History of May Day, and “The Corporate Tax Dodgers” #OWS musical protest theatre

Occupy Toronto 27 April 2012 by Michael Holloway   “The Tax Dodgers” are a musical and political street theatre group made up of Occupy Wall Street members – the non-violent, civil disobedience protest movement. They produced and preform this unique version of “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” – titled “Take Me Out to the Tax Game”.   Lyrics Take me out to the tax game. Bail me out with the banks. Buy me a bonus and tax rebates. Never pay nuthin’ not fed’ral or state. So it’s shoot, shoot, shoot for the loopholes. It’s law, so you can’t complain. For its one, two, three-trillion you’re out, Since we rigged the game! Take me out to the tax game. Flip the bird to the crowd. Losers pay taxes, we take rebates. ‘cuz we make the rules for the corporate state. And it’s wham, bam, slam through the loopholes. We always win, what a game! We’re the one, yes, the one percent, And we have no shame!   The video above was edited from a report posted at The Real News Network, April 19 2012, “Spring Revival: Occupy Wall Street Seeks to Rejuvenate Movement“. The edit is the last minute and a half of the original news item –http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=3… The Real News Network’s “Occupy” label –http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=846 “Spring Awakening at Central Park” – an ‘Activist Training Weekend’ held on April 14th 2012 in Central Park in Manhattan. The New York, NY area General Assemblies came together for an extrodinary General Assembly to plan towards a day of political theatre, civil disobedience and protest against an economic system rigged in favour of International Business Elites, and for a fair economic deal for the 99%. May Day 2012, or “#M1″ is a call for everyone to take the day off work, all work, even unpaid work (like house work) and come out with your family and make your voice heard – now at any one of over 150 cities across the Canada, Mexico and the United States that are planning #M1 events. The Rallying call is: #OWS – May 1, 2012 – A Global General Strike – No Work — No School — No Housework — No Shopping – #M1 OccupyToronto (#may1to) – http://occupyto.org/2012/04/may-1st-day-of-action-join-us/ Occupy Wall Street (#M1) A City-by-City Link List –http://occupywallst.org/article/may-day/ AdBusters Occupy Blog – http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/adbusters-blog/may-2012-insurrection.html   The History of “May Day” – the original Labour Day May 1, “May Day” is the original ‘Labour Day’.  Back in the 1880′s the movement for the 8 hour work day and other worker’s rights, was high lighted by a strike in Chicago during 1886/87 – a long strike of the McCormick Harvesting Machine Company.  The strike was broken when the State used Agent Provocateures to set off a bomb in amongst a crowd of demonstators and police during an out door meeting of strikers – a day after company poice – or “Pinkerton’s” – opened fire on the workers picket line at the plant with live rounds. The events at the out door meeting became known as “The Haymarket Massacre” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haymarket_affair). The device killed seven police officers and at least four demonstrators. Four union organizers, that some believe were just ‘patsies’,  were hung by the neck until dead for the crime, on November 11, 1887. The events set back the movement for workers rights for about 10 years, but eventually the ‘Haymarket Affair’ became the catalist that united a nation wide general strike that ensconced bargaining rights through federal legislation that guaranteed the right to collective bargaining for all who chose to join a union – and by osmosis changed working conditions for the better for all people, as working conditions began to parallel those bargained for in the unionized sector. This workers rights movement was one of the key the foundation stones of the economic agreement between labour and owners that later (after the Second World War) lead to what became known as The Affluent Society – also known as the Middle Class – or in our times, the Consumer Driven Economy [more accurately, the Savings driven economy] (see: “The Affluent Society” 1958 – by J.K. Galbraith –http://books.google.ca/books/about/The_affluent_society.html?id=iLtdAAAAIAAJ) Related Video: “OWS Spring Awakening with the Tax Dodgers!” –http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tPslGojm7Q4 mh...

Medic Materials Required

With the May Day Events quickly approaching the street medics require materials and are asking for donations of the items listed below. If you are able to donate materials on the list please contact: [email protected] Saline (for eyewash and wound care) Sterile guaze (2×2′s or 4×4′s) Nitrile gloves in size medium and large Thank you!...

