Principles of Process
General Assembly Procedures
Hand Signals
GA Schedule

Working with other groups
Connect with other communities
Doris Ravenfeather Action

Principles of Process

1. The General Assembly is a gathering of people committed to making decisions based upon a democratic voting system. The General Assembly includes all members of the world community who are included in the 99% and attend any scheduled General Assembly meeting. The right to bring forth proposals and vote on same, is extended equally to all.

2. There is no single leader or governing body of the General Assembly – everyone’s voice is equal. Anyone is free to propose an idea or express an opinion as part of the General Assembly.

3. Each proposal follows the same basic format – an individual shares what is being proposed, why it is being proposed, and how it can be carried out.

4. After discussion, the proposal will come to a vote. If the proposal is passed by a simple majority of the assembly, then (unless blocked) it is accepted and direct action begins.

5. If the proposal is blocked, the format for voting procedures (documented in the text for General Assembly Procedures, item 5c) will be followed.

6. All decisions are made by the General Assembly, at announced regular meeting times.

7. Proposals will be published (via official Occupy Wichita online resources or written statements passed out to all people at the GA) at least 18 hours in advance of the date upon which they will be voted, and the voting date will be included in the published notice.

8. No decisions that affect or represent the whole assembly are made by working groups. Working Groups develop proposals to bring to the assembly and the Working Groups coordinate the work.

9. We will use a "stacking" system to facilitate discussion. No one may speak at the General Assembly unless (s)he has been added to the stack and it is her/his turn to speak. Stacking for Workgroup announcements and proposals will occur just prior to the beginning of the GA. Stacking for discussions will occur at the beginning of each discussion period. At the beginning of the discussion period, raise your hand until the Stack Keeper has indicated that you have been added to the stack. Stacking for general announcements will occur just prior to the general announcements section of the meeting. At the beginning of the general announcements period, raise your hand until the Stack Keeper has indicated that you have been added to the stack.

10. Assembly time is precious. Before you speak, think 3 times, "Does this really help the assembly make a better decision?" During the discussion, please do NOT repeat a point that someone else has already made, wait for your turn to speak, and when you are finished, keep your peace. Each discussion point should be limited to 2 minutes.

11. Facilitators make space and move the process. Facilitators NEVER present content or represent someone else's thoughts. The assembly is responsible for keeping the facilitators in line.

12. The assembly is responsible for signaling to the facilitator. If the assembly doesn't signal, the facilitators do not have anything to facilitate.

General Assembly Procedures

1.  The GA facilitator position will be a rotating position, so that no person facilitates two GAs in a row.  The facilitator may be appointed by a facilitator's workgroup (preferred), or agreed upon by GA participants prior to the the beginning of the GA.

2.  The GA will have someone appointed to take notes prior to convening, and these notes will be published by the note taker via internet within 18 hours of the meeting.

3.  The GA will have someone appointed to keep stack prior to convening.

4.  Those wishing to be STACKED for presentation of announcements or proposals should come forward to the stack keeper to be added to the stack prior to the beginning of the meeting if possible.

5.  The order of events at GA will be:

A)  The facilitator will call the meeting to order, and assure that all participants understand the "Principles of Process" and the hand signals.

B)  Working Group announcements, with STACKED discussion after each announcement.

C)  Active proposals will be presented.  Each proposal will be followed by STACKED discussion, then the proposal will be restated and a vote will be taken.  If a proposal is passed by a simple majority, it may be blocked (see hand signals) ONLY on the grounds that the proposal is against the foundational principles of the Occupy movement.  The blocker(s) will be asked to explain the reason for the block, then a STACKED discussion will ensue, followed by another vote which must result in a 4/5 majority to pass the proposal.

D)  Upcoming proposals will be ANNOUNCED during either of the announcement periods, and published (handed out in written form, if applicable).  This is for information only, and will include no discussion or vote.

E)  General announcements.  These will be announcements by GA participants of items that directly apply to the Occupy movement, and are for informational purposes only.  No discussion will ensue, but points of information may be addressed.

F)  Facilitator will adjourn the meeting.


Hand Signals

The following hand signals will be used during all General Assembly meetings so that the Facilitator will be able to more easily direct the assembly.

1. Twinkling*: Hands in the air, with fingers pointing up and wiggling.
Means: I like this! I support what this person is saying! I agree!

2. De-Twinkling*: Hands in the air with fingers pointed down and wiggling.
Means: I don't like this! I disagree!

3. Direct Response: One index finger raised in the air.
Means: I have a correction, a fact, or a clarifying question. Do not use this to state a different idea or to argue values or to make a counter- proposal.

4. Ears: Hand to ear
Means: I can't hear what's being said!

5. Wrap it up: Hands in front of body circling each other (wagon wheel).
Means: This is taking too much time. I get your point, please finish.

6. Point of Process: Triangle formed from touching index fingers and thumbs together.
Means: Process is not being followed (see "Points of Process").

7. Off Topic: A "T" formed with one hand held vertical and the other hand horizontal on top.
Means: The speaker is off topic. Please return to the topic at hand.

8. Block: Fisted hands held in front of the body, crossing to form an "X."
Means: I believe the vote we have just taken is against the foundational principles of why we're here.

9. During a vote, please vote by raising only one hand. Votes will be counted "in favor of" the proposal, then "opposed to" the proposal. Total votes will be recorded in the minutes of the meeting.

* Twinkling and de-twinkling may be used for "temperature checks" to test a general feeling toward an idea. These are the only signals that may be directed toward a speaker. It is the responsibility of the assembly to direct all other hand signals to the FACILITATOR, not to the speaker. It is the role of the facilitators to see these signals from the General Assembly and call on them.

GA Schedule

GA is moving back outside and will now take place at Chester Louis Park.

1.  Noon Monday for those who work night or are free.

2.  6 pm Wednesday for those who work day jobs or are free.

3.  Noon Saturday followed by sign holding or action.

Working with other Groups

When work with other groups, we are still Occupy. This means we follow our principles and we remain Occupy when working with other groups. It is no longer acceptable for anyone to put us in a box and dictate what we can do and what our role is. We will discuss the situation and try to be flexible, but we decide what we will do. This is not the role of any outside group. This applies to all future actions with any groups that we work with.

 

Connecting with other Communities

We need to connect with the Latino and Black communities to pursue common cause issues. This is best done by forming a working group and actively seeking alliances with these communities.

Doris Ravenfeather Action

Court Continued Again for Doris Ravenfeather!

We will hold GA on the grounds of City Hall to bring attention to Doris's situation, the actions of the WPD and Wichita's malfunctioning justice system with too many cops and too little justice. We will continue to hold Monday GA indefinitely at this location.