Monday, October 17, 2011

It Happened in New Haven

I'm putting up this video of New Haven's October 15 March and First (Full) General Assembly as a resource for future reference. I hope that people who are thinking about facilitating a General Assembly or are merely curious about how a General Assembly which follows the blueprint of the New York City General Assembly works.

The GA begins at about 56:00. To get ready for it, the crowd does the Revolution Chant that is very popular in New York. "Get up, get down. There's Revolution in this town," and they do it as enthusiastically and rhythmically as I've ever seen or heard it done.

Pretty good for Yalies.

OccupyNewHaven is camped at the Upper Green -- with the support of the city -- indefinitely.

Watch live streaming video from occupynewhaven at

If you stick with the video, you'll see that they use the People's Mic very effectively (there is a good deal of wind interference with the audio, so be prepared not to be able to hear everything. I'm told that a piece of tape or even a bandaid over the laptop microphone will cut wind interference) they have to deal with disruption, and not everything moves smoothly. They've never done it in New Haven -- though I don't doubt some of the Work Group members and other speakers were active in New York before setting up in New Haven. They get confused, and take some wrong turns, but they are able to get back on track relatively easily, partly because there is always someone there who has the knowledge necessary to point the Assembly in the right direction.

Other things to pay attention to: They're having a great time. Part of the reason to use the People's Mic is to keep the Assembly actively engaged in what is going on. It's a form of participation that has a remarkably positive effect on the General Assemblies that use it (more and more of them all the time). The speakers are prepared. The Assembly functions without the need for Robert's Rules of Order. They only had one proposal; it was handled immediately and was approved without a vote. They instead heard questions, asked whether there were any blocks or other concerns, then asked for a "temperature check" -- essentially a preliminary non-binding vote. They received near unanimous approval in the "temperature check" and there were no blocks or opposition. Therefore, no actual vote was necessary. Consensus had been achieved.

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