Meeting Notes 2013-11-27

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  • Ice-breaker question? whats a good use of television?

max - drop it off a building shake - sledgehammer it. record it, play it on another television tim - storm the tv station jesse - paint on the screen, something like "opiate" troy - flip the timon - sccionoom matt - uses hacker vision to determine it's size, whether flatscreen, has hookups besides RCA, will it fit in my bag/bike? daniel - weird relationship with tv didnt have one, but now has it as a monitor leon neon - he's a dj - when he was like 12, his granddad bought him a tv, the tv went out, thought that if he poured water on it it would come back on - which it did for 10 minutes. but then it marc - jenny - doesnt want to answer the question sam - a rotating art exhibit (or a blackout curtain)


Action items from last meeting need to be completed.

  • timon - message art murmur mailing list about alcohol license -- updated:
    • $35 for both hard alcohol and others / day.
    • 3-day authorization required.
    • Must buy hard alcohol at retail.


  • Calendar
    • Omni Meeting Thurs at 7pm at The Public School, at 2141 Broadway.
  • is a public-facing email!
    • If you want to receive these messages, join the list
    • Remember that people messaging this do not assume it will be posted publicly. Archives not public to respect their privacy.
  • Hamburg hosting Chaos Computer Congress (CCC) hacker convention <- last years talk schedule
    • December 27th-30th, 2013 – Hamburg, Germany
    • Only $100, airline now $1300.
      • Tip: Try the fueldumping technique to get cheaper airfare.
  • Jiwon agreed to hold an anti-oppression or theater of the oppressed type of event, looking to schedule after the holidays. Contact matt for more info.
    • Please reach out to other individuals and organizations to also contribute to anti-oppression, inclusivity, and accessibility.
  • Timeless, Infinite Light, other printing collective, BAPS, sudo, corp watch, salta. Discussed how a collective of collectives would operate. Reaching out for more feedback from folks who haven't joined in the convo yet. Looking at sudo conflict resolution procedure for inspiration. Music collectives are a possibility. Concerns:
    • Distance from BART (48th and shattuck, nearest MacArthur station) 15 min walk.
    • There is Wheelchair-accessible bus to location.
    • Crime
    • Temescal is fairly upper-class, gentrifying, juxtaposed with crime.
    • Uptown gentrifying rapidly
    • Space is largely ADA compliant, lifts can be installed.
    • Long-term thinking--if we were to procure this building, could sell in 5 years for instance.
    • Visioning session: folks wrote down their vision and collected (in notes).
      • Anti-capitalist used 4 times. Open space. Diverse range of creative collectives.
      • If you want access to these notes and this wiki ask Jenny
  • 8:00pm - Special presentation from Shake and Tim on Liberty Hall project.

See bottom of notes

fiscal solvency

  • Matt needs to get bank accounts, Patelco and Internet Archive Federal Credit Union
    • Turns out Patelco won't let us open an account unless under an individual member e.g. Matt (not good). Skipping.
    • In process signing up for https//
  • Max:

ammendments to articles of association

other items

  • Rackspace grant (not raytheon) (follow-up?) Waiting for a response.
  • Update on 8th and Alice
  • Update on pursuit of new quarters
    • On Monday Jenny and Matt checked out a space after being invited by Jeremy Liu. See wiki.
    • CCL thinks that second floor is more interesting, because they think the roof top is unattractive and is available by stairs only. waiting on quote for the other part of second part about 1,400 sf.
    • BAPS tl;dr. Not married to the Omni, but are in love with moving in with more people.
    • Public School speaks (David): BAPS likes the idea that of many groups together. Good sympathy. BAPS wants a radical space, so they don't want it to be an incubator for Laney because that's not radical pedagogy. Not married to any one space. But BAPS reiterate that it would be the most radical to collect all these cells of community. Did calculation that if we could put down 750,000 on 2M building then we only needed $7k per month.
    • We do have a contact in the city who has written some of the zoning laws we'll have to contend with
  • TABLED - Solidarity and Unity. Let's refocus. What's with all the division. Can we go back to the compact.

