10.18.11 Evening Meeting Minutes

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OWS Trade Justice Working Group
Evening Conference Call – 8:30PM

Facilitation: Adam
Notes: Adam

In Attendance
Adam Weissman – Global Justice for Animals and the Environment
Ruth Santana – Global Justice for Animals and the Environment
Sunyata Altenor-  Latin American and Caribbean Community Center
Julie O’Connor – Caring Activists Against Fur
Perry Bolkin- Caring Activists Against Fur, Democratic Party, League of Humane Voters of NJ
Juyeon Rhee – Nodutol for Korean Community Development
Carol Marcus – Long Island Animal Advocates
Monica Arias Miranda – Hispanic Coalition New York
Phil Josselyn – NY Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador

Congressional Districts:

Adam – Rothman/Maloney
Ruth –  Maloney
Sunyata – Serrano/Engel
Julie – Rothman/Garrett
Perry – Rothman
Juyeon – Garrett (Nodutol office is in Nydia Velazquez’s district)
Carol – King
Monica – Tonko
Phil – Velazquez


1. Recap
2. Op-Eds and Letters to the Editor
3. Public Actions (Press conferences, protests, etc.)


Adam begins by recapping the morning call.



Garrett – Julie — Garett’s district Suburbanite. Wrote a letter on the animal angle. Congrats to Congressman Rothman and Garett for finding bipartisanship around animal suffering. Also submitted to the Record. Will let us know if the Record runs her story.

Perry – the Record owns the Suburbanite.

Adam – Do Suburbanite from another angle? Hit up Record for full list of local papers they own.

Monica – has media contact list with a lot of newspapers so we can see what we can use and not use.

Adam – how did Tonko vote?

Monica – Tonko is inconsistent — she will have to look it up.

Adam – media contacts?

Has list, but doesn’t have all media contacts? How can she use webpage, email blast? Has staffers, student orgs, media, not-for-profits, elected officials.

Adam: Revise alert to add media so Monica can send media alert.

Monica: can send if prepared. Consistently getting a lot of hits on the website. Average per day is 200 hits per day for a new organization. People go to website and click on the links if Adam prepares contact,

Adam: Needs to prepare statewide vote outcomes list.

Monica: Can also direct people to website.

Julie: Suggestion: Get a letter to the editor ready — once have specific local papers, letter would be ready to go.

Adam: Template. Jersey people should respond to Pascrell letter. Adam will email everyone template, but people in same media markets should differentiate letters.

Phil: will get papers for his area. Nydia’s district is everywhere — also North Brooklyn and Sunset Park and Lower East Side.

Spanish letter: Sunyata and Ruth.

Adam: Spanish language media contacts.

Sunyata — Letters can go out via website and direct outreach.  No.
Timeline?  Good to have 2-3 days.

Monica: By Friday.

Juyeon: Internet newspaper owned by youth.  Newspaper article.

Adam: Can Nodutol submit a letter? Yes. Going up on website and can forward.

Perry: Right now having a big problem trying to get attention on this issue. Because of election, people are concentrating on the type of issue that put this into a different realm. Not like these people have taken a position on any of these. (State and county). Rothman’s office getting deluged by local people trying to get them elected.

Adam: Not sure politicians will be of much help, but media and public.

Monica: Press conferences? Albany and NYC?

Adam: No public actions since the vote.

Carol: Can get neighborhood papers in Peter King’s district and letters to the editor and op-ed.



Sunyata: Good idea Staten Island Ferry takeover — determining who is active in Liberty Park to develop a critical for the Ferry.

Phil: That’s a lot.

Adam: Not doing all four actions.

Phil: How did teach-in go?

Adam: Teach-in was good. Demonstration was not that successful, because it was 9AM, hard to get people there, and OWS already had events scheduled for that day.

Phil: Might need more teach-ins. People there are with us but don’t understand the implications of these trade agreements. Explaining that these trade agreements are corporate give-aways and job-killing.

Adam: Agreed.

