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ANOTHER HOUSTON OCCUPIER ARRESTED – NOVEMBER 15, 2011

Occupy Houston protesters were frustrated today by the ever-widening definition of a “tent” as articulated by City Hall and HPD. At approximately 3:00 PM, the occupation site at Tranquility Park was approached by several uniformed officers from the police and fire departments, including a police captain and Fire Chief Galvan. Protesters were instructed to remove tarps placed over tables which were being used to protect food, electronic equipment and medical supplies both on top of and underneath the tables from today’s showers. The practice has been permissible throughout the duration of the occupation, which has now exceeded a month, and today the tarps were suddenly deemed “tents” and therefore in violation of the current policy. The protesters refused to remove the tarps, forming a line and chanting, while police forcibly removed all tarps covering the tables. One occupy participant was arrested in the process and remains in custody.

The action occurred only a few moments after today’s City Council meeting, where several occupy participants commended City Council and HPD for their respectful and cooperative disposition during the past several weeks before requesting action on the increasingly contentious issue of the use of tarps, tents and canopies in the park. It is exactly one week since 6 other protesters were arrested over a tarp being used to protect similar equipment, and three weeks since the last appearance of the protesters at a City Council meeting, where they requested permission for the use of tarps, tents and canopies. Also addressed during the incident were some concerns of the fire department over the use of extension cords, with which the protesters respectfully complied.

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[UPDATED] Houston Police ON SITE at TRANQUILITY PARK

Houston Police officers are on site at Tranquility Park claiming once again that our tarps used to keep our belongings dry in the recent rain storm are tents and must be taken down. We need bodies at Tranquility Park immediately! Help us protect our lawful and non-violent demonstration! There are paddy wagons on site, and a raid is imminent! This is a call to anyone in the vicinity. We need your help!

Follow @OccupyHouston on twitter or watch our facebook group for more information as we get it.

Contact the city!

Mayor Annise D. Parker
City of Houston
P.O. Box 1562 Houston, TX 77251
Phone: 3-1-1, or 713.837.0311
Email: mayor@houstontx.gov or scheduling@houstontx.gov
https://www.facebook.com/MayorAnniseParker

UPDATE: 3:20pm: Houston PD and the Coast Guard are inspecting our tarps. One man has been arrested.
UPDATE: 3:30pm: Houston PD has backed off, taking the tarps covering our tables and our electronics.
UPDATE: The police have left with some of our tarps. We’re holding an emergency general assembly, but we still need folks to come to our regular meeting tonight at 7pm in Tranquility Park. This is a critical point for all occupy movements, and we need your support!

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General Assembly Minutes – Nov 10, 2011

General Assembly Minutes Nov 10, 2011 7:00pm
Approximately 40 in attendence

Jacob: Introduction, hand signals, and GA rules

Volunteer Group Report Backs
Alice w/ Outreach: We’d like people to participate in discussions on 11/11/11 from 3:00pm-6:00pm.
Shamus w/ Sustainability: All of the things that the police stole from me were replaced by volunteer donations. Please keep the park clean. There are sustainability meetings at 5pm every night. There are peacekeeping meetings where we learn how to diffuse conflicts. At 10pm we have overcoming addictions meetings.

Announcements
Vanessa w/ kitchen. Cleanliness is very important. You must wash any plates, cups, and spoons that you use. The kitchen is a group effort. Please ask if you don’t know where something goes. On 11/11/11 at 11:00am there will be a meditation mob at UH library. At 11:00pm there will be a meditation mob in Tranquility Park.
Emily: Wants to donate a phone to the Occupy group, and is checking the temperature of the idea.
Erica: Printed 400 flyers and wants people to use them. They will be at the info desk.
Gene: Wants volunteers for easy work. Wants volunteers to monitor right wing radio, look for lies, and write down their sponsors. He’d like people to listen in short shifts.
Jorge: His cat’s name is peach and is 1 month old. Thank you for help with the cat.
Erick: He must meet with lawyers, so he can’t be at UH on 11/11/11. He wants people to go to University of Houston to organize 11/11/11 activities.
Steven: Wants to confirm the people going to Washington DC. He’s trying to get in touch with him. If you’re going to DC please contact him.
Damien: Marching to the Egyptian consulate at 11:00am. Meeting at Tranquility Park at 12:00pm, march to the Egyptian consulate in support of the Egyptian democracy movement.
Emily: She lives in Freedmanstown (the 4th ward). She is seeking input and volunteers to look into the possibility of purchasing the former Federal Reserve Building on Allen pkwy and/of 10 historic row houses on Victor St. She envisions these buildings and land can be used as a campus for long-term of the 99% movement. Another idea is to use these buildings for veterans housing. See Emily or Shamus in sustainability for more information.
Scott: There are two types of questions. A standard question is represented by a fist. A clarifying question is represented by making a “C” shape with your hand.