conflict resolution

  • Nothing to do unless someone is pursuing an action against someone else and mediation has failed

action items

  • marc -- to investigate printer recoup cost

=post-meeting teamups

  • Convo with Shake and tim

Liberty Hall

    • How did we save this?
    • Common space normally used for organizing.
    • Pullman Porters, union organizing -- helped Malcolm X for instance.
    • Continued to be an organizing space.
    • Marcus Garvey bought it, used it as an outpost for 3 years
    • Pentacostal church Father Divine, bought it.
    • Father Ayende, doing a lot of good things with the building.
      • STory is that he hurt himself. Hopped over a fence chasing a guy who stole a womanatment.
    • Overcomers with Hope took over the building, which became a media production studio for underprivilege youth.
      • This is how Shake heard about the building.
      • Shake was seen as Occupy, deep down everybody knew what occupy was about, banking system, foreclosure defence.
      • Thinks weren't exactly going well, but the organization of occupy was in tact. A little bit of power, and it was relevant.
      • AFter occupy imploded, Shake saw a petition from a friend Ayuri. Realized Liberty Hall needed help. Shake met with the group, almost same week one year ago. Shake had done almost 4 press conferences that year working with the media, he knew how to get media attention for pretty much whatever.
      • GAve some advice, don't do it in the middle of December. Made a press release on 7th of DEcember. Got on DAvey D at 8am, press conference at 10am, city council at 10pm, which got all the media on it, got a letter from Citibank. Through all the hoopla, Citibank actually responded.
      • Having walked in the room with Bishop Watkins, Citibank was not cooperative.
      • Got a letter from Citibank on December 21st, 2012, offering to sell for $375,000 (on the last day of the univers"0-. Shake thought it was a joke. I.e. if it's the end of the world, then you have a chance to save this building.
      • This letter was used as a starting point, which is when Tim came in. Outreach promotion media tasks rolling. Did extensive fund-raising after that.
    • Tim came in at this point for the forensics of the negotiation.
      • Tim had heard from Shake about the building during Occupy.
      • Primo, rapidly gentrifying area.
      • Tim came down and took a look,
      • In his day job, Tim is a foreclosure defense lawyer. Trying to negotiate with banks. Has lots of experience. They are more likely to negotiate now. Before it was like water from a rock. They'd treat you---you'd come to them saying "I've got good credit" but the problem they have is when you approach a major bank like Citibank, etc you can't make a deal. Some more complicated bureaucracy keeps that from working out.
      • Tim suspects gentrification strategy. Closest bart stop to the city, WEst Oakland is becoming EAst San Francisco.
      • let's be candid, that area can be pretty hot from time to time.
      • Banks aren't going to bother making deals, just push people out, loan developers money.
      • Tim's job was to eliminate all the possibilities, where there is no reason to say no. They need to line up everything they asked for.
      • This is where community leverage could step in if Citibank didn't want to play ball.
    • Shake's role was to be able to step in to share community power and stories, got the momentum to ensure that this is an issue that the bank can't get out of.
      • Hard to get coverage, but ended up getting SF Bayview. Internet is a young thing for folks under 30. The people who have the most money read paper still and go to church. Bayview printed the press release, and the wife of an investor talked to her husband about it, got riled up about doing something.
      • Investor liked what Shake had to say. Exchange showing good experience overall at REvolution CAfe
      • Need to be careful that the word getting out was actually accurate based on what was happening.
      • Once the wheels were turning, Shake assumed they couldn't find another investor.
      • Since the investor was really connected, they brought in the Black Nurses ASsociation. Also, Healthy Oakland.
      • With Tim's help, this was highly important, it was possible to deal with the city. The Mayor and the city tried to bring in lawyers to squash on the deal. They provided help ultimately, to make it an inclusive deal.
      • Used the investor's A1 credit to create a 3-tier partnership between Black Nurses ASsociation, Healthy Oakland, and ?
      • Tim had to step in especially when the investor came on board.
      • Tim delivered an offer letter in-person, saying they're an investor with cash, we want to buy the building.
        • Got nothing for a couple of weeks.
        • Emailed one to foreclosure management company that was actually pushing the process.
        • Whenever you're dealing with a large corporate bank, they'll work with lots of sub-contractors to deal with individual properties, etc.
        • Tim reached out to colleagues to make sure to get the right phone numbers for folks.
        • Talked to the real estate agent,
      • WEre prepared to do direct action.
      • Walked into the deal with a black respected community member investor, to instigate whether not making the
      • Do you have the authority to make a deal with me?
        • But response was "I just got this case, I can't make a deal"
        • AFter a bunch of phone calls, were able to get to someone to make a deal.
      • Primary investor (doesn't want to be known in public) used his contacts to get to an alternative bank.
        • Over time, there was some money from Healthy Oakland, $100,000 and another $120,000 from his own pocket, plus a hard money loan, and with that they were able to gather the $375,000 necessary to save the building. It's a definite win for gentrification and a national historic landmark, but there's still /a lot/ of work to be done by the partner organizations.
