For those who maintain the occupation at night and all day: “They also serve who only stand and wait.” ~ John Milton (1608 – 1674) from Sonnet XIX.
Please note: The http://occupyhouston.org/ calendar link was down for a while, but the sidebar version is now apparently working again. If you have information about the Occupation which is not getting input to the main site in a timely fashion, please write a comment or email me (ThinkwingRadio@msn.com) and I’ll consider posting it on this blog. FYI, I do not necessarily support every action reported here to the same degree or at all, but I report. – Mike
Major Upcoming Events, (More info below the jump):
- Work Group Meet&Greet/ Work Group Re-Organization Day- Jan 7th
- January 4th, 2012: Weekly Protest Rally Outside the Russian Consulate
News & Announcements (More info below the jump):
Tweets: News, Opinion, Comments: Below the jump
Calendar Of Upcoming Events <– Seems to be working again. Yay!
OCCUPY MOVEMENT: Occupy Together – Actions and Directory (Domestic and Worldwide) <– Click here
Occupy-related Tweets & Info
Come join Occupy Houston on January 7, 2012 for a Work Group Meet & Greet/Work Group Re-Organization Day. Let’s start the New Year off right. We have many new faces here at Occupy Houston and many faces that have been busy for the holidays. January 7th will be a day to re-commit our focus to the movement. Wanna help out, but you just don’t know how? Come out and see where your skills might be best utilized. Don’t know how to plan a protest march, but you know how to cook; join the Food Work Group. Don’t know how to cook, but you can make some fliers; Outreach might be a good choice for you. Participation is a necessity for the Occupy Movement to move forward. Be the change you want to see in the world. Get involved. Hope to see you there. Tranquility Park, January 7th, 2:00PM.
January 4th, 2012: Weekly Protest Rally Outside the Russian Consulate (Check Facebook page for dates – Mike)
3 Regions of the Russian Federation now forbid any public LGBT expression, under the homophobic pretense that it serves to “propagandize children”. Pride Prides have long been not only illegal, but met with State-sanctioned violence & lynch mobs.
Occupy Houston says no more! We invite all those who recognise that GLBT rights are human rights to join us Wednesdays, from 4pm to 6pm, at the Russian Consulate corner of Post Oak Blvd & South 610 (1333 West Loop South, Ste 1300, Houston, TX 77027). Lynchings & suppression of free speech cannot be tolerated or passively condoned.
In the immortal words written by Dr. King from his cell in the Birmingham jail: “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Hope to see y’awl there.
Please RSVP via Facebook Event or via email (VeryLoudBen@gmail.com) if possible. Parking is extremely limited in the area, and so carpooling or use of METRO is recommended. This is planned as ongoing event.
30 in attendance
Work Group Report Back
Work Group Meet & Greet – Jenny- On January 7th there will be a Work Group Meet & Greet/Work Group Re-Organization Day. Imagine Job Fair, but a Work Group Fair. Starts at 2. Participation looks to be promising.
Tranquility Park- Joe- Trying to get Port-o-Potties.
Roccupy- Scott- Roccupy House is being converted into office space. Tents are allowed. Place to go to get out of the rain. Rules; No one allowed in house without a keyholder present. Attempt to follow TABC guidelines for kitchen safety. Possible shoes off policy. No writing on walls. Also, help will be needed to clear out the lot across the street.
Jamin- Audience with chief of police requires a written letter. Read first draft of letter. Letter to be posted on website.
Remington- Occupy the Airwaves is no longer on FM radio. Moved to HD radio. Call KPFT- 713-526-4000 to show support. Speak to Ernesto.
Trae- Discussed gaining access to dump trucks and construction tools for the lot across from the Roccupy House.
Jenny- Occupy Labor Ready hopefully coming soon.
Joe- New Years Eve free metrorail.
Evan- Proposed to have an Occupy Houston Blood Drive on a Saturday coming up. 25 persons needed to get the blood drive truck out there. Debb to be the first recipient due to her cancer treatment. -passed-
Chris- Proposed to make the announcement section of GA’s 3 minutes long due to always running out of time on announcements. -tabled-
Jason- spoke of money orders being stolen. Trying to find a way to deal with that.
Scott- Doesn’t think GA’s are good for resolving personal conflicts.
