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GA Minutes for Oct. 21st

Intro to GA and Consensus Process

Newcomers are welcome to introduce themselves if they like.

Reports back from volunteer groups:

Outreach:

Divestment march Nov. 4th 9am. Banks to be included on the march are J.P. Morgan Chase, Bank of America, Amegy Bank, and Wells Fargo. See the Events section for upcoming information on this event.

Some related points:

  • need to put together a list of divestors
  • credit unions will be available to open new bank accounts
  • we need a list of credit unions on the website (please email this to info@)

Question: Can we get arrested?

Response: there will be an info sheet for those participating in the divestment action, with legal information, suggestions, etc.

Arrests are not anticipated. There is no reason to expect arrests / customers can go peacefully into banks and close their accounts. There is nothing wrong with this.

Sustainability:

  • good sustainability meeting today. Many great ideas, very exciting.
  • Will be doing a mass clean up at 4pm everyday
  • OK to have chairs on grass in the day, but no cardboard or sleeping stuff on the lawn during the day.
  • No more styrofoam donations
  • If hand-washing station reservoir is full, please dispose of it into the dirt containers.
  • transparency regarding the sustainability projects – projects will continue to be documented online, etc.
  • Urban Harvest – (who planted many plants at Tranquility) “let’s take care of the plants they planted, and they will help us.”
  • Lots of sustainability projects coming up!
  • Contact Shaun C. with ANY Sustainability issues, questions, etc.

Logistics:

  • People’s Calendar -color-coded calendar of events (OccHou events, city events, national events, etc)
  • Need volunteers for calendar
  • Need a donor list (for donors who can contribute specific items repeatedly)

 

  • Clean Sweep reminder
  • work group meetings schedule is posted on white board. If you have a work group meeting post it on the board -board kept by Warehouse table.

Medical:

  • mosquitoes – everyone is free to use the repellant, but be sure to put it back onto the table a Medical. We need to conserve supplies, especially medical supplies.
  • Need more Medical volunteers

Strategics:

  • Good idea to send delegates to each volunteer group and see how they interact with each other, make notes toward improving inter-group communication.

Clay: Prepare to help stabilize people if/when the economy destabilizes

Announcement: $4 at Mango’s – live music tonight

Clean Sweep reminder- 9am, 12 noon food and music, etc.

Then at 3PM the protest against police brutality.

Isaac: guest speaker. Talked about Occupy Chicago’s main issue of still not fully/successfully occupying one location. Police presence in Chicago related to the upcoming Conference. Occupy Atlanta is steadily growing, big hip hop festival coming up.

announcement: Venus Project will come out if enough people gather

Eric: Sustainability related event –pre-proposal: 1 month anniversary of Occupy Houston + Eco Festival… will be making a proposal soon.

Darin: held signs over highway 59 w/ occupyhouston.org –had a very positive experience, recommends it. Had many positive responses.

Dorian: A very small amount of people could shut-down banks by having a small number of those willing to be arrested do sit-ins.

-need lists of people to be contacted by research committee / those who can’t  (scribe’s note: welcome to OccHou! Im still trying to figure out the best way to direct gen inquiries to the various groups, let alone alone all the other facets of communication between the groups and the public who do not come out, etc. I sort of wait to see what each work group gives me as far as public and internal communication channels they prefer. Some like to use ‘groups’ like on google, others a listserv. When in doubt, post in the matching forum on the website, or send email to info@occupyhouston.org. Would love to hear your ideas and get help organizing these aspects!)

-are there go-to meetings to connect between occupy movements? (some info about existing groups was exchanged)

Logistics:

-no littering, no smoking, no fires, no peeing in park. Conserve supplies. Bring sleep supplies back to Warehouse in the morning / when finished.

Wendy: offered great printing deal : 2,000 full color newsprint copies for $200.

Proposal accepted: position for historian (one who records the actions and events etc of OccHou and related)

Eric: need volunteers he new shift system for the tables: Food, Medical, Warehouse

proposal of table shifts: 7-10am, 10-1, 1-4, 4-7, 7-10pm -ACCEPTED

Wendy: You’re all doing an awesome job. Don’t give up! Keep active, do even more!

John P:  Food, clothing, shelter, and onto entertainment. Ideas about lightening up the movie lineup and having more variety in movies.

Clay: 5 minute presentation on the hidden history of the U.S. Specifically, Edward Bernays and his role in the modern advertising machine geared to dumb-down the people, not liberate them. Clay is willing to do teach-ins or answer questions about related topics.

