URGENT: Occupy Houston is looking for volunteers to occupy the front yard of a family who is facing eviction in Mission Bend, Texas. This is a NON ARREST action. Because their eviction is imminent, we’re gathering volunteers now and figuring out the details later. If you’d consider taking a shift, please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know when you’re available and whether you’d need a ride.
Houston, TX, January 15, 2012 – On January 16th, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Occupy Houston will be celebrating the legacy of this holiday’s namesake by participating in the 34th annual birthday parade organized by the Black Heritage Society, as well as participating in Occupy the Dream’s national action targeting the Federal Reserve Bank of the United States.
The “Original” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Birthday Parade begins at 10:00 AM at Minute Maid Park. Various festivities, including live music, will continue at Discovery Green following the parade until 5:00 PM. Occupy Houston is honored to have been invited by the Black Heritage Society to participate in the parade and celebration. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an inspiration to many in the Occupy movement. His nonviolent protest philosophy has been wholly embraced by the Occupiers, despite being ferociously challenged in many places around the world. Dr. King’s vision for a future of true equality and peace can be seen and heard on the signs and speeches that filled the nation’s parks, banks, government buildings and city streets during the fall of last year.
Occupy the Dream has called for an occupation of the nation’s Federal Reserve Bank branch locations on January 16th. Occupy Houston and community-building activist group, the Houston Free Thinkers, will be demonstrating from dawn to dusk at the Federal Reserve Bank branch located at 1801 Allen Parkway. Marches to various downtown bank branches, including JP Morgan Chase and Bank of America, are also planned throughout the day.
Occupy the Dream was organized by Dr. Benjamin Chavis Jr., who worked in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference under Martin Luther King, and Rev. Dr. Jamal Bryant of the Empowerment Temple Church. Dr. King understood that personal liberty could not be achieved without financial security. African Americans are disproportionately affected by the economic recession – both in terms of jobs and home ownership. Occupy the Dream and Occupy Houston hold big finance responsible for these injustices, owing to their irresponsible lending, the securitization and trading of the toxic mortgages they created and their failure to invest in the American economy to create jobs following their rescue by the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve. These banks continue to make record profits and pay little to no taxes while the American economy and the American people suffer.
Occupy the Fed was launched on November 19 of last year, with actions targeting all of the nation’s Federal Reserve Bank branch locations. The Houston Free Thinkers organized the Houston chapter of this movement, occupying Eleanor Tinsley Park across the street from the Federal Reserve building on Allen Parkway. The highlight of their campaign included the arrests of several members of HFT for obstructing the entrance to the building on the morning of the 22nd.
Please join us and the rest of the Houston community on this eventful day, where we will honor the past while we build our own future.
Approximately 27 in attendance, quorum achieved
Stack Coordinator: T.
Greeters: Ben F.
Jeremiah demonstrated our non-verbal communication methods and hand signals.
Workgroup Announcements and Q&A:
AdoptAVoice – The program has distributed 4 packages so far. A 5th package is in the pipeline & will be distributed once the donor’s PayPal funds have cleared. Now that the low hanging fruit has been picked, she needs Occupy members to advertise program’s website to their friends to generate more donations. (www.AdoptAVoice.org) At this time, we need at least 4 more donations to cover all the occupiers who are on the ground 24/7. If additional donations come in beyond that, primary workgroup contributors already nominated will receive priority.
Finance – Jenny has completed editing the workgroup’s minutes. Our petty cash balance is $329.00 and the WePay account has $3,520.00.
Freedman’s Town Outreach Group – Ian needs volunteers to staff a proposed outreach visit a Baptist church in freedmans’ town- see Ian after the meeting. Shamus underscored the need to maintain good relations with this community, as he lives among them and sees value in their support.
Peacekeeping/Security. – Ben F explained the function of this workgroup for the benefit of newcomers. The last Peacekeeper’s meeting was not attended by anyone. Next meeting is tomorrow after the GA. (Thursday Dec.1st.)
Sustainability – This was Shamus’ first report back in 10 days – Explained the function of the group for the newcomers. Due to multiple commitments, the group is getting smaller, but will be harvesting greens from the vegetable bins to make a giant salad. For more info about the sustainability group, see the tab at www.occupyhouston.org . They need more worms to create compost, as many of the original ones died or were accidentally thrown away…
Workgroup Proposals – NONE
Jorge – As you know, the people who are going to DC are at a meeting right now . So this announcement is on Trey’s behalf. This Sunday, the Occupy Arts Show will start at noon and continue through the day – Music, Poetry, Art and Theatre genres are welcome.
Sarah – Is analyzing a list of foreclosed homes that we may try to occupy or march on which are scheduled to be auctioned on December 6th. Other cities’ Occupy movements have taken similar action. A proposal will be presented to the GA on December 4th that will target Bank of America as primary holder of the properties we wish to defend.
