Minutes + To-Do List from Friday’s meeting (01-27-12)

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Environmentalist Solidarity WG at OWS / 01-29-12 / Friday Meeting Minutes + To-Do List

Facilitation: Pete

Minutes: Russell

  1. Report back from Monday (Anti-fracking lobby day and rally in Albany)
    1. Russell:  Monday went well.  There were between 600 and 1000 of us there, many of whom were looking for a permanent ban (including myself).  There is a ban bill in the NYS Assembly whose author is Colton.
      1.                                       i.     [Direct-response conversation:]  Obama has come out in support of fracking in a major way (of course he doesn’t use the word “fracking” because we’ve made it profane); his SOTU was full of the phrase “clean energy,” never “renewable energy” which allows him to continue to advocate for/allow nuclear energy and natural gas (part of his all-of-the-above energy strategy).
      2.                                     ii.     There are resources available to us (or, that some people in this WG have) regarding all the frack-related bills in the NYS legislature (their numbers, their sponsors, etc.)
  2. “March 11 Action NY”
    1. Minori (sp?):  I am an anti-nuclear activist plugged into Japan’s growing anti-nuclear movement especially as it has taken a feminist stance/approach.  I am working with other activists and some anti-nuclear organizations here in NY (SDIPN) to put on an action on March 11, the one-year anniversary of Fukushima.  We are angry.
      1.                                       i.     March 11, Union Square, 1-5pm (maybe a march from Zuccotti to Union Square)
      2.                                     ii.     Messaging for the action includes: “We are pregnant with fear of radiation.”
      3.                                    iii.     We realize we are not just fighting a nuclear industry but, really, the 1%
      4.                                    iv.     Will collaborate and plan with this WG and will continue to come to these meetings
    2. Pete, Tim, others:  We could include (faux) hazmat suits.  They’re like $8 at Home Depot
    3. Pete:  We’ll need a banner, and maybe it could be led by women and children
    4. [Direct-response conversation:]  There is a couple of places where you can find protests that are going on in the area.  There’s a list serv (NYProtest, maintained by Todd Eaton).
  3. Statement condemming nuclear weapons
    1. We and people we know will be collaborating with Occupy Moscow.  They reached out to OWS for the purpose of releasing a joint statement against nukes.
  4. Eco-Summit
    1. will be at Judson Memorial Church tomorrow
    2. 6 or 7 of our projects will be presented on there
    3. Pete:  Hopefully we can talk more about and hear more about occupying disused space and claiming it for the public and as green space (especially maybe launching this on Earth Day)
      1.                                       i.     John:  The one in the Bronx (the project of Take Back the Bronx) is Morning Glory Gardens
      2.                                     ii.     Donna/Direct response:  Another idea for Earth Day is going onto college campuses (like for their Earth Weeks or Earth Months or whatever).  Let me know if you’re interested.
  5. Adirondacks
    1. Pete:  Johanna’s not here but Cuomo wants to build a casino and ski resort in the Adirondacks.  That’s a project that Cuomo’s father (when he was governor) refused to allow.  There was a thought to do actions around that.
  6. Valentine’s Day Action (5pm, Liberty Square)
    1. On Valentine’s Day, we want to do a valentine drop at a Bank of America.  We want to tell BofA that we want them to stop foreclosing on people’s homes and stop foreclosing on the planet and that we want out of this abusive relationship.
      1.                                       i.     The eco subgroup of the DA WG has a plan to bring down BofA in six months, so they’re on board.
        1. Also joining us will be Reverend Billy and Mountain Justice
          1. RAN has not been responsive.  Tim will reach out to them for the WG though, to see if they would help up mobilize and maybe have a speaker if they wanted.
      2.                                     ii.     We would try to work with Ellen who would try to do something on the West Coast for that.
        1. In general Ellen is trying to bring some of our kind of work to Occupy SF, in the form of a new working group over there or something.  Let her know if you have connections (with any Occupucations in the Bay Area) that would help her with that.
    2. Bank of America probably has its hands in every dirty energy but that’s worth getting more specific about, in terms of our knowledge.
      1.                                       i.     Dave will help do some of this research, by looking into Bank of America’s level of investment in natural gas.

—————————————-Out-of-process announcements:————————————–

Dave:  United for Action is going to start targeting Obama (after his extremely pro-gas SOTU).  There’ll be call-in days and letters.  United for Action people already call in every Monday.  One idea is a nationwide coordinated day when people go into Obama’s local campaign offices and hand over postcards that say “I won’t work for you; I won’t vote for you” because of his positions on energy.

