Minutes, DAWG Meeting, Nov 22 2011

Facilitator: Andy
Sandy presents proposal for strategy session:  upsparkles/twinkles
Sandy – overview: DA is a hub, resource-sharing for groups doing different actions. DA was created on day 2 of OWS, mandated to plan actions on behalf of OWS. Our structure allows us to work on things together, but also work on smaller things on our own.

Idea from 11/20 to have a large debrief and analysis – identify SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats), moving into next steps with a shared understanding of goals and priorities, where we’re going. Thinking long-term, 3 months – 6 months ahead.

Break-out Groups – 10 minutes.


What do you want the next 3-6 months to FEEL like?

– (one group had no consensus on this)

-seeds fertilizing the soil of the impossible with opportunity

-solid space and community

-real change through expanding empowerment, solidarity and self-love

-empowering popular uprising building momentum towards revolution





-sustainable and long-term

Who do we want to reach?

 the amazing ppl organizing already and join them

 ambivalent, those looking for a place in the movement

-passive allies, particularly those most adversely affected by the system

-the oppressed

-ready allies and comms most affected by income inequality

-all disempowered communities and marginalized voices throughout the city

-working class, working ppl

-mainstream, esp. marginalized communities

-those who want to reach in to us

-the whole 99% globally

What do we want to demonstrate?

-the world we want to see thru escalation of resistance

-not going anywhere


-the radical power of a family with a shared vision


-OWS is a viable alternative

-not going anywhere


– demonstrate confidence and creativity

-we are strategic

Back into break-out groups, SWOT analysis, identify strategies and goals based on SWOT. Match all quadrants – we will use this discussion to think about actions coming up. Come back with 3 strategies.

Suggested Strategies

Group 1:

– ward off threat of electoral co-optation by demo-ing commitment to DA

-create moral high ground, use bodies to challenge unjust laws

Group 2:

-use more community-based relationship bldg. as base for action ie. Alternate militant actions with fun/inclusive actions – different levels of participation

-use opportunity of winter, slow-down to discover new tactics, develop new narrative around basic needs

-coordinated repression necessitates coordinated response – inter-occupation

Group 3:

-invest in small targeted symbolic actions ie daily march; defending homes; ability to amass huge mobilizations ie. New Years Eve– cops will be distracted in Times Sq; building our image in media; creative actions ie. Paintball

-defend: our public image from bank smear campaign, Fox News; mentality of mob rule in mass actions; 99% vigil with candlelights

-invest more in social media; develop better sense of overall discipline; develop culture of training

Group 4:

-no consensus on particular strategies. A few ideas:

-opportunities: squatting,

-invest in: ppl who are currently or have been in threat of foreclosure; our ppl – esp those that don’t have places to go

-defend our ppl against police brutality; turn ppl on the streets into an opportunity, bring them on board to look at housing justice

Group 5:

-supporting other occupies w/ ppl and $$ – create more national communiation

-diversity- acknowledge our history

-fight for our space

Group 6:

-occupy SOMETHING ie. Vacant bldg., the Fed

-specified action ie. Sleep-in or lie-down in Zuccotti (someone was arrested today for lying down)

-formally thanking unions, churches that have supported us (letter-writing session?) forge relationships, solidarity

Group 7:

-occupying foreclosed spaces. Avoid confrontation w/ cops – make it visual, educational

-small scale and consistent actions, repeated day after day

-better coordination and communication in future actions

-actions should have a clear moral cause and objective – this should be visually clear, evident without need for explanation

Group 8:

-make sure physical occupations moving forward is either symbolic or provides a service

-more actions in boroughs, lend them media attention,

-make sure ppl focus on the messages, vision, not police brutality

Group 9:

-pursuing occupation of private space as well as public – challenge public/private distinction

-provide service ie. Boycott action

-more focused jail solidarity, ensure messaging and communication is allowed to flower



-occupying physical space should be symbolic, provide service

-Information sharing

-dealing with co-optation – understanding we will be asked to participate in fighting for legislations and in presidential campaign

-holding moral high ground – messaging. Esp re police brutality

-outreach through action in different communities

Action Announcements (5 minutes) to plan for break-out groups

*think about how our strategies will feed into these actions: how does the action further our vision? how does the action fit into the OWS narrative? What types of resources are needed?