From Christina: “Just a quick thing you could mention on the call if you want is that a group of students at NYU who are organizing a series of “People’s University” events inspired by OWS would be interested in a teach-in on FTAs, either a week day from 12-2 PM or a Saturday (I assume the Sat would be better for more folks’ schedules?). They’re still just in the planning stages, but wanted to give you a heads-up on this. I’d be glad to be involved, along with some of you w/ more expertise on the issue. Take care and talk soon -cms”

Adam: Teach-in recap.

Phil: If wanted to do press conf, could combine with a teach-in and do it there.

Monica: Press conference during training?

Phil: Somewhat combine the two. Because you are basically — you could put out a press release saying you are going to be there denouncing — putting out a press release encouraging the people there to take action.

Monica: Apologizes because hasn’t been reading all the emails. Training? Outreach to public.

Adam: Outreached to people at OWS about FTAs Small crowds two days in a row.

Monica: Press conf during time outreach efforts?

Julie: Has to jump off for a little bit but took care of media contacts.

Adam: Press conferences might be better targeted to specific officials, because it is old news at this point for big media.

Monica: Limited in financial and staff. Just her in the capital region doing a lot of stuff. Wants to give people info. Will see how she will proceed and how we can help. Will include info on website that would be most effective. 21st Cong District. See how they voted. Would have to think of something catch to call their attention. Work on getting people to come. Really would be the message that we would want them to cover. Open to coordinating something up here on her end needs help with content.

Adam: Talk to Brooke Newell for help. Might be able to get faith community support.

Monica: Faith based orgs in the area might be able to advocate on the issue.

Adam: Do rally/press conf with demonstration.

Carol: Good idea. Press conf/rally combination successful on carriage horse. Can talk to Gloria about putting together an event on LI.

Perry: Sending not only a listing of not only sample letter, but also rundown of voting for New York area?

Adam: Can send a link. Carol should talk to Nick. Do actions in NYC and LI on the same day or both? Day of the dead call to action?

Phil: Tricky.

Adam: Would only work if other national groups coordinated a day of action — Adam can check if there is interest. Let’s evaluate NYC action ideas.

Phil: Grimm voted for all 3?

Adam: Yes.

Phil: Can get media out there?

Adam: Staten Island Advance.

Phil: Think we might be able to coax Occupy Wall Street to ferry?

Adam: Grim Reaper suits. Day of the Dead.

Perry: His daughter Julie O’Connor’s house is the Halloween house of Englewood.

Adam: See if she has ideas.

Monica: Some celebrate more than others, but even in Costa Rica it is celebrated.

Adam: talk to Carlos and Julian on day of the dead action to see how Colombia FTA celebrate.

Perry: Has to go.

Carol: Has to go.

Adam: Let’s be in touch soon.

Phil: There is on the 1st and the 2nd the human rights ombudsperson from El Salvador will be in town, woman with him did investigation around NJ teamster union guy who was murdered when he went to meet with the port workers in El Salvador – Arturo Soto.

Adam: When was that?

Phil: Three or four years ago.

Monica: Human rights person from El Salvador?

Phil: Woman with him on enviro issues. Leonard is doing event at Fordham Law.

Monica: Could speak at press conf?

Phil: They might. Human rights ombudsperson spoken out about murders around mining. Gov’t denied permit, but taken to ICSID for CAFTA case.

Monica: Might attract media.

Adam: Probably not English, but Spanish.

Monica: English too if catchy.

Phil: Talk to Leonard because he has been in touch.

Adam: Our event 1st or 2nd?

Phil: Leonard’s event is the afternoon.

Monica: Nov 1 would be good for the Capitol region. Mexican Consulate on Wheels coming to Albany — and she is doing a welcome reception on Nov 2. Coming to offer services to Mexican community. Tie in — I don’t know how. November 1st would be better.

