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OWS Animal Issues Meeting: MINUTES

February 8, 2012


Attendees: Ruth, Adam, David K, Johanna, Alexis

Alexis facilitated

Johanna/Alexis took notes
Ruth –Time Keeper


1. Consensus: Johanna will own agenda for next meeting


2. Discussion of previous activities:

Eco Cluster, Sat. Feb. 4th; Summary of the eco-cluster meeting. Affinity groups of OWS included ows Farms, ows sustainability, ows eco-buddies, ows earth summit, ows environmental solidarity as well as people from no-fracking and other environmental coalitions in the area.

About 30-40 people discussed the purpose of the newly formed group:
1) To create/initiate direct actions related to the environment?
2) To support actions initiated by others? General consensus was that the group could do both. Adam reported that he was wary of too much abstract discussion/not enough action. General agreement that the eco-cluster would be a clearing house for working groups. To network and to build. Winnie (sustainability) talked about two tactics for action – Creation vs. Resistance.



3. Alexis’ Proposal: Add in a brief (2-3 sentence) synopsis to each agenda event/action – along with the date of each event/action: for clarity & to refresh memory each week – 3 minutes. Consensed that this was a good point and going forward – will do.


4. Upcoming Occupy Town Square, Feb 11th @ 1-5 pm

Consensed that we do not have enough lead time to provide speakers/forum/teach-in but may be an opportunity for outreach/flyering. Johanna to create draft flyer (generic) and send to group for edits. Alexis (may) be able to go – not 100%. Also Adam may try to go (if he can get there before the eco-cluster meeting)


5. Point of information: March 17 – Occupy The Commons

March 17 is a mass day of action – the 4th anniversary of the war





5. Discussion to set a date for brainstorming / popcorn meet-up. Free Discussion with some structure —

  • How we want to be perceived
  • Campaigns to focus our efforts on
  • Long Term vision
  • Short term projects
  • Tag line? Outreach? Social Media utilization and campaigns

Dates proposed: Sun, February 19th and Sun, March 4th– to be confirmed


6. Occupy the Business of Pollution


They are planning a call to action for the month of March – leading up to April 22 – Earth Day Action. Their goal dates are March 23 and March 24th although after the inter-occupy call (last night – Feb. 9) they may decide to focus on one day: March 24th.

Some possible actions:
1) Bank protests and flyering, targeting those banks that are funding nuclear power and/or fracking.
2) Targeting protests at McDonalds and/or other similar restaurants/stores
3) 99 for earth will be creating an eco-occupy website where all groups can plug in globally.


7. Brooklyn Food Conference – see addendum for more information on the Conference.

Deadline to submit proposals is Feb. 15th. Group discussed list of speakers to propose
Adam, Ruth, and Alexis went through excel spreadsheet of potential speakers and started forming potential panels.
Alexis to draft letter of invitation, to invite potential panel speakers.

Adam suggested two projects

  1. Our own panel or speakers
  2. Sending out the information to get other great speakers to participate


8. Dogwood Demo – 5 minutes — TABLED


9. For Future Meetings / Brainstorming session: Education and Outreach – 10 minutes

Reading Group


10. OWS Vision Statement – 10 minutes


11. Polling – 5 minutes


12. Feb 27 Food Actions – 10 minutes


13. Proposal: OWS Animal Activist Orientation Day. (Identify point person) – 15 minutes

  • Why organize horizontally?
  • Intro to OWS structure
  • Consensus and facilitation training
  • Nonviolent Communication Workshop
  • Anti-oppression training (very preliminary — will require more
    extensive follow-up)
  • Overview of OWS focal issues
  • Discussion on alliance opportunities with OWS projects
  • Gauging interest in this idea among animal activists — will people come?

14. Participating in OWS – 10 minutes

  • GA and Spokes council
  • Liaisons with other working groups – Occupy Big Food, OWS Sustainability Food Subgroup, Vegan Affinity Group, Sustainability, Environmental Solidarity, Kitchen, Global Democracy, Trade Justice, Earth Summit, etc. and researching OWS campaigns


15. Prior Commitments – 4 minutes

  • Animal Ag Forum w/ Environmental Solidarity WG



Tabled Talking Points:

  1. For Future Meetings / Brainstorming session: Education and Outreach – 10 minutes
    1. Videos and Discussion
    2. Panel Idea: Corporations, Animals, and the Environment: Rights, Property, and Personhood
    3. Zine Distribution





OWS Working Group: Visions & Goals: Vision Statement

Working on draft to get passed by the GA


<<A Plea From Your Fellow Comrades/Compatriots at the Vision &

Goals Working Group: >>


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


We have been to the GA twice and was rebuffed on both occasions. In an effort to elicit support to reach consensus, we are humbly asking for your help. Here’s how. Please read our current vision statement over below and reply in one of the following ways: Either email us back that your particular Working Group ENDORSES (twinkles up) or REJECTS (twinkles down) the statement as written.


If your group endorses we will mention this at our next appearance at the GA (with thanks!) If your WG rejects the statement….we dearly would like to know how we could “remove your block.”(also with thanks!)


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


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


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


So let’s move forward together!


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




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




We the people of Occupy Wall Street, in solidarity with the people of the world, gather to build a just society and a flourishing environment for future generations. Our political and economic systems are broken. Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and we live in a world where wealth is power. Our democracy now belongs to the highest bidder. Today, we must remember the lessons of history, restore human dignity and begin anew to build the bonds of trust and goodwill among all.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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



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


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


PEACE: whereby non-violence is embraced as a way of life, and we resolve to live together in harmony and celebrate principles of compassion, appreciation and respect for diversity and the differing views and actions of others. It is not enough to know better; we must do better. Our social and political ideals have to be claimed and asserted by each generation. We look forward to a day when we can shift our focus beyond the notion of individual rights, towards a culture of sharing, where our love and compassion for each other and our world will be the only guides we need. We affirm our commitment to live this new world in our hearts and make it a reality.



Brooklyn Food Conference


The Brooklyn Food Coalition is planning the second Brooklyn Food Conference for May 12th 2012 and we want you to participate! This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a movement that is connecting, educating and empowering people who care about food

justice. The first Brooklyn Food Conference in 2009 galvanized over 3,000 adults and 500 youth from all five boroughs and New York State. The potential for the second Brooklyn Food Conference 2012 is enormous (minimum of 5,000 expected attendees) and we welcome your ideas for workshop proposals.


Workshop proposal deadline: Rolling basis until February 15th


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


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


Size: 20–70 attendees per workshop


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


Strategy Meeting


Agenda so far:


1. Political Opportunities 2012

2. Messaging to OWS

3. Web Outreach Strategy

Brooklyn Peace Fair


The 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



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.


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