Minutes 11.27.11

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Housing Meeting      –       11/27/11        –      60 Wall Street

Facilitator – Jason

Stack – Bryan

Minutes – Nikki


Julia – coordinating House – filling in on last meeting

  • What the occupation will do as a physical form?
  • Churches are not sustainable
  • Where people sleep vs. what we do politically
  • Looking for report backs, make decision/proposal to bring to spokes council and move forward from here

Ows.housing@gmail.com for questions and suggestions on Housing issues



  • Tried to touch with labor outreach for thurs, Friday evening, they haven’t responded back
  • Jill – potential proposal for $200k for a building
  • Theres a national park, Lloyd Bennett camping, 40 sites, $20 a night, one subway ride away., cheap option for people coming from out of town, or for us to occupy the park, possible housing option for short period of time, firepit, cooking, can use generator, 6 people per camping site
  • Julia – Someone from outreach looking into different occupations, also looking into a farm (staten island, new jersey?)
    • POI  about farm – Jason, huge farm, historic piece of land on Staten Island, has someone who is seriously looking into it for an encampment
    • Julia – looking into warehouse, approx. $4,000/month
    • Aaron – Lower manhattan cultural council reached out, seem to think they can get us into 6thand canal space.
      • Having people occupy it as performance artist
      • Outdoor space important for us to be seen
      • No guarantees, there is a meeting on Monday (info on time and place later)
      • Concern about power of group to make these large decisions, whether we should be able to make these proposals, Proposal for a breakout meeting about Housing, No. 1 priority
        • Identify looking for low risk/high risk space, indoor/outdoor space
        • Might be beneficial to bring proposal to spokescouncil
        • Melanie –
          • Church needs hands, room for up to 200 people and they need help renovating the church.
          • Possibly long term encampment possible
          • Architecture group looking into this
          • Julia – system being put together for individual hosts, legal issues
            • Also a plan to get people into foreclosed homes
            • Nicole –
              • Couch surfing group for occupiers, in channels with the burning man community
              • Labor unions have big buildings in the burroughs
              • Catholic schools with dorm facilities who have closed for financial reasons could be an avenue
              • Autonomous groups looking at squats, this information is not currently publicly available
              • Julia has been coordinating with many people with housing issues, more support would be beneficial because she is currently understaffed. OWShousing@gmail.com
              • Aaron – question – are there housing lawyers here? Has anyone been in touch with housing lawyers in legal?
                • Julia – yes, we do. There is a meeting tomorrow (not sure time)
                • Lopi – occupying community gardens space in Brooklyn, take the army tents in Myrtle village, as big or bigger than Zuccotti Park, Occupy BedStuy is in support of this
                • Melains – C.T.Butler teach in – “Consensus 101” 2pm at Liberty Plaza



  • W. 86th Church long term information
  • Art space
  • Staten Island Space, Poor farm
  • Couch surfing, labor unions, catholic schools
  • Lease a Warehouse


Break Out groups to discuss these 5 topics for 15 minutes, Please Scribe for Report Backs


