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General Assembly Minutes – Oct. 27, 2011

General Assembly Minutes – October 27, 2011 7:00pm
Approximately 55 in attendance.

Facilitators: Raffi, Jeff
Stack Coordinator: Sarah
Stackers: Noah, Carlos
Timer: Vanessa
Scribe: Jeremy
Umbrella holders: V, Miguel
Greeters: Scott, Erick, Amy
Moderator: Rob

Volunteer Group Announcements:
Sustainability: Seamus – situation with the police the batteries may be a fire hazard. They weren’t covered in the burn ban. We will continue to enclose all of our batteries. We are growing plants!

Facilitation: Scott – Block process, passed a proposal a while back where one block per person per proposal, it was a weak consensus. Explaining the new block process. The blockers are given 3 minutes to convince others of the block. If another person blocks after, then there is another consensus. If it’s still not resolved, then it gets tabled. Then the proposers and blockers are encouraged to discuss this at length.

Outreach: Erick – 29th corporate house of horrors, 11.11.11 global day of protest walk out, then poetry, then wells fargo. Nov.12 national sleep out saturday, talk to Noah. The polling march. 4pm on the 30th two youtube videos.

Websites: Cassie – working on come to me and tell me what address you want at

Operation Rush Hour Work Group: Ryan – started today, went well. Went to different overpasses and showed signs over overpasses. Uniform wear. Everyday about 4pm

Diversity?: Ben – KPFT Clear Voices needs people to come by monday at 8:50pm show up to make yourself heard. There will be a carpool

Diversity: Noah – We as a movement want people to come talk about their own diversity.

Sarah – reports of inappropriate groping and soliciting money for sexual favors. Get the f**k out if you do it or plan on it!

Legal: Burke – There are ways around having to get rid of the batteries, they are necessary we need them for our protest. Just for tonight I ask that the batteries be disconnected from what they draw power from or give it to. If you don’t there is a chance for eviction. Don’t know the legal basis, but it doesn’t matter. Tomorrow we will negotiate with those needed to resolve this peacefully. Sustainability information: they are perfectly safe we should keep them covered. Also not covered in the burn ban.


Personal Announcements:

Tara Escudero: Gulf Coast Outreach Coordinator 631-428-6794 – not really involved just moved to Houston from New York, job is to organize students and fly them from new orleans to dallas where students get to learn how to be organizers to move toward renewable resources. Better Future Project

Wonderland: finance need donations and supplies. I have a connection with a non profit director willing to give us our own sector. Legal pan handling. Willing to help us get uniform shirts. Microphones with permits. Permanent structure permits.


Taylor and Kent: request that occupy endorse a new investigation for 9/11. High on the list for occupy wall street. Transferred money from the public to corporations because of 9/11. Block: 2 – 1. Ethical commitment to logical. The process is getting into an issue with clear separation of powers issues. 2. should be purely economical and humanitarian movement. We need to set up a new power basis to govern the 9/11 investigation. Favor 6 apposed 6 3 blocks – tabled.

Raffi: 2 valid reasons to not vote in the election. Turn out is low or don’t believe in the candidates. People need to vote!!! Amy Price should be voted for because she supports us and the issues we stand for. Please vote for her. Houston City Council at Large.

Chris: Morale building. Maybe if we had like story time or jokes anything to boost morality around here. Have a fun time and such after GA or something. 9+ hour for entertainment, just need people to do it.

Charlie: tents wether we should have them or not. When you have rain you should bring out your tent.

Erick: Voter boxes have been proven to be hackable. Just saying. Try to make it analog it’s a bit more safe, maybe a lot more safe. I <3 you guys.

Scott: Vibes and feelings. Today I had not enough water and I got bossy and then they threw a biscuit at me and then I yelled at them. So it was this big thing because we weren’t keeping our emotions in check. If you want to react to something just be mindful of yourself.

