Author Archive

GA Minutes 3/07/2012

GA 3-7-2012
Library Plaza, 7:35pm
Scribe- Alice, Stack- Benjamin, Facilitator- Delbert, Moderator- Don

Workgroup Announcements
-Delbert/PPL of Color- March 23rd, South Texas School of Law, posted on facebook, legal discussion on the Camp Logan Riots, 8am-5pm, $25 to register

Proposal:

-Ray
Vet, never been homeless, was going to go to mayor, their whole main thing is to get homeless people off the street. They could take care of the whole situation with a 5000 man tent if they will furnish a property where to set it up; keep homeless in a community that they can live in; HEB and so on bring donations; proposes that we ask the mayor for space.
??Remington, if you can draw something up with more detail
Benjamin, proposes we build a workgroup to develop this proposal; all agree
Proposal Tabled.

-Remington
I am setting up a fundraiser for OH at Last Concert Cafe April 7th 9:30 pm – ? . Approval from GA to get moving on promotion on facebook etc. Fundraising particularly for legal fees incurred from the court action. None of the money goes to the lawyers– evidence, expert witnesses, etc. Need for ongoing fundraising activities because of unsteady flow of donations. Leftover money set aside for bail funds. $400 expense to the Last Concert Cafe for the venue. They would like the money in advance but they are flexible and we can take the money out of the door fee as needed.
Proposal: Make fundraiser official #OHTX event & get promotion on facebook, etc
Proposal Passes.

-Darin
President Obama coming to town. Freethinkers putting together protest, asking for solidarity. River Oaks (?) and 1-4pm Toyota Center; focused on response to NDAA act, House bill 34acks; Friday March 9. Larry blocks
Seek to modify proposal to meet concerns of Larry related to potential that freethinker protest will have racist overtones and unfair criticisms of Obama. Larry’s block is not seconded; Ray doubts analysis that pushes blame to Bush for many of the issues Obama is facing. Obama responsible for 6th amendment challenge relateoindividual mandate. Discussion about “indifferent” votes vs. voting against.
Proposal: #OHTX be in solidarity and support Freethinkers’ protest of President Obama Friday, March 9th.
Proposal Passes.

[-Alice gives scribing to Will]

-Lief:
free press houston is having a giant concert on June 7th. He proposes that we try to pass out fliers. Ben Franklin amends the proposal to be that we empower lief to talk to houston free press about participating in the concert.
Proposal: Lief is empowered to talk to houston free press about #OHTX participating in the concert
Proposal passes as amended

Alice:
This saturday is international womens day. There is a protest at westheimer and post oak at 2pm on Saturday. She wants to put this protest up on the website. The protest is about pornography and anti contraception legislation which is a reinstitution of patriarchal society. Ben Franklin asks if this proposal is just to publicise the protest, Alice says yes.
Proposal: Publicize International Women’s Day Protest on #OHTX websites
Proposal passes

Ben F.:
Proposal: That Occupy Houston officially endorses food sharing events, and that we actively invite members to participate in them in defiance of the proposed city ordinance amendment as official occupy houston events. Occupy Houston members will risk arrest in protest of the amendment by sharing food if the city ordinance amendment passes.
Proposal passes
Food Sharing workgroup suggested, Ben states he would immediately join such a Workgroup. For anyone else that would like to join, ben’s email is veryloudben@gmail

Lief: Austin and College Station want us to back them at a protest & direct action of Monsanto. March 19th. (no time announced yet) It will be at a Monsanto office on A&M’s campus. Proposal: That Occupy Houston support the Monsanto protest & direct action.
Proposal passes

Opinion:
Ray: the government doesn’t want a solution to our problems. They are wicked and nothing but a racket. They want to build more prisons because they get more money that way than if you pay your fines. The government is backing protestors overseas…WHY CAN’T WE PROTEST? Companies like GE are paying off the government and making the bills that they want to make. Anything I can do against this wicked government, I will do.

Ben F.: Using the hashtag #UnitedGA various occupys will put out ideas for other Gas to consider. When we see the issues presented we will decide if we want to craft a proposal in relation to that issue. We would then place it online and on twitter. Ben F. agreed to present this to OH for Occupy Austin to get a temperature check. Ben likes it because it is horizontal and helps bind occupys together. Ben gives remainder of time for questions.

Don- final chance to enroll as green party candidate; green party G3

GA Ends

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GA Minutes 1/21/2012 PM

GA Started 5:40pm
Moderator: Jenny
Scribe: Patrick S. Miller
Facilitators: Ben Franklin

Workgroup Report back:

Internet [Ben Franklin]: changed the name from media workgroup to internet workgroup
working on the facebook Admin procedures, closing discussion & finalizing Mission Statement by Feb 5th, webrequests@occupyhouston.org is the primary point of contact for the Internet workgroup, all workgroups should send webrequests here (including minutes).

