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Press Release Stop Keystone XL Pipeline – Nonviolent Direct Action

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 25, 2012

Contact: Ron Seifert: 843-814-2796 and at ronseif@gmail.com

A Call for Nonviolent Direct Action to Stop the Keystone XL Pipeline in Texas from the Tar Sands Blockade 

Texas—This summer, environmental activists from across the country will be converging in Texas to blockade the Gulf Coast portion of the Keystone XL pipeline.

The Tar Sands Blockade will be coordinating nonviolent direct actions along the pipeline route to stop the zombie pipeline once and for all. We are working with national allies as well as local communities to coordinate a road show that will travel throughout Texas and Oklahoma as well as a regional training effort for activists interested in getting involved in the blockade movement against the Keystone XL.

“Our action is giving a new meaning to ‘Don’t Mess with Texas,’” says Tar Sands Blockade Collective Member Benjamin Kessler. Kessler is also a member of Rising Tide North Texas and Iraq Veterans Against the War.

Tar sands giant TransCanada will be granted permits for construction of the Gulf Coast portion of the pipeline from the Texas Army Corp of Engineers as early as today. President Obama announced he wanted to expedite the ‘Gulf Coast Project’ earlier this year when he gave his ‘all of the above’ energy address in Cushing, Oklahoma.

The Keystone XL remains key to the expansion of the Alberta tar sands, and leading NASA Climate Scientist James Hansen has called the pipeline “a fuse to the largest carbon bomb on the planet.” According to Hansen, if the carbon stored in the tar sands is released into the atmosphere, it would mean “game over for the climate.”

350.org Founder Bill McKibben has worked hard to get Hansen’s message out to the public and to lawmakers in Washington. After more than 1,200 were arrested during the onset of the Tar Sands Action last fall, and another 12,000 turned out to surround the White House to tell President Obama that the Keystone XL is not in the nation’s best interest. McKibben was elated to hear that the Tar Sands Blockade is continuing to foster the spirit of resistance against the pipeline in the south with the use of nonviolent direct action.

“Let’s be clear what the drama is here: human bodies and spirits up against the unlimited cash and political influence of the fossil fuel industry. We all should be grateful for this peaceful witness,” McKibben said.

Because this is an export pipeline, working Americans will pay the cost of environmental destruction, and never see any of the profits.

“The pipeline will make TransCanada rich while encroaching on ranch land, poisoning Texas’ working class communities, and destroying the environment that makes the Lone Star state so beautiful,” says Tar Sands Blockade Spokesperson Ron Seifurt.

This is not a political issue as much as President Obama and Governor Romney would like it to be in this divisive election year. This is a community issue. Ranchers, landowners, green activists, occupiers and self-identified tea party members are currently working together in common interest to stop the Keystone XL pipeline in Texas.

Tar sands oil threatens streams, water tables, grasslands, forests—all of which families along the pipeline route need to survive. Texas landowners are organizing on their own to stop the pipeline, and we are doing everything we can to help them.

IT’S GETTING HOT IN HERE

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June 22, 2012 Press Conference –

Occupy Houston protestors and their lawyers will hold a press conference Friday, June 22, 2012, at 12:30 PM by the reflecting pool in front of City Hall 
Date: Friday, June 22, 2012, 12:15 PM
PLACE: City Hall, reflecting pool, 900 Bagby
Contact: Daphne Silverman: 832/443-1433
Randall Kallinen: 713/320-3785

HOUSTON DISMISSES CHARGES STEMMING FROM OCCUPY HOUSTON DOWNTOWN PARK ARRESTS  
 
MAYOR PARKER ISSUES VOLUNTEER AWARD TO OCCUPY HOUSTON
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
 
Today the City of Houston dismissed the majority of charges against peaceful Occupy Houston protestors stemming from their arrests at downtown Tranquility Park on November 8, 2011.  At the same time the Mayor issued an award to Occupy Houston for Outstanding Volunteer Service recognizing their service exemplifying good citizenship and improving the quality of life.
 
“I am so happy that these charges are no longer hanging over my head and that Mayor Parker sent an award to the participants of Occupy Houston for their volunteer service,” said military veteran Shaun Crump, who appeared in court with his 2-year old son, who had his “erecting a tent” charge dismissed by the City of Houston.  
 
