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Forum Post: Been to a GA? Spoken at a GA? Looking for thoughts/concerns.

Posted 12 years ago on Dec. 27, 2011, 1:37 p.m. EST by hchc (3297) from Tampa, FL
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

Now this wont apply to most of you, because Im assuming most here havent attended one, much less a bunch.

To those that have, what ya thinkin?



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[-] 1 points by DKAtoday (33802) from Coon Rapids, MN 12 years ago

Get it viral !

This is why we are here this is why you are needed.


Share, circulate, educate, inspire.

[-] 1 points by RedJazz43 (2757) 12 years ago

I've been to many GAs at several different occupations and a couple where there was not yet an occupation (though a central theme of GAs where there is not yet an occupation is a drive to organize one).

I've occasionally spoken at GAs and for the most part I have found them to be as open to a diversity of view points as any deliberative body. I've generally spoken for or against proposals that have been put before a GA by someone else and so far, at least, I have not yet offered any proposals of my own, though I have suggested revisions and amendments to proposals presented by others.

I have to say that while I am fully supportive of OWS, I am somewhat skeptical of the decision making processes of the GA. This is not so much a matter of personal experience as it is a gut feeling. The general principle of direct democracy I think is a good idea because it presupposes that we are all responsible for ourselves and that we shouldn't defer to others, including elected politicians, to make decisions for us.

I also think it is important that OWS recognizes that traditional parliamentary procedures are not carved in granite and were not handed down to Moses along with the 10 Commandments. They are a human invention of human beings and therefore subject to all the shortcomings of human beings and a legitimate subject of evaluation, reflection and revision. That said, it is also the case that the consensus model that GAs are using is also a human invention of human beings and as such subject to all the shortcomings that human beings bring to any human endeavor.

While some OWS activists disagree with my, on participating and observing GAs, I suspect that there might be an optimum size for a GA, above which it ceases to genuinely promote democratic decision making. Other OWS activists have argued that there is no theoretical upward limit for a GA.

One of the more problematic aspects of consensus decision making for me is the absence of any space for an organized minority position. One either consents to a position or opposes it on very fundamental moral or ethical grounds or as a matter of principle, There are, of course, many decisions made that I am not necessarily happy with, but which also do not fall within the notion of being so reprehensible that I would leave the movement if they were passed and there is simply no space in the kind of consensus decision making that GAs employ, for that kind of minority thinking on an organized basis.

That said, and overall, I support OWS whole heartedly. I support the notion of occupying not just as a tactic but as a central defining element of OWS and essential to it being an incipient culture of opposition. I also support the idea of GAs and I would like to see a GA in every community, in every school, in every nursing home and hospital, in every military barracks, in every prison, and especially in every work place, despite the fact that I do have some "issues" regarding the decision making processes of most GAs I have been to,

I also believe that no one who has not been to at least one GA or occupation can really speak with any authority about OWS as the OWS experience is fundamentally different than anything that can be communicated on the internet. I think that nearly everyone can be part of or help to form a GA which is close enough to them geographically so that they can participate on a fairly regular basis. For that very tiny proportion of the population that is essentially homebound, I think perhaps an issues based internet GA might be the way to go,

[-] 1 points by bill1102inf2 (357) 12 years ago

I watched http://documentarystorm.com/inside-job/ and learned why I am not rich. Because I am not a bankster/fraudster/low life scumbag who does not work.

[-] 1 points by Rico (3027) 12 years ago

I can only pass on the comments of someone I was speaking to who has been actively watching the GAs. He reports that 3 people control all access to OWS funds and that 2 of those 3 ( Victoria Sobel and Pete Dutro ) have filed for a trademark on the OWS name. See the post at http://www.themultitude.org/forum/viewtopic.php?p=4392#p4392 .