We Can Occupy

You don't need a tent to Occupy.

Minutes – 2011 Dec. 4 – Occupy Natick

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Thanks to all who were able to attend the meeting on December 4th.  Below is a brief overview of what was discussed, outcomes, and next meeting dates, as well as some media updates and info from the broader Occupy Boston movement post Dewey Square.

Meeting Structure:

After much discussion it was decided through consensus that this group (known as Occupy Natick) would like to use a facilitation and consensus model (with 75% being the threshold for consensus) for decision making until such time as the group decides (by consensus) to not employ this model.

Laura Blois has offered to invite a trained facilitator from the OB group to come to the next ON meeting to train us and help ON utilize this model for decision making at the next meeting. (Jan. 8th) (*May invite Needham/Newton groups as they may want training as well).

There is interest from many at the meeting in participating in the Jan. 20/21 activities related to the anniversary of the Citizen’s United ruling-Laura Blois will keep us informed.

A list of issues of concern that the group might want to activate around was started and includes the following thus far (some of these are umbrella issues which house more specific concerns) the list can be added to; this is simply what was expressed at the meeting:

  • Outreach/Visibility of Occupy movement
  • Citizen’s United ruling
  • Gambling/casinos in MA
  • Ending war/war spending
  • Pro labor efforts
  • Education
  • Environmental issues
  • Banks /Corporations and accountability
  • Voting Rights/Instant run off voting
  • Global climate change/population growth


Different ideas around inter-group communications include having a website, moving off of Google groups, needing formal minutes from each meeting, list servs vs. some other mode of group communication, and how to host etc.-this will be discussed at next meeting.

Next meetings: Betsy will locate space for next 2 meetings (suggestions welcome, public space vs. private home preferred).

Jan 8th 12:30-2:30 –location TBD (Facilitation Training)

Feb. 5th 12:30-2:30-Location TBD

An ongoing meeting schedule will be created, please let Betsy know if this timing does not work for you-we can address at next meeting.


  • Visibility Saturday’s 11:30-12:30 please join us!  We have arranged times to overlap with the Natick Peace Vigil and they are interested in participating in our Jan. meeting as well-we are happy for their support!
  • Tents in yards or elsewhere-tents are popping up locally in support-I am working on getting one and encourage all of us to emulate this effort!  There is also an OB group working on making small tents (the tiny tent task force) that can be displayed in windows, on tables etc. Here is a link to the images: http://postimage.org/image/llvcna2hj/
  • If you are interested contact: mallorybiggins@gmail.com
  • Occupy Worcester is making a stopover in Natick next Sunday, Dec. 18 from 3-7 at the Sherwood Plaza as part of a traveling protest.  Betsy will get more info and details as ON is welcome to participate and support.  I will share as they become known.
  • Chronicle-Scheduled to air Dec. 14 at 7:30 on channel 5-but that may have changed since the Dewey closure-Betsy is waiting to hear from producer.
  • Boston Globe-A piece should appear in Thursday Dec. 15 Globe West section about the Suburban Occupy efforts.  Betsy Boggia was interviewed along with Artie Crocker and Harmony Wu from Needham, someone from Newton and other communities.
  • Dewey Closure: Proud of how both the OB people and the BPD conducted themselves (although some of the BPD had their badge numbers obscured according to Legal Observers and the media was once again sequestered)-bittersweet but onto the next phase!  Did you know-the OB people were serving on average 1,000 meals of donated food daily, providing medical and social support to hundreds, had a library stocked with over 867 volumes, will continue to produce its own free weekly newspaper , The Boston Occupier, and now has a radio station: Occupyboston.org/radio  !!!
  • General Assemblies are continuing in Boston, an indoor space is being confirmed beginning this week.
  • There are plans underway by OB for a series of Town Hall meetings beginning in January-I will keep all posted.
  • Please check out www.wecanoccupy.com website-very helpful and informative, good language for talking to neighbors, the uninformed and curious!  It also contains helpful information on local legislative efforts that some might find interesting and helpful.
  • Short anecdote-recently I was out shopping with my Occupy Boston pin on my coat-middle-aged gentleman waiting on me at the Natick Outdoor Store commented as we were talking, “I like your pin.”  There is more support than we even know, or that some are willing to acknowledge…very inspiring!

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