Proposals
Roxanne: Wants Occupy Houston to shop at local businesses on black friday instead of big box department stores. Nov 25 is black friday, the day after Thanksgiving. If you do go to a big box store we will not shame you. – 1 BLOCK, some members do not want to spend anything anywhere on black friday.
Erick: Alter our mission statement to “End the cultural corruption of humanity”. Wanted a temperature check. A vote showed 40% in favor and 60% opposed, not an official poll.

Opinions
Roxanne: Saturday 11/12/11 is national sleepout day. There may be extra people sleeping in Tranquility Park that night.
Erick: Corporations are corrupt. The environment is in danger. How is culture affecting our lives?
Jeff: Profit does not equal greed. We must get rid of televisions. Capitalism is the best system. On 11/11/11 he will be reading the names of Iraq and Afghanistan war dead in front of the KBR building at 500 Jefferson st, 1/2 mile from Tranquility Park.
Matthew: I have seizures only when I get worked up or if it’s hot outside. Sometimes he washes dishes for several hours because people do not wash their dirty dishes.
Master Jesus: Occupy Houston has no leaders. Let’s be kind to each other if we disagree.
Scott: Dog sh*t is gross. Clean up after your dog. You may get a ticket if your dog is off a leash. We need to ask important questions if occupy is to succeed.
Vanessa: Agrees with Erick’s proposal about the mission statement, but she is afraid that people outside the movement will not understand it. It is too esoteric.
George: 14 winter hats were donated today. The best way to stay warm in the winter is to wear a hat. Ask for one.

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Media From Today’s Press Conference

Our press conference held this morning in Tranquility Park in response to last night’s arrests went well. Big thanks for those willing to brave the cameras and to those of you who sent us videos and pictures from the event. Here’s what we’ve got so far. Keep ‘em coming!

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A82rsYef5Xg[/youtube]

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[UPDATED] Latest info on those arrested on 11/8

We’ve been checking with the courts and jails to get the latest status of those arrested by the Houston police department in last night’s string arrests related to a tarp covering our valuables.

  • Rico had his court date at 10:00am
  • Amanda had her court date at 9:00am, plead not guilty, and was released on $210 bail.
  • Shaun had his court date at 10:00am
  • Remington is currently held in city jail downtown on charges of disobeying an officer. His bail is set at $235.10.
  • Chris, Matthew, and Erick are being held in city jail downtown on charges of erecting a structure. Their current status is incomplete.

We’ll keep everyone updated as we get more information. Stay strong!

UPDATE: Those arrested are now out on bond and safe at the occupation. Many many thanks to our awesome legal team for being so on the ball. Y’all are rock stars. Seriously.

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HPD ARRESTS 10 OCCUPY HOUSTON PARTICIPANTS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

CONTACT:
Dustin Phipps
Occupy Houston
Outreach Volunteer Group
occupyhoustonoutreach@riseup.net
occupyhouston.org

HPD ARRESTS 10 OCCUPY HOUSTON PARTICIPANTS

Houston, TX, November 8, 2011 – At approximately 11:00 PM, HPD arrested 10 Occupy Houston participants as a result of a dispute over a tarp being used to protect equipment belonging to Occupy Houston from inclement weather.

Police confronted one of the Occupy Houston participants about the placement of a tarp in Tranquility Park and requested its removal. The participant refused to remove the tarp on the grounds that it was necessary to protect equipment vital to the participants’ well-being. The participant discussed the matter with officers over a period of approximately 20 minutes, during which time HPD presence at the occupation site escalated dramatically, reaching a total of 27 officers and 19 police
cruisers.

After failing to reach a resolution, police insisted that an arrest would be made if the tarp were not removed. The aforementioned participant remained steadfast in his position and 5 additional Occupy Houston participants indicated their willingness to be arrested on these terms as well. HPD then proceeded to arrest the participants and confiscate the tarp and other equipment belonging to the occupiers.