Dave:  There will be a showing monthly (at 6:45) of Gasland at Irving Place (the offices of The Nation).  Ken:  Split Estate is just as good a movie about fracking as Gasland.

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

  1. There’ll be the valentine and the flyer.  It also makes sense to have a printed-out little valentine message that we could paste or tape into the heart for those who don’t want to hand-write their valentines.  Otherwise you design your own.
  2. Report back from Occupy Eco-Logic
    1. Ken’s wife baked a cake.
    2. You can listen to the show (archived) at wbai.org or the site of Eco-Logic itself
  3. Teach-In opportunities
    1. Ken can give a teach-in at Liberty Square Saturday (tomorrow) 12 till 2, part of OWS’s effort to re-occupy Liberty Square every day for 2 hours
    2. Sunday at Washington Square Park for Occupy Town Squares
      1.                                       i.     OWS Sustainability has offered us the chance to give one or multiple teach-ins
      2.                                     ii.     that’s going on all day (like 6 hours)
  4. Occupy Gibson
    1. Tim:  I was in Nashville for 2 days and was in LA for a few
      1.                                       i.     The second day in Nashville I spoke at their GA and got GOOD feedback.
      2.                                     ii.     The annual music merchants’ conference (NAMM) elicited a press conference where a coalition of us against the use of tropical hardwoods in guitars (and a recording artist from Madagascar) went pretty well and got a little coverage.
        1. The response Tim got from his fellow coalition members to the idea of doing lockdowns and direct actions was very mild
    2. Tim:  The Occupy Gibson action really has a good chance of going well.  It would mean an action in Nashville at Gibson’s headquarters carried out by Tim and his new contacts at Occupy Nashville AND (maybe simultaneously) a solidarity/partner action here in NY carried out by willing members of this WG at a store that sells Gibson guitars.
    3. We will, especially Tim, think about what days will be good.  Maybe mid-February.
    4. Jackson Browne was thought of as an ally/celebrity draw within the music industry
    5. Suggestion of reaching out to the Bronx Zoo for collaboration.  Probably not going to yield anything good, because Wildlife Conservation Society (which runs the Bronx Zoo) shies away from anything remotely political.
  5. Announcements
    1. Renew NY / Donna
      1.                                       i.     Friday-February 17 NYC Friends of Clearwater has its monthly meeting and Renew NY will present there.  83 Christmas St
      2.                                     ii.     Sunday-February 19 is Renew NY’s event on wind and water turbines at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine
      3.                                    iii.     Ken:  Verdant Power (with Cooper Union) has a project to put turbines in the East River (part of the event on February 19)
        1. [conversation about what those turbines would do to birds]
          1. Facilitator:  Announcements should be 1-2 minutes.
    2. Johanna:  Our twitter account is up and our name is @owsenvironment
    3. Johanna:  Occupy Animals is one of my groups and we want to mic check the ACC (Animal Care and Control) at a meeting, like the action at the Indian Point hearing.
    4. Russell:  The radical reading group (a spinoff of this WG) is going to be reading a new book.  The new book is not decided yet.  If you want to join the radical reading group, contact me.
      1.                                       i.     [suggestions from the group]:  Ishmael and The Little Prince
    5. Johanna:  I’m a storyteller and I’m in an Occupy group doing funny stories, as of now about debt.  If you want to tell a story at the next Occupy Town Square, talk to me.
    6. Pete:  I am a member of the International Socialist Organization (ISO) and almost every Saturday we members (and others invited) have an informal bar night at Café Mercado on Bleeker and Broadway.  So come have some brews and talk politics with us after the Eco-Summit tomorrow.


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


  • Robert will activate the blog tab of our page on the GA site.  He’ll check in with Johanna (because she may have began this kind of work).
  • Dave will do research for the WG to find out Bank of America’s level of investment in natural gas. (6bi)
  • ALL will think about whether they have any connections to any Bay Area Occupations to possibly help Ellen set up a WG like ours at Occupy SF.
  • The whole WG will keep it in mind that it is in our interests to have more specific information about BofA’s investments in climate death / dirty energy (of course Dave’s going to do part of this directly). (6b)
  • The whole WG will keep it in mind that it is in our interests to know the fracking-related bills in the NYS legislature and who their authors and co-sponsors are. (1aii)
  • The whole WG will keep it in mind that using the angle of ecocide might be a good emphasis or direct action message, with regard to fracking or otherwise.
  • The whole WG will need to make the valentines (and spread that work around) for the Valentine’s Day action. (6a)

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