Nov. 5th GA Minutes

Intro to GA

Fred (opinions because he had to leave):

we’re having a Speak Outs every 2 weeks at University of Houston– next Wednesday Nov 16th, opportunity for everyone to speak out at Satellite –not far from music/theater building . Entrance 16 has parking… will be from 10:45 am – 1:15 pm

Volunteer Group Report Backs:

Food (Jeremy):

  • Cleanliness if important everywhere. If you use plates/cups WASH THEM after use. Everyone needs to clean up after themselves.
  • Jeremy himself brought 2 kinds of spaghetti for supper (vegan and non)
  • Wed. Socialist Feminist meeting 6pm at OccHou
Direct Action (Jo):
  • Eric Cantor – Thurs, 11 am at Rice – nonviolent/ peaceful action — canevents@rice.edu  to register by Monday for participation
Occupy Houston Study and Strategy Discussion (Joe):
  • Had first meeting today, large meeting planned for Nov. 19th from 2-4:45. This will be a public discussion. Venue at public library can hold 200 people for Nov 19th. Occupy Houston Study and Strategy Discussion, during which we will be discussing 3 main items:
    1.  How did the financial crisis happen?
    2. Finding concrete solutions to financial crisis
    3. Where will OccHou go from here? (sustainability of movement)
Legal (Mariaelena):
  • National Lawyer’s Guild formed historic local chapter of the NLG
  • Occupy actions need more numbers at GA
  • Courts are split. We will keep you posted.
Ben:
  • OWS call to action to call attention to the crumbling infrastructure
Proposals:
  • Officially state solidarity with national call to action and rubber stamp direct action in solidarity with it -BLOCKED
Prop: We support civil disobedience that potentially causes disruption of daily events –this is why we’re here after all -to do actions. —expanded into discussion — some concerns, questions, comments, regarding civil disobedience -BLOCKED
2nd consensus on above -2 blocks
Jaimyn:
  • 11-12 International Day of Action – Houston is where the Egyptian consulate is located –action is protest at consulate. -ACCEPTED
J.J.:
  • Creation of support group for alcohol, substance abuse and depression. Says there are people to run this group as he is not volunteering himself. -ACCEPTED
Ben:
  • ACLU TX annual conference– Rev. William Lawson very interested in Occupy Houston. We need to get media and PR to correlate info on arrests, etc. We have allies we are talking to OccHou.
Adam (speech impaired occupier whose statement was read by David):
  • Dear upstanding citizens,

    How do you all do today? I do well. I have a few words I’d like to share with you. But first of all, I think it best you suit yourself comfortably in your chairs and seats.

    So let me begin.

    We all live our own lives as we see fit. Millions and millions of humans in the world breathing the same air and same water as we all do. Diverse views.Living out our dreams.So grateful for our freedoms. Although the truth lies beyond this vast world of grass, trees, waters, air, animals, buildings, vehicles and everything that we see in our individual everyday lives. A truth we all must get lost ourselves to discover what lies within our unexplored regions of the human mind that can swiftly unlock our potential.

    But of course, there are those few people who do not wish for us to get lost. They want us in their world, and not our world. They want to expand their reality, and demolish our realities that make sense to us. We never questioned them, we accepted their orders that they commanded us, even though we may not have agreed with it. Because it was all part of the plan.

    But once we begin to ponder about this issue, we begin to stare into the mighty heart of the world and ask so many questions. For all of those of you who are not up to par with understanding movements that aim for the opposites of what our governments aim for, I speak from the end of this sentence towards you alone.

    How convenient it is to sleep with a roof under your head with an air conditioning system keeping your preferred temperature on any degree you wish. Whilst you snug under hard-earned warm blankets with your fan blowing and your feet stuck out of the blanket at the end of your bed, the less fortunate ones sleep with no blanket covering them, and the even less fortunate wander in the harsh extreme climates in the realm of poverty.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am very much like every one of you. I have long enjoyed the lush lifestyle of a good home given by a high-seat income position generated by my fathers. I have indulged meals and bulked up on them. I have paid my taxes. I have attended school. I have attended my scheduled shifts of employment. I have obeyed the rules. But once I questioned the true purpose of one’s life compared to somebody who works endless hours for minimum wage to someone who works selective hours for maximum wage, I began to catch a glimpse of the illusions of this dream I have long been entrapped in.

    What kind of life is it when one has to choose working a night shift because it pays more and has more slots available than a day shift, and when the other one can play golf, travel to foreign countries, sleep, and do absolutely nothing whilst they continue to make money – even overnight? What kind of life is it at all? What kind of sanity is it when the consumer buys their preferred product unbeknownst of the fact that such company that makes the product might as well destroy the well-being of our nation and demoralize our values? Where is the truth in anything? How can anyone sit still on their couches and watch biased information on the television approved by our authorities whilst certain subjects are objected from being publicized on the television? What happened to free speech? How can anyone fall asleep every night believing they have done another day of good, honest hard work after making risks, pushing their own limits, sacrificing themselves for the sake of their corporations whilst the higher-up bosses need not worry about such things, and exercise their authority and fire people who have toiled the most sweat in the company? Where did the destruction of monarchy go?