Ben: 1. Opinions should be for whatever the person making the opinion wants. The signs around the streets where we are is good enough because there are tons of people there. We should get rid of guest speakers from GA.

Moment of Silence for Scott the Iraq War Vet that got hit in the head with tear gas.


General Assembly Minutes – Oct. 26, 2011

General Assembly Minutes – October 26, 2011 7:00pm
Approximately 49 in attendance.

Facilitators: Jeff
Stack Coordinator: V
Stackers: Em
Timer: Miguel
Scribe: Jeremy
Moderator: Evan
Guest Speaker: Dr. Che – talking about his experiences as a revolutionary

Volunteer Group Announcements:
Logistics / Vera: White boards at info table are complete, no littering in the park, no smoking in the park, no fires in the park, no restroom activity in the park pick up your sleeping stuff in the morning, we need more workshops, we need more ppl in volunteer groups. All lists are by the info table.
Diversity / Ben: Continuation meeting after GA, KPFT Radio Air Waves needs people to go on the air with clear voices. At 8:50pm Monday.
Sustainability / Seamus: We have seeds! Went to farmers market to spread the word. Food goes in the compost bucket not in the metal bins, we will start pushing to get more solar panels. Need more car batteries. Need anything and everything that produces or holds electricity.
Outreach / Erick and Maria: Maria – Corporate House of Horrors, 7-10 this saturday, needs six actors, got volunteers they need to get make up saturday at 5, 4 projectors going need help learning about that, more large pieces of cardboard, need help painting tombstones, Haunt Wall Street sunday 5-8, walk to wells fargo for open mic poetry, etc. Erick – Joe added 600 on face book for the corporate house of horrors, bowling, Denny started occupy streets, 7-2 fridays and mondays going out to get interviews from ppl on busses, streets, etc. nov.12 national sleep out Saturday. Student walk out day 11.11.11. still waiting to see if John Carlos is coming out. Please hold signs while you’re smoking. We need donations, money, food supplies, etc. Has Michael Moore confirmed coming to Houston, Nov. 4th Divestment march same day.
Grievance Assessment / Trey: there are a couple of work groups that need to be started, 1. list of grievances – point is to collect a list of grievances 2. more specific work group for supplies. Supply – to address different work groups to keep up with specific supplies needed by those work groups.
Finance / Jenny: Working on a financial report. Looking for where to put up the bank account with a credit union, looking for setting up NPO, trying to get things set up. Need food donations, please we need food. Ask to get a volunteer to go over to Whole Foods to get left over foods after closing. Sunday at 4pm is the meeting.

Personal Announcements:
Craig: Occupy Oakland, 24 year old Iraq Veteran in the hospital, their camp was broken on Monday night and back up on Tuesday, marching tonight. Others are marching as well in solidarity.
Dr. Che: Drove a taxi cab, need a ride? I he will take you. If you need rides from the airport taxi cabs they will help. Can get some donations for first aid and food.
Hamza: second time speaking here, fundraising director, spare time starting donation collection for Occupy Houston. Starting a fund Raising workgroup. Tool box that has evolved into a donation box. One for outreach and one for sustainability. Lacks secure fastener
Eric: Occupy Wall Street Journal – Dividing their papers into two one for NY and the other National. They are looking for 9 cities one is Houston. Big part of a log term sustain movement. Encouraging ppl to take up responsibility for this. Need storage, distribution, shipment to other places not printed. Need a workgroup for all this.
Ally: parking meters that have new signs that say you need a permit to park. Park in the city annex parking lot
Trey: New papers, keep in mind there is an info table, we need solar panels because we don’t have city power anymore. Open mic poetry at 316 main at 10pm and free radicals performing at 11pm next door.

