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Women’s Group Meeting, Tues. Nov 15th 5:30 PM

At the first Women’s Group meeting at Occupy Houston that did not invite men (but included them in the second hour of the meeting) many attendees expressed satisfaction at having gotten something out of the meeting and providing a safe space where women can talk about the gender balance issues they experience in the occupation.

Some of these issues include situations where an occupier is taking on one of the most work-intensive areas, then has a conflict with an indigent visitor, asks for support and the facilitator does not support her but tells her to let it go or let the person have what they want… in short, this woman is doing a lot of the work, but not able to make decisions directly related to the work she’s been put in charge of.

Other issues were insensitive sexist language and jokes. One woman was in the company of 2 men occupiers away from the occupation briefly when one told the other a rape joke, etc. As we talked we found there are many areas where further education about insensitive language and what to do when one hears such language…is wanting, as in much of society.

We appreciate that men were able to respect our space so that we could have this discussion.

There was some debate about not allowing men at the first part of the meeting. Aside from valid arguments for using established protocol like creating a Safe Space for disenfranchised groups, etc, the women themselves pretty clearly proved to me the need for such a group and ability to create such a safe space when necessary – In essence, multiple women did not feel that the system in place was allowing them to be heard and taken seriously when issues come up, as well as when they are being harassed are finding not enough support from surrounding occupiers– especially when women are not feeling heard, or any minority group, we will continue to provide safe places for women to meet and talk about the issues and struggles we have in common.

Overall, as a group we agreed that we would like to see the level of awareness of about the inequality women face brought to the same degree of awareness as race inequality and insensitivity.

The next women’s meeting will be Tuesday Nov. 15th at 5:30 pm. Everyone is welcome and the meeting will be moderated. I will update this post with the women’s group mailing list as soon as that becomes available.

If you have any questions or concerns please contact Roxanne at womenscontact@occupyhouston.org.

During the heated debate on Facebook, Nick Cooper posted this note and during the women’s meeting we agreed it was well spoken and that we’d like to add it to the general outline of what the meeting was about. To be clear, this was originally posted in response to a heated debate on Facebook  (at facebook.com/occupyhouston at Monday 2:24 pm) :

We shouldn’t expect most white-males to arrive at occupyhouston already knowing the motivations for an all women’s breakout group.  For me, it took seeing several presentations by queer and people of color caucuses to “get it.”  At occupyhouston when the idea of a feminism meeting first came up, many guys objected.  A feminism meeting with those males present might not even get started, and it made perfect sense for those who identify as female to choose to meet on their own.

 

Breakout groups inside larger groups sometimes choose to limit their participation to only women, blacks, people of color, sex-workers, rape-victims, or etc.   These types of groups form because when non white males try to explore their thoughts in an open group, they are often interrupted, shushed, mocked, dominated, criticized, or otherwise shut-down.  I do not think the response of occupyhouston should amount to “man up, deal with it on your own, and come back whenever you are ready.”

 

There is no equivalency here to an all-white breakout group, and comparisons to that effect are odious.  Oppressed groups in our society are not the same as dominant groups and we shouldn’t maintain an unequal status quo on the basis of so-called equality.  Black prejudice against whites is not the same thing as white prejudice against blacks.  The concept of black power is not an equivalent to the concept of white power.  Sex-workers do not get the same respect in our society as college students.  Critiques of patriarchy are not the same as critiques of women.  The 99% has real inequities in it, and they don’t go away by pretending we all have equal power.

 

If members of non-dominant groups often don’t feel comfortable to speak as much, or at all, in wide-open meetings, then they need other sorts of meetings to work on it.  The process of developing ideas often requires a less pressured environment for collaborative dialog.  Creating spaces where women don’t have to worry about being shut down by insensitive men can help build up the strength needed to dialog later with those men on a better footing.  Sometimes the breakout groups start off as exclusive, and then can come to re-enter dialog with the larger group on their own terms.

 

There are exclusive associations taking place all the time at occupyhouston. There is no rule against such things.  When David Rovics played a concert there, it wasn’t open for anyone to go up and play any instrument with him.  A musician choosing who is in his band is no more problematic than a group of women deciding they want to meet alone.

 

White males often assume that their presence does nothing to stop women and people of color from feeling comfortable talking about their concerns and their histories. This fact alone explains why they are sometimes asked to not attend.  I have been part of hundreds of types of groups and movements in my life and there has never been one in which white males didn’t speak for more than their even share of time.  Those who would seek to deny women a chance to meet without them are obstructing the creation of a space where those who are used to speaking less get to speak more.