Jenny – Instruction from Jamin – If you use electrical appliances, please plug them directly into the outlets instead of using extension cords. Tickets will be issued and the items will be confiscated.
Dawn – Tomorrow the Clear Lake chapter of MoveOn.org will be holding a rally at the Mickey Leland Federal Building. Party to protest, partly to congratulate Sheila Jackson Lee on her re-election. December 1st starting at 4:00pm.
Julie – Member of Peace and Justice for Palestine. They are connected to the Freedom Riders in Palestine. Their goal is for Israel to ‘de-occupy’ Palestine. They will be addressing the Houston City Council next week to complain about the praise that Anise Parker heaped upon the Israeli government during her recent trip. See www.peaceforpalestinians.org
Capital – To use $300.00 from the camp’s fund to purchase two netbooks so that the camp may have a livestream available at all times and to be able to monitor the activities of the police and to keep in touch with other occupiers. A secure container will be part of the purchase. (Friendly amendment accepted) If a netbook is not already donated to the camp, by next week, the fund shall be released. If $300.00 does not cover the total price, Capital will re-submit his proposal again with the higher amount. PASSED
Ian used his block to protest in a very loud and rude manner that we are all idiots. He believes having a livestream compromises his privacy.
Jamin – To organize of a march on the homes facing foreclosures on December 6th & to stand in solidarity with the “OWS Goes Home” action. PASSED
James – (newcomer) Has been hearing about us in the news and is inspired by our passion – helping people directly is awesome. He wants us to shed more light on the Citizens United decision. He believes our fight against corporate corruption can make a difference.
Pierre – It’s been a week since I’ve been back here and I feel so good to be back. Two ideas; 1) Took the temperature of the assembly as to their feeling about an Occupy Houston Christmas tree. (response was tepid) 2) He attended a foreclosure webinar last night and encourages us to work together with other Occupy chapters through www.occupycoordination.com .
Ben F. We need more people to protest at the Russian consulate. This Sunday there will again be a protest against the Syrian regime. At the last one, they had lots of people and they gave away free shirts and signs. They learned Arabic protest chants. He would also like a Bahrain protest. Next week a large number of Occupy Houston folks will be in DC, but those not going should to step up to watch over the camp in their absence.
John – The Occupy Talent flyer is finished and advertises the show on Sunday. Be sure that you’re here in unmarked clothes. Happy that it was scheduled after the Clean Sweep operation.
Ian – Wants to remind everyone here that, “Following my arrest date, every GA meeting held since then is invalid because I was arrested in the middle of my training”.
Moderator – Jenny S
Faciliator – Scott G
Stacker – Fabian V
Scribe – Jeremiah C
Stack Coordinator – Ringo S
Timer – Jonathan S
Workgroup Report Backs
Jonathan S (Urban Exploration) – we have a video about some urban explorers that we can watch after GA
Dr. Joseph K – proposal to form “Problem Solver” workgroup. Major example is a wagon/jar to be used for
donations and chips & dips. He’d like to put KPFT radio on the wagon so it can broadcast to those of the KPFT listener community. We could take it around Downtown and handout our newspaper on it.
Jeremiah C – News about robo-signing arrests, Brooklyn Bridge arrests, Third Eye Blind OWS anthem
Fabian V – Trying to organize a play and possibly poetry similar to the Corporate House of Horrors
Joe R – There is an election Nov 10. Also, 11AM this Saturday at a church at 4420 Lyons Ave, there is a candidate forum. Free to attend. Ask those City Council candidates important questions. He would appreciate it if you identify as being part of Occupy Houston.
TC – Idea for the full time residents of this camp. Each Occupier represents 5000 people in Harris County who lean Left. She would like to create a program that provides material needs to prolong occupation.
Tom – About a guy who refuses to get down from some high wall as a form of protest.
Don S – Protest in front of 14th Court of Appeals building. Judge Jeff Brown. Department of Public Safety broke the law. Spencer vs. Don McGill Toyota is the case. 1910 building on San Jacinto. The case involved annual safety inspections. A vehicle was submitted to Don McGill Toyota for a safety inspection. Don McGill didn’t do the inspection and charged the customer $800. Trial judge took the word of DPS spokesperson who potentially perjured.
Joe R – It’s important that we get involved in electoral politics. Register to vote. Tomorrow, 9:30AM at Café Express there is a meeting that Joe will attend. Jolanda Jones would appreciate your vote.
Jenny S – We are awesome. The tipping point is close. Not there yet. But, we’re close. We’re winning. Millions of people were marching today around the entire world in solidarity with the Occupy movement. We are making headway. This has been exhausting. This is a fight, but we are winning. We have no other choice. We have to. So, keep up the good work. [I] love you all.
