Statement on Tactical Nonviolence
(adopted by the General Assembly of 10/12/11)
In solidarity with Occupy Wall Street and other occupations across the country, Occupy Pittsburgh has adopted the strategy of Tactical Nonviolence.
We are calling this approach Tactical Nonviolence because it limits itself to actual tactics that we will be using, at this time and in this place. It does not demand acceptance of any specific religious, philosophical or political world-view, and though compatible with the ideas of nonresistance and pacifism, it does not ultimately require them; nor is it taken quite so far as those sometimes are. Tactical Nonviolence does not, for instance, rule out all forms of personal self-defense, civil disobedience or direct action, and there is no simple formula covering every possible set of circumstances.
However, Tactical Nonviolence does remain a practical and effective way to empower the disempowered by concentrating all our efforts toward addressing the real issues, where violence tends to obscure them, and itself becomes the issue.
THEREFORE, to foster unity across the broad spectrum of views held by those here assembled, to promote the safety of every member of this community, and to help reduce the distortion or dilution of our message to those of the 99% who are not yet with us, we agree to the following points, while at or near Occupy Pittsburgh’s encampment or actions:
• not to initiate physical violence with members of the police or public,
• if attacked by either, to respond in ways that seek to minimize harm to persons, and
• to abstain from provocative destruction of property.
The General Assembly retains the power to clarify or modify this statement as needed.
((**Please edit and fill out full names – first and last, spelling corrections, or any other detail that I missed while taking minutes. Also, please add links to the specific Working Group documents as they pertain to events happening within the structure of the meeting, if possible.
Document now complete as per my (Brian’s) notes. Thank you!**))
Third General Assembly
1st Unitarian Church, 605 Morewood Ave, Shadyside
October 12th, 2011
At roughly 4:45pm, the Facilitators group met outside the church (in the rain) and began to discuss how best to approach running the 3rd General Assembly. They were allowed to enter the church itself around 5:20pm, where they took themselves into a small anteroom and settled on this theme:
1. Bottomliners would make their statements first, trying to keep under two minutes, of what the individual Working Groups had come up with since the 2nd General Assembly.
2. Proposals would then be heard, discussed, clarified, friendly amended, and/or blocked by the General Assembly.
3. Once blocks were resolved and nullified (if any blocks existed), the General Assembly would take a consensus on the proposal at hand, requiring a 75% (three quarters) approval motion to pass and be taken up by the General Assembly as a proposal set in motion and ratified by the group.
4. All proposals, documents, and other works in progress were clarified as such – “living” documents that would – by necessity – be amended, clarified, edited, revised, and otherwise revised to be more clear and accurate of what our true message needs to be. Nothing, document wise, is set in “stone” yet… please keep this in mind.
Attendance: roughly 200, more or less… I did not take an accurate count. Also in attendance were various newspapers and TV news crews.
Official Event Start – roughly 6:15pm
After the facilitators took up their various roles and stations, the Bottom-Liners were called up to the microphone to present their statements, in under two minutes. No proposals were taken at this time.
A brief announcement was made regarding our firm and resolute contention that we will be a purely non-violent group, tactically.
Statement Working Group – Tayfun Gol reporting
- Reported three face-to-face meetings since last GA
- Have worked out a Declaration of Occupancy
- Handed out the Declaration as a worksheet in hard-copy to the GA for later to reach consensus on.
Medical Working Group – Jonathan Smeck (?) reporting
- Requesting a long-term medical person(s) to help keep watch over the official Occupation point(s).
Action Working Group – Sylas (?) reporting
- Group intends for the Occupiers to perform several actions during the week – at specific targets around the city, and during “business hours” for maximum exposure and possible media coverage as an ongoing Occupancy/presence.
- Announced that the Action Working Group and the Education Working Group were trying to work together to facilitate a mutually beneficial list of documents to keep people informed as to our talking points.
- Announced an intention to set up a public calendar on one of the websites for other non-Occupy groups who stand with us in Solidarity to advertise their concurrent events that may take place around the city.
Media Outreach Working Group – Nathanial reporting
- Announced plans set in motion to keep all apprised of the movements doings through websites, video, podcasts, print editorials, and radio spots.
- Asked for spokespeople who are not camera shy to volunteer.
Government Relations Working Group – Nathanial reporting
- Permit filed and under consideration by City officials
- Rally would not be held at Point State Park due to a conflict of scheduled events
- A meeting with city officials would probably happen soon to discuss logistics and permits
Veterans Working Group – Brett reporting
- Openly invited more veterans and military personnel to join their group
- Mentioned that the OathKeepers were contacted to help our cause
- Mentioned that their group would act as a safety buffer between the police and military that may be deployed around us, and we civilians trying to peacefully exercise our rights.
Legal Working Group – Janet reporting
- Coordinating legal observers department heads
- Look for bright green or bright orange hats ((**did not catch the meanings of the colors**))
- Legal is coordinating ongoing workshops
- Working to set up tables and distribute pamphlets, leaflets, and other brief informational media hardcopy.