 

There are many who seem to acknowledge that we live in a white patriarchy where women may well not get their full thoughts out in the presence of men, but don’t seem to be open to creative solutions to bring balance.  It should be obvious that women will not say all kinds of things about feminism if there are guys present, especially if they are insensitive guys.  We have a long way to go, and we will never get there if women’s right to free association isn’t respected.

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GA Minutes Nov. 7th

GA Minutes Nov. 7th
Intro to GA
Volunteer Group Reports Back
Logistics (Swim) No littering, no smoking in the park. No fires, no restroom activity in the park. Put meetings in the white boards. Return sleeping goods to Warehouse after use.
Legal (Burke): a week ago proposed to apply for permits. Allowed to pursue a permit, or that is how I’m interpreting the status now, though not all agree, so tonight is a new proposal. Proposal to try to attain a permit for OccupyHouston to remain in Tranquility.
Questions regarding types of permits. Response:  no now we are talking about a general permit for OccupyHouston that will enable us to have tents and sound.
Point of Process_ passed a week ago tht no one would be standing during a speaker except for he moderator
Warehouse (Chris): A lot of stuff coming up missing. Come to whoever is working the Warehouse area rather than just digging through stuff. There is a difference between warehouse and storage. Storage is for personal items with names on them, warehouse is for general use goods.
Outreach (Dustin): Gina looked into getting leftover food from Whole Foods.  Created Direct Action list serve… get with Dustin
Research (Scott) -Now research sub-reddit.  Reddit.com/r/ohresearch
Food (Vanessa) –  cleanliness is important. Wash the plates and bowls you use. If you see anything out of place, pick it up!
Announcements
Leigh: in the process of organizing a video volunteer group, for video production and processing raw videos sent in. Meeting tonight after GA. Find me or
Buddy after GA if you have video to contribute
Tyler: Occupy Supply has already raised $75,000 for supplying occupations (not just Houston). They want to know what we could use the most.
Eric -Point of Info– no propane anything allowed for burn ban right now
Jeff : this Friday is Veteran’s day -I will be out to read the names of fatalities at 6 am. Need volunteers to read shifts. Will have some combat boots, flowers, a tribute to read by. At 500 Jefferson, KBR headquarters.
Jaimyn: 12th of Nov we will be standing in solidarity with Egypt and marching on the Egyptian consulate –times to be announced
Steve: Good Jobs Great Houston – on Dec. 4th will be doing action at super-committee in Washington DC –2 meals a day, heated tent provided.  40 spots. Tonight is the deadline to sign up!
Carl: This Thursday Eric Cantor will be at Rice but you need a reservation to get in, BUT come anyway and we will have about 100 people outside. Some *have* reserved seats already as well. 11am Thurs at Rice -Baker Hall / auditorium
Dustin: as of a few hours ago Dallas called for a general strike. Maybe think about jumping on board for a statewide strike? Nov 30th
Trey: about 3 days ago I and JJ who work peacekeeping were hanging out trying to get some away time at the bayou , noticed a police officer looking through the bushes near the bayou. Informed us someone had been mugged that morning –armed robbery. Not telling you to spook anyone, but emphasize importance of buddy system. Officer said he does not mind people on the bayou at night, UNLESS there is a lone person –which is dangerous.
Speaker:  Theres been a relay going on for 10 years from Mexico City to New York, from city to city carrying a torch to bring attention to the plight of immigrants. It will be here tomorrow at 5 at Guadalupe Plaza.
Proposals
Delbert: got this proposal from Occupy Boston. Internal solidarity statement: for a proposal for Houston. 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%. Unfortunately we live in a society that is racist, sexist, classist and homophobic ad ridden with various other forms of oppression. We as the OH community we will consciously encourage work on dismantling these systems of oppression in our movement. We are working on creating a community where everyone’s rights are respected protect and treated equally. We all have different levels of privilege that we strive to act and educate ourselves about in order to assure that these privilege are not used to oppress others. We want to have an inclusive atmosphere of ideas in which we do not police each others thoughts . But we have absolutely no tolerance for oppressive or intimidating words or actions if conflict arises it should if possible be settled trough democratic discussions or debate. Otherwise it shoul be settled ith a conflict resoltoin team or both if necessary.  