Freedmans Town [Jamin] finishing up restoration project (lot clean-up) corner of ruthven and wilson at 11. sunday the 22nd (tomorrow)

Announcements:
Jamin- Monday 11 am book reading at park “the best that money cant buy” discussing feasible ideas to replace current broken system; meeting with the Real School, Houston federation of teachers sat. feb 11th @ 4

Workgroup proposals:

Internet [Ben Franklin] That livestream (and other internet participation) in GA be suspended until technical difficulties can be resolved.
(e.g.: Hard to hear what’s happening in the GA and lag affects voting on proposals. Who can participate? How do we verify? Also battery power was an issue.)
Proposal Passes

Internet [Ben Franklin] That every internet account that has “OccupyHouston” in the name/officially is an OccupyHouston account have 3 active OccupyHouston members who currently reside in the Greater Houston metropolitan area with the password/login access.
(Note, these members do not need to be part of the Internet Workgroup, but we’d like to have their contact info in case of accident or emergency.)
Proposal Passes

Internet [Ben Franklin] Withdrawl 3rd proposal, and instead announce that as the OccupyHouston.org webpage currently lacks 3 active qualifying members, that Mary Dreamingkat (part of the Internet workgroup) will become the 3rd such individual.

Proposal:
Alice M- I’m told that if you go to the tv stations, you can require they give you the info about which PACs are paying for what airtime. We need to get a crew to test this idea out. (Suggested that Alice talk to joe roach of Political Action or Scott Gregory of Research)
Proposal withdrawn

Jamim- I propose occupyhouston puts its name behind the education meeting here at the park.
Proposal Passes pending 24 hour waiting period.–

Opinions:
Anthony: an honor to march with you… we are all here and I see more and it is good to see brothers and sisters working together to march… I am trying to get more people in the movement.

Ben- how groups work. Worked from boy scouts to global issues discussion groups… people tend to get burned out especially in volunteer groups… stay focused on core issues and figure out what things to do. And how to keep it in your life afterwards…
2 instructors are coming down to teach non-violent speaking skills. And to help with conflicts between participants. I will ask them what days & locations that can do over the next few weeks, and report back so we can decide what best fits our needs

David- this is my 33rd day down here. We need peace keepers: large male and female. There have been incidents here.

Argument over the police between several members…

Ian- i’m actually quite amazed at the accomplishment that o.h. Has occupied the park for 100 days. But we should move since we have moved away from the goal.

stressing the importance of participation to keep it alive. But have a better attitude toward those who haven’t been here.

ben doesn’t think we should move that we could rotate around the park.

David: Smokers pick up your butts. Or if you want to help, pick up trash.

Consensus to Adjourn GA

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GA 1/17/2012 PM Minutes

GA 1/17/2012 PM Minutes:
Moderator: Carl
Scribe: Ben Franklin
Stacker: Remington
Facilitator: Chris M
Attendance: ~20

7:23pm Carl begins introduction

Workgroup Reportbacks:
Jamin -Freedman’s Town Project: Recap of joining the 2 houses, started restoration project clean-up Saturday, working on getting Transition Houston to assist with Guerilla Gardening; any questions refer to Captol, Gene, or Jamin

Jenny -Media/Web: 2 PoCs now live, send things here
#1 WebRequests@Occupyhouston.org
#2 OHtranquilitypark@gmail.com
request pics from MLK parade for posting online
calendar now update
Potential SOPA blackout

Jenny- Workgroup Workgroup needs follow-up for PoC, mission statements, etc of current workgroups

Direct Action (Steve) January 24th, Tuesday targeting corp tax dodgers 1:30pm, in front of city hall reflection pool

Announcements:
Ben F- Ongoing Russian Consulate Protest tomorrow, Wednesday 4-6pm Post Oak Blvd @ 610

Jamin- In an effort to maintain our presence in Freedman’s Town, will be meeting Thursday @6pm to discuss how OHTX can best mingle w/4th ward
book reading in the park Saturday, Best Money Can’t Buy (from Venus Project)

Remington- tomorrow @9:30am @special session at City Hall re:police bullying, not too late to sign-up to speak, but please attend. ID will be required to enter.