Security Working Group – Bob reporting
- Requesting volunteers to help act as demonstration stewards
Non-Violence Working Group – Steve reporting
- Distributed a proposal for how to observe our Tactical Non-Violence commitment to the GA
Food Working Group – Dan Lipton reporting
- Food donations will be accepted on Friday, October 14th from noon to midnight at 258 39th Street, Lawrenceville PA.
- Group intends to provide as many food choices as possible, including Vegan, Kosher, Vegetarian, etc.
- Need tables to distribute/set up food on.
- Need rags and towels for cleaning.
- Have posted a list online of what all is needed to make the Food Preparation a success – please check it out and donate if you can.
- Requested that, if possible, each person donate 1 gallon of water, both for cleaning, cooking, and emergency hydration purposes.
- Need utensils – plastic or metal.
- Need at least two portable gas burners to cook on.
- Requesting volunteers to help cook and distribute food.
- Would like to request the possibility that people have to sign a waiver to eat donated food items, regardless of the “Good Samaritan” existing food rule (?).
People of Color Working Group – Camile reporting
- Have had one meeting since last GA
- have started working on the P.O.C. list of issues – not yet compiled
- Are actually having another meeting on the same night (10/12/11 at 7pm at Presbyterian Church ((**I did not catch location**)))
- Are going to have their own march/rally on October 15th, at Freedom Corner at 9am.
- Are going to stand in solidarity with both the OccupyPittsburgh and the OccupyTheHood groups.
- Are calling for People of Color who would like to undertake leadership roles within the community to step up – you are needed!
Media Working Group – Brett reporting
- There is one website to rule them all ((**kidding**)) – www.occupypittsburgh.org . This site is supposedly much more secure than FaceBook.
- They are creating (re-creating) the workgroups in this site… please go there and make a note and/or update who the Bottomliners are for each group.
- Their email is: email@example.com if you need more information.
- Are asking for volunteers to administrate, blog, write in the forums, act as online reporters, etc.
Marginalized Communities and Allies Working Group – Becka reporting
- Are working closely with the P.O.C. working group.
- Have adopted solidarity statements from both the OccupyBoston, and the OccupyWallStreet groups.
- Are developing fliers and posters.
- Are in active contact with communities around the city.
- Are looking for more volunteers to get involved in the working group.
- Are forming an internal “Grievance Committee” to deal with any possible internal issues that may arise from so complex and diverse a group.
Community Working Group – Tayfun Gol reporting
- Are reporting that they are receiving tremendous support from surrounding communities in our efforts. Handed out fliers in various neighborhoods including East Liberty Area, Hill District, Oakland, Squirrel Hill etc. This has also been a great opportunity to talk to people face to face and tell them what the movement is about.
Arts and Entertainment Working Group – ((**did not catch her name**)) reporting
- Are having a CREATE POSTER party at the United Steel Workers building at 6pm Thursday, October 13th. Please bring extra materials with you – posters, markers, etc.
- Call 412-452-5500 for more information and how to get involved.
- Also call if you are interested in being part of the entertainment groups – singers, poets, talent, musicians, etc.
At this point, the statements were concluded, and the facilitators made some announcements to the General Assembly, as follows.
ANNOUNCEMENTS FROM PREVIOUS GENERAL ASSEMBLIES:
- In the 1st General Assembly (GA), a commitment was established of our resolve to adhere to non-violence in our occupation and protests.
- Also in the 1st GA, we set the date for the first march, rally, and occupation camp set-up – Saturday, October 15th.
- Lastly, in the 1st GA, we set in motion the various Working Groups, noting that a majority of these groups would form and gel online through various internet means, including but not limited to Facebook, Google Docs, and Google Groups.
- In the 2nd GA, a consensus was reached that we would march from 10am to 3pm on Saturday, October 15th. The START POINT would be Freedom Center, the CATCH-UP POINT would be Market Square for those who are disabled, with children, or have some other physically limiting condition as to being prohibitive to walking a long distance, and the END POINT would be Point State Park.
Following the summaries of the first two General Assemblies, the facilitators called for those Bottom-Liners who had proposals ready for the GA to attempt to reach consensus on:
PROPOSALS FOR CONSENSUS:
Location Working Group Proposal – (name?) bottomliner proposing:
- Proposed: For the permanent camp, to occupy without official permission, to carry with it the risk of being ousted, arrested, harassed, and otherwise attempted to be removed or restricted permanently ourselves – MELLON GREEN, located at the corner of 6th Ave and Grant Street, focusing on the 5th Ave side for now. ESTIMATED MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY to be at or around 500 persons ((**judging by overhead maps… this is only a guess**)).
- Proposed: OccupyPittsburgh permanent Camp to be set up and held from roughly 3pm onward, on the day of Saturday, October 15th, 2011.
- Proposed: Concurrently, a “safe” location for a rally point and otherwise “permitted” occupancy camp, authorized with permission of the landholders, is the Monumental Church, located at 2240 Wiley Avenue in Shadyside. ESTIMATED MAXIMUM OCCUPANCY to be at, near, or about 1000 persons – as confirmed by previous demonstrators who participated in the G20 rallies.