Burk: decided to try to get a permit for us, will ask for tents and electricity, may damage our reputation with the city, it will cost $50 to file it whether denied or accepted, talk about injunction if the permit is denied. Permits are time limited may ask for indefinite or extremely long period of time on permit this is the reason it will likely be turned down. 17 votes to vote now 19 votes to table
Evan: No one person should be leader, and no one should have sole knowledge of usernames and passwords for twitter. Want a new twitter account officially for Occupy Houston. If we don’t get access to them we should get a new one. 4 BLOCKS – 1.the proposal is not what it seems, evan has a particular view on what should be done with media. 2.we should force authority of GA to create an account or share the account information. 3. Occupy Houston get an alt twitter account. – Tabled!

DAVID FROM OCCUPY SEATTLE : Message: official unofficial : had problems with the police, had some arrests. Incident on thursday a native american came into west lake park and prayed, kneeled down on a blanket (cops not letting blankets because it’s cold and wet) told the native american he had to stop for there are no blankets allowed. Broke GA and started yelling you’re violating his 1st amendment rights, and it worked, they released the native american. Love and solidarity from Seattle no matter how tough the day to day gets always try to step back and see the big picture unfolding, gain reassurance and morale from our brothers and sisters standing united with us all over the world for a better tomorrow, keep smiling because the sound of your long held voices is beautiful, with love occupy seattle.
Caleb from Occupy Austin: Talked about how he became interested in Occupation cause. The work to become self sufficient is very important. Brings some project information, reaching out to those trying to start a business or looking for financial information, come find him.
Erica: sometimes during the day I find it overwhelming what all needs to be done and in those moments I think of what it is I want to do, which is to ends corporate domination of the world and to care for the earth I like that we teach so much to each other I have one question I want to discourage the use of the word occupation because we are against occupation throughout the world this isn’t occupy as in what color is your occupy? One question one week ago, I heard there was going to be a vigil for people that have lost their loved ones through alcohol and drug abuse, I went looking for them and I think it changed location because something else was happening, I want to find out if anyone is still doing this, and I would like to do it, and the reason I think it is important because that way we can work with our pain in the context of our struggle.
Erick – who thinks authoritarianism is wrong? Capitalism is inherently authoritarian, Media issue, actually have a discussion about wether or not the GA can agree with what’s going out on the twitter then we can vote on whether it needs to change or not. Facebook twitter and the website are all the face for occupy Houston, The GA has forgotten about the media, and we should talk about this and come with a solution for this at the next GA.
Trey – Read a letter from someone else. Dear group, in observing and talking amongst our co-members at occupy Houston some concerns have come up. Just because I can’t attend the GA doesn’t mean I am not a participant. We have begun to loose ppl because the group is becoming a political one with leaders that make decisions without consensus. Core members are being pushed away because of disrespecting of people in Occupy Houston.
Ryan – 1. want to put together an occupy application for cell phones, to talk and vote with other remotely. 2. operation rush hour 5 – 10 ppl at an over pass at 610 start as small as we need to, uniform shirts, masks, one message everyone can agree on to show those driving below. Everyday between 4-6pm 3. Operation Jokes on You, Since cops have come to put pressure on us in a weak moment, when we’re strong in numbers we plan to have a large number of us to pretend to do civil disobedience, then when it gets to culmination surprise the law enforcement with teddy bears and candy etc.
Wonderland – from self sustaining community. Willing to take risks? You can haz money. I am a traveler, and I have a system that gets monies, I’m cute!
Darren – Media work group meeting at midnight tonight.
Scott – Leadership, it happens, rotating leadership is important we should focus on it!
Artem – Rallies and marches everyday 4pm at random locations banks, oil company building, etc. main reason we don’t have numbers is because we don’t have rallies. We should do more.
Joe – Read a poem or letter to GA
Allison – Set up an email address for people to send a well organized email to so they can be read at GA or something to that extent.
Vera – we need to be more aggressive, be less quiet, I want more faces.
Trey – clarify we had 3 rallies not 2
Dr. Che – comments on revolution and gypsies
John – abolish all announcements proposals and everything just stacks
Em – someone ate cookies
Hamza– something about a festival
John – Thank food not bombs for the bread. Have so much food that needs to be cooked. Taking it to the house to cook it to get a semi vegan food not bombs cook out
Nick – Free Radicals free show at Deans tonight. Going to NY if you want to get info up talk to him.


