TradeJustice NY Metro / OWS Trade Justice Working Group
Ruth Santana – Global Justice for Animals and the Environment
Adam Weissman – Global Justice for Animals and the Environment
1. Introductory Items– 15 minutes
a. Choose Facilitator
b. Choose Notetakers
Adam & Ruth
c. Choose Timekeeper
d. Welcome and Intros
e. Agenda Review
f. Choose Facilitator and Agenda Maker for Next meeting
Ruth makes the agenda, Adam facilitates.
Guidelines for Agenda Making:
1. Go through the previous meeting’s agenda. Change the date. Remove any items that will no longer be relevant by the next meeting.
3. After about two days, send a draft agenda to the email list, asking for feedback.
4. Integrate this feedback and send a final agenda to the email lists.
g. Choose Location for Next Meeting.
Ruth wants to meet in a place where we can have WIFI and conference people in. She is concerned that we will continue to have meetings with less that 5 people attending in person and will be removed from the GA site and no longer considered a working group. Gloria lives in Flushing. Ruth and Adam live in Astoria. Christina lives in Uptown Manhattan. Phil is in meetings at 60 Wall Street that overlap ours. If we move the meeting, it will harder for Phil to participate.
Gloria – make it convenient for Ruth and Adam since they are always here and do the work.
Ruth – People should respond by Thursday night.
Ruth – We are going to send an email to the list, telling people that attendance has gotten really bad and we area going to either:
- change the time
- change the location to a spot people prefer
- change the location to a spot with WIFI so people can call in
and ask people for their preferred times, locations, and whether they’d be more willing to participate by WIFI.
Ruth will write and send the email.
2. Reportback / Evaluation on Last Week’s Actions - 10 minutes
a. Pfizer Protest
Ruth – Had a protest at Pfizer on Thursday from 12PM-2PM. Hectic. Ruth made a huge banner. We had street theater. We had two people holding the banner. Three people sitting at the bottom of the banner with signs on their chests reading “TPP Negotiated in Secret – What are they hiding?” in the See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil pose. Ruth was Obama. Pfizer gave money to Obama. Obama walked around proud to be a partner to Pfizer. Wasn’t that well attended, but had enough people for the theater. Good protest. Ran Smoothly. Didn’t have press coverage. Got some photos on a photo service (Newscom).
Adam – Had a student journalist from CUNY but don’t think she ran anything. Some livestreamers from OWS. Other photos and video people from OWS and Gary Rissman (who took pictures at Dow and Pac Rim actions). Ruth and David took pictures.
Ruth – Also had flyers. Most of the people who attended were helpful and did flyering for the entire time there. We had tons of flyers and passed out a lot. Eventually we had two dead bodies on the floor and Obama and Pfizer walked on top of the bodies and threw money up in the air. It was a good protest. Unfortunately it wasn’t covered by the mainstream media.
Gloria – Nice. Dramatized.
b. Interview on Pure Imagination Internet Radio Show
Didn’t turn out badly. A friend of Adam’s contacted him on Thursday night to ask if he would like to be a guest on the Pure Imagination internet radio show the next day. Pure Imagination is hosted by two young women, Rachel Trachtenburg and Julia Cumming. Ruth knows Rachel, who is 18. Friday was the day of the San Diego protest against the TPP meetings. Adam planned to bring the speakers at last weekend’s TPP teach-in onto the show as guests and have Tim Robertson of the California Fair Trade Coalition call into the show from the protest.
Adam presented this plan to the booker for the show, who suggested cutting back to just having Adam, Christina Schiavoni (WhyHunger) and Tim from California as guests. He said the segment would be only 15 to 30 minutes long, so having any more guests than than wouldn’t work. Adam arranged for Christina and Tim to call in.
When he got to the studio it became apparent that the hosts weren’t familiarized with our topic. They introduced him based on years old credentials they must have gotten from the internet. Amusingly, they mentioned he was named New Yorker of the Week by Resident Magazine based on an article they found online – not realizing the article was seven years old!
Fortunately, they had another guest prior to our segment and Adam was able to quickly brief the hosts in the break between the two segments. The interview went well. The hosts weren’t familiar with the topic, but one of them had apparently been to the Seattle WTO protests at age 6. They asked good questions, but by the time Adam gave a basic explanation of the issue, the hosts decided there wasn’t time to bring on the other guests. During a song break, Adam encouraged them to bring on Tim on the premise that we could at least get a quick report from the protest, an opportunity that wouldn’t be available during a later show.
The hosts were willing to do this, but by this time, the connection to Tim, who had been on hold, was broken. After the show, the hosts offered to do a full show with Adam in two weeks. Adam will follow up to confirm that they want to also include Christina, Tim, Curtis, John, and Michael.
Ruth: Is there much point in doing it? How many people list to the show?
Adam: Even if very few people listen, it will be useful to have an hour long recorded show that we can share on our website to educate people on the issues we work on. We would need to figure out who is going on the show before our next meeting, because our next meeting will be only two days before the show.
Ruth: Before organizing the guests for the show, we should make sure it is happening.
c. Eco-Cluster 2nd Meeting
New grouping of all of the environmental groups of Occupy Wall Street. Adam went to the first Eco-Cluster meeting and explained how free trade agreements harm the environment. The second Eco-Cluster meeting focused on the structure, purpose, and function of the Eco-Cluster. At the end of the meeting they prepared the meeting for the 3rd agenda. Some people suggested spending an hour at the third meeting discussion the structure of the Eco-Cluster. Adam and some others suggested that we get to talking about what our groups are doing and how we can support each others’ efforts, rather than developing bureaucracy and structure. There was general agreement on this, with the decision that we can begin by functioning as a clearinghouse and then develop from there. Building bureaucracy before doing concrete things bores people and they lose interest.
Who should represent us at the next meeting? Ruth will ask on the email list.
3. Media Opportunities – 10 minutes
a. Issues with Jane Velez Mitchell
Ruth: When we had the teach-in at Occupy Town Square at Occupy Town Square the weekend before last. Jane Velez-Mitchell, host of show on Headline News. Vegan and animal rights activist. Very histrionic. Has a large audience that likes the way she engages things. She regularly introduces animal issues in the program about legislation, animal agriculture, gets footage of protests or footage of events around the city related to animal rights events. Ruth has known her for awhile, not a friend, but they know each other. When we were in the park, Jane saw Ruth when Yetta Kurland was speaking at the Occupy Wall Street Animal Issues Teach-in. Jane looked at Yetta and Ruth and said “What are you doing here?” Ruth explained what she was doing there and Jane said “if you want to you can send the footage so I can take a look at it with the possibility of airing it on her program.”