- Proposed: Should anything disruptive happen to the Mellon Green camp, the Monumental Church location is proposed to be our official “rally” location to regroup, reorganize, and reassert our right to occupy public spaces downtown.
After the listing of the Location Group’s proposals, Casey (?) [a facilitator] focused the GA and asked for discussion points, clarifications, and/or friendly amendments.
- Food Group mentioned that they didn’t want to have to shuttle food between two locations, that they hoped we would be able to officially occupy one space, and they would have a clear place to focus their efforts on.
- Someone (name?) offered that a potential alternate 2nd occupation point could be what is known as “FIRST SIDE” aka PNC park? ((**someone please clarify**))
- Someone else (name?) offered that Goodwill, located right across City Hall, may be more than willing to allow us to occupy their parking lot/space, as a token of… Goodwill.
- The bottomliner ((**name please**)) for the Location Group clarified that the reason that MELLON GREEN was selected out of the many initial choices was because we had a city ordinance on our side that states, roughly, that during the day and/or during business hours, Mellon Green was to be considered a public space.
Following the discussions, clarifications, and/or friendly amendments, Casey called for blocks:
- No blocks were displayed.
Casey then called for consensus from the General Assembly, as to accept the Location Groups proposal that we occupy both MELLON GREEN as our attempted permanent camp in Pittsburgh, and concurrently hold as our RALLY POINT the Monumental Church location in Shadyside as a safer alternative for those who wanted to show their support but could not, due to private concerns, afford at this time to possibly be arrested and held for 72 hours:
- An estimated consensus of 90% of those attending inside the church agreed to the proposals.
- Proposal is adopted – Mellon Green and Monumental Church are our initial Occupying Camps, with preference to Mellon Green.
Action Working Group Proposal – Sylas proposing:
- No actionable proposals ready for GA consensus yet.
- Will be further clarified and brought to the next GA.
Statement Working Group Proposal – Tayfun Gol proposing:
- Proposed: OccupyPittsburgh stand in solidarity with OccupyWallStreet’s Declaration of Occupancy. ((**Note: this was passed out to the GA in hardcopy, or read aloud… I do not recall which**))
After the reading of the Statement Working Group’s proposal, Casey (?) [a facilitator] focused the GA and asked for discussion points, clarifications, and/or friendly amendments.
- Someone urged that we adopt this proposal as a sign of solidarity, acknowledging that it is a “Living” document and may, over time, change or adapt to mitigating circumstances as they may arise.
- Someone clarified that we should be careful and distinguish between those corporations who are practicing illegal reform measures, obfuscation, and otherwise duplicitous practices, and those other corporations who are not a part of the problem – that we need to clarify our language in written statements lest we upset those who take offense to being lumped into too broad a category falsely.
- Tayfun Gol clarified that the Statement Working Group sees this document, the Declaration of Occupancy, as a living document, that it is up to those who do have issues with the wording to step up and help perfect the documents, and that the Working Group would continue to work in new statements, edicts, and other issues that face our movement as time goes on.
- A concern was raised that the wording does in fact – in their opinion – need some major overhaul… that there are too many, “THEYS” and not enough “We’s,” or “I’s” in the document.
- Another concern was raised that the document is not universal enough, that more needs to be included so as to grab more people’s attention to it, to be able to stand with what it says and support it personally.
- Another concern was raised that OccupyPittsburgh needs its own, separate, Declaration of Occupancy that specifically addresses local issues specific to our region and needs.
- A concern was heard that we are still lacking a Vision Statement – something that defines what we hope to accomplish, where we stand, what we are about, and what we hope to see happen as a direct result of our upcoming actions of Occupancy.
The concerns being aired and addressed, Casey called for blocks:
- No blocks were displayed.
Casey then called for consensus from the General Assembly, as to stand in solidarity only with OccupyWallStreet’s [OWS] Living Document, the Declaration of Occupancy [of Wall Street]. He further clarified before the vote was cast that this proposal was only to say that we support what OWS is doing as per their Declaration of Occupancy at this time, and that we will be developing our own Living Declarations in due process:
- ((**estimated by sight only**)) 85% of the GA approved this proposal.
- Proposal is adopted – OccupyPittsburgh stands in solidarity with OccupyWallStreets’ Declaration of Occupation as it stands on 10/12/2011.
Non-Violence Working Group Proposal – Steve Proposing:
((**add link here please to the Statement on Tactical Nonviolence (10/12/11 pre-GA version?)**))
- Proposed: to accept the Statement on Tactical Nonviolence as our official stance on how to govern ourselves in behavior during the rallies, protests, camps, walks, and any other official standpoint dealing with the OccupyPittsburgh’s Occupation, as it regards to relations dealing with members of the Police Forces, or general public. ((**a physical handout was passed around to the GA during the statement period at the start of the meeting, to give time to reflect upon its wording, syntax, and meaning**))
After the re-reading of the Non-Violence Working Group’s Statement on Tactical Nonviolence through the microphone to the GA, Casey (?) asked for discussion points, clarifications, and/or friendly amendments:
- A friendly amendment was asked for, to remove the specific words, “in asymmetrical conflict,” as they mean something different to members of the armed forces, and that it may cause us unnecessary aggravation too early in our movement before we are even entrenched and not easily-trans-locatable.
