BE POLITE! Do not antagonize the police in any way. If you do not wish to answer their questions, do not be rude. Simply tell them you are exercising your rights. If the police are being unruly, film them from a safe distance. If you do not wish to be arrested, do not position yourself directly between the police and other protesters. If you suspect other activists of illegal activity, ask them to stop. If they do not, film them and show the police to have those activists escorted from the protest. Then share this footage with others to let them know to be aware of these people in question. TRY TO GET THE COPS ON OUR SIDE!
Never give an 'offical' statement for the group unless the General Assembly or media work-group has endorsed the message. Everyone may not support your opinion. Be polite and respectful. Try to stick to the subjects you know the best and maintain a calm demeanor. The media may try to ask you trick questions in attempt to make you look uniformed. If you do not know the answer to a question, simply tell the media so and then change the subject. If it is apparent that the media are baiting you or being antagonistic, do not get angry. Take your time and respond intelligently. BE CLEAR, RESPECTFUL, AND HONEST!
The General Assembly is a gathering of people, committed to making decisions based upon collective agreement or "consensus." There is no single leader or governing body of the General Assembly. Everyone's voice is equal. Anyone is free to propose an idea or express an opinion as part of the General Assembly. Each proposal follows the same basic format. An individual shares what is being proposed, why it is being proposed, and if there is enough agreement, how it can be implemented. The General Assembly will express its opinion for each proposal through a series of hand gestures (see below). If there is positive consensus for a proposal - meaning no outright opposition - then it is accepted, and direct action begins. If there is not consensus, the responsible group or individual is asked to revise the proposal and submit it again at the following General Assembly until a majority consensus is achieved.
Within the General Assembly, there are smaller gatherings known as "Working/Thematic Groups" that focus on supporting specific initiatives or topics relevant to the movement. These range from Food, Medical, and Legal Committees to Arts & Culture, Direct Action, Principles of Solidarity, and many more. All working groups are open to anyone interested in supporting them.
The People's Mic - in certain situations, you may not be able to use a megaphone to get your message out. In those situations, the People's Mic is of great use. Within a group of people, the person speaking will break down his message into three to five words, and the people around the speaker will repeat the words, so that everyone can hear them. If too many words are spken at one time, then the message may get lost. In order to use the People's mic, just yell out "Mic check" to get the group's attention that you want to speak.
Stack - During a General Assembly, those who want to speak are put on a stack or list. Those placed on the stack are not necessarily called to speak in the order in which they are listed on the stack. The purpose of this is to allow people whose voices may not be heard to speak first.
Proposals - When the General Assembly is gathered, we discuss as a group what the best process is for solving a problem. For example, if it is proposed that we create an evacuation route in case security of the people may be compromised, people can make proposals in order to deal with a variety of issues that affect the process of the General Assembly. [that's a klunky explanation]
Friendly Amendments - When proposals are made, adjustments to the proposals or aggregations to the proposals are called Friendly Amendments. Those who want to make an amendment are placed on the stack.
Unfriendly Amendments - If there are people who disagree to a proposed amendment or want to change something, those are called Unfriendly Amendments. These types of amendments are made after Friendly Amendments or at a later time in order to keep the meeting going. Issues can be handled and revised with the workgroups and then proposed again at the next General Assembly.