Author Archive

Women Are People Too Rally (December 8th)

Join us at Tranquility at 4pm, Thursday, December 8th. We will leave shortly after 4, travel via cars and Metro bus to Planned Parenthood on Fannin. This rally/counter-protest is to show support for Planned Parenthood before and during the beginning of their winter holiday party, when pro-life protesters are expected to gather.

Rally participants are welcome to attend the rest of the party afterward, which is a pot luck so we should really try to bring some food if we want to attend the party. The party is BYOB if you would like drinks other than soft drinks or wine. We need to bring serving platters/ food containers and coolers and we can have all the leftover food from the party.

Hope to see you there!

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Meeting Minutes 12/4

Freedman’s Town Project House; 1st Official Meeting

12/4/11; 2:00 pm

Present: Shamus, Amanda R., Amanda H., Jeremiah, Vera, Taryn, Adam, Ben

 

1. Review of Rules, House Procedures

    • Hours are Mon-Sat, 9a-6p; Sunday is day off from construction and manual labor.
    • Meetings are Wednesday at 9a, Sunday at 1pm; weekly brunch on Sundays at 1pm meeting.
    • Revise rule 7: To be staying here for an amount of time, you must be working on something productive.

 

  1. General Brainstorming, Discussion of Ideas for House

 

  • To be able to feed occupiers who come over during the day, we need to look into organizing regular food pick ups, and showing a presence with the team that goes to Last Organic Outpost.
    • Container garden in side yard is preferable as it is very likely there are dangerous chemicals contaminating the soil here.
  • Need to establish dishwashing stations and signs explaining protocol of the house for things like dishwashing, disposal into compost, etc.
  • Possible use of the roof space for sustainability efforts.
  • Facebook page with regular updates on hours, events, and progress.
  • Plan to schedule individual projects and post online so that volunteers can come on days relevant to their interests.
  • Amanda H. volunteers to monitor freecycle/ habitat for humanity thrift store for raw materials.
  • Establish recycling efforts outside of Tranquility, including possibly collecting and recycling cans to earn extra income for project.
  • Planning on drafting project mission statement and explaining work’s relation to occupy in an email this week. Will be drafted over the week during office hours.
  • Consider offering location as a second location for receiving and processing non-prepared food donations.
  • An occupier has offered to pay for our internet. Hopefully will be up within the next week, and we will be able to stay in close contact with main camp.
  • Need carbon monoxide detectors, Amanda H offers to get them.
  • Top priorities for repair are the bathroom and kitchen.
    • Want to start construction by Wednesday; be painting kitchen by Friday
    • tile floor for bathroom
    • toilet
  • Could utilize space to host screenings of movies like Inside Job; really important everyone is as informed as possible before Foreclosure Solidarity event.
  • Jeremiah has a contact with Amigo Wind, will have him call the house phone tomorrow to talk about turning on electricity.
  • Need to talk to Tran family about applying for weatherization assistance.
  • Jeremiah can help with website
  • Get a barrel for rainwater.
  • Contact other similar organizations like HOUSE project for advice and insight.
    • Also Japhet Creek in the 5th ward

 

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GA Minutes 12/4/11

GA minutes for 12-4-2011

Moderator – Remington

Facilitator – Scott G

Timer – Ben F

Scribe  - ?? (The minutes were incomplete. I, Scott G. filled in
whatever I could from memory. That’s why my opinion piece is so
awesome here.)

Stack Coordinator – Mary

Stacker – ??

VGRB

Ian – Linux OS is not defined.
Delbert received openly with the church.

Joe – (POLITICAL ACTION) Two big unions come together to fund camping
equipment . Currently drawing up a list. More pronounced work in
several departments. Protest today of Louda (?) commercial, great
support from passers-by. DC invite to congressional office and unions
are picking up the food tab.

