Category Archives: Process

Meeting tomorrow!

Y’all, we’ve a working group meeting tomorrow, Sunday, April 29. It’s the last chance we have to get ourselves settled before May Day, so everyone please show up.

6pm by the Gandhi statue in Union Square.

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Filed under Announcements, Jaime, Process

Community Agreements

Hey library peeps, spring is upon us and I’m interested in finally nailing down a community agreement within our working group. We’ve danced around this for months now and I think we should finally be finished with it and agree on laying out our expectations of each other and what acceptable behavior in our working group looks like. Below is a copy of the agreement that recently passed Spokes Council. I think it’s a good template for us to work with.  As Scales recommended awhile ago, I’m posting this on the blog so that we can discuss and hammer it out transparently, not just behind the veil of email.

-Betsy

STATEMENT OF INTENTION UPON ENTERING THE SPACE
(in multiple languages)

I enter this space with an open mind, heart, and attitude.

I ask for and respect the consent, boundaries, and needs of those around me.

I support the empowerment of each person in order to subvert the histories and structures of oppression that marginalize and divide us.

I hold myself accountable to community decisions and will work for, care for, and defend our community.

If I violate community agreements, or act in a way that harms the community, I will remove myself from this physical space.

COMMUNITY AGREEMENTS
(a living document)

  • We amplify each other’s voices.
  • We commit to making spaces physically accessible to all.
  • We do not use drugs or alcohol inside this space.
  • We do not bring weapons inside this space.
  • We use all tents communally on a rotating schedule.
  • We accept only in-kind donations.
  • We get explicit consent before interacting physically or using others’ belongings.
  • We affirm that consent is not just the absence of a “no,” but the presence of a “yes.”
  • We will call the police or an ambulance in a serious situation only after careful consideration in discussion with any person harmed as it can put individuals and the community at risk.
  •  We respect everyone’s names, preferred gender pronouns, and expressed identities. We make no assumptions about someone’s race, gender or class identity based on their appearance.  We also understand that no one is required to share information about their identities.
  • We speak only for ourselves and commit to hearing each other and creating opportunities for all voices to be heard, especially those that have historically been marginalized or silenced.
  • We commit to ongoing awareness of our prejudices, privileges, and the structures of oppression that affect our personal experiences.

COMMITMENT TO CONFLICT RESOLUTION AND ACCOUNTABILITY

We accept a shared responsibility in holding one another accountable to these agreements. If we feel that an agreement is not being respected we will express that concern without violence, judgment or assumption of intent by others. As a community, we commit to developing creative and transformative ways to address harm. In all cases where someone is harmed, we affirm the experience and decisions of the person harmed in guiding our responses and next steps, while allowing all parties involved to transform the cycles of abuse and violence.

If an individual disrespects community agreements we will collectively implement the 6-step de-escalation process, which may result in an individual being removed from the space.  We will work to coordinate with organizations that assist individuals who are overcoming addiction or who have committed abuse or violence.

Those who have committed harm in this space or who have been called out for harm in the past and whose presence limits the participation of others in this movement may need to leave until the harm has been addressed.

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Filed under Betsy, Process, Spokes Council, Working Group Meeting

19 February 2012 Meeting Minutes

Library working group meeting minutes

19 February 2012
60 Wall Street Atrium, 6 pm

Present: Antonia, Josh, Germ, Dee, Dylan, Charlie, Darah, Frances, Betsy, Danny, Mark, Jaime, James

Facilitation: going rogue: this meeting is freestyle

Introductions

Agenda:

Illuminator: description– debut in the park Friday 3/3. who wants to step up for this? maybe Danny maybe Charlie. Q: will we get arrested? A: Betsy will find out about arrestability & reportback.

Tucson: 7 books banned. details of our action. operation book bomb w/Occupy Tucson. we’re having a book donation drive town square 2/26 sunday in tompkins square park—spanish language books. books on mexican history, latino culture. we’re hoping to have teach-ins: Mexican history/culture. now looking for folks to do teach ins. 11-5 pm. it might rain. bring tarps and bags. need help with collecting and transporting books.

2nd event: Thursday march 1st 176st and Broadway 4157 Broadway at WordUP. with Chris Hedges. I know folks have beef with Chris Hedges right now. If you’d like to have a word with him, please come to our event on the 1st.

Donated books are coming into SIS. pls leave them in the boxes and don’t tag them.