Alice- seeking nomination to run for Congress in District 29, will need support to run against incumbent Rep Gene Green [against Net Neutrality, for Keystone XL]

Capitol- We have a livestream for events happening @1401 Andrews “Roccupy House”

Remington- Friday night went to Black Heritage Society Gala, Rep Sheila Jackson-Lee gave speech about her support for OHTX, etc. but in 2005 she cut a deal with Tom Delay to divide up Freedman’s Town and she voted for the NDAA. Her two-facedness makes her worse than actual stated enemies, so we should Mic Check her. On topic of bullying police, Remington is running for Sheriff, and he would be in charge of the largest County police force in the nation, work to prevent waste on War on Drugs.

Amy Price- Valentine’s Day makes her think of people getting screwed, wants to get group together to do a barbershop quartet on the BoA around town of “Please Release Me” for foreclosure protest

Jonathon- Fight Club marshmallow debate, crowd would have marshmallows to judge speakers via consensus. 3 min statements, then 2 minute responses, then 1 minute closing. Ideally, debate would be between Tea Party grassroots & Green Party members.No settled topics at this time.

Proposals:
Ben: Talked about w/ logistics & Former tranquility park occupiers group; personal proposal, since it’s tuesday proposing that group form, possibly as separate workgroup, that explicitly uses a holding vigil model for occupying in tranquility park. How occupy oakland runs its vigil. Could be part of logistics. Could be adjunct of newly rearranged outreach group, since this park is a place to meet and greet (potential canvassing spot too)

Proposal: form an official vigil group/officially endorse having such a group that would then have schedules that members who choose to participate would agree on for scheduling. Am personally willing to buy supplies and am willing to donate large umbrella, chair, a hot pot, and such. (Holding a vigil: maintaining a space)

-To divert logistics issues out of general GA
-Need to multitask as a movement and maintain a physical occupation
-Done as a proposal to get feedback within the group
-Hopefully will lead to more people coming to actual physical occupation
-Provides potential infrastructure on differing levels of accountability

Ben Franklin Restate: Decide to officially form a physical occupation vigil group comprised of committed members to participate in & affirm the symbolic importance of maintaining the physical occupation
Proposal Passes, Pending next GA

Jenny: Reaffirm statement of the already approved but minutes lost

Internal Solidarity Statement:
This is a living document. As the Occupy Houston community,
we have the right and responsibility to edit this document on an ongoing basis.
We welcome feedback and new ideas.
We are the 99%, and our task is to unify the 99%. We are a society in which
many are diligently seeking to resolve issues of various forms of oppression.
As the Occupy Houston community, we will consciously and urgently work on
dismantling these systems of oppression even within our movement. We are
working on creating a community where everyone’s rights are respected,
protected, and treated equally. We all have different levels of privilege that
we strive to acknowledge and educate ourselves about in order to ensure that
these privileges are not used to oppress others. 
We want to have an inclusive atmosphere of ideas in which we
do not police each other’s thoughts and one in which we reason together without
intimidating words or actions. If a conflict arises it should, if possible, be
settled through democratic discussion or debate; otherwise, it should be
settled with the help of a Conflict Resolution Team, a Support Team, or both,
if necessary.
We are dedicated to reasoning about and resolving issues in our community including:
Discrimination based on Age, on Class, on Culture, on Disability,
on Experiences with the Justice System, on Gender, on Hetero-Normativity, on
Homo-Phobia, on Immigration Status, on Race, on Religious or Non-religious Intolerance, on Trans-Phobia, and Discrimination based on Weight. 

Reaffirmed by True Consensus

Jenny: SOPA Blackout for #OHTX internet presence tomorrow
Proposal Passes

Capitol- Livestream be used to allow people online to participate in GA
PoI: 30 second delay on livestream will affect calling for consensus
Proposal Passes, Pending next GA

Capitol- (on behalf of Amy Price) change blocks from Consensus -2 to 75% Majority
Block #1 Ben F: Completely removes us from Consensus & this proposals is far more radical then multiple other attempts, all of which failed, some of with members here were present for.
Block #2 Mouse: Amy defies the process & wants to change it
Block #3 Shere: 2nd both Ben & Mouse
Block #4 Earl: This is a consensus based movement, not one based off majority opinion
Response to blocks: (Neil A) numbers dwindled due to inefficiency of movement & process inefficiency, e.g., late posting for the MLK jr March
Proposal Tabled, multiple blocks
Jenny gives PoI about how GA/consensus weren’t responsible for MLK parade posting not going live

Jonathon: I propose that we lift some of the restrictions to proposals:
*Remove individual proposals needing approval of 2 consecutive GAs
Block #1 Shere- defends continuity of GA morning & evening, Block 2nd: by Carlos V
Proposal Tabled