Adam: Does she want info on the animal teach-in only?
Ruth: Probably on the talk that related to both – your talk.
Adam: My talk was terrible.
Ruth: Which talk?
Adam: My talk at the animal teach-in. My other talk was better, but wasn’t about animals.
Ruth: Your first talk was not so directly related to animal issues, but it was related to environment and therefore to some degree you spoke about animal issues and the environment. You spoke about – pretty much halfway through it you started talking more about animal issues.
Adam: Would need Curtis’ footage. We can give her everyone’s footage and see what she wants of it. The footage from the animal teach-in is too low quality.
Ruth will find our format requirements form Jane (HD format Youtube? DVD?) contact Curtis for the footage.
b. Pure Imagination Radio Show
Dealt with earlier.
c. Eunjoo Jung (Feb 9 & 10)
“Background: I’m Eunjoo Jung, journalist for the Korean newspaper, the Hankyore. I have received your contacts from Heesob in Korea. I’m staying in Washington between 9th and 10th of Feb. to take a series of stories what the Korean public and government need to prepare for the Korea-US free trade agreement coming to effect in February or March. I apologize I’m asking you for an interview so quickly, but it would be very appreciated if you give me an opportunity to speak to you on KORUS in Washington. I’m looking forward to hearing from you.
Eun Joo Jung | Staff Reporter | The Hankyoreh (Daily Newspaper)
116-25 Gongdeok-dong, Mapo-gu, Seoul, Republic of Korea(South Korea)
Tel: +82.2.710.0355 | Fax : +82.2.710.0350
Mobile : +82.10.3290.6225 Email : email@example.com | Twitter: ejung00”
Wrote to us about a week ago asking for an interview. In the US from Korea. Will be in DC February 9th and 10th. Adam will write back and ask the person to either do phone, Skype, or come to NYC.
d. Jason Kim
“Greetings. I’m a writer and photojournalist. I wondered whether I can possibly attend and document your activities. And also, how did the Protest Pfizer demonstration go? Thank you, in advance.
Jason Kim Phone: 201-687-9552 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Web: mediaform.viewbook.com Blog: mediaform.wordpress.com”
Adam will write to him and tell him the Pfizer protest went well. Put on list to be contacted about our activities.
4. Outreach Opportunities – 50 minutes
a. EcoCluster Meeting (February 11th) – 5 minutes
b. Occupy Town Square (1 – 7PM, February 11th ) – 10 minutes
Background: “OCCUPY WALL STREET is popping up again this Saturday from 1pm – 7pm. On February 11th, come visit the second Occupy Town Square, at West Park Presbyterian. For one afternoon, Occupy Wall Street will fill the beautiful, old church on 86th & Amsterdam Ave with teach-ins and trainings, speeches and discussion, pamphlets and performances. Come help us revive the great democratic tradition of public discourse and civic engagement. Whether you consider yourself a supporter of the movement or not, we want to meet you. Share our food and warmth; bring your stories and your ideas; learn, argue, debate, coordinate, collaborate! If you’d like to table, perform, or hold a talk, sign up attinyurl.com/otsf11signup www.facebook.com/occupytownsq @occupytownsq email@example.com”
The one coming up is more attractive than the previous Eco-Cluster. It is indoor and thus we may not deal with the problem we faced at the last Eco-Cluster, where attention centered around the drum circle and we were forced to hold our teach-in out of the way so that people could hear us.
This conflicts with Eco-cluster, but we can do something early (1 or 2 PM) and be done in time for Eco-Cluster.
We should talk about killings in Colombia and Panama since the passage of the FTA.
Ruth: We should use the same format as the last teach-in.
Christina suggested in her email that we change the format.
Topic: focus on TPP or the killing that just happened in Colombia and Panama – invite Sunyata to speak on Colombia. Invite a speaker to address the labor situation in Colombia, particularly the labor situation in light of the AFL-CIO letter calling on Obama to indefinitely delay the implementation of the Colombia FTA in light of the killings.
Also focus on the human righta abuse committed against the Indigenous people killed in Panama; all of this the TPP is being discussed and before the FTA hasbeen implemented and there’s immediate bloodshed.
Find Colombia speaker on labor issues contact on FTA and killing in Colombia. – Adam suggestion
- Carlos Salamanca – Gloria will contact
- Ricardo Prado / Calima Locombia – Gloria will contact
- Javier Guzman – Gloria will contact but needs phone number
- Ramon Mejia – probably not available, but ask him for suggestion of speakers
- ask Senia of AfroColombians NYC if they can provide a speaker
- Jose Schiffino (labor organizer) – Adam will contact
- Sunyata – Adam will contact
Gloria talks about the town of Santa Martha in Colombia, a tourist town that has been taken over by foreigners including Israelis who have turned this town in a drug trafficking heaven from where a great deal of cocaine gets exported to the rest of the world.
Leandra will be contacted by Gloria to talk about the killings in Panama in relation to the FTAs.
Confirmed as available:
Adam Weissman (environment/indigenous/animals/factory farming) & Christina Schiavoni (food sovereignty)
Introductory Speaker: Curtis Ellis (also ask him if he can video)
Potential Speakers on Colombia:
Jose Schiffino – Adam
Carlos Salamanca – Gloria
Ricardo Prado– Gloria
Ramon Mejia’s contacts – Gloria
Javier Guzman – Gloria
Senia of AfroColombians NYC – Adam
Potential speakers on Panama:
Sunyata Altenor – Adam
Leandra Requena – Gloria
Panamanian labor organizer in Westchester – Adam will ask Jose Schiffino
If we are unable to find speakers on Panama and Colombia, we should include some of the speakers from last week’s teach-in, including:
Michael Tikili – Adam or Ruth
John Maher – Adam
Adam will tell Occupy Town Square we want to do teach-in and preferred time.
c. Commons Forum (February 16th-18th) – 15 minutes
“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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to get on the googlegroup.” (additional details in Supplemental Material below)
They never got back to us, so we can only assume they don’t want us to speak.
d. Brooklyn Food Conference (submission deadline Feb 15, Conference is May 12) – 20 minutes
See supplemental material on page 8 for background.
Note from Christina:
“Nancy Romer of Brooklyn Food Conference thinks we should go ahead and submit two proposals, one that’s more of an overview of free trade and one that’s more action-oriented. Also, I looked at the workshops that have been submitted thus far, and there is absolutely nothing listed that resembles either of these two workshops. The most remotely connected proposed workshop thus far is one on biofuels. I am attaching the list of proposed workshops in case you would like to take a look for yourself. So my suggestion is that you discuss these two workshops with those who are there tonight and then, if it would be helpful, I would be happy to work with you or whomever else by phone later this week to write them up and submit. Also, if folks end up agreeing to do a teach-in on Saturday, I’d be happy to collaborate on that. Sorry again I can’t make it, but please count me in on these items and any other areas where I can be helpful.”