      • Tim chimes in, primary investor has a real estate broker. Tim's clients don't usually have real estate agents, he doesn' thave those kinds of connections.
      • However, the real estate agent was able to find someone with whom they could actually make a deal.
      • All the legal things necessary to make the proper hand-off was performed by this real estate agent.
      • .
      • Shake worked on making sure folks in the community knew this was an issue and could keep pressure up and on the potential for this to be an issue.
      • You must have a direct action strategy, a very important part of the strategy.
      • Tim provided the "cynnicism check" to remember that these people "are out to hustle us"
      • The reaosn the banks always outsource everything to put a buffer between them and clients.
        • For instance, the cashier's check laws in CAlifornia can be exploited to hustle you since it can take long if "it's lost" and you need the bank to re-issue.
        • The bank can blame the outsourcing company for instance.
    • Shake wants to end with a lesson from occupy
      • Sometimes folks think you need lots of committees, and sub-commiittees ,and by-laws. But you really need two thinks
        • Resources (space, etc)
        • Outreach (mouthpiece)
      • There can be an economy of moving the media without necessarily having to work too hard (coordinate a lot of people)
    • Shake refuses to believe you could foreclose on a black historical landmark during Black History Month.
      • Without outreach, media, and resources, you can't have a movement. You can win buildings, you can change charters, you can change things. They seek to destroy. The first thing they're going to look for is: who's being the loudest, how are they getting their voice out there, and how are they paying for it.
      • Everything is flow-charted in call center scripts.
        • You have to break the script, or escalate. There is always someone who has the power to say "yes" or "no"
    • For sudo--kick ass. You're in a better position. Make sure it's what you want, and make sure you use that building for the community.
      • It's not just about winning, it's not about an end, it's about setting up for the next win.
      • August 7th, when we closed on the building, the spirits of marcus garvey, malcolm x, the spirits of whoever were applauding and that's all I needed from that. I've done a lot but this is one of the biggest things I've accomplished because I didn't know how to do it. I just new I wasn't going to let them foreclose on a black historical landmark during black history month.
    • If we can help, let us know, I'm down with sudo.
  • Currently, the three groups are determining how to use the space.
    • Healthy Oakland is going to use it for health screening
    • Black Nurses will do normal work, bloodpressure drives, etc.
    • Overcomers with Hope are going to retain the studio for the community.
  • These groups didn't know each other prior to this, so this is a new collaboration for them.
  • How does this connect to larger struggles?
    • Tim - thinks about this all the time. How do you really drive a revolutionary process? You need mass popular support. You need people on the other side of the table to believe that if they don't do this, there are going to be very grave consequences. The threat on the table of the community (esp. for pr) from this building forces these folks to take you seriously. You need to know every single angle they can possibly take--the full spectrum of resources that can be deployed against you. THere is lots of theory around that. Shake comes in with social media strategy. Though now we know there are these Palantir folks that will fuck with your social media program. You have to be aware that there will be folks messing with your program, though it will still be beneficial to drive your campaign. Where is your funding coming from?? Old folks, rich folks, bitcoin, crowd-funding? You have to admit that your mutual aid networks will eventually interact with the market, so you need some connections there, as well as with a buffer to protect your network from capitalism. When you had $10,000s in the bank, you could do more stuff. Paid for food, paid for bailout. Standard policy of $100 to any group of 3 or more with an idea. Tim would talk to finance people in NY who had a really professional finance operation that delivered, safe-guarded cash, and bail people out of jail. The suspect was that Portland, LA, Houston, etc also had a way of interacting with the capitalist economy.
  • Shake adds, with the base of finances, you also protect your primary activists. Shake contends that there is no such as a movement of a leader or leaders. Doesn't mean that these folks need to be public. You have to protect those people, it's never one, by having some kind of base so they don't burn themselves out. That's what I mean by outreach, by publicity, media, and resources. If the outreach is moving faster than the resources, then you look back and you're starving and no place to stay. In activism you have to have some line that's attached to the system, if you don't have any economic base, you're setting your people up for failure. You have to have both and be active. Shake was blessed to communicate to the media and have them respect him enough to at least pay attention to the press releases. Prior to that, banks would not even talk to the activists around Liberty Hall. Grandmas with bullhorns in front of citibank was the real fear that pushed the bank to move. There is no court system, there's a court of public opinion. The only place you're going to fight these people is the public opinion, because they're scared of you and of mass movements. That's the only thing that will stop them from there little greedy-love fests.