Four additional Occupy Houston participants were detained during the course of the arrests. Three individuals who were filming the event were detained for jaywalking after attempting to cross Walker St. at Bagby, where a police cruiser was obstructing the crosswalk. Another participant was arrested while requesting the name and badge number of one of the arresting officers. Three of the detained persons were released after a period of time, while the remaining 7 participants were booked into the municipal jail facility located on Lubbock. Video of the arrests may be viewed at Occupy Houston’s YouTube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/OccupyHouston

Occupy Houston will hold an informal press conference at Tranquility Park on the morning of November 9th at 10:00 AM to address questions concerning the arrests and their significance. There are plans for a demonstration afterwards in front of the municipal courthouse at 1400 Lubbock to show solidarity with those arrested and to protest the city’s unwillingness to allow Occupy Houston to adequately protect the food, medical supplies and electronic equipment that maintain the safety and health of the protesters while they conduct their constitutional right to peaceably assemble.

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11/11/11 – DAY OF SOLIDARITY

Stand with Occupy Houston and the 99% on 11/11/11 for a peaceful student walkout and celebration of global resistance at Tranquility Park!

We call on University of Houston students to meet in front of the library building at 11:00am. At 11:30am we march to Tranquility Park in downtown Houston for a day of solidarity and celebration of global protest movements. The festivities start at 2:00pm in the park!

From 2:00pm to 5:00pm we’re holding discussion circles in the park. All topics are up for chat, but we plan to discuss:

  • health care
  • the homeless
  • taking care of our veterans
  • spirituality in collective movements
  • occupation ideology

Don’t limit yourself to these! Tighten your thinking caps and lets talk about the issues that drive our movement. At 5:00pm we’ll open it up and celebrate art and poetry. We’ll have an open mic, so come on out and rap, sing, or perform. Get creative! This goes on until it ends, folks. We’re going to do this one right.

Don’t worry if you’re not at U of H. 11/11/11 is a national day of solidarity, and we welcome everyone! We are the 99% and we are finally making our voices heard!


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Questions? Ideas? Suggestions? Please share your thoughts in the Forum Topical Thread HERE. ~kr

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General Assembly Minutes – Nov 3, 2011

General Assembly Minutes – November 3, 2011 7:20pm
Approximately 25 in attendance.

Facilitators: Benjamin
Stack Coordinator: None
Stackers: Jeremiah
Timer: Jonathan
Scribe: Jeremy
Moderator: John

Volunteer Group Announcements:
Sustainability: Sean – This far bin used to have some seeds. Those seeds have been ruined by dancing standing and placing food on top of. All food that needs to be composted needs to be put in the compost bin. I have someone that is trying to get some alternators for us and using them with bikes.

Political Action Work Group: Joe – went to the polls today with others and held signs. There was a lot of talk. Come join us tomorrow 7:00-7:00 1475 west gray. Occupying the Polls.

Food: Vanessa – Cleanliness is important in all areas, the only person needing to be cleaning after you, is you. If you use any dishes wash them!!

Warehouse: Scott B. – Pass

Security: JJ – We have had a problem with theft, it’s already known. It has been taken care of, I want to apologize for last night we had a temporary chance of rain, and we are not to post tents, and I did to help others, I want you to know I don’t want to set a negative example, we need volunteers for night shift.

Personal Announcements:
Jamin – Today me and a few others met with HPD, and during that meeting there were some concerns raised, primarily urinating and defecating in inappropriate areas. There are two porta potties behind city hall annex. Also when it comes to sign making refrain from obscenities. When it comes to our home signs, it is legal for us to make those signs, but illegal for drivers to honk. Don’t get them in trouble. Also, police are here to protect when they come up don’t go up to them in a mob fashion. This may seem hostile. We don’t want that, and so far we have had zero arrests in occupy houston. Info: Mayor Parker has said that eight people have been arrested. Most of the defecating and urinating has been taking place in the parking areas under the street, there are camera’s watching be mindful.

Carlos: Top Texas Organizing Project, open endorse for us to go to DC in December 5-9th. They were not authorized to do that. Only top members can go to DC $5 membership fee, today was the last day. Going to try to get an extension on that. It’s to occupy dc in protest of corporate corruption of the government.

Dustin – My self Jamin and Burke, had a meeting with CID, they wanted to point out that we have an issue with urinating in the garage beneath us. Please tell people to stop. Info brought up from Jamin earlier. Divestment March 9:00am here.

Proposals:
Jeremiah: Michael Moore will be at a book store at 7:30pm. Does anyone have first hand info that he will be here for the divestment march. occupyhouston.org and facebook say that Michael Moore will be there. I propose that we don’t confirm an appearance by Michael Moore until we have first hand confirmation he will be here by midnight. PASSED Point of Info: Lief : Michael Moore responded to a message I sent him. he sent a direct message saying yes he would be here. He unfollowed me, and didn’t say what time he would be here.

