Disability Caucus March 27, 2012 Minutes

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OWS 3/27/12 disability Caucus, 5:30pm, 60 Wall Street Atrium

Nadina Laspina
Daniel Robert
Philip Bennett
Gabriel Engel, gengel2@gmail.com, 718-288-6031

Facilitator: we’re putting off mission statement till later.  Right now we must keep it short, simple and to the point.  We must emphasize that people With Disabilities are subjected to prejudice, not just oppression.
March 17 many arrests when OWS tried re-occupying Zucotti so it was decided to occupy Union Sq.(COOPS).
Many went to Zucotti on March 17 but arrived too late to join the march.
Philip talks about March 24 march from Zucotti to Union Sq.  Cops went overboard, reacted violently with little provocation, used excessive force to intimidate, lining the streets with riot gear and billy clubs in hand.
Gabriel recounts mass arrests on Bklyn Bridge six months ago, he escaped.  Those not arrested used Manhattan Bridge to enter Bklyn.
Philip heard they used pepper spray but didn’t see it.
Nadina: ADAPT was never pepper sprayed though cops were really rough.
March 17: Danny & Nadina there during the day, police were so rough they pushed people onto us.

We talk about the Vigil for the people with disabilities murdered by parents.
Danny: If People With Disabilities don’t have medicaid homecare, parents and spouses have psychotic break & kill their disabled kids.  Happened March 6th in Sunnyvale, CA to George Hodgin’s: mom killed child then herself. So we’re having a candlelight vigil March 30th, Friday at Union Sq. from 7 to 8pm, reading names of those killed.  We want as many kinds of disabilities as possible represented.  This will be nation-wide.  Often the media makes it look like a mercy-killing, putting loved one out of hes misory.  Outcry from autistic Society calling for more supports & services but never mentioned George’s name, all empathy for Mom, not for him.  Message the media gives: if supports aren’t available te’s better off dead.  We must oppose this way of thinking, see it as murder, not mercy.  George was enjoying life and growing.  We don’t know how many have been killed by so-called caregivers.  Right-to-die movement should scare People With Disabilities: they’d kill us first.
Michelle can’t come to the vigil because it’s late at night.
Hard to hold a candle so we come up with best kind of candle or use light sticks.
Autistic Self-advocacy Network organizing this with Samuel Barwick.
Nadina: this is really a hate crime: hatred of disability by parents & media.
April 1, Sunday, 1st anniversary of Brooklyn Bridge, rally at Cadman Plaza.  We can’t do much: not enough people.
Between April 1st & May 1st a lot is happening.
Dick Gottfried and Tom Dwane healthcare bill leaves out long-term care, must still qualify the old way via medicaid.  For everyone else the requirements are being relaxed.  When fighting for Health Insurance mandate in affordable Care Act, often we are forced to side with anti-choice and conservative forces if we want single payer.  OWS just wants the money out of politics.
April 14th: Danny: OWS seems to be improvising day-to-day.
OWS talks about moving from Zucotti but others say we should keep it at Zucotti since it’s near Wall St. and eviction was illegal.
We could hold future meetings at Union Sq., maybe at CIDNY.
We discuss going to Zucotti and talking about vigil with Justin Stone-Diaz, facilitator for OWS.
We adjourn.

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