Amanda – (SUSTAINABILITY) Moving forward with sustainability efforts.
House open for storage for DC occupiers. 9 am Wednesday, 1 pm Sunday,
meetings. House is open on Monday-Friday from 9 – 6. Sunday is a day
of no physical labor. 1109 Genesee.

Burke – (LEGAL) To the problem of non-participants: Get a personal
TRO? ? SEIU look for while participating in civil disobedience ? Name
and DOB is important info when getting arrested. Make sure people know
your name and DOB.

Ben – (MEDICAL) No storage of personal items in medical totes. Gloves
are being used, which is good, and being used sparingly, which is also
good. Peacekeeping meeting under the big umbrella immediately after
GA.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Burke – 5 pm next Sunday mock GA new process being tested. Creation of
3 person panel to determine if a block is valid.

Joe – 3 things. SOUS (?) in town. Protest at the Marriot, parking is free.
Protest at 1pm. 4 pm to 7 pm meeting. Morgan Stanley stole $1M,
comment on this situation. [I think this is about the Secretary of the
Interior -ed.]

Ryan – The flyer is ready for DEC 12 action with Whitney Blithe.
Mobile Occupy from North Texas wish to come occupy the port and march
from San Jacinto Park December 12.

Jamin – December 6 solidarity march and sit in with OWS for people
being forced out of their homes.

Mike S – Help me get clothes for DC by 3 am.

Remington – Upcoming OCCUPY THE AIRWAVES show on white collar crime.

Cedrick – a formal apology to anyone he may have offended earlier in
the evening.

JJ – Those going to DC can put their belongings in JJ’s tote to store
at OCCUHOUSE.

PROPOSALS

Amy P – Put resources toward JANUARY 20th occupy the court 8am to 5pm.
Move to amend has written a letter of solidarity with occupy
movements. ACCEPTED

Ryan – Participate in the DEC 12 action with OCCUPY NOW on the ports.
Post info on the website. ACCEPTED

Chris – Change  chants from “What’s the solution? Occupy Houston!” to
“What’s the solution? Occupy Movement!” REJECTED

Ian – Distribute clear tents to occupiers. REJECTED

Joe – $10 reimbursement for people who made dinner happen tonight by
bringing utensils and supplies. ACCEPTED

Ben – A direct action, perhaps a MIC CHECK at the meeting of the
Secretary of the Interior. ACCEPTED

OPINIONS

Dustin P – Proper notice is needed for activities so Outreach can work
on it. EMAIL DBPhipps@comcast.net

Ian – Is sex against the law in the park, or is it just nudity?

Ben F – Congratulations to those going to DC, and please step up while
they are gone to those who remain.

Scott G – 1. We had a solidarity statement with the right of OCCUPY
THE FED to assemble in the same manner that we do. Since they’ve been
evicted, we should show solidarity by marching on the location on a
regular basis. 2. Working on a volunteer group with my friend jessica
called “circle.” It is designed to take the emotional load off of GA
and provide another public venue for personal disputes. 3. There are
three arenas of effort for OCCUPY movements. Personal, Scientific, and
Civic. Each arena has an internal aspect as well as an external. If
any of these is neglected, our success will be limited.

George – Educating about solar energy. Global warming is real. (??)

Remington – Financial fraud with Daphne Silverman from UHD engaging
those for (???)

Mary – I want to start a workgroup for those who aren’t here all the
time to make life easier for the full-time occupiers.

Joe – State of nation is broken. Severe fever (??) Spoke on directing
notes in a focused direction (?)

Mouse – I watched the rally in DC for 3 hours. 20 arrested for
building a barn and not bringing it down.

Jamin – 3:30 am pickup for airport, 4:00 am pickup for airport. (?)