- So noted – the words were struck immediately from the document.
- A concern was raised that we need not nitpick so soon a living document, that there is a strong minority within our group that do wish to see such due notice given to those they plan action against, as a showing of how perturbed they are with the state of affairs in government today.
- A clarification was asked for, as to what the document means by “direct action.” This was raised because historically, “direct action” also included many beneficial and benevolent actions, such as Food-Now drops to the poor and hungry, banners being unfurled in highly-visible public places to gain popular acknowledgement and support, and other such actions.
- A point of process was raised that perhaps many in our group who are unfamiliar with these phrases should take some time to google the words, “Direct Action” in a search engine, as to more fully understand the meaning of the words as they apply in this Statement.
- Steve clarified that no matter what else befalls the statement, we must remain committed to the non-violent part if we want to continue to maintain our moral superiority against those who would seek to unlawfully attempt to deny us our Constitutional rights to free speech, and peaceful demonstration.
- A demonstration point was raised as to how NOT to act in front of the general public, and especially Police or Military forces so as to not provoke an unwanted or unintended physical act of violence against us as protestors. Additionally, calm words were urged to be used by us when speaking to people, to not re-engage and fuel their focused anger with our tactical non-violent protests.
Casey called for blocks, if any:
- No blocks were displayed that were not resolved and clarified.
Casey called for a consensus to adopt the new form ((**words removed – “in asymmetrical conflict”**)) of the Statement on Tactical Nonviolence:
- Estimated 90% consensus of those attending.
- Proposal is adopted – The freshly-modified Statement on Tactical Nonviolence – a living document – will apply to our actions, words, and deeds while OccupyingPittsburgh.
Marginalized Communities and Allies Working Group Proposal – (name?) proposing:
- Proposed – to immediately adopt the MC&A’s Internal Solidarity Statement as part of OccupyPittsburgh’s official stance on how to govern ourselves in accordance to minorities of all instances.
((**can someone please upload or link to the MC&A groups Internal Solidarity Proposal?**))
- A variety of clarifications were called for, to simplify the language, to specify the types of corporations that we oppose, to possibly include the rights of non-human primates and other animals abused by medical testing industries, and advocate a return to social democracies rather than the fascist global repression that seems to be the plan of some governments and businesses.
Casey called for blocks:
- Two blocks, both overturned by the GA – one stating that it was too inclusive, and the other that it should be completely reworked before being released to the general public as a statement reflecting the whole GA.
Three people choose to stand aside from the consensus.
Casey called for a consensus to adopt the Internal Solidarity Statement as a Living Document (meaning, it can and will be adapted and changed over time as the GA sees fit) for OccupyPittsburgh as it stands now, to show how we support each others minds, rights, and liberties regardless of any other differences:
- An estimated 95% consensus of the attending.
- Proposal is adopted – OccupyPittsburgh now has a living document as an Internal Solidarity Statement that will govern our inner workings as a group.
The proposals process being completed for this GA, Casey called for any additional working group announcers or other interested parties to come up and speak:
Anti-War Movement – name unknown
- Announced their intention to stand in solidarity with us during an Anti-War march to be held October 18th.
- The GA decided to defer deciding on this official stance until we had an actual occupancy point in Pittsburgh, and that a decision would be reached no later than October 17th.
Pain in the Ass Gas Company – Alex Lotorto announces:
- Intends to stand in solidarity with OccupyPittsburgh.
- Announces they have a google working group set up.
- Plans on joining us at the camp at Mellon Green.
Live-Streaming Working Group – name unknown
- Needs help and volunteers
Website Working Group – Brett announces:
- Calls for personal submissions for the website – why are YOU (yes, you, the reader of these minutes!) supporting our cause? What story to you have to share as to why you are a part of the 99%? Please submit articles, videos, podcasts, etc., to the webadmins onwww.occupypittsburgh.org
Sign-Language and Multiple Language Translations Working Group – unknown name:
- Requests anyone who knows sign language, or multiple languages to please help in translating our documents to other languages so as best to help the rest of the 99%.
- Mentions that we need buttons, stickers, bumperstickers, flags, posters, and other advertising and promotional materiel in order to reach those who have yet to hear about us and what we’re Occupying for…
THE 4TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY TIME AND PLACE OF MEETING WILL BE DECIDED UPON ONCE WE ARE ENCAMPED DURING THE OFFICIAL OCCUPATION.
MOTION FROM THE STATEMENT WORKING GROUP
[The General Assembly of Occupy Pittsburgh has adopted the following.]
The participants in Occupy Pittsburgh have gathered together in solidarity with the perspectives of the Wall Street Occupation, as unanimously adopted in their September 29 “Declaration of Occupation.” We endorse this declaration, while recognizing that the grievances it expresses are not all-inclusive.
We intend to develop, in upcoming days, documents — in the framework of the “Declaration of Occupation” — further expressing the views of those participating in Occupy Pittsburgh. This is a Living and Working document that can be changed at anytime through GA consensus.
