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News :: Organizing : Politics
Final General Assembly Before Occupation Begins
29 Sep 2011
Modified: 30 Sep 2011
On Thursday evening Occupy Boston held its last general assembly before Friday's occupation of Dewey Square. Conducted indoors at Encuentro Cinco in Chinatown, the meeting was mostly devoted to finalizing logistics details.
After a brief explanation of the hand signals used in consensus-based meetings working groups reported on their activities and presented questions to the main assembly that were too important to be decided by a smaller group.

Medical: There will be a fully-staffed medic station throughout the occupation. They have some first aid kits, but more supplies would be appreciated. A member of this group conducted a five-minute health and safety training, the highlights of which follow:

- Don't wear contact lenses. If you are pepper-sprayed they will trap the spray against your eyeballs, with potential long term effects.

- If you are asthmatic be sure to bring your inhaler.

- If you are on prescription medications bring your medicine and a copy of your prescription. You will need these if you get arrested.

- Be sure to stay hydrated and well fed.

- Dress in warm layers, it will get cold at night. Avoid cotton clothes, as they are worse than useless when wet. Bring rain gear in case of precipitation.

Food: Once again promised a hot vegan meal every afternoon, as well as supper Friday evening. All food will be labeled, and free of common allergens. More volunteers are needed.

Legal: The National Lawyers Guild will be providing legal observers at least through Sunday. The NLG will also run a hotline for protesters who get arrested. The number is 617-227-7335. Participants are urged to write this number on their arm in sharpie, since the cops will confiscate cell phones as part of any arrest procedure. The American Civil Liberties Union is providing lawyers to represent arrested protesters.

Later in the meeting an NLG representative gave a quick description of the role legal observers play. Their job is to take notes, especially of police activity, and pass those notes to lawyers representing arrestees. The idea is to keep police from lying to obtain convictions.

Outreach: 10 to 12 teams have been canvassing with flyers in the greater Boston area. More help is needed. They plan to continue outreach throughout the occupation, not just before it starts. They report that many of those they talked to are angry, and already consider themselves part of the 99 percent of unrepresented people.

Tactics/Direct Action: Brought up the question of what route to take on the march to Dewey Square. This was placed on the agenda for the full assembly.

Media: They have a press release, available at They once again emphasized that anyone speaking to the media should make it clear that they are not speaking for the whole occupation.They could use help with video.

Following group reports the assembly took on the thorny question of messaging. Small random groups came up with ideas and themes, and presented them to the full assembly. After considerable discussion it was decided that the messaging working group should distill a unified set of demands from these ideas to free up the full assembly for more pressing matters.

Consideration of the march route was next. After a brief discussion it was agreed that people with a lot of equipment and supplies should make their own way to the square, while everyone else would march there from the Right to the City demonstration at the Bank of America building on Federal Street, on a route decided by the tactics working group.

Last on the agenda was more small group brainstorming on the subject of needs and comfort. Ideas concerning equipment, supplies, local resources near Dewey Square, and more were presented for consideration by those planning to attend.

This work is in the public domain