Banner Drop. #May1TO

Breaking News. Banner Drop. #May1TO: A good day to call-in sick Toronto — As the Austerity budget in Ontario goes to vote, activists from No One Is Illegal – Toronto and Occupy Toronto issued a call for a mass protest and day of action on May Day (May 1), 2012.  A 30 feet x 7 feet banner was dropped off a highway crossing early Tuesday morning, cheekily telling early morning motorists to call-in sick on May Day, when immigrant and worker rights groups and Occupy movements across North America will be marching together against the attacks of the 1%. More photos coming. Though capitalism and corporate greed have infected much of Toronto since the late 19th century, its most virulent form, “Austerity” has only recently turned in to a a pan-damn-emic. “Most Torontonians are sick and could use a day off” explained Lana Goldberg of Occupy Toronto. “People are suffering with Harperitis and have serious headaches from Fordotrophy, which makes it really hard to work and make a living. They should call in sick on May 1st and come to the rally and march.  A nice day in the sun will help.” full article: http://toronto.mediacoop.ca/newsrelease/10624...

Our call for a Toronto wide “sick day” picked up by the press!

Call in sick this May Day (May 1st) and join Occupy Toronto’s May 1st Day of Action! * http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/04/24/may-day-countrywide-sick-day-urged.html http://www.globaltoronto.com/occupy+toronto+calls+for+protests+on+may+1st/6442627629/story.html...

Schedules for May Day – Day of Action!

This year On May 1st, Occupy Toronto is partnering with our allies No One is Illegal Toronto and the May First Movement to organize a massive Day of Action for May Day. Inspired by 126 years of workers’ struggles, the Arab Spring, the Indignados of Spain, the global fights against austerity, and the international Occupy movement, we take to the streets again! On International Workers Day, join us and our allies for a day of action to respect Indigenous sovereignty, insist that no one is illegal, for international workers solidarity, to defend and expand public services, to stop prison expansion and corporate handouts, to end imperialist wars and aggression, to build peoples’ power, and to move beyond capitalism. We are the 99% and we are under attack! They are few, we are many. Join us and fight back! This May Day, we are asking all workers to call in sick as an act of solidarity. The media has picked up our call: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/story/2012/04/24/may-day-countrywide-sick-day-urged.html Then, we are planning a series of actions throughout the day. including a large rally and march starting at Nathan Phillips Square at 4:00pm and finally a 24 hour reoccupation starting at 9:00pm at Alexandra Park, and moving to the secret reoccupation site. We ask that you join us for as many of these actions as you can participate in! Schedule for the Day: All Morning: Sick Day, Autonomous, non violent, Direct Actions across the city (or just go to the park and enjoy the day.) 2:00pm – Occupy Gardens Guerrilla Gardening and Potluck, Queen’s Park (south side.) 4:00pm – Rally at Nathan Phillips Square, then March to Alexandra Park. 6:00pm – Cultural Festival at Alexandra Park. Music, Food, etc… 9:00pm – Gather at Alexandra Park and march to secret reoccupation site! Rally and March: Occupy Toronto, the May 1st Movement and No One is Illegal Toronto, as well as dozens of community organizations are combining for a single large Toronto-wide May Day March. We ask all allied groups and organizations to mobilize your membership and to attend this march! We gather at Nathan Phillips Square for 4:00pm for a rally and then march to Alexandra Park for a Cultural Festival at the park. Festival includes musical performances by various groups, and is primarily organized by OPIRG. Reoccupation: The Occupy Toronto Cloud Gardens General Assembly has organized a 24 hour reoccupation following the cultural festival at Alexandra park. Our goal is to keep the occupation short, strategic, and highly political rather then just camping through the season. This is only the first of a series of occupations planned to take place this spring and summer. Please gather at Alexandra Park at 9:00pm and be ready to march to the secret occupation site. Once again, we ask all allied groups and organizations to support this action. Encourage your membership to come occupy with us, donate food, blankets, tents, and other supplies to our logistics team (e-mail [email protected]) and please be ready to mobilize everyone you know to come to the site and support us if you hear that we are being attacked. We cannot do this without your support. We are all the 99%. Reoccupation Schedule: MAY 1st: 11pm – Sunrise: Film Screenings (with separate area for sleeping) MAY 2nd: 6:30am – 7:00pm Meditation 7:00am – 7:00pm Yoga 8:00am – 10:00am: Breakfast, Art build, Free School Workshops 10:00am – 1:00pm: Protest the Barrick Gold Annual General Meeting @ Metro Toronto Convention Centre (255 Front street) 1:00pm – 5:00pm: Free School Workshops 5:00pm – 7:00pm: General Assembly 7:00pm – 9:00pm: Clean up...

