Minutes From ES Meeting Fri. Jan. 13

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Environmentalist Solidarity WG at OWS / 01-13-12 / Friday Meeting Minutes + To-Do List

Facilitation: Pete

Minutes: Russell

  1. Introductions

    1. Check out Dan’s article (http://beyondoilnyc.org/occupy-climate-change-intro.html) on how we very badly need a decentralized renewable energy economy now
  2. Fracking
    1. Although the public comment period on SGEIS is over, making noise about banning fracking is still (or, even more so) important. There is a mobilization to Albany (where there will be a rally and legislative visits, for those who register to do so) on Monday-January 23. Check out the details (see about getting on a bus to Albany, etc.: http://www.citizenscampaign.org/special_features/fracking/fracking-day-of-action.asp)
  3. Report Back from Indian Point Hearing

    1. Yesterday (01-12-11) the energy committee on the NYS Assebly held a hearing on the possible closure of Indian Point. It was a public hearing but oral testimony was by invitation only, and none of the activist organizations were invited to speak. So, this WG (in collaboration with SDIPN and others) disrupted the hearing with a mic check, and that went really well, with no arrests. There a video of the mic check, showing Luna leading it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHWpMQx0VIY)
    2. There’s been media coverage of our mic check

      1. WBAI

      2. WNYC did a story

      3. NY Observer wrote a thorough piece (http://www.politickerny.com/2012/01/12/assembly-holds-hearing-on-possible-closure-of-indian-point-nuclear-plant/)
    3. There may have been 100—in Pete’s estimation—on our side at the hearing

    4. We need to do better on media outreach within Occupy on stuff like this

      1. Pete did reach out to the Media group but no one showed up

  4. Upcoming Eco-cluster is Saturday-January 28 at 2pm at 56 Walker St.

    1. An eco-cluster will bring together all the eco-oriented OWS groups, for the purpose of sharing in our work and having common projects.
    2. Flyer forthcoming
    3. May be 100 people
    4. Will probably be 1½ to 2 hrs
    5. The format for the cluster will probably be:
      1. 3-5 for each group to concisely present their work and their identity/philosophy
      2. something interactive among the groups, like a forum or breakouts
      3. talking about moving forward, especially in terms of (establishing) shared projects
    6. Two possible themes or items of discussion—in Pete’s estimation—are:
      1. a big Earth Day action
      2. Food Justice and occupying/claiming disused space in the city and using it for green protest spaces, especially for growing plants/vegetables on them (this ties into issues of the commons and of public space, too)
    7. email Sarah of Sustainability (owssustainability@gmail.com) if you have input or know of a group that wants to be or should be included
    8. Groups we expect to be there or that we think should be there: ours, Sustainability WG, Earth Summit WG, Food Justice, Trade Justice, OWS Animal, eco subgroup of the DA WG, indigenous/Native American input, Occupy the Farms
    9. One thing about working with Sustainability is that they are an Operations group, so they can get funds from the Spokes Council
      1. Shanti: Is this connected to the work on the Demands group environmental demands?
        1. Pete: No, it’s not.
  5. Inter-occupy communicating and publicizing
    1. There are several frameworks—Johanna says—for inter-occupy communication and all of them claim to be the best hub for when people in the movement want to reach out to other people in the movement (over distance, etc.). Johanna knows many of these hubs (and gets on some of the inter-occupy phone calls), and thinks a good one is 16 Beaver Group (http://16beavergroup.org/), which is basically having all-day inter-occupy forums
      1. They are talking about a possible May 1 occupation of Central Park (as a taking back of the commons)
        1. Pete: The problem with Central Park is that it is so huge.
  6. KXL Pipeline / Tar Sands Action
    1. Obama was given 60 days to decide; his decision is due February 2
    2. 350.org is planning a major action for January 23 in DC in which protesters wear referee outfits and storm the Congress
      1. Donna: Maybe United for Action and Food and Water Watch could get buses together for NYC people to go down for that, as happened in the Tar Sands Action where we encircled the White House
        1. If we get that to happen, we should still do something local here in NYC as a solidarity action and for those who can’t go to DC
          1. It doesn’t even have to be January 23 (that’s also the day of this frack action in Albany, and also the day of a March for Life). January 23 is too soon.
            1. although, sometimes it works do things on other groups’/protest’s days
    3. what we do for KXL is a major action against the banks who are investing in the project/TransCanada/tar sands oil
      1. Scotiabank is at 1 Liberty Plaza
        1. so is Wells Fargo
      2. our action could start at a bank that invests in KXL and march to the offices of members of Congress who voted for the bill that gave Obama 60 days (there’s a site that tells you which banks are invested in it)
    4. Jeremy: framing the climate crisis as a problem of corporate power is a particular OWS perspective that we should make use of and that 350.org has shown itself to be open to
    5. McKibben himself is easy to contact and work with. Pete will initiate this.
    6. Johanna will come up with a list of the elected officials in NYC and their offices’ addresses and how to contact them, in anticipation of this action
    7. Our NYC KXL action would be ripe for inter-occupy sharing. maybe we make a video and tell other Occupies to hit the streets
    8. Shanti: I also think it would be good—and this WG should do it—to have an action plan that tells individuals what they can do to take action on KXL. A list of things any individual can do that we publicize to the Occupies around the country, so that they don’t have to do their own research.
      1. [Multiple people in response:] That may not be our job. Surely groups like 350 have on their Web site a page for like “10 things you can do.” In other words, we wouldn’t want to reinvent the wheel on that.
      2. Donna: If you think that is really important, you may be right and this WG would welcome your doing that work and bringing to us
      3. Shanti: I’m thinking of something crafted from the Occupy perspective.


