Texas Liberal

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Latest Occupy Wall Street: Houston Newsletter—The Work Of Freedom Is Up To Each Of Us

Here is the latest newsletter of Occupy Wall Street: Houston. OWSH is an ongoing effort to revitalize the Occupy Wall Street effort in Houston.

Please read the newsletter and consider getting involved. Contact information is on the newsletter.

It is up to each of us to do the work of freedom.

News from the 5/6/12 GA

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Upcoming Events

Sat May 19, 8:30AM-12:30PM, 949 Kirby Dr:
Permablitz with Transition Houston.

Thurs May 24, 7PM, Bohemeo’s, 708 Telephone Rd:
computer privacy and freedom skillshare with activist Patrick Gibbs. Bring your laptop if
you’ve got one!

June 7-9: TX state Democratic convention. Details to come.


2nd Friday of each month, 8:30PM, Domy Books, 1709 Westheimer Rd, back courtyard (enter through Cafe Brasil):
 On June 8 we’re showing “The Corporation”. Reviews call it “the most astute and flat-out persuasive political documentary of the new millennium.” Come see for yourself!

Sundays, 1:30 PM, Bohemeo’s, 708 Telephone Rd (in Tlaquepaque Market):GA.

Tuesdays, 5PM, U.S. 59 and Dunlavy: Freeway blog.

Autonomous action: join the OWSHops google group and help plan our actions outside of the GA.

Autonomous action: petition drive to require a referendum vote on the anti food-sharing ordinance. We need 28,000 valid signatures by the middle of July. Download the updated (as of 4/17) petition here.

Occupy Your Capital on Independence Day

We’re gearing up for July 4, when occupiers from all over the state of Texas will gather in Austin to show our commitment to a just future in Texas and also connecting folks with cars with folks in need of rides. Check out theirweb page and make your voice heard!

Breaking Up with the Big Banks

by Amy PriceI