psychoanalytic tradition, a vast cultural ethnographic tradition going back to the 1920s… and it continues to this day, focused especially on South Pacific society… and these people have bizarre sexual pricatices compared to our society.

E: Um…

N: Do you want to say something?

E: No I’ll just wait ’til your done.

N: There is an ethnographic imperical tradition, and there is also critical theory; quoted in J’s letter there is Deleuze and Guittari, and Foucault. They are the nucleus of a huge literature. I’m a scientist … scepticism includes leaving open the posibility that no matter how bizarre something sounds to most people, if we could wipe the slate clean without biases and emotional hang-ups and taboos… the possibility of people being open to it is still centuries away.

F: A broader sexuality maybe….? Not a particular one agenda….

N: This kind of revolution is millenia down the road…

F: Right, right. There are so many issues… family, legal reform, sexuality, gender and so on….

N: This is extrememly… the emotional foundations…

E: Ok, I’ve heard enough.

N: You should be free to make these arguments. On the public website…

D: The public forum TOS says the moderators may remove anything they find innappropriate…

F: “Innappropriate”! … Image and advertising is the way…

A: Ok, E’s been waiting to speak.

E: Okay, I get what you’re saying, and I think that a lot people would also say that about political reform and systematic reform. We shouldn’t not take things on because it’s a long way down the road. Working towards things now is a great idea. My problem, my issue that I’ve had with this whole discussion that we’ve had… that’s been going on for months, is not with the free-love movement; I completely agree with J’s letter and her interpretation. My concern is that, in the past, somebody here who has been talking about the free-love movement and has wanted it to be something we take on here, has also made comments about making different sexualities such as pedophilia legal. And that to me is maybe outside of the free-love movement? And this individual is putting this inside the free-love movement, so that’s why I keep having opposition to this.

F: So you’re saying you don’t want to see support of an agenda that’s tolerant of intergenerational relationships, or minor attracted people, or looking at Criminal Code prohibition and criminalization of sexual contact between specifically people who are over and under 18?

E: My concern is not necessarily the laws. My concern is that it’s very harmful for children, and even for teenagers who are making some bigger decisions but are also not… their brains are not fully developed, they are not capable of making decisions for themselves, and there are a lot of power dynamics that come with age, I don’t think pedophilia is ok.

F: This is a vast topic. And… this issue and incest are illegal and related…. Specifically, pedophilia is a mental diagnosis, it’s not illegal. Instead it’s criminalized by about 25 different statutes. I agree with you, there is not broad public support. However, there is now a big movement to change attitudes about sexuality, and to increase youth lib, and for penal reform. How openly or latently? It can’t be kept quiet now. Pedophilia has been coming up a lot at occupy. This is current and timely. It’s cool and trendy too. It’s artsy and fashionable. We don’t need to see this in a hostile way, or any sexual isssue; incest, or other issues of youth sexuality … gay kids.

I want my account on the website reactivated.

E: Ok… If people are wanting to move away from this subject… I want to bring up abuse of the email list serve…

F: I send one message in four months and that’s abuse —

E: No, that’s not accurate.

F: If other people are bouncing the eamils around…

E: No. There are a lot of emails going out, and those are list serves that have a lot of emails on them…

F: So is that what happened was I removed form the email listserve?

E: I don’t know.

F: When I tested, I found there was no echo ping, I was removed from the list serve.

E: Um… we had a lot of reactions from people who were on the list serves. People who are wanting to still know what is happening at the movemement, and are now eamiling back saying ‘take me off’, ‘take me off’. This is disgusting. I don’t want to get all these emails. So I think it’s a really big problem to use the list serves to advance indicidual agendas or to personal discussion. That’s what the forum is for…

F: I was banned from the forum. What I sent was about my ban from the site and my proposal for today’s assembly…

N: I’m out of here. This is too disiplinary. Too much disipline. This is like a scolding session!

F: How does exclusion happen? How are people getting blocked out? Is it that people are speaking freely and some people are getting upset about that? Are those who speak freely the one’s who are excluding people? Or is it the ones who are closing down the list-serve, blocking up the web-sites, blocking proposals, saying “this is not a proposal”?

L: I want us to move on.

F: You want to move on.

L: Yep.

D: I don’t think anyone should be banned from the forum. If people are having a problem with what other people are posting, that needs to be addressed…

F: Even if I promised not to post any more legal, progressive, artistic images —

L: Oh God! Really, let’s move onto something else? I cracked my ribs… I gotta go!

F: Who can I email?

E: Personally I don’t think you should have been banned. I worry about your post because of other things you have said in the past. What you actually posted without the context of what you said before is not problematic… yeah… I don’t think you should have been taken off the forum, and I don’t know who did it. [L: Ahh!]

F: I think y’all know who the admin is.

E: You are — I have no idea who the admin is. I have never been on the public forum. You are imagining…

F: When I got an email from the admin… who was it?

E: You should petition A or B.

F: I emailed A and B. … I feel frustrated… I see why hundreds of people have walked away from the occupy movement. But I’m not a quitter —

And just because someone talks about something, or doesn’t think anyone should be in prison for doing A, B, or C… Foucault talks about this, that doesn’t mean that Foucault does A, B, or C.

E: So… I also have been feeling very frustrated. Because I feel my time, which is very precious to me, has been disrespected. Some of the ways the past GAs have been going, um… in terms of things that have been brought up continuously, which it seems like the broader concensus doesn’t —

F: Could you be more specific please?

E: Right now no. I can’t. Um…

X: I can! This process has alienated eighty percent of the people who come out to these meetings.

D: So is there an alternative to this process? Shouting match?

E: Ok… I’m gonna not be at the next many GAs… Um… We’re gonna have to have work group meetings to make sure there are facilitators —

F: Can I mention before we break-up that there is new web site [the shit on the streets] [please eat the sandwiches friends] [let’s hear that website…][ha ha][and][I woke up and I][yeah][ha]