Minutes + To-Do List from Monday’s Meeting (02-20-12)

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Environmental Solidarity WG at OWS / 02-20-12 / Monday Meeting Minutes + To-Do List

Facilitator: Luna

Stack-taker: Pete

Note-taker: Russell

  1. Earth Month (March 22 to April 22)
    1. basically, from the equinox to Earth Day
      1.                                       i.     Robert:  March 22 to April 22 is what a group in Sacramento has scheduled.
    2. Pete:  framing Earth Day as our Environmentalist May Day
    3. making use of the equinox is a good idea
    4. Ken:  I liked the walk/march we did (from Washington Square to Liberty Square)
      1.                                       i.     maybe a bigger version of that
      2.                                     ii.     “bigger” but shorter in terms of distance
    5. Pete:  We should work with Occupy Student Debt.  They’re involved in the fight against NYU which is trying to end a community garden (on property that they own)—LaGuardia Garden.
      1.                                       i.     Johanna will share her contacts with Occupy Student Debt with the WG.
      2.                                     ii.     Johanna will also share her contacts at Occupy Town Square for this endeavor
      3.                                    iii.     There is an action to defend that garden this Thursday at 4pm
    6. 99 for Earth is working within that time period.  Their big action is March 23.
      1.                                       i.     The CA contingent will be doing stuff against the banks
        1. Tim:  Maybe it’s time to target Chase here in NY.
    7. Robert:  Maybe a walking tour would be good.  One that grounds people in the ecologically devastating companies and activities as well as the economically devastating companies and activities.  Showing who owns what (buildings, etc.).
      1.                                       i.     Johanna:  I like the idea of a walking tour planned by us.
    8. Pete:  Here’s language I think we should use:  “What if Earth went on strike?”
    9. Kevin:  I’m with Curveball and we’re launching an occupation of Liberty Square for the whole month of March, everyday from 12pm to 2pm.
      1.                                       i.     Apollo:  I am planning workshops for those March days at Liberty Square.  March 15 is a day set aside for an environmental workshop.  We’re looking for your WG to put something together that’s about the ecological crisis.
        1. Pete:  One idea is that we could invite people to a debate.  Two options for what we might debate are:
          1. Should we support the Democrats?
          2. Anthropocentrism vs. Biocentrism
    10. Tim:  Earth Month should mean to us reaching out to the broader community.
    11. Max:  Have we reached out to Time’s Up and others about doing a critical mass/bike thing?
      1.                                       i.     Max will head up this outreach.
    12. Max:  We could have like an OWS public ritual/celebration for the equinox.
    13. Tom:  We always end up doing things with Democrats!  It seems always to happen that we end up bunched up with groups that want, for instance, moratoriums, not bans.  Like this rally in the Cathedral on Saturday.  We need to watch for where we’re being co-opted.
      1.                                       i.     Ken:  Here is an open question for this WG:  Should we be about inclusion of mainstream groups, like Audobon Society and Sierra Club National?
        1. Russell L.:  I say we try to invite anybody to what we’re putting on.  Reach out to their members, just don’t share the agenda or the coordination with those groups.  If you get their members to come to our actions, it’s a way to bring them in on some radical environmental politics.
          1. Tim:  The top 15 environmental groups in the country cannot be reached.  Their member lists are not and never will be available to us.
          2. Johanna:  I suggest social media for that kind of bringing in of mainstream people.
          3. Apollo:  I say you do more on-foot outreach/organizing.  Go to Times Square.  Go to the subways.  Go knock on doors and tell people what’s going on in their community.
    14. The question of whether we are officially “endorsing” the rally on Saturday
      1.                                       i.     John:  Eric Weltman of Food and Water Watch says that we can be endorsers as long as we publicize for it.  I’ll ask him if we can have a speaker or table.
    15. Max will create a flyer for the WG to give out on Saturday telling people to watch out for Earth Month.
  2. The possibility of switching to one meeting per week instead of the status quo
    1. after some discussion, consensus to stay the same (meeting on Monday at 6:00 and Friday at 5:30)
    2. take-aways from this conversation:
      1.                                       i.     sub-groups or subcommittees is a good idea.  and they could arrange themselves on an as-needed basis but we shouldn’t forget this valuable way of working/progressing
        1. we could consider skype or conference calls for subcommittee work
      2.                                     ii.     the idea of breaking into sub-groups in-meeting is generally not favored
  3. Banner committee
    1. Tom and John:  At the rally on Saturday, we might be a voice that says, “We will accept nothing less than a statewide ban.”
      1.                                       i.     Eric:  It’ll be hard to get into it with them about which bill they support.  I think the task really is to get people into the church and make as much noise as we can once there.
    2. ideas for language for our frack work:
      1.                                       i.     Ken:  no fracking “ever”
      2.                                     ii.     Robert: “fracking is ecocide”
    3. Johanna: Jose (who goes to the Cluster meetings) says that Infohub makes signs for you.
      1.                                       i.     Outreach WG and OWS Print is another option
    4. Tim:  We’re making one banner, but anybody can make their own signs.
    5. We will check SIS (the storage space at 52 Broadway) for paint.
      1.                                       i.     Where does the screenprinting happen?
      2.                                     ii.     SIS is a WG (Shipping, Inventory, and Storage)
        1. they’re open Tues-Fri 11am to 9pm
    6. Pete will try to get us the Walker space for the bannermaking itself this week.
    7. There’s still a spending freeze; we can’t get GA money.
      1.                                       i.     Passing the hat for the cost of the cloth and paint
        1. Tim collects the money from the hat, totaling $24.01.
  4. Cluster report-back
    1. Luna:  It went really well.
    2. Robert:  It is decided that the Cluster does not make decisions (or take proposals) except on its internal matters.
    3. Russell:  What is different to me about what we said the Cluster would be about is: the Cluster is not really a place for you to bring just the germ of an idea.  The Cluster is a place to bring an idea that already has some planning behind it and some traction, to share with the other Cluster attendees.  The “planning behind it” is—basically—what you do in your WGs (or other groups) before you go to Cluster.
    4. Pete:  Let’s engage people to join the Cluster—to get involved that way.
      1.                                       i.     Ken:  I’d rather we engage people to join the WG, and the Cluster from there.
  5. Announcements (which are 3-4-sentence notifications of things we think everybody should know about)
    1. Tim re. the Parks Dept. switching to concrete on its boardwalks
      1.                                       i.     Please take time to write letters to the NYT based on its article about this.  Look for my suggestion/action item on this; I’ll put it on the Google Group.
    2. Tom: Damrosch Park (East River) had all its trees wiped out.  Maybe we could do something on this for Earth Month.
    3. Pete:  I’m going to be on Ken’s show on Tuesday.
    4. Robert:  The Forum on the Commons was really successful.  I’ll send more information out about it.  And we’ll look for ways to collaborate with Making Worlds as we go forward.
    5. Pete:  Tuesday-February 28 is Chris’s talk: Planet Before Profit.  For details, see the flyer or the email on the Google Group about this event.
    6. Robert:  Lookout for F27 and F29
    7. Pete:  On Wednesday I’m going to be on a different radio station (Brooklyn community radio).  I’ll send out the info.


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


  • ALL will look into Tim’s call to action around the Parks Dept and the NYT article about it (5ai)
  • The whole WG will think about what it means for our WG to “endorse” an action.  Is it clear?  Do we endorse/formally support actions called for and executed by mainstream groups? (1n)
  • The whole WG will think about establishing like a mission-and-identity sub-group, to kind of come up with a list of our positions/insistences.  This is suggested by Tom and John.  They would like to promote the WG by giving out a piece of paper that tells other where we stand (and separates us from more mainstream groups)
  • Pete will try to get our general banner back from Dom (from the previous meeting)
  • Johanna will share her contacts with Occupy Student Debt with the WG for LaGuardia Garden stuff (1ei)
  • Johanna will also share her contacts at Occupy Town Square for LaGuardia Garden stuff (1eii)
  • Max will reach out to Time’s Up and other cycling people about Earth Month collaboration (1ki)
  • Max will make the flyer.  We need it on Saturday. (1o)
  • John will be the point person for the WG on our “endorser” status of the action on Saturday (1ni)
  • The banner committee will make a banner for the action on Saturday (3d)
  • Russell L. will continue to coordinate with CELDF for maybe March 23 and 24 (from the previous meeting)

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