A great day of celebration will take place April 14th; What will it be?

Two meetings in the past two weeks discuss plans for a celebration and an invitation in the Spring…

January 27 Planning Meeting for a massive, celebratory city-wide gathering

  • One Hundred thirty people: Twenty break-out groups of six or seven people say this is what it should be:

Permits; fun; inclusive; “we” rather than “they”; convergences; speak-outs; how can we make people distinguish this action and feel this is theirs;

focus on communities and building coalition; thematically based groups from different neighborhoods meet; new assemblies formed;

everyone in the city knows that they’re invited;

stadium; build towards May Day; union involvement; changing culture and values; transforming society—physical and non-physical participation—different constituencies-labor, immigrant etc.; not just a General Assembly; art and music and expression; eat-in; potluck; share food; balance between quality and quantity;

Saturday or weekend; Jubilee; bargaining market; localized potlucks; training events (facilitation, non-violence, anti-racism); April 15 = tax day and the time when state & local budgets will become public; need for vision;

diversity in planning process; coherence, but not too focused in; mini-General Assemblies; combination of militant action and low-risk;

what message to bring to neighborhoods; need discussion of themes; Occupy World Fair; family oriented;

mobile think-tanks;

midnight marches,

candlelight vigils;

keep folks asking questions;

sector-oriented simultaneously in different places; want proclamation; each group have directions and goals; Battery Park (to see the Statue of Liberty);

diverse outreach; help of other working groups and communities; fair; concert; have information tables; social media; local and national; new organizations; Central Park;

pop-up occupations;

plant seeds in community gardens as symbols;

end event with occupation;

mega General Assembly;

organize for May Day on celebration day; Earth Day; this meeting is a spokes for the day;

plant trees in crazy places;

political; rebirth; growth; general strike or move you money; April Fool’s Day; Chicago is doing something big on March 15th; it should be on the 17th of whatever month to continue the anniversary celebration;

discussions of what brought us together; time frame, is it just a day, or a whole weekend; direct action that is an educating act; once a week event to build up; March 17th is St. Patrick’s day; cops will be busy; poorest neighborhoods;

not self-referential themes; one day event is just a starting point; visionary; taking of a public space creatively;

occupy Central Park; open space for new people; empower people to be a part of this day; are we ready for a day? We’ve had some days;

public more than just observers; get that 10% of the population required to create social change; expand to what other people might be interested in; create safe space for the public to come;

immigrants afraid; ex-cons afraid to participate; have both celebration and a General Assembly; subway ride in; ongoing conversation; create system of communication;

teach-ins of “outer” General Assemblies giving training about how they do things;

arts; organizing; General Assembly process; leave space for discussion on the big day.

February 10 Planning Meeting

Task Forces: Outreach, Assembly Exploration/Structure, Facilitation, Arts & Culture, Logistics, Messaging/Media, Interface, Working People’s Caucus

  • Seventy or Eighty people: eight break out groups: (What are some concrete ideas for the day?)

After Zuccotti was evicted, there was an emergency General Assembly which meant new faces–this really prepared people for November 17th, the day of action;

mobile parade to take attention away from Manhattan, something that moves through Queens/Bronx; boroughs have marches into one convergence point, a convergence of ideas and people;

create a place with a sense of the energy and conversation that was Zuccotti;

a festival;

a rally;

a focus of energy;

Sunset Park had a speak-out celebration which started with drumming and ended with food and a march; food makes people stay longer; break out should have the same weight as a speak out;

OWS is out of the media; if people are going to take risks, how do you create a presence which assures people that there are numbers and support; OWS is still here;

April 14 is a coming out party;

April 15 is about tax reform; tax issues will bring out a lot of people; could do April 14 and April 15 back-to-back, to get both festive and direct action initiatives;

get a number of people to refuse to pay their taxes; bringing up tax issues is problematic when attempting consensus—it will be divisive; April 15 people will be at home doing their taxes; the divisive issue could be a way of uniting a lot of different people over a similar but various issue; “the only things inevitable are death and taxes”—how can we create conversation around that; getting large numbers out to protest tax issues is long-term effective?;

how do we disrupt and actually become a problem;

invite discussion of tax reform on the fun day; find a group that can or is already organized for tax protest on April 15 and ask them to organize with us; what empowers us together to create a real world; don’t dodge the tax day; talk about role of money and resources;

branding = spring (Arab Spring?); who can be an occupier? It can be you—even if you don’t want to live in a tent; liquidate fear of striking and marching; how do you prepare people to deal with risky situations; pre-community outreach to people comfortable to participate on May Day;

Food! A potluck, or find organizations willing to donate food; you can have barbecue in Flushing Gardens or Sunset Park, but not in Central Park; food means positive media attention;

day should be large turn out to reignite OWS; April 15 is effective because it focuses on the taxation issues surrounding the 1% versus the 99%;

stay downtown to stay true to OWS; Battery Park;

set aside time and space for those who want to join into the movement; recruit and develop organizers on that day; celebrate the people of OWS who have worked so hard—a relief from burnout; time consideration—we did so much in five months, let’s celebrate; OWS 2.0;

this should be a movement building day and not a direct action day; the day should feed our existing general assemblies and working groups;

it might progress like this—feed into the decided site with actions and outreach while traveling, have a short rally, break out by neighborhood/borough/issue, report backs in the spokes model that can become an ongoing model, a “next coming” event, a big party;

this day should be distinct from May Day; energize our existing general assemblies; go to your general assembly or community and identify the issues that they want to bring to the big day; movement building not direct actions;

city-wide picnic; we should be in Washington Square Park in case of bad weather;

have an assembly to introduce people to the general assembly structure; hand out programs and maps on the day to show visitors what is going on; there should also be spontaneous pop-ups; specific colors for specific boroughs; re-create Zuccotti; there should be both planning and autonomous action; spirit of Zuccotti;

if you’re in an OWS working group, you should plug it into the corresponding task forces for this day;

a fair; broad scale; what is OWS?; reach out to different general assemblies and groups to get involved with this fair thing; working people and family friendly; there should be arts and entertainment;

April 15 OWS is back; theme of spring;

April 14!;

April 15 might restrict faith-based groups because it is a Sunday; the day should be big sexy and awesome but create movement structures as well; people should go into neighborhoods;

concert? big names?;

first neighborhood assemblies, then food, next issue-based groups/assemblies; there should be a welcoming group and an information group that wear identifying t-shirts;

messages may be “another world is possible”, local election involvement/voting, resisting alienation and restriction, civil right issues, training;

activities may be a carnival, tables, arts, a concert, de-centralized discussion, themed groups, spontaneous and planned speak outs using the people’s mic;

some concerns are bathrooms, permits, the proximity of the day approaching;

we should lie about Radiohead coming to the day;

performance elements must be democratic and not status-based; there should be no stage with officially sanctioned performance; instead there can be roving prosceniums and performers can call out to it to come to them if they want to perform something; the performance guild has a library of hundreds of ten minute plays;

focus on concrete issues and ongoing struggles, like foreclosure and stop-and-frisk;

faith-based groups and unions should be more involved; big fun and family oriented; a “no jobs fair”; there should be a service aspect with tutoring and teach-ins;

various groups are voting for endorsement of OWS but have no outlet;

thinking big and long-term in order to inform the day; use the power of OWS to incite people and create long-lasting structure (an example would be encouraging people to create more of their own neighborhood assemblies);

start simple and big, then break out into smaller and neighborhood groups; there should be a section of time/space devoted to issues.

 

 

Words by over two hundred people from all five boroughs of NYC

Transcribed and formatted by Kathleen Purcell

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