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Forum update!

Thanks for your patience as we further organize this Houston movement not yet 1 month old!

Originally we wanted to make sure the forums were so easy to log into that no one needed even a Facebook account. Since then we’ve decided to have more restriction over the forums so that we can provide better quality of discussion. I want to thank those of you who have been keeping the forum discussions on topic, and I welcome everyone who has been by to come back! We’re cleaning up the forums and in the process of getting regular moderators to keep an eye on things.

As of 11-1-11 forum access now requires login. You can login with your Facebook, Twitter, Goolge, Open ID,  Yahoo or Paypal account with a few clicks. Sorry but most of you will probably have to create new forum accounts, but the good news is it only takes a few clicks :)

Go to http://occupyhouston.org/forum/ and click the login/key icon on the right. Click Facebook or another service where you have an existing account, follow the few steps and voila you have an account at OccupyHouston.org!

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Zombies Protest-Shuffle to Bank of America

Zombies Protest-Shuffle to Bank of America: MyFoxHOUSTON.com

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Outreach MINUTES Oct. 30th

Subject: OH Outreach MINUTES outreach meeting 10/30/11
Scribe: Barbara

On today’s meeting we discussed more effective outreach communication as well as upcoming projects and projects that are in motion.

PROJECTS IN MOTION

OH newspaper
Massoud informed the committee of the status of the OH Newspaper.

1. ARTICLES AND SUBMISSIONS
we have a team of editors and writers. Submissions are due MONDAY, OCT.. 31 so please be prompt so we can begin the next phase which is editing the pieces that were submitted.  We want a well edited and presented paper so we need enough time to do the editing and production aspect as well.

2. PRODUCTION
the production of the paper was discussed.  The layout will be 4-8 pages no more, no less.
The sections are as follows: the economy, social issues, local issues, international issues, national issues, arts and culture.
Printing the paper in color is what is more attractive and attention grabbing so we prefer to print a better quality paper that will grab peoples attention.
The second aspect of production is the printing press.
How will we get this printed? We talked about having sponsors, using printing unions,

If we decide to go with sponsors or unions we will make very clear that we are a grassroots, independent paper, therefore we would publish a disclaimer that expresses independence from sponsors. The sponsors would be thanked in appreciation section of the paper.

How many will we print? So far we thought 10,000 for the initial issue..  We do not forsee spending above 1,000 dollars. Massoud and Selene may have ideas as to how and with who we can get it printed for under 1,000.

The paper will also be translated into spanish (the back section) in order to reach the large latino population  in Houston.

Distribution:  We need to make connections with local stores and businesses, or maybe get permission and begin to distribute it to smaller businesses and in any other way we can.

We would also need a dedicated team of distributors to help.

Occupy the streets
1. Noah expressed the idea that the recorded testimonies could be uploaded to YOUTUBE and the posted on the website.  Outreach will work with media to make it happen.
2. The idea that the videos could be shown at the Nov.2nd, speakers bureau at Cesar Chavez High School was also expressed.

SPEAKERS BUREAU
Tuesday, November 2nd. 2011 @ Cesar Chavez High School, from 10:00-2:30 OH has an opportunity to inform high school students about the organization, its inception and why it exists. We need more speakers, for sure, Edwin Munoz, and George Reiteo who is launching this event, will be speaking on behalf of OH.
Im sure there may be others, but the names were not brought up.

This is a wonderful outreach opportunity to get our organization known, and also to educate please attend if you can!!!!!!!!!!

IMPORTANT DISCUSSION
* Effective ways to get people to come to our events has also been discussed by outreach.
The following people made comments: George, Selene, Chris, Massoud, Carlos, Noah, Barbara, Alice, and Clay.
The main idea was really that we need to plan ahead, and coordinate with other comittees so that we have the man power to get people to go to the events. If we have events overlapping each other it will be hard to get people to attend. All the events aer great ideas and they are important, so we as OH should be able to fully represent each and every one of them as much as we can.  If we do not start, with showing our presence in the events we plan, we cannot expect the outside or the rest of the 99% to follow suit.

