1.31.12 Minutes

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TradeJustice NY Metro /

OWS Trade Justice Working Group

1/31/12 Minutes

In Attendance:

 

Adam Weissman – Global Justice for Animals and the Environment

Ruth Santana – Global Justice for Animals and the Environment

Phil Josselyn – New York Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador

 

1. Introductory Items – 10 minutes

- Choose Facilitator.

- Choose Notetaker.

- Choose Timekeeper.

- Welcome and Intros

- Agenda Review

- Choose Facilitator and Agenda Maker for Next meeting.

 

2. Reportback / Evaluation on Last Week’s Actions

- 10 minutes

- Eco-Cluster

- Teach-in

- Trade Talk @ Animal Issues Teach-in

 

3. TPP: Action & National Action Call

- 30 minutes

4. Outreach Opportunities -50 minutes

- Commons Forum – 15 minutes

- Left Forum (submission deadline 1/31, Conf is 3/16-3/18) -15 min

- Brooklyn Food Conference (submission deadline Feb 15, Conference is May 12) – 10 minutes

5. OWS Vision Statement

 

MINUTES

 

1. Introductory Items

- Choose Facilitator. – None Chosen due to small turnout

- Choose Notetaker. – Adam

- Choose Timekeeper. None selected

- Welcome and Intros – Skipped

- Agenda Review – Brooklyn Food Conference tabled

- Choose Facilitator and Agenda Maker for Next meeting.

 

2. Reportback / Evaluation on Last Week’s Actionss

 

- Eco-Cluster – Adam and Ruth attended the Eco-Cluster, a meeting of the different ecologically oriented projects at OWS. People presented about 30 projects for 3-5 minutes each. Adam spoke about why FTAs endanger the environment and TJ’s efforts to expose TPP and hold elected officials accountable for the votes on the Korea, Panama, and Colombia FTAs. We invited attendees to our teach-in on Sunday at Occupy Town Square and our demonstration Wednesday at Pfizer. We collected contact information from interested persons and passed out our literature.

 

 

- Teach-in – On Sunday, we held a teach-in on the Trans-Pacific Partnership at the first Occupy Town Square, an attempt to hold a one-day Zuccotti Park style occupation at Washington Square Park.

 

Our speakers were :

* Ruth Santana – Moderator

* Curtis Ellis, American Jobs Alliance – Outsourcing

* Christina Schiavoni, WHYHunger – Food Justice

* Michael Tikili – Access to Medication

* John Maher, Touro Law School – Genetically Modified Food

* Adam Weissman – Environment & Indigenous Communities

 

Unfortunately, final details were not locked until very late in the planning process and consequently we did very little promotion outside the Town Square event itself. It was difficult to draw a crowd at the Town Square, because there was a drum circle by the fountain and everything centered around them. This meant that we could either hold the teach-in near them and be drowned out or hold it at a distance and not be seen. We fliered and mic checked, but only drew a small crowd. Several people, including Curtis, video recorded the teach-in, and we’ll circulate the video as soon as it is uploaded.

 

- Trade Talk @ Animal Issues Teach-in – After the trade teach-in the OWS Animal Issues Working Group held a teach-in. Adam spoke at this about the impact of free trade agreements on animals.

 

3. TPP: Action & National Action Call

- 30 minutes

The action will be held tomorrow at Pfizer at 42nd Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenue. Phil can come from work for part of the demonstration. Adam drafted a media advisory. Phil and Ruth reviewed it, made corrections, and accepted it. Adam called OWS Infohub and asked them to circulate it. After the meeting, Adam is going to go to FedEx Office to sent press releases and do printing for the protest.

4. Outreach Opportunities -50 minutes

- Commons Forum – 15 minutes

Adam contacted Manuel Perez-Rocha of the Institute for Policy Studies (formerly of the Mexican affiliate of the Hemispheric Social Alliance) to ask if he’d like to speak about the battle over water privatization in Bolivia and Bechtel’s bilateral investment treaty challenge and the successful activist campaign around this.

Manuel wrote back:

Hey Adam, yes I’d be interested. Thanks! But before talking more about content can you clarify me where’d it be (NY?), the precise date and if there’d be support for transport?