Jonathon: Workgroups are allowed to make proposals every GA (am or pm)
Proposal Passes, Pending next GA

Opinions:
Not scribed, I was sick

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evening GA 07 Jan 2012

GA Minutes 1/07/2012 PM

Moderator: Miguel
Facilitators: Jenny, Scott
Scribe: Ben Franklin
Stack C/O: Shere
Timekeeper: Jonathon

Introduction: Begin w/call to consensus to start GA; All GA tonight will be under People’s Mic
Review of hand-signals for benefit of new faces

WorkGroup ReportBacks:

Outreach Evan: Rather than one giant umbrella called Outreach, replaced with these targeted groups
Speech Forum
Canvassing
Newspaper
Art Production
TV

-Jamin- Visited Super Happy Funland, space for fundraising, showers, classes, all for free as OccupyHouston 3801 Polk St, access requires phone call/arranging 713)880-2100 ask for Brian or Olivia

Occupy the Courts (Amy Price): People’s Mic off
FRIDAY Panel UH, 7:30PM Jan 20th Burque Moore Legal Personhood History
Arthur Shaw Houston activist, got UH & CoH to divest from South Africa
Chris Bell, former City Councilman
Sat: Big Family Friendly Fest, 99% for everyone
11am people arrive, couldn’t get food trucks in, asks for Food volunteer [Jamin] to feed people
Noon: 1st round of play about death of Democracy, slain by Corp corruption
2nd line Jazz funeral down Smith st
Occupiers meet & greet, volunteers for kid friendly activities
Readings, Facepainting, Bellydancing if possible, Drum circle if possible, Houston Storytelling Guild if possible, Sack races?, Arts table, other things that promote choice/free will for kids
No feedback from Maria Hague(sp?) Nick Cooper helping arrange musicians
Need Preacher, Sister of Demcracy, Democracy, Plants in the Crowd; interested in casting, please contact Amy Price
Will need donations to make suggestions happen, what process?
Alice volunteers to help with Art Table, roll of paper volunteered; Jocelyn & Alice volunteer to help w/books; Nixxing idea of sidewalk chalk due to legal concerns; Flyers ready to distribute Tuesday

Community Outreach Thursday 7pm meeting Staghead Pub
5pm Sunday Staghead Community Org workshop
Blackhole Coffee, meeting with OCHouston, OCGalveston, MoveOn, MovetoAmend

Media: Mission statement will under google doc with large viewing group, people can email suggestions to insure we don’t grab too much. Document hasn’t been created yet, URL will be posted on Website & added minutes within 24hours. Will be set-up to not require Google sign-up WebRequest@OccupyHouston.org, Mouse’s edress [require insert]

CORRECTION: Web/Media teamWG primary email addy is:  webrequests@occupyhouston.org  [KR]

EDIT{KR}:  The second point of contact for Media/Web WG, monitored by mouse, is ohtranquilitypark@gmail.com

Freedman Town Project Workgroup (Jamin):
Includes both Freedman Houses, 1401 Andrew lot camping will continue rest of January
Workgroup meeting 1 hour after GA @Freedman Qs about if “Hooker & Stat Rape have also moved?” “No Hooker, Stat Rape took place before Roccupy House started”
Q about Freedman background, founded by the freeman, land stolen by city
Mission statement will be finalised tonight at workgroup meeting

Facilitation -Scott-
Didn’t meet today, last meeting defined to compile all proposals that affect GA, present collected data
Sunday meeting @4:30pm
Research -Scott- Closer to having workgroup, online discussion page, email me scottrgregory@gmail.com Reddit discussion group

Political Action -Joe-
5 goals
1: communicate public comment events before elected bodies (City, County, surrounding cities)
2: Inform about local political group events (Dem, Green, GOP, etc.)
3: Voter Registration
4: Assist in Voting
5: Issue inform
City of Houston & Harris County public comments & their agendas are online, can find them w/Google

Covert Ops -Jonathon-
We are urban exploration w/view to freecycle, street art, lesser hardcore, free-runner l’art du placemant
Does this include direct action/civil disobedience? More Direct Action, willing to work with them as ReConn. Will define Urban Explore offline

Direct Action -Miguel-
Antiwar action/protest in honour of Dr King

Workgroup Proposals: None

Announcements:
Jamin- 1/14/12 11AM Ruthven &Wilson in 4th Ward clean-up event at de facto landfill, anyone who wants to be involved, just show up
tomorrow for 11-2pm cemetery clean-up 4th Ward
Next Wednesday Connect the Dots @330pm on KPFT, interested in being on see Jamin
Monday @11am meeting w/HPD at 1201 Travis, see Justin or Dustin to make sure diverse group attends