Q: how are we getting books to Tucson? A: as cheap & green as possible. libro traficante hasn’t gotten back yet. they’re driving from TX. our goal is the collecting the books & having teach-ins. the situation in AZ is really grave right now. stories coming out every day abt kids coming home & illegal immigrant parents being deported…solidarity w/AZ. how this is racist bullshit. please help on Sunday.

We need to load books from SIS Friday or Saturday depending on when they’re open. empty bins and tarps. Frances will find out when they’re open & report back. POI: Gina lives nearby—maybe set up there.

Richard Delgado is sending a bunch of books—his and a bunch of others. Molly’s drawing a new flyer and a stamp. Don’t stamp Tucson books, we’re gifting them.

Q: what about bookmarks for the books? A: great idea. Catherine sent an email. we’ll get back to her.

Any leads on wheels for Scales? talk to bike coalition. talk to mandolin.

F29 major action: Occupy Portland call to boycott ALEC– legislation that attacks unions. American Legislative Exc alecexposed.com 50 occupations involved. will target alec members in their cities: BofA, Pfizer, Koch brothers. all right on 42nd nr bryant park. Koch bros farther north. occ town sq is doing 26th, on 29th we’re asking all working groups not just DA but OWS—set up in Bryant Park

Q: what abt ice rink etc? A: 9 am start on stairs. gathering place for OWS as a whole. marches will start from there. however, any march doing high risk activities will not come back to pop-up occ. they’ll meet farther away so it doesn’t affect. an occupation to gather, start marches from. F29 9am. wrap up around mid-afternoon. teach ins, fun actions: plus brigade, bike coalition.

Corner libraries w/Colin. who has spaces they can work with. what’s worked & hasn’t. if anybody’s got a good spot, let’s talk. different tactics in different neighborhoods.

Chicago: move-in starting May 1st eventhough we’re doing things here as well. G8/NATO! Jaime will be there 18-21st probably. 2 purposes: librarians from other occupations will get face-time w/each other. also organizing: count yr people and form affinity grps. form them ahead of time, start talking in March—circulation and reference. Radical reference & other radical grps. arrestability levels. who can go & who wants to go. Occupy Chicago library has indoor space. FYI: it’s going to be a fucking mess. know that. high security. if you’re zero arrest—don’t go.

Carmine Street space: Un-oppressive non-imperialist bargain books. Charlie reports back—our library satellite branch should be up and running in the next 2 weeks. it’s getting cleaner.

Revolution Books is excited about us, has books to donate. They’re glad we still exist.

World Book Night— Danny heard about this on glisten (lib sch listserv—can we get on it?). Betsy’s trying to see if we can get free books even though the deadline has passed.

Q: who’s got a library that’s still standing. Nashville still has a camp. DC. Raleigh’s getting raided. general discussion ensues.

end of meeting

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Filed under Meeting Minutes, Process, Working Group Meeting

the occupy wall street review

The Fiddler and a banjo beginner play old union songs in the night. And somewhere amidst the Beautiful Chaos of the Occupation comes whispers of what we are doing: “OCCUPY these areas [that we may] carry on [our]festive purposes for quite awhile in relative peace.”

this is a bootstrap operation

It was on October 9th, 2011, that the Temporary Autonomous Zone by Hakim Bey was entered into the People’s Library database on Librarything, making it the first cataloged volume.
It wasn’t too long after that when a few of us huddled under shapeless  structures- makeshift and different everyday, like the rules imposed upon us by the men in dimly lit rooms- listening to the rain on the tarpaulin, discussing the T.A.Z., wondering just how ‘temporary’ our autonomous zone was.

the T.A.Z. must be capable of defense; but both the ‘strike’ and ‘defense’ should, if possible, evade the violence of the state which is no longer a meaningful voice.

the sound cannon, truncheons in gloved hands, the cleaning of pepper from the eyes of my friends, Orwellian visions.

often one returns to Liberty Plaza: vacant; lighted holiday trees; library space sans tombs; police-tape demarcating an unknown crime; strange encounters with uniformed men in mustaches.

there are waves nostalgia of course, but the sentimentalism dissipates, though never entirely; it lingers a safe distance away–never impeding future action– and allows me to somehow safely hold our encampment of guerilla ontologists in unforgettable synaptic locations.

