Occupy Cincinnati General Assembly Rules


I previously posted the rules for GA as originally adopted (and later amended). Since then, a new rules has been formulated and adopted to address some of the issues with the first set. The education committee took the process from several different occupations and combined them to be as democratic as possible. This new process helps address the issues of time spent at GA (which easily run up to and over 2 hours) and also provides a forum for minority voices who wish to have a platform to air grievences with the occupation itself. My original post has some better definitions for a few of the hand symbols, but other than that, this version is complete.

Goals: To create productive celebrations of democratic process that allows full participation from all, while aligning our procedures with other Occupation GAs. To create rituals within that process honor each other, address our needs, and spur our growth.

  1. Assemble: Mod Team uses people’s mic: “We the People/Have Found Our Voice” three times
  2. Welcome: Intro of Mod team. Temp Check to approve Team. Introduce Consensus Process:
    1. Our process flows out of our stated dedication to equality, justice, solidarity and peace.The process is designed to help us communicate clearly while allowing participation from all, therefore we encourage Step Up/Step Back & use Progressive Stacking.*
  3. Consensus Instruction: Signs(can be used throughout), no clapping, wait to be called on, etc.
  4. Challenges: Individual challenges to group, committees, or self. Open Stack, Mod. controls time.
  5. Set Agenda: Individual Proposals added (post Comm. reports) if agreed to by GA consensus.
  6. Recent Proposals: Reading of Proposals recently passed by GA.
  7. Reports &Proposals from each Committee:
    1. Proposals made using People’s Mic, Mod. takes Temp Check & Friendly Amendments.
    2. Point of Process, Direct Response & Clarifying Question (all 3 non opinion based)
    3. Mod. may call for consensus or ask Facilitators to create progressive stack of concerns.
    4. Mod. may call for consensus, more discussion, amendments, or small group discussions where people sit. If consensus is not reached, proposal may be taken back to committee to be worked on and brought back to a future GA.
  8. Announcements: Moderator controlled.
  9. Acknowledgements: Open stack. Mod. controls time.
  10. Closing Inspiration: Brief quote from history, or other uplifting item to send us off

 “Show me what Democracy Looks Like” – “This is what Democracy Looks Like.”


Use of signs prevent speakers from being drowned out & allows our process to move forward continuously.

  • Consensus, Temperature Check & Group Feedback
    • Twinkle up = yes / Twinkle flat = maybe / Twinkle down = no
    • Hands rotating around each other = wrap it u
    • Hand cupped at ear and moving out horizontaly = Speak Up!
    • Arms crossed at chest = block (blocker explains, only sign in group used just for voting)
  • Signs that Interrupt Stack – Non-Opinion Based
    • Hands form triangle with fore-fingers and thumbs = Point of Process (not opinion based)
    • Hands moving in alternation at side of head = Direct Response (not opinion based)
    • Hand in “C” = Clarifying Question (not opinion based)
  • Concern Sign – Opinion Based
    • Hand up

*Progressive stack: a process by which stack-takers are empowered to elevate certain traditionally marginalized voices, or voices that we have not heard from. Additionally, we encourage the process of Step Up, Step Back. If you’ve been talking a lot, try to step back. If you haven’t said much, please try to step up. We’d like to hear from everyone.

Occupy Cincinnati General Assembly

Every Day – 6pm – Piatt Park (Vine & Garfield)

This is what Democracy looks like