 

I might be able to stay at a friends house. About transport costs if there are funds great, if not I can pay for my bus. Let me know if I am in the program already to plan my trip.

 

He wrote that instead of Bolivia, he’d prefer to speak on “the Doe Run case vs Peru (for 800 million USD). Doe Run is owned by a New York magnate. I can tell you more about it.”

Ideas for other presenters included:

- John Maher on TPP, GMOs, and the ownership of life.

- someone on biopiracy? Phil feels this is not as much of an issue as it once was.

- someone on drug patents and privatizing lifesaving information

- someone on privatizing natural resources and ecosystems

Deadline to submit workshops was January 28th, but didn’t require speakers, just title and brief description. Will still try to submit event even though its past deadline.

Adam wrote up a description and Phil and Ruth approved.

Corporate Globalization vs. the Commons

Free trade agreements are among the most powerful weapons in the arsenal of corporations seeking to privatize public services, patent life, limit the free flow of information through patents at the expense of consumers (including people denied life-saving generic drugs) and expand corporate control of natural resources and ecosystems. Learn about the threat free trade agreements pose to the commons from a panel of experts and find out how we can take action against these destructive international agreements!”

- Left Forum (submission deadline 1/31, Conf is 3/16-3/18)

-15 min

Left Forum never got back to us about waiving our fees. Paying to register a workshop for Left Forum plus paying the registration fees for each speaker is beyond our means. Perhaps we should consider organizing a “Left Out” Forum in 2013 for people and groups who can’t afford the Left Forum. Phil believes this may be a decent idea because we will hopefully have a bigger left by next year.

- Brooklyn Food Conference (submission deadline Feb 15, Conference is May 12) – 10 minutes

TABLED

5. OWS Vision Statement

Phil feels this isn’t that important, because OWS will be defined by its actions, not by statements.

*******************************************************

For Future Meetings:

2012 Preliminary Strategy Meeting

Self-Education

- Self-education: reading group?

Political/Legislative Action

- Congressional WTO Consumer Rights Pledge

Outreach

- - New Labor/Social Justice Movements Panel @ NYU (deadline end of month)

- Brooklyn Peace Fair

- Teaching OWS about Trade Justice issues: Film screenings at 56 Walker?

Relationship with OWS

- OWS Email account – what should go to the list?

- Collaboration with Global Justice Group

- how Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice WG and TradeJustice NY Metro can work together.
- participating in Spokescouncil and General Assembly.
- permanent liaisons with other working groups
- outreach to Neighborhood/Borough Occupations.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL

TPP

TPP Call to Action

Hi Adam:

I’m not sure what Occupy LA and SD’s processes are, so I’m not sure they can put out an official call for anything for next week at this point.  That said, if they can, it might be cool if their call to action (or yours) was for people simply to read a short, one-paragraph thing about the Trans-Pacific FTA at GA’s across the country in February and to post some link on their websites or Facebook pages.  If one of our goals is just to make people aware that there is something called the Trans-Pacific FTA and its something they should care about, that may get us further than a call to action that isn’t answered.

There are lots of issues involved with how Occupy engages with public policy and I don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but perhaps after next week, we could convene a conference call to discuss what makes sense next.

Arthur Stamoulis
Citizens Trade Campaign
(202) 494-8826

That would be fabu… I’ve reached out to a couple friends who are engaged in Occupy LA who have put out feelers for folks to turn out for the rally and maybe for the teach-in too… and I’ve been talking about trying to get down to the occupy to do a teach-in there, so who knows… any help would be great. 

Matthew Kavanagh

Health GAP (Global Access Project)

tel +1 202 355-6343 // mob +1 202 486-2488
matthew@healthgap.org
www.healthgap.org

Commons Forum

 Hi: 

There is an OWS forum on “commons” (natural and other resources that should belong to everyone) being set up by members of OWS.  I think there is a working group for it.  It seems that there would be a lot of trade related issues.  You guys might want to put together a workshop for it

The Making Worlds Forum on the Commons is scheduled to take place Feb 16-18.  It seems to me that Trade Justice should be involved.   There is still a little time to make proposals for a workshop.  Ideally workshops are a combination of theory and project planning.  See http://makingworlds.wikispaces.com/ for details.  Email me jemcgloin@verizon.net if you would like to get on the googlegroup. 

