Minutes + To-Do List from Monday’s Meeting (02-06-12)

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Environmentalist Solidarity WG at OWS / 02-06-12 / Monday Meeting Minutes + To-Do List

Facilitation: Pete

Minutes: Russell

  1. Reactions to and reflection on the first meeting of the Eco-Cluster
    1. Who among us was at the Cluster?  Pete, Robert, Johanna, and Chris
    2. Who facilitated?  someone named Stefan
    3. How many people were there? 30-35, with at least a dozen groups represented
    4. Feedback
      1.                                       i.     Robert:  We broke out into small groups but we didn’t have to and it wasn’t clear why we did it that way or even what really happened in the small groups
        1. Robert:  We only seem to have decided on 2 things:
          1. that our next meeting will be 3:30-5:30 same place
          2. that at the moment we’re thinking the Cluster will serve as an information clearinghouse for us all
      2.                                     ii.     Chris:  If all we use a Cluster format for is an information clearinghouse, it won’t last long because that’s not a strong enough reason to have a meeting/come together.  People will stop coming.
      3.                                    iii.     Johanna:  I took pictures with my phone of the boards that got written on during the facilitation, and I can send those pics out to everyone.
      4.                                    iv.     Johanna:  I don’t think we should use occupytheearth.net.  In my experience, all a campaign needs is: facebook, twitter, a homepage, and a wiki
      5.                                     v.     Pete:  I think the Cluster needs a mission statement, and I think we should put our heads together re. what we think would/should go in such a mission statement [notetaker’s note: that was heavy paraphrasing; sorry]

—-discussion that will eventually inform a Cluster mission statement/reaction to Wolff article—-

Pete:  We’re there because we have a political perspective—that environmental degredation/devastation is happening because the 1% have given awful structure to society and the way we live and it’s time for the 99% to make the decisions about how society is run and how we relate to our environment.

Robert:  I think it’s less about the 99% taking power (from the 1%) than the vision you just expressed.

Johanna:  I have a more radical perspective.  I don’t want the word “economy” anywhere near my environmental vision.  I believe in the environment for the environment’s sake.

Chris:  Human beings are going to affect (including negatively) their environment.  All organisms do.  Economy is simply the question: how do you live on the Earth?

Russell:  I don’t know why we’re having this conversation right now.

Facilitator:  I think this is important and we should spend about 10 minutes on it.

Tom:  I think we should go to a stack system.

Carlos:  Indigenous people’s wisdom includes the understanding that they’re going to impact their environment.

Jay:  The most important thing at this point is education.

Chris:  If we replaced this system (by building a big enough movement) what would we then do?  What scheme would we live under?

John and Jay:  There’s no contradiction between jobs and the environment.

Johanna:  One thing I want to be part of our OWS discourse is the frustration with the fact that government agencies are not accountable to the people.

