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ALL Food Sharing PETITIONS MUST BE IN BY 6PM TODAY at 1701 Lubbock St, Houston, TX

Via Nick Cooper

ALL PETITIONS MUST BE IN BY 6PM TODAY at 1701 Lubbock St, Houston, TX

These are the petitions to get Food Sharing on the ballot this Nov. The City of Houston passed an ordinance making it illegal to feed more than 5 people in need in public space without prior permission, and then only in designated areas.

Please see Houston Keep Food Sharing Free! and Free To Give Houston for more details if needed.

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When is a Victory a Victory? Houston janitors reach tentative agreement

 

Houston's Janitor Strike 7/2012 photo by Dave Atwood

When is a Victory a Victory? by Massoud Nayeri 08.10.2012

On Wednesday (August 8), SEIU Local 1 President Tom Balanoff with a team of the Union negotiators addressed a full-house of enthusiastic Janitors at the CWA Union Hall. Mr. Balanoff message was that “We made progress here in Houston”. I was there that evening and as one of the many supporters of the Janitors I was very excited to hear more about the progress that was made. I listened to the entire report and frankly during the report, this question came to my mind was “When is a Victory a Victory?” I was certainly happy to see that the Janitors had successfully negotiated a new tentative contract but what exactly they had won? The leadership of the SEIU negotiated a 25 cents increase wage for each of the next 4 years which goes to effect on January 2013. This means, in 2017, the janitors will make $9.35 per hour! Today the cost of 1 gallon of milk and 2 loafs of bread is a little under $10, so can you imagine what a janitor will be able to buy in 2017 with $9.35 ? In any union contract negotiation, the ratio of wage increase to the existing cost of living (at the time the wage is realized) needs to be considered; if not, then any wage increase will only be a mirage of a victory. A victory that you can only feel during the electrifying speeches but, in reality, it never materializes itself as food on the table. It will be an illusionary victory. I don’t know how the janitors really feel about this, but I’m certain that working people are much stronger and smarter and hopefully not fooled by empty promises that are originated in the Democratic Party main leadership circle who pretend to be labor’s friend during the electoral season. This “victory” for the Janitors’ was not a financial victory, rather it was a victory to show their power, confidence and hope for a better living conditions. They showed once again that only an organized group of people can achieve impossible tasks. Winning a 25 cents wage increase per year is not a victory. The janitors’ determination, sacrifices and readiness were the real victory for all hard working people. This was just a rehearsal for a bigger victory, in my opinion.

P.S. The Williams Tower in Houston is again up for sell (Houston Chronicle, Business Section, Aug. 8, 2012). It was purchased in 2008 by the Hines Real Estate Investment Trust for $271.5 million. According to Real Estate Alert the building can fetch $475 million in today’s market. That’s approximately an 80% increase in 4 years. This is an interesting figure if you compare it to the janitor’s $1.00 per hour increase in 4 years.
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Keep Food Sharing Free – URGENT turn your petitions in!

The City of Houston has made it illegal to share food with more than 5 people in need and then only in designated areas. Activists need 1000 more signatures to get Food Sharing on the ballot this Nov. The deadline is in a few days! Join Food Not Bombs and many other groups and individuals in gathering last minute signatures! See link for details.

KEEP FOOD SHARING FREE PETITION DRIVE

 

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Pro-Choice Sign-making Party Meetup Aug 11th 6 PM

Pregnancy Crisis Centers use fraud and deception to shame and misinform women about their reproductive rights.

PRO-CHOICE HOUSTON will host sign making party on Sat. Aug. 11 at 6 pm
2010 Waugh Drive Houston, Texas 77006

Signs are for the protest Choice Not Shame – to be held on Aug. 18 at the opening of another pro-poverty, fake “clinic”

See PRO-CHOICE HOUSTON facebook page for details

What Are Crisis Pregnancy Centers And What Do They Do?
Non profit organizations that shame women into continuing an unintended or unwanted pregnancy
Pose as actual health facilities to trick women
As abortion providers face legal obstacles in educating women about their options, CPC’s lie to women legally as protected free speech
Christian ministries and counseling centers
Mislead about abortion procedures
Mislead about abortion facts and statistics
Driven by religious agenda
Direct outreach to young and low income women
Use high abortion rates in the Black and Hispanic community for their pro life agenda
Cry ‘racism!’ when the real issue is lack of healthcare in lower income communities

What Crisis Pregnancy Centers Aren’t/Don’t Do
Medical/Health Care Facilities
Staffed with actual registered nurses or doctors
Full options counseling service
Provide or make referrals for abortions or birth control

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Houston Loves Pussy Riot Aug. 9th 5pm – 7pm

Via Amanda Hart and Rachel MacDonald

Thursday August 9th from 5:00 pm – 7:00 pm

HOUSTON LOVES PUSSY RIOT Party
in front of the Consulate General of Russia 1333 West Loop S. (#1300), Houston, TX

We are asking that you create some colorful art and posters to parade around in support of Pussy Riot. Also, that you adorn yourself with your favorite most vibrant pair of stockings, dresses and most importantly balaclavas! Men, feel free to use this as the excuse you have been waiting for to borrow one of your girlfriends dresses. Let’s show Pussy Riot some love Houston!

Houston, let’s have a Pussy Riot party in the front yard of the Russian Consulate! Three members of Pussy Riot, a Russian feminist punk band, have been held in a Russian prison for the last 5 months for staging a peaceful demonstration inside a cathedral in Moscow that was critical of the Russian Government. The performance which consisted of singing, praying and dancing lasted less than a minute before 3 of the 5 women were apprehended. Their trial has begun and they are facing up to 7 years in Prison. Many demonstrations across the world have been taking place in support of the 3 members that have been jailed.