Are you ready to Haunt Wall Street?

Come to “Haunt Wall St.,” Occupy Houston’s open mic poetry night this Sunday, Oct. 30th from 5:00-8:00pm!

We are calling all poets, performers, and musicians to sign up for a slot at our delicious, devious evening of original works, readings of great poems, essays, and speeches, and songs!

We will meet at Tranquility Park at 5pm, and enjoy performances until 7pm, when the group will walk and recite to the Wells Fargo building, declaiming from the sidewalk!

Join us for an evening of spooktacular literary delights!

View Larger Map


General Assembly Minutes – Oct. 24, 2011

General Assembly Minutes – October 24, 2011 7:00pm
Approximately 55 in attendance.

Facilitators: Prescott & Matthew
Stack Coordinator: Artem
Stackers: John & Mary
Timer: Carlos
Scribe: Vanessa

Benjamin – Introductions

Volunteer Group Announcements:
Jamin w/ Logistics: concerning interacting with City Hall tomorrow:
1) No person shall display signs, posters, banners. No interference in aisles, obstructing views, etc.
2) 1 person speaking at a time
3) No paper or plastic bags, purses, boxes, tape recorders or containers
4) No applause , boo or speaking out in a loud raucous manner
5) No disorderly conduct
Artem w/ Logistics: There is a planning meeting before city council at noon at Tranquility Park.
Maria w/ Outreach: Need materials for the haunted house, check the website. There is a poetry reading / walk Sunday 10/30 5:00pm – 8:00pm.
Seamus w/ Sustainability: We need to take out the trash, keep compost in the compost bins, and pay more attention to littering.
Mary w/ Medical: We need volunteers. Please notify us about allergies and health issues. Step away from the medical table before using bug spray.
JJ w/ Security: We’re short handed. See him or John.
Swim w/ Finance: We’ve got a small system to make finances accountable. Purchases under $100 need 3 volunteer groups to approve. Purchases over $100 need 5 groups approval. If larger than it needs GA approval.

Personal Announcements:
Summer: Re: Queer Voices. KPFT needs GBLT participants.
Carlos: We’re going to Austin on 11/2 to protest Valero.
CK: 11/11/11 student walkout at 11:00am at UofH.
Twyst: From Los Angeles, CA. See him for a flyer about the Iran Green Movement. Occupy LA has 200-300 tent campers, a print shop, and detente the city.
Matthew: He will speak with city council regarding access to clean water.
Swim: No littering or smoking. Pick up after yourself after you wake up and return your bedding to warehouse. We have a workgroup meetings board and a to-do list.
Chris: Houston I.S.O./John Carlos is speaking at the Shape Center 11/11 at 6:00pm
Mike: We’re having recycling pickup at 8am tomorrow.
Jolanda: Procedures regarding speaking in front of city council.

Get companies to subsidize our building green energy and selling back to the grid – Blocked, 2 blocks
Making money is antithetical to occupy’s goals – Tabled
Will make an inventory of food & warehouse, and post the list publicly – PASSED

Carlos: Occupy Austin does marches after each GA& wants Houston to do likewise.
Evan: Feels when there is a speaker is on deck that no others should stand behind them. Others arriving that stand behind them is distracting.
Hugh: Recognition is what we need. He’s contacted NAACP, Cornell West, Tavis Smiley. We need endorsements to grow our numbers.


Come with us to City Hall! today noon, meet @ Camp Tranquility!

