General Assembly Guidelines

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General Assembly Guidelines

Post by Evey on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:05 am

General Assembly Process

The General Assembly is a gathering of people from all walks of life who gather to discuss issues important to them and to make decisions that benefit everyone. All decisions on how to coordinate efforts are decided by the group. Group decisions versus individual decisions regarding the movement allow us to keep the movement leaderless and also allow a platform for everyone to speak.

The General Assembly breaks up into work groups who further discuss particular issues related to the movement. Each workgroup nominates its own facilitator to speak for that particular group. After discussing a particular topic, all the groups gather to the main General Assembly to discuss in a concise manner their issues.

In the General Assembly, facilitators of the meeting create a stack so that everyone has a chance to voice their opinion about a particular issue. The purpose of the stack not only creates a process for speaking but it also allows for those who may not be able to voice opinions get a chance to voice their opinion first.

For more information, please visit: ocxKsw to see how the originators of the General Assembly describe it to see a hierarchy of the NYC General Assembly.

Workgroups and Facilitation

There are a lot of issues to people want to bring to the table and in order to keep the group focused, the General Assembly breaks up into workgroups in order to discuss these various issues. Each group has a facilitator that will bring proposals before the group for further discussions and possibly adding amendments. The core workgroups that are key to the success of the movement include:

Media/internet workgroup
Legal workgroup
Social/Outreach workgroup
Medical workgroup
Tactical/logistics workgroup
Arts and culture

These help to support the group, additional workgroups can be created. These groups should act as a base to start the movement. Workgroups can also of course be created for specific topics. For example if the group wants to talk about a law they would like to see repealed, they can then break off into a group and discuss those issues then bring information they discussed to the General Assembly for further discussion. You can see some of the groups that have been setup thus far:

Useful hints to effective facilitation:

Use the group to reaffirm facilitatory decisions in letting others speak
Call out disruptive behavior to the group
Avoid using role authority to push personal opinions in agenda
If passionate about agenda topic recuse self from facilitator role to participate
Help assembly stay on topic
Include possible assembly ground-rules like:
Listen to each other
Avoid repeating the same point
If someone is being completely, horrendously disruptive, turn your back to them
If someone goes off topic, a possible interjection may be “Thank you for that, but we are talking about <this> right now. So, let’s try to stay on topic.”


Understanding the Process

The People’s Mic – in certain situations you may not be able to use a megaphone to get your message out, in those situations; the People’s Mic is of great use. Within a group of people, the person speaking will break down his message into 3-5 words and the people around them will repeat it so that everyone can hear. If too many words are spoken at one time, then the message may get lost. In order to use the People’s mic, just yell out “Mic check” to get the groups attention that you want to speak.

Stack – During a General Assembly those who want to speak are put on a stack or list. Those placed on the stack are not necessarily called to speak in the order in which they are listed on the stack. The purpose of this is to allow for people whose voices may not be heard to speak first.

Proposals – As the General Assembly is gathered, as a group we discuss what the best process is for solving a problem. For example, if it is proposed that we create an evacuation route in case security of the people there may be compromised, people can make proposals in order to deal with a variety of issues that affect the process of the General Assembly.

Friendly Amendments – When proposals are made, adjustments to the proposals or aggregations to that proposal are called Friendly Amendments. Those that want to make an amendment are placed on stack.

Unfriendly Amendments – if there are people who disagree to a proposed amendment or want to change something, those are called Unfriendly Amendments. These types of amendments are made after friendly amendments or at a later time in order to keep the meeting going. Issues can be handled and revised with the workgroups and then proposed again at the next General Assembly.

Signals and Gestures – communication is always important and ensuring that those attending the General Assembly are comfortable and have the ability to communicate their ideas. Signals and gestures are used to help get a general consensus ranging from how people feel to voting on proposals. They can be used during demonstrations as well to alert people of situations. The type of signals and gestures you use can be based on sign language (as they use in NY at OWS) or whatever works out best for the group.

Posts : 46
Join date : 2011-10-02

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Re: General Assembly Guidelines

Post by CJefferson on Tue Oct 04, 2011 11:38 am

This is really helpful in understanding the process! Thanks for the info!


Posts : 12
Join date : 2011-10-03

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