Eric: Love you! Expressed concern and important of love and really tending to every aspect of life. Mentioned how the oldest living creatures on the planet, ancient nautiluses that are dying off, are a sign of really how bad we’ve let things get. But we need to realize what an important step we’re taking by coming out and showing support, participating in finding sustainable solutions that improve things for everyone, including the environment.

-Food Not Bombs serving food tonight!

-Eric is giving free hugs :)

Jeff: Shared informative stats related to Houston median income being significantly higher than national, and the position we have to take action. Doesn’t believe in an exploitable market ; those involved need to be held responsible. Added informative perspective on 3.5 billion spent on lobbyists. Interested in talking about related topics and ideas for reform.

Scott: response to litter announcement: Would prefer we assume our neighbors will litter. That’s what neighbors do. So instead of saying ‘Don’t litter’ maybe we can say “Let’s pick up our neighbors if/when they litter”.

Joe: propaganda / demographics – consider not giving info when asked to participate in marketing surveys.

 

 

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National Day of Protest Against Police Brutality, Oct. 22

Come join the 99% in protest against police brutality

When: Oct. 22nd, 3pm

Where: Market Square Park

Wear all black (or as much as possible)

Why should people come out on the NATIONAL DAY OF PROTEST (NDP)? “Silence is the voice of complicity.” Everybody that is outraged by the epidemic of police brutality and repression across this country needs to be in the streets on October 22.

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GA Minutes for Oct. 20th

Intro to GA Process

Housekeeping reminders -no smoking in park, no littering, no peeing

Shaun: Use the new hand washing station! We need worms for vermiculture. We are using the greywater from hand washing station to water plants.

Sarah- we now have video version of the hand signals (posted in forums)

Website report back-

-Accept Proposals page –when posting GA Minutes, please also add all accepted proposals to this Accepted Proposals page.

-site is now bilingual -Thanks, Selene !! and Selene’s mom, and others who will also be translating!

-Over 11,000 Likes on Facebook

-Over 5,000 Followers on Twitter

-when possible in conversations on Facebook, Twitter, etc, try to direct people to the website, where the most centralized and frequently updated information can be found.

Security report back-

-We NEED more security volunteers. There are shifts available every night for as little as 1 hour.

Announcement: BP Action today with the Coalition for Peace Dick Gregory stopped by and gave a speech.

Announcement: Oct. 18th approx. 2pm Jolanda Jones (Jo Jones) stopped by and spoke to OccHou.

John P: Clean Sweep this Saturday! There will be food, music and community!

-starts at 9am

-lunch at 12 noon

Announcment: Re-purpose market at 2850 Fannin

Swim Announcement:

-Be sure to return your sleeping materials to storage in the morning after you get up.

-We need volunteers! Especially for Food, Medical, Warehouse and Security

-Be the change you want to see.

Carlos:

-Oct. 22nd – Protest against police brutality

-3pm Market Square Park

-Wear all black

proposal to accept the action against police brutality as an official Occupy Houston action -PASSED

Joslin – proposal: Reach out to more established groups like public service and EMT, teachers, etc. -PASSED

Joslin -suggestion: Overnight occupiers might consider placing a sign next to where they are sleeping.

Karl:

-Flash Mob planning.

-1/2 bystanders with fake money, 1/2 zombies

-if participating, must attend at least one rehearsal at Good Jobs Great Houston around 5PM, Oct. 29th and 30th

-Flash Mob accepted as official OccHou action (details to be released at planning sessions and closer to the date) –PASSED

Maria (media) :

-Haunted House of Corporate Horrors planning -will take place at Tranquility Park on the 29th.

-Get with Maria if you want to help / get involved with this project

-Proposal for House of Corporate Horrors to be official Occupy Houston event -ACCEPTED

Eric: We need to make the effort / we need to be the change we want to see. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer your help! This is all-inclusive and the various positions need to cycle through and be done by different people.

Ian: stresses importance of having centralized gen info for newcomers -use the white board

Alex: response to ‘camping trip’ — stresses the importance of having fun so that we *want* to be here, and so new people want to come back

Karl: We’re getting serious and need to have more fun

Joe: Welcomes diverse opinions -says the most contradictory perspectives show us what the challenges are in reaching others and welcoming them to the movement

Remington: Put together a YouTube video from last weekend, wants to put on site (just email your video link to info@occupyhouston.org or approach a website group person)

Amanda M: Let’s not pee in the park. If women have to use the porta potties, so do the guys! No peeing in the park. It smells.

Nico: Can we come together as a family ? We need more people, more flyers, etc. Expresed much love for the movement and everyone here.