Phil: Did a picket at the Mexican Consulate in NYC around the kidnapping of Central Americans in Mexico. People in Mexico were doing a caravan up the Guatemala border to Veracruz. Asked CISPES to do something at the consulate to know they were in solidarity. Did something with signs with 6 or 7 people. Guy who does the Citizen Services was pretty sympathetic, sat and talked with them for quite a while.

Adam: No obligation to do the same day if it makes it easier to not do the same day.

Monica: Would like to tie into city event unless people from NYC are able to come up to speak. Haven’t been working on issue and people know. But thinks it would be nice to tie into one of the events in the city. Today in NYC or LI there are other efforts taking place.

Adam: Should we propose a day of action to national groups for day of the dead?

Monica: Coordinate with groups to gauge interest?

Adam: Could put out the idea in a day, but would take longer to get a reply.

Monica: Would be great to have action where various groups are coordinating. Would make a strong statement would need reply ASAP. Do I think they could get back within the week if we put something out tomorrow?

Adam: Not sure. Outreach to Occupy movements around the country. Not a central concern of theirs, but starting to pay attention — USTR demo, Occupy Philly working group.

Phil: DC groups don’t move on a dime, not sure if people want to do it here in NY and go from there. Doesn’t think we are going to get people much beyond — too short of a time frame for people around the country.

Monica: Agrees. Concentrating effort NY and around the city. Around the country cutting it short on time.

Adam: Should we ask or should we not try?

Phil: Ask if they would support it. Contacts here? Talk to local groups like Brooklyn for Peace.

Adam: Ask about NY support or ask about interest in broader actions.

Phil: See if they will talk about it, but not sure if there will be broader actions.

Monica: Maybe statewide.

Adam: Do we want to do an action next week at Maloney, Crowley, or Rangel’s office. Need OWS for media. Already did an action near Maloney’s office.

Phil: Corridor of shame to rich people’s houses. Pretty central to their whole message. Not as central to their message.

Adam: Tax haven and Korea financial services are the closest issues to their agenda.

Phil: Need to keep doing teach-ins. FMLN Youth leader coming to NY on September 26-28th.

Adam: Agrees. Keep driving it home. Need to go to the OWS direct action meeting to get them to support action.

Phil: Doing things at Occupy Wall Street takes a lot of time. We need to spend time down there.

Adam: Alex can be on the ground person for us to some degree.

Phil: Need to wrap up. Get together a group in the city to make this happen.

Adam: Another conference call? Meeting in person?

Phil: Christina interested?

Adam: Out of town til 25th, but need to wants to help.

Phil: Need more people to make it happen to spend time at Occupy Wall Street.

Monica: Will wait to here if there is support for NY action to plan Albany action. Sending Adam media list. Adam has to get her email blast. Letter to the editor format with links to where people can go find more info. Website to find out how their Congressmembers voted on the issue. As soon as Adam lets her know she will send email blast to everybody.

Adam: Start planning now even if dates are final.

Monica: can think of groups that are able to participate. Do press release, call media, and speak. Will do that — wait for info. Let her know about another phone conf, but Adam should be in touch around other pieces of info.

Phil: Day of Day Action – agreement? Sure.

Adam: Maloney, Rangel, Crowley sooner action?

Phil: If people’s imagination is captured by the Ferry ride? Let’s do it, but we might get people arrested. Let’s talk to Jackson Heights people about Crowley. Talk to OWS people about seeing if — see what they think about Ferry boat ride.

Adam: Rangel and Maloney?

Phil: Not sure. Rangel is setting star. Maloney is kind of a nonentity. People really dislike Crowley.

Monica: Needs to get off. But Adam we will be in touch. Thank you so much.

Adam and Phil: Thank you Monica.

Phil: Not going to have the time…Does Adam see Alex often?

Adam: No, but talks to him often.

Phil: See when their Direct Action committee meeting takes place and go from there. Colombians are in Crowley’s district and we might be able to get them out.

Adam: Colombians easier to get for Crowley because he voted for all three FTAs.

Phil: Right. There isn’t the same animosity and isn’t the same connection for the other elected officials. Find out when meetings of Direct Action Working Group are — always in daytime?