Thanks, John

Making Worlds: An OWS Forum on the Commons
February 16-18, 2012


An Invitation


The Occupy movement is entering a new phase, one in which many of us feel the need to combine renewed engagement through direct actions and mobilizations with a deep reflection on the strategic objectives of our movement. In order to fulfill this need, the organizing committee of
Making Worlds* is inviting all the Occupy supporters and sympathizers as well as other organizations to participate in this Forum on the politics of the commons. In particular, we are interested in understanding how groups and communities working on housing, health care, education, food, water, energy, information, communication and knowledge resources can develop a vision of these resources as commons, that is, as a third form of social organization to the state and corporate capitalism. Making Worlds has the ambitious goal of articulating a strategic vision from and for the movement as well as specific political initiatives aiming at its realization.


The Forum

The departure point of Making Worlds is to deepen our knowledge about existing forms and practices of the commons in the United States and abroad. For the purpose of this discussion, we provisionally define the commons in two main ways:
1) As a resource whose mode of disposition and usage is determined by the community of its users and producers. Examples of commons may include the air and the oceans, water sources managed by local communities, self-managed factories and agricultural lands, (squatted) community centers and houses, community gardens, free and open source software, and users-run repositories of knowledge such as Wikipedia.
2) As a way of organizing social practices, living experiences, community relationships and pathways for our collective reproduction. These activities may include cooperative strategies such as reciprocal caring, self-education, and workers cooperatives.

We believe that the organizational forms developed by our movement are already functioning, in many ways, as institutions of the commons. We also think that there are plenty of existing initiatives in New York and beyond from which important lessons can be learnt. Securing the commons for the collective good, protecting it from private appropriation as well as from over-use takes ingenuity, cooperation, and planning. Making Worlds will provide a common space and framework for such cooperation and planning to take place. Starting from these considerations we pose three broad, overarching questions:

1) What are the examples of existing commons we can draw inspiration from and how are they governed?
2) How can new commons be created and expanded in our society?; and
3) How can we think of social and political relationships as a commons in its own right?


Your Contribution


Making Worlds is open to every sympathizer and participant in the Occupy movement as well as to other independent activist groups. If you are interested in participating in Making Worlds, we ask you to approach it by posing questions related to your field of interest or activity. For instance, if you are part of the kitchen committee or any other group working on and with food how can you tackle the question of food production and consumption as commons? How is the food we eat every day produced (or not produced) in common? And how can we extend the common production and distribution of food? If you work in a sustainability group you may ask similar questions in relation to drinkable water or the atmosphere. What kinds of initiatives and actions can be taken at a local and regional level to protect and build a commons? And what kind of coordination could make feasible a national campaign to make the ground waters a common good? Would it be possible to link such a campaign to the anti-fracking movement? Similar questions can be explored in relation to education, health care, the production of energy, the reproduction of the labor force, medical and scientific knowledge, and communication infrastructures. After your group has explored these preliminary questions, we ask you to reach out to us with a proposed title for a workshop and speakers who can help you facilitate it. Please email your idea to makingworldsows at gmail dot com no later than January 28.

Structure of the Forum


Making Worlds is evolving and is now envisioned as a three day Forum:

1) The first day will be dedicated to the introduction of broad themes regarding the commons. Notable speakers and activists who have been studying the commons and struggling for will share their perspectives and experiences.

2) The second day will be managed directly by the working groups that have participated in the preparatory phases of the Forum. The groups will run their own workshops as they want. Our suggestion is to divide the workshops in two sections: the first part will serve to flesh out the research questions and foster a debate around them; the second part will be dedicated to the production of a short document containing ideas and pragmatic suggestions that will be posted the Forum’s web site by the end of the second day.

3) The third day will be dedicated to bring all these perspectives together. Ideally, by the end of the Forum we will have drafted a charter and a set of documents and materials envisioning concrete initiatives, lines of action, and intervention.