Break out group report backs

  • West 86thChurch  (Embi and Jason reporting back)
    • Teddy is getting in touch with pastor of the church, in agreement that it’s a good thing. According to teddy on west 86th, it all looks good.
    • Occupiers will be able to get involved
    • Church needs a lot of work, specifically needs a boiler
    • Have contacts with construction so we have resources to help with renovation
    • Needs are: money for tools, materials, possibly fuel for the boiler
    • More stable option opposed to squatting
    • Estimates 200 people can be held there
    • Would there be certain rules? Would the church be utilized or would it be 24/7 for the occupiers?
    • What’s the timeline?  Someone down there is making a list of human resources and materials that we would need and try to make it a long term idea, sounds like we can get in there pretty quickly
    • Labor committee could help with construction
    • Various people with contacts in building and construction departments, unions, committees
    • Theres a  way to renovate this building that would cut the energy costs to 40-50%, but the building codes can prohibit renovations
    • We should talk with energy efficiency companies to get advice and collaboration
    • Art Space at 6thand Canal  AND other privately owned public spaces
      • The art council advisory board leases the space from trinity real estate, theres possibility of renting the space, or the clergy letting us use the space, and possibility of occupying as a performance art piece
      • Aaron is going to bring a couple of people with him to meeting with Lori Anderson tomorrow at 1pm (she’s on advisory board, but to MAKE CLEAR she is simply an ally, this is not her project)
      • Map of 560 acres of public lots slated to become community gardens in Brooklyn, Bedystuy is in support of us occupying, to occupy it as a winter occupation while serving as composting and preparation to get a community garden started in the spring
      • Tonight @ 6pm here meeting about a farm space that is available upstate
      • Came to consensus as a group that we as a group do not believe in renting space because that would go against visions of the movements, more effective when we take space to occupy, fundamentally important is Occupying, not renting space, it’s not what the occupation is about
      • Questions –
        • What privilages would be afforded to us? Right now it’s good to just secure the place and go into details about security and whatnot later
        • Is there legal or contractual advantages?
        • Whats tomorrows meeting about? Discussion about the space
        • If we’re coming from a standpoint from fundamentally wrong to rent, how would the art installation allowance be right?
  • The breakout group agreed that to not rent, but occupiers will be able to autonomously convene to live together, i.e. communes, farms, apartments
  • Staten Island Poor Farm
    • Unclear as to whether the property is owned by a trust or public property?
    • Have to discuss with point people in lots
    • POI about legal status of lots – www. oasisnyc.org
    • Questions –
      • What is the farm called? Poor People’s farm, city took it over in the 50s
      • Timeline? Should be fairly quick to gain information about poor farm
      • List of couchsurfing, labor unions,  – Nicole
        • Solutions that would enable living, meeting, and feeding together
        • Labor meeting later this week, we need a clear understanding of what our needs are for this meeting
        • Several catholic schools in the community that are out of business that seem open to the idea of a barter system/renting
        • Couch surfing – knowing groups in the city that would offer housing, lots of outreach needed for this.
        • POI – Julia – organization that professionally houses activists, already have a vetting process, theres a meeting tomorrow about this organization, speak with me after meeting if interested
        • Concern – dangerous, spread out, and lonely for couch surfing option
        • Volunteers should get together after meeting to coordinate various housing issues
        • Campground information
          • Put information on the website
          • Warehouse Space  – Megan
            • Possibility of renting a warehouse, Elaine who is part of legal working group is a broker and city planner, she has access to what is available.
            • Important to have a home base that is a safe place that won’t be raided by the police, that won’t be closed down for legal occupancy, that could house approx.. 200 people that could also provide space for G.A. meetings, spokescouncil,
            • Monthly rent would be an investment for the future of the movement, as the movement grows we can work on taking on farms, different spaces, whatnot
            • Would have to be a year lease because month to month isn’t possible here, a nonprofit would have to sign the lease for us.
            • Questions – is there any way to negotiate for a half year? Have the impression that she is approaching people, working to benefit us.
            • Nan – working with a realtor –  info is: Nan Terrie (718) 576-5059    strongwomenrulesworkinggroup@gmail.com
            • POI – Check out occupy new haven is taking space in a legal way without renting it, there are legal ways to take space without renting.



  • What are we leaving this meeting with, concrete facts?
  • Concern is that as a group, in a sticky situation morally and what the greater movement stands for.
  • As a group, hope we can try to work with idea on the edge of being outside, principles and things we want to say to the world
  • question – does the spokescouncil need to know about our ideas that we are working on?
  • Julia asks for volunteers willing to work on these ideas into a proposal, deadline is 4pm Monday for the Tuesday GA, unless we make it an emergency proposal.
  • The most effective way around spokes is to not bring it as a proposal, but to bring it as a discussion idea.
  • POI-  a lot of poor people can’t get to spokescouncil
  • Drafted an emergency proposal for the spokescouncil to enter in a breakout discussion on fundamentals of housing. An extended report back from housing and direct action about possibilities. (passes out proposal)
    • Happy to add a “comfort level with renting” friendly amendment to proposal
    • Concern – a little too theoritcal, should be who is doing what? Who can work together?

Important to consider safe space for women,

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