—————————————–back to being on-agenda:———————————————

  1. Occupy Spanish
    1. Carlos:  I work with Occupy Spanish.  I put together a showing of Gasland in Spanish in Washington Heights.  Only 25 people showed up but their response was amazing.  We are going to do another showing.  I am waiting to hear from Word Up.
      1.                                       i.     You all can work with me in the future.  My number is 347-273-3436.
      2.                                     ii.     Russell and others:  We would like to know the details of the next showing when you know them, so that we could share this with our networks/communities.
  2. Occupy Moscow
    1. Alice Slater (who works in OWS antiwar WG and is anti-nuke activist) was reached by Occupy Moscow.  Occupy Moscow had an excellent statement against nuclear weapons and power.  They wanted it jointly released by Occupy Moscow and OWS
      1.                                       i.     Chris:  Anti-War WG took it to the GA, where it failed, to our great frustration.  There was a block by a person who thought nuclear weapons were necessary for the defense of the United States and some people abstained because they “didn’t know enough about nuclear power.”  The GA operates on 90% (modified) consensus, and we didn’t have 90.
        1. Chris:  This means two things.  One, that we have to wonder where the heart of OWS is and what bodies should be making decisions for the OWS and that the GA (as currently structured) is not the best we can do.  There are serious questions about how to move forward, and that’s natural and good.  Two, that the next time Anti-War WG brings this to the GA, we and our contacts in the Cluster and so on need to show up (because we areinformed).
          1. Johanna and Chris:  Blocks are threatening.  Some people who block have personality problems.  Or are cops.
          2. Robert:  Maybe it’s time to look at the WGs as the heart of OWS.
  3. Occupy Town Square
    1. The next one of these is Saturday-February 11 at the Presbyrtirian Church on 86th St.
    2. There’s a lot of excitement right now around the Town Squares.
    3. Would we want a table there?  Would we want to do a teach-in, or something performative?  (if so, all you have to do is fill out a form for them)
      1.                                       i.     Pete:  It would be good to, at the very least, give out flyers there for V-Day.
        1. Robert and Tom will be point people for this there.  Pete will email them the necessary materials.
        2. Johanna:  One problem of this WG is that we don’t have like general flyers at the ready for things like this as they come up.
  4. March 11 Action NYC
    1. This is a reminder that the Fukushima anniversary protest is March 11
      1.                                       i.     Our current understanding is that we will go from Zuccotti to Union Square and then from Union Square to the Japanese Consulate.
    2. Minori (sp?) will be here Friday so that we can learn more and exchange on this.
  5. Name Change
    1. Consensus was reached on this plan for the change of the name of this WG:
      1.                                       i.     We will be known as OWS Environmental Solidarity Working Group, whereas on press releases, flyers, and other things begging abbreviation “OWS Environmental Solidary” will be used.
    2. of course the Twitter is owsenvironment
  6. Change of meeting day and time
    1. We’re having this discussion via Doodle.  Go onto the Doodle and put in your availability.  An email from Johanna to the Google Group has the link to the Doodle.
    2. We will see what single day (and two-hour stretch) works for most of us, and then we’ll figure out if we want to switch to that (or continue as we have been, with two meetings each week).
  7. Indian Point and Fukushima
    1. Chris:  SDIPN is interested in an action on Sunday-March 4 as well as—or, to build momentum for—March 11.
      1.                                       i.     [Informal Consensus:]  This WG will take part in and help with a March 4 action
      2.                                     ii.     We’re going to put March 11 and its preparations on the agenda for Friday.
    2. Chris:  There are several other important actions/activities for the Fukushima anniversary.
      1.                                       i.     a march from VT to Indian Point, a Buddhist group coming down from Vermont, New Jersey activities, etc.
    3. Tom:  The NYS Assembly (which we were trying to influence with our mic check) has released its recommendation which is to not renew Indian Point’s license.  This is very good news.  They even said that the power lost in the closure of Indian Point would not even need to be replaced / generated elsewhere.
      1.                                       i.     Also the NRC finally, for once, rejected Entergy’s request to be exempted from fire regulations at Indian Point.
      2.                                     ii.     Indian Point is becoming an economic white elephant.
  8. V-Day
    1. Check out the valentines that Pete and his partner made.
  9. 99 for Earth
    1. 99 for Earth (a new group) is planning a national day of action.  Activities on March 23 and 24.  Place (in NYC) TBD.  Pete will forward details when he has them.
  10. Announcements
    1. Johanna:  There is an inter-occupy conference call on Thursday and I sent that out on the Google Group.
    2. Richard:  NYC in collaboration with Gateway is spraying herbicides all over NYC parks.  I don’t think globally as much as I act locally.]
      1.                                       i.     Richard should get onto the Google Group so that he can share this with us.
    3. Johanna:  This process doesn’t work for everyone and people at OWS are rethinking it.  I would like time on the agenda for next for my (these) comments.
    4. Chris:  I am teaching a 6-wk class at the Brecht Forum.  Thursday 5:30-7:30.
    5. Chris:  This Friday-February 10 is my presentation on my Fukushima trip at the Center for Remembering and Sharing at 7:30.  That’s on 4th Ave and there’s a $5 suggested donation.


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


  • Johanna will send out her pics of the written-on boards at the Cluster (1diii)
  • The whole WG will keep in mind that Carlos has an upcoming showing of Gasland in Spanish and that we should know about it (when there’s more to learn) (2aii)
  • Robert and Tom will go to the next Occupy Town Square to give out flyers (4ci1)
  • Pete will email the materials to Robert and Tom that they will need at the Town Square (4ci1)
  • The whole WG think about whether or not we need flyers and general materials at the ready for things that come up (4ci2)
  • ALL will add their input to the Doodle for the possible meeting time change (7a)
  • The whole WG will make an agenda item for Friday out of March 11 and its preparations (8aii)
  • The whole WG will remember that the agenda on Friday should give Johanna time for her comment (11c)
  • Pete will forward along details to us all re. the 99 for Earth actions in March (10a)
  • Richard will join the Google Group so he can share with us his NYC-Gateway herbicide news/knowledge http://groups.google.com/group/ows-environmental-solidarity?hl=en (11bi)
  • The whole WG will think about whether we want to have a color to wear (all of us), like blue, on Valentine’s Day (the previous minutes)
  • The whole WG will think about how we would like to use the blog on the GA site (the previous minutes)
  • The whole WG should keep it in mind that we should/could collaborate with Ellen and the new Occupy SF Eco-Justice WG (the previous minutes)
  • The whole WG should keep it in mind that we might want more time at an upcoming meeting to talk more about Richard Wolff’s manifesto
  • The whole WG should keep it in mind that we might want more time at an upcoming meeting to talk more about Luna’s list of roles in direct actions/protests

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