Scott- I will be unable to take people to Last Organic Outpost Sunday (tomorrow), hopes someone will volunteer in his place. Alice can pick up a few people right before 1pm @Park

Pending Proposals:

Erick- That OH draft a comprehensive proposal program to work with Freedman Town
POI: Intended as statement of Solidarity w/Occupy Freedman’s Town
Tabled due to specifics changing

Erick- That people & items be removed from 1405 Andrews (Roccuhouse) & OH disband from Roccuhouse, people move OH Gear/Items back to Park between Sunday 11am-3pm
Consensus Reached

Proposals:
None

Opinions:
Trae- Love You Guys
Mary- forgot
Jenny- Glad so many people showed up, lots of work ahead of us, requires participation
Shere- We did our workgroups today, looked like a success, importance of the physical occupation & our workgroups
Miguel- Glad to see new faces today, want to remind people of mission statement & finding solutions for our communities
Deb- Food will be brought to you, no need to crowd food table had donated veggie lasagna & vegan couscous
Scott- We need to keep recycling sorted, had report of terrible job from Mike of Greens Recycling
Mouse- Tonight’s media success was relative success, one problem no People’s Mic and hence lots of random convo, we had external visitors & telepresent OHTX member in the livestream ChatRoom

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1/03/2012 General Assembly Minutes AM

Quorum was not reached/maintained. Discussion group & Tranquility Park Occupiers workgroup meeting took place, notes to be transcribed from physical notebook.

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1/03/2012 General Assembly Minutes PM

GA 1 3 12 Minutes
7 35PM
mod: Ben F.
scribe: Vi
Stacker: Miguel

Pending Proposals:
Jenny-
Basic Guidelines for OccupyHouston Work Groups
Jenny- Basic Guidelines for Active Occupy Houston Work Groups
1. To be considered active, all current Work Groups should:
A. Provide a public statement (mission statement) of goals, which does not conflict with the #OH principles of solidarity.
B. Publish contact info onto the #OH website. *working email required
C. Be based in Houston and have, at least, one open group meeting, at or near Tranquility Park, every other week. This meeting is to be listed on the #OH website. Changes to meeting time must be given at least 48 hours public notice, when possible.
D. Publish minutes of, at least, 1 meeting every other week on the #OH website. This meeting must demonstrate at least 2 in attendance. Work group will not be considered defunct until attendance has been less than 2 members for 4 weeks.
2. All new work groups must be announced of formation in the General Assembly.
Note: If, at any point, the GA consensus to alter or change the guidelines, all working groups will be given 30 days before implementation.
Implementation: These guidelines will take effect in 30 days, after passing consensus in the General Assembly.
Consensus Roched, Proposal Passes

Ben- Jan 21st: Create symbolic and potentially non-symbolic tents and place them all over the park. We will specifically ask that people who choose to risk arrest not have warrants or be out on bond, or be prepared to perform classic Thoreau civil disobedience. This is as an example of what we could be doing, and also that tents are better than stuff laying around.
True Consensus Roched, Proposal Passes

Work Group Announcements
Direct Action- JJ
In honor of the late MLK, I will propose tomorrow (Wed.) we shut down Walker St., the same way K Street was shut down in DC. It is going to be a direct action, and people will be arrested. People that are willing to be arrested, please show up tomorrow.

Facilitation- Ben
Proposals are not enforced unless they are in the minutes.
Reiterates GA rules of proposals, process, and times.

Roccupy- Erick
Cleaning
We need volunteers to take clothes to the Beacon to wash. We also need hangers, clothes racks, and washboards. Showers still not to be fixed and we don’t have hot water.
V- We got the media center up.
Capitol- No more than 8 lbs a bag; opens at 6am.

Political Action-
Joe- Across the street we had a protest this morning at the inauguration [of the City Government]. There was a bunch of response outside. There was a significant amount of media presence.
Ben- Extremely positive crowd response.
Joe- I went to an event tonight celebrating the mayors reelection. I had disgusting reactions from the 1percent, except for those who were more open minding and liberal.