Members of Occupy Houston are attending tomorrow’s [TODAY ! Tuesday 10/25/11} City Council meeting at 2:00pm to address our issues in sustaining our occupation. We want the right to keep tents and covering for us and our belongings and reliable utilities to keep our site up and running. A few of us are on the docket to speak, and we welcome the public at large to attend this meeting to support us and our cause!

If you are going to rally with us at City Hall there are a few rules you must follow. We’re going to be on camera with government officials. We’ll not just be repesenting ourselves, but occupy movements worldwide. Regarding the the city ordinances concerning city council meetings please:

  • bring signs and banners, but don’t use them to block aisles, others’ view of the meeting, or otherwise disturb the meeting
  • only let one person speak at a time
  • bring any paper bags, plastic bags, handbags, briefcases, purses, satchel boxes, envelopes, tape recorders, or containers of any sort to the speaker’s podium. They’ll provide a drawer for those.
  • don’t clap, boo, yell, applaud, or otherwise audibly express your approval or disapproval of what happens at the meeting. Let’s use our general assembly hand signals!
  • don’t engage in disorderly conduct while addressing the council

Violating these ordinances isn’t a municipal offense, but they do have police officers on hand who will escort you out of the meeting for breaking the rules.

Remember that we’re addressing politicians. They want to get re-elected. They may not necessarily take a stand on our issues. A cool, collected, and constant initiative will help us out.

There’s a planning meeting at 12:00 noon in Tranquility Park to organize before we head to city hall. Come to the park and come with us to city hall. We can’t stress how important it is that you come with us and that we make a good showing in front of the city council. This our big chance to make our voices heard!


Are you ready for the CORPORATE HOUSE OF HORRORS?

Greetings boys and ghoulssssss,

Occupy Houston is proud to announce its first ever Corporate House of Horrors! On October 29th, 7:00pm-10:00pm, Tranquility Park will be transformed into a spooky, eerie, freaaaaky haunted house – with one catch!

This house won’t be full of fake, false, and made-up horrors, this house will be filled with all the REAL HORRORS corporations inflict on humans, animals, and the planet! The real ghouls, demons, and specters are the faceless corporations wearing the skinssss of humanssss but acting like MONSTERS!

Come one, come all to experience the real horror we’re fighting! Pre-Halloween, because no one can compete with Halloween parties! Bring your families, your kids, and your brains! Because if you leave ‘em at home in front of the TV, a banking banshee might steal it awaaayyy-y-y-y-y!!!


Here is what we need:

PLEASE NOTE, some of this stuff we don’t need 20 of – if y’all would be so kind as to get in touch with Maria Heg about what materials are needed, that would be utterly fantastic., or 7135530084 (voicemails are generally lost in the void – text would be best if you can’t reach me via phone).

  • Wooden beams – two 10ft2in. beams to support a sign (particle board or plywood) about 19ft across that will be painted on.
  • STURDY corrugated cardboard, about 80ft!
  • the use of three (3) projectors on the night of the 29th
  • extension cords
  • fake spiderwebs
  • skeletons! plastic or paper mache
  • dry ice

Also, we could definitely use some people to help build a couple of things on Thursday, perhaps – ought not take too long, simple stuff. Let Maria know if you’re interested!


Video From The Occupy Houston Art Fest

We’ve just received an excellent video wrapping up the awesome arts festival we held in Tranquility Park on October 17. Very well done! Thanks for the support, and keep ‘em coming! Your participation sustains this occupation!

Occupy Houston Art Fest from Fred Stawitz on Vimeo.