Scott: response to camping-vs-party discussion-  it’s great if we want to have more fun, but the thing is that we don’t have enough people yet to focus on the optimal circumstances of parties and fun… The main people who are here most often are spread very thinly to cover multiple positions. We NEED more volunteers to cover the basic functions and needs, THEN we can focus on fun and parties more.

John P: Maybe lift the tone of movies shown on movie nights. Change it up — alternate some full features, etc, along with the serious documentaries.

Steven J: Trip to Dallas leaving at 10AM Oct. 21st, to confront Rupert Murdoch’s super committee Chairman while he plays golf in Dallas. Transportation provided –we will be leaving between 10-11AM.

Sarah: thousands of flyers will be delivered tonight, for people to hand out.

Ian: we need to welcome the Critical Mass bike rally/event folks that will be out

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Clean Sweep!

Saturday, Oct. 22nd -

We will be cleaning up our area and surrounding areas downtown.

We will start at 9 a.m. Tranquility Park and break of into teams that will cover specific areas, then w will meet back up again at Tranquility around noon.

BYOB -Bring your own broom and stand-up dust pan.  OH will be providing gloves and trash bags.

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GA Minutes Oct. 14th

Intro to GA / newcomers raise hands

Group Reports:

Medical- 1st Aid info and items on medical table

Diversity- White mail dominated, patriarchal complaints about facilitators. If you see this, please speak up. Talk to Diversity.

Outreach- Energy Day – planning silent protest 12noon

-Need volunteers to hand out leaflets about TransOcean, TransCanada, Valero

-labor unions talked to / more will be showing up to meetings

Sustainability- repurposing trash, reusing water bottles

Facilitation- mutual respect should be good faith.

-workshop proposals in crowd and volunteer groups before proposing in GA (walk around and talk about your ideas and possibly adjust as you discover peers’ feedback, in preparation for making a proposal at assembly)

-Unity is Us being here. Disagreements are normal, remember the unifying goals.

-We need to remember that OccupyHouston is not about General Assembly. We need to each take the lead, get involved how we see fit. If we have proposals, talk about then in the crowd and volunteer groups BEFORE proposing at GA. The GA should focus on making decisions, not analyzing, arguing or tearing down others’ proposals and personal beliefs. Let’s remember that at GAs we are each legislators trying to enact policies to accomplish our objectives related to ending the corporate corruption of democracy.

-Let’s make good choices as a GA

 

Announcements-

-concert sat. Free Radicals and other bands/musicians at 11PM

-Recognizing people who brought batteries : A special thanks to Harry A.

-Stood out @ freeway @ rush hour and got great exposure for signs

-10 pizzas delivered during meeting

-Share events of Direct Action locally, verbally with friends, as well as personally invite Facebook friends to OccHou events, as the page cannot ‘invite’ all the thousands who have ‘Liked’ our FB Page.

-Email newsletter available by subscribing here

Amy Price is a guest speaker running for city council.

 

Proposals:

-concert on sunday night -Passed

-analog Facebook –[point of process] – proposal no needed. Speaker is free to create the analog Facebook and invite others to participate

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Oct. 13th GA Minutes

GROUP REPORTS

Outreach (Andy) – Need more people for outreach. He suggests we create subgroups: flyers, outreach to
specific orgs, people responsible for public statements/research

Food – we need two camps of food, in Hermann Plaza and Tranquility

Medical (George) – medical moved to Tranquility in advance of raid – some medical still in Hermann
Plaza

Logistics – Logistics needs help, more people to be on the team and in the loop

Sustainability – Need to recycle, do a better job of recycling

Web Team – Someone has offered to donate an internet connection on the condition we don’t
act “crazy”

SPEECH: veteran activist Ray Hill

We need to stop state killing. If we are about anything, it is about the justice of mutual acceptance. Our
enemies are racism, greed, exploitation. He pointed out the enemies in the surrounding buildings—
corrupt oil interests, banks who oversee foreclosures. They are dangerous people.

“If you are afraid to get arrested, they already have you under control. What the hell is a night in jail for
the hope of liberation?”

Ray’s birthday – singing and spanking

STACK

Artem – Gives opinion in support of staying at Hermann Square. This is a protest, not a camping trip.
This is our plaza, why would we protest green energy @ Tranquility – Big oil is going to be here, why
should we leave?