Those are the projects that were discussed in detail by outreach.
If I forgot anything please add. Im not making announcements, only updates on projects that need to get done.
If you receive this email and you are part of the outreach committee but have not been addressed, please add any information you feel is important to communicate to the outreach team. We can always share ideas and help each other.

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watch the video at
http://www.39online.com/newsfix/kiah-occupy-halloween-20111031,0,4083902.premiumvideo

KIAH

5:07 p.m. CDT, October 31, 2011
HOUSTON, TX—

Occupy Houston is sending a Halloween message with its Corporate House of Horrors show.

“It’s Halloween and we’re festive, and we’re in costumes, but these are real issues that we’re talking about,” Carl Gibson, a member with Occupy Houston, said.
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The organization is referring to issues that haunt the economy, environment and Vietnam veterans.

“The U.S. government kind of compelled these companies to manufacture products like Agent Orange [a highly toxic herbicides in an attempt to clear vegetation that may have hidden enemy troops],” said Jocelyn Viera, who’s also with Occupy Houston, about events during Vietnam. “It did a lot of damage to the U.S. military themselves and the Vietnamese citizens [during that war].”

“If there’s an explosion, you know, on an oil rig [for example] find out why,” Maria-Elisa Heg, organizer of the Occupy Houston event, said. “If a lot of people died from an accident where there’s a gas leak from a factory, find out why.”

“As far as Occupy Houston is concerned, and the whole occupy movement in general, we are all about exposing how corporate greed and corporate corruption has perverted our democracy and government,” said Gibson.

As this group exercises its first amendment right without government interference, Occupy Houston said corporate greed is way out of hand.

“It’s something that this corporate entity is doing that’s making conditions unsafe and untenable for people who are completely innocent,” said Marisa-Elisa Heg.

Spreading its word while saving room for fun, Occupy Houston is pushing a new way to go trick or treating.

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OccupyHouston Divestment March [UPDATED]

Friday, November 4 · 9:00am – 12:30pm

Location
Tranquility Park


View Divestment March Route in a larger map

Come join us as we march through downtown Houston to the major banks responsible for the current economic crises. We will  let them know their corrupt practices will no longer be tolerated by the 99%.If the 99% removes our funds from the major banking institutions to non-profit credit unions on or before November 5, we will send a clear message to the 1% that conscious consumers will not support institutions with unethical business practices. Bank of America, CHASE, Wells Fargo, and the other big banks are so large and behave so irresponsibly that they put our entire economy at risk.

In addition, these financial institutions have engaged in tax evasion through offshoring of capital into tax havens and lobbying for tax loopholes, all the while continuing to foreclose on peoples’ homes, often times illegally. The American people have already had to bail them out once, and yet, the banks continue in their unethical practices. Our logical response at this point is to move our money.

Divestment March

The march will meet at 9AM in Tranquility Park to prepare to march at 10AM. We will stop along the way for approx. 30min at each of the four banks we are divesting from (except UBS) to protest and give people time to close their accounts. The total walking time will be about an hour which makes for about a 3 hour march.  We will end back in Tranquility so that we can do group banking with the credit unions  that will hopefully agree to setup there, and to issue a few statements about the march (kind of a short pep rally). We will also be serving lunch (pending suitable donations) after the march back at Tranquility Park and having a card cutting ceremony.

All members of the public are encouraged to attend this event, whether they choose to divest (close their accounts) from the banks or not. We are also encouraging people who have accounts at other major financial institutions that are not included on the march, like UBS and Citigroup, to please consider closing your account before this event (you can still take part in the card cutting ceremony after the march).