E do not welcome the following in our community: white supremacy, racism, against people of all colors, patriarchy, sexism, ageieism, discrimination based on ability or disability, homophobia or hetero-normative , Trans phobia, any anti-Arab sentiment, anti-Jewish senitment, religious intolerance or in of non religious people, cultural intolerance, discrimination based in immigration status, ds based on exp with the justice system. Or disregard of indigenous rights or weight-based discrimination.”
-BLOCK
Block info: I feel like it’s not true to say we live in a society that is ridden with these issues.  Would be happy if ‘ridden’ changed to ‘present’.
Trey: wants to add we are not ok with  exploitation of anyone
Amy: agrees with substance of document, but would like to have list expunged– it contnues negativity and without this list we ight draw in some people who actually do have some of these prejudices and we might be able to heal those prejudices.
Alice: can we propose to accept it with an editing team or something like that?
Tyler: wants to add substance use that only affects the user
-TABLED –those interested should get together with Delbert
Jaimyn: baed on info received from friends of individuals in the mayor’s office (who are sympathetic to the movement) have suggested we maintain woring in this gray area.. I propose we do not take out any city permits for anything….including sound permits.
–Points of Information … discussion about permits and what has been decided so far.
Re-proposed: retract our decision to take out a permit  –ACCEPTED
Opinions
Carl: I like the People’s Mike on general principle. Also, we need more police here, I know you think whoa Carl you’re trippin, but after the flash mob lots of police were here– be great if we were seen as such a threat more often. Lets challenge the security of these buildings. Let security escort you out. It’s awesome to occupy space but only half the reason we are here.  The little City Hall building getting overshadowed by the big corporate buildings around it.
Marcus:  2 month anniversary of OWS Nov 17th. We need to rally -it’s got to be a worldwide movement. In every city.
Raffi: election day is tomorrow. A lot of ppl are hesitant to vote because they believe voting is fraudulent or too limited to change things.  Asking you to vote tomorrow.
Carl: vote for Amy Price, she’s awesome
Trey: I will be doing stack rest of the GA. Would like to comment on document… feel like this has been a problem, without it being proofread or presented to other people outside of here.
Artem: want to make an announcement –implementing a 12 noon organizational meeting each day. Now we are going back to this each day as it was pre-
Oct. 6th.. Also talking about the GA process in Facilitation meetings around 5-6pm. What a bout a think tank part of the GA. These are just some ideas, hope you will show up tomorrow.
Lars: from Occupy Baltimore –many people asked me to come here and give solidarity. Comment about permits: in Baltimore we discussed same issue extensively. Ended in consensus to only apply for permits when legal and city made that a political issue. We used that to our advantage as our consensus decision making process, to drag out the ‘gray area’ as long as possible.
Michael: I love strong opinions. If you’re going to Austin this week, take me with you.
Erick: We need all the bodies we can get here. Stay here. The freakin mic chec is very important!
Alice: been thinking about some ideas for how to grow in Houston. This weekend I was at a lot of events. Noticed many organizations support what we support. Lots of event ideas– need to have a council meeting here with people from existing places we know. So I’m just throwing it out there right now.  Tomorrow doing fleering if someone wants to go with or organize fleering. Talk to Alice.
Artem: announcement: a few nights ago someone came from ___. 11am to help train some new GA techniques. Plan to get there around 10:30 and help train students how to do Gas
Israel: Black Power Tuesday would be a good day to do actions too
Trey: let’s break a world record of some kind!
Amy: I have this thought that is kind of crazy but won’t go away so who is interested. Coordinate with other occupations and rewrite the constitution.
Capital: Showing solidarity for the movement. Appreciates the help hes gotten and would like to contribute his skills.
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Asheville (NC) under attack with snatch squads

