At this Saturday’s General Assembly, it was apparent that we are at a pivotal moment in our movement. On Wednesday, we will be one week away from our original permit expiring. On Wednesday, the City Council may discuss a fee schedule that may affect our ability to remain at this site. In light of these events and tensions within our group, at Wednesday’s General Assembly we will discuss how we continue moving forward with Occupy Reno. Wednesday’s GA is not about the end of Occupy Reno, but a GA to discuss how we will continue Occupy Reno. At the GA we may discuss what has come to divide us, but the GA will also be a time to come together to discuss what continues to unite us. Wednesday’s GA is a time to share knowledge—to become better informed about our movement and each other. Wednesday’s GA is a time to listen to each other. Wednesday’s GA is a time to air concerns. Wednesday’s GA is a time to introduce ideas. Wednesday’s GA is a time to understand what each of us has at stake in this movement.
To effectively facilitate this discussion, the agenda format of this GA has been slightly adapted. The meeting will begin as usual with an introduction to the facilitator team, a review of the process of the GA, and announcements. After this opening, we will move into a discussion of moving forward in Occupy Reno. To begin the discussion—and in place of committee report backs—each committee is asked to send a representative to the GA to give a report. The report should discuss—as objectively as possible—the committee’s understanding of the future of Occupy Reno. This report should help inform the GA as a whole on issues that the committee faces. For example, the Finance Committee could report that it takes X amount of money to cover insurance each month, X amount of money to cover port-a-potties each month, etc. This data leads the Finance Committee to have X, Y, and Z concerns. Another example: The Green Committee has been doing X, Y, and Z. If Occupy Reno does A, then these projects will be impacted in E, F, and G ways. Another example: The Camp and Infrastructure Committee reports that X number of people are currently occupying Moana Springs full time. Of these full-time occupiers, Y number of people have no other home to go to. These committee reports are all about conveying information to the GA so that every member of the GA can engage in a knowledgeable discussion of our future. To be clear, these committee reports are just that, reports. They are not opinions of individual speakers.
Following the committee reports, the stack will be open. Any and every individual here is encouraged to join the stack and have their voice heard. In an effort to have as many voices heard as possible, individuals that have yet to speak will be given priority over individuals that have already spoken. This means that if Jane is in the stack for the second time, John—who has yet to be heard—may be moved in front of her.
In a further effort to have every voice that wants to speak heard, each committee representative and each individual speaker has a 3-minute time limit. If an individual has more to say, the individual is encouraged to join the stack again. For this reason, each committee representative and individual is encouraged to prepare some notes in advance so that she or he can cover everything that he or she wishes to say in the allotted time. In forming your thoughts, remember the principles upon which this movement has been formed and the principles that have become important to each of us as the movement developed. In particular, let us remember that Occupy Reno has been a nonviolent, peaceful movement.
The GA will conclude the meeting with a recap from the scribe and a soapbox for anything that anyone wants to say outside of the scope of the “moving forward” discussion.
This is an important GA. We ask everyone who is able to attend to stay as long as possible. As the temperatures have begun to drop, we ask everyone to dress warmly for the GA. The facilitation team will make the site of the GA as comfortable as possible.
Agenda for the General Assembly at 6:00PM on Wednesday, January 18, at Moana Springs
- Call Meeting to Order
- Introduction of facilitation team for the meeting
- Review of Agenda
- Review of Hand Signals
- Ask people who do smoke to smoke downwind of GA
- Discussion of Moving Forward
- Committee Reports from Committee Representatives (3-minute time limit on each representative)
- Stack Open to Individual Speakers (3-minute time limit on each individual)