Timeline
We ask you to email us a workshop title and a short description no later than January 28. If you are interested in inviting specific speakers who can help you facilitate the workshop feel free to do so. The workshops descriptions will be uploaded to the Wiki makingworlds.wikispaces.com to which you will be granted access so that you will be able to update your announcement over time.

From Manuel Perez Rocha:

Hey Adam, yes I’d be interested. Thanks! But before talking more about content can you clarify me where’d it be (NY?), the precise date and if there’d be support for transport?

 

I might be able to stay at a friends house. About transport costs if there are funds great, if not I can pay for my bus. Let me know if I am in the program already to plan my trip.

 

I’ll discuss the Doe Run case vs Peru (for 800 million USD). Doe Run is owned by a New York magnate. I can tell you more about it.

 

Thanks!

Left Forum

PANEL SUBMISSION IS NOW OPEN.

This panel submission process allows you to submit your panel proposal through the online submission form process. You can then update its information as needed. The deadline for submitting panels has been extended from January 6 to January 31, 2012. Please note that space is now limited. Hence rooms for all panels proposed after January 6, will be available subject to available room space. Please submit as soon as possible. As we move through the panel selection process, you will receive updates on the status of your panel, and reminders if we need any more information. This helps us to ensure that both the website and printed program are as accurate and comprehensive as possible.

Before submitting any panel proposal, make sure to carefully read through the Panel Criteria page. Please fill in all panel information accurately without typos and put the full speaker names in each of the speaker information boxes and do not put abbreviations in the speakers boxes, like TBD (i.e., to be determined). Please remember that all panelists must register for the conference (low income registration and scholarships are available: for more information click the register link on the home page). If you’re having problems submitting your panel, please write to us at panels@leftforum.orgor call us at 212 817 2003/2002.

PANEL SUBMISSION CRITERIA

» Panel topics span a great variety of issues. Panels offer engaged forms of dialogue, debate and/or interaction between panelists and audience and at times, have an activist, organizing or strategy making focus. You can refer to the events pages page to look at past panel topics and titles.

» In designing your panel we ask you to try to ensure that panelists represent and engage diverse political standpoints on any particular topic, and that panelists represent a range of political and cultural identities (e.g., race, gender, age, and class diversity). We also ask that you integrate the conference theme into the panel proceedings.

» In order to accommodate as many panels and panelists as space will allow we limit local and regional panelists to two panels. Requests for additional panel participation can be made by emailing panels@leftforum.org and explaining your request. If you have any problems submitting a panel please email panels@leftforum.org or call (212) 817 2002/2003.

» The deadline for panel submission is January 6, 2012. We do however ask that you submit your proposals—even in a nascent form—as soon as you can, as the later the panel is submitted the harder it is to attend to all aspects of its administration.

panel formats

» We encourage a range of panel styles and panel chairing and facilitation processes. These include:

a. The traditional panel form: This form has a chair person who provides an introduction for the speakers and the topic; facilitates the audience question and answer session; and mediates any disputes or similar occurrences. Depending on the number of panelists, panel presentations should be timed to allow about half of the session for audience participation (e.g., for four panelists each talk should be about 12 minutes). A similar form can designate a person or two in a discussant or respondent role. In this case the panel presentations should be fewer or shorter and the respondent can develop a critique, and/or raise pertinent issues and questions.

b. Roundtable or moderated dialogue format: this form can include short presentations by all panelists, 5 minutes for example, followed by questions that engage panelists and/or allow them to interact with each other, and/or panelists can ask each other questions; This is followed by audience participation.

c. Workshop style panels: this can vary from a format where a facilitator or group of facilitators involve all participants right away, e.g., through introductions and group dialogue focused on particular questions, strategies or issues. It can include sessions focused on dialogues about political practices, trainings, and question and answer sessions.

d. Panel tracks: identify and pull together sets of panels and workshops that address major issues, themes, or areas of activism and dialogue from a variety of angles—from the local to the global, and the practical to the theoretical. Tracks enable panel organizers to deepen a particular issue or theme, and as well, to plan out a series of panels or workshops that “start and go somewhere” (e.g., with an introductory panel starting off the track and more detailed or involved panels following the introductory session, concluding with a wrap up session).

panel size and facilitation

» Every panel must have a chair person. if the session is facilitated through collective processes, facilitators can be listed under the Chair catego8tyry.

