Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Occupy Richmond First Organizational Meeting

Part 1/2 - First Organizational Meeting of Occupy Richmond - Oct. 6, 2011 - Richmond, Virginia from Silver Persinger.

Occupy Richmond held its first organization meeting on Thursday, October 6 at 5:30 PM in Monroe Park in Richmond, Virginia. There were approximately 250 individuals there. -SP

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You can get involved. facebook.com/​occupyrichmond

Below is the report from occupyrichmondva.org as it appeared on 10-08-2011 3:42 PM.
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General Assembly, 5:30–Sundown,
Monroe Park, VCU, 10/6
Posted on October 7, 2011

At 5:30 p.m. on 10/6/11, OccupyRichmond met up for its first General Assembly in Monroe Park. A couple hundred very passionate, very excited people gathered in the center of the park to discuss the movement and logistics of future activities. After a brief introduction to such GA communication tools as hand signals and the People’s Mic, the assembly broke into smaller groups to discuss the proposed dates and locations for the actual Occupation.

Not every moment went as smoothly as we hoped, but we got off to a good start. Breaking into smaller groups in order to come to a modified consensus proved very effective. These sub-groups allowed people to discuss the date of the future event, as well as some of the more personal reasons for why they showed up.

On a basis of modified consensus (90% in favor), OccupyRichmond settled on the date of October 15 to hold the first main event. One concern for this day was that there was already another protest (for womens’ health rights) scheduled at Monroe Park on this same day. OccupyRichmond decided to support this protest by convening in Monroe Park from 1-3. At 4:00, another General Assembly will be held to reach modified consensus of our occupation location and move toward that location.

By 6:45, it was getting dark, and we realized that we would need to wrap things up since technically, the park closes at sunset. It was announced that the group could move to the VCU compass (located between the Hibbs dining hall and Cabell Library) to continue further discourse. About 50+ people showed up to further the discussion. All in all, the entire evening’s events proved that Richmond is excited about this movement and willing to put their shoulders together for this brave new experiment in community solidarity.


Part 2/2 - First Organizational Meeting of Occupy Richmond - Oct. 6, 2011 - Richmond, Virginia from Silver Persinger on Vimeo.

After it got too dark for the meeting to continue in Monroe Park (the public park closes at sunset), about 80 people interested in continuing the discussion met at the VCU Compass located between Hibbs Hall and the VCU Library.
A wide range of topics was discussed.

Continue the discussion by leaving a comment.

You can get involved. facebook.com/​occupyrichmond

Below is the report from occupyrichmondva.org as it appeared on 10-07-2011 9:23 PM.

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General Assembly, 10/6
Posted on October 7, 2011

(EDIT (Friday, 7:00pm) 50+ people met at The Compass on VCU Campus shortly following the General Assembly meeting to continue community discourse regarding the Occupy Richmond movement. This gathering did not make any decisions on behalf of the community, but through modified consensus, proposes the following “agreements and tools” as a starting point to work from in future Assembly structure. Again, this is NOT an official stance of the Occupy Richmond movement but rather an offer of some starting points that must be ratified, in General Assembly, through modified consensus, before their official adoption by The Movement. Please make revisions and suggestions, post them here in the comments (we will have a forum operational in the next few days… contact us at “occupyrichmond@gmail.com” if you can help with this!), discuss amongst other organizers, and perhaps evolve it into a format to propose at the General Assembly on October 15th in Monroe Park. This a collective movement, and the only way to reflect the opinions of all is for all to voice their opinions/concerns/ideas. -Josh)


After dark, on 10/6/2011, the Occupy Richmond community continued conversation at the VCU compass directly after the 5:30 meeting at Monroe Park. Out of this discussion, the community arrived at consensus on the following, very general points of identity and in regards to tools we find effective for the facilitation of respectful and effective communication and decision making in a large group.

We offer up these agreements and tools to future, hopefully larger gatherings of the General Assembly for continued discussion, knowing that as the Assembly and community grows, these Agreements and Tools may change and be added to.

Identity Agreements

1) We stand in solidarity with the occupy movement, on Wall Street, around the country and around the world.

2) We are together.

3) We are nonviolent, in action, word and in our relationships.

4) We are the 99%.

Tools We Use

1) We gather in General Assembly to make decisions.

2) We make decisions by modified consensus (90%).

3) We utilize a “stack” to queue speakers. We respect the speaker and the stack.

4) When in General Assembly, we find it productive for the group to sit while the speaker stands.

5) We use the people’s mic and hand gestures to communicate effectively, without amplification, in groups.


General Assembly | The Occupy Richmond Community, gathered for the purpose of group discussion, collective decision making, and solidarity.

Stack | the queue of people who would like to speak to the group, either on a new subject, or in response to a previous point. The stack on the evening of 10/6 formed as a standing line of people

People’s Mic | A tool used to spread a speaker’s words across a crowd without artificial amplification. The speaker yells “mic check” at which point the Assembly responds “mic check!” The speaker then begins to speak in units of about 4-8 words, then pauses briefly, at which point the Assembly repeats together what the speaker said. This ensures everyone in the Assembly both hears (audibly) and listens (processes) the speaker’s words and ideas.

Hand Gestures | The Assembly uses a number of hand gestures to signal agreement, disagreement, the desire to respond directly, etc. Hopefully, clear demonstrations of these hand gestures will be posted soon.

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