What’s the Web Development team up to? – Landing Page Proposal

Occupy Toronto 30 March 2012 by Michael Holloway   Proposed new ‘Landing Page’ for OccupyToronto:   (Open image in new tab to see full screen view) Web Development Team Proposed OccupyToronto Landing Page   This is an image of a proposed new ‘landing page’ or front page – for www.occupyto.org The Committee icon images are Buttons that take you to the various Committee pages.  Not all the Committees are represented in this markup. The idea is to make the site more inviting – and more intuitive, easier to navigate. What do you think?  Any suggestions? If you want to help the Web Development Committee make this site better, we need you! You don’t have to know any coding – right now we need feedback from peolpe who have thought about their ‘user experience’. How the web site makes you ‘feel’. What’s an inviting web site? What makes a site easy to ‘get into’? What’s the best lay out for OccupyToronto’s web site? What do you want – as far as Forms, News Feeds, Blogs?What are you looking for when you come to OccupyTO.org ? We’re thinking about how to best present the unending flow of info, updates, and schedules. How best to represent the point in time that an action is at? Where in the life time of an idea/action, is that idea/action at right now – from formulation – to networking – to action? What problems have you experienced as far as logging in?  Joining forum discussions? Finding what you’re looking for? Please post any thoughts in comments.   In advance of your great ideas, Thank You very much, Occupy Toronto Web Development Committee [email protected]

POLICE BRUTALITY & ARRESTS AT OCCUPY TO!

Occupy Toronto – Metro Police Brutality @ Osgoode Hall – Friday March 30, 2012 (2-4pm) @OccupyToronto #OccTO #D168 (Day 168) – Today between 2pm-4pm Occupy Toronto was brutally evicted from our the 4-day camp at Osgoode Hall (Provincial Court bldgs). Four occupiers were arrested, with two of them needing to be taken to the hospital by ambulance. Those arrested are: Angela, Alice, Craig, & John Erb. Such unnecessary action by TPS against peaceful & non-violent Occupy Toronto ppl. If you can come to the GA tonight at 7pm in solidarity with those abused and arrested please come to Osgoode Hall....