We will arrange a conference call to talk about panels at the Brooklyn Food Conference. If Christina is available, we will hold the call on Friday from 1-3PM.
5. Actions – 25 minutes
a. Killings in Panama and Colombia
Now that killings have take place after the FTA we should take action. After the signing of the Peru FTA, we did a civil disobedience action at Senator Clinton’s office in 2008 when farmers were killed and after the Bagua massacre in 2009 we did a civil disobedience action at Senator Schumer’s office.
We will discuss this at the Occupy Town Square Teach-in on Saturday.
We could protest Schumer and Gilibrand, but they voted for the Panama FTA and against the Colombia FTA.
Ruth: As long as they voted for either one, that’s all that matters.
Adam: Colombians may not be as enthuastic to come to a protest against someone who didn’t vote for the Colombia FTA, so the ideal target would be someone who voted for both:
Crowley is an Uribista – in his speeches he talks about how he was in Colombia and said to Uribe “Mr. Uribe, what about impunity in your country?” And Uribe said “Congressman, there is no impunity in my country.”
Would be nice to announce protest on Saturday.
Having a conversation after teach-in.
Ruth – What about discussing an action during Friday’s conference call to plan BFC panels?
Adam – might be better to plan an action at the teach-in. The downside is if we don’t plan the action until the teach-in, there’s no way we can flyer for an action at the teach-in. Maybe we should have a separate conference call just for action planning?
Ruth – when Gloria is calling people to see if they can speak on Saturday, she can see if they would also be interested in a conference call. However, they might not be interested. Asking people to speak and do a call may be throwing too much at them at once. It will be better to just encourage them to come on Saturday and then plan with them there.
Adam and Gloria agree.
b. International Day of Action Against ACTA (February 11th)
We don’t have time time work on this.
c. Occupy Our Food Supply (February 27th)
6. Web Collaboration Proposal from Global Justice
Working Group Member – 10 minutes
7. Grassroots Housing Initiative – 10 minutes
For Future Meetings:
a. Reading Group: No Ordinary Deal Edited by Jane Kelsey
a.New Labor/Social Justice Movements Panel @ NYU (Mar 21/22)
b. Brooklyn Peace Fair
c. Trade Justice issues: Film screenings at 56 Walker
a. Global Action To Disrupt The Business Of Pollution (March 23rd &24th)
b Crowley Town Hall Protest (April 11th)
4. 2012 Strategy Meeting
5. Political/Legislative Action
a. Congressional WTO Consumer Rights Pledge
b. New York State Labor and Trade Act
6. Relationship with OWS
a. OWS Email account – what should go to the list?
b. Collaboration with Global Justice Group
c. How Occupy Wall Street Trade Justice WG and TradeJustice NY Metro can work together.
d. participating in Spokescouncil and General Assembly.
e. permanent liaisons with other working groups
f. outreach to Neighborhood/Borough Occupations.
4. OUTREACH OPPORTUNTIES
c. Commons Forum
Making Worlds: An OWS Forum on the Commons
February 16-18, 2012
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 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?;
3) How can we think of social and political relationships as a commons in its own right?
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.
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.
d. 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.
a. Killings in Colombia and Panama
*1. Panama: One Killed in Renewed Indigenous Protests.
At least one indigenous protester was killed on the morning of Feb. 5 as Panamanian riot police cleared roadblocks that members of the Ngöbe-Buglé group had maintained for six days in the western provinces of Chiriquí and Veraguas. Protest leaders identified the victim as Jerónimo Montezuma; they said he died of a gunshot wound in the chest in San Félix, Chiriquí. The roadblocks were set up in the latest round in an ongoing dispute between the Ngöbe-Buglé, Panama’s largest indigenous group, and the government of rightwing president Ricardo Martinelli over environmental protections in indigenous territories [see Update #1103].
“The anti-riot units only have crowd control equipment and no lethal arms,” Security Minister José Raúl Mulino told the Telemetro television channel later in the day, “so this person couldn’t have died from [police] gunfire.” Mulino blamed the protesters for the violence, charging that they had thrown rocks at agents, had burned down a police station in San Félix, had tried to attack a police station in the Chiriquí capital, David, and had looted a bank branch. But Omayra Silvera, a protest leader, told RPC radio: “The riot police fired on us. We were demonstrating so quietly, peacefully, and they repressed us.” Police agents “fired bullets, birdshot [or rubber bullets] and tear gas [grenades],” Carlos de la Cruz, a Catholic priest in Tolé, Chiriquí, told the media, saying he’d taken three wounded protesters to the hospital and had seen the projectiles.
“The important thing is that traffic has been made normal,” Security Minister Mulino said, “that the police are clearing the highways of debris, tree trunks, sheet metal, and that the trucks have started to circulate.” In addition to dispersing the demonstrations, the government cut off cell phone communication in the western region.
The Ngöbe-Buglé used militant protests in February, March and October of 2011 to block President Martinelli’s efforts to change the Mining Code in ways that the Ngöbe-Buglé said would open up indigenous territories to mining. The government finally agreed to have the revised law include a ban on open-pit mining in the territories, but it refused to exclude hydroelectric projects. The Ngöbe-Buglé responded on Jan. 30 by blocking major roads, including the Pan American highway. The action largely cut off Panama’s communication with Costa Rica, stranding tourists and causing shortages in Panamanian cities.
According to Adonais Cortés, a member of a Catholic commission seeking to start a dialogue, the protesters had agreed to lift the roadblocks if the government would negotiate. Government delegates failed to attend talks set up by the church on Feb. 4. After the violence on Feb. 5, Cortés said the government no longer has any credibility; he called the burning of the San Félix police station the result of anger after Montezuma’s death. (AP 2/3/12 via Houston Chronicle; AFP 2/5/12 via Tiempo (Veracruz, Mexico); AP 2/5/12 via La Prensa Gráfica (El Salvador))
As of Feb. 2 some 19 Panamanian environmental, grassroots and labor organizations, along with 15 international organizations, had endorsed a statement calling on the government to respect indigenous rights, to avoid the use of force and to resolve the issues through negotiations. (Enlace Indígena 2/2/12) A petition is posted online in English and Spanish asking the National Assembly to pass the mining law requested by the Ngöbe-Buglé and calling on President Martinelli to enter into negotiations with the mediation of the Catholic bishop of David. (Petition accessed 2/5/12)
Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas – CAOI
Bolivia, Ecuador, Perú, Colombia, Chile, Argentina
¡Solidaridad urgente con el Pueblo Indígena Ngäbe-Buglé de Panamá!