General Assembly Minutes – Oct. 23, 2011

General Assembly Minutes – October 23, 2011, 7:00pm CDT
Approximately 65 in attendance
John P – Moderator

Volunteer Group Announcements:
Andy w/ Facilitation:
Melissa w/ Logistics: We’re trying to organize the tables. Pick up your personal items, stay off the grass due to mud. Please be grass conscious. Vanessa says that personal items are behind the medical table.
Seamus w/ Sustainability: Don’t walk on the grass, collect rainwater, and pick up after each other between 7:00am – 4:00pm
Douglas w/ Medical: Watch out for mosquitoes.
Kevin w/ Logistics: Anyone with a bicycle come see me to build a wall.
Dustin w/ Outreach: We’re skyping with OWS and planning road trips to visit other occupations.
Maria-Elisa w/ Direct Action: The Corporate House of Horrors event is Oct 29. We need volunteers and materials: 80ft cardboard, skewers, large pieces of wood, spider webs, skeletons, projectors, extension cords, etc.
Dustin w/ Outreach: Taking down Lincoln website.
Eric w/ Public Education: The Wall Street study group screening of the youtube videos of the Greece protests has been rescheduled for next sunday at 4:00pm.
Legal: reminders of the legality of our actions, the National Lawyers Guild, and 1st Amendment rights.
Carlos w/ Outreach: November 2: T.O.P. & HFT, GJGH – transport to Austin, must RSVP, teachers can attend.
Maria w/ Outreach: 11/11/11 – Details of concert. Scooby Doo Crew, poets, Lost Children of Babylon, KPFT Studio time
Jenny w/Finance: $100 or less

Volunteer Group Proposals:
John w/ Facilitation: Count the tip jar and start a ledger – Withdrawn
Andy w/ Outreach: Meet with Houston City Council at 2:00pm on Tuesday to discuss our tent situation. Call city council at (713) 393-1100, email them or visit. Must be done by 1:30pm. The whole group can come, but only one person can speak. – Passed by consensus.
CK w/ Outreach: Organize a student walkout on 11/11/2011 at 11:00am. 11/11/11 is a global day of protest. – Passed by consensus.

Personal Proposals:
Dustin: Pass proposals by 90/10 rule instead of consensus. – Blocked, 3 blocks.
Evan: Use raffle tickets for resources for those not participating. – Blocked, 2 blocks.
Ted: Board of KPFT – make a prototype of the $10 bill including the preamble to the Constitution. Make posters of this & distribute in River Oaks and the like. – Passed by consensus.
Alex: Stop using the 99% slogan. – Blocked
Jacob: Institute a policy for friendly amendments. – Tabled pending more work on the proposal
MariaElena: We express solidarity with Houston city workers, public employees, teachers, and first responders. – Passed

Personal Announcements and Opinions:
Mike: Hundreds on mannequins as a sign of protest.
Maria: Hip hip hooray!
Joe: Early voting at the W. Gray service center. Application in the Sunday Chronicle, Tuesday 2:00pm, city council.
Darren: Be loving & caring. Let’s get along. Be all-inclusive.
Scott: Step up and converse.
Oscar: After yesterday’s GA I had ill feelings. We should have greeters.
Amy: I’m glad to be here and part of this movement.
Chris: I’m happy to be part of this movement.
???: Be inclusive, not exclusive. I enjoy facilitating. We need more people here.
Chris: We have a warehouse problem. Please put your name on your personal items.
Andy: Amy Price support. Discuss issues & solutions.
Dustin: We have finite resources. Follow with action.
James: We need to pray.
CK: Non participants and occupiers, love and free hugs!
Joe: Permits for tents, city elections.
Trey: It feels good to be here. Research the financial messes already made by other movements, and fact check.
Anthony: Proud of us, and encourage us to stay the course.
Carlos: Be the movement. Get informed. Get involved.
Maria: Spending time mired down in other details.
Jeff: We are the 99%. End corporate corruption of democracy.
Joe: A sense of empowerment for the homeless.
Carlos: There is the anual bankers meeting in San Antonio.
Maria: Plugged the Occupy Houston newspaper. Wall Street was built by slaves. Know where Wall Street came from.
Scott: Adopt an attitude of forgiveness rather than criticize. Ask how you can help.
Amy: Hospitals are closed, be cognizant of mental illness in the homeless.