Ben: GA Decide on our emergency response after we have a mass arrest/eviction. The proposals we are doing are only in the context on this proposal. Make a plan and make other plans
Plan A: Meet at rally point and set-up camp and supplies there. Proceed to Tranquility Park. If closed we meet on the side walk and protest there.
Plan B: Meet at rally point and set-ip cam and supplies there. We then post a demonstration at HPD (1200 Travis) or Sheriffs department, whoever the biggest arresters are. Most likely HPD. Then come back to Tranquility and Occupy as close as we can.
Plan C: Rally at private property (the 2 locations that Jaimen mentioned) and set-up a temporary occupation there.
Rally Point List
- Hermann Plaza
- Eleanor Tinsley
- Public Library
- Jones Plaza
- GHW Bush
- James A Baker
- Bute Park
General Assembly Minutes – November, 2011 7:00pm
Approximately 60 in attendance.
Facilitators: Ben, Jacob
Stack Coordinator: Mathew
Stackers: Erica, Tea
Greeters: Erick, Chris
Workgroup Group Announcements:
Kevin – Occupy Coordination Workgroup: I am bringing a report back from the Occupy Coordination Workgroup. We meet once a week every tuesday night online. IF you are interested in what I say see me after the meeting. We have a communications workgroup will facilitate We also have an IT working group will be providing IT services to emerging occupations including wifi access, website hosting, and other computer related things. We have a campaign reform working group. We are trying to draft legislation to overturn citizens united. Voices of the Occupation group, collecting interviews, archive them, make adds of them to document the 99% we need them from the south especially. You can do this on cells. Issues related to OWS and alternatives. We discuss international issues, the group that planned the oct. 15 day of action is planning another day of action some time in spring. If you want to get in on this get with me. Dec 17 is a planned day of remembrance for Mohammed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire this is part of the Arab Spring.
Tyler – UH Speakout: Today at UH Speakout we had an opportunity to speak to a lot of students and hand out a lot of flyers I think overwhelmingly they saw the reason we are out here. Went to the rally at the Micky Leeland fed building, we had the opportunity to talk to everyone about our name and cause. Also handed out Flyers. I noticed we don’t have any more flyers, and I have print request 2 days ago. Who can help? Info: UH Students get $25 worth of free printing every semester.
Joe – Volunteer Political Action: There are 920,000 registered voters in this city. There was a city council seat shot into a run off with 66 votes. There was free pizza and union leaders at Micky Leeland building. Those are great to have. Meeting Time is on the board. 1800 saturday. Labor Unions should be at the protest tomorrow, if not Joe knows some of the events they will be at.
Erick – Occupy the Infrastructure: Rehabilitating the unsustainable infrastructure, talk to me about it and we can start the group I will be over there. It’s about reevaluating the infrastructure we have using the resources to rehabilitate the infrastructure in place and create a sustainable one for the future. houstonfreeuse.org (free stuff at houston free use warehouse) There is a public hearing whether to expand 45 and the hardy toll road. We may want to show up and say do something else with the money. Tomorrow at 6pm at Aldean HS.
Yoshi- This announcement is kind of a report back the Speak UP today went very well, UH is a lot of fun. Furthermore I encourage more people to go. Specifically the UH people, I feel like some students are reciprocal to falling prey to the media.
Jacob- Tomorrow is a national day of action at 4pm. A big march at Market Square Park, Carl asks everyone be here at 3:15pm If you have any questions ask me. Thanks
Jenny- Mainly for media, anyone can help, we need to get our live stream going.
Joe- There is a candidate forum, 11am. Saturday 19th, at a baptist church. 4420 lyons ave. All sorts of candidates there. I cannot stress enough, go, ask the tough questions. They will make laws and ordinances that you and I must abide.
Dr. Che- greetings, this session I would like to remind you there will be work chapter classes, saturday 19th noon here at this park. 1 the art and science of revolution the second how to occupy the air ways.
Alice- Also Sat. 19th at 2pm after the airwaves, at the library 4th floor is a strategy meeting Occupy What Next? Maria Ellena organized it, but we are trying to get us and outside organizers who have just been a little involved here all come together and talk about what’s next. Tell other people!
Capital- Hello OH, today me and sherri went to city hall concerning the public use of bathrooms in city hall, we are now able to use it on the first and second floor, also at 7am in the morning, for those who are sleeping here, we are allowed to put the matts and clothes out here on the grass but must be up at 7am, if you don’t have them up by 7am I will pick it up and put it in storage.
Michael- This weekend in Austin TX is the TX socialist conference at UT there is a group of us going there will be socialists and radicals across the state, and if you want to go, talk to me! There is an informational meeting.. talk to me after GA.
Kevin- I worked on the website, what we are missing is Minutes from previous GA’s please talk to me.