Gobierno y Congreso incumplen compromiso de respeto a los territorios indígenas. Represión violenta deja un muerto y decenas de heridos.
Nuevamente se derrama sangre indígena en el Abya Yala. El gobierno de Panamá, presidido por Ricardo Martinelli, está reprimiendo violentamente al Pueblo Ngäbe-Buglé, que desde hace una semana mantenía bloqueada la Carretera Interoceánica en protesta por el incumplimiento del compromiso, tanto del Poder Ejecutivo como del Congreso, de respetar los territorios indígenas y no permitir en ellos actividades de exploración y explotación minera.
El ataque con armas de fuego y bombas lacrimógenas contra las comunidades indígenas de San Félix, San Lorenzo, Horconcito y Viguí, se inició la madrugada del domingo 5 de febrero y ya ha dejado un muerto, decenas de heridos y detenidos. Organizaciones de los pueblos indígenas panameños Guna Yala y Embera, entre otros, han manifestado ya su solidaridad y en diversas zonas del país, obreros, docentes y otros gremios se han movilizado en apoyo al Pueblo Ngäbe-Buglé y han sido igualmente reprimidos. También han empezado a llegar voces de apoyo de otros países del continente.
El conflicto se produjo porque la Asamblea de Diputados inició el debate de una Ley de Minería que desconoce el compromiso asumido por los poderes Ejecutivo y Legislativo. El 27 de octubre del 2011, el Presidente del Congreso, Edilberto Sánchez, suscribió un acta de compromiso con el Pueblo Ngäbe-Buglé, que acuerda incluir en la ley minera la creación de un Régimen Especial para la Protección de los Recursos Minerales, Hídricos y Ambientales de los pueblos indígenas, pero el proyecto que ahora se debate ha eliminado este artículo.
El Pueblo Ngäbe-Buglé ha señalado que está dispuesto a dialogar con el gobierno, pero para ello exige el cese de la represión, la libertad de los detenidos y la atención médica de los heridos.
La criminalización del ejercicio de derechos indígenas, en particular de los derechos territoriales, a la libre determinación y al consentimiento previo, libre e informado, es una constante de los gobiernos neoliberales en el continente, que en su afán de servir a las multinacionales reprimen, persiguen, apresan, enjuician e incluso asesinan a nuestros pueblos, para imponer a sangre y fuego la minería, otras actividades extractivas (petróleo, forestales, etc.) y los megaproyectos de infraestructura (carreteras, hidroeléctricas, etc.).
En Amazonas, Perú, se produjo la Masacre de Bagua en junio del 2009, cuando el gobierno de Alan García emitió un paquete de decretos legislativos para implementar el Tratado de Libre Comercio con Estados Unidos, decretos que vulneraban los derechos territoriales indígenas. Los neoliberales de hoy en el Abya Yala son los herederos de los latifundistas que reprimieron en numerosas masacres las tomas de tierras en el Perú y otros países. Y estos oligarcas son los herederos directos de los encomenderos coloniales. El saqueo de las minas, la fiebre por el oro y otros metales, continúan siendo la Biblia de los poderosos.
Pero los pueblos indígenas del Abya Yala seguimos vivos, ya no somos invisibles, somos sujetos de derechos, pasamos de la resistencia a la organización, la propuesta, la articulación.
La Coordinadora Andina de Organizaciones Indígenas (CAOI) expresa su más firme solidaridad con el Pueblo Ngäbe-Buglé, exige el cese de la represión y demanda el cumplimiento de los compromisos de respeto a los territorios y de todos los derechos de los pueblos indígenas de Panamá y de todo el Abya Yala.
Lima, 6 de febrero de 2012.
Por el Consejo Directivo:
Miguel Palacín Quispe
Coordinador General CAOI
b. International Day of Action Against ACTA
On February 11, the world will be out in an unprecedented showing of solidarity against ACTA. Protests are being organized all over the globe to show the European Parliament that they must reject ACTA. Though many countries have signed the treaty already, if the EP rejects ACTA, it will be sent into the dustbin on history!
It’s time we wielded the internet to defend the internet! Look below to see a list and map of where the protests are being held. Here’s what you can do:
If you want to attend one of the events below, click the link and RSVP (There are demonstrations listed for other days as well, so please double-check the date)
What should you know about ACTA?
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, or ACTA, is a controversial trade agreement negotiated in secret by a handful of countries that seeks to establish international standards for intellectual property right enforcement.
As the United States, Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore and South Korea have already signed the agreement, we have turned our attention to the European Union as the last bastion of hope to stop the ascension of this dangerous agreement. In the EU, ACTA is being decided on a national level, and will soon make its way to the European Parliament for a final consent vote.
It is imperative that Parliament votes “No” on ACTA. Access, European Digital Rights, and the Trans-Atlantic Consumer Dialogue have put together a booklet (found here) to outline the serious implications from a variety of perspectives (human rights, trade, innovation, democracy and legality). These organisations represent civil society, which has been utterly shut out of negotiations of this controversial and ill-conceived agreement.
So why is ACTA important, and what makes it so controversial?
ACTA lacks democratic credibility because it was negotiated in secret, undermining democratic principles of transparency and multistakeholderism;
ACTA poses a threat to free speech and access to culture by, among other issues, encouraging private companies to police users of the internet;
ACTA threatens privacy, as ISPs will be obliged to carry out surveillance on all users;
ACTA could have a chilling effect on innovation by disincentivizing startups and encouraging anti-competitive behaviour;
ACTA would harm trade by giving the U.S. a structural competitive advantage over other countries in addition to creating barriers for international trade;
ACTA lacks legal clarity with vaguely drafted language, and is clearly not aligned with current international and European legal standards.
As we have already mentioned through other campaigns and blog posts (such as our campaign againt a proposed draconian copyright law in Colombia and our views on copyright), Access is deeply concerned about this worrying trend which seeks to place the interests of large corporations ahead of the well-being of citizens.
ACTA will affect all of us. At this important juncture, we must stand strong and reject such agreements which undermine democracy and the rule of law and trample on our fundamental rights.
c. Occupy Our Food Supply!
