6.7.12 Minutes

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Occupy Wall Street Animal Issues Working Group

Thursday, June 7th, 2012

Meeting Minutes


1. BFC Reportback / Internal Evaluation
2. BFC Evaluation Forms
3.  BFC / Anarchist Book Fair Followup
4. Goals/Brainstorm/Strategic Planning Meeting
5. July TPP Protest and June Primary
6. Goosewatch Report
7. Kentucky Fried Chicken

8. Bronx Earth Fair

9. Occupy National Gathering

10. Sea Shepherd Announcement


David Karopin, Goosewatch

Dayna R, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society

Adam Weissman, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment

Ruth Santana, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment

Elaine Choi, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment


  1. BFC REPORTBACK / INTERNAL EVALUATION – Tabled due to low attendance

  2. BFC EVALUATION FORMS – Adam wrote evaluation forms weeks ago, but is still waiting on additional feedback from Dan, who only commented on one of the three forms and confused the speaker form and the moderator form.

    Comments so far:

    – Alexis – forms are too long

    – Dan – form should be shortened to first five questions

    – Ruth – forms are fine as they are

    – David – all questions are valuable; forms should be left as they are, but participants should

    – Dayna – form should be shorter, but isn’t sure which questions to drop

Responses are contradictory – need a compromise solution. Dayna suggests that we follow Dan’s suggestion to use the first five questions on the moderator form as mandatory questions at the beginning of the form and list the rest as optional questions, following David’s suggestion. However, we still need Dan’s feedback on the other two forms to find out which questions he thinks we should make mandatory questions in those. We should also try to get Alexis’ feedback on which questions should be the mandatory questions in all three forms.


    Sign-up Sheets – We collected names and contact info on sign-up sheets at our panels at the Brooklyn Food Conference and the Anarchist Book Fair. We haven’t added these people to our email list, because we don’t know if they want to be part of group discussion or just hear about our events. We will send them a welcome letter with an email with a link to join the Googlegroup and our group on the NYCGA website. Also given them contact info for us unless they have trouble joining the groups.

Recouping expenses – Ruth and Adam both put a substantial amount of money into the Brooklyn Food Conference. People in the group pledged to share the expense for our information table. Other expenses included a slide projector, cabbing supplies to and from the conference, printing, cutting copies, and a data card for a camera. We have copies of the book “Animal Factory” donated by David Kirby that we can sell to recoup expenses. Dayna suggests we find a sympathetic ally to sell them for us at the Seed vegan expo. She also suggests ebay and Craigslist, though Adam expresses concern that we may not not be able to charge full price on these sites. Adam suggests setting up a Paypal to sell the books via our blog.

Day 3 – Prior to BFC, we discussed the possibility of organizing a 2nd follow-up to the Brooklyn Food Conference for the workshop submissions that were not accepted at the Brooklyn Food Conference. Alexis expressed the strongest interest in this. As of yet no action has been taken on this. Adam says that while he is willing to support work on Day 3, he is not able to spearhead it. No one else at the meeting can spearhead it, either. Thus, Alexis or some other person would need to spearhead if this is going to happen.


    Too small a group in attendance to discuss this. Propose on email list. If no one responds, take this as a sign that people aren’t interested.

  1. JULY TPP PROTEST AND JUNE PRIMARY – The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is a nine-country free trade agreement currently being negotiated between the US, Brunei, Vietnam, Malaysia, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, Peru, and Singapore. TPP will give foreign corporations the right to sue participating governments in international tribunals for enforcing their environmental laws. This means corporations like Cargill can sue Malaysia if it makes any attempt to limit the destruction of rainforests for oil palm plantations. Palm oil plantations are devastating habitat for orangutans and other wildlife. Additionally, the US beef industry wants to add Japan to TPP, which will result in Japan lower its import tariffs on US beef. This will allow US beef to enter the Japanese market at prices lower than domestically produced Japanese beef. This will result in an overall net increase in beef consumption in Japan.

TPP negotiators will meet in San Diego in July. Actions are planned around the country during the meeting. A wide range of social movements are concerned with TPP, including labor unions, environmentalists, AIDS activists, software freedom advocates, family farm defenders, and others.

Adam suggests that OWS Animal Issues outreach to other OWS working groups to coordinate an action together, but recognizes that this proposal will need “buy-in” from a bigger group than is at attendance at this meeting.