DECLARATION OF OCCUPATION
As we gather together in solidarity to express a feeling of mass injustice, we must not lose sight of what brought us together. We write so that all people who feel wronged by the corporate forces of the world can know that we are your allies.
As one people, united, we acknowledge the reality: that the future of the human race requires the cooperation of its members; that our system must protect our rights, and upon corruption of that system, it is up to the individuals to protect their own rights, and those of their neighbors; that a democratic government derives its just power from the people, but corporations do not seek consent to extract wealth from the people and the Earth; and that no true democracy is attainable when the process is determined by economic power. We come to you at a time when corporations, which place profit over people, self-interest over justice, and oppression over equality, run our governments.
We have peaceably assembled here, as is our right, to let these facts be known.
They have taken our houses through an illegal foreclosure process, despite not having the original mortgage.
They have taken bailouts from taxpayers with impunity, and continue to give Executives exorbitant bonuses.
They have perpetuated inequality and discrimination in the workplace based on age, the color of one’s skin, sex, gender identity and sexual orientation.
They have poisoned the food supply through negligence, and undermined the farming system through monopolization.
They have profited off of the torture, confinement, and cruel treatment of countless nonhuman animals, and actively hide these practices.
They have continuously sought to strip employees of the right to negotiate for better pay and safer working conditions.
They have held students hostage with tens of thousands of dollars of debt on education, which is itself a human right.
They have consistently outsourced labor and used that outsourcing as leverage to cut workers’ healthcare and pay.
They have influenced the courts to achieve the same rights as people, with none of the culpability or responsibility.
They have spent millions of dollars on legal teams that look for ways to get them out of contracts in regards to health insurance.
They have sold our privacy as a commodity.
They have used the military and police force to prevent freedom of the press.
They have deliberately declined to recall faulty products endangering lives in pursuit of profit.
They determine economic policy, despite the catastrophic failures their policies have produced and continue to produce.
They have donated large sums of money to politicians supposed to be regulating them.
They continue to block alternate forms of energy to keep us dependent on oil.
They continue to block generic forms of medicine that could save people’s lives in order to protect investments that have already turned a substantive profit.
They have purposely covered up oil spills, accidents, faulty bookkeeping, and inactive ingredients in pursuit of profit.
They purposefully keep people misinformed and fearful through their control of the media.
They have accepted private contracts to murder prisoners even when presented with serious doubts about their guilt.
They have perpetuated colonialism at home and abroad.
They have participated in the torture and murder of innocent civilians overseas.
They continue to create weapons of mass destruction in order to receive government contracts.
To the people of the world: We . . . urge you to assert your power. Exercise your right to peaceably assemble; occupy public space; create a process to address the problems we face, and generate solutions accessible to everyone.
To all communities that take action and form groups in the spirit of direct democracy, we offer support, documentation, and all of the resources at our disposal.
Join us and make your voices heard!
Notes on Agenda and Development of Proposals for the 2nd General Assembly of Occupy Pittsburgh
Agenda for Assemly: Establish a plan of action and its location for the October 15th demonstration/occupation, as well as to listen to proposals from other group bottom liners, established by the first General Assembly, time warranting.
Facilitator announced agenda for the 2nd General Assembly, introduced members of the of the facilitating team to the Assembly and explained their roles: vibes watchers, stack takers, note takers.
Two stack takers, one on each side. Raise your hand and catch their eye to get on stack.
Thanks to Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy. Please clean-up afterwards.
An announcement was made for a Sign-Making Blast for Thursday, Oct. 13 @ 6:00-9:00PM on the USW Building on Blvd. of the Allies and Stanwix.
An itinerary for priority proposals was established:
Rundown of consensus process. First proposals from working groups. Then comments and/or questions. Then stand asides, followed by blocks. If we do not reach consensus, we have the opportunity to have a vote.
Notes for this GA will be available in electronic form somewhere.
Proposals were then heard from the bottom-liner for Location, working with Action and Legal
Location Point Person:
I) The proposal acknowledged the contingents of the Assembly and Occupy Movement interested in committing to authorized and legally permitted demonstrations only.
II) The proposal acknowledged the contingents of the Assembly and the Occupy Movement that were interested in participating in both permit sanctioned and non-permit sanctioned marches.
III) The proposal acknowledged the contingents of the Assembly and the Occupy Movement interested in planned actions of civil disobedience to be determined at a later date, via a new Civil Disobedience work group.
IV) The proposal reiterated the decision of the 1st General Assembly’s commitment to non-violence.
V) The proposal then called for the Assembly to vote on authorizing a permit-sanctioned rally point and march, with locations yet to be determined, to start the demonstration at 10:00am on Oct. 15, 2011 running to 3:00pm the same day. Then calling for a second non-permit sanctioned march and rally to begin promptly at 4:00pm, allowing the members of the contingency who do not wish to participate time to get home. The second, non-sanctioned rally and march would transition directly in the forming of Pittsburgh’s occupation camp, at a location yet to be determined.
Point of Process (POP): Contention with exclusivity of different protest groups (I, II, III). Unpermitted is civil disobedience (c.v.)?
POP: Add indifference to protest contigents.
POP: 1st group is only permit, but no occupation?