Global Day of Action: Monday, Feb. 27, 2012
Whereas- corporate control of our food systems has increasingly harmed people, our ecosystems and our climate
Whereas- many people in many places are reclaiming our food supply by creating localized food systems that practice fair and ecological principles
Whereas- united, our food movements can reach a scale required to challenge the corporate food regime that has prioritized profit over health and sustainability
Whereas- to create healthy local food systems globally we must both create the alternatives we are calling for and resist the corporate and political forces creating toxic, GMO, unhealthy
Whereas- local organic food systems & agroecology hold more hope for meeting our world’s food needs than corporate food regimes profiting from speculation and land grabs for exports
Whereas- we stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities and communities around the world that are struggling against hunger, exploitation, and unfair labor practices that benefit only the 1%
Whereas- we all have to eat, and we don’t want to eat corporate crud
Be It Resolved by
We endorse/will participate in a shared, decentralized Global Day of Action on Monday, February 27:
We will occupy our food supply by highlighting either how we the 99% are creating healthy, local, sustainable food systems, or how we are resisting the corporate food regime, the 1%.
We can make our own media and share our day of action, our stories or pictures with others taking action to stand up and be counted as our food movements unite and grow stronger to resist corporate exploitation of the stuff of life.
We challenge corporate power and corporate personhood. We will demonstrate real humanity and our commitment to food system alternatives that work for everyone, globally.
- Grow your own garden
- Support a local farmer’s market
- Sign up for a CSA box (CSA= Community Support Agriculture)
- Support grocers and real, affordable food in low-income neighborhoods & food deserts
-Start/join a food justice committee in your local General Assembly
-Your great idea here ____________
-Occupy Cargill at a facility near you
-Avoid big box grocery stores for 1 week+
-Expose Monsanto’s GMO crimes & demand labelling of GMOs
-Fight corporate personhood
-Call out the corrupted revolving door of BigAg executives at the FDA (Food and Drug Administration)
- Your great idea here ________________
6. WEB COLLABORATION PROPOSAL FROM GLOBAL JUSTICE WG MEMBER
From: Becky Hurwitz email@example.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!
7. GRASSROOTS HOUSING INITIATIVE
I am contacting you today about an autonomous initiative I am trying to puttogether to benefit Occupiers who have proven they can form an intentionalcommunity at Park Slope Church and whom are fairly active members of theMovement, be it through assemblies and Direct Actions or as parts of Working Groups directly benefitting the Movement on a daily basis.
I’ve obtained your contact information via NYCGA.net, and am contacting you this one time only as Internet point person for your Working Group; simply do not respond, and I shall not be contacting you again. However, it is my hope that a broad coalition of Working Groups acting together can band together to keep Park Slope Church open through March 15th to keep our Occupiers who are dedicated to the Movement housed until the coming of spring and #M17, and I hope you might at least be willing to read further and contact your Working Group about this initiative – if we spread the responsibility widely enough across a broad coalition, it will be a light weight upon us all but will support a large number of people who have been active in supporting Occupy Wall Street, many of whom put their lives on hold in order to be here and whom I for one feel obligated to attempt to support in the time between now and the coming of potential good camping weather come springtime.
As of the closure of West Park Church on 1/29/12, we had ~120 Occupiers being housed through OWS housing support systems. West Park Church has stayed open quietly for 20 occupiers willing and able to use it as a hostel for the cost of $7 per night, solving many of the problems of non-dedicated individuals freeloading off of the system we had set into place and damaging the good name of Occupy Wall Street with bad behavior. Since the Housing budget proposal that was passed requiring the closure of Park Slope Church this weekend, Park Slope denied housing access to three individuals who have repeatedly caused problems and no new problems, big or small, have since appeared. Those three were responsible for the great bulk of the friction and bad behavior within that space, and since their removal from that community Park Slope has functioned as a strong community of dedicated activists living peacefully together on a nightly basis.
Park Slope Church is currently closing its housing of Occupiers, with its last night being Monday, 2/6. There is, however, the possibility of reopening after a community meeting of the church parish on Thursday, 2/9, if there is support of our community behind these proposed residents and financial support to match the price that was covering heating and other
utilities costs that were ramped up because the heat is not otherwise kept on overnight – the space comfortably houses a community of 30 activists, at a price of $20 per person per week. Town Planning as a Working Group has consensed to support one of these 30 activists as its share of the burden it is also asking others to take up by positive example – committing to $20 per week for the next five weeks, split amongst its members – as well as consensed to actively provide housing for a member of its Working Group via couchsurfing for this time as well.
Between the 20 activists being housed at West Park, the room for 30 more at Park Slope, and the possibility of couchsurfing to support the remainder of active Working Group members whom we are willing to vouch for as individuals based on our interaction with them within our Working Group, we possess the ability as a group to house each activist that is active within Working Groups without a GA or Spokes Council budget proposal, for a very small individual commitment if evenly distributed amongst working groups with access to personal funds and individual apartments could share a little of their resources. This housing was denied by the Operational Spokes Council, and I do not disagree that it was right to do so – but
housing as a general concept, for those who are committed to our movement and willing to abide by a higher standard of behavior than we ourselves have consensed upon as a whole, is also the right thing to do, and I hope that your Working Group would be willing to assist in this grassroots endeavor.
Logistically, I am contactable via this email address ( firstname.lastname@example.org) or my NYCGA.net account (
http://www.nycga.net/members/smckeown/) if you or your Working Group is willing to commit to either sides of this initiative. For transparency, I will be collating the commitments people are willing to take on as repeating obligations as they come in, and if we reach 75% autonomously through this initiative the residents of Park Slope themselves are able to commit to the remainder, with those who are best able to scrounge up cash living on the streets supporting those newly-homeless activists who do not possess quite the same level of street savvy. I would like the Working Groups to show support AND the community members to show autonomous support for themselves, but those of us who work for a living earn income at a much more advantageous exchange rate of time to money, so if we happen to get over 75% I won’t worry the details until we reach 100%. At 100%,
obviously, we’ll stop.
I will collect this list of commitments and track them using an Excel spreadsheet, either using your name (if you don’t mind it being shared) or your chosen designator (if you do) to mark you and your Working Group’s commitment to this project. I will, if we reach the necessary level of commitment and with this support are able to convince the parish of Park Slope church to continue housing Occupiers for the remainder of winter, front the first week’s money myself and seek to collect funds after-the-fact, to ensure there is no question whether these funds are going to the need we are seeking to service collectively via our commitment to this obligation, and will use a transparent receipting system just as if this were a GA proposal being paid out of OWS Accounting. These receipts will not be refundable by Accounting, but they will be published (again, why you’d need to choose either to use your name or a chosen designator, if you wish to be an anonymous donor in this initiative) so that the proper standards of OWS transparency are maintained. The easiest way to do this
would be via accountable tracking and PayPal, but if that is not an option for you and your Working Group it is not required.