    They sit so high up that they believe they are untouchable.

    People, are you going to sit back, work, consume, and die having fed this conveyor belt hoarded with cash flowing into the belly of corporate greed? Are you going to just sit there and pretend everything is okay? Are you going to walk in your residence and turn on all the lights to see and have yourself be charged for a necessity you were told that is vital, or resort to an ancient alternative that has already been proven successful by using candlelight? Are you going to pay for new clothes and feed the already-full belly of tax greed when you are capable of the ability to go out there and trade your old clothes with someone for clothes of good condition? Are you going to lobby in the malls and pay their ridiculous over-priced itemswhilst you can find the same type of items you wanted from the mall from select online shops that charge no tax at all? Are you going to die wondering? Or are you going to wake up and realize it is time to make a stand for yourselves and prove that you can endure hardships without the hand of governments?

    I have the utmost confidence in all of you that you harbor the logic that none of this resounds a chord of common sense in the moralistic aspects of humanity. I leave such judgments to you to make up your minds.

    Sincerely,
    The Voice of Freedom

Tyler :
  • Like to hear disparaging opinions as much as agreeing ones–lots of interesting visitors and discussions
Jeremiah:
  • We can hang out anywhere and talk but we need to do more direct actions / DO something. (speaking to ongoing debate between those who want stronger civil disobedience actions and those who want to discuss avoiding arrest and avoiding ‘disruptive’ direct actions)
Michael:
  • proposal to stand in solidarity with Freedom Flotilla sent to Gaza Strip -BLOCKED (concerns about not knowing enough of issues to make decision)
Tyler:
  • Strategy Discourse – Organize Texas and other organizations are having a peaceful action : Jobs Not Cuts on Wed, Nov. 16th.  Proposal to accept this as supported by Occupy Houston –ACCEPTED

Opinions

Laura:

  • If we are accepting getting arrested it would get media but will also help clarify OccHou agenda.
Ryan:
  • Been supportive of OccHou since beginning. We need to have clear demands –number one complaint or feedback he has received…
  • response from Jaimyn: OccHou accepted the OWS Declaration
Jeff (newcomer):
  • chant “We are the 99%”
Jaimyn:
  • Been a lot of work done to maintain relationship between HPD, mayor and OccHou good. Don’t want to ruin that.
MariaElena:
  • We really need to study the causes of current economic crisis.
  • Despite good relations with HPD, mayor, etc. the powers that be are forcing cut-backs to all civil areas. More and more people are getting involved in occupy movements.
Lief:
  • lull recently around the occupation was just a phase and glad we now know more about what works and what doesn’t. Now we just need to do it!
Jonathan:
  • forgot opinion –asked for questions and statements
John S:
  • Meaningless to pass actions about being open to certain proposals.
Peacekeeping report (Ben):

  • Nonviolence communication experts will come out tomorrow to help teach some diffusing tactics of peacekeeping etc. so we don’t have to ask for police intervention when these few incidents have happened at the occupation
Artem:
  • Clarifying getting arrested, bonds, etc. Bonds *can* be worked out. Participants in actions have OccHou support and need to not be afraid of arrest. There are also additional sources of bond money available from sympathetic organizations and labor groups.
Jaimyn:
  • Getting arrested does get attention but so does getting into Outreach to get people to come out and participate.
Scott:
  • I think radical action will get us publicity, I think radical love will get us more publicity.
Mariaelena:
  • Every single direct action of OccHou has reached far away places.. like the zombie flash mob and Juan Gonzalez visiting Occupy Houston– who mentioned when he got back to NY that the welcome he received in Houston was one of the best he’s ever experienced. Think how many people want to connect to OccHou but don’t know how. Think how to reach these people.
Michael:
  • Gaza proposition brief education session toward getting earlier proposal regarding Freedom Flotilla –get with Michael for more info on this or research on your own
Chris R:
  • opinion on FB post by Evan C – pic of Mondrey who is a homeless man who got arrested– thought this was very distasteful as well as other comments made on the post
  • Supports needing more / stronger civil disobedience, having less resistance from others for those who DO want to participate
Aaron:
  • Thinks of direct actions are intelligently directed they would pass consensus. Ultimately it will come down to standing for our 1st Amendment rights. We need to stop cut backs and find solutions.
Ben:
  • Should not confuse internal goals with forcing having demands, which is not as important.
Jeff:
  • another chant of “We are the 99%”
Tyler:
  • Call strip to cold-call Houstonians about Occupy Houston. Many of us have time here and there and unlimited calling plans, etc. Let’s use these and put some time into calling folks about the movement.
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