Tranq Park Occupiers Work Group-
Jenny- We have an issue. I think it’s a problem when mouse is being left by himself. It’s an issue of personal responsibility to the buddy system. At some point we need to step up and say ‘I need to be here for my people’. I know Mouse is holding it down quite a bit and we need to be holding it down and working together.
Jo- Doesn’t that show that the park is irrelevant to this movement?
Jenny- This is the first movement is history where this is a city to city movement, and people can come and do come from out of town everyday from other Occupies and come to the movement to find like minded people and know that they’ll be taken care of. We are also one of the longest running physical occupations. [Host of other crowd responses disagreeing with Jocelyn not transcribed]

Miguel- Since we’re talking about doing direct actions these are Ben and Remington’s numbers:
Ben- 832 297 8595, 412 223 7279 (use this one if not calling from jail); Rem- 281 323 0535
Clean up at lot across from RoHo is 1/14. Every Wed and 2nd Sat is cemetery clean up.
Venus Project sent info to Jamin for RoHo. Might work on a process for taking on affinity and ally groups.

Announcements
Ben- Tomorrow is the Russian Consulate protest. 4 to 6 pm, Post Oak Blvd 610 inside the loop.
Hungary passed it’s constitution, which is horrible in many ways…

Jenny- I’m forming a Work Group Work Group.

JJ- 6th will be 3 month anniversary of OccHou. I am resigning as a Peace Keeper. I will stay sympathetic to this movement and will participate in protests, etc., but this is my last week. I love you guys.

Erick- Tomorrow I will be proposing that work group proposals be presented on Wednesday, Fridays, and Sundays.

Pending Proposals
Darin- We affirm our non hierarchical and leaderless philosophy and recognize the General Assembly as the leader of Occupy Houston. The only spokesperson for Occupy Houston is the GA.
True Consensus Roched, Proposal Pending

V- Keep a notebook so that we have physical presence at the park of the proposals that have been passed.
Consensus roched, Proposal Pending, notebook produced

V- Weekday evening GA time changes to 7 pm.
Consensus roched, Proposal Pending

Erick- We obtain by either donation or monetary means some sort of heat source that will be determined upon research for Tranquility Park.
Consensus roched, Proposal Pending

Jonathan- We take inventory of Occupy property to look for any cold weather gear (clothing that keeps us warm, sleeping bags, blankets) we have here right now.
Consensus roched, Proposal Pending

JJ- If you’re going to go in totes, ask permission.
Did not pass

Miguel- Change quorum from 13 to 7.
6 blocks:
Jojo- Will cause a lot of problems
Joe- too radical, can cause proposals to go through too quickly
Erick- many people who may not be here but are occupiers have concerns about too small of numbers representing them.
Mouse- still thinks 13 is too little, so 7 is too little.
Ben- that is way too big a decision to pass without a lot of prior notice.
Darin- We need to be increasing numbers for quorum, not decreasing.
Tabled

Opinions
Erick- I love you guys. I’m glad we’re back. There will be more people eventually. I still think property left out in a public space is communal property. I’ve had to learn how to get over that due to having most if not all of my valuable material possessions taken. Because of our obsession with private property, we start to get into a touchy area.

Joe- Do things you’re good at. Seek to understand, don’t seek to be understood. We got a hell of a lot accomplished in the short three months we have existed. We have the 1 percents attention.

Darin- Glad the holidays are over and we’re all back. The movement’s moving along just fine. Tonight’s GA was very productive. I love you guys.

V – We did the best we could with the emergency clean up. I consulted with Mouse about the stuff that left. I also think we should use progressive stack, because it seems a lot of the same people talk first or a lot.

Jenny- If anyone is friends with Chris M., he’s sick so go hit him up on facebook to make him feel better.

Ben calls for consensus to adjourn: Consensus reached.

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January 4th, 2012: Weekly Protest Rally Outside the Russian Consulate

3 Regions of the Russian Federation now forbid any public LGBT expression, under the homophobic pretense that it serves to “propagandize children”. Pride Prides have long been not only illegal, but met with State-sanctioned violence & lynch mobs.

Occupy Houston says no more! We invite all those who recognise that GLBT rights are human rights to join us Wednesdays, from 4pm to 6pm, at the Russian Consulate corner of Post Oak Blvd & South 610 (1333 West Loop South, Ste 1300, Houston, TX 77027). Lynchings & suppression of free speech cannot be tolerated or passively condoned.

In the immortal words written by Dr. King from his cell in the Birmingham jail: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Hope to see y’awl there.

Please RSVP via Facebook Event or via email (VeryLoudBen@gmail.com) if possible. Parking is extremely limited in the area, and so carpooling or use of METRO is recommended. This is planned as ongoing event.

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12/28/11 GA Minutes PM

General Assembly – wednesday 12/28/11

Moderator: Scott
Facilitator: Jenny
Stack-Coordinator: Jeremiah
Scribe: Jeremie [from Occupy Oakland]

Scott explains GA process.

Report-backs.