Thank you for your time and consideration, and I hope that I will hear from at least some of you soon. We have between now and Wednesday evening to set this potential system into place, and this is both plenty of time and not quite enough to be sure that it will work out. I had hoped to discuss this at Spokes Council last night with all of the Working Groups present, but that plan didn’t exactly pan out. Alas!
FOR FUTURE MEETINGS
a. Reading Group: No Ordinary Deal
No Ordinary Deal: Unmasking the Trans-Pacific Partnership Free Trade Agreement Edited by Jane Kelsey (ed) ISBN: 9781877242502 Published: 2010 220pp
The Trans-Pacific Partnership is no ordinary free trade deal. Billed as an agreement fit for the twenty-first century, no one is sure what that means. For its champions in New Zealand a free trade agreement with the US is a magic bullet – opening closed doors for Fonterra into the US dairy market. President Obama sells it as the key to jobs and economic recovery, while protecting home markets. Australia hails it as a foundation stone for an APEC-wide free trade agreement.
None of these arguments stacks up. All nine participant countries except Vietnam are heavily liberalised, deregulated and privatised. They already have many free trade deals between them. Who really believes that US dairy markets will be thrown open to New Zealand, or that China, India and Japan will sign onto a treaty they had no role in designing?
No Ordinary Deal unmasks the fallacies of the TPPA. Experts from Australia, New Zealand, the US and Chile examine the geopolitical and security context of the negotiations and set out some of the costs for New Zealand and Australia of making trade-offs to the US simply to achieve a deal.
‘Trade’ agreement is a misnomer. The TPPA is not primarily about imports and exports. Its obligations will intrude into core areas of government policy and Parliamentary responsibilities. If the US lobby has its way, the rules will restrict how drug-buying agencies Pharmac (in New Zealand) and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (in Australia) can operate, and the kind of food standards and intellectual property laws we can have. Foreign investors will be able to sue the government for measures that erode their investment. The TPPA will govern how we regulate the finance industry or other services, along with our capacity to create jobs at home.
Above all, No Ordinary Deal exposes the contradictions of locking our countries even deeper into a neoliberal model of global free markets – when even political leaders admit that this has failed.
The Contributors: Jane Kelsey, Bryan Gould, Patricia Ranald, Lori Wallach, Todd Tucker, José Aylwin, Paul Buchanan, John Quiggin, Warwick Murray, Edward Challies, David Adamson, Geoff Bertram, Tom Faunce, Ruth Townsend, Susy Frankel, Jock Given, Ted Murphy, Bill Rosenberg, Nan Seuffert
Introduction, Jane Kelsey
One. The Political Implications for New Zealand of a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, Bryan Gould
Two. The Politics of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in Australia, Patricia Ranald
Three. US Politics, Lori Wallach and Todd Tucker
Four. The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Indigenous People: Lessons from Latin America, José Aylwin
Five. Security Implications of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Paul G. Buchanan
Six. Lesson from the Australian–US Free Trade Agreement, John Quiggin
Seven. Agriculture and Fonterra, Warwick Murray and Ed Challies
Eight. Quarantine and Food Safety, David Adamson
Nine. Border Carbon Adjustments and Climate-change Policy in a Free-trade Agreement with the United States, Geoff Bertram
Ten. Potential Influence of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement on Domestic Public Health and Medicine Policies, Thomas Faunce and Ruth Townsend
Eleven. Intellectual Property and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Susy Frankel
Twelve. Culture and Information, Jock Given
Thirteen. Government Procurement and Labour Issues, Ted Murphy
Fourteen. Management of International Capital and Investment: Making the Hard Harder, Bill Rosenberg
Fifteen. Trade in Services, Jane Kelsey
Sixteen. Trans-Pacific Partnership and Financial Services, Nan Seuffert and Jane Kelsey
a. New Labor/Social Justice Movements Panel
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.
Here is some more information about our upcoming conference (newly titled with Stuart Hall reference),
“Winning the Crisis: Alternatives, Possibilities, Futures, Organizing“
This will be on Wednesday and Thursday March 21st and 22nd.
There will be 2 panels on each day from 11am-1pm, a break for lunch (provided by the dept) and then the 2nd panel from 3pm-5pm.
Wednesday will have a literary panel on speculative fiction & temporality, and the second panel will focus on archives & activism.
Thursday will focus on new social movements with one panel revolving around debt, and another on labor, immigration, & organizing- which I am helping to put together. We haven’t quite confirmed what panels are on what day, but I’m hoping for Thursday for this panel.
The Keynote of this conference will be Lisa Lowe on Thursday at 6pm with her talk, “The Fetishism of Colonial Commodities and the Intimacies of Four Continents”. Because of Lisa’s work around commodities, free trade, and imperialism I thought it would be great to have the prospective panel Trade Justice might be on in close proximity. You can see more about her talk and scholarship here: http://www.nyu-apastudies.org/new/event.php?type=1_event&event_id=343
We are still working on confirming speakers for each panel, fleshing out descriptions for each panel and the conference as whole, and figuring out things like publicity and catering, but I hope this helps and that Trade Justice is on board! Let me know what you think and if the possible times and day works for your group,
b. 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.
a. Global Action To Disrupt The Business Of Pollution
Endorsed by NYCGA
What & When: #99forEarth – 99 percent for the Earth
Friday March 23rd Occupy the Business of Pollution
Saturday March 24th 99 Percent for the Earth Global Rally
Where: Globally Coordinated actions by Occupy groups and ally
organizations- Connecting the dots between the 1% and the destruction of the planet
First Inter-occupy call: Thursday 2/9/12 – 8:30PM EST
*(Additional calls will be bi-weekly leading up to the event)
REGISTER on Maestro:
Friday March 23rd – Occupy the Business of Pollution: A day of global direct action to disrupt and expose the dirty business as usual and its political supporters. We will occupy corrupt polluters, politicians and front groups like Duke Energy, ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, the American Petroleum Institute, through a diversity of creative actions on a local level.
Saturday March 24th – 99 Percent for Earth Global Rally : A day of global mass rallies where families, community groups and individuals from all backgrounds march in cities around the world to demand a livable planet for all.
Ongoing Campaign (March 24 to April 22nd): Launch campaign to have individuals around globe to take measurable actions locally, nationally and globally to raise awareness and withdraw support from the polluters and their supporters. This will be in the vein of “Move your Money Day” and similar campaigns while leaving space for a diversity of non-violent tactics.