A time of increasing Intolerance? – On oppression and marginalization

Occupy Toronto 28 March 2012 by Michael Holloway   What Time Is It Now?  Where are we on the path to Equality? My brain maps things.  I like to take stock periodically, measure What Time It Is, in a variety of cultural meme. The progress of the belief in the equality of Women and Men I believe, is reaching a turning point in our culture. Our beliefs about gender equality are foundation stones that underpin a variety of cultural norms – and Law. I think we have made great progress in a generation.  Many boys and men are feminists by nature, rather than as something they have learned, or come to believe through their experience.  I count my self among those who have internalized gender equality.  I have found that I don’t turn to ugly women hating jokes, or make ‘mistakes’ when in the company of only men. The equality of all human beings is a core belief for me. (Unfortunately) the vast majority of men of the so called baby-boomers, the generation of the great cultural transformation, the revolution of the 1960′s – are not that – in my opinion. I come from a very progressive family where gender roles myths were exposed in practice all through my life – a place where the equality of women and men wasn’t a theory, but a day-to-day practice – a fact.  My mother was embarking upon a professional career by the time I was born, my father was self employed and worked from home; he was a house husband.  I and my siblings were helping with household chores from an early age.  I remember having to stand on a chair to assist my sister washing dishes, the stand-up Hoover was hard to push because it was taller than me. As with all things social, the imperative to fit in is very strong.  Many men in the first wave of gender enlightenment understood that women’s equality was a necessary pretense to social acceptance in many of their social circles.  It’s likely the root of where the 1980′s term ‘politically correct’ came from – and from where the idea that you hear even today from conservatives — that young men only join social justice causes and cultural movements (like the counter culture or the hippy lifestyle, self identifiers of the 1960′s) — in order to get ‘laid’ (For those who choose that view, I think the term ‘get laid’, is a euphemism for ‘conquer’, or ‘win’.  The fear of the ‘other’ in them is too strong for them to break the barrier – to allow a sharing, perhaps love.  These generally conservative personalities marry, then explore their sexual-selves outside of a loveless marriage – with-in the safety of a relationship which is a master/slave construct (or to put it more gently, ’free of entanglements’), with a Mistress.) In the late 1990′s a backlash against so called ‘politically correct speak’ began (proliferated with aplomb by the mass media – still full of the boyz), which I believe represented a sexual identity crisis in a significant part of the population – but especially in a large proportion of males. In the 1980′s – in an attempt to find a balance in the law that corrected a gender bias that favoured men in the legal system, specifically in child custody cases – the protections of Habeas Corpus was severely limited for men.  The process and law, had erred so far towards an accommodation of the traditionally oppressed, that men were, in the practice of the law, assumed guilty at the beginning of the process.  To many men that went through the process it seemed that they had to prove they were not men in order to win equal standing. (In a judicial system dominated by men, the imbalance was very quickly corrected.) With the backlash in the late 1980′s, all of a sudden it was OK to talk about the subculture of the male experience again.  But as this was carried forth over the next years – into the next generation – a misunderstanding, a disconnect from the just learned lessons about the inexorable nature of the equality of the sexes with-in this culture was taken on board.  This distrust of the liberal world view from the 80′s and 90′s was championed by personalities in the media such as Rush Limbaugh – and has become an institution populated with reactionaries who’s intolerance is rooted in a wide variety of ignorances.  A subculture of men who were willing to talk honestly and in public about their feelings about women – using barely masked euphemisms to hide their misogyny – began to flourish. With the events of 9/11, and the subsequent militarization of so many aspects of our culture, but especially of the proliferation a ‘boyz club’ view (an ignorant view) of the nature of soldiering aimed at young boys – through especially; the new and improving craft of video gaming; and in the ‘Gangster’ subculture in music propagated by the Black Entertainment Network (BET); and the perponderance of ‘conquer’ based porn avaiable online including, now right up front, rape fantasy videos – this subculture of slightly masked hatred of women has crept into the popular culture.  As this group of conflicted young people (some of whom will become reactionaries) continues to mature into adulthood, this conflict with-in the cultual diorama will intensify. I think we are at a point where sensitive individuals of the gender enlightenment (in all the generations) have begun to feel the sting of this cultural shift – have begun to experience marginalization, oppression. This is not an insignificant portion of the population that is feeling this sting.  It includes enlightened women, men who self identify as feminist, enlightened visable minorities, artists, intellectuals, professionals… . The ninty nine percent if you will. The canary in the coal mine is the oppression of women (and of the verboten feminine-male).  Signals that intolerance has reasserted it’s dominance over tolerance in our culture abound. The more than ever successful attacks on women’s reproductive rights in Red States to the south is especially disconcerting.  The out-and-out murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Florida last month by the citizen patrol member (with no State sanction, apparently), is a glaring case in point. More generally – and more hopefully – this is a time of rising intolerance, but it is happening in conjunction with a broad, newly formed internalization of acceptance.  A revolution thus beckons.  The Age of Aquarius continues… Interesting times.   To me, That’s What Time It Is.   Related Articles at Occupyto.org: 27 March 2012 – “A New General Assembly Monday at Cloud Gardens” – http://occupyto.org/2012/03/1098/ 27 March 2012 – “No country for old men? – ‘New Form’ GA to meet Mondays” – http://occupyto.org/2012/03/no-country-for-old-men/ 22 March 2012 – “Race Matters” – http://occupyto.org/2012/03/race-matters/   mh...

