Check out these pictures from #M1 in Boston, #OUMB and other schools took the streets and eventually marched into the state house!
Photo credit: PWeiskel08
February 17, 2012
Occupy University of Massachusetts Boston General Assembly
-Day 32 of constant occupation
Announcements: Gary Zabel wished for students interested in working with faculty on a “keep class size small” campaign to attend meeting Friday at 3.
1. Proposal Passed for Puerto Rican student strike leader Gamelyn Eduardo to come speak on campus. He is free the 15th, 19th, and 20th. We will contact Casa Latina ASAP to see if they want to join our event or host him another day.
2. Occupy UMass Spring Break planned for March 15th through the 17th. 3 day camp-out to gather all activists and students for the American Spring. Details below.
3. Occupy UMass Spring Break Working Group formed via consensus.
4. Outreach- Various options presented in detail below. New Outreach Working Group formed via consensus.
Writer’s note: The following is as much verbatim as I could capture from the people I was listening to. In the future we hope to record and possibly transcribe our General Assemblies with multimedia. For now, these are our only records. –SF
STARTING TIME 3:15 PM.
Gary jumped stack because he has to leave in ten minutes. Temp check approval.
Class sizes issue: University wants to put up new academic building that will have 7 classrooms with room for hundreds in each one increasing the amount of mass education while lifting the enrollment cap on existing classes to save money.
MEETING THIS FRIDAY -admin, faculty, staff, and students, meeting Friday at 3 o’clock. Wheatley 587 right across from economics department. We need some people to show from this group.
Shelita: Do you want us to promote with Flyers?
Gary: No just a few people would be great. We need a liaison from this group, who is down? Paul and Steph agree to go to meeting.
Facilitator presents format of 1 min introductions for all present (about a dozen or so) Consensus approved, moving forward, Introductions…
Ricardo Ortiz: (Member of working people of color caucus from Occupy Boston and the Socialist Caucus, founder of Frente Socialista de Puerto Rico. Came to make an announcement and a suggestion to have a speaker here.)
Proposal for activity:
During the week of the 14th of March to the 25th former student strike organizer who held strike for 7-8 mths in public university system in PR. He is also a guestspeaker on statewide conference for education, speaker for National Lawyers Guild, dealt with environmental struggles on island and environmental justice. Here to speak on civil rights how to combat police brutality and university administration repression. Ask if he could come and speak to an audience of this movement. He is scheduled to speak March 17th downtown at Encuentro Cinco and many more throughout the week.
Steph: Maybe we can bring him for the Occupied Spring Break?
Shelita: Casa Latina maybe can cohost?
Steph: Yes we can contact Abel. He is Casa coordinator. He’s one of us.
Ricardo: He is free on the 15th, the 19th, and the 20th #510-290-2312
James: We need more cleanliness in area, people working together not against, web pages need help and more content.
Shelita: My goal is to help build a strong infrastructure in the group and provide help when needed.
Matt: Matt is frustrated because he brought up the PR strike leader coming a week ago and got no response.
Rebecca: I’m new and just observing, interested to see what’s happening
Barack: I figured out this was when he could come to the whole group. I think it works out real nicely with the whole spring break thing. Maintaining small class sizes is really important.
Paul: I’ve been helping with media stuff. It is great to hear about the smaller class size campaign.
Randy: Mostly been active with Occupy Boston, some contact with occupy Harvard, I haven’t had much, I did one article about you in my blog “the guy by the door.”
Rohan: I’ve been interested in group for awhile. I met James and Stephanie, so I decided to stay.
James: Proposes One Minute Time Limits for all statements.
Barack: I propose we use this meeting to plan for spring break and choose a date so we can create action items, and start setting up teach ins.
Matt: I am going to need help writing a proposal for Occupy Boston so we can ask for the kitchen tent.
James: I will help with that.
James: I would like to see help on changing signs on brown paper and put up some flashy work that will have a hook in it. That is one of the next things on my list. We need outreach to artists. I’m trying to get screen printing here Friday so students can come here and interact with OUMB. Probably noon time to coordinate with Café Libre.
Steph: For the Occupied Spring Break the ideas we have are to host a film festival, mural project, teach-in on multimedia, having a dj come and play some music something that will be culturally aware, work with admin to see what allowance would be, acoustic jam sessions, organizing for a Pow Wow.
Shelita: I want to make a point some of these actions may have serious ramifications. We got to think about legality of this to not put people at risk for arrest.
Mark: The last thing we want is to arrest students, that is not educational. If it is during welcome day or something violent or destructive we will step in to protect our students.
The GA selected the 15th, the 16th, and the 17th for their Occupied Spring Break Festival, as it was cleared by Mark Jannoni, Associate Dean of Students as not being in conflict with welcome day. M said he would notify campus security so we could make sure students would be safe from threats but otherwise they would not interfere with camp. A temporary OSB Working Group has been formed and for more info email occupyUMB@gmail.com.
Next we moved on to discuss Outreach
Tim: I want to discuss possibilities increasing visibility for next week. One major hurdle to get over is to get large scale direct actions. Small groups to bring com around campus. Hold mini-teach ins, going into some of the larger lectures and pointing out this is something we take issue with the huge class sizes. This is something we can do that 2 or 4 people can bring out to the community to get our message out there. A continuous effort by many people over the next few days reminding people of March 1st. One of the hurdles we face in getting our message out there. If a small group our actions would be a whole lot more effective. I suggested we do soap boxes outside science.
Shelita & Steph: Athletics outreach
James: Kelly Mark and Patrick Day come to a GA and give students immunity from being reprimanded or risking arrest for being involved. Faculty and staff who are involved have protections and rights as well.
Mark: As long as you aren’t violating fed and state laws
Shelita: Official for outreach piece of paper for point of contact collection.
Lindsay: On the website I am making I can put a strip that says sign a petition, 1st and last name, and email collection right up front for all who visit the site. How do people feel about this?
All vertical fingers. Consensus is yes. Our website will hopefully soon have this.
Tim: I would like to propose since our first Outreach Working Group fell apart lets talk about possible ideas for a new group and small group action, we talk about the occupy movement being leaderless, I’d rather see this movement become a movement of leaders.
Paul: A few people are going around tomorrow doing outreach at noon in cafeteria.
Stephanie: I do not like outreach in cafeteria. You have a trapped audience trying to relax and can irritate some.
Lindsay: Hallways before classes to hand out literature.
Tim: Be clear I rep the occupy movement if you don’t want to hear from us we walk away.
Mark: I heard complaints about whoa this is class time and give people opp to give people a forum to walk away
Steph: Class talks we must take consensus
Shelita: I may need those 50 minutes for class and I’d be pissed Occupy took that choice from me. Also, I don’t want people going off doing their own thing during outreach. I don’t want people to take it on their own without consensus on how things are getting done. Who knows what they could be promoting? We should create a guidelines on outreach in writing with ground rules.
Tim: Proposal for an Outreach WG
Dan: I haven’t seen oppressive outreach, ask do you have a minute to talk about what is happening in the school. no need to put any personal slant on everything right now we have very specific things we can outreach for. That’s what will get people pumped up first.
James: I think it is better to just get to know people and hear what their needs are and then introduce them to what I do with occupy. A general conversation is easier and not as oppressive.
MEETING CLOSED AT APPROXIMATELY 4:15 PM.