Call to Action: We are at a dangerous tipping point in history. The
destruction of our planet and climate change are almost at a point of no return. Our mountains in Appalachia are blasted; our drinking water in the northeast threatened by natural gas fracking and our forests in the northwest targeted for further deforestation. Our climate and earth risk never returning to a balanced state.
At this crucial moment, a small group of polluting businesses financed by the 1% have hijacked our political system for their benefit. They’ve rigged the system by paying off politicians, who in turn give these companies taxpayer handouts to continue to destroy our planet and atmosphere.
While the a majority of American people call out for alternative energy sources, our government only responds to the interests of these big polluters. The very corporations that lobby our government in order to pollute, publicly admit that climate change is an issue, but ignore it in favor of continued record profits for Wall Street.
Many around the country have taken steps to make our lives and communities more sustainable and resilient, but Congress has done nothing. We must reclaim our democracy to protect our planet. We need to take action for 100% of the occupants of the planet.
We are calling on all Occupy groups and our ally organizations around the country and the world to join us for 2 days that will launch a month long campaign where actionable steps to stop business as usual and expose the corrupt alliance of the 1% and our democratically elected leaders.
The fossil fuel industry is the most profitable enterprise in human
history, and to defend those profits for a few more years the oil, coal,
and gas companies are prepared to ignore clear scientific warning, and even the catastrophes already marking the early stages of climate change. Not only that, they’re prepared to use some of their money to warp the political process so that action never comes. We can’t outspend them, but we can use people power to fight back and disrupt the system.
There are a multitude of ways fossil fuel companies have infiltrated the political process to receive sweetheart deals and rote handouts. These include, but are not limited to:
- Tax breaks – Highly profitable utilities like Duke energy pay
effective 0% tax rates due to state and federal incentives.
- Direct production subsidies – Certain utilities receive direct funding from DOE and other agencies to research and operationalize new fossil fuel extraction methods, including highly dangerous practices.
- Regulatory subsidies – The natural gas industry, for example, dumps toxic hydrofracking fluids into municipal wastewater treatment plants, and into the soil, for free, leaving taxpayers footing the cleanup bills, because those fluids are not regulated.
- Public land access – Big oil companies like Shell are given free or
cheap access to oil in fragile ecosystems like the Arctic, putting them at risk of spills.
Each year, the oil and gas industries get more than $4bn in subsidies and tax breaks.
Current members of Congress took over $25 million in campaign contributions from the oil, coal and gas industries in 2009-2010. This follows a decade-long trend of increasing contributions and influence. Since 1999, these Dirty Energy industries have shelled out over $137 million in contributions to members of Congress.
b. Crowley Protest
-From Crowley’s Chief of Staff :
Hi Ray – as per our conversation the town hall we are hosting with
Councilmember Dromm is in the planning stages for April 11th and we are looking at holding it at the Jackson Heights Jewish Center. As soon as we firm up the venue I will let you know for sure and we would welcome your participation. I will get back to you regarding a follow up meeting. Thanks for staying in touch.
4. STRATEGY MEETING
Agenda so far:
1. Political Opportunities 2012
2. Messaging to OWS
3. Web Outreach Strategy
5. POLITICAL/LEGISLATIVE ACTION
a. 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 email@example.com.
b. New York Jobs and Trade Act
S2398-2011: Enacts the “jobs and trade act”
This bill has been amended.
Same as: A708-2011 / Versions: S2398-2011 S2398A-2011 S2398B-2011 Print HTML Page / Print Original Bill Format / ShareThis / Read or Leave Comments
Enacts the “jobs and trade act”; establishes the labor and trade enforcement task force; requires annual trade impact reports; preserves state authority over procurement policies.
Sponsor: MAZIARZ / Committee: LABOR
Law Section: Labor Law / Law: Add Art 21 SS750 – 752, Lab L
Jan 4, 2012: REFERRED TO LABOR
Oct 7, 2011: PRINT NUMBER 2398B
Oct 7, 2011: AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO LABOR
Sep 28, 2011: PRINT NUMBER 2398A
Sep 28, 2011: AMEND (T) AND RECOMMIT TO LABOR
Jan 19, 2011: REFERRED TO LABOR
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the labor law, in relation to enacting the “jobs and
To ensure that New York’s citizens and the
legislators they elect have access to information on the impact of international trade policy on New York State’s economy, Also, to clearly establish the role of the New York State Legislature in setting trade policies for the state, while helping workers and businesses that have been impacted by trade.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
This bill requires the consent of the state legislature, not the governor, in order to bind New York to international trade agreements and establishes Legislative Points of Contact to serve as official liaisons with the Governor’s office and Federal Government on trade policy. It establishes a labor and trade enforcement task force within the Department of Labor to analyze the potential impact of trade proposals to the state, assess the impact of trade on the state economy and make trade policy recommendations, and assist local workers, firms and communities on trade matters. This office will be required to provide annual reports to the Governor and the Legislature on the impact of trade on New York State and requires the Governor and Legislature to respond to recommendations for handling the impact of trade on the state.
Recent international trade agreements have threatened to erode the traditional degree of autonomy that states have had to set their own procurement policies by requiring state governments to treat international suppliers as favorably as they do in-state suppliers. The New York State Legislature must work to preserve the state’s authority over procurement policy and to ensure that the public is informed and involved in the discussion process. To protect the state’s economy and its citizens, the state must enact this legislation. This bill will ensure that the state has continued input to the trade decisions that affect its economy.
With the growth in globalization and America’s increased dependence on international trade, those trade agreements have a direct impact on the lives and livelihoods of New York State’s citizens. Therefore the legislature must do everything in its power to ensure that trade agreements are made which benefit the state’s citizens and economy.
S.4786-A of 2007-08; Passed Senate
S.3350 of 2009-10; Referred to Labor
120 days after it shall have become law, with provisions.
S T A T E O F N E W Y O R K
2011-2012 Regular Sessions
I N SENATE
January 19, 2011
Introduced by Sen. MAZIARZ — read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor
AN ACT to amend the labor law, in relation to enacting the “jobs and trade act”
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. Short title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
the “jobs and trade act”.
S 2. The labor law is amended by adding a new article 21 to read as follows:
JOBS AND TRADE ACT
Section 750. Legislative intent.
751. Role of the legislature in trade policy.
752. Labor and trade enforcement task force.
S 750. Legislative intent. The legislature hereby determines and
1. States have traditionally enjoyed a large degree of autonomy to set their own procurement and employment policies under the u.s. system of federalism.