Adam: Direct Action Committee
Description: Primarily plans marches / march guidelines and creates other direct actions. Contact: owsdawg@gmail.com
Meeting: 2 PM daily @ triangular cement park at Trinity & Edgar

Adam: Float 2nd action idea or make a concrete proposal?

Phil: Float Crowley — Latino community outreach. Or go for boat ride. How schedule and promote teach-in?

Adam: First day  — general assembly announce

Phil: At a teach-in start floating idea of holding elected officials accountable and float action idea. Is it bad form to float action ideas at teach-ins?

Adam: People may not stick around, but some will and it isn’t bad form.

Phil: 2PM daily for direct action meetings? Are there — well — honestly the way I– how long do the direct action meetings run?

Adam: If the direct action meeting is like the like the OWS facilitation meeting, it will probably be very drawn out.

Phil: Been around this before, but it does work for things. Used to make fun of it because he used to work back in the 80s with the anti-nuclear movement — long tradition of this. People do get bored after awhile — but quite honestly if you are able to — make a good presentation and stuff, you can win people over. Like I said- it’s the way this stuff works. A lot of the people sitting there listening — this is the first time they’ve thought about it deeply “Okay this is how it works.” Who spoke at teach-ins?

First teach-in:
Adam on Environment
Sukjong on Korea
Carlos on Colombia
Sunyata on Panama
Curtis (American Jobs Alliance) on jobs
Christina on food issues.

Second teach-in:
Sukjong on Korea
possibly Christine from Beehive Collective

Phil: How was attendance at Maloney protest?

Adam: Sharon Chung, Juyeon Rhee, Adam, Wendy, Ruth, Sukjong, two Occupy Wall Street guys, Christina (briefly).

Phil: Costumes? How many do we have?

Adam: A lot of reapers.

Phil: Funeral march. Do we have a coffin? Mary House (Catholic Worker) has coffins. Borrowed one for Rangel. Could do a funeral march.

Adam: Also want it festive, dancing skeletons.  Coffin should be light.

Phil: Cardboard, of course. March down Wall Street – if they let you. As long as you don’t go down in front of the Exchange. Have to check what NYPD is wondering around with.

Adam: Two lawyers doing OWS legal stuff working with us.

Phil: Could do press conf down there — with human rights ombudsperson — could talk about the death — this has been — working on these cases — of the mining activists murdered in El Salvador — get press for him speaking (and his partner — and then — you know, do a procession, a solemn procession down to the Ferry and go to Grimm’s office — but then you know, have a party coming back.

Adam: Need a party going there to attract people. Thinking of Reclaim The Streets! NYC era (late nineties – very early 2000s) — you could never get anyone to anything without making it a party.

Phil: Different era — people are more serious now. That place down there is not a party.

Adam: They can’t have a meeting there without drummers.

Phil: Of course.

Adam: Can do both — Day of the dead is solemn and festive at the same time.

Phil: When go to the cemetery — its somewhat solemn — people go to the graveyard and talk about the dead. Marches in mission district were festive.

Adam: Mexico mixes solemn, morbid, and festive.  Emulate.

Phil: Talk to people at Wall St. Talk to Colombian community. Important to involve Colombians if Colombia focus.

Adam: Be careful not to play into Dems message of making Colombia the big bad FTA to give cover to the others.

Phil: You know what we can do? Wanted flyers with pictures of Maloney, Rangel, others who voted for FTAs. WANTED: By citizens tribunal. Message of Occupy Wall Street.

Adam: Does Bobby Lesko still have the giant Coke can costume that we used for anti-Coca Cola protests back when we were the Global Sweatshop Coalition (TradeJustice NY Metro evolved out of The Global Sweatshop Coalition)?

Phil: Does Bobby have a coffin? When Ricardo did his coke action, did Bobby have the coke can? 2-3 years ago. Long after Global Sweatshop Coalition was gone. Will call Bobby to check on coffin and coke can. Who can talk to Occupy Wall Street people.