Patrick: New Jersey just passed a statewide moratorium (yearlong) on fracking, and it would have been an outright ban (they had the votes) were it not for the veto politics of Chris Christie

—————————————————Back on-agenda:———————————————

  1. Update from Earth Summit WG
    1. Ted: our WG has launched, with a few kinks, its Web site called Occupy the Earth (http://www.occupytheearth.net/), which is trying to be very functional on inter-occupy communications (as related to the actions going on all across the world before and during Earth Summit Rio+20
      1. trying to build
        1. a five-month campaign
        2. “communities of practice,” which are a step past work groups in that they are made up of professionals who make longer-term commitments to be involved
          1. the Alternate Currency group is an example, and Rick (of that group) is here with us today
        3. open-source projects for the UN to adopt, e.g. Global Green Knowledge Trust
          1. expansion of some of the technologies mentioned in the Zeitgeist films
      2. the site is looking for community managers, writers, etc.
      3. yesterday, we.net offered it “fiscal sponsorship”

——————————————–Brief contention re. the Zeitgeist films:————————–

Ted: Whatever you think of them, they have reformed the entire debate on this stuff (http://zeitgeistmovie.com/).

—————————————————Back on-agenda:———————————————

  1. Using Google Groups for this WG
    1. Robert has set it up for us to use, under the name ows-environmental-solidarity@googlegroups (http://groups.google.com/group/ows-environmental-solidarity?lnk=)
    2. It is easier for list-serv-y –type things than the NYCGA site
  2. Preliminary discussion on possibly changing the name of this WG
    1. Dan: It can’t be “environmental justice” because that has a very particular meaning and is quite localized
    2. We won’t change the name until we have a bigger meeting
      1. Is there a number of people we need to have present before we make decisions / claim consensus? That is, should this WG establish a quorum?
    3. Proposed names
      1. keeping the existing one (Environmentalist Solidarity WG)
      2. Eco-justice WG
      3. Environmental WG
      4. Environmentalist WG
      5. Occupy Environment
      6. Occupy the Environment
      7. Occupy the Biosphere
      8. Environmental Impact WG
  3. Announcements
    1. Donna: Solar in the City event on Thursday-January 19
      1. Dan: I strongly suggest (and would be interested in reading a) written report of how the event went / what went on. Not just video.
    2. Shanti: I have a report-back from the presentation given by the Pachamama Alliance (http://www.pachamama.org/). They gave a training, which has implications for the Eco-cluster, on the consciousness of transformation and being an environmental activist in a more integral and holistic way
      1. They have a lot of relevant tools for how to make change
        1. This WG could use them, since it has some miscommunication and contention
    3. Facilitator: Announcements really should be 3-4 sentences.
    4. Jesse Sandberg (an MTA employee for 20 years): I pitched this to Ted yesterday. I have an idea:
      1. During Rio (June 21) run a 24-hour worldwide human wave by opening up umbrellas from 12-1 in your local time zone
        1. What’s the umbrella about? “I use it to protect myself and we use it to protect the Earth.”
      2. Robert: Write this idea down, and give it out as a proposal
    5. Jason: [this announcement was made to the minute-taker after the meeting for the purpose of being included, for everyone’s information] There is a documentary about chemtrails and geo-engineering called What in the World Are They Spraying?


To-do list (where possible, with a reference number to where this came up in the minutes)


  • ALL should submit comments on the proposed names for the possible name change (and/or add a new proposed name). (9c)
  • Pete needs to send out a link to the site that helps us know which banks have invested in tar sands oil/the KXL pipeline, because I couldn’t find it. (6cii)
  • Pete needs to get us the flyer (when he has it) for the Eco-cluster. (4b)
  • Pete needs to begin planning our KXL action with Bill McKibben, e.g. reaching out to him on Facebook. (6e)
  • Johanna needs to come up with a list of the elected officials in NYC and their offices’ addresses and how to contact them, in anticipation of the KXL march we’re planning. (6f)
  • Donna needs to send us that letter from Bill McKibben on Obama’s lack of power.
  • Donna needs to post [on the ESWG part of the NYCGA site, or the Google Group(?)] details on the Solar in the City event, for people to see and be reminded. (10a)
  • Jesse needs to re-propose his Earth Summit idea (to us and really to Earth Summit WG) in written form. (10dii)
  • the WG in general: regarding the Indiant Point mic check, do a better job getting media at our actions via outreach to media people within OWS, especially tighter connections to the Media group. (3d)
  • the WG in general: think about whether there needs to be a quorum for the group, as pertains the decision to change the name or as pertains decisions/consensus in general (9bi)
  • anyboy interested: email Sarah at owssustainability@gmail.com for input or groups to include in the Eco-cluster (4g)


I’m sorry this doc is so fucking long. -Russell



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