  1. Bank of America Center
  2. JP Morgan Chase Regional Headquarters in the Gulf Building
  3. Wells Fargo Plaza
  4. Amegy Bank (corner of Smith & Lamar)

UPDATE: We’ve received word that the man himself, the award winning director, producer, documentarian, and activist Michael Moore is in town and may attend this rally! Come on out and do your part!

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Greeted Beloved Latino Journalists

An enthusiastic crowd of 250 people gathered at the Talento Bilingue de Houston (TBH) on Wednesday night – October 26th, 2011 – to hear Juan Gonzales and Joseph Torres, the authors of a new book “News for All the People: The Epic Story of Race and the American Media.” The exceptional evening was hosted by Teatro Bilingue de Houston (Bilingual Theater of Houston), a venue that has been promoting art and educational workshop since 1977 in Houston. The speakers, Mr. Gonzales, co-host of Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman for the past 15 years and the author of many informative books including Harvest of Empire and Roll Down Your Window, along with Mr. Torres, senior advisor for government and external affairs for Free Press gave an informative talk by uncovering numerous stories of famous and unsung heroes who have challenged established media practices by creating their own news agencies to combat the spread of misleading information about people of color. This history was especially well received by the captive audience which are these days themselves experiencing new challenges in expressing their dissatisfaction with the status quo. The event was well organized by KPFT – Radio for Peace – thanks to Eddie Garcia and Robin Lewis and many other devoted and instrumental KPFT volunteers. In the photo above, behind Mr. Gonzales and Mr. Torres are members of Occupy Houston, the KPFT General Manager and long time KPFT programmers and listeners. – Massoud

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General Assembly Minutes – Oct. 28, 2011

Intro to GA -hand signals, etc.

Volunteer Group Reports Back

Outreach (Amy)- Occupy the Streets went well,

  • Wed, Juan Gonzalez was here and spoke at Occupy Houston!
  • Tuesday, Nov. 1st at 5:30 a rep from local credit unions will be available for those interested in opening accounts in preparation for the divestment march on the 4th.
  • Sun – Bob Buzzanco will be here at the GA

Sustainability (Shamus)

  • We are growing seeds, have compost, are working on a mobile feast, working more on power campaign,
  • Could use help from sustainability volunteers , especially for Last Organic Outpost – contact Shamus

OWS Study Group (Jim)

  • Sunday at 4pm showing 2 short films

Media (David)

  • 59 & Montrose overpass , held banner, it was awesome, Operation Rush Hour Monday 4PM  -Monday – Friday. Come out! We do many major overpasses.

Security (JJ)

  • Security table where sustainability used to be.
  • Fire extinguishers have been donated
  • Personal accountability reminders: pick up cigarette butts on sidewalks, recycle plastic bottles, people slacking all the time could just as easily be cleaning

General Announcements

Carl- Halloween Flash Mob, Sat and Sun rehearsals 11-3 !!

Jamin- food area tour after GA

Ryan- Operation rush Hour a success, OH app (for mobile devices) needs programmers

Vanessa- Cold and flu season, use hand sanitizer

Chris:

  • Nov. 2 – Oakland Solidarity March
  • Nov. 11 – John Carlos free lecture 6PM at Shape Center

David K- going to document what’s going on on his Twitter

Anai- refugee from Burma who has been waiting over 2 years to receive aid from the government. He is still jobless and homeless. (We are glad to have you with us, Anai!)

Vanessa- Stepping away from food station , staying to consult.

Carl- Oakland mayor stands with Occupy Movement.

Chris- Idea to boost morale with Story Time (after GA when people can share stores, jokes, etc)

Proposal: Dr. Shea: Workshops and education classes –Points of Information-  regarding existing groups and the need for more volunteers to run classes / teach-ins like these. Point of Process: proposal not necessary

Proposal: Maya: A daycare M, W, F from 6:30 to after GA –tabled to figure out legal concerns

Opinions

David E- be active, make a sign

Andy- Direct your anger not with violence but with determination

Carl – 1% rant

Carlos – volunteer groups need to communicate more. Be the movement, use signs, start marches.