2. Recent international trade agreements threaten to erode this traditional state autonomy by requiring state governments to accord foreigns uppliers of goods and services treatment no less favorable than that afforded to in-state suppliers. In addition, the agreements stipulate that state contract specifications must not burden trade any more than necessary, and limit supplier qualifications to qualifications that are “essential” to the performance of the contract.
3. State legislators have an important role to play in preserving
State authority over procurement policy. These critical decisions should be made only with the involvement of the legislature, and only after the public has been adequately informed and has openly debated the issues involved.
4. It is critical for citizens, state agencies, the legislature, and other elected officials in the state to have access to information about how trade impacts state legislative authority, the state’s economy, and
existing state laws in order to participate in an informed debate about International trade issues.
5. It is the sense of this legislature that the Congress of the United
States should pass legislation instructing the United States Trade
Representative (USTR) fully and formally consult individual state legislatures regarding procurement, services, investment, or any other trade agreement rules that impact state laws or authority before negotiations begin and as they develop, and to seek consent from state legislatures in addition to governors prior to binding states to conform their laws to the terms of international commercial agreements. Such legislation is necessary to ensure the prior informed consent of the state with regard to future international trade and investment agreements.
S 751. Role of the legislature in trade policy.
1. It shall be the policy of the state that approval for the state to be bound by any trade agreement requires the consent of the legislature.
2. The following actions are required before the state shall consent
To the terms of a trade agreement:
A. When a request has been received, the governor, the temporary president of the senate or the speaker of the assembly may submit to the legislature, on a day on which both houses are in session, a copy of the final legal text of the agreement, together with:
I. A report by the labor and trade enforcement task force which shall include an analysis of how the agreement of the state to the specific provisions of the agreement shall change or affect existing state law;
Ii. A statement of any administrative action proposed to implement
These trade agreement provisions in the state; and
Iii. A draft of legislation authorizing the state to sign on to the specific listed provisions of the agreement in question.
B. A public hearing to be conducted by the chairpersons of the senate and assembly labor committees, with adequate public notice, shall occur before the legislature votes on the legislation; and
C. The legislation authorizing the state to sign on to specific listed provisions of an agreement is enacted into law.
3. The attorney general shall notify the ustr of the policies established in this article in writing no later than december thirty-first and shall provide copies of such notice to the temporary president of the senate, speaker of the assembly, the governor and the state’s congressional delegation.
S 752. Labor and trade enforcement task force.
1. There shall be within the department the labor and trade enforcement task force.
2. The labor and trade enforcement task force is directed to:
A. Monitor trade negotiations and disputes impacting the state economy;
B. Analyze pending trade agreements the state is considering signing and provide the analysis to the governor, the legislature and the public;
C. Provide technical assistance to workers and firms impacted by unfair trade practices;
D. Provide a trade impact report to the governor, the temporary president of the senate, the Speaker of the Assembly, and the public no later than March thirty-first, two thousand twelve and annually thereafter;
E. Provide additional research and analysis as requested by the governor and the temporary president of the senate and the speaker of the Assembly;
F. Serve as the state’s official liaisons with the federal government and as the legislature’s liaisons with the governor on trade-related matters;
G. Serve as the designated recipients of federal requests for consent or consultation regarding investment, procurement, services or other provisions of international trade agreements which impinge on state law or regulatory authority reserved to the state;
H. Transmit information regarding federal requests for consent to the office of the governor, the attorney general and the chairpersons of the Senate and assembly labor committees;
I. Issue a formal request to other appropriate state agencies to provide analysis of all proposed trade agreements’ impact on legislative authority and the economy of the state;
J. Inform all members of the legislature on a regular basis about ongoing trade negotiations and dispute settlement proceedings with implications for the state more generally;
K. Communicate the interests and concerns of the legislature to the USTR regarding ongoing and proposed trade negotiations; and
L. Notify the ustr of the outcome of any legislative action.
3. Each annual trade impact report required by this section shall
A. An audit of the amount of public contract work being performed overseas;
B. An audit of government goods being procured from overseas;
C. A study of trade’s impacts on state and local employment levels, tax revenues and retraining and adjustment costs;
D. An analysis of the constraints trade rules place on state regulato
Ry authority, including but not limited to the state’s ability to
Preserve the environment, protect public health and safety, and provide high-quality public services; and
E. Findings and recommendations of specific actions the state should
Take in response to the impacts of trade on the state identified in this section.
4. Such actions may include, but shall not be limited to:
A. Revocation of the state’s consent to be bound by the procurement rules of international trade agreements;
B. Prohibition of offshore performance of state contract work and preferences for domestic content in state purchasing;
C. State support for cases brought under federal trade laws by residents of the state;
D. State advocacy for reform of trade agreements and trade laws at the federal level; and
E. Implementation of a high-road growth strategy formulated with business, labor and community participation.
5. Such a strategy may include, but not be limited to:
A. More effective early warning and layoff aversion measures;
B. Increased assistance and adjustment programs for displaced workers and trade-impacted communities;
C. Stronger standards and accountability for recipients of state subsidies and incentives;
D. Investments in workforce training and development;
E. Investments in technology and infrastructure; and
F. Increased access to capital for local producers.
6. Within thirty days of receipt of the annual trade impact report:
A. The governor shall review the report and issue a public statement explaining which of the report’s recommendations for specific action the governor will act upon in the next thirty days, whether through executive action or proposed legislation; and
B. The legislature shall review the report, hold public hearings on the report’s recommendations for specific action and introduce legislation to enact those recommendations accepted by the legislature.
A. The labor and trade enforcement task force shall consist of fifteen members, acting by a majority thereof, and composed of the following: the commissioner of labor, four members appointed by the governor; three members appointed by the governor upon the recommendation of the temporary president of the senate; three members appointed by the governor upon the recommendation of the speaker of the assembly; Two members appointed by the governor upon the recommendation of the New York State American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organizations; and two members appointed by the governor upon the recommendation of the business council.
B. The task force shall:
I. Assess the legal and economic impacts of trade agreements;
Ii. Provide input on the annual trade impact report;
Iii. Hold public hearings on the impact of trade on the state and
Communities, as well as the impact of the annual trade impact report on the state; and
Iv. Make policy recommendations to the governor, legislature, the state’s congressional delegation and u.s. Trade negotiators.
C. The task force shall convene quarterly.
D. The task force shall appoint a chairperson from among its members.
E. The members of the task force shall receive no compensation for their service but shall be allowed their actual and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties.
S 3. This act shall take effect on the one hundred twentieth day after it shall have become a law; provided, however, that effective immediately, the addition, amendment and/or repeal of any rule or regulation necessary for the implementation of this act on its effective date is authorized and directed to be made and completed on or before such effective date.