Minutes from Direct Action 6-month strategy session – 1/8/12

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DIRECT ACTION 6-MONTH STRATEGIC PLANNING SESSION – 1/8/12

Agenda

1. Intro/Meeting agreements (5 minutes)
2. Strategic priorities (5 min)
3. Reflection (30)
4. Future Brainstorm (45)
5. Comparing Ideas and Strategic Priorities
6. What Gets Us There/Capacity (60)
7. Targets
8.Facilitators for next weeks meeting

 

2. Review Strategic Priorities

Grow and include
Center marginalized Voices
Students
Veterans
Sharing resources and listening

Clarify Our story
Make our actions have strong narratives, bild overarching message
Class war
Corporations and government relations
Real democracy
History

More instrumental, less symbolic actions
Make actions more concrete and less cymbolic
Pillars of power
Focus on debt

Strengthen internal structure and communication
Improve internal coordination and communication
Use interoccupy better

Liberate more space
Liberate public space
For community

 

3. Reflection

Main actions of 2011

9/17                   Occupy Liberty Plaza
9/24                  Pepper spray/Union Square/expose state violence
10/1                  Brooklyn Bridge arrests
10/14                  Eviction defense
10/15                  Global Day of Action—Times Square, other actions
10/26                  Oakland solidarity march
11/2                  Oakland General Strike
11/15                  Eviction Defense
11/17                  Shut down Wall Street, Foley Square, Brooklyn Bridge
11/30                  Defense contractors
12/6                  Foreclosure Defense
12/12                  West Coast port shutdown/Goldman Sachs
12/17                  Re-occupy/Duarte Square
12/31                  New Year’s/Re-occupy Liberty Plaza
Not on list:
Drum circle at Bloomberg’s mansion and tour of 1%’s houses
Troy Davis march

Sumup of positives:
Different levels of participation are possible for people depending on their abilities
Shedding fear
Having impact on communities (de-eviction)
Coordination (mobilizing allies)
Ideas related to space (taking it to 1% neighborhoods, corporations)
GAs as action (inclusive)

 

4. Future Brainstorm

1. Support outer boroughs

2. Coordination of national dates
1/15 MLK day, 1/17 Occupy Congress, 1/20 Occupy the courts, 3/1 Occupy Education, 3/30 NOW DC, 5/1 General Strike, 5/12 Intl Day of action, 5/15 Chicago G8, 7/4 or sometime July, somewhere in the country

3. Be a healing force to address/ameliorate the harm that has been done—example: enduring eviction defense squad that will meet the sheriff and defend your home

4. Occupy Central Park, communize Central Park

5. More actions in privately owned public spaces, like atria in corporate buildings.

6. Something about Disevera (sp?) sculpture (big red thing) in Zuccotti Park and the fact that it was the first thing enclosed by barricades and artist didn’t object.

7.  Organizing occupations around specific communities, e.g. rezoning proposal for Lower East Side for affordable housing.

8. Call from OWS to rest of America that says in spring reoccupy America, take back public space, March 2012, retake the squares

9. March 30—National Occupation of Washington DC (NOW DC), buildup and transition to national strike May 1, etc. Occupy Social forum part, and then protest part

10. Nationwide coordinated strikes against capitalism other days besides May 1

11. Strengthening dual power structures—need to have an alternative to present, neighborhood assemblies, free schools, food, etc.

12. Create infrastructure for people to be involved in this movement in sustainable ways—childcare collective, taking back foreclosed homes

13. Name the villains and go after them (take over a bank for an afternoon, e.g.)

14. Debt strikes and other forms of noncooperation building to general strikes

15. Occupy Education—two actions. Panel for Education Policy meeting—shutting down 2/9 meeting re closing down schools (which will reopen as privatized charter). Meeting re selling abandoned building to be made into luxury housing when it could be used as a much-needed school.

16. Make Bank of America fail. Actions at their branches, mapping where they own the mortgages (or don’t?-robosigning) and drawing attention to it, debt strikes, mortgage strikes, etc.

17. 1/17 Beautify ugly face of Wall Street. Throwing glitter in banks, around noon, gather at Liberty Square for women- and female-identified-people-led march to Wall Street and then to Brooklyn Bridge, throwing glitter everywhere, including off the Brooklyn Bridge.

18. Leading up to 5/1 general strike, need to do as much labor support actions as we can, working with teachers to stop school closures, strike at Cablevision, doing CD at PEP meetings, think of it as a campaign of actions leading up to May Day.

19. Environmentally focused actions targeting climate criminals, etc., drawing connections with capitalism, patriarchy, etc. and destruction of planet

20. Neighborhood outreach toward other ethnic diasporas, toward people who speak another language maybe, to communities shut off from us by culture language, Chinese speaking, etc.

21. 1/21 responding to international call from Egypt to show solidarity, rally in Times Square, march to Egyptian Mission, programming, (consensed by DA)

22. 2/3 action inside an institution having to do with solidarity with Egypt but also contacting NYC arts community, requires rehearsal, 99 performers, see Gerry for more info (consensed by DA)

23. June 20—summer solstice—get 10,000 or 20,000 people to go to Battery Park, and watch the sun go down

24. Nonviolent direct action training sessions—need to work on small successes that show people that nonviolent DA works, so we can convince people to do it and then come out to the humongous actions

25. Women own 1% of world’s resources. Taking space, particularly in March, with a feminist agenda.

26 Maybe evicting cops from the neighborhood instead of waiting for them to come evict us and then defending

27. V-Day, 2/14, international day of awareness about gender violence

28. Nigeria—3 people killed at an occupy. 1/11 march in solidarity

29. Setting up structure whereby people can come to us for help with occupations, skill shares

30. 2/29 shut down the corporations (call from Portland)

31. Trans and Queer action to help provide resources to Trans and Queer community in NY

32. Earth First! National rendezvous in Central New York first week of July

33. Strategically pick community boards to start work on setting up parallel structures at that level (having done research on those areas, and on the boards, etc.)

