Benefit Concert for the homeless as part of the 12 Days of Occupy this Thursday, Dec. 22 at Off Broadway. Roving GA will be held at this location at 6:00 and the show begins around 7:00-7:30. Admission is either $10, ten cans of food, or a slightly used winter coat.
Report of National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) Actions as part of D-17:
Points of Information: This Act of Congress gives the President the authority to indefinitely detain without due process of a trial any “belligerent” citizen who is suspected of associating with Al Queda or supporting organizations. Also, Obama was educated as a Constitutional lawyer.
NDAA action and mic check happened at several locations in the Loop. An “internment camp” was set up with orange fencing to detain Obama headquarters.
Monday, Dec. 19, Jeb Middlebrook, an Occupier from LA will be at the ACLU, 454 Whittier (at Olive), from 2:00-3:00 to discuss Occupy Racism. Jeb has been on many InterOccupy conference calls on this subject. He is currently traveling to the ten most segregated cities in America, and yep, we’re one of them.
Wendel Hodge is facing eviction the day after Christmas due to a clerical error in his application for a loan modification. He was behind on payments but the bank paperwork added an extra “1” to his address and therefore didn’t process his application. In an expedited foreclosure, Freddie Mac bought his house. A meeting to decide how to support him happened today at 3:30. His neighbors are supporting him. His address is 2417 Akin in Jennings.
The Organization for Black Struggle and the Rowan Center
Because we were meeting at the Rowan Center, we postponed our proposal time in order to find out how we can best support the Organization For Black Struggle (OBS) on their issues. Montague Simmons, the current chair of OBS, provided the following information.
The Rowan Center has been home to OBS for thirty years. Before that it was home to the Black Nationalist Front and other revolutionary organizations which cointelpro decimated. In the ’80’s the community came together to form OBS.
Over the last 30 years there have been ebbs and flows, right now there is more of an ebb. Montague said currently the black community is not as fully engaged in Occupy as one might expect. He said the reasons are complicated and various. One reason is that in general the black community doesn’t identify Occupy as representing them.
OBS is working with Jobs With Justice (JWJ) pushing two ballot initiatives: increasing the minimum wage by $1 an hour and capping the interest on payday loans at 36%. Ultimately we could help them collect signatures, they need 70,000, but OBS wants those collecting signatures to be knowledgeable on the issues so they will be doing outreach on this in the near future. OBS is optimistic that these initiatives will help people in his community see their place in the struggle.
Montague talked about OBS’ membership in the Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression (CAPCAR). CAPCAR has taken the lead on two fronts. One is the formation of legislation to create a Civilian Review Board. This legislation first had to pass at the state level, which it did. It then passed the Board of Alderman and Mayor Slay vetoed it.
CAPCAR also initiated the campaign for Local Control of the Police (Local Control), wrote legislation and actively lobbied the state legislature over the past 10 years. Currently the Governor appoints the members of the Police Board of Commissioners. St. Louis and Kansas City are the only two cities in the Country with this set up. It came about during the civil war when both cities were pro Union but the state was pro Confederate. CAPCAR is currently deciding whether to support the ballot initiative or legislation.
We asked where can we fit in and how can we support OBS’ initiatives. Montague said that by creating direct actions like having GA at the Rowan Center like right now.
CAPCAR meets every second Thursday at 7:00 pm at the Rowan Center (1401 Rowan). These meetings are open and anyone from Occupy is welcome to participate.
Regarding the Martin Luther King March. Montague asked that we bring signs that represent the issues we’re working on. OBS has a huge Justice for Reggie banner they always bring. The march is Monday, January 16, time and place to be announced. Montague said we should bring signs that reflect the issues of Occupy.
Montague mentioned that tonight OBS was celebrating Kwanzaa which is in line with, the First Fruits tradition. The Seven Principles of Kwanzaa bring strength and balance to the community. “Dread Out” is the theme of this year’s December 31 annual New Year’s party which features live music from the Infrared Rockers. January 28, OBS is bringing Robbie Clark in town to speak at their annual fundraising event. Robbie is a member of Occupy Oakland and Just Cause. These are also avenues for Occupy and OBS to make connections.
Other threads…OBS is non-violent in its tactics and stressed that non-violence is essential when protesting…OBS will be creating a model of deeper communication, creating spaces, and curriculum…some people have a fear of freedom…the black community has been through so many struggles and it’s hard for many to recognize that we’re back “in that place again”….people of color in St. Louis need to recognize the need to get involved and engaged…right now OBS is basically reintroducing itself to the community.
Public meetings with OBS will begin in February and Occupy members are welcome.
Susie-Winter GA’s meet on Wednesdays, Saturdays, and Sundays only and that the Wednesday GA’s be held at Culver Eco-Village, 3965 Westminster Place in the eastern part of the Central West End. (from Olive go S on Sarah and E on Westminster, from Lindell go N on Sarah and E on Westminster Pl)
Passed through second GA Solidarity!
Catherine-That GA’s also continue to be held on Thursdays.
Passed first GA. Solidarity
Paul-Read a statement, “The OCCUPY Movement has taken notice of the recent divestment of millions in ad dollars by 60 major corporations, including Lowe’s & Bank of America, from a time slot on cable television network The Learning Channel occupied by a reality-tv program portraying the everyday lives of Detroit-area Muslim families in today’s America……
Occupy St. Louis hereby puts Lowe’s, in particular, on notice that we will be participating in the call to protest and commercial boycott sent out by The Islamic Circle of North America, and that we will encourage our supporters, friends, neighbors, community, and allies to do the same and spread the message that no corporate giant will be allowed any longer to go un-noticed when they participate in the politics of hate and division…
Passed second GA and is now an official OSTL statement. The full text will be posted on the homepage. Solidarity!
Catherine-Due to a consistent failure to follow process and lack of accountability of the current finance working group, that a vote of no confidence result in the dissolution of this working group and the formation of a new one. All records and access to accounts will be turned over to the new finance working group.
The expected outcomes are to achieve transparency and accountability with our finances, the ability to use finances appropriately and with clear purpose, and to ensure that the finances are managed by more than two or three people.
From ensuing friendly amendments, it was further resolved that:
Catherine will set a working group time to create a new finance working group which will include OSTL members who are accountants and have expressed an interest in this process. Old members will hand over all the above mentioned information and will be immediately rotated off this working group for a period of 30 days.
From now on, all members of the finance working group who deal with money will need GA approval including the old members who have been rotated off. The new finance working group will determine limits, if any, of members on this working group and whether or not officer positions will be rotated and if so, for what period of time.
Friday, Dec. 30, at 4482 Washington, at the corner of Taylor and Washington (upstairs in the conference room) the St. Louis Socialist School of Socialistic Organizer is presenting a film “Why Are We In Afghanistan?” and having a discussion.