The Con Party

With yesterday’s Provincial Budget going to a vote in April. Let’s look ahead at the Federal level. In the 2008 election, Harper denied Canada was heading into Recession and Flaherty said we’d have Surpluses as far as the eye could see… At the G20 in November 2008; the various leaders agreed to stimulate their economies by 2% of GDP. The Cons tried to pin it on the Liberals or New Democrats but stimulus was agreed to before the prorogation that saved their butts. The proposed budget introduced by the Cons was to have a $36 Billion deficit which actually turned out to be a $56 Billion for 2009-10 Some $34 Billion deficit for 2010-11. This past January they dropped the Corporate Tax rate from 16.5% to 15% which will push $ 6 Billion towards profits financed by over $34 Billion in deficits by all citizens for 2011-12. The Cons now have a majority and were supposed to give income splitting and small personal tax cuts when they balance the budget. Unfortunately, they will be running deficits for another 4 years. So the gullable voters won’t be getting their break unless they vote for the Cons in 2015. Ha ha suckers!...

Rep. Bobby Rush Kicked Off House Floor for Wearing Hoodie in Support of Trayvon Martin

Occupy Toronto 28 March 2012 by Michael Holloway   PBS – “Rep. Rush Kicked Off Floor for Wearing Hoodie in Support of Trayvon Martin” by Linda J. Scott “National protests over the shooting and killing of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin in central Florida last month have swept the nation, and Wednesday, they landed on the House floor. …” Via, Toby Horn at Google+ 9:04 PM 28.03.2012 – https://plus.google.com/u/0/102619949957030382888/posts/JivfkeRY6dZ Originally posted by NPR at Google+ 1:33 PM 28.03.2012 – https://plus.google.com/u/0/106351386231433168228/posts/e55wEHxZqLk   March 22, 2012 – Democracy Now!  – “New Yorkers Call for Justice at Million Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin“.   Via, Democracy Now!  – “New Yorkers Call for Justice at Million Hoodie March for Trayvon Martin” – http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2012/3/22/new_yorkers_call_for_justice_in_million_hoodie_march_for_trayvon_martin PBS – ”Rep. Rush Kicked Off Floor for Wearing Hoodie in Support of Trayvon Martin” – by Linda J. Scott – http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2012/03/bobby-rush-dons-hoodie-on-house-floor-in-support-of-trayvon-martin.html  ...

No country for old men? – ‘New Form’ GA to meet Mondays

Occupy Toronto 27 March 2012 by Michael Holloway   Tonight the OccupyToronto General Assembly had an important session. A ‘Safety’ theme seems to have galvanized a rather large group with-in OccupyToronto – and they proposed a new set of norms for Occupy Toronto General Assembly meetings with an accent on respect for the oppressed and maginalized with in the general culture of OccupyToronto – who when hands were counted – ALL – felt that at one time of another they had felt oppressed or marginalized.  But this group feels that way, even amongst our numbers. I was there to listen.  I didn’t say a word.  I ‘twinkle fingers’ many times – for speakers on both and any side of the discussion when they made points I thought were good ones. At a straw poll at the end of the meeting I voted FOR this different form of GA. I didn’t think I was going to do that before I got to the meeting, I changed my mind during the coarse of the meeting. I had no hard belief either way. I was worried that this might be the beginnings of a split in OccupyToronto.  I couldn’t let myself not attend this meeting and not be a part of this.  If it looked like OccupyToronto was going to split on an issue of process, I would have made a plea for unity. But I was really heartened. I think this new form of GA is an experiment, and at least 2 speakers (that I thought we neutral), used that word. In any case 2 GA’s in Toronto isn’t the end of the world – the idea is after all, to have GA’s meeting in every neighbourhood in every country in the world by the time we win.   I will attend the ‘new form GA’ and the ‘old form’ GA’s – and I encourage everyone interested in a better Occupy to do the same. Still an OccupyToronto GA – the ‘New Form’ GA will be held on Mondays. (see the OTO Calender for place and time).   Monday 26 March 2012 #OTO GA minutes –  by Sakura Saunders – posted at my WordPress blog: http://printmediablog.wordpress.com/2012/03/27/26032012-occupytoronto-ga-minutes/   Update: Tuesday 27 March 2012: ‘lois laine‘ has posted the Proposal in it’s entirety in a related article here at Occupyto.org, “A New General Assembly Monday at Cloud Gardens” – http://occupyto.org/2012/03/1098/     mh...