Joe R-

  • water – connection will show how to hook up meter so we can use city water directly from the fire hydrant.
  • City council trying to shut down the public comment forum on Tuesdays for further notice to avoid talking with OccupyHouston.

Pierre – making a card for Scott Olson

Dr. Shea- Always with us, is a cab driver and night and teaches in the day, has many items to donate. Says to stay strong through the cold and be patient with the revolution.

Noah- Occupy the Streets, Sleep out Saturday, going out and getting opinions and hearing people’s experiences; we need to talk to each other and the world and get different perspectives.

Amanda- Critical Mass girl getting messed with by police for wearing a police costume. [some occupiers assemble with signs and go to offer support]

Darin – Money is the excuse for why nothing gets done. Money has outlived its usefulness. People can help each other, feed each other. Would like to see a uni-Earth flag to symbolize humanity coming together with basic needs of everyone in mind

Amy (?) – listen to people

Edwin- chief of Staff of Oakland has resigned. Use the internet, it works. Fox News is annoyed with us, tweet, your phone is a weapon. EdwinDMunoz on Twitter , Liking things on Facebook, sharing images, etc. IS making a real difference!

John P- use his house for storage

Artem- someone needs a ride from Beaumont (carpooling forum)

Scott- went to work in new public school position and talked about the kids having consensus type processes

Selene – Nov. 2, Solidarity with Oakland march… check out the site and FB for more updates on this

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Occupy Sustainability

Occupy-Sustainability.pdf

Occupy- To take over (a place) by settlement.
Sustain- To keep (something) going over time or continuously.

This pamphlet is created and updated regularly to provide information for the worldwide OCCUPY movements. Its purpose is to teach the Occupations sustainability to not rely on the Government for power, water, etc.; to minimize and eliminate waste; to last longer on donations from supporters; and to be an example of social and environmental responsibility.

Contents

1. How to start a sustainability volunteer group and why.
2. Power
3. Water
4. Hygiene
5. The 3 R’s
6. The 4th R
7. Food waste
8. Set sustainability goals (and exceed them)

Chapter 1. How to start a sustainability volunteer group and why.

Social responsability and environmental responsibility go hand-in-hand. As an Occupation, it is your responsibility to maintain a clean and green environment. Creating a sustainability volunteer group in your occupation is easy and vital.

Creating your sustainability group: This group, like all other groups in your occupation, is volunteer-based. No one should ever be pushed to participate. But it should be noted at GA’s and group meetings that it is important for occupiers to help. Make an announcment at your GA that a group will be formed, and have your first meeting right after the GA. Explain the reason for creating the group, its responsibilities, and the roles of the volunteers. The more people the better. Anyone can help. Although certain people knowledgeable in certain areas can be especially helpful, such as electricians, eco-consultants, and carpenters), make it clear that everyone’s skills and participation are valued.

After the group is formed, set a daily meeting time that will not conflict with marches, GA, demonstrations or other tasks. The Occupy Houston sustainability group has its meetings at 5 p.m. every day. Address more vital issues first, such as electricity, water, hygiene, and site cleanliness. After those issues are covered and the projects are started, continue to brainstorm and research projects that will further increase your sustainability. The more sustainable you are, the less reason your city will have to evict you from public property. Be an asset to your occupation site, not a liability.

ASK FOR DONATIONS. There are thousands, if not millions, of people who support your occupation. There are more than two million (2,000,000) people in Houston alone. Do not be afraid to ask, and ASK BIG.

Chapter 2. Electricity

Computers. Cellphones. Coffee pots. These are just a couple of things that rely on electricity to work. Producing your own electricity can be very important if your city doesn’t allow you to use the power that’s available at your occupation site. Even if you have city power to use, it is better to use your own generated power so as not to cive your city another reason to evict you. There are plenty of ways to generate and store power but I will only cover one here.