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Needed Items for Washington Trip

Those traveling to Washington D.C. Dec 5th-9th need memory cards for digital cameras, as well as laptops with WiFi capabilities. If you can lend or donate such items please come by the occupation. Thanks

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Meeting Minutes 11/29

Freedman’s Town Project Meeting Minutes

Planning Meeting

11/29/2011

Present: Swim, Amanda Renee, Shamus

 

Subject: Initial workgroup meeting for the Freedmen’s Town Project House

 

Background Info: It is through Amanda and Shamus’ work with Lynwood and Emily of the Freedmen’s Town National Historic District that Occupy Houston has affiliation with the duplex space at 1109 Genesee. The intention of this workgroup is to perform renovations on the space as part of a larger campus plan in the Freedmen’s Town District while providing an office space and workgroup storage** area for Occupy Houston. The Freedman’s Town Civil Rights Center leases the entire duplex, but only uses the 1111 space for its work, and has extended the 1109 space to us. The lease is in Emily’s name and she has given the keys to Shamus and Amanda, who are accountable for whatever happens in the property.

** Workgroup storage means storage for supplies necessary to the activities of workgroups. This does not mean personal items; this space is not infinite, and we need to ensure the clutter in the house remains minimal.

 

The following rules have been established to ensure proper use of the building:

      1. Clean up after yourself.
      2. Conserve resources.
      3. Smoke outside.
      4. Sign In/Out.
      5. IF staying for any amount of time, you must be working here.
      6. Respect Shaun and Amanda’s wishes, they are responsible for the house and what happens within it.

 

  • To address concerns about access to the house, we have established that the house will be open daily from 8am-6pm. House access is limited to daylight hours for the time being as we do not have sufficient lighting to accommodate work efforts past sunset at this time.
  • During these hours, volunteers may come over to assist in renovation efforts, or perform other Occupy Houston related tasks.
  • Workgroups wishing to utilize the space for meetings, storage, or other work are welcome to come during the open hours, or to contact a FTPH workgroup volunteer about securing the space for after hours if necessary.
  • FTPH meeting times will be on Wednesdays at 9 am and Sundays at 1pm.
    • There will be no construction or physical labor on Sundays, and the group wishes to establish a weekly brunch to accompany the meeting.
  • Efforts to obtain wireless internet are of high priority and are under way. One person has already offered to pay for our internet, we are hoping to have a Clear hotspot up and running by next week.
  • Because the Freedman’s Town Civil Rights Center currently pays the bills for the entire duplex, use of the bathroom facilities by volunteers and workgroup members needs to be strictly limited.
  • To address many concerns raised by other occupiers about the FTPH’s role in the ongoing movement, we agree to draft an email as a team explaining our involvement with Freedman’s Town and how this house is an asset and not a detraction from the efforts of Occupy Houston. The goal for completion and submission of the email is Sunday, December 4th.
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LiveStream Operators and/or Laptops Needed

Occupy Houston needs Livestream operators. Please if you can come out and do Livestream at OccupyHouston!

Another request is for laptops capable of running Livestream so that the occupiers there can handle this function.

btw, Thanks to all occupiers who have served as this important role so far!

This has been an ongoing need for some time and recently was intensified by some questionable people acting authoritatively as though they are security for the park, telling occupiers they cannot occupy some portions of Tranquility Park (when we have equal right to occupy any/all of Tranquility Park). In this case it could have been very helpful to have Livestream documentation (or video in general), but clearly there are many many cases where Livestream or other video documentation is optimal.

Please do what you can or spread the word to someone who may be able to help. Thanks!

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Stand in Solidarity at the Russian Consulate (Nov. 30, 4 pm)

Political leaders in St. Petersburg are about to vote on law that will make it illegal for any person to write a book, publish an article or speak in public about being gay, lesbian or transgender, and eliminate their right to peaceably assemble. The ruling party led by President Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin could make millions of people invisible with the stroke of a pen. As of November 23 After a major protest in front of the St. Petersburg City Council – which was dispersed by police – and our international pressure, Russia has taken notice: a vote on the law has been postponed until November 30th. The fight is far from over and there are only a few days left to speak up.

