Direct Action long-term planning meeting notes, 11/16

Notes from Direct Action Long Term Planning Meeting Part 2

  • Details for Thursday’s General Assembly
    • Go over plan of action:
      • Gather at Burnside Park at 5PM to finish making signs, review plan of action
      • Gather and march to City Hall at 6PM
      • Hang banner over City Hall door- “Open to the 99%” or “The People’s Hall”- hang a banner behind the facilitators that says “This is What Democracy Looks Like” 
      • Gather inside City Hall for a 30-45 minute, tight, carefully planned General Assembly
      • General Assembly:
        • Song/chant (JARED)
        • Introduction to Occupy Providence and the Occupy movement, read Occupy’s mission statement (WILL AND ??)
        • Abridged orientation (ANNIE ROSE and ASHLEY)
        • Quick/pre-planned report backs from major working groups
        • Symbolic working group proposal (have one of the City Councilers propose that we endorse the resolution in support of Occupy? Proposal to attend city council meeting?)
        • Announcements
        • End with a song/chant (JARED)
      • Wrap up GA, move to City Council chambers to show support for Council resolution
      • As we enter chambers, announce our presence with a short mic check (“We are occupy providence. Thank the city councilmen for your support, ask you to stand for free speech and stand with the 99%.)
      • Remain through the introduction, hold up signs and applaud as its introduced
    • Roles and responsibilities:
      • Bottomliner/MC at the park: SUSAN AND ??
      • GA Facilitators
      • Direct Action report back:
      • Marshals: OI, KURT, RACHEL
      • Cop contacts:
      • Press contacts:
      • Videographer/photographer
      • Chanter (in chamber): BECCA
      • Hang banners, pass out signs
  • Review notes from last planning session
    • See attached
  • Issues and targets/wrongdoers- our priorities
    • We used stickers on butcher paper to mark which issues and individuals/institutions we wanted to focus on for direct action,
    • We discussed in pairs and then as a large group. Themes included:
    • Issues:
      • Housing, homelessness, foreclosure
      • War on Drugs
      • War, occupation, empire
      • Policing, courts, prison industrial complex
      • Education
    • Wrongdoers, individuals and institutions we want to target
      • The 1% in Rhode Island (ex. Brown, Textron, GTECH, etc.)
      • Big Banks
      • Police, prisons
      • Local and state government
  • Actions
    • We considered our priorities and the list of possible actions we brainstormed during the last planning meeting, and discussed what was missing, what issues and targets were not addressed, and filled in the list of possible actions
    • We then got into small groups and each focused on one action we’d like to see happen in the near future.
    • Actions:
      • Education not Incarceration
        • Rent yellow school buses (decorated with signs) and take them to various stops to highlight different aspects of the “school to prison pipeline
        • Start at a closed down school, hear about underfunding/privatization of public education from the Coalition to Defend Public Education and youth/student groups
        • Go to police station, hear about racial profiling and police abuse from racial profiling coalition, Cop Watch, other groups
        • Go to the prison, connect education and the prison system, hear from the Behind the Walls Committee at Direct Action for Rights and Equality
        • Targets: Mayor Taveras, police, prison system
        • Demands: money for schools/no more corporate charters, pass the racial profiling bill
        • Coalition includes: DARE, Racial Profiling Committee, Youth 4 Change Alliance, Coalition to Defend Public Education, Cop Watch, others
      • Marijuana policy
        • Have a “Marijuana for Sale” banner, with literature/stations explaining: Chaffee’s inaction on compassion centers and the negative impacts of drug prohibition (versus legalization/regulation)
      • Housing, homelessness, foreclosure
        • December 10th at the statehouse- massive housing justice action
        • Have marches begin at multiple locations throughout the city- ex. foreclosed home, winter homeless shelter, corner where a homeless person passed away, bank- that converge downtown
        • Converge and march to the statehouse, camp out overnight
        • Have community events, food, and literature/education on housing justice
      • Squatting
        • Begin conversations about squatting, occupying new indoor locations


  • Looking back at the meeting
    • Good meeting
    • Feeling inspired
    • Fun
    • Good agenda
    • Focused but also creative
  • Looking forward to next steps:
    • Action, do stuff, follow through
    • Talk about winter
    • Have more action planning meetings, fewer more intense meetings rather than daily check in meetings
    • Continue coalition building
    • Keep our focus


  • Next action planning meeting: TUESDAY AT 8PM
  • Upcoming actions:
    • Thursday, November 17th: 6PM GA in City Hall, 7PM City Council Meeting
    • Saturday, November 19th at 1:30PM: Textron Action
    • Sunday, November 20th at 2:30PM: DARE action against foreclosure and in support of Just Cause legislation
    • Monday, November 28th: World AIDS Day Action
    • Saturday, December 10th- Homelessness/Housing action

2 thoughts on “Direct Action long-term planning meeting notes, 11/16

  1. you guys rock. I loved the baked beans and picknicking with you while discussing our government’s failure to educate our children, our brothers and sisters…it was so uplifting to meet people who care to make a difference, one person, one school at a time if need be. looking forward to that. thank you and GB the Unitarian Congression! I will go to the next service to hear you sing too.

  2. I took some direct action with my own creative protest recently. I think you guys will enjoy it. Maybe you could tweet it or FB it to your members; they certainly deserve a good laugh at BofA’s expense.

    I called my credit card’s customer service line to do some negotiating. Having a bit of leverage, I thought it presented a great opportunity to mess with them a little and make a few points about the unfairness of the credit card lending system. I made video of the call and posted it on my blog and Youtube. It is quite funny even if you are pro-megabank. Since it’s a protest at home, I called it my kitchen counterstrike against Bank of America.

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