“Mayor Parker expressly stated on Twitter and elsewhere that the Occupy Houston protestors could stay in Tranquility Park,” said civil rights lawyer Randall Kallinen and lawyer for Shaun Crump, “So naturally she would uphold her word and dismiss the charges.”
 
 “Thank you to the National Lawyers Guild members nationwide for constantly sharing research, pleadings, and ideas as well as imparting the strength of a firm commitment to preserving the Constitutional rights of all citizens. Thank you in particular to local Guild lawyers who give their time pro bono to the defend the brave souls in our local community who are willing to risk their freedom to ensure the freedom of all Houstonians. The lawyers on the tent case include Paul Kennedy, Gary Roth, Michael Driver, Sunshine Swallers, Randall Kallinen, Matt Sharp and myself. Paul Kennedy led the defense team with his calm sure-footed wisdom.” said Daphne Pattison Silverman of the Houston Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.
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June 20 – July 11, 2012 – School To Prison Pipeline Film Screening & Discussion

Each screening venue has it’s own facebook page. Click image and links for details.

June 20 – Katy Branch Library

June 25 – Stella Link Library

July 5 – Atascocita Branch Library

July 10 – Acres Home

July 11 – East Side Social Center

ACLU Texas Events Link

 

 

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June 30 – July 8, 2012 – Farm UP! at Last Organic Outpost

Occupy your food supply – Farm UP!  week June 30 – July 8
Last Organic Outpost 711 Emile St. Houston 77020
Join farmer Joe and friends and learn valuable self-sufficiency skills by
getting your hands dirty and helping out a great community urban farm.
Farm gates will be open from 8 am – 4 pm – during Farm UP! week
… maybe later depending on interest.

(June 2012 photo of Last Organic Outpost by Joe Icet)

SELF-WATERING CONTAINER GARDENING SKILLSHARE at FARM UP!

June 30th, 10:30 am – noon – skillshare on wicking bed method and using ollas. If your time and space for growing things are limited, container gardens are the way to go.

 

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3 Feed Your Family Actions – June 12 – 14, 2012

Tues. June 12 and Thur. June 14, 2012 -
4:00 pm Tranquility Park, 400 Rusk, Houston TX 77002
Stop Houston From Becoming Poverty City. Profits for the 1% soar
while the working class sinks.
Rally with local unions to give Houston workers a raise.

Tues. June 12, 2012
Keep Food Sharing Free

Important meeting – 7:30 at Taft Street Coffee / Ecclesia, 2115 Taft Street. The recently passed City Feeding Ordinance will severely curtail the sharing of food in public. Your help is urgently needed to get Food Sharing on the ballot. Time is running out. Meetup and see how you can help!

http://www.facebook.com/groups/HoustonKeepSharingFree/doc/331079526950668/

Wed. June 13, 2012 -
The World According to Monsanto – film screening.
The Free Thinker House – 218 Grace “a”, Houston, Tx 77003  – see link for time

https://www.facebook.com/groups/houstonfreethinkers/#!/events/390442137659804/

“There’s nothing they are leaving untouched: the mustard, the okra, the bringe oil, the rice, the cauliflower. Once they have established the norm: that seed can be owned as their property, royalties can be collected. We will depend on them for every seed we grow of every crop we grow. If they control seed, they control food,…”review of TWAM

 

 

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OCCUPY ART – ARTIFACTUAL REALITIES until July 15, 2012

STATION MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART
1502 Alabama St. . Houston, TX 77004
ph: 713.529.6900

Artifactual Realities is a FotoFest 2012 exhibition of eleven artists. The exhibition consists of three photographers who are engaged in presenting realistic portraits and images from the Occupy movement and eight artists who create non-traditional or simply unusual artworks utilizing photography. As such, the exhibition as a whole mirrors the community spirit, diversity, and horizontal orientation underlying the Occupy movement.

http://www.stationmuseum.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=146&Itemid=31

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June 8 – 10 – Fundraiser National Lawyers Guild

A 3 day social and political art show

Friday, June 8th, 5-11PM

Saturday, June 9th, 2-10PM

Sunday, June 10th, 1-5PM

FREEDOM-  In a time of Unlimited Corporate Greed, Private Prisons, Unemployment, Homelessness, Outsourcing, and Obscene Wall Street Salaries and Bonuses, Kallinen Contemporary and Winter Street Studios announce FREEDOM, a 3 day Political and Social Art Show to benefit The National Lawyers Guild at Winter Street Studios.

