OYWP Minutes, Feb 19, 2012*

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OYWP Minutes, Feb 19, 2012*
Present: Sam T, Jack J, Blaine C, Chris M, David H, Kelley W, Mariah M, DJ
H, Matt H, Mimi R, Mohamed S, Ahmed Z, Cynthia
Minutes: Sam T
1.    Movie Idea (Mariah)
2.    Intro to OYWP
3.    Reports: RoCcupy (Sam), S_____ (Chris)
4.    May 1st/Action Spokescouncil
5.    Survey
6.    Ideas for future: Cultural Occupation of Liberty Square (COOLS),
Unpaid Internships/Arts & Labor
7.    [Report from Egypt]

*Movie Idea*
•    Mariah – idea for 15 min video about OWS, in which several working
groups could participate
•    Kelley – what is needed is a “how-to-occupy-your-workplace” video for
•    Jack – suggestion to look at Bunuel 38 “Voices of OWS” video posted
11/14 (link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rC7cDBtMvU4 )

*Intro to OYWP*
•    Yoel – we’re putting together our ideas
•    Sam – we have a better foothold in workplaces than in public spaces
b/c we can’t be evicted
•    Dave – background: after Occupy WalMart non-start (b/c no WalMarts in
NYC), moved to start OYWP, under the idea of “organize the unorganized,
worker takeovers, focus on workers traditionally ignored by unions, young
workers, and non-traditional sectors
•    Chris – also about how the labor movement is going to work, in the
vein of Labor Notes, opposition to Andy-Stern-type unionism
•    Yoel – put in context of next steps for OWS, not in the parks but part
of everyday life, most exciting next push for OWS
•    Kelley – address need for looking at organized labor in new way;
unique opportunity to focus on organizing, democratizing spaces, agency &
power, not subject to top-down power
•    Jack – are we going out after Mom & Pops?
•    Mimi – not clear why people feel they are not part of Labor Outreach
Committee; why clusters and not coalescence?
•    Sam – each group (LOC, IWJ, R&F, OYWP) seems to have its own brief,
but there has been a push for a unified labor meeting between all groups
•    Mimi – working w/particular campaign might be a thing to coalesce
around; we seem not to be creating discourse around broad working class
issues (eg wage stagnation, union rights)
•    Dave – LOC deals w/established unions vs. we deal w/unorganized
•    Kelley – unorganized workers who came to LOC found no place;
specializations as OWS grows (example of Occupy DOE)
•    Jack – left his business/line of work to join Occupy; we should
unionize Occupy b/c it’s work for many people; OYWP can do a lot of good,
but we have to know how to present it; first 5 words out of your mouth can
“make a deal or break a deal”; we should also be friendly with bosses –
high road business approach/sign in window saying we treat workers well
•    [aside regarding rights of undocumented immigrants to organize]

•    RoCcupy Meeting (Sam) – meeting was very good; about 40 attended from
ROC; conducted in OWS style; 4-5 people expressed interest in OYWP
•    S_____ (Chris) – Thurs. meeting discussed ongoing work: Weingarten
rights pamphlet (2 people fired in last several months b/c they didn’t have
shop steward at discipline); Press Release; Survey; involving/educating
probationary employees in meetings; fighting contract proposal w/2-tier
system (vote no campaign if it comes to that); Thurs, Sun & Wed meetings at
Grassroots Tavern
o    Kelley – important to get story out beyond labor press; S_____ could
be good place to get story out to a more popular audience
o    Dave – S_____ is “coming out” opportunity for OYWP
o    Kelley – S_____ may not be good for that b/c is already organized
May 1st/Action Spokescouncil
•    Dave – there is a suggestion in consideration for a 2nd spokescouncil
around action; we should get involved; may mesh with OYWP planning for May
•    Yoel – make people comfortable info won’t be disclosed
•    Kelley – also, we should question: more than 1 job? Length of
unemployment, & are you collecting any benefits? Dependents? Public
•    Sam – survey is not a statistical sample; some question as to whether
it will only be of OWS, or used outside OWS as well; maybe less
intimidating if it’s shorter
•    Yoel – has a use as agitational material
•    Kelley – only really one question is important: workplace satisfaction?

•    Yoel – this is what we need to be doing
•    Kelley – how-to, user-friendly booklet; in anti-globalization mvmt, we
were training all the time; OWS needs to do more of this; presumptuous to
tell people what to do w/o being able to help or provide real resources
•    Mimi – have to outreach to campaigns at beginning stages (eg Brooklyn
•    Yoel – proposal: we should put energy towards an OWYP workshop day at
end of March
•    Mimi – involve role of lawyers, community; multi-pronged
•    Sam – is this going to be a training for organizers, or for workplace
•    Yoel – should be both of those at same time
•    Kelley – 4 hour “mini-conference”
•    Dave – inreach/outreach
•    Yoel – we need a sub-group to work on this: so far Yoel, Sam
[two Egyptian activists – Mohamed & Ahmed – joined the meeting half way in,
Mimi moved to give them time for a report from Egypt]

*Report from Egypt*
•    Mohamed – the regime (SCAF – Supreme Council of Armed Forces) is
trying to restore old system with new faces; since October, system began
clamping down; opposition parties suspected of having deal w/SCAF
•    Mimi – role of labor?
•    Mohamed – labor initiated campaign 7 years ago which led up to
revolution; cannot be separated from entirety of popular movement
•    Kelley – are people discouraged?
•    Mohamed – maybe 40% of people who supported the revolution have become
discouraged; gov’t media plays a role in this
•    Mimi – what should be emphasis now?
•    Mohamed – SCAF needs to be overthrown
•    Mimi – what do you think of OWS?
•    Mohamed – U.S. masses seem very unaware
•    Ahmed – people in Egypt are unaware too, say wait until election;
media will attack regardless
•    Yoel – media only attacks when we are winning; we are back to no media
•    Kelley – US media operates through blackout; unless international
media picked up OWS, it would not have been reported in US
•    Mimi – we’ve learned from comrades abroad to create our own media;
role of media not as important as it was 15 years ago, esp. w/younger people
•    Mohamed – people don’t check social media/online unless they already
know something is happening
•    Yoel – inflection point here was when 2 women were maced in NYC; for
Egypt video w/background music; well-done video very important,
entertaining media spreads by itself

Meeting ended

After meeting, Kelley suggested we look at educational materials from the
Ruckus Society and takethesquare.net

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