A New General Assembly Monday at Cloud Gardens

Last night, Monday March 26, 2012, a proposal was brought to the General Assembly. The proposal addressed some Occupier’s need for a safe space and desire to use a 90% consensus model. While the proposal did not call for the general assembly to change its structure and decision making policy every night, the proposal invited everyone to attend a new Occupy Toronto General Assembly on Monday nights at Cloud Gardens. This GA will run with a safe space policy at its foundation. While the proposal goes into some depth regarding the structure of the General Assembly, like all general assemblies, this is an organic meeting that will change with the group. However, the key feature is that a safe space is non-negotiable. Although the proposal was blocked by some, Monday’s General Assembly will nonetheless run in an attempt to create a safe space to organize in. This is a chance to try to be more inclusive and to welcome Occupiers new and old into a different kind of space. This General Assembly is not attempting to replace the current GA or trying to exclude those with different views, but rather to try a new forum and structure for discussion that may be more inclusive. The Monday GA at Cloud Gardens would differ from the current GA as it would run with a safe-space policy and a new model for decision making.  This is a way to try to be more inclusive in considering the diversity of opinions and approaches within Occupy Toronto. For more information please read the proposal posted below and the minutes posted online. There are a lot of great things coming this spring for Occupy Toronto. I look forward to continuing to better this world with all of you. We look forward to seeing you on Monday at Cloud Gardens located on Richmond Street just east of Bay Street. The Proposal: For further information, questions or concerns, please email [email protected] Dear Friends and Allies, We have had many struggles and we have come a long way but there is concern among us that because of our current process we have failed to reach our full potential. As we all know, now is a time of local, national and global crisis. We must move forward in a way that enables us to take action. There are many who feel that our process has prioritized the will of the individual over the will of the group. As a result, many have left Occupy or have not joined us because they feel unsafe and excluded in our spaces and community. Concerns over these issues have been discussed by individuals and groups since the first day of occupation. Because we are committed to establishing a safe and effective organizing environment, there will be a weekly GA held at 7pm in Cloud Gardens as of Monday, April 2nd. This GA will begin with a focus on organizing for the May 1st rally and actions including a reoccupation. In addition, we will begin to explore language around decolonization to supplement the Occupy meme in order to address serious concerns regarding its associations. Our aim is to make this GA a cooperative partnership with the current GA. PROPOSAL: We propose that this GA be included as one of the four decision-making GAs currently running. This would mean that all three other decision-making GAs throughout the week would remain unchanged. The new style would only apply to the Monday GAs. For further information, questions or concerns, please email [email protected] This General Assembly will meet once per week on Monday evenings at 7pm in Cloud Gardens and will run according to the following principles/characteristics: 1. Consensus building process and 90% Decision making structure* 2. All participants abide by a safe space agreement** 3. If participants’ behaviour breaks the safe space agreement they will not be allowed to participate*** 4. The GA will be facilitated by trained volunteer facilitators **** 5. Proposals will be submitted at least 24 hours in advance***** *Decision making structure 1. Proposal is presented 2. Facilitator calls for an initial check for agreement 3. Discussion: questions should be addressed first, then amendments should be proposed 4. Check for 90% consensus, if achieved check for blocks – blocks should be raised and amendments proposed to address them 5. Re-check for 90% consensus, if 90% consensus is achieved the proposal is passed, if not it is tabled to a working group. (If the proposal is passed the facilitator should take a few minutes to re-state and or clarify the next steps, bottom liners and responsibilities to move the proposal forward.) **Safe Space Agreement Occupy Toronto’s Safe space policy is based in our commitment to a safe, healthy, positive and productive environment in which to organize. In order to make changes in the world at large we acknowledge that our working environment must both actively seek to be in accordance with the world we want to create as well as commit to not further perpetuating the problems we have identified. Through this agreement, we aim to build our capacities to ally with each other and our communities in struggle. As Occupy Toronto participants we are committed to creating spaces in which all participants have: – The responsibility to work toward an equal space free from verbal, physical, mental and emotional violence – The freedom to work in an equal space free from verbal, physical, mental and emotional violence – The recognition and acknowledgment of systemic inequality and injustice – The freedom to associate and work with others in a productive and mutually respectful way – The freedom to organize events and campaigns – The freedom from language and behaviours which compromise safety and/or well-being of the individual and/or group – *Please note: A more detailed and extensive safe-space/anti-oppression/inclusivity/pro-equity policy is currently in the works. Anyone who wants to be involved in the creation of this policy please email [email protected] For further information, questions or concerns, please email [email protected] ***Process if safe space is violated In order to ensure this space is maintained the following process will be implemented should a participant’s behaviour violate the agreement: 1. The mobile facilitator / stack taker will address you to help you follow the process in a way that meets the process’ goals 2. If the disruption continues a marshal will step in to allow the meeting to continue 3. Person will be asked to leave by the Marshals with the support of the group. (It is the responsibility of the group to protect itself and its members not the sole responsibility of the marshals) If the behaviour is severe or becomes a pattern of behaviour a participant may be asked to leave the night’s GA, GA’s in the future, or the