OWS Animal Issues Meeting
February 1, 2012
Moses + 1
1. WELCOME AND INTROS
2. Choose Facilitator: Adam
3.Choose Minutetakers: Ruth
4. Choose Timekeeper: Alexis
5. Review Agenda:
Meeting was schedule at 7pm but started at 7:30pm. Johanna was attending another meeting at a table
next to ours, She joint our meeting at about 7:30. When she came to our meeting she said she wanted to
go to this “Occupy the Business of Pollution” meeting at 7:30. It was decided this had to be put in the
agenda. As we reviewed the agenda Johanna criticized how all these items in the agenda kept coming
back from old agendas and how we should focus on time sensitive issues and talk about who we are.
So we did agenda review, went over all the items. This took about 30 minutes.
Who makes next agenda? – proposed time 2 minutes
Alexis volunteers to make the next agenda for Feb 8th
0. Occupy the Business of Pollution – 2 minutes -TABLED
1. Evaluation of week’s activities -15 minutes
– Eco cluster
Johanna reports that it was a good group and well mixed. The only problem was that there was no
breakout to discuss issues and thus no opportunity to network.
It was brought up that next meeting is next Saturday.
Adam explain that each group representative had 3 minutes to speak about their projects and that there
were about 30 projects and only about 75-80 people in the audience which made one person out of two
a speaker. With only three minutes to present a project, it was very difficult.
Adam suggested to Johanna that we are not doing the dogwood action as she said it at the Eco-cluster
but instead what we should be saying is that we want to participate in this action organized by the
Dogwood Alliance and that since we cannot spearhead it because we lack the human resources; we are
asking any group in the Eco-cluster interested in this to collaborate with us.
Adam reports about occupied town square:
Meeting prior to animal issues was not successful;
External outreach was futile;
Mic checks didn’t work;
Drum circle was placed at the fountain, which made the location of the teach-in problematic.
Johanna explains that next occupied town square will take place indoors with no drumming and lots of
Adam reports that organizer of OTS were very open and receptive to criticism.
Johanna reports her project fell flat but that she did damage control and press release did not go out.
She suggest there needs to be more consensus about actions. Her reasons for doing the action were
solid and an attempt to make coalition building. She points out 2 main reasons why action fell apart:
1- Jane Hoffman was attending the meeting, and she couldn’t be seen as a protestor since that could had
damage a major project she is involved in with Jane. And;
2- John, who was supposed to take over and be there, canceled.
Dan suggest the need for better preparation
2. Next Eco-cluster – 5 minutes
Alexis volunteers to attend next Eco-cluster and represent the group.
3. Proposal: Actions Must Have On-Site Point People – 10 minutes
Adam explains that we cannot afford to be unreliable as this can damage future actions in terms of
press coverage and attendance. Therefore, he proposes that future actions must have on-site point
people. It is also suggested that if person assigned to manage the action has a change of plans; this
needs to be known ahead of time so that the action can be canceled.
It is also proposed that there should 2 people responsible for running an action so that if one can’t do it
there is a back up.
Amendment to this proposal: Two people should be assigned for each action.
4. Johanna’s Proposal to be Made the Administrator and NYCGA, plus admin stuff in Dayna’s absence
– 5 minutes
Adam reported it had been agreed by all members of the group that new mods would have to be
decided online. After all the debastating experiences with people being mods and causing much
hardship to the group; they had to set the bar very high. Three people were chosen as administrators
and everybody agree not to make it easy to anyone to become an administrator. This was done
deliberately. Therefore, we must have a poll for consensus.
Johanna responds that she wants to feel free to e-mail information and that how the group is choking
with bureaucracy and she doesn’t experience this with any other group and things are more flowing and
Ruth disagrees and expresses concern about changing this policy so that everyone could be an
Dan agrees with Johanna and expresses that the spirit of OWS is not to have hierarchies, and that
everyone should be an administrator.
Adam replies that is not a question of hierarchies but of making sure things are organized and safely
reliable noting the experiences of the past.
Johanna replies that if she is not going to have the freedom to get things done, then she is going to have
leave the group.
5-Left Forum – 5 minutes
Money a big problem. Organizers were sent an email to ask for a waiver; so far they have not
responded. Consensus is to attempt to ask for a waiver for a second time and make further decisions
5. Brooklyn Food Conference – 15 minutes
Alexis explains the mission of BFC.
There is an open submission process for panel or workshop.
Food justice related topic is discussed as a theme for panel.
List of speakers is brought up.
Themes to explore and discuss related to food as an overarching theme analyzing issues as systemic
and looking at issues from different angles withing the context of OWS:
-Corporate influence in government in relation to food
-Push for a healthy diet
-Influence how people eat
-Animal agriculture and climate change
Alexis suggest tabling at BFC;
Dan expresses it is a great idea
Alexis says we can create literature a s it relates to animals and corporations.
Ruth feels creating literature could be time consuming and complicated since we haven’t yet discussed
or agreed on the group’s vision statement.
Dan feels this can be a good opportunity to start doing some significant work.
It is suggested we could have both a panel and tabling.
6. Occupy the Commons – TABLED
7. OWS Vision Statement – 5 minutes
Johanna suggest we should use Google doc to interact with each other and get involved in dropping
ideas about our vision statement.
Adam does not understand how a Google doc could facilitate this since we can do this on the Google
Johanna says she has experience with this since other groups in OWS use Google docs to do such
thing. She asks Adam if he knows what Google docs are.
Adam responds he has about 100 of them but still does not understand the utility of Google docs for
this type of discussion. However, he proposes that if Johanna feels that can work she should create one.
The consensus is that Johanna will create a Google doc to discuss the group’s vision statement and
invite us all.
8. What sort of campaigns should we work on? – TABLE with online suggestion
9. Polling – 5 minutes
It was expressed that the proposal for polling OWS members about their views and commonly held
positions about animal activism, attitudes about animals, etc was needed in order to see how to
approach them and how to frame our future action in order to be more effective in reaching out to
them. The type of polling suggested was some kind of survey, questionnaire or other scientific
methodology to get some reliable results.
Johanna expresses that we are already doing this all the time in an informal way when we go to
meetings and talk to people.
This was not discussed any further as people had to leave.
10. Feb 27 Food Actions – 5 minutes
This was put in the agenda upon Johanna insisting it was time sensitive. Adam suggested we still had
two weeks. This is finally not discussed because Johanna had to leave
Dogwood Demo – tabled.
Review of Meeting:
Adam: found being the facilitator challenging since Johanna appeared contradictory in suggesting first
that the focus of the meeting should be on immediate pressured time sensitive items and at the same
time to have an overall discussion on the big picture as a group.
Alexis: Says it was OK
Dan: expresses being satisfied with the outcome and thinks that in the future thing will work better as
people start to warm up to each other.
Ruth: expresses no opinion.
At some point during the group meeting BB approaches the group to ask if we can share some chips
with her. She asks about the group and says she does not eat animals and is interested to join us. She
stays with us for a few minutes, gives her email address; she wants to be contacted about future
meetings and eventually leaves.
Moses joins the group at some point during the discussion. He asks about the mission of the group;
Adam explains this to him. He seems satisfied with the response and expresses his opinion on what
thus far he has sensed about the group discussion. It appeared to him that the group was very
bureaucratic and not focusing on pressing issues.