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Re-Imagining the GA
Text of an immodest proposal
The General Assemblies that existed during the occupation of the Plaza presented any number of challenges.
Many participants became frustrated by what they consider to be an unfair process for ratifying proposals; some even feel that the GAs are not safe spaces. Some resent that their proposals were not able to convince the required numbers to be passed. Many consider this process to be undemocratic. We agree; where we differ is that we do not equate fairness with democracy. We do not believe in majority rule - or indeed any kind of rule. While near (or modified) consensus is certainly not perfect, the non-negotiable requirement of having transparent discussions of proposals is not among the problems.
We agree that the GA needs to be reworked. We offer the radical proposal of removing all decision-making authority from it. We believe that the GA can function best as a location for speak-outs: an information clearinghouse and a location for announcing and discussing the various projects of the autonomous subcommittees and individuals involved in Occupy, a forum for consciously extraparliamentary discussions about what it means to reclaim (allegedly) public space. In keeping with one of the primary defining decisions of Occupy Oakland, we further propose that all subcommittees continue to exercise their autonomy by making their own decisions outside of the GA, that those decisions hold to the principle of refusing to make demands, and that decisions of all subcommittees be respected as fully legitimate by all individuals and groups that operate under the banner of Occupy Oakland.
Oakland, June 16
Antibloc2012 [at] gmail.com