GA as a forum. The process of addressing participants who break the safe space agreement will be escalated to the next stage only if the participant cannot or is unwilling to change their behaviour. ****Facilitators and Facilitation The facilitators of the GA will be volunteers who have done facilitation training. They will be responsible for; collecting proposals; putting proposals onto the agenda; setting the agenda of the GA; facilitating the process of the GA itself; ensuring minutes are kept and made accessible; ensuring good communication with (at least) the next GA’s scheduled facilitators to pass on any relevant information. If the facilitation committee feels that a submitted proposal is not ready to be presented in its current form they will contact the person who submitted the proposal and work with them to get the proposal ready to be presented. The facilitation committee will make a strong effort to ensure that there is diverse representation within the volunteers (facilitators, note-takers, minute-takers) at each GA. Progressive stack will be used at the GA. This means that marginalized, under-represented and unheard voices will be pushed forward on the speakers list. *Please note* Some form of free facilitation training will be arranged as soon as possible in order to make facilitation open to anyone. For further information, questions or concerns, please email oc[email protected] *****Proposals Proposals should be submitted at least 24 hours in advance either by e-mail to [email protected] OR on paper in the locked box at the GSU OR on paper to a Facilitation Committee meeting. Proposals will be collected by the scheduled facilitators so that they can build the GA agenda. Proposal submissions should include the following information: – Who will be presenting the proposal? – Who are the bottom-liners? (i.e. the person who is taking responsibility for carrying out whatever is being proposed). Proposals that don’t have at least 1 bottom-liner will not be presented. The bottom-liner can change at any time. – Contact information for bottom-liner – If the proposal is coming out of a working group or committee, which one? – Date proposal is submitted – Date proposal should be presented – Date when what you are proposing will be implemented (i.e. start or take place) – A clear description of what you are proposing – What are the anticipated results of what you are proposing? (e.g. action being proposed: a rally; anticipated results: raise awareness and show solidarity) – Any money needed that you will be asking the GA for – A preliminary list of tasks that need to be done and roles that need to be filled (e.g. event put on the calendar and/or facebook event created, Marshalls, Facilitators, Police liaison, Livestream, other media, wheat pasting etc.). This can change at any time. (*please note* The facilitation team will not be responsible for delegating these tasks or filling these roles. The purpose of giving them this information is so that when you present your proposal at the GA they will briefly mention what is needed and help you connect with people who may be able to assist) Structure of the General Assembly (G.A.): – Introduction of volunteer facilitators (minimum of two at each G.A.) – Acknowledge that we are on occupied land. – Introduction of G.A Guidelines and Safety Guidelines – Introduction of hand signals – Introduction of volunteer Stack-Taker, Minutes Taker and Time Keeper. – Committee Updates – Announcements – Tabled Proposals: Proposals that were tabled (i.e. put on hold) at the previous G.A. – New Proposals – Open speakers list (time permitting) Please note: Part of the GA circle will be a livestream-free section for individuals who do not want their faces shown or their voices recorded. For further information, questions or concerns, please email [email protected] Hand Signals: 1. Agree/Support – Twinkle Fingers upward– this shows you that you support what is being said 2. Disagree/Don’t Support – Twinkle down or Arms over your head (going inside your little house) – this indicates you don’t agree. 3. Speaker’s List – Raising a hand or approaching the stack taker – this shows that you want to be added to the list of speakers to say something about the current topic. 4. Direct Response – Both hands doing point of information going back and forth between the speaker and yourself – This means you want to respond directly to what is being said and you are requesting the facilitator to allow a short back and forth with the aim of resolving the matter at hand so that the conversation can move on to the next topic. 5. Question of Clarification – Raising a “C” – This is used to ask the current speaker a short and direct question because you don’t understand what they are saying or feel a piece of necessary information is missing. Clarifications should be 15 seconds or less and are not used to present new ideas. 6. Point of Information – Raising an “I” with two fingers – This is used to answer a question or correct inaccurate information. 7. Stand Aside – Arms in circle over head – This is used only when deciding on proposals and means that you do not support the proposal but are standing aside to allow others to move forward with the action. 8. Block – Arms in an “X” – This is used when you fundamentally disagree with what is being proposed. It means that the disagreement is so strong the blocker will leave the group if the proposal moves forward. The block should be used in extremely sparingly. Facilitators will call for any blocks after 90% consensus has been reached on a proposal and it is about to pass. This is the only time when a block may be used. The blocker will then be given an opportunity to make their case as to why the proposal should not pass. The facilitator will then check for consensus again and the GA will have a chance to make their final vote taking into account the blockers argument. Signals to help collective facilitation: There are two hand signals that we use to allow us to make facilitation more collective 1. Point of Process – Letter P – This means that you think we are not observing our process and you want to get us back on track 2. Time Limit – Arm Rolling – This reminds a speaker that they have used the standard two minute allotment and they should wrap up in the interest of respecting everyone’s time and allowing more voices to be heard. **PLEASE NOTE** While we have a starting structure, just like at the current GA, this GA will be formed by the organic process. Any desired changes to the structure of this GA including decision making rules, facilitation and safe-spaces can be submitted as proposals to facilitation and they will be presented and discussed at the Monday GAs....

