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November 16, 2011

Last Night's Zuccotti General Assembly Meeting

I watched last night's General Assembly meeting at Zuccotti Park through a live stream and it was every bit as creepy and bizarre as you would expect. The first order of business was to report that there was a "point of process" regarding people in the back being unable to hear, so they decided to repeat everything twice instead of once. This was actually quite helpful for note-taking, believe it or not.

The official meeting began by stressing the importance of "harvesting ideas":

• Write your ideas down and we will collect. We need to be building consensus and consensus takes time.

On the police presence:

• Not being allowed to go to the bathroom in the park is a violation of civil rights and qualifies as cruel and unusual punishment.
• We need to march on the police headquarters tonight after GA to protest police walking by while women relieve themselves and are exposed. This is a sexual assault.
No mention of the actual sexual assaults in the park.

On the occupation:

• Since we can't sleep here we should occupy in shifts.
• NY residents should let out-of-town occupiers sleep at their apartments.
• Occupy everywhere -- empty stadiums, airports, bus depots.
Bus depots?

March tonight (they never got around to this):

• March in solidarity for everyone that got f**ked up last night and lost everything.

The November 17th event:

We are still planning the Nov 17 event. Our goals include:
• Shut down the NYSE.
• Shut down the subways.
• General strike.
• Those who can't participate, bring it up to coworkers at your office.
• Bring everyone you know to occupy and shut it all down.
More on this below.

Their long term plans:

• Establish a permanent place outside the park for national organization.
• Become an official non-profit that would remain radical.
• We need to start our own party called "The Occupy Party"
Please form your own party. PPP's latest poll on Occupy support is out and it's pretty ugly. They now poll worse than the Tea Party and it's likely to get worse.

What strikes me about this whole "movement" is how similar it is to Kindergarten. I'm so proud of everyone. You are all doing an outstanding job. We're making such amazing progress. They chant the same tired four or five slogans over and over and repeat everything everyone else says. At around 11PM, they made an announcement that everyone would have to "obey the rules and be quiet so we will be allowed to stay." It reminded me of those times your parents would let you stay up later than your normal bedtime if you agreed to behave and be quiet so you wouldn't disrupt their dinner party.

Ace mentioned yesterday that I was worried about what will happen tomorrow. While the park was mostly empty last night, they still appear to be planning a major event for all day tomorrow. Had Bloomberg cleared the park a week ago, this probably would have fizzled out. Now, they're angry and itching for a fight.

Here is what OWS officially has planned for tomorrow. The tone on their websites is much more up-twinkly benign occupation talk, but there were multiple calls to "shut down" this or that and to "confront the fascist police forces" in the streets during the assembly (check out the #N17 hash for more). That message appears to be resonating. Like he says, they want to "burn the city to the ground". When Occupy Wall Street started many on the right were warning Democrats to avoid encouraging or embracing it, not because it was going to end up being a political liability to them, but because it had the potential to spiral out of control. Democrat mayors and politicians are attempting to dial it back, but it may be too late. Within 24 hours, I think we'll have our answer.

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posted by JohnE. at 07:20 PM

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