That is a question, not a point of process.
POP: Can we clarify the different protest groups/contingents?
It is not illegal to be on sidewalks. Marching on the sidewalk without a permit is legal. The permit waiting period of the march is within 2 days of application, the city must respond by then. Permits do not cost money for free speech related protests. Fees waived.
Clarifying question. 3 actions, not to decide, but to provide opportunity for each *general crowd objection*
A speaker (on stack) says that support is needed for people to be violent. To do what you want.
A speaker (on stack) is in favor of the two separate groups.
Discussion regarding fee for march.
A speaker talks about communities that can’t afford involvement with the law enforcement. Proposal for coordination with different groups as to minimize risk.
A speaker expresses support for protest groups I and II but problems with c.v.
Interested parties should create a c.v. WG
POP: Consensus was reached for nonviolence at 1st GA.
There is a nonviolence WG that will bring a proposal re nonviolence
Option for mic or people’s mic
A speaker talks on nonviolence, prepare for police violence legally and practically.
POP: Nonviolence is on agenda. Defer nonviolence discussion.
A speaker asks about support for location proposal.
Cutting off stack.
Is occupation a part of protest group III, c.v.?
If in a park, yes, if on consented private land, no.
A speaker says that c.v. implies nonviolence. Support for nonpermitted march if we can’t get permit.
A speaker disagrees with separate marches.
The marches are the same march with different times.
A speaker questions overlap between action and location groups.
Restatement of proposal.
The 3 different groups will create a WG.
Consensus was attempted. 1 member of the Assembly blocked the proposal.
There are 3 blocks.
One block moves to separate some actions from Occupy Pittsburgh.
POP: Blocks need noted and heard.
The other Block established a counter-proposal that for each separate action (permit and non-permit marches and rallies) consensus is attempted, and not passed an one single proposal because it is too complex for one proposal.
The Block was passed via group consensus.
The proposal for a permit-sanctioned march from 10:00am to 3:00pm on Oct. 15th was passed via consensus.
POP: Distinction between permit and c.v.
POP: c.v. means occupation
The discussion then transitioned into proposals via the Assembly body for locations to start of the permit-sanctioned march and rally.
POP: location/action confusion. Suggestion of action before location.
POP: Vote on permitted march location first.
POP: begin/end location of march.
Location PP: List of potential locations in case of denial.
- Point State Park
- Market Square
- 10th & Liberty (Liberty Center)
- Freedom Corner
- St in front of Citizens
- St in front of PNC
Straw poll on locations.
A speaker discusses nonviolent c.v. for heavily policed communities.
At 5:52PM we were notified that it is close to 6PM.
There are two police officers, one of which is wearing a white shirt.
At this time the meeting was adjourned due to time restraints and the current discussion tabled until the next General Assembly for Occupy Pittsburgh. Location, date and time to be immediately announced via social media when determined.
Announcements from WGs:
Food groups needs donations and volunteers.
Medics: Hoping for location information so they know where demonstrations will be, so they can be there. Hoping to set up somewhere as a base of operations.
Any donations, such as bandages, ace wraps, gloves, WATER
Medics will be wearing arm bands with cross.
WE HAVE A LOT OF DUPLICATE WORKING GROUPS
Please merge them and please try to use google groups where it’s much easier to share docs, see history, search for prior posts and information, follow topic threads, share files, and also its the only way I can add all the hundreds of emails we collected from the church.
To join the group(s) of your choice, click the corresponding links or copy and paste the Facebook group name into the search bar above.
Please do not remove any information from this list unless you’re one of the bottom liners for that group and are making corrections. Bottom liners should list their names and at very least a link to their facebook profile for contact. Email is good too. Please leave the formatting alone.
FB: Occupy Pittsburgh – Art/Entertainment WG
Bottom Liners: Erin Cridlebaugh
Brandon Lord firstname.lastname@example.org
Tayfun Gol email@example.com
Brandon Lord firstname.lastname@example.org
Dan Lichten email@example.com
Location group – FB: https://www.facebook.com/groups/207837909282576/
Marginalized Communities and Allies Working Group
Bottom Liners: Amber Kelsie
Rebecca Altes: firstname.lastname@example.org
Media Outreach – Traditional
Shared with Social Media WG: CG: http://groups.google.com/group/occpghwebsite
Public Email: Media@OccupyPittsburgh.org
Media Inquiries: 724-973-8777
Nathaniel Glosser https:/facebook.com/nathanielglosser NathanielGlosser@me.com
Jeff Cech https://www.facebook.com/jeffcech
(more are encouraged to join)
Corey Roberts McGrath: email@example.com
Tayfun Gol firstname.lastname@example.org
Veterans – Issues and Outreach
Brandon Lord: facebook.com/BrandonLordTreeService
General Assembly – First Unitarian Church
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
The General Assembly (GA) began at 6:40 pm. Cassi, one of the GA facilitators, welcomed the large crowd, estimated at 300 (an actual count was being conducted during the Assembly) to the GA and summarized the evening’s 3 general goals:
1) Getting Started in the movement
2) The Occupy Pittsburgh “event” on October 15, 2011
3) What Needs to Happen to Move Forward
Cassi announced that more facilitators are welcome to help craft an agenda for the movement, assemblies, events, etc. going forward. She thanked the First Unitarian Church staff for allowing the Assembly to take place there. Rev. David Herndon, the minister at the church, welcomed everyone and said that on behalf of the church, he is thrilled with the Occupy movement and said to “go forth and Occupy!”