“Why?”  I heard a woman say today, as I rounded the corner to a crowd of hundreds, a march and Solidarity Act, for those immigrated to this country.

must we wait until the entire world is freed of political control before even one of us can claim to know freedom?

the rain fell on tarps that night in october, we huddled and laughed, the Fiddler played from his bivouac, from somewhere under the sky we knew our Zone was temporary, we knew these as processes, and not merely results.

there are those that cling to the space–what we call Liberty Plaza.

But the TAZ liberates an area (of land, of time, of imagination) and then dissolves itself to reform elsewhere, before the state can crush it.

as soon as it is named (represented) (mediated) it must vanish, it will vanish, leaving behind it an empty husk, only to spring up again somewhere else…

follow the seasons

hibernate

educate

[text in bold from the Temporary Autonomous Zone– Anti-copyright, but still… used with permission]

the following precursory text of the OCCUPY WALL STREET REVIEW was made available at the request of Peter Lamborn Wilson for the occupiers on the day of action, D17.

visit

www.theowsreview.org

to read

OWS Act Two

from the author of

the Temporary Autonomous Zone

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Filed under #N17, 11/15 Eviction, Announcements, Art, Digital Archive, Direct Action, Ephemera, Literature, Media, Music, Poetry, Process, Sean, Solidarity

So, That Happened..

It seems to be the phrase of the Occupation, and especially apt in the past week or so.

There was the Law & Order set thing.  In case you missed it, dear readers, Law and Order: SVU built a fake occupy camp in Foley Square last week, as a set for an episode.  It had tents, a kitchen, a library, police presence, all that stuff.  Of course, the real occupiers found it, and, late on Thursday night, occupied it.  I ask you — did they think we wouldn’t?  You can find info on twitter and elsewhere about it under the hash tag #mockupy.  Mother Jones has a short article on it, with video featuring some of the real librarians from the People’s Library.

A while back we instituted an infrequently-used hand signal at library meetings to go with all the up-sparkling, down-sparkling, points of process, and so forth: the clarifying mustache.  You take the curved pointer finger part of the clarifying question signal and put it over your upper lip.  It means that things have gotten completely ridiculous, and we all need to take a Dada break.  With the mockupation, the universe seems to have gotten on board with it, no?

In amongst the absurdity is the former location of the People’s Library in Zuccotti Park.  In the first few days after the eviction last month, the people’s librarians were persistent in reopening the library.  Over and over and over again.  We were some of the first folks back in the park that morning — until we were kicked out again — and we’ve since had as much presence as the NYPD and Brookfield security dudes will allow on any given day.  Recently that hasn’t been much.

A couple weeks ago the security dudes put up some red cloth “Danger!” tape between the trees in the northeast corner of the park, blocking off the benches where the Library used to be.  The official reason was to protect the brand new ornamental cabbages that Brookfield had planted in the garden area above the benches.  Cabbages that they had to tear out the existing bushes to plant, let me add.  If you think that sounds completely ridiculous, take a moment to make the clarifying mustache signal with me.

After we spent some time scratching our heads, and occasionally disregarding the red tape — it was, after all, blocking off a good portion of the seating in the park — the absurdity increased.  We got this:

See, among us persistent librarians, there’s one particularly persistent librarian.  For the terrible crime of bringing books into the park he’s been bum rushed by a score of cops and nearly arrested, had some of the books confiscated, and, now, been banned from the park.  The above document is the result of the confiscation.  After those five very dangerous books were taken — we are told that one may not put books on the bench, because it prevents people from sitting there — the police delivered this kind note to the park.  Not to the Library or to a librarian, but just to the park, asking that it be passed along to Library.  Now, I know that’s more or less how it work here on the movement side of things, but I’m pretty sure the cops’ rules require them to be a little more diligent than that.

Since then, the red tape blocking off the former location of the People’s Library has been replaced by authentic yellow “Crime Scene Do Not Cross” cop tape.  (Someone should confiscate that, it’s preventing me from sitting on the bench.)  Do you have that clarifying mustache ready?  Because I know we joke a bunch about how the City has been making books illegal, but someone obviously lacks in the irony department; how else to explain the utter tone-deafness of this whole thing?

Anyway, for once the NYPL has taken good care of our confiscated stuff.  Which means we’ll surely be making the trip up to 1 Police Plaza to reclaim it shortly.  I hope you’ll join us.