Chris – Outreach OH Newspaper: The final copy is done now, we are ready to print. 10,000 copies full color 8 pages, 10×11 standard news paper. We need approval of the GA tonight to give us $800 in funds. For the first issue. Is there a disclaimer? This paper is in connection of the whole Occupy Houston, it’s not one idea or one view or one solution, it’s trying with this paper to outreach to different communities. And ask them to give us their solutions. The paper is for all people it’s the voice of the 99%. How do you plan on distributing it? We will bring this up after we get it printed. How often will this paper be printed? Depends on this. Can we reduce the number printed for the first printing? I want people to approve this because we need a lot to get it to more people out there. We want young people and athletic people going door to door and give them the paper. It’s very important for us to connect to Houston. Formal Proposal: I am asking you GA to authorize the OC Newspaper Workgroup for the use of $800 to print 10,000 copies of the OH newspaper. Block1: I feel it’s a bit unethical maybe immoral to support print media to the tune of $800 when we have had a videographer nearly every day since Oct lugging around in excess of $10,000 to capture this on video as apposed to a smart phone. I respect everyone that created the paper, I cannot wait to see and distribute it. Half to you and half to the videographer. Rebuttal: This paper took time, we approved the paper, a lot of people worked on putting it together, now we are reporting back and asking for money we already raised. People are donating money for this. There really isn’t a money question. Block2: there are environmental friendly ways to produce print. Rolling based inks and other paper materials are hazardous to the environment so unless it is environmentally friendly, it is in contradiction to our movement. New Consensus: PASSED
Erick – 1 That it should be required that every workgroup reports back to the GA 4 times a week, if they don’t GA will discuss the workgroup possibly ending in the disassembling of that workgroup. Who will enforce this proposal. Block1: The workgroups are for the individuals to decide, they have no requirement to do report backs. Some only meet once a week, it’s unnecessary. Some don’t have an official member base. As far as them making decisions that’s what they are supposed to do.
Yoshi – 1 womens only section for sleeping and whatnot. Lately we’ve all heard about problems happening, let’s try to create this section, my suggestion would be this corner over here. To have their privacy. Block: morally apposed to segregation of sexes. 2 people need things, currently it costs a little money, like lost driver’s license essential paperwork for getting a job. People are donating to our cause, people are the cause. I propose creating a restoration comity. Did not pass.
Matthew – I was told to ask if I needed something to ask at the GA I just need $1.25 to get home, I need to ride bus 29, can someone help me out. I have a curfew. Obtained.
Dr. Che – If they are asking us to take the tents or sleeping bags down, we accomidate. Don’t get into physical confrontation with them, we can play cat and mouse with them. If they kick us out from here, we have a Rally Point to gather to afterward. Refrence last night’s GA for plan A B C etc.
Tyler – In light of the fact we are out of flyers, and I have put in the request and still have gotten no flyers. I propose that we take between $200 – $225 out of funds to print more flyers. UH contacts can do this on the sly instead of paying for it. We will print here on site without spending money.
Tera – 1 Trey and I were talking the other day about how we eat here at occupy houston our family, and how a family that doesn’t eat together can get real awkward real quick. 1 we have a community meal at least once a week, I am willing to deal with the logistics, Mondays at 5pm. Passed! 2 I know we’re here and our job is to Occupy Houston, but we have needs that Yoshi kind of addressed, and one thing I have been thinking about is setting up a small skill trade economy so that we can put our carpenters and electricians on a project so we can have more finances come in. Passed!
Wade – I have parked on Walker St. over there a dozen times, and abide by the rules. Today, my car was towed, and when I asked why, I was told a peace officer called in to have it towed, and when I asked why I was told he didn’t leave any details. Personally if I don’t get help getting my car out. I would like to propose that we allow for donations to pay for any citations or car towing that occupiers may have incurred. Tabled by proposer.
Johnathan – I propose that we form an urban exploration working group with the view to freecycling in agreement with one of the proposals brought up today. Passed
Dr. Che – I propose not only have a permanent place for gathering, but also take our cause to the people.
Erick – These are supposedly the Workgroups, media, medical, warehouse are not on here, some of these are online but we should have an analog source. We need to have accountability of the workgroup. If we delegate that to the work groups we get something like congress. Discussing about workgroups. We have workgroups that don’t have a strong member base, we also have workgroups that could be consolidated. I would prefer to see some sort of GA oversight of the workgroups so there is some accountability. Require workgroups to submit a description of said workgroup to the GA.
We’ve tracked down two photos from the police raid on Tranquility Park on November 15, 2001 for “tents”. If you have any pictures or photos from this action on your camera or phone please send them our way. Thanks!
This is what HPD thinks a tent looks like.
Occupy Houston members lining up in front of their property.