Race Matters

I read in the NOW today  about a forum with filmmaker Ali Kazimi commemorating the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at 7pm at the Centre for Social Innovation at 215 Spadina Avenue. Arrived a bit late but caught the power point presentation and learned about his book launch; that will be at  the Gladstone Hotel at some future date. The audience was more North Asian, South Asian, Caribbean & a few European descended.  The Question  & Answer time was good and some comments seemed very personalized! Chatted with a few people over finger food and drinks. I felt it was different than in the Camp because there seemed to be more of a focus on aboriginal issues OR the lack of black people as a call out; when we in the park. Not to mention the contentious discussions on anti-oppression…...

If Corporations are People…

Occupy Toronto 21 March 2012 by Michael Holloway   URL for this cartoon at BoingBoing – http://boingboing.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/1077cbCOMIC-news-romney-corporation.jpg     “Tom the Dancing Bug” is written by Ruben Bolling – and can be read at BoingBoing, as well at many other fine publications on the net. BoingBoing “Tom the Dancing Bug” Archives – http://boingboing.net/tag/tom-the-dancing-bug Follow Ruben Bolling  on Twitter – https://twitter.com/#!/rubenbolling   mh...

What’s NYC-GA up to this Month?

Occupy Toronto 19 March 2012 by Michael Holloway   All month long in March the New York City General Assembly (NYC-GA) is doing actions as part of the 6 month anniversary of the occupation of Liberty Square on September 17, 2011. This one has a great story line… Occupiers set up living room in Bank of America lobby Via Youtube Channel – “OccupyTVNY” – http://www.youtube.com/user/OccupyTVNY/videos   NYC General Assembly – Events:   http://www.nycga.net/events/ OccupyToronto – Calendar:  http://occupyto.org/calendar/   mh...

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