Right now, the world needs to speak up and tell Russian authorities to drop the bill. Join this call to leaders around the world to reach out to their counterparts in the Russian government – and ask them to reject this discriminatory and anti-democratic law.

Human rights defenders around the country are doing everything they can to stop it. They are risking their freedom to organize flash-mobs and protests, but they are afraid that it won’t be enough.

I strongly believe that we stand together at the Russian consulate on Wednesday November 30th @ 4pm in solidarity with the LGBT community because nobody’s right should be taken away from them.


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GA Minutes Nov. 9th

GA Minutes Nov. 9th

 

Intro to GA

Newcomers welcome to introduce themselves

Hand signals

Volunteer group report backs:

Sustainability (John): no longer have a sustainability table because the police stole it. The sustainability business will continue as usual.

Outreach (Dustin):  Thanks to everyone who stood up for their 1st amendment rights and everyone else that came out in support.  Trying to put together a meeting to address the tent issue. Panel discussion at the end of the month. Let me know if you want to get in on that. I was contacted by Will Cloud who did leaked the pepper spray video in New York and did a piece on our movement last night. Anyone willing to outreach to specific campuses get with Outreach.

OH Newspaper (Massoud) : We need help from you –to write reports and articles and send them to us, send photos. Trying to get the first paper finished Monday.

Women’s Group (Roxanne): Women’s group met yesterday evening. Had a great meeting. We appreciate you respecting our safe space. We were able to address a lot of issues and we all got a lot out of it. Our next meeting is Tuesday at 5:30pm. Some issues: inappropriate language and touching. Get with Roxanne at thisisroxanne@yahoo.com

Peacekeeping (Ben): Due to the disruptive forces last night this means we need more volunteers for peacekeeping. Part of peacekeeping’s role is not merely security but greeting, since you have to know a community if you’re going to make sure it’s safe. This Wed. at the public library there will be a workshop for those who have already gone through the basic non-violent class and want to learn more- 10am – 2pm.

Medical (Mary):  We really need more people to volunteer. Also please clean up when you take things from medical. We can train people but we really need more people.

Emergency announcement (Rafi and Sarah):  sad to report, when something bad happens you have to talk about it. For the past 2 weeks an occupier name Joe Roche volunteered on the Amy Price campaign and went a lot of places with us and on Monday night Rafi graciously let him sleep over at our apartment. The next day at the election party we were siting outside. The following events were witnessed by myself, Rafi, Remington, Amy Price, Dr. Bizinco: Joe stole Rafi’s car. We knew he would go back to our apartment or here to this park. We sent people both places to try and confiscate the keys and keep him on site. The next part is that Artem saw Joe and reported it to me and Artem confiscated the keys from Joe. 2 police reports: 1 for unlawful use of a vehicle/… today I was sitting at home when without warning I saw Joe Roche sitting on the porch of the building I live in, within the fence. Joe has my cell he could have called me. Instead he showed up unannounced and asked him why he was there he said he left some things so I told him to wait there and needed to leave or I would call the police. He did not leave and 2nd report comes in: the police declined to arrest him for trespassing though they did say if he did it again they would arrest. An unrelated 3rd party whom Joe engaged in conversation and claimed he is my cousin. The upshot of all this is that Joe is a liar and a thief and these are facts.

Joe:  there is a campaign puppy and is a very beautiful pit bull. If anyone wants to give it a home, please ask questions.

Point of Process

Food (Jeremy): Cleanliness is important not just in the kitchen but everywhere.

National Report (Kevin): last night attended an online national coordination meeting.  Others can do this too. You’re more than welcome too. Come see me after the meeting. The name is Occupy Coordination –to provide resources and provide facilitation to occupy movements all over the country. This group has a meeting on Friday. Occupy Coordination also has an IT working group building a site that addresses all these concerns. If you have experience with development, etc, or speak another language other than English come see us. Next May planning a year anniversary and worldwide occupation. National day of action to block infrastructure but this was blocked by Houston’s GA. Dec. 9th another notational day of action where it is proposed to be read UN Human Rights Declaration and ensure that countries comply with this declaration.