» The chair person can also be a presenter.

» Minimum number of participants per panel is three (including a chair person). For the panel format where each speaker presents for a certain lenght of time (as compared to some workshops formats) panels with more than five speakers often leave too little time for audience discussion and panel interaction. We recommend that panels have no more than five speakers and that panel chairs provide up to half of the panel session time for audience discussion.

panel registration (all panelists must register for the conference)

» In order to cover conference costs we require that panelists register for the conference. We ask panel organizers to make sure that all speakers on their panel (discussants, etc.) are registered (click here to register now) . If you have scholarship requests, contact us at register@leftforum.org.

» We invite foreign participation but unfortunately cannot pay for travel costs for panelists or provide translators at this time.

Vision Statement

A Plea From Your Fellow Comrades/Compatriots at the Vision & Goals Working Group:

For the past 4 months we have been trying to put forward a comprehensive statement that envisions the kind of world we want to see for the movement and for the rest of our damaged and suffering world. From reversing the utterly corrupting effect that  unbridled and unlimited wealth has on our lives to the irreversible effects of climate change, to name just two important issues, we know deep down that time is running out and we must do something now to reverse this ugliness. 

We have been to the GA twice and was rebuffed on both occasions. In an effort to elicit support to reach consensus, we are humbly asking for your help. Here’s how. Please read our current vision statement over below and reply in one of the following ways: Either email us back that your particular Working Group ENDORSES (twinkles up) or REJECTS (twinkles down) the statement as written. If your group endorses we will mention this at our next appearance at the GA (with thanks!) If your WG rejects the statement….we dearly would like to know how we could “remove your block.”(also with thanks!) 

Please respond as soon as possible so we could gauge how much time we’ll need to go over the needed changes, if necessary. Our email address is: OWSVG@lists.riseup.net 

Here’s one more good reason to move this process along quickly. There was an article in the London Guardian this morning (1/29) about what just occurred in Oakland. One sentence stood out and it should be a wake up call to all of us. It read,  ”The national Occupy Wall Street movement, which denounced corporate excess and economic inequality, began in New York City in the Autumn, but has been largely dormant lately.”

The World WAS watching….we need your help to refocus the world’s attention. A VISION of what a better world for all would look like, would be a good start. And then there is the issue of our GOALS! 

So let’s move forward together! 

And lastly: We meet at the Atrium on Wednesdays & Thursdays at 5:30PM and Sundays at 12:00PM. Please join us to make a better world a reality. DORMANT….my ass!!! Let’s get busy on all fronts!!!

-V&G-

 

What follows is a living document that will be revised through democratic process of General Assembly.

JANUARY 24th GA-AMENDED DRAFT OWS VISION STATEMENT:

We the people of Occupy Wall Street, in solidarity with the people of the world, gather to build a just society and a flourishing environment for future generations.

Our political and economic systems are broken. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we live in a world where wealth is power. Our democracy now belongs to the highest bidder. Today, we must remember the lessons of history, restore human dignity and begin anew to build the bonds of trust and goodwill among all.

From the General Assembly to the people of the world, we offer a Declaration of our Vision for the future.

We envision a free, democratic and just society, built on the following principles:

LIBERTY: whereby we secure the full spectrum of human rights – political, civil, economic, social and cultural – against violation or infringement, particularly by unchecked corporate power and unjust governments; where we preserve the public availability of common spaces and other resources, such as open-source technologies, to promote the free flow of ideas and information.

PEOPLE POWER: whereby decision-making, in every form and at every level, exists by the will of the collective; where neither wealth nor history alone will justify power; where everyone’s voice is heard, and no one is marginalized.

PEOPLE BEFORE PROFIT: whereby we value human dignity and needs over monetary gain, elevating them to a place of primary importance; among these are the rights to meaningful and fairly-rewarded work; a decent home; abundant sources of clean air, pure water and natural, nutritious food supplies; and free, comprehensive healthcare and education.

FAIRNESS: whereby we collectively call on all who enjoy society’s benefits to accept their share of society’s responsibilities; where everyone has an equal opportunity to thrive and power is shared equitably by all so that no one is allowed to exploit, oppress or enslave another.