Andrew T – where we are is not as huge of deal as being somewhere – wherever we are is where we
need to be

Alyson C – it should be up to the individual – it would be rational to move our supplies as if we lose our
base supplies, we might lose the movement

Eric R – It’s my understanding that what happens here affects our national movement – tomorrow
they’re doing this in Boston, Portland, Seattle and many other cities. Not just about the energy fest, it’s
a coordinated political offensive. We have a responsibility to stand w/ our brothers and sisters. We have
to be here, and go on our own political offensive

Speaker – Big oil paid to have a permit, we should stay

Speaker – regardless of whether we move or stay, our stuff needs to be in Tranquility to help those who
stay in Hermann square

John H – I agree that it is a very individual decision – very concerned that we set up an apparatus of
support for those who stay here. Broad support, defense committee, to bond comrades, brothers and
sisters out. We should somehow incorporate choice into the official OH position, whatever people
decide to do should become official

Ian T—Good friend of mine, an Egyptian says we need ‘more strategery’ and this situation needs ‘more
strategery’. We need to take into account the long history of our species and retreat

Speaker – Our stuff is not our movement, but it is central to the movement, Whoever wants to stay
here, our stuff cannot get confiscated

Speaker – I don’t want to see people get arrested, but we need to support the people who do. We
should have solidarity

Selene – If we pick up and go every time there is a presentation, this is a problem. However, some of us
may not have the resources to get arrested. A problem with Tranquility park is that it closes at 11

Dustin – point of information: we are good at Tranquility until next weekend, according to the CID

Courtney – We all have individual decisions – those of us who choose to stay here should have legal
representation from OH

Maria – There is no firm commitment at specified times that lawyers will give pro bono services – if
there are mass arrests there is no pro bono for those taken to jail

Speaker – if all our stuff is moved… how much disruption are we causing if our stuff is actually moved

Question from speaker– Who decided to move the stuff? Answer: individuals and work groups

Jamie – as a green activist, highly involved with green activism, if we are over there (Tranquility), many
people will be coming to support us throughout the day. We’re still here without losing our stuff

Proposal – Jacob

I propose that we move all of our valuable equipment and goods to the park across the street, because
it is available to us. Our goods are not the occupation. This means non-necessary items, things shared or
donated that people don’t want confiscated by the police

*Proposal passes*

Artem – proposal to leave the decision to stay/get arrested up to people in the morning.

*Proposal passes*

Nicole – question: are we moving indefinitely? No clear answer

Speaker – this is a revolution, not a slumber party

Rob – If we’re considering moving, making flyers—media – will not be able to give definite location. This
prevents people from joining the movement

STACK

Cecilia T – Occupy wall street has problems with co-option. I propose some processes be put in place to
avoid that:

--Limit the GA to essential discussions, like demands

--there should be an equal number of group and individual presentations

--that we never use applications for speaking at the GA

--we need to ensure that new people continue to get involved

Proposal re-stated: We should never have requirements for speaking at the GA, which is consistent with
the current process -- *Passes*

Nick re-reads list of demands

Ian – we need some kind of ambassadorship at the city council

Selene – Proposal: that we end early to move our stuff to tranquility. *Not Passed*

Hugh J – Proposal: we start every GA by reciting the list of demands

*Not Passed – further discussion will happen*

ANNOUNCEMENTS and OPINIONS

Selene B – Channel 45 (Univision) has agreed to interview us

Speaker -- thanks everyone for their support and dedication

Shawn T – authoritarian control was expanded in the US under Nixon; concept of the unitary executive;
recommends books by John W. Dean

Announcement from Occupy Wall Street – emergency call to action: keep Bloomberg from forcibly
closing OWS, This is an occupation and not a permitted picnic.

Carlos V – HISD issue. Valero is asking HISD to give them millions, which hurts schools, children. Texas
Organizing Project, Houston Federation of Teachers and others are going to Austin Nov. 2 to protest

Emily – addresses the panic over the police. There was a lot of ugliness, negativity earlier. In order to
succeed, we must not lose sight of what brings us together. We cannot turn on each other.

Alyson C. – doing an art project at UH. Trying to grab images from facebook (statuses, etc) about why we
occupy

Speaker – 24-hour art show announcement; no time/location given

John H – Houston indymedia collective – a lot of live stuff; activist radio collective; important that those
who get arrested get in touch with legal

Joe I – Civil disobedience will get us more attention – we need jail support

Hugh J. – Getting involved with other organizations will help. Need more outreach, more resources

MEETING ADJOURNED
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Occupy Houston expresses solidarity

Occupy Houston expresses solidarity with those arrested while protesting for jobs at the Leeland Federal Building.

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MetroRail not running Saturday or Sunday

the MetroRail will stop running Friday night at 9PM due to construction in the Medical Center. Please be advised, and change your travel itinerary as needed. The MetroRail will not be running Saturday or Sunday. As usual most metered parking downtown is free after 6PM Saturday and all day Sunday.

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