Minutes + To-Do List from Monday’s Meeting (02-27-12)

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Environmental Solidarity WG at OWS / 02-27-12 / Monday Meeting Minutes + To-Do List

Facilitator: Pete

Note-taker: Russell

  1. Pre-agenda announcements
    1. Seth Wilson over at Arts and Culture is the person to seek out if we want help with a banner
    2. If we want a table at the next Occupy Town Hall, OWS Works Working Group is the group to ask
    3. The KXL pipeline is back and the White House is supporting TransCanada’s building of the southernmost portion of it (within the U.S., where no State Dept. approval is necessary).  This undoes Obama’s earlier rejection.
    4. Chris:  the Anti-War WG is interested in working with us.
  2. Discussion on Pete’s Proposal
    1. Sharing meetings with Sustainability
      1.                                       i.     we’d share their funds (if they get anything—of course there’s a spending freeze)
    2. The Cluster could continue if people wanted, but it could also be shown to be irrelevant and thus dissolve
    3. John:  If you say, “Sustainability and ESWG are going to merge in a way that will very probably make the Cluster irrelevant, and you can join us or not,” that might come across as exclusive/backhanded
    4. Russell L. explains how the Cluster doesn’t want to do specific, in-process event planning because many feel that would become a battleground instead of a productive place, so some want to keep planning meetings outside of Cluster, and move them to an “action spokes council.”
    5. Tom:  Wouldn’t that be too long of an agenda and too long of a meeting?
    6. Chris:  I think Pete’s proposal is good in terms of having people focus on what’s important.  I want to get together with as many people as possible (and come the next week with even more people) in order to have bigger and bigger actions, as long as we (all) understand what the roots of the crisis are.
    7. The organizing model of the Cluster is speaking for itself.  Fewer and fewer people are coming to the meetings.
    8. Pete:  Sarah of Sustainability likes this idea, and shared meetings is I think where we’re headed.
      1.                                       i.     Temperature check on shared meetings? all twinkles
  3. Earth Month
    1. [Result of several people’s remarks:]  On Earth Day (April 22), let’s march from Zuccotti (or maybe Union Square) to the site of the proposed compressor station of the Spectra Pipeline and do a banner drop (from the High Line).
    2. John:  I want to do an action at Cuomo’s office.  We’ve got to get loud around/to him.  On a work day though.  Earth Day and the day before are a Sunday and Saturday respectively.
    3. John:  Local issues are local issues.  To people in the West Village, fracking is a local issue when it comes to Spectra.  But to people in the Bronx, fracking is a local issue when it comes to asthma.  We should either do local or a mass demo (or both, if we know we’re doing that).
    4. Chris:  Earth Day is corporate now.  We need to take it back to its anti-corporate roots.
    5. Ideas for taglines/messaging for Earth Day:
      1.                                       i.     Occupy Earth Day
      2.                                     ii.     Reclaim Earth Day
      3.                                    iii.     Take Back Earth Day
      4.                                    iv.     Earth on Strike
    6. Conversation about whether “strike” language is desirable and about whether “occupying” Earth Day is something that we want to do.
    7. Space:  Think about how you could involve Plus Brigades. (+brigades)
      1.                                       i.     They make actions creative/theatrical
    8. take-aways from this conversation:
      1.                                       i.     We’re going to continue to think about the messaging / name for the Day
      2.                                     ii.     At our meeting on Friday we’ll get more specific
        1. That’s what we’ll bring to Saturday, which is a combined Cluster + action spokes council for Earth Day
    9. Katrina:  Look into getting funding from this group OMG.  I’ll send info out to the list serv.  It’s outside the spending freeze, because the money comes technically from affinity/allies.
      1.                                       i.     [Informal Consensus:]  At the next meeting, we’ll make a decision about whether we want to go after this $4-5,000
  4. Bank of America take-down
    1. There’s a group formed for the purpose of bringing down BofA, with actions on the 15thof each month leading up to a shareholders’ meeting in NC
      1.                                       i.     They have and want more representation in the environmental face of the effort to bring down BofA
    2. Luna will be the liaison from ESWG to the Bring Down BofA people.  Pete will get her the contact info / Luna will try to get in touch with Ray again.
  5. Fukushima/nuclear
    1. Sage Alliance is the one planning the VT Yankee actions (with 2 weeks of actions in March)
    2. Chris:  We’re in contact with VT, as Entergy owns both the VT plant and Indian Point.
    3. Chris:  Obama has signed on to the building of 2 new nuke plants, the first to be initiated since 1972.
    4. Chris:  I am moderating a panel on Sunday-March 4 at 5pm at Riverside Church on Fukushima, with first responders there.
    5. On March 8 there will be a march from Zuccotti to the the UN to the GW Bridge
      1.                                       i.     Pete:  I think it’s the same people doing the march from VT Yankee to Indian Point
      2.                                     ii.     Luna can march with them, possibly Pete too
    6. March 11 is the big demonstration and march from Union Square to the Japanese consulate.
  6. CELDF
    1. Russell:  There is a two-day class (a Democracy School session) put on by CEDLF (community environmental legal defense fund) that about two us (in the WG) are being invited to.  It’s a class on the current state of the law and how it is written in favor of private interests instead of the people and how to retool for communities and for the rights of nature.  I will send out details to the Google Group.
  7. Saturday’s rally in the Cathedral report-back
    1. Russell:  It went well.  There was a contingent of us that were left of Democrat but we weren’t very visible, sadly.  We could have done that better. Banner was there and looked (and looks) good.  We were an official co-sponsor of the event (thanks to John) and we were named in the call-out of endorsers of the event.  It was good to look around and see out numbers as fracktivists in NYC.  There were at least 700 people there.
    2. Pete:  It was such a subdued atmosphere.  We wanted to do a spontaneous march afterwards up to Columbia but the momentum/timing wasn’t enough/right.
  8. What’s right now (after this meeting?)
    1. Radical Reading Group
    2. the 99 for Earth meeting is going on right now and they’re planning for March 24


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


  • ALL will think about whether they like the idea of sharing meetings—and all of them?, if so—with Sustainability, as per Pete’s proposal (2h)
  • The whole WG will think about whether it wants to ask Arts and Culture to make us a banner, and will ask Seth Wilson if we decide that we do (1a)
  • The whole WG will think about whether it wants a table at the next Occupy Town Square and will ask OWS Works WG if it does (1b)
  • The whole WG will pick up where we left off in the Earth Day/Earth Month planning and will make some progress on Friday to bring to the double meeting on Saturday (3h)
  • 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)
  • The whole WG will think about whether we want to go after OMG’s project money and will make a decision about this on Friday (3ii)
  • Pete will try to get our general banner back from Dom (from the previous meeting)
  • Russell L. will give all the information about the CELDF opportunity (to be in a Democracy School class) on March 23 and 24 (6a)
  • Luna will be the liaison between ESWG and the Bring Down BofA people.  Pete will get her the contact info / Luna will try to get in touch with Ray again (4b)

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