Location: Winter Street Studios – 2101 Winter Street, Houston, TX 77007
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Great GA, slow start, a lot covered, notes incomplete, not proofed.
16 in attendance

ANNOUNCEMENTS
Frank – Recounted being harassed by sheriff for hanging out in a park.

Paige – SEIU Rally for Janitors Tues. June 5, 1100 – 4 pm Louisiana St Houston TX
also reported Womens Clinic in NOLA fire bombed. Clinic serves low income, women of color and transgender population. Lost needed supplies. Paige wants to start collection.

Theresa – passing that Free Thinkers having fundraiser for Last Organic Outpost – inner City Community farm.
Fundraiser info here: http://houstonfreethinkers.com/jomsocial-events/viewevent/38-hft-resistance-is-fertile-benefit-show

ONGOING – Keep Food Sharing Free Petition Drive – very important, July 4 deadline for 28,000 signatures.
Petition mtgs every Tuesday at 7:30 at Taft Street Coffee / Ecclesia, 2115 Taft Street.
What you can do: https://www.facebook.com/groups/HoustonKeepSharingFree/doc/331079526950668/

Jamin – Occupy Houston has received a Volunteer Initiatives Program Award. Award certificate, letter and autographed 8×10 glossy of Mayor Annise Parker was mailed to 1109 Genesee postmarked May 29, 2012. Jamin brought all to the GA. Burnell Cray took photos of Occupiers holding award. Overall reaction to the award was not-happy-with. 2 opinions were Mayor may have been more supportive of Occupy then allowed to show, but discussion was Mayor is not caring of the less fortunate – Feeding Ordinance cited.

PROPOSAL Jamin – take advantage of partnership with the SEIU
Jamin, Carl Gibson, Steve Johnson are back from a SEIU conference in Denver. Denver Occupy did not join conference as SEIU is pro-Obama. Conference covered strategic partnerships.
Jenny – support SEIU partnership by informing the public so they can make up their own minds.
Phillip – OH should remain independent, not endorse, keep an open mind as OH supports unions, those in need, Planned Parenthood.
Joseph – Stand above politics, stand up for people.

PROPOSAL Jamin – start OH Job Share
Jamin has lead building outdoor rooms. Needs construction professional to help. See Jamin GAs or contact at Jamin@occupyhouston.org

PROPOSAL – Theresa – Screen Better This World. Houston activist Esteban Tovar is in the film, He’s agreed to do a Q&A. In light of similar FBI entrapment charges in Chicago and the NATO protests, this would be a timely film to watch. Collaborate with OWS:Houston as they do film showings too. Theresa has contacted POV to get film. Needs 1 month lead time. Venue suggestions: Havens Center, Genner House, The Artery, SHFL…

Jamin -  received message OWS:Houston considering rejoining Occupy Houston. Will decide at their GA. Film could be first collaboration.

Jamin – please refer to GA minutes for 05.27.2012 posted below as info repeated at June 3 GA

Eric- Suggested a physical presence/info booth (what we stand for, what we’re about) booth at City Hall or Department of transportation locations. Shift schedules, 1 hour.

Jenny- Has sign up sheets for scheduled shifts already. Put sign up sheet online.

OH Participant- Put calender of shifts on web/mailing list for volunteering
Door-to-door campaigns?

OH Participant- Mobile information table at several locations

OH Participant- Make Facebook event to host discussion

Jenny- has every OH flier ever

OH Participant Promote mobile GA’s a la Oct. 6

Proposal- Eric proposed that we stand behind daily presence- PASSED

Jamin-  OH Jobshare program beginning with construction skills assessments

Proposal- Jamin proposed a movie screening for the film Paradise or Oblivion, date, time, location to be announced hopefully at next GA- PASSED

Occupy Woodlands- June 11 event, petition signing to overturn Citizens United
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