Police snatching Occupy Asheville participants in retaliation for Oakland solidarity march by occupy Sunday Nov 6th, 2011 2:24 PM

On Nov 2nd over 100 people took to the streets of Asheville, NC in a fun, spirited and family friendly march to show support for Occupy Oakland and their general strike. People of all ages from toddlers to grandparents participated in the march carrying banners reading, “We are all Scott Olsen” and “Asheville is Oakland, Oakland is Asheville”. The march was the largest protest to take the streets in Asheville without a permit since the Iraq War started in 2003. By all accounts it was a well received and empowering event for those that participated in it. Unless that
is you are the Asheville Police Department.

Though the APD did little to stop the march, they did bring out dozens of officers, including the forensics team and undercover officers to video and photograph Asheville residents expressing their First Amendment rights. The APD has done this sort of unconstitutional surveillance for years at all types of protests. However this time is different. Starting Saturday Nov 5 the APD began grabbing Occupy Asheville participants off the streets that they claim they identified from police footage of the march. So far 7 have been arrested, and the police say there are many more arrests on the way. They are being charged with resisting public officers, impeding traffic,
unlawful assembly. One person has an additional charge of wearing a mask in public.

This is a truly frightening assault on the right to protest in this country. The APD is utilizing the very same tactics that the repressive regimes of countries like Iran, Libya, and Egypt have used against their people. If marchers were breaking the law, why did they not arrest us on November 2nd? It is clear that the APD wants to create a state of fear and to conduct their operations behind the scenes, away from the cameras. We won’t let them do that. We will not go silently.

We are calling on our fellow Occupiers around the country to demonstrate in solidarity with Occupy Asheville and demand an end to the APD’s witch hunt. Make some noise for Asheville. Occupy Asheville will be rallying at 5pm on Wednesday, Nov 9th at the Vance Monument to demand an end to police repression and to show that we will not be silenced. Please support us by
flooding the mayor and DA’s office with calls and emails all day and demand that all charges be dropped and that those responsible for this police operation be held accountable for violating our rights.

Mayor Terry Bellamy:
Phone: (828) 259-5600
Fax: (828) 259-5499
E-mail: mayorbellamy [at] avlcouncil.com

District Attorney Ron Moore
Phone: 828-259-3410
Fax: 828-259-3411

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Occupy Houston Study and Strategy Discussion

Nov. 19th from 2- 4:45pm in the Program Room of the Houston Public Library

Come out to this discussion where we will be addressing 3 main items:

1) Causes of the economic crisis
2) Finding concrete solutions
3) OccupyHouston – what comes next? – sustainability of the movement

A conference room capable of holding 200 people has been reserved for this public discussion (from 2 – 4:45 pm in the Program Room of the Houston Pubic Library).

Let’s come together to learn about and address these issues!

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OCCUPY HOUSTON MOVES TO SWEEP UP DOWNTOWN

Occupy Houston wants to clean up your city…and yes, this means you.

Occupy Houston is the local observance of the ongoing Occupy Wall Street movement, which was hatched by the Canadian magazine Adbusters, and while the campaign has certainly ruffled the feathers of municipalities across the United States, the Houston chapter seems to have it’s sights set on more sustainable actions.

One of their directives is a city-wide invitation to help them sweep the downtown streets on a monthly basis. The group is currently asking for seventy upright “lobby-dustpans” and brooms to fulfill their ongoing “Clean Sweep” project on November 13th. This recurring event aims to clear the thirty-five downtown streets of trash in an attempt to spread awareness about the growing lack of municipal funds, and more specifically, the effect this situation is having on the fair city. Participants of Clean Sweep are treated afterward to a feast that is provided by other caring citizens and local organizations. The Occupiers are determined in providing solutions that are available to everyone and exhibit the “can do” attitude of Houstonians, and it appears they are just getting started.

While other occupations were beset with raids, arrests, and the discord of general state resistance, the Occupy Houston movement was throwing a “Corporate House of Horrors” party, an Open-Mic Talent Show, and even a “Zombie Flashmob” set to Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” at several prominent downtown banks. OH members are heard frequently on 90.1 KPFT as well as numerous other radio and Internet sources and have even attracted the interest of Democracy Now’s Juan Gonzales and Olympian Juan Carlos is scheduled to visit on November 11th.

The Occupy Houston members also regularly host cultural activities and civic events that encourage citizens not only to become involved in their community, but to be valued by their community. This unprecedented type of crowd-sourcing is not unheard of, but it is not necessarily valued by politicians, who continuously require more and more monies to get their projects off the ground. The local Occupy movement leverages the power of the people to fulfill their given agendas, and the members of their Outreach group have also started a sustained dialogue with the Mayor, City Council, as well as other at-large candidates, Green Party representatives, and delegates from employment and cultural sectors. Members of their Outreach program are continually attending and providing educational events and spreading the word of unity amongst Houston’s diverse cultural base.

Houston Occupiers are using solar-panels and marine batteries for some of their power, and have even called upon a private recycling company, and their new solar oven is just getting warmed up. Members also provide labor to local gardens in an effort to bring new food sources into the group, while feeding compost back to personal gardens in an efficient circular model.

As more and more money is siphoned out of our economy by the alleged “One Percent”, the Houston Occupiers seem to be focused on solutions that embrace the ecological ideas of “permaculture”. This ideal is an approach to designing human settlements and agricultural systems that is modeled on the relationships found in nature. This model appears in stark contrast from the system that has perpetuated itself throughout America. As pundits and mainstream media continue to polarize people and issues, the OH movement is focusing it’s efforts in a direction that rejects this systemic failure of perception. They seek congruency at the fundamental core of all actions, and they merely ask for sustainable solutions to be brought to their attention. During these times of widening economic uncertainty, this method is not lost on an increasingly discerning public, and the people are clearly responding to the call.

