Statement regarding the General Fund

The Accounting Working group has had a long discussion about consensus and responsibility over several weeks.  We have decided we are currently unable to recognize the ability of the group meeting on Saturday evenings at Liberty Plaza to access the General Fund and make spending decisions for our community. Other GAs have popped up across NYC over the months, but we have not yet seen a community meeting which has the buy-in of a wide range of the OWS community. Thus, we are unable to acknowledge the spending decisions of this group.

Although this Saturday group refers to itself as a General Assembly, they have not met consistently. Indeed, only three weeks ago two members of Accounting came to Liberty Park to be part of discussions and found that there would be no meeting at all. Minutes have been posted to twice as of this post. While this group may develop into a decision making body, its just not there yet in composition or reliability.

This Saturday evening group is, of course, free to organize actions and fundraise for that purpose on their own.

A large segment of our community have vehemently opposed a GA with spending power, and spoken with their feet.  Many have not agreed to return to the GA model and are working through other structures, even as this means they can not access the General Fund.  Additionally, this GA has failed to address underlying issues which caused the GA system to disintegrate in the spring, and has not grown out of that experience.

Given the clear direction from the former NYCGA when it was functioning that we are an action focused community, legal defense in the face of intense police repression is the only expense we feel able to support at this time. Should the Bail Fund be depleted, we would feel comfortable supplementing it with the General Fund but only because of the clear direction of the former NYCGA.

In summary, we do not feel we can ethically take money from the general fund without a clear, community wide decision making body, for any type of expense other than legal defense, regardless of what we personally would like to support. For example, when we set the movement’s financial records to our fiscal sponsor, one of our members paid the shipping out of her own pocket. We look forward to participating in any community-wide meetings that may occur in the future- as we have attempted to do in the recent past- and hope that the community understands the delicate position we are in.

18,290 thoughts on “Statement regarding the General Fund

    • I am glad to see that you have woken up and can now smell the pepper spray. Welcome to reality. (And I say this sincerely.)

  1. Regardless of whether I agree with the decision, I don’t agree that the accounting group is authorized to make such decisions. The group seems to be operating outside of its mandate and abusing its power.

    • This group has been operating without authority for well over a year. No one outside of their exclusive inner circle has ever seen complete banking records. OWS has taken the claims of this group as fact when, in fact, we have no idea what hundreds of thousands of dollars has been spent on.

    • 24 million cant find ftliulme job , 50 million can’t see doctor when sick, 47 million on welfare for food 15 million going backwards in debt.Population of Iraq est 30,500,000Population of Afghanistan est 30,000,000Wonder why the people are angry?Don’t get me wrong, everyone deserves help, just not everyone needs American democracy (war) if thats what they still call it.

  2. I’m sympathetic to your situation.
    My position is anti-GA (may it remain dead for eternity) but pro-spending the money ethically – and soon. #S17, in general, via ARF would have made sense, and would be consistent with our history. You might also take some risks and do more.
    By keeping the money out of reach until some valid group emerges, you are taking a pro-GA position. Give it up; there may never be one again, which is fine. Spend it down anyway. I’d rather you burn it than keep it in limbo.

  3. That sounds like a hard decision to make. I think that there are real questions about what could constitute a quorum or broad enough assembly of OWS these days to make any binding decisions for the rest of us, financial or otherwise. I am personally familiar with a semi-formal boycott of the current GA because of abusive language and sometimes extensively incoherent content, though there are also some very dedicated, genuine, awesome organizers who have stayed the course down there. I hope that this money issue is not an excuse to divide but rather to organize a clearer path to somewhere we can all be working more closely together. Love Henry

  4. Semi Formal Boycott? Wow Guess people were not imagining an intentional media black out by the non-consensus based Occupy Affinty Groups in control of #OWS Social Media assets.

    It is interesting the first wave of people empowered by Occupy are the first to formalize their weird political views at the expense of others.

    Hope to see you all on #S15 for an important #NYCGA at Liberty Plaza:

    Happy Occupy Folks & hope to see you at the park or at #TrinitySleeps soon!

  5. So the 98% at occupy are still allowing the 1% corruption, theft of donors money. If you cant fix it at home, how do you expect to stop it in OWS how do you expect to change the Govt or Corps

  6. So who is stopping the theft and corruption inside OWS of Donor’s money? If you cant do it in OWS, how do you expect to do it in the Corp’s Govt. I guess Ravi, Sean, Christine, and Direct Action still stealing money. How sad. They must be Republicans

    • Enjoy Italy, Cynthia, and stop accusing people without facts. I don’t touch OWS money, and never have.

      … And we’re nonpartisan. I know Republicans in Occupy. I’m sure they’d be thrilled to know you consider it an insult.

  7. I told you so. The Accounting WG that refused to show the OWS banking records is now the self-appointed 1% if the OWS movement. Is anyone surprised?

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