Minutes – Empowerment and Education Working Group Meeting – 11/25/11 – 60 Wall St.

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Empowerment and Education, 11/25/2011

Action items:

1)      Alejandro, do you know the next foreclosure event meeting time and place?

2)      Occupy DOE meeting, Sunday (2pm planning, 4pm general) 60 Wall


1)      Read-ins are sponsored by E&E (reached consensus)


1)      Report Backs

2)      Action working group?

3)      New School occupation

4)      Discussion about future/space


1)      Report Backs:

–          Occupy Student Debt Campaign launched campaign on 11/21. Help spread word: http://occupystudentdebtcampaign.org

–          Forum on Commons – putting together call for papers

–          Open Forum :

  1. restructure to connect with direct action/student debt campaign
  2. provide more OFs and teach-ins with direct actions
  3. foreclosure event December XX – how can we help them?
  4. next OF meeting uncertain, probably Tues 8:30, 60 Wall
  5. group is getting very small, what is its future?


2)      Babak on possible action working group

–          now that park situation has changed, how do we stay visible?

–          Suggestions:

  • focus on big days (MLK day)
  • connect with other movements (040)
  • more open forums/discussions
  • fixed locations and regular schedules
  • potential spaces:
    • Brooklyn Bridge, near City Hall
    • Times Square
    • Rockefeller Center
    • Court houses, foreclosed buildings

–          how do we feel about not have a fixed space (moved to agenda item)

–          how to link up with other working groups?

–          should we create an action working group/subcommittee? Would focus on getting media attention, making/getting space for movement, creative action


3)      New School Occupation

–          both spaces are closed, Kellan gallery trashed? uncertain future for Kellan gallery

–          moved to non-consensus model, questions about whether they are part of Occupy movement


4)      Discussion about potential actions/park situation changing/future of E&E

–          Long discussion about foreclosure event, December 6 (date uncertain)

  • actions @ courthouses, reclaiming foreclosed spaces
  • many phases of action, they are checking out these spaces, seeing if they are livable or occupyable
  • questions of legality/squatting rights, report from legal that squatters have rights in NYC (or US?) if it is reoccupation of a foreclosed space (as of now only a rumor, any confirmation here?)
  • what is E&E’s role here, teach-in about foreclosure? walking tour of foreclosed or re-occupied spaces?
  • Alejandro will be attending next meeting, many in the group interested in joining

–          Long discussion on Spokes Council

  • Report back from Chris, Spokes Council was very messy on Wednesday, racial issues very blatant, suggests we develop a workshop on race for the movement
  • E&E as providing space for interactions, creating spaces for learning, discussion, developing strategies
  • Are we reproducing the division of labor we see in the capitalist world?
  • Babak on Spokes Council: meetings are being sabotaged, facilitators are very frustrated
    • E&E could reach out to facilitators and ask how we can help
  • Spokes Council is in crisis, questioning its own legitimacy. Are we stuck in meta-meetings and identity politics throughout the movement? Or democracy is exactly dealing with these issues, having patience through this kind of conflict?
  • Sometimes Spokes Council does function, depends on day

–          Discussion about spreading movement beyond NYC area

  • we should avoid missionary style politics, other occupations are autonomous
  • there is a national network/conference call, other WGs working on national unity
  • how to make internal communication smoother (other WGs working on this)

–          Discussion about staying visible as movement/E&E’s role

  • walking tours of spaces and industries
  • standard signage/well defined visual identity, to make clear it is OWS when in other spaces
  • work with other institutions and groups already working on educational issues
  • El Barrio event on December 4, group is not in Occupy movement, we are in solidarity but will not directly support
  • develop read-ins as regular action, body-stunt, work in conjunction with Think Tank, mobile?
  • develop film screenings of Inside Job, etc. reach out/work with local cinemas??
  • vision of E&E:
    • develop both long term and immediate project/actions
    • plug into other actions, build spaces for discussion/changing social relations
    • keep some kind of presence in Zuccotti


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