1) PS 109 in East Harlem is being turned into luxury housing and artist housing. Call to protect the space, public education.  Contact: Gwen Goodwin 646-469-3933 gwe2000@aol.comwww.saveps109.com – next meeting (when?) will have cake

2) Occupy NYC Housing Court. Ppl being evicted every day

3) Dec 12, Oakland, SF, Portland, West Coast shut-down. Largest Occupy-wide action to date! Shut down the ports! We will try to org in solidarity, shut down commerce. Meet next Tuesday, sign up to get involved

4) Friday, Buy-nothing day: push empty shopping carts through the aisles of a big-box store.  Alex – Friday, local gift economy. Need help setting up, putting up the banner, 6 more ppl day of,

5) Mobile Free Store for Buy-nothing Day

6) Friday: Don’t Occupy Walmart – teach-in at Valley Walmart in Nassau County

7) Massive Lie-down/ “Lay-in”: one action and a larger defense campaign. Zuccotti Park is super-important, symbolic heart of our movement. Go in, be silent, need a contact with legal. Meet 60 Wall tomorrow, 1 pm.

8) Green Bus Road Trip for skill-sharing (esp. ppl with connections to other groups outside DA)

9) Paper-bombing

10) Nov 30th – Conference of Defense Contractors shut it down! Next mtg is Sunday 7 pm – affinity group spokes council. Super important action for vision and goals of OWS b/c War Profiteers are the top 1% of the 1% – CEOs make more money than the CEOs of biggest banks, spend more money corrupting Congress, purpose of the conference is to re-assure contractors that despite budget cuts, their funding is safe (ie. Cuts will affect the 99% instead)

11) Dec 4 – Louise Nevelson promoting healthcare

12) Friday– march to the Egyptian Consulate to protest violence against Egyptian ppl. marching every day. Contact tahmina_mahrzad@yahoo.com

13) Dec 6 – National Day of Action against foreclosed homes – block party: alternative real estate, house-warming party, marching tour of different properties

14) Monday at 4 Baruch College – support students

15) Dec 1st World Aids Day

16) Millionaires’ Tax – something ridiculously radical

17) Proposal for developing a framework and broad strategy for occupying spaces elsewhere

18) Public Education – planning to occupy panel for Educational Policy

19) Macy’s Day Parade action – non-arrestable

20) Friday, protest against industry manufacturing tear gas used in Egypt

21) Thanksgiving in Zuccotti Park

22) Nov. 27th Musical presentation of OWS principles of solidarity. Highline Ballroom, 2 pm. Kanene can RSVP you and get you in free. Otherwise it’s $12.00

Andy and Austin are helping connect DA groups with PR and Media

Next meetings: Tomorrow 2-4; Friday 2-4; Sunday 2-6. Sunday we will be work-shopping the officially-endorsed OWS actions. If you are a point person for one of these actions, you need to be there.

Anthony: statement on solidarity with police – written by Sparrow and many people from POC Caucus

-proposal: that DA explicitly endorse statement that police are not our allies

-background: discussion of solidarity action with police, march for pensions

Friendly amendment: Police are paramilitary arm of the 1%, as Bloomberg himself stated, and is represented in such actions as the $4 million contribution recently made by J.P. Morgan, which is spent on pepper spray that is used to attack peaceful citizens.

FA: draw connection between police repression worldwide (ie. Egypt) and here, squashing constitutional rights.

Friendly amend: that we lead the statement with previous amendments.

FA: OWS has never had a police liaison. Response: but this is complicated because we’ve used police liaison for certain DAs (this is supposed to be not an ally but rather a tactical person seeing what’s happening on the police’s side)

Friendly amendments will be brought back to DA tomorrow.


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