Solar power. Here is how Occupy Houston generates solar power.

3 solar panels
1 solar control box
5 marine batteries
1 1000w inverter

Connect the panels to your solar control box. Connect your solar control box to your marine battery. Connect your marine battery to your 1000w power inverter. Connect your electrical device to your power inverter.

You need the solar control box between the panels and the battery. The inverter converts the battery power (DC) to power that can be used to run and charge your electronics (AC). I learned how to do it in an hour. Disconnect the panels from the battery when there is no sun to charge them.

Marine batteries should be charged to 13 to 13.5 volts (DC). An electric meter is needed to check this. After charging, the batteries can be removed from the solar control box and used with the inverter until the batteries run out of power.

Rechargable AA and AAA batteries can be charged by solar power and are therefore highly useful. You can also use solar lawn lights to charge AA’s. Remove the spike and unscrew the bottom panel. Remove the old battery and insert a new rechargable one. It will charge one (1) battery at a time.

IF YOU HAVE INFORMATION ON OTHER WAYS TO PRODUCE ELECTRICITY, CONTACT ME SO THAT I CAN UPDATE THIS PAMPHLET.

Chapter 3. Water

Water is very important. Encourage donors to give jugs, not bottles, of water, to reduce the need for recycling of plastic water bottles. Reusable BPA-free plastic or aluminum bottles should be HIGHLY ENCOURAGED. Five-gallon water jugs and a gravity-feed water dispenser are very effective. It’s only a few cents per gallon and provides clean drinking water.

If you rely on city or well water, use a filtration system to make it safe for drinking, cooking, and washing.

Chapter 4. Hygiene

Yes, the dreaded hygiene. Hygiene is more important when you are living, eating, and sleeping
outdoors than when indoors. Handwashing stations should be available. Showers and restrooms should be available.
You can become very sick and make others sick through poor personal hygiene. Shower daily and wash your hands before eating, after smoking, and anytime they become soiled. Use soap that is safe for the
environment so that, when it goes down the drain, it won’t damage the ecosystem. Vegan soap is what
Occupy Houston uses.

Chapter 5. The 3 R’s

Reduce. Reduce the amount of waste you produce. Switch to reusable water bottles. Use
reusable dishes and utensils. Use washable hand-towels instead of paper towels. Think hard enough and you
will find many ways to reduce the need for waste managment. Talk about it at every group meeting.

Reuse. Boxes can be reused for storage. Paper can be used as scrap paper for notes. Newspaper can be used in your compost bin as bedding. Use your imagination, but research. Single-use plastic water bottles should not be refilled because the chemicals can leach into the water.

Recycle. RECYCLE EVERYTHING YOU CAN. Do a google search for nonprofit

recycling facilities that will loan you bins and pick up recyclables for free. If none exist near
you, request bins as donations and have volunteers take them to recycling facilities when they are
full.

Chapter 6. The 4th R

Repurpose. You can use old items for new purposes. Use paper towel rolls as sign handles
(in Houston we can’t use stick larger than 1/4″ x 3/4″ for signs). Use old newspapers to make signs
(like the anonymous ransom letters in old movies). Use shoeboxes for storage. You can
repurpose just about ANYTHING. Be creative. Come on…you can do it.

Chapter 7. Food waste

Food waste happens. There is virtually no way to avoid it. But you can turn a lot of your food waste into compost.

Chapter 8. Set sustainability goals (and exceed them)

Set goals for your sustainability efforts and set them high. With hard work and ingenuity you
will reach them. And with even more work you will exceed them. Do not be scared to ask a lot from
your volunteers and community supporters. Goals can include generating enough power to run your
IT group’s electronics, eliminating trash waste, 100% recycling, starting an organic garden for food,
and so much more. Make it fun and inform your volunteers how important it is to reach these goals.
We are all working for change. And we will succeed.

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