Legal (Maria):  as it stands right now, the arrests carried out yesterday and te detentions are based upon the city’s attempt to put the city ordinance over OH constitutional rights. He main issue is to what extent the park restrictions regarding tents can unnecessarily restrict the 1st amendment free speech rights. It is clear that peaceful assembly and the right to spontaneous free speech and the right to ask gov to correct bad mistakes, is protected by the highest law of this law, the US Constitution. There are bigger demands that OH goes beyond the 1st Amendmet right to free speech —the right to homes, education, health care, decent jobs, and the right to end the corruption of democracy.

John Carlos  events (Dan): this Friday John Carlos along with Tommy Smith raised their fists from the Olympic podium in Mexico City.. coming to OccHou at 3PM. Also speaking at 7pm at the Shape Center on Almeda near Alabama. Try to go to both events to show solidarity.

John: On a more positive note, the Houston Legal coalition is in the beginning stages of organizing a solidarity march with OccHou. There is a proposed Latino march to support OccHou, Dec. 10th, International Human Rights Day. The proposal is to meet on the east end and march to OccHou.

Logistics (Melissa): housekeeping needs people to always pick up after themselves. Logistics and finance team needs volunteers. Give your contact info to me or Swim so you can be added to the directory. In light of the arrests yesterday it became clear there is no protocol, we need sweepers –those not here to get arrested, but can be called on to watch stuff or move it to a safe location. Please come and see me if you would like to do that.

Radical Studies (Alice): Friday 11-11 after John Carlos we are hosting discussion circles here in the park on all topics, like world systems theory of capitalism, the effect of pornography on our culture, earth centered living, all kinds of stuff. We will list all topics, walk-out students will show up here and engage interest in the groups, and have perhaps 3 rounds. So if you know people who are experts or yourself, do some research, perhaps find a video or document to generate discussion, bring them with you. Open mic the rest of the night. John Carlos talks at 3, then when he finishes, until 6, when we will switch to open mic before GA.

Jeff: also on 11-11 which is Friday, Veteran’s Day, I’ve organized a reading of the fatalities in Iraq and Afghanistan. This reading will take place in front of KBR head quarters. I will begin reading at 6:30 am until 8:30 am. Reading shifts are available. Please see me if you would like to read for 2 hours.

Aaron: film after the GA –a film called The Corporation

Jaimyn: on 11-12 we will be standing in solidarity with Egypt and marching on the Egyptian consulate with about 20 participants from Occupy Austin.

Maria: the court date for some of the arrestees has been set for Dec. 10th at 1pm in the Houston Municipal Court #18. As you know there is a discussion study and strategy session scheduled for 200 occupiers and supporters from 2-4:45 pm on Nov. 19th this will include a general assembly sub study group that will include current work groups plus a strategy and tactics study group. Finances, independent media, education and organizational study groups will address 3 points: economic crisis, solutions, and where Occupy Houston is going next. Everybody here should have studied what the CEO and the West Point General study the Art of War.

 

Roxanne: this Saturday is National Sleep Out Day for Homelessness Awareness. There will likely be new people sleeping out here. On Dec. 5th there is an event for World Aids Day in Tranquility Park- we don’t know who is organizing that.

Bill: there’s a chance to support Unitas, this coming Tuesday meeting at the Naturalization building. Organizations are marching on the Leland federal building on the 16th over the janitor contracts. Hotel workers will be demonstrating on the 23rd. Would like to propose that people interested in related issues form a volunteer group for workers issues.

 

Dave: this Saturday Jim Hightower will be speaking but at 3 he will be at OccHou.

[started raining ..looking for paper notes]

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