General Assembly Best Practices
Tips and tricks for running our monthly General Assembly.
Roles and agenda generally decided at the organizing meeting immediately preceding the GA:
Roles: Decide on who will have these roles:
- Greeters: 2 people who will connect with newcomers. 1 will greet people as they arrive, 1 will stay after to do the post-meeting thingie
- Facilitators: 2 people who will help the group through its process and move through the meeting agenda
- Stack taker: 1 person who will make a list of people in order to speak
Agenda: Develop agenda, including what breakouts will happen. Breakouts can be regular working groups or ad hoc/specific projects/discussions.
MIOP also preps the booklet and newsreel:
Booklet: Gather working group report backs for printed booklet; integrate into booklet; print booklet
Newsreel: Make it?
What to Bring
These materials should be brought to the GA; MIOP (?) generally bottomlines this:
- Printed booklets
- Blank sign up sheets
- Pens, black marker
- Pins, t-shirts, flyers
Some people should arrive around 6 to set up for the GA:
- Write and put up signs with 10th floor and/or arrows directing people to GA on front door of building and in hallways on 10th floor
- Hang banners along walls
- Set up projector and computer and run news reel
- Set up place to host orientation for a smaller group (i.e. back office)
- Move desks out of the way, set up at least 50 chairs in an open circle; place a printed booklet on each chair
- Set up mic and sound check
- Write up summarized/high-level agenda on white board
- Set out merch (t-shirts, stickers, flyers, sign up sheets) on table on right
The facilitators should touch base with different working groups as they arrive to see if each will give a reportback. Knowing this ahead of time will avoid confusion and awkwardness during this part of the agenda.
Pre-meeting Orientation (6:30-7)
MIOP runs the pre-meeting orientation for newcomers, covering topics such as:
- What is MACC? How does MACC work?
- Working groups
- How to get on Discord
GA Agenda (7-8:30)
The GA should start at or about 7. Two facilitators should take turns talking through various agenda points.
- MACC - The Metropolitan Anarchist Coordinating Council is an organization based on the guiding principles of horizontalism, anti-oppression, mutual aid, direct democracy, and direct action. We seek to strengthen and support New York City’s anarchist movement through coordination of existing and emerging projects.
- General Assembly
- Role: the MACC GA is a monthly meeting open to all anarchists to generate and coordinate citywide statements or actions for the anarchist movement. Welcome!
- Safer space policy: MACC has this policy as a positive, pro-active, preventative step towards making our community space safer. The policy encourages people to monitor themselves. In brief, MACC will not tolerate sexual violence, other violence, sleazy/predatory behavior, or any of the isms/oppressive behavior here at the GA or in any parts of MACC.
- Accessibility: we use the mics to ensure everyone can hear. We know they can be a bit formal and uncomfortable to use, but we believe it is most important that everyone can fully participate.
- Press: No members of the press may report on this meeting without our consent. If you are doing that, raise your hand and we will all boo you.
- Facilitators - Give your names. Explain the role of facilitator, which is “to help to guide the group through its own process.”
- Terms - a few of the most commonly used terms you may hear tonight:
- Working groups - groups of humans engaged in concrete tasks around building the MACC organization and the anarchist movements in NYC. Check out your booklet for more info.
- MEA - MACC Emergency Action. One of MACC’s working groups, which coordinates and participates in street demos and actions.
- Discord - tech tool we use to discuss MEA actions, share memes, and more
- Organizing meeting - where we plan the GA and make organizational decisions for MACC. Open to anyone who has gone to a GA.
- Agenda is written out here. Does anyone have anything to add?
- After the meeting, join us to socialize at ___ bar.
- Working group and event report backs
- For full report backs, see booklet.
- If you want to get involved with a working group, contact info is on website. Also sign up sheets in the back.
- If you want to start your own working group, do it!
- [Report backs from working groups and events]
- Breakouts: describe each break out, assign each break out to a different corner of the room, give a time limit. [Breakouts]
- (At the end of time, return to large circle.) Pass the bag - funds collected by MACC are used to support working group initiatives, make propaganda, support infrastructure (like our website), and support folks in emergencies. Suggest $10 per person; if you can give more, you’re helping to cover someone who can’t.
- [Report backs on breakouts]
- If people have announcements about upcoming events or other initiatives relevant to anarchists, share them now!
- Congrats on making it through the GA. Now you’re not “new” anymore! If this was your first GA and you didn’t go to the orientation before the GA, and/or you are not currently involved in a working group, and/or you have questions about what to do next, _____ will be hanging back to give next steps and answer questions.
- To reiterate, join a working group!
- Also everyone is invited to the next organizing meeting. The info of when and where it will be is available ----?
- Also join Discord somehow ---?
- Also come socialize and drink at ___ bar
One greeter will hang out afterward to touch base with new folks or folks with questions to discuss:
- Ask people if they’ve met each other already
- Re-do introductions, touching on what brought you here
- Ask who found projects or working groups that they want to get involved with
- Encourage them to consider starting their own projects if they don’t have anything they wanna jump on
- Ask them if they have any questions about MACC
- Tell them about my “new-ness” and how MACC doesn’t want people to feel “new”
- Ask for feedback on the GA as an entry point
- Encourage everyone to mingle, both at Verso and the bar