Amy Price – Occupy the Courts:

We’ve had a couple mtgs at this point. The official day is the 20th, we decided to have one event on that day and another, very diff’t one on another day.
We have a panel discussion of speakers on the 20th who can speak on the problem of corporate personhood.
On Saturday 21st, we will have.. a combination of street theater + a march: play, “Who killed democracy” written by a creative writing student at U of H.
Wanted posters…
By the time we do this, there will be roles for everybody. We will need people to do outreach.. help out.. facilitate the panel discussion.

2 proposals:
We never officially voted to support Move to Amend
I will first read the text of Move to Amend.
I have been requested by facilitation to move the proposals to a diff’t section…

Trey (sustainability):
We are working on getting solar panels.
We need people who can help us get and install the panels ($150 each?)
Thank you to those of you who helped clean up the park.

Ben Franklin – occupy tranquility park workgroup:
We decided today to clean up the bench & sort through items that have been sitting there for over a week. 10 am tomorrow we will have a truck pick up for donation. I personally blocked proposal for salvation army as destination, backed by Mouse.
A lot of stuff is still usable by us & other ppl in need.
Please put your trash in trash bags or if you must city trash bins.
Do I have any suggestions of a good local charity to take this stuff to? Women’s shelter?

Women’s shelter wins…

Joe R – Political action group:
Mayor of Houston came by this morning around 10am and stayed for about 45mins, sat and talked to some of us who passed her security screening.
Mouse (from media): I tried to sit in on the conversation but I was not let in.
(gives antiquated definition of lobbying)
We talked about sanitation issues… we can let the city know when to come pick up our trash (?)
She wants to know what our next step is.
I said that those who smoke weed will probably continue to do so.. she laughed.
In a nutshell she just asked us to clean up the park more &…
We are one of the only cities in the US who are still in the same place as we began…

question: Do you confirm that there is a motion to stop us from camping overnight?
Answer: yes, she did bring that up. She’s concerned that we are a target for violence (guns). But we are staying. And we have a very good team of lawyers.
Question (scott): was there any sort of threat?
Answer: more a threat from us to her!

Jenny – workgroup workgroup:
I’m having an event on january 7th.
If you are part of a workgroup, let me know, we need you to be there!
Starts at 2.
If I can’t get enough people representing, I will have to set a schedule, so some of us can represent several workgroups at once.

Scott – facilitation:
we are going to compile every GA document & proposal that has been passed that affects Facilitation/GAs, mostly for future facilitation workgroups

Scott-research:
i’ve started a private subreddit for the research workgroup. Email me at scottgregory@gmail.com if you want to get involved.
Q: what sorts of things are you going to be researching?
A: (gives some examples) – a lot of people who can’t necessarily come here can get involved w this committee

-rockuppy:
there is a house/lot up at 1401 Andrews (corner Wilson)
we came up w one ground rule today: fires and fire pits have to pass thru consensus decisions

Massoud – outreach:
2nd issue [of the OccupyHouston paper] is out, printed 10,000, distributed half of it in many cities. Soon it’s gonna be a Texas-wide newspaper—each city will have a page.
In houston we are in a unique situation. We have 3 ways to connect w one another: website, radio, newspaper. I want to emphasize that it’s easier to get & send email thru email… but historically every movement has had a newspaper that has brought people together… person to person contact w the community…
please contribute to the paper and distribute it!
Cost: we have to pay the printer…

Workgroup proposals:

Amy Price reads the text of Move to Amend’s proposal regarding limiting/abolishing corporate personhood

We, the General Assembly of Occupy Houston, fully support amending the United States Constitution
to end corporate personhood and restrict the influence of money on elections and politics. In particular,
we support the amendment proposed by MoveToAmend.org (text below), which makes clear that
corporations are not people, money is not speech, and both can be regulated by lawmakers.

We support Move To Amend’s amendment, rather than any of the versions currently proposed by various
senators and members of congress, because it is the only version that fully addresses both the doctrines
of “money=free speech” and “corporations are people”. Other versions would continue to allow wealthy
individuals to exert unfair influence over elections, PACs to do so, or both.

Our endorsement of this amendment does not imply that its passage is the aim of our work. Such an
event would be only one accomplishment in the broader struggle to remove power from corporations and
replace it in the hands of the people. Our ultimate goal is the worldwide adoption of sustainable lifestyles supported by structures that maximize meaningful and just freedoms. We will not be satisfied by partial successes.

Text of Amendment proposed by MoveToAmend.org:
Section 1 [A corporation is not a person and can be regulated]
The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.
Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law.
The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable.
Section 2 [Money is not speech and can be regulated]
Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.

Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.

The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.

Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.

Proposal passes.

Massoud – question: I love it but, has this been discussed with Outreach?

A: it’s been sent out (discussed?) over email.
I asked about a month ago who wanted to be involved w occupy the courts and got only one response.
Massoud: but this is outreach.
Scott: let’s work on making it more clear what is outreach and what issues need to be discussed within it.

Q: Will this go on the website?
A: It will go on their website that we—along with many other organizations, including the NLG & other Occupy’s—endorse it. And I think it should also go on ours.

Massoud: why didn’t I/the outreach committee hear about this until now?
Amy: We have been doing this through our own committee.

Amy: also, we need money for this action (posters, water, puppets, etc)
So I propose we allocate $120 to Occupy the Courts.

Ben F: to my knowledge no money has been allocated from the wepay account since the bail bonds…

Proposal passes (by ~80%).

Amy: I propose we make a banner.

?: maybe we should ask for donations for this banner rather than allocate budget twds it.
Remington: I may have a banner we can use. I just can’t bring it over on my motorcycle.

Massoud: we are coming back to the same issue, we need to know about things before GA (??)

Massoud:
The cost is the same as last time, $800. 2 people already sent $250 checks so we only need $300. I propose we allocate $300 for the newspaper.

Q (Ben F): at a previous GA questions have been asked about the printing process, & i’d like to see them answered so they can be in the minutes.
A (Massoud): I don’t know of any printer who can use ink that is environmentally (?)…
Union printers… contacted head of AFL-CIO who gave them the name of a printshop, haven’t checked with them yet.

Amy: maybe if we got in touch w some unions they could donate some of their services.
Massoud: it’s in process. [...]
Joe: POI… there’s only one union printshop…

Massoud: the newspaper can also raise the money for itself. Parties, etc… a lot of people are excited about the paper, and they’ll donate for it, but only for printing…
And all donations go directly towards the website, so that is not an issue.

Proposal passes
.
Massoud: Second proposal. I propose that we participate in the MLK parade on MLK’s 34th anniversary january 16th. (Duncantel has invited us to be part of the parade free of charge and have a banner…)

Jenny: I propose that we open an Occupy Houston Newspaper account for Massoud to get funds directly.

Proposal passes.

Scott reads the proposal for workgroups & the january 7th event.
“The january 7th meeting will officialize OH workgroups; as such, the workgroups that send a representative to the meeting will be OH’s official workgroups and will be included on the OH website.”

Proposal passes.

Announcements:

Remington: Tomorrow we are going to meet with the program director of KPFT to determine whether we can stay on the FM radio. We need to show them that it is worthwhile for them to keep us on the air. I think we should have as many people as possible call them and pledge to make donations if they keep us on the air. 713-526-4000

Massoud: it doesn’t work that way. We need to start a petition asking listeners to support your radio show.
Clarifying question (BF): M, when is the next KPFT board meeting?
M: I’ll email you.
BF: We could all go there by bus & sit in on their meeting.

Ben Franklin:
Like every Wednesday, from 4-6pm we have protests outside the Russian consulate. It’s always a small group of different people & I would like to have a more consistent large group.

Joe:
There is a NYE party. There is a new class of city council members coming in, we will be kind to them at first.

Mouse:
The 61 encampments reported earlier were just reduced by 2. Occupy Bellingham and Occupy Sacramento have been evicted.

Scott:
I am doing rideshare to Last Organic Outpost, a farm where we can work and fill out bags of veggies to bring back, 1pm every Sunday.
Trae: we can also go there any day during the week in the afternoon.

Trae: We have been a wee bit irresponsible with the big silver bins… trampling plants…
let’s compost and bring our containers back

Proposals:

Ben F: the mayor came by; I missed her. She complained about mess while refusing us any shelter or any structures at all. She complained about the grass; we have actually proposed to work with the city about replanting, haven’t been given a response. She claimed that the only reason homeless people defecate in the park is because we’re here. Our mayor, as the first openly LGBT mayor of a major US city, has done nothing for LGBT rights in the city (ex. housing rights).
I propose that we officially re-affirm our commitment to occupying public spaces, to assert our right to free speech and free assembly, and uphold our commitment to walk in the footsteps of the Arab Spring & Occupy Wall street [Passes 1st GA]

Tyler: I propose that we request/invite, as a GA, that people who are occupying “in spirit,” endeavor, if possible, to sleep at the park at least one night out of the week.
[that we post an official invitation on the OH website calling people to spend at least one night a week in Tranquility Park.]

BF: friendly amendment: what about 6 hours in the week?
?: No.
Proposal passes 1st GA.

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