Minutes from Monday’s Meeting (04-02-12)

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Environmental Solidarity WG at OWS / 04-02-12 / Monday Meeting Minutes

Facilitator: Susanne

Note-taker: Russell L.

  1. Pre-agenda chatter
    1. the Green Festival (also planned for April 21 and 22) at the Javits Center looks to be an interesting mix of leftists and corporations
  2. Report-backs
    1. Rio +20 preparation meetings (there was a solid week of meetings)
      1.                                       i.     Robert:  At the UN they’re talking about Sustainable Development as well as The Green Economy (which is not being defined, just talked about).
        1. Robert:  On the environment, the UN has a large body of declarations and so on and there’s no coordinating among them.
        2. Robert:  A big topic of conversation is the role of human rights in environmental development.
          1. Pete:  Maybe this WG should create its own declaration.  Its statement of principles.  It’s something we’ve talked about before, and we could debut it in (and use it as a counterpoint to) the sustainable development agenda of Rio.  We could share it with the world and with other activists.
            1.                                                                                             i.     Ken:  We could do that over email.
            2.                                                                                           ii.     Chris:  We wouldn’t have to start from scratch; we could use the same language as other projects, such as the documents of Occupy Durban.
            3.                                                                                          iii.     Chris:  A lot of people are not expecting much of Rio.  The heads of government from the West will not be there.  And all the governments that will participate are still the 1% of their countries.  We can’t trust our own governments, let alone when they all get together and call themselves the UN.
            4.                                                                                          iv.     Ryan:  99forEarth has already done a lot of research on Rio and SEFA
          2. Pete:  Maybe we do an event where we mockingly celebrate the ascendancy of the Queen, and talk about how this is what world leaders are doing instead of solving climate change.
    2. Gibson action
      1.                                       i.     Tim:  It could have been a really important action.  But there were only 7 of us.  This WG, with all the time I’ve put into it, did not come out for my action that we’ve been talking about since December and I feel unsupported.  It would be nice if when we say we as a WG are going to get behind an action that a bunch of people actually work hard on it and care.
        1. Tim:  We’re going after Gibson because of its use of Tea Party Congressmembers to gut the law under which it was raided.
        2. Pete:  I don’t think it went as bad as you’re characterizing.  It was a media action, and we were enough people to make that work, and we’ll go forward with it as a media action.  Maybe we use it as a springboard for going after the biggest importer.
        3. Chris:  I don’t think we should ever feel bad for how many people we get to come to an event or meeting.  We do what we can.  And there are patterns of (ebb and flow) on this stuff.
        4. Chris:  This WG does have to prioritize.  Maybe Gibson isn’t the target that this WG is going to rally around.  Maybe its Red or the banks or deforestation in general.
        5. Imani:  I have musician possibilities, in terms of bringing musicians into the campaign.
  3. 3.     The Crisis of Civilization
    1. a.     Dan:  Does this WG want to go in for co-sponsoring an event with me?  The event would be a screening of the film The Crisis of Civilization (which you can see for free at http://crisisofcivilization.com/) probably at the Brecht Forum.  I’d put up the $150 myself that would be required to rent the space from Brecht.
      1.                                       i.     [Informal consensus:] All twinkles.
      2.                                     ii.     Have you looked into Resistance Cinema?
      3.                                    iii.     Have you looked into Children’s Pavilion?
  4. Imani’s proposal (Second Line idea) and planning for the end of April
    1. [Instead of recording this whole conversation, I would like to take a shortcut by pasting in here an email that Pete sent yesterday.  It basically provides the “take-away”s from this conversation.  Sorry for laziness:]


On April 21st we plan to perform a melt-in at Grand Central Station, because, as the ongoing nuclear disaster in Japan is evidence of, reactors meltdown, and because our planet is melting down due to corporate induced global warming. Grand Central plays host every year to a big Earth Day fair where corporations compete for green credibility. I’m sure Exxon will have a both and probably Entergy, the corporation that runs the Indian Point and Vermont Yankee nuclear plants. We also have in mind some theatrics where we walk around painting each other green, i.e. greenwashing.


Then on the 22nd, Occupy Earth Day Proper we will:


1. Gather at BP gas station at Houston and Lafayette for a New Orleans-style funeral commemorating the Gulf oil spill. The precession will march to Union Sq.

2. Rally at Union Sq. with speakers, possibly food. We are inviting leaders and activists and community organizations involved in a variety of local and global ecological campaigns to participate in order to highlight the over lap between these struggles and the need to fight for broad systemic change. Since we began the day with a funeral we want to talk about preventing further ecocide and opportunities for new, planetary life, renewable energy.

3. The day culminates with a march to the proposed site of the Spectra pipeline, the natural gas pipeline a Texas firm wants to build in the West Village. As evidenced by the current calamity off the coast of Scotland, natural gas is not a safe transition fuel from oil. The day will likely conclude with a banner drop from the High-line.


Times for these components of the march should be nailed down by Friday. But I will say Occupy Earth Day will begin in the early afternoon. 99 For Earths help in planning, messaging, and outreach for this event will be very much appreciated.






  1. Days to know about for the end of April
    1. April 20: BP Oil Spill second-year anniversary
    2. April 21: Melt-in at Grand Central
    3. April 22: Earth Day
      1. 12pm at the BP station
      2. 1pm at Union Square
      3. 2pm, leave for the Spectra site
        1.                                                                                             i.     Tim:  maybe a party after that, at the Spectra site (High Line)
        2. April 25: Closing of Public Comment period re: Spectra Pipeline
        3. April 26: Anniversary of Chernobyl
    4. …more on the melt-in (it’ll be 3pm)
      1.                                       i.     Tim:  I’d like at least one banner that we drop at Grand Central to be against MTA.  I’d put in the work to make that happen.
      2.                                     ii.     Pete:  If you’re corporate/fossil fuel industry with a booth at Grand Central, you’re going to be embarrassed by our melt-in.
    5. …more on Earth Day
      1.                                       i.     Pete:  We need to invite people who will bring out their memberships.  I’ve already invited David Braun of UFA and Claire Donahue of Sane Energy Project.  Part of it, too, will actually be going to meetings.
      2.                                     ii.     We need the flyer for this.
        1. Russell L.:  Of course, what we need is a flyer with details (and something that tells about what’s to come) for Earth Day.  Because we already have a general flyer that we’ve been spreading around for about a couple of weeks.  Let’s put out a flyer that has lots of information on it and draws people in on that information.
        2.                                    iii.     Russell L.:  We want for it to be the case that this is what Occupy is doing on Earth Day, which is a way to get it to be a bit big.
        3.                                    iv.     Chris:  We should build less things better.
        4.                                     v.     Ken:  We need to reach out to DA for this.
        5.                                    vi.     Imani:  At Union Square­—at that point in the day—is when we can do educational/teach-y things (about our ideas about solar, hardwoods, etc.).
        6. Pete:  In terms of outreach, anything approaching the May Day people’s poster art would be good.

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