34. Occupy the youth

35. Create Occupy sub-economy, occupier-owned coops, worker-owned coops, challenge corporate-owned economy, etc.

36. Create networks so that we can get people and resources to put into the events that we are planning

37. More trainings, learning games

38. Take up call for direct action against climate apartheid—dress people in blue and line them up along where the water line would be in NY, shut down coal power plants around NY, shut down Indian Point

39. Intervene in workers’ struggles—labor law is a straitjacket that doesn’t bind us, we can set up hard pickets, for example—and conversely get the labor movement to intervene to defend our camps, turn them  into dual actions—they are part of a picketline and can be extended 24-7.

40. Doing concrete actions vs. media-oriented actions

41. Speed round: Massive mobilization for NATO G8, Occupy White House, occupy Strawberry Fields, Gandhi can save Africa, Direct Action Working Group as a hub, raising awareness about NDAA, Documentation required for success, transit workers union contract vote 1/15, anti-election voter noncooperation/mobilize toward RNC, DNC, Forum on the Commons 2/15-17, mass organized transportation foot/bicycle from West to East for summer actions, 1/9 proof of concept action, 1/12 state of the city, 3/1 students mass action, occupy fast food, shut it down fuck yeah

 

5. Comparing Ideas and Strategic Priorities

What came out in previous brainstorm were four broad categories of types of actions:
1. Direct impact/mutual aid—eviction defense, foreclosure reoccupation, childcare, coops, occupying a closed school
2. Shutdowns and direct attacks—naming and shaming, May 1 general strike, buildup strikes, debt strikes, etc. Bank of America fail, attack broken mortgage system
3. Specific community outreach and solidarity—neighborhood assemblies, communities of color, non-English speakers and issues that affect them, Egypt solidarity, feminist taking of space, trans-queer DA, youth
4. Issue-specific—focusing on micro bread-and-butter issues, environment/climate change/fracking, education, Lower East Side zoning
5. Reoccupation

 

6. Breakout groups on the five action categories delineated above (these notes are somewhat muddled and incomplete as the reportbacks were rapid and a little discombobulated—I believe each breakout group took its own notes)

1. Direct impact/mutual aid
Eviction defense (also: tying eviction defense to corporate targets)
Foreclosure reoccupation (also: nontraditional families in reoccupied homes)
Worker coops
Childcare Collective
Occupying closed school
Occupy fast food place to make community kitchen
Educational support for everyone, even if they can’t afford extra help
Subway outreach actions (?)
Forum on the Commons—brings together services (?)

Corporate control of our government is key, choose a scapegoat to highlight, BoA seems like a good target. Eviction defense and occupying schools seems like most fundamental way of getting at this. Also, these two targets (schools and foreclosed homes) means we can liberate spaces to fill with all the other things on the list.

2. Shutdowns and direct attacks
May General strike
Strike buildup
BoA Fail
Mortgage system
NOW DC/March 30
Corporate Shutdown (Portland call)

No way we could come back with two main campaigns, barely got through defining what these campaigns were. Also listed other targets to occupy/shut down: presidential HQs, debt strikes, crosswalks/traffic, corporate shareholder meetings, airports, court, East Coast ports, Wall Street/K street, city hall, big oil/fossil fuel plants.

Building neighborhoods power to have autonomy so that they can actually make some progress on their own will bring them in to general strike

3. Issue specific campaigns

Listed issues and took poll of what people most wanted to work on
Environmental most important, intersectionality second, marginalized and oppressed communities and centralizing their voices

4. Reach out to specific communities

Want to bring a framework and ideas about direct action, to enable smaller groups that we are part of by geography or orientation or ethnicity/race, to bring those skills and framework to empower people for direct action in our own smaller groups, neighborhood assemblies, caucus-based subgroups of direct action group (POC, Trans/Queer, Feminist)

 

5. Reoccupation—gotta go big. Physical public reoccupation in the spring—multifaceted, National call for spring reoccupation for entire 99% to retake spaces and growing assemblies in places like NYC that have never had an occupation. Develop tools to select, strategize, hone in—wikis, etc. All buildup toward May Day global strike. Link to larger occupation of Central Park, transform space, have, for example, farming, etc. Friday, 1/24, 4 pm, space tbd, meeting, which, if it has a quorum, will attempt to come up with a date for reoccupation.

 

IMPORTANT DATES

Dates

January
1/9 Goldman Sachs
1/11 Nigeria Solidarity
1/12 State of the City
1/12 Labor working group march in support of Transit Workers Union, protesting at Goldman sachs
1/13 Nothing specific but seems like a good date to create havoc
1/15/16 MLK Day
1/17 Occupy Congress
1/17 Beautify Wall Street
1/20 Corporate personhood/oOccupy the Courts
1/21 Egypt solidarity at Times Square and Egyptian Mission to UN

February

2/3 Egypt solidarity action with something requiring rehearsal
2/9 Panel for Education Policy meeting shutdown
2/14 V-Day/awareness about gender violence
2/15-17 Forum on the Commons
2/15-17 People-Powered Transportation
2/29 Portland call to shut down corporations

 

March
3/1 Occupy Education
3/30 National Occupation of Washington, DC

 

May
5/1 General Strike
5/12 International/Global day of action
5/15 Chicago/G8

June
6/20 Solstice mass sunset watch

July
First week—Earth First! National rendezvous
7/4 or other date—national something somewhere in the country

 

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