 

 

 

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Notes from General Assembly, 7/22/12

Photo by Burnell McCray

Notes via Jamin

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Jorge- Tuesday’s Janitor rally at 4:30, planned 30 arrests

Alice- Bringing anti-capitalists signs and pamphlets. Capitalism is the crisis, not just low wages. Mentioned, www.thrivemovement.com

Jorge- Join Occupy Houston’s Celly for messages directly to your cell phone about OH happenings. To add yourself text @Occupy_Houston to 23559

Sara- has $150 in gas money for those interested in organizing caravans or bus rides to the Tar Sands convergence.
Sara- see Sara or Theresa for Occupy The Gardens. Coordinating container gardening and permablitzes (home garden bombs) visit occupythegardens.org

Theresa – via Jamin- July, 27 Better This World film screening at The Artery, 5401 Jackson. Q & A with local Esteban Tovar, who features in the film, following the screening.
Theresa – Wants OH to begin thinking about our entry into the 2012 Art Car Parade. Her idea so far is to have 99% participants on bikes and skateboards chasing 1% fat cats. She has experience doing 5 previous parades.

Mary- To establish a new workgroup go to wiki.occupyhouston.org to add workgroup info as well as points of contact. Open for anybody interested.

Benjamin- Tar Sands Convergence coming up on the 27-29. See tarsandsblockade.org

Jamin- Spoke with Radical Eats about a Free Food Day to attract a broader crowd than the feedings downtown, also planning to coordinate with Last Organic Outpost who he’s been in contact with.

Ernie- Joined us from Occupy LA & Occupy Long Beach. Helped to organize the first truck convoy around Houston back in the 90’s. Represents a collective of non-union truck drivers who are in discussion about another mobilization. Ernie referenced the fact that most shut downs don’t take place through union support but through non-union support. Mentioned Ernie Marks and http://www.union.ie/. Contact info, portofatzlan@yahoo.com

Reggie- New to Occupy Houston, likes what he has seen and heard, thus far, and is interested in helping out. Contact info, rgxhicks at hotmail.com

Chris- Took a temperature check on those interested in forming a group to protest Rick Perry’s refusal of Obama’s Healthcare Bill. Contact info, c.l.hoxworth.tx at gmail.com or via FB at everybodyh8zchris

REPORT BACKS
Jamin- NATGAT visioning session results see, http://www.occupynationalgathering.com/#!/vision-for-democratic-future/, re-emphasized autonomy and the power of Work Groups, cited OWS Music Work Group who organized the 99 Mile March. Talked about Occupy’s Anarchists roots and drew attention to their history of consensus decision making.

PROPOSALS
Jorge- On September 17, in solidarity with OWS proposed that OH also endorse re-occupying. PASSED

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July 18 Tar Sands Blockade Houston Tour

Tar Sands Blockade Road Show comes to Houston.

Wed. July 18 – 6:00 pm

East Side Social Center – 4202 Canal St. Houston TX 77003

Event’s facbook page

and website

http://tarsandsblockade.org/road-show/

Also check out the July 27 – 29  Non-Violent Direct Action Training
coming up at the Keystone Convergence.

 

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July 27, 2012 Better This World film screening

OCCUPY HOUSTON PRESENTS: Better This World – a film by Kelly Duane de la Vega and Katie Galloway. The story of Bradley Crowder and David McKay, who were accused of intending to firebomb the 2008 Republican National Convention, is a dramatic tale of idealism, loyalty, crime and betrayal. Better This World follows the radicalization of these boyhood friends from Midland, Texas, under the tutelage of revolutionary activist Brandon Darby. The results: eight homemade bombs, multiple domestic terrorism charges and a high-stakes entrapment defense hinging on the actions of a controversial FBI informant.

DATE: Friday, July 27, 2012
TIME: Film starts 7:00 pm (film is 90 min long – 30 – 45 min discussion afterwards)
LOCATION: The Artery 5401 Jackson at Prospect. Entrance on Prospect. Houston TX 77004
FREE:  but snacks are appreciated ;)

Houston activist Esteban Tovar is in the film and familiar with the case. Tovar will be available after the screening for discussion and Q&A.
This event in a collaboration with the award-winning documentary series POV
POV ask those willing to fill out evaluation forms of the film so they can get feedback for future projects.

OCCUPY HOUSTON meets every Sun. 7:00 pm in front of the Downtown public library. OH continues its award winning service to the public with ongoing involvement in local and national social, economic and environmental justice actions. Occupy Houston joined Occupy Austin in Occupying the Capitol on July 4th. And at this moment, Occupy Houston has a contingent at the National Gathering in Philly. Check here and our Occupy Houston facebook page for local social justice actions and events.

Local co-sponsors are:

Occupy Wall Street: Houston – another local manifestation of Occupy committed to a world of justice for all. OWSH meets twice monthly, offers film screenings, an online newsletter and collaborates with local and national social justice campaigns. http://www.facebook.com/OccupyWallStreetHouston#!/OccupyWallStreetHouston

Houston Free ThinkersHFT was created to educate and give a voice to the people of Houston regarding issues and crimes that the government, the mainstream media and corporations seek to suppress. HFT holds skillshares on such topics as bicycle repair, herbal remedies, internet security, beginning spanish, as well as organizing fundraisers for local groups such as Food Not Bombs, Last Organic Outpost community farm and Rawfully Organic food co-op. https://www.facebook.com/groups/houstonfreethinkers/

If you are unable to attend OCCUPY HOUSTON’S screening of BTW, PBS will show an encore broadcast on Aug. 30, 2012. Check your local PBS listings.

Better This World (90 min.)
http://www.pbs.org/pov/betterthisworld/
Premiere Date: September 6, 2011
Encore Broadcast Date: Aug. 30, 2012.

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