UPDATE, 3:30 pm
We’re heading back downtown! Occupy Houston has moved from Eleanor Tinsley Park to Hermann Square Plaza, right outside Houston City Hall. Come out and stand with the 99%! Occupying public space is an expression of our first amendment rights to peacefully assemble. It’s time to dig in and make our presence felt. Hermann Square Plaza is the reflecting pool right outside City Hall on 901 Bagby St.
Our General Assembly tonight will be held at 7:00pm at City Hall, and there is a legal team meeting at 6:00pm beforehand. Be there and help shape the movement! We’re all in this together!
!OccupyWallStreet has grown, and it’s coming to a city or town near you.
You can find an OCCUPY[YourTown] event by visiting OccupyTOGETHER.
If you live in or near Houston, Texas, the organizational web site is: http://occupyhouston.org/
Below the jump are notes from 10/10, posted after midnight on the 11th. At the very bottom are my suggested directions to Eleanor Tinsley Park.
Moderator: Jon P
Scribe: Nicole B
Attendance 115+ people
Greeting: Jon P
- Set down ground rules and process of how the meeting should be ran
Safety Announcement: Police won’t stop people from standing in the medians, but advise against it, due to all the car accidents along that certain section of Allen Parkway. If you do choose to stand in the medians, you are taking your safety into your own hands.
Topic: Affiliation with the Arab Spring
- Passed: Language for the website
- “Occupy Houston stands in solidarity with the spirit of Occupy Wall Street, the Arab Spring and democratic movements worldwide against oppression and injustice.”
Topic: March and Rally at the Energy festival Saturday
- Silent (family event do not want to scare the kids) march/ rally protesting Big Oil (that oil companies are asking for tax cuts and the money that will fund these tax cuts will be taken from property taxes and thus from the schools) and the building of a pipeline
- We would wear white shirts(in solidarity against black oil) and red strips over our mouths that reads 99%
- If this is passed we will be in need for white t-shirts (if possible non sweatshop made or bought secondhand from thrift stores)
Web Announcement: There are complaints about how the website is not user friendly
Topic: Web team request
- If you have any Pictures or Videos you would like to have posted on Occupy Houston’s website please contact Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org
Topic: There has been an injunction filed to state that all structures we erect will be uses as symbols of our protest thus protected under the first amendment.
Topic: Thank you all for your generous donations. We are still in need of ice and coffee and Led Quad Lanterns(ex. Coleman Quad LED Lantern). There is a list of needs on our website http://occupyhouston.org/needed-items/. Please also pick up litter.
Announcement: Sound permits are $30 and are only useable for a single day
- We are moving from Tinsley park back to City hall (Decided at an earlier GA )
- Tabled Proposal: We move to Lower Tranquility Park as out base camp
- No sprinklers
- We would not have to move every weekend
- Only two blocks from city hall
- However unlike City Hall its dose not hold a strong political message
- Tabled Proposal: We move to Lower Tranquility Park as out base camp
Announcement: There are no noon GA meetings; they are planning meetings.
Topic: We have recycling bins. Please crush your bottles.
- Trying to reach out to organizations in the community that support our movement to come to GA’s as guess speakers
- Website is not user friendly. Trying to get Announcements in multiple languages posted.
- People who support our movement but can’t make it we will request their pictures to be posted to show who is the 99%
Topic: Metro rally
- People are still planning to attend but will not be affiliated with Occupy Houston it is at the Metro building at 8:30
Topic: Name tags for work groups
Topic: Indigenous peoples
- Tabled: That Occupy Houston adopt the following statement
- We recognize that the land we are occupying belonged to the Karankawa Indian tribes who fought long into the 19th century against assimilation and extermination by settlers. We understand that the corporate corruption for democracy has roots in colonialism and the oppression of indigenous peoples.
Topic: More Marches
- Passed: March in the city at the times the people are out and about
Topic: Go away from Occupy Wall Street
- Proposal: Not passed
- Also the young man who made this proposal started making false accusations of people that were not present
Topic: 5pm set discussion time
Topic: Donated P.O. Box
- Occupy Houston will have a mailing address
Topic: Art show
- Details still to be worked out
I apologize for the lack of precise information in the minutes from this meeting, but it is very hard to take notes when everyone is talking over each other and not listening to what others are saying. We have a process that works if we all abide by it. Please have the respect to not interrupt the speaker and wait to be called on to speak. Use the non-verbal hand signs (http://occupyhouston.org/occhous-guide-to-general-assembly/ ). Everyone will have a chance to speak. The meetings will go a lot more effectively and faster if we all abide by the guidelines set in place. We are in this together. Please work together respectfully. Thank you for your understanding.
I found access to Tinsley Park to be challenging, due to my lack of familiarity with the area. Thus, as a public service, I’m providing what I think may be a better map than is currently on the OccupyHouston site, with red markings to indicate what looks to me like the easiest access and auxiliary parking.
My driving suggestions (for what they’re worth): Heading east on Memorial Drive from Sawyer, make the 1st possible right turn (Sabine Street). (If you get to Houston Avenue, you’ve gone too far! Turn around!) On Sabine, cross the bayou and make a right turn on Allen Parkway. Now heading west, this will take you almost immediately to the limited parking area for Tinsley Park. I’ve marked this route on the map in red.
From the site: Eleanor Tinsley Park is located between Allen Parkway and Memorial Way, just west of I-45. There is sparse parking along Allen Parkway and the park.
However, the Houston Police Department has told us that you can park along the frontage road on the other side of Allen Parkway. (I don’t recommend this. I saw some ticketing. – Mike) There’s a crosswalk on Allen and Taft, a bit west of the park. There’s also parking on the other side of the park along Memorial Way.
See my map for Memorial Way, which I’ve marked in red. I also found some parking on Crosby Street, south off the Allen Pkwy service road.
If there’s no parking at Tinsley, keep going to Montrose. Make a right and a right (back onto Memorial Drive), and go east to Sawyer. Make a left on Sawyer and a quick right onto Memorial Way.
If you are heading east on Allen Pkwy and see the park on your left, you’re out of luck. Allen Pkwy is a divided road, and there’s no way to turn around. If you’re as ignorant of this part of town as I am, you’ll be headed to Downtown or I-45 for a lengthy detour.