Adam: I can go there — two proposals.  One concrete, one loose.

Phil: Where is Grimm’s office?

Adam: New Dorp Lane – — Ferry to Staten Island Railroad.

Phil: Adds complexity and people aren’t into complexity. One of the things that used to be great about subway parties — back in the day of the Hungry March Band — Might have better luck getting Rude Mechanical Orchestra. Phil will talk to Bobby about the Coke can and coffin. Coffin folks. Coke can doesn’t fold, so might not still have it. Good to get Bobby involved. With proper kind of theatrical thing…

Adam: Home demo?

Phil: Probably harder to get to his house because probably not by railroad. Talk to Wall Street people. Costumes are a draw.

Adam: Also has dead people masks.

Phil: Easy to make dead people masks — plaster of paris stick to people’s faces, grease with Vaseline. Pretty easy to make. We did a bunch of them. They are time consuming, but easy and cheap. You have to wait for them to set up and wet the plaster of paris stuff and cut it and stick to people’s faces. Makes a great death mask. White. Shaped more or less like a face. Cheap. Downside is they are heavy and not particularly comfortable to wear. Effective, especially at night. He’ll talk to Bobby. Adam will talk to Wall Street gang. He doesn’t know — the fact that we will have to go on a train ride once we go out there, may dampen people’s enthusiasm for it… march down to the boat with our solemn funeral procession. Have a funeral procession for… Colombian unionists and American jobs.

Adam: And for Panamanian unionists, dead by bird flu, etc.

Phil: Simple message. Coffin signifies something –dead people. Two coffins – dead unionists and jobs. Jobs sacrificed on the altar of corporate greed. US jobs, Korean jobs, Colombian jobs, farmers in Colombia and Korea. Will be out of jobs unless they want to grow for free.

Adam: Or grow coca. Peruvian indigenous dancers. Leandra Requena of Peruvians in Action New York is back in town from Peru.

Phil: Cool to have Peruvians in Occupy Wall Street. Day of the Dead dancing. But Peruvians don’t do that.

Adam: Ask if they could do some do something. Living Theater people?

Phil: Knows Theater of the Oppressed people. Dresses as waiters and waitresses on subway with them. Walter and Carmelina. Has to see if he has Walter’s contact.

Adam: Will get in touch with Elliot Crown to reach Living Theater.

Phil: Has the theatrical onda. This is more of a serious bunch at Wall Street and see if they are into this.

Adam: Has been to OWS’ meetings, but not to their marches or demos — doesn’t have a feel for them.

Phil: Does the phone number I game you for Ricardo still work?

Adam: I think so.

Adam:  Rangel and Maloney action ideas.

Occupy Wall Street to fire Rangel as a representative of their movement.
Rangel visited Wall Street and then went back to DC and voted for the Panama and Korea FTAs in Ways and Means almost immediately thereafter.

Phil: Who is your video guy?

Adam: Vlad, but he is mostly at Occupy Wall Street these days.

Phil: Needs to call Leonard on doing a press conf with Occupy Wall Street with Salvadoran human rights ombudspeople.

Adam: Could do Day of the Dead at Crowley’s but marching down to the Ferry more appealing —

Phil: Agrees. Once OWS people have gotten on the Ferry, they will tolerate train — shorter than NY subway and above ground. Like a NY city subway. Phil hasn’t been on it much, but has been on it. You can get a free transfer. If you get on the Staten Island subway and ride back and go to Manhattan, can transfer to subway.

Adam: Occupy Wall Street people will have never seen a Metrocard.

Phil: We will need to buy Metrocards.

Adam: Expensive.

Phil: Agrees.

Adam: Occupy Wall Street has a lot of money, but not sure they will give it to us for this. They have collected $300,000 through their website. Adam’s friend Darryl does their bookkeeping and deposits $10,000/day.

Phil: CISPES office becoming Occupy Wall Street Journal office. He has his people to call. Calling it a night.

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