EQUALITY: whereby we reject all forms of institutionalized discrimination and oppression, on any basis, including but not limited to race, age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability, religion, national origin, nationality, ethnicity or economic standing.

JUSTICE: whereby transparent and accountable social, political, legal and economic systems work to benefit all, not just a privileged few; these systems are restructured or replaced when they fail to do so – specifically, the prison-industrial complex, where profits are gained by the labor of an incarcerated population composed disproportionately of the poor and people of color.

ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP: whereby the wealth of our economy emerges from the health of our environment and therefore all societal activities are conducted with respect, humane treatment and foresight to ensure that all life is sustainable and that the world has room to flourish, now and for future generations.

PEACE: whereby non-violence is embraced as a way of life, and we resolve to live together in harmony and celebrate principles of compassion, appreciation and respect for diversity and the differing views and actions of others.

It is not enough to know better; we must do better. Our social and political ideals have to be claimed and asserted by each generation.

We look forward to a day when we can shift our focus beyond the notion of individual rights, towards a culture of sharing, where our love and compassion for each other and our world will be the only guides we need.

We affirm our commitment to live this new world in our hearts and make it a reality.

FOR FUTURE MEETINGS

New Labor/Social Justice Movements Panel @ NYU

Hi there,


I was wondering if anyone from tradejustice would like to speak at a conference being organized at NYU with a panel around new labor/social justice movements? This conf would be in late March/April in the dept of Social and Cultural Analysis.
I was also wondering if you are the OWS Trade Justice working group, and where/what times you meet?


My dept has been trying to put together and organize the conf over break, so I apologize for the briefness/lack of details- it is still all very sketchy but I am hoping to have tradejustice on a panel with Brandworkers and labor/activist scholars. We are thinking Wed/Thurs March 21st and March 22nd- with one panel from 11-1pm lunch then a second panel 3-5pm. Thursday the keynote speaker will be Lisa Lowe later in the day. This is what were thinking for a panel tradejustice would be on:

Movements: this can be 2 panels, divided by foci and who would speak on what day, e.g.  connecting local/national movements to anti-imperialist and global justice movements; thinking the category of the worker,

 

**Brandworkers – immigrant workers NYC

**Silvia Federici  – (Prof. Emeritus , Baruch) gendered labor, immaterial labor, 3rd world debt, underdevelopment & imperialism, Occupy

**William Scott – (Prof. English Dept, U. Pittsburgh) OWS, category of ‘the worker’

**Cristina Beltran (Prof. SCA, NYU) – democracy & occupy) 

**Luisa Rojo (don’t know if she’ll be here in the spring??) -Indignados, linguistics and immigration

**Sascha Constanza-Chock (Prof. Comparative Media Studies, MIT) – Occupy research, Boston; social movements & communications technologies, immigrant movement, grass roots communications)

**George Ciccariello-Mahar (Prof. History & Politics, Drexel U) -Occupy in its anti-capitalist and communalist strains, Bolivarian revolution, anti-imperialist thought+ praxes)

**Trade Justice – (critique and grassroots opposition to expansion of Free Trade Agreements/Export Processing Zones throughout the world- this is my limited understanding of the work tradejustice does so please let me know if I am under the wrong impression/misinformed)

Would Tradejustice still like to participate, and if so is there any preference on a day or are you flexible? I think you would be really great in a conference electrified by Occupy Wall Street movements because OWS has overshadowed critical organizing that has been happening in other areas addressing significant issues.

I think we’re trying by the end of next month to have times/date worked out- right now we’re trying to first figure out wants to speak and then who can attend either day. I will write you with more info as it arrives/we reach decisions and please let me know what your group decides in the meantime.


My dept just started up again so I hope to work out more details in the coming weeks, so you would hear from me within 3 weeks-
I was mainly interested in tradejustice because I haven’t heard anything about the new trade agreements, haven’t heard about actions that are fighting against this, and none of my peers are talking about it. So I thought it would be great to hear about the work you are doing since it seems to be flying under the rader of my friends and peers that are involved in Occupy wall Street and other actions. There is no pressure to participate though so please don’t feel obligated, I think it would be a great audience to talk to and share ideas/strategies however.