Tyler- Be responsible for your own things.
Diane- Shunning is a way to deal with a thief.
Trae- Likes Diane’s idea.
Jenny- Ex-communication can also be a great tool.
Tyler- Wants dialogue about issues of theft.
Miguel- Spoke of protecting the freedom of speech on sidewalks.
Consensus to adjourn
General Assembly – wednesday 12/28/11
Moderator: Scott Facilitator: Jenny Stack-Coordinator: Jeremiah Scribe: Jeremie [from Occupy Oakland]
Scott explains GA process.
Amy Price – Occupy the Courts:
We’ve had a couple mtgs at this point. The official day is the 20th, we decided to have one event on that day and another, very diff’t one on another day. We have a panel discussion of speakers on the 20th who can speak on the problem of corporate personhood. On Saturday 21st, we will have.. a combination of street theater + a march: play, “Who killed democracy” written by a creative writing student at U of H. Wanted posters… By the time we do this, there will be roles for everybody. We will need people to do outreach.. help out.. facilitate the panel discussion.
2 proposals: We never officially voted to support Move to Amend I will first read the text of Move to Amend. I have been requested by facilitation to move the proposals to a diff’t section…
Trey (sustainability): We are working on getting solar panels. We need people who can help us get and install the panels ($150 each?) Thank you to those of you who helped clean up the park.
Ben Franklin – occupy tranquility park workgroup: We decided today to clean up the bench & sort through items that have been sitting there for over a week. 10 am tomorrow we will have a truck pick up for donation. I personally blocked proposal for salvation army as destination, backed by Mouse. A lot of stuff is still usable by us & other ppl in need. Please put your trash in trash bags or if you must city trash bins. Do I have any suggestions of a good local charity to take this stuff to? Women’s shelter?
Women’s shelter wins…
Joe R – Political action group: Mayor of Houston came by this morning around 10am and stayed for about 45mins, sat and talked to some of us who passed her security screening. Mouse (from media): I tried to sit in on the conversation but I was not let in. (gives antiquated definition of lobbying) We talked about sanitation issues… we can let the city know when to come pick up our trash (?) She wants to know what our next step is. I said that those who smoke weed will probably continue to do so.. she laughed. In a nutshell she just asked us to clean up the park more &… We are one of the only cities in the US who are still in the same place as we began…
question: Do you confirm that there is a motion to stop us from camping overnight? Answer: yes, she did bring that up. She’s concerned that we are a target for violence (guns). But we are staying. And we have a very good team of lawyers. Question (scott): was there any sort of threat? Answer: more a threat from us to her!
Jenny – workgroup workgroup: I’m having an event on january 7th. If you are part of a workgroup, let me know, we need you to be there! Starts at 2. If I can’t get enough people representing, I will have to set a schedule, so some of us can represent several workgroups at once.
Scott – facilitation: we are going to compile every GA document & proposal that has been passed that affects Facilitation/GAs, mostly for future facilitation workgroups
Scott-research: i’ve started a private subreddit for the research workgroup. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to get involved. Q: what sorts of things are you going to be researching? A: (gives some examples) – a lot of people who can’t necessarily come here can get involved w this committee
-rockuppy: there is a house/lot up at 1401 Andrews (corner Wilson) we came up w one ground rule today: fires and fire pits have to pass thru consensus decisions
Massoud – outreach: 2nd issue [of the OccupyHouston paper] is out, printed 10,000, distributed half of it in many cities. Soon it’s gonna be a Texas-wide newspaper—each city will have a page. In houston we are in a unique situation. We have 3 ways to connect w one another: website, radio, newspaper. I want to emphasize that it’s easier to get & send email thru email… but historically every movement has had a newspaper that has brought people together… person to person contact w the community… please contribute to the paper and distribute it! Cost: we have to pay the printer…
Amy Price reads the text of Move to Amend’s proposal regarding limiting/abolishing corporate personhood
We, the General Assembly of Occupy Houston, fully support amending the United States Constitution to end corporate personhood and restrict the influence of money on elections and politics. In particular, we support the amendment proposed by MoveToAmend.org (text below), which makes clear that corporations are not people, money is not speech, and both can be regulated by lawmakers.
