Present were Barbara, Betty, Christine, Christopher, Ed, Eric, Jerry, Jim, Kevin, Mike, Nicholas, Patsy, Sean, and Susan. Susan moved us through a packed agenda.
Christopher, Susan and Barbara commented on the statewide gathering in Augusta January 28 to discuss the Occupy movement and strategies going forward. There were 135 people present from around the state, with a very energetic feel. The meeting was not designed to make decisions or come to conclusions, but was thought-provoking for all.
Bowdoin student Phui Yi Kong has been very involved with the Occupation in Portland and would like to work with us. She can offer a workshop on “theater of the oppressed” and street theater. Those who attended the Bowdoin forum are not yet on our email list but will be added soon. The names this message is sent to is our most complete list so far.
Jerry recapped the last meeting, January 21, primarily on the subject of our February 12 public meeting. The proposed agenda:
4:00 – 4:30 set-up, settle in, refreshments
4:30 – 4 :45 Opening remarks and group directions & timing
4:45 – 5:30 Small group breakout and discussions
5:30 – 6:15 Small Groups report out; record suggestions and conclusions
6:15 – 7:00 Open questions /comments, closing comments
Discussion centered around the format and logistical questions. We’ll have to be very efficient in setting up, because another group has reserved the room until 4 p.m. So all are asked to come prepared to help set up tables and chairs.
Christine, Stephanie, Karen and Nick are coordinating refreshments, but encourage all who can to bring something to eat or drink to add to the table. Patsy and Nick offered crock pots to keep food warm if needed. Christine will bring paper goods.
Ed has sent announcements to the Times Record, Coastal Journal, and Forecaster.
People will be assigned to small groups by different colored post-its on their chairs. Barbara and Jerry will bring them.
The “welcome table” will be staffed by Susan and will offer information about us, name tags (Ed), and various handouts: how to move money from Bank of America, article from The Nation (Jerry), Gary‘s letter to the editor and long opinion piece from the Times Record, copies of the various flyers we have distributed, “Declaration of the 99%”.Barbara will get more 99% buttons through Gulf of Maine Books. Jerry brought information about the “tiny tents” project. Anita and Barbara will make some. Jerry will devise a form for new contacts that will allow them to sign up for different levels of contact with us: basic information, events, articles, and broad discussion messages.
Several people volunteered to facilitate small groups: Ed, Sean, Nick, Mike, Barbara; those who were not present at this meeting can certainly volunteer; this list will be firmed up at our Feb. 11 meeting. Our goal is to have 1 or 2 of our active members in each small group. Jerry will bring pads of paper and pens for the small groups. Anita will bring 2 large boards for the final session and Jerry will bring markers.
As for the tone of the meeting, there were several comments about keeping it a conversation, not a debate. If we are to learn what other people are interested in we should speak less and listen more, and especially refrain from dominating discussion or allowing others to do so.
Mike will make a large poster about what Occupy has already accomplished. Chris will bring a laptop in case someone wants to check websites.
At the next meeting we will decide who will make opening remarks, and concluding comments.