Please let me know what you think,

Best,
jen

Brooklyn Food Conference

The Brooklyn Food Coalition is planning the second Brooklyn Food Conference for May 12th 2012 and we want you to participate! This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a movement that is connecting, educating and empowering people who care about food justice. The first Brooklyn Food Conference in 2009 galvanized over 3,000 adults and 500 youth from all five boroughs and New York State. The potential for the second Brooklyn Food Conference 2012 is enormous (minimum of 5,000 expected attendees) and we welcome your ideas for workshop proposals.

Workshop proposal deadline: Rolling basis until February 15th

Format: The Brooklyn Food Conference 2012 is seeking proposals for workshops that are educational, inspirational, and interactive with the attendees. Please make sure to invite guest speakers that will provide diverse perspectives on your topic. We ask that workshop sessions have an action component, e.g., leading to a specific outcome or action, linking to the activities of the Brooklyn Food Coalition: “How to” and skill building workshops that provide ideas and tools are strongly suggested.

Length: Each workshop is 1 hour and 10 minutes; please leave ample time for group discussion.

Size: 20–70 attendees per workshop

Attendees: Expect attendees to reflect New York City’s diverse communities who are engaged in building a more just and sustainable food system. For introductory sessions, please try to use plain language to make your session accessible for all participants. Language interpreters are available to assist both guest speakers and attendees on the-day-of-Conference.

Strategy Meeting

Agenda so far:

1. Political Opportunities 2012

2. Messaging to OWS

3. Web Outreach Strategy


Brooklyn Peace Fair

The next BFP Peace Fair Committee will be next Tuesday, Jan 17th,  when we will enter proposals for program for the April 28th day-long activities at Brooklyn College.  BFP has a continuing presence at the College.  We expect a good turn out of young people this year.  It is an excellent opportunity for popular education.  

The Latin Am Com has been active with School of the America’s Watch and the Fair Trade movements.  Those are the campaigns we will present at the Fair. 

On the Fair Trade theme, we discussed the resource extraction resistance to corporate domination in El Salvador linking CISPES with the Fair Trade movement.   Can you please help to form a panel to put that struggle into the Latin Am and then the world-wide context?

I think the segments will be one hour.  We can dedicate two segments to this topic so there is adequate time for discussion.  I can let you know next week about the arrangements.

Collaboration with Global Justice

From: Becky Hurwitz becky.hurwitz@gmail.com

I just wanted to ping to say that I’m sorry I missed the Trade Justice call last week — I had some unexpected guests in for the holidays and wasn’t able to manage both.  I am really interested in the Trade Justice group — in part because I know so little about our trade agreements, want to learn more, and want to know how to participate in more fair trade agreements.


I’m also a bit concerned that I’m over committed — I really want to see this Global Justice group get off the ground.  I’m setting up a website for the Global Justice group and am going to propose that we feature content that is educational as well as current-calls to action; I was thinking a way that I could learn about the Trade Justice issues, contribute to your group’s work, and also not over commit would be to set up a section on the site for Trade Justice issues.  I think the broad missions of our groups are so obviously the same that sharing web space will be a near universal up-wiggle if put to a temp-check.


What do you think?  Are you already sharing your campaign and group materials somewhere? 


My next steps:

  • make some wireframes for the site to bring to the group on Sat

    • this will include some basic organization of content consistent with the group statement about interest and projects

Does this seem interesting?  Should I ping the Trade Justice list?  Sorry to just ping you — don’t mean to overwhelm you, but just not sure exactly how to propose this!

Congressional WTO Consumer Rights Pledge

In a set of decisions this fall, the WTO ruled against our country-of-origin labels on meat, dolphin-safe labels on tuna, and our ban on candy and clove flavored cigarettes.


These are the policies we rely on to allow us to protect children’s health and make informed decisions as consumers. Under current rules, the U.S. will have to water down or eliminate these policies, or face trade sanctions.


Tell your members of Congress to sign the consumer rights pledge and commit to not water down our policies, or extend anti-consumer rules in future trade deals! If your members of Congress sign the consumer pledge, let us know at blopez@citizen.org.


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