Additionally, Global Justice for Animals and the Environment (an animal and environmental group that works in opposition to free trade agreements) will be collaborating with other NYC activist groups in other social justice movements to meet with candidates in the 2012 Congressional primary to get them to take positions on TPP and related trade issues. Adam suggests that OWS Animal Issues would be welcome to participate in this.

Dayna suggests that the TPP action sounds like a great idea, but has concerns about involvement in meeting with candidates given OWS’ non-engagement in elections. Adam points to Bum Rush the Vote as an example of OWS engagement in electoral politics and points out that this effort will probably not involve endorsing candidates, but rather using the primary as a way to highlight the issue.

As with the TPP protest, there is a consensus that any commitment to working on this as a group will require a discussion with more group members.

6) GOOSEWATCH REPORT – Tabled because David had left by this point.

7) KENTUCKY FRIED CHICKEN – Since around the time we started the group, we’ve been talking about a demonstration against Kentucky Fried Chicken concerning the destruction of southern US forests for their paper packaging (chicken buckets, etc.) We were supposed to have a demonstration as part of a national day of action organized by the Dogwood Alliance in November, but canceled it as a result of the eviction of Occupy Wall Street from Zuccotti Park. Greenpeace has now also launched a campaign against Kentucky Fried Chicken concerning the destruction of Sumatran tiger habitat for paper packaging (http://thestatesman.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=411629&catid=73). Dayna reports that people who did not seem interested in the Dogwood campaign do seem interested in the Greenpeace campaign.

8) BRONX EARTH FAIR – This Saturday at Bronx House. Adam will go to run an information table for Global Justice for Animals and the Environment and can also bring OWS Animal Issues sign, Food Empowerment project lit to distribute, and copies of Animal Factory to sell. Elaine can also go.

9) NATIONAL OCCUPY GATHERING – End of June, beginning of July. None of us know much about it. Opportunity to meet with other Occupy Animal Groups?

10) SEA SHEPHERD ANNOUNCEMENT – Sharkwater Film Screening-New York, NY

Sat, 30 Jun, 2012 7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Program name: Sharkwater Film Screening in Sea Shepherd Conservation Society
Time: 7pm
Tickets: $10 suggested donation

Description of film:
On May 13, 2012, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society founder Paul Watson was arrested for protecting sharks in 2002. Join Sea Shepherd Conservation Society for a screening of the documentary Sharkwater, which captures the incident that led to his arrest.

For filmmaker Rob Stewart, exploring sharks began as an underwater adventure. What it turned into was a beautiful and dangerous life journey into the balance of life on earth. Driven by passion fed from a life-long fascination with sharks, Stewart debunks historical stereotypes and media depictions of sharks as bloodthirsty, man-eating monsters and reveals the reality of sharks as pillars in the evolution of the seas. Filmed in visually stunning, high definition video, Sharkwater takes you into the most shark rich waters of the world, exposing the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world’s shark populations in the marine reserves of Cocos Island, Costa Rica and the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. In an effort to protect sharks, Stewart teams up with renegade conservationist Captain Paul Watson of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society.

Their unbelievable adventure together starts with a battle between the Sea Shepherd and shark poachers in Guatemala, resulting in conflicts with pirate boats, gunboat chases, mafia espionage, corrupt court systems and attempted murder charges, forcing them to flee for their lives and eventually leading to Paul Watson’s arrest in Frankfurt on May 13, 2012. Captain Watson is currently under house arrest in Germany, awaiting possible extradition to Costa Rica.

Through it all, Stewart discovers these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth’s history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed. Stewart’s remarkable journey of courage and determination changes from a mission to save the world’s sharks, into a fight for his life, and that of humankind.

After the documentary, Sea Shepherd volunteers will take questions about our campaigns across the world, including the summer 2012 shark defense campaign in the South Pacific. Crew members and on-shore volunteers will be on hand to discuss how you can help release Paul Watson, get involved in Sea Shepherd and become a member.  We will also be selling official Sea Shepherd merchandise.

Seating will be on the floor but mats and blankets will be provided. Location: Jivamukti Yoga School
841 Broadway
New York, NY 10003


Fees: $10 Suggested Donation Contact: nyc@seashepherd.org

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