The organizers are hoping that their Clean Sweep project migrates to other cities as well, and that donors realize they can help their own city in a variety of tangible ways. From donating food, to dustpans, or just some time to thank the participants, there’s so many ways for everyone to contribute, which seems to be the backbone of the Occupy movement. It is clear that Occupy Houston members are looking towards a more sustainable future, and they definitely hope it’s contagious.

For more information about Occupy Houston, please visit www.OccupyHouston.org

Donations can be dropped anytime at Tranquility Park at 400 Rusk in downtown Houston.

Financial donations can be made from the WePay link on the Occupy Houston homepage.

Share support via social media at www.facebook.com/OccupyHouston

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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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Women’s Group Meeting

Tuesday, November 8th, 5pm

I would like to call a meeting of the women’s group for 2 primary reasons.

1) to take an informal survey on each person’s PoV regarding gender balance/imbalance (great time to hear about any gender/sexual-identity issues as well) within activities, personal experience or larger decision making process of OccHou. (survey meaning I will take notes, but in an informal discussion format if possible)

2) talk specifically about the homeless population issues. I know this might not seem like a women’s issue, but traditionally women tend to take on related caretaking roles like social workers, etc, and my attention has been drawn to the demographics at the occupation (men to women ratio) and how this is likely to be slowing down the solution finding process when it comes to the homeless population issues. There are other ties to women’s issues, but we can talk about more of the details then. Essentially I want to take action on some of these issues, and would like to utilize this women’s group meeting to get the ball rolling.

///hope to see you there///

If you can’t attend, please see me (Cassie) at some point to share our thoughts on #1 (or send it to me via email or facebook).

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Nov. 4th GA Minutes

Intro to GA

Volunteer Group Reports Back

Web (Kevin) :

  • Website was down for a couple of hours after being moved to the new server. Problem won’t happen again.
  • Media area is not an internet cafe. If you want to use space please sign up because there are expensive electronics, etc.
Radical Studies Group:
  • 11-11-11 is coming up. Great ideas in the air, but we need a plan:
    • 11:30 am Walk-Out at University of Houston
    • around 2-3 pm meet back at Occupy Houston
    • Discussion circle from 2-5 pm
      • Topics like taking care of vets
      • open mic like before: sing, vent, performances
      • Tell everyone about it
Finance Group (Jaimyn):
  • anyone by finance group sign the list yet to be designated of a lock and key -pass key onto someone else in finance team?
  • Overnight watch needs volunteers
  • 11-1 needs to be published online
Outreach (Massoud):
  • Next week have first issue of OccupyHouston newspaper – printing 10,000 issues, each costs 8cents so we need to raise $800. 8 pages in color
  • Need reporters, researchers, interviewers, distributors
Food:
  • Need food donations and volunteers
Announcements
  • OccupyAmerica greetings from New Orleans, Chicago, St. Louis and Washington DC
  • Housekeeping – cleanliness is a must
  • Story time – 30 minutes after GA
  • New volunteer group Strategy and Game Plan by the bridge 7pm
  • in 2 days celebrating our first month.
    • want to make a video montage would like help from MEDIA (but did not offer to volunteer)
  • Finance volunteers discuss agenda for Sunday
  • Collecting info about mothers who are part of Occupy Houston Sunday for play day
  • Honorable Eric Cantor having event at Rice 11-10 at 11am – open to public but must reserve seats. We should reserve seats but ten walk out.
Proposals
  • Allow Burk to file permits for tents , structures, electricity, etc. -ACCEPTED
  • Pipeline — an oil company front group Called ‘Jobs for the 99%’ is a scam that has been trying to co-opt the Occupy movement. “We stand in solidarity against Keystone XL Pipeline” –ACCEPTED
  • GA 4 times a week instead of every day (dedicate M W F for work group discussion) -BLOCKED
  • OccupyHouston accepts declaration of occupation (?? not sure what declaration was –needs clarification)
  • Action to block a bridge on 17th of Nov. in solidarity and response from OWS call for solidarity – BLOCKED
Opinions
  • Organize sharing ideas
  • Sharing space for World AIDS day December 1st
  • Sign up for lectures on 11-11
  • Feel free to talk on GA, express opinions
  • Everybody get involved more
  • Communication is the basis of all relationship
  • Veterans for peace are rallying on 11-11-11 join them at 11am Memorial Day parade.
  • Gathering a list of cities affected by pipeline
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