The first item of discussion concerned the Consensus Process; how decisions would be made during the GA. After some discussion about the best way to reach consensus, it was agreed that if approximately 75% of persons present voted ‘yes’ on a proposal presented, the proposal would pass. It is noted that dissent was voiced to the acceptance of the consensus process. However, after further discussion and alternative methods introduced, the decision was made to allow for additional suggestions and dissensions to be addressed through working groups, which will be assigned to work on specific aspects of the movement and actions related to it.
A list of principles related to non-violence was distributed at the meeting, and there was no consensus to accept the list as presented. It was decided that a working group would be created to work on official non-violence principles that will be accepted by the movement. Many expressed the importance of having endorsed principles of non-violence; others were in favor, but opposed to the language used.
Next item was the event to kick off the Occupy Pittsburgh movement. It was agreed that an event would take place on Saturday, October 15, 2011. The event would serve to kickoff the Occupy encampment and march/rally to take place on and after October 15, 2011. A number of proposals were presented for time and location to kickoff the movement, including near the Heinz History Center, where a Convergence for Social Justice event is taking place, the City County building, Market Square, Freedom Corner, or just a general Downtown location.
After much discussion about where best to have a group congregate to begin the movement/events, it was decided that the location working group would work on it, but anyone who is not in contact with the movement between today’s GA and October 15, 2011, should choose to meet at 10:00 am at one of these 3 locations: Freedom Corner, City-County building, or Market Square. If the base location has changed from any of these locations, members of the Occupy movement will be on hand at these locations at 10:00 am to direct people to the new location(s) where they can assemble/march/camp. Some reservations were expressed to using Market Square, since there is a possibility of entrapment by the police if too many people assembled there, and this is noted. The location and government relations working groups will work on finding suitable locations and obtaining permits, and this will be communicated to Occupy Pittsburgh members as the information is available, prior to or starting at 10:00 am on October 15 at each of the 3 designated locations.
The following working groups were presented during the GA:
- Facilitation group – general facilitation of the groups/movement/events
- Education group – work on education
- Medic group – Medics and other medical personnel
- Outreach/Media group – work on outreach to Occupy members, other groups to collaborate with, and media/press work
- Government Relations group – work on securing permits
- Camp group – work on ongoing encampment/logistics during the Occupation
- Art/Entertainment group – “fun group” – work on art/entertainment projects to enrich the movement
- Non-violence group – work on a set of adoptable non-violence principles
- Location group – work on possible locations to have events, rallies, marches, camps
- Action group – work on actions during the Occupation
- Safety group – work on safety issues
- Food group – coordinate food and beverages for the Occupation
- Statement group – work on developing a common ‘mission/demand statement’ for the Occupy Pittsburgh movement
- Law group – work on legal issues related to various activities of the Occupy movement
- Veterans group – war Veterans group
Note: Anyone is welcome to join any of the working groups, which will meet and develop proposals to be presented at each GA for approval by consensus.
The proposal was presented to accept the slate of working groups and was passed by group consensus.
It was mentioned that if anyone had ideas for additional working groups, please propose them at a future GA.
A Google Group will be set up for each working group and a “bottom-line” person or persons will coordinate activities and communications within the group. People present at the GA filled out cards with their contact information and which group (if any) they would like to participate in.
With the remaining time, members who were present voiced additional ideas and concerns. Someone mentioned that labor unions will join the movement – “all workers”; the importance of setting an example for others by boycotting big businesses and banks; the international breadth of the Occupy movement, including dissent for the US’s involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and resistance to the federal government’s foreign policies; contacting the United Steel Workers to gain involvement and the possibility of using their building as an Occupy site; the war on education and those fighting to improve it has been a long, drawn-out war; a Vietnam Veteran said that veterans are willing to speak the truth about wars and there is “nothing patriotic about them;” people involved in the Occupy movement need to educate themselves about their rights in this country and locally – be familiar with laws and rights of protestors (it was noted that the ACLU has been contacted by the Occupy Pittsburgh movement); that energy must be focused towards what will emerge once the corrupt systems fall.
Emphasis was made on making the movement multi-cultural, multi-identity, and multi-strategy – as inclusive as possible. The movement needs as many people of color, the poor, women, and LGBT to take part and be represented during the Occupation.
On a final note, a member stated that no matter how long it takes and whether or not one’s own issues are addressed, to stay in the movement. Do not get discouraged if your idea is not acted on right away. Stay involved!
The next GA will be communicated to Occupy members as soon as it is scheduled.
GA adjourned 8:23 pm.
Watch the assembly meeting here: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/17700346
OCTOBER 5, 2011
First Unitarian Church of Pittsburgh
605 Morewood Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
This meeting is OPEN for ALL who wish to attend!