Carlos: We have GA 3 (mondays, wednesdays and fridays (these are changeable)) times a week and the other four days we use that time for work groups and meetings\teach-ins. Amended: We have GA 3 (monday wednesday and friday) days a week at 7pm and the other 4 days either at 4pm or 8pm. BLOCKED a. I feel that we are moving away from the process given to us by wall street. b. we haven’t even started implementing as a whole the use of a mic check. answer: a.it’s a fluid process, opens the door to have more work groups. b. Mic check is for hearing purposes in large groups. Artem: I personally feel the GA has lost substance over time, we could use this time in a more direct manor. We could spend a few days a week sharing info like we do at GA.

Joe: Gloves for cold weather cost $1 who needs gloves. Who needs a beanie, who needs a phone. Proposal: To spend Occupy Houston money to buy gloves, cell phones, and minor items someone may need. $35+tax for gloves and $35+tax for beanies. Blocks: we shouldn’t have to spend money, we can get that for donations by putting up stuff on the website. Block: I will bring gloves and beanies back before I leave. There may be something more necessary. WITHDRAWN

Opinions:
Erick: when we get rigid in our process it becomes exclusive. This is a growth something not set in stone. I think we need to keep in mind the depth of the relationships we are trying to make here, if you are not willing to sacrifice for one individual, you wont do it for the group. That is what they want us to set, apathy for each other. I love you guys and glad to see you here.

Jamin: The point of the mic check and the peoples mic is so everyone can hear you no matter if you think your voice is loud enough or not. The point is to project our voices as far as possible so everyone can hear otherwise you are being inconsiderate.

Carlos: The reason I stayed tonight is I am pissed off. I get reports that there’s censorship on facebook and website from reliable sources. Reports there is fighting and alcohol, theft, discrimination. We are to unify and stand strong. They are taking a list and seeing what we are doing, so when they come against us they can use that list against us. When you see things like that happening, call it out! I am angry! >:( Act like the 99% be unified. There is a reason these protests throughout history don’t work, they all lack unification. Stay unified, be a movement. I <3 you guys!

John: Clean sweep! getting mired down on the process is something you should address with them personally. People make mistakes, please let us know, try to work toward congruency rather than anything else. There are a lot of things with opinions, but with congruency we can solve anything.

Trey: First of all I would like to piggy back on the comment that was made earlier about our GA process, and give back group on my point of information. Yesterday I became aware of a few differences between our process and Austin’s while attending it. First they have two different hand signals that I feel would be beneficial to everyone. C for clarifying questions. I am not on the facilitation team nor am I always available, get active about that sign. (makes a sign) Also this is a sign they use for requests on extensions of time once time is called. I would like to point out that yesterday a young man requested if GA was okay with him making mods to the GA process.

Evan: I am tired of seeing partisans crap all over the place. Lots of re-elect signs from politicians. One of the reasons I am here is because my government is failing me. I don’t want to sit here and listen to Jo Jones take over. Politicians suck, cool people, but in general politicians suck. This isn’t their venue, this is our venue. They are not on my side.

George: I would like to assemble a team that is focusing purely on education so we can break all these artificial barriers between us.

Clay: Pick up with what Evan was addressing. Party politics is stupid and jacked. We don’t know how to be a community. It’s a learning process and a discovery process. There are universal aspects to being human, if we don’t align ourselves with those we cannot have a community. We have to make this about something much bigger than ourselves and our personal agendas, which are inappropriate to apply. If we just focus on our commonality, then our differences should fall aside. We are trying to organize within diversity, and organize ourselves in ways that work.

Evan: Also, I know yesterday, there was a candle light vigil in solidarity with scott olson. What happened to him. He got shot in the head with a rubber bullet by a cop. They are oppressors, not our friends. I am not taking any points of information. Just because the cops here are being nice, how can you protest against them and also work with them at the same time. That just doesn’t make any sense to me.

Clay: I am going to try to offer an alt perspective when dealing with the cops because they are the 99% we have to include them some how, I don’t have a solution, but an approach is that we find a way to help them realize that they’re our neighbors. For example they are of the 99% and operating in a culture that tells them otherwise, they will feel tense about this, they won’t want to embrace the rabble, that will take time. however, if we confront them on their terms we loose. We are asking them for something they don’t have they can’t give it. Empathy is not part of their job description. They are real human beings in the uniform, and that’s who we are talking to not the uniform.

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