In the mean time, at least the current Christmas light overkill on all the trees in Zuccotti throws off enough glow to read by?

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Filed under Cops, Direct Action, Jaime, Literature, Process

Your Local People’s Library Branch

Would you like to open a People’s Library branch in your neighborhood? WNYC’s Brian Leher Show and The New York World are collaborating on a map of all the Privately-Owned Public Spaces (POP) in New York. Zucotti Park (Liberty Plaza), for example, is a POP.

One of the amazing things about the Occupy movement is how the model is open source and free. You can take what we’re doing at OWS and set it up wherever you are. That also applies to the People’s Library model. What we’ve built here is a set of practices that can be deployed wherever you are. So, if you’d like to open a branch of the People’s Library in your New York neighborhood, find a POP, bring down some books and meet your neighbors. It all starts with a few books in a box.

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Filed under Michael, OccupyLibraries, POP, Privatization, Process

11/6/11 Meeting Minutes

November 6, 2011, 6 pm, People’s Library

Jaime=facilitator, Charlie=stack tacker, Betsy=minutes

present: Jaime, Bill, Charlie, Michelle, Stephen B., Megan, Betsy, Hristo, Frances, Hamaz (sorry if I missed anybody)

Setting the Agenda

  • ALA conference in January

Jaime & Betsy: Who’s going and who wants to go, details. Betsy was invited by the ALA Conference Planning Manager to present at this year’s Midwinter conference. Betsy negotiated w/ALA to pay airfare & hotel for more of us to attend & present collaboratively. Betsy, Mandy and Zach are all scheduled to attend. We want to talk about who else wants to go, how to pay for it and to co-ordinate flight & hotel information so we can go together if possible. The conference is in Dallas from Jan 20-24, 2012. Our panel is scheduled for 8:30-9:30 am on Saturday Jan. 21st. I’ll email the group my flight details & hope Mandy & Zach can do the same. We decided to table this issue to discuss later because a lot of people were missing from the meeting.

  • library-specific safety training
  • spokes council orientation report-back

Frances: Monday night’s spokes council meeting at Murry Bergtraum High School 411 PEARL STREET (Just East of City Hall) at 7:30PM will determine whether groups are operational groups or movement groups. We discussed the differences between the two and worked on filling out the form we need to submit tomorrow at spokes council. Basically, operational groups handle day-to-day operations within the park and are different from movement groups which address/represent concerns that are movement-wide. We consensed (is that really a word?) that we are an operational group. It is essential that our space exists within the park, we serve a vital function & take up space in a way that is very similar to comfort or kitchen. We provide a safe, welcoming open space within the park. Being a caucus with other groups (like info or media) doesn’t mean that we lose power, it’s just a change in position within the spokes council. We agreed that becoming an operational group is the way to go & if that’s not possible for some reason, we would like to be an independent caucus. We occupy a lot of park real estate & have a lot of stuff. The library serves as a support to other caucuses.

  • announcements

Hristo proposed we all get matching tattoos. Tabled for later discussion.

Bill reports that he was approached recently by someone offering the library office space. That person should be contacting us soon via email. We discussed and agreed that it would be nice to have a place to get some work done out of the cold as long as it’s within walking distance. SIS doesn’t really want us in their space anymore, even for cataloging.

Michelle: the Melville marathon reading is coming up Thursday at 3 pm at 60 Wall street. Let’s promote it. She’s going to make fliers.

Hamaz: there’s a Jazz club in Brooklyn at the Senior Citizens center that’s got a lot of civil rights activists involved. 966 Fulton Friday night. He proposes a field trip. C train to Clinton-Washington

Stephen B: the poetry anthology is now being printed, bound and sold at cost. It will be $10 plus shipping & handling and will be printed as ordered. It will be available in the library in the next couple of days. He would like help with setting up a link to a paypal account on the website. Also, he’s been invited to speak/read on Sirius satellite radio the night before Thanksgiving and would like people to send him 1 line of gratitude: what you’re thankful for to his email address so he can read it out on the show. stephenjboyer AT gmail DOT com

Frances: is making a library guide in google docs and would like everyone’s input. It will be a basic guide for people who are new to the library for our practices and ways they can help when they arrive. Please add ideas. Also, Frances will be occupying the Magic Kingdom for the next week.

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Filed under Betsy, Meeting Minutes, Michael, Process, Working Group Meeting