Carpool is being set up @ http://www.facebook.com/groups/occupypgh/
We need to set a common standard for this event, friends. Here is the proposal. Please read it. If you agree…simply state agree. Then we will know where we stand and how to move forward.
Meeting place : WITHOUT permit because it’s a freaking park and we will not be having a rally. Point State Park (PSP). October 15th, NOON.
At that time supporters will be given flyers describing the defining reasons behind the movement and why ALL ‘regular’ Americans are the 99%.
White t-shirts with OCCUPY on them are encouraged to show solidarity.
Signs describing why YOU are the 99%. Nothing hateful, discriminatory, or for the sole purpose of inciting negativity, PLEASE!
Dispersing to Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Downtown, South Side, Station Square, Oakland, etc. We will be walking in groups of no more than 20 so as not to be deemed a ‘mob’ or it be called an ‘illegal’ march without permits.
If you have small children, please consider walking with smaller groups for their safety.
Please…there is no need for screaming, yelling, or any other negative forms of communication. Pass out flyers to those willing to take them and answer people’s questions with respect. Do not make people who are unaware feel stupid. Please!
You DO NOT have to come PSP if you already have flyers and a t-shirt..walk wherever you want!
Remember this is a NON VIOLENT communication to other Americans who are not aware of the Occupy Movement.
More to come regarding an actual ‘occupation’ and where we may be able to do that. If you choose to bring tents, sleeping bags, etc please be aware that as of right now, to my knowledge it is NOT legal to camp anywhere in the city of Pittsburgh and you will probably be arrested.
**** If we cannot find a way to stay there night after night, we will simply continue to do this day after day**** We don’t have to sleep there to make a daily statement! Please do not let this discourage you!!!
Cameras and video are encouraged. Show the world what the Steel City is about! Remember friends….this is about Americans. This is about repairing what the corporate government has destroyed.
-by Coreen (thanks for all the help!)
We all need to meet in Point park to organize groups. I think we should first establish what areas of Pittsburgh are tied into the corruption we wish to address.
Gulf Oil company owns GULF TOWER on Grant street. We should organize protests for corrupt gas policies there.
Koppers Tower on Seventh Ave is a major chemical and coal corporation called Koppers Chemical. One of Koppers’ leading products is coal tar, and the company made about one-third of the country’s coal tar in 2007. Research shows that the tar used in asphalt sealants to protect them wears away and deteriorates into contaminated dust that is tracked into homes and washed into streams and lakes. The makers of asphalt sealants, made with coal tar, which has been linked to cancer and other health problems, say that the products contain high levels of benzo(a)pyrene and other toxic chemicals known collectively as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, or PAHs. Yet, they claim that their products are not responsible for the environmental contamination learned in government studies…which we all know is BS. We should organize a group to occupy there.
BNY Mellon Center is also located on Grant street and is the building housed the global headquarters of the Mellon Financial Corporation, until the company merged with Bank of New York in 2007. The building now serves as one of the major offices for The Bank of New York Mellon. A group should stand here to stand up against corrupt and greedy bankers…because seriously…why does this building need a rooftop heliport for bankers?
One, Two, and Three PNC Plaza was once home to global headquarters of numberous banks, Primarily PNC Financial Services. Wikipedia explains PNC as PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. is a U.S.-based financial services corporation, with assets (as of December 31, 2010) of approximately $264.3 billion. PNC operations include a regional banking franchise operating primarily in fifteen states and the District of Columbia, specialized financial businesses serving companies andgovernment entities, and leading Turnkey Asset Management Program and processing businesses.
We can occupy these areas to stand up against wealth divide and encourage a move to a localized and democratic financial system, reform taxes so that they are progressive and provide goods, monetary gain and services for the people. Wonder how much in Taxes PNC paid last year? Keep wondering because the information was not released.
Most government buildings are located on Grant street, where we can organize a march for Worker Rights and jobs – all working-age people have the right to safe, just, non-discriminatory and dignified working conditions, a sustainable living wage, paid leave and economic protection. Government – all processes of the three branches of government should be accountable to international law, transparent and follow the rule of law, people have the right to participate in decisions which affect them. Elections – all citizens 18 and older have the right to vote without barriers, all candidates have the right to be heard and to run and all votes should be counted.
A list of where we can occupy are:
Parks and plazas
Downtown is home to numerous parks, large and small:
- Point State Park at the tip of the Golden Triangle (our meeting/rally point)
- Mellon Square located in the square between Oliver & Sixth avenues and Smithfield Street and William Penn Place
- Market Square at Forbes Avenue & Market Street
- Mellon Green located at Grant Street & Sixth Avenue
- FirstSide Park located between Grant & Ross streets and First & Second avenues.
- Katz Plaza at Penn Avenue & Seventh Street
- Triangle Park bounded by Liberty Avenue, Fifth Avenue & Market Street
- Allegheny Riverfront Park along the Allegheny River below Fort Duquesne Boulevard
- North Shore Riverfront Park opposite Downtown along the Allegheny and Ohio rivers, part of the larger Three Rivers Park
Please Comment and provide input/thoughts/questions/concerns!