We support Move To Amend’s amendment, rather than any of the versions currently proposed by various senators and members of congress, because it is the only version that fully addresses both the doctrines of “money=free speech” and “corporations are people”. Other versions would continue to allow wealthy individuals to exert unfair influence over elections, PACs to do so, or both.
Our endorsement of this amendment does not imply that its passage is the aim of our work. Such an event would be only one accomplishment in the broader struggle to remove power from corporations and replace it in the hands of the people. Our ultimate goal is the worldwide adoption of sustainable lifestyles supported by structures that maximize meaningful and just freedoms. We will not be satisfied by partial successes.
Text of Amendment proposed by MoveToAmend.org: Section 1 [A corporation is not a person and can be regulated] The rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only. Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state shall have no rights under this Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through Federal, State, or local law. The privileges of artificial entities shall be determined by the People, through Federal, State, or local law, and shall not be construed to be inherent or inalienable. Section 2 [Money is not speech and can be regulated] Federal, State and local government shall regulate, limit, or prohibit contributions and expenditures, including a candidate’s own contributions and expenditures, for the purpose of influencing in any way the election of any candidate for public office or any ballot measure.
Federal, State and local government shall require that any permissible contributions and expenditures be publicly disclosed.
The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to influence elections to be speech under the First Amendment.
Nothing contained in this amendment shall be construed to abridge the freedom of the press.
Massoud – question: I love it but, has this been discussed with Outreach?
A: it’s been sent out (discussed?) over email. I asked about a month ago who wanted to be involved w occupy the courts and got only one response. Massoud: but this is outreach. Scott: let’s work on making it more clear what is outreach and what issues need to be discussed within it.
Q: Will this go on the website? A: It will go on their website that we—along with many other organizations, including the NLG & other Occupy’s—endorse it. And I think it should also go on ours.
Massoud: why didn’t I/the outreach committee hear about this until now? Amy: We have been doing this through our own committee.
Amy: also, we need money for this action (posters, water, puppets, etc) So I propose we allocate $120 to Occupy the Courts.
Ben F: to my knowledge no money has been allocated from the wepay account since the bail bonds…
Proposal passes (by ~80%).
Amy: I propose we make a banner.
?: maybe we should ask for donations for this banner rather than allocate budget twds it. Remington: I may have a banner we can use. I just can’t bring it over on my motorcycle.
Massoud: we are coming back to the same issue, we need to know about things before GA (??)
Massoud: The cost is the same as last time, $800. 2 people already sent $250 checks so we only need $300. I propose we allocate $300 for the newspaper.
Q (Ben F): at a previous GA questions have been asked about the printing process, & i’d like to see them answered so they can be in the minutes. A (Massoud): I don’t know of any printer who can use ink that is environmentally (?)… Union printers… contacted head of AFL-CIO who gave them the name of a printshop, haven’t checked with them yet.
Amy: maybe if we got in touch w some unions they could donate some of their services. Massoud: it’s in process. [...] Joe: POI… there’s only one union printshop…
Massoud: the newspaper can also raise the money for itself. Parties, etc… a lot of people are excited about the paper, and they’ll donate for it, but only for printing… And all donations go directly towards the website, so that is not an issue.
Proposal passes . Massoud: Second proposal. I propose that we participate in the MLK parade on MLK’s 34th anniversary january 16th. (Duncantel has invited us to be part of the parade free of charge and have a banner…)
Jenny: I propose that we open an Occupy Houston Newspaper account for Massoud to get funds directly.
Scott reads the proposal for workgroups & the january 7th event. “The january 7th meeting will officialize OH workgroups; as such, the workgroups that send a representative to the meeting will be OH’s official workgroups and will be included on the OH website.”
Remington: Tomorrow we are going to meet with the program director of KPFT to determine whether we can stay on the FM radio. We need to show them that it is worthwhile for them to keep us on the air. I think we should have as many people as possible call them and pledge to make donations if they keep us on the air. 713-526-4000
Massoud: it doesn’t work that way. We need to start a petition asking listeners to support your radio show. Clarifying question (BF): M, when is the next KPFT board meeting? M: I’ll email you. BF: We could all go there by bus & sit in on their meeting.
Ben Franklin: Like every Wednesday, from 4-6pm we have protests outside the Russian consulate. It’s always a small group of different people & I would like to have a more consistent large group.
Joe: There is a NYE party. There is a new class of city council members coming in, we will be kind to them at first.
Mouse: The 61 encampments reported earlier were just reduced by 2. Occupy Bellingham and Occupy Sacramento have been evicted.
Scott: I am doing rideshare to Last Organic Outpost, a farm where we can work and fill out bags of veggies to bring back, 1pm every Sunday. Trae: we can also go there any day during the week in the afternoon.
Trae: We have been a wee bit irresponsible with the big silver bins… trampling plants… let’s compost and bring our containers back
Ben F: the mayor came by; I missed her. She complained about mess while refusing us any shelter or any structures at all. She complained about the grass; we have actually proposed to work with the city about replanting, haven’t been given a response. She claimed that the only reason homeless people defecate in the park is because we’re here. Our mayor, as the first openly LGBT mayor of a major US city, has done nothing for LGBT rights in the city (ex. housing rights). I propose that we officially re-affirm our commitment to occupying public spaces, to assert our right to free speech and free assembly, and uphold our commitment to walk in the footsteps of the Arab Spring & Occupy Wall street [Passes 1st GA]
Tyler: I propose that we request/invite, as a GA, that people who are occupying “in spirit,” endeavor, if possible, to sleep at the park at least one night out of the week. [that we post an official invitation on the OH website calling people to spend at least one night a week in Tranquility Park.]
BF: friendly amendment: what about 6 hours in the week? ?: No. Proposal passes 1st GA.
Moderated: Benjamin Franklin Scribed: Ben F
Achieved quorum, but people wanted to continue discussion circle vs GA
Announced Proposals from last night re: Scheduling & Minutes being essential Were visited by Ray Hill who talked about the importance of removing potential excuses to deny free speech rights Talked about Mayor Parker’s visit at length, got accounts from Joe R & Shere about their experiences, including how the Mayor’s security prevented people they were profiling as homeless from approaching Discussion about Keeping the physical Occuption going Discussed asking Rockuppy about storage outside the park (group items, dishes?) Need to keep park organised & clean Tomorrow @10am, donation trip from abandoned items; some people went off to begin sorting items
General Assembly – 2011-12-27 PM
Moderator – Ben F Facilitator/Stack Coordinator – Scott G Scribe – Jeremiah C Stacker/Timekeeper – Miguel M
[Ben goes over hand signals]
Joe R – Tranquility Park Occupiers – Justin came to us on Monday
Joe R – Political Action – This is the end of the year and we have been successful. Don Cook said that he would be here commenting for the next sixty weeks. Civil disobedience about re-routing a road race.
Jamin S – Roccupy – We are going to clean up the landfill across the street from the lot we’re occupying as a show of solidarity and to gain support from Freedmen’s Town. Time/date will be discussed after GA. Or come to the Roccupy lot and discuss it there. At the lot at 1401 Andrews, catty-corner to that lot is the lot filled with debris and trash and we’re going to clean that shit up. [Question: where are we transferring the refuse?] [Answer: (Greeny?) Recycling]
Scott G – Research – I started this group on October 9th but it hasn’t gotten off the ground until now. The idea is that there will be an online aspect because it’s data-intensive. The idea is that there’s a lot of different things going on at Occupy Houston and research would benefit a lot of them. For example a laundry list of the nasty things that Chevron has done. E-mail email@example.com and Scott will invite you to a private online discussion group. Would like to work closely with other workgroups. This is a way for tens-of-thousands of Houstonians who can’t be here physically to contribute.
Joe R – Talked about meetings of various political parties. Governor Perry is in deep shit in the Commonwealth of Virginia and will not be on the ballot there.
Ben F – Last GA: * happy holidays from Dan * Russian Consulate Protest on Wed from 4-6 * Really Really Free Market here on Thur 1to5pm * Workgroup reinvigoration on Sat Jan 7th 2pm
Scott G – Newt Gingrich is also not on the ballot in Virginia. If you’re concerned about getting out of the fray at 1401 Andrews, the police already showed up there. They surrounded the lot with their cars. You’re not getting away from the action by going over there. [Ben F says that on private property without a fence, the police don't have to afford you a reasonable expectation of privacy]. Scott wants to build a miniscule fence as a statement. Come to workgroup meetings for Roccuhouse for fence-building project. [back to research workgroup idea] Reach out to other Occupy cities to find out what their research is.
[there is confusion over whether a proposal still requires two GAs to pass. Three people recall a proposal passed that reverted our GA process back to a one-GA passing]
Scott G – proposes that consensus discussion to change specifics or nature of GA must be announced 24 hours in advance both online and at Tranquility Park on a sign. [passed]
Ben F – proposes that any proposal that cannot be demonstrated from the minutes be treated as an opinion until it can be demonstrated. [passed]
Trey – proposes that GA schedule be 7 days per week at 11am and 7pm. And that we allow proposals that don’t involve schedule changes to be passed at one GA. [tabled because we need 24h announcement – requesting that it be proposed at the Thursday evening GA]
[proposals closed because we no longer have a quorum]
Jeremiah C – There is conflicting information on when the GAs are scheduled. Currently, Facebook and occupyhouston.org don’t have an event published for this very GA that we are attending.
Miguel M – we should be videotaping our GAs.
Trey – thinks we should have a (Little Smokie?) grill. Was told that we’re not allowed to have an open flame and that the fire must be off-the-ground and enclosed. [Ben suggests that we use charcoal]
Scott G – I love you guys. So glad that we’re here. I believe.
Anthony H – About the guys who were indicted by the grand jury and the raid on the property near Roccupy, they’re trying to send us a message that says “we don’t mind you being here, just don’t make waves”. [Miguel says that if we're going to be representing OH, be non-violent]. [Anthony points out that it's not about violence. It's about us being disruptive].
Scott G – there’s going to be a Facilitation meeting at 6PM Wednesday…extra-special two-hour long Facilitation meeting.
Jamin S – As Gandhi said, “be the change that you want to see in the world.”
Miguel M – If you know anybody that likes to draw, maybe they could setup a stand out here and draw.
Joe R – MLK day is coming up. There are two parades in this city. Our legendary activist is organizing all sorts of lovely coordinated civil “obedience” to brainwash.
[adjournment due to lack of quorum]
Facilitation- Jamin & Kristen
28+ people in attendance
Work Group Report Back
Media- Jenny- Mouse is doing an excellent job with the livestream. Yesterday we had at least 95 viewers from around the globe. Livestream is up and running daily.
Roccupy- Capital- 1201 Andrews is a new location for Roccupy Work Group. Working towards making a youth center possible.
Work Group Reorganization- Jenny- January 7, work group meet and greet/work group reorganization day, get the new faces involved, meet up with the people who are already involved but haven’t made it out in awhile, Find out who still wants to be involved.
Research- Scott- get ahold of Scott if you want to be a part of the Research Work Group, email him; firstname.lastname@example.org He will then send the link to the reddit discussion.
Trae- HPD took our fire. Bbq pit is gone. Need to research the burn ban.
Capital- If you want to be involved in the 1201 Andrews project, get ahold of him.
Jenny- Occupy Houston has been invited to participate in the Global Round Table worldwide Occupy conference chat. Proposal to go ahead and rsvp that we will be there and let Mouse continue to do his thing representing Occupy Houston. -passed-
Jenny- Make January 7, 2012 a Work Group Re-Organization/Meet and Greet day. -passed-
Anthony- Merry Christmas to all. Glad to see everyone out here.
Jenny- Occupy Labor Ready coming soon.
Trae- Happy Holidays, Christmas GA was great and productive, discussed a lot of issues and came up with solutions.
Scott- Met some people invoved with Friends of Cherryhurst, this is a group trying to get community involvement to keep the community center open. This could be a great #OH project.
Shariff- Visiting from Egypt, means a lot to see us Occupying, wasn’t going to speak but very greatful and felt the need to, keep occupying, stay strong, Solidarity from Egypt.
Veronica- Visiting from Occupy Las Vegas, they stay at a place called Area 99, we need to continue to work together, not let our petty arguments divide us, do not allow the divide and conquer attitude, fb name; Veronica Robeledo, Solidarity from Las Vegas
Trae- urban farming on Sundays at Last Organic Outpost
Matt- do not be afraid to go to jail, there are protests in jail as well, cannot live in fear
Trae- It’s OK to be Radical.
Consesus to adjourn, passed.