Minutes, Outreach meeting [16 Jan 2012]

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Monday 1-16-12 – MLK DAY!



Facilitator: Sumumba

Time Keeper: Melina

Minutes: Jim

Stack: Phoebe















URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT: West Park Presbyterian Church has evicted everyone




Report Backs






OccupyTownSquare – Phoebe

We will start occupying various parks around the city in monthly intervals or even greater frequency – hope to have some infrastructure like Info table, printed materials, etc.


First park to be occupied: Wash Sq. Pk Jan 29th 11:30-5:00


MEETING regarding this: Thursday the 19th at 60 Wall 6:00pm


Inglewood Jersey Outreach – Hans

Around 50 people showed up at a church for an extended discussion about MLK, and the future of OWS. OccupyInglewood? The community is very receptive to OWS but they are going at their pace… we are encouraging them to be autonomous and make this their thing. They need sustained communication from us.


OccupiedOffice – Phoebe


There was an anonymous report that claimed people were abusing office by sleeping there – it has been shut down as a result. Meetings with management and UFT to sort this out are ongoing. Current standing: very limited access — Accounting point people are the only people allowed. ComHub has become mobile and still receiving email: comhub@nycga.net


Updates will be posted as they develop: theoccupyofficenyc.net


Suggestions via Ramel: occupywallst.org should have a few links that are highly visible regarding OWS’s grievances, with a current focus on NDAA and its implications for the movement.


POI — there are links on occupywallst.org for the Declaration and Principles of Solidarity but NDAA, despite several actions, is not a persistent presence and should be


Further NDAA discussion: Jane & Hans want to impress upon the group the urgency of NDAA.


Temp check to go late since we started late? Unanimous up twinkles


Alfredo: (late arrival introducing himself) I just want to speak to the idea that I think under Bloomberg’s guidance people have been encouraged to avoid the shelters and have been sent to OWS. This has led to an increased presence of mental instability and the intention is to undermine the movement this way.


POP — this is devolving into open conversation — though the topics are great, we need to get through the agenda. Perhaps we can open up to a freestyle discussion after the agenda has been addressed?


South Bronx – Hans


Suggesting more sit-downs with students. Hans met with group of students predominantly CUNY based — they have preconceived notes of OWS being classically oppressive — a white power structure.


Alfredo: college students should not be our primary focus because they will see things through an academic context — the real people who need outreach in the Bronx are the disenfranchised/poor/gang youth in the Bronx.


Sumumba: since people who are bottom-lining several Agenda Items are not present, let’s jump ahead to J20/J21 — handing floor over to Melina who is bottom-lining both days of action





5:30 Foley Square March

6:00 Speakers including Chris Hedges (corporate personhood), Russell Simmons (prison industrial complex), Billy Talen (invocation), OWS members, etc.



12:00 City Hall Park meetup in conjunction with OccupyFaith

1:00 Corporate Tour of high profile repeat offenders — aka corporate bastards — emphasis on education,  participation and theatricality




We need canvassing in advance of the weekend’s events!

Saturday we need march organizers and people who will commit to sting in fixed location to gather people


Open stack for feedback…


Sumumba: let’s post this info on the listserv and nycaga.net website to reach out for more participants


Melina: this would be great but I’d also like to vet them a little — also, let’s get a sign-in together for tonight’s meeting so any of us who want to participate further can


Hans: The Russell Simmons Question — what’s our deal with having him as a repeat presence?


Melina: it wasn’t my idea and there were varying degrees of support for his presence but he does have an interest in advancing a constitutional amendment to get money out of campaigning


Alfredo: we need people like Simmons who has access to the 1% and also straddle the culture of elements of the lower 99% who are into his music to impress upon them both his ideas


J15 report back from Sumumba


I spoke yesterday at Riverside Church where MLK spoke in ’67 against the Vietnam War. I met both Russell Simmons and Dr. Ben Chavis — youth organizer with MLK, president of NAACP at one time, currently works with Al Sharpton. There was concern it was going to be co-opted into a “regular rally” but this was not the case — feel free to check the livestream, it was very much a celebration of MLK’s legacy and how he would have been supportive of Occupy. I was offered the key to Harlem along with POC and I turned it down because I felt it was a loaded situation. I deferred to DR. Queen Mother Blakely and she received the key. For the sot part: beautiful, well attended event. Simmons’ emphasis was on campaign finance reform and and prison industrial complex — I feel he is sincere.


J16 report back from Melina


We missed the earlier actions but did catch rally at Union Square. 50-75 ppl in square initially with signs and flyers. A  procession of marchers showed up and congregated in front of BofA. Police were there in a phalanx and very assertive. Marchers began a spirited march in a small circle in front of the bank. Barricades were brought in — 5 or 6 arrested who were inside BofA with Dr. King signs. Group of the rest of us broke out into spontaneous singing We Shall Overcome, and then eventually changed lyrics to We Shall Occupy and We Shall have Jobs.


Hans: I spoke on my radio show today regarding why MLK opposed the war in Vietnam, and his poor people’s campaign. During Vietnam we were spending $53 per person to address poverty, but spending over $5,000 per Vietnamese murder — nothing has changed regarding today’s poor and the citizens we are killing in Iraq. No one within the conventional political structure addresses the numbers of civilians we’ve killed in our various wars and this must be addressed loudly. To listen in the future Thinking Without Borders: 10-11:30am on Radio Omega on the internet


Time check-in: it’s 8:47 — how do we feel about going to 9? Let’s do it.


Jane & Hans: OWS should allocate a weekend to addressing civilian deaths in various wars.


Split between Labor and OWS culture – Bennett


Melina: let’s have you introduce this idea in 5 minutes


Bennett: AFLCIO presence during the first attempted eviction of Zucotti was the reason the eviction was not successful. Despite AFLCIO’s co-optation they are the first check on corporate power. Labor has been eviscerated and become a conservative shadow of its former self. However, Richard Trumpka had sent out emails regarding the eviction of OWS from Zucotti telling all local labor chapters to defend the park. This was a historically significant event in that the “new left” and the remaining “old left” within labor joined together. There is  hostility toward union labor and the movement is suffering because of this. Let’s talk about the historical significance of Teddy Roosevelt’s breaking of the power structures in his time. Richard Trumpka, Jimmy Hoffa Jr.,  Leo Gerard president of United Steelworker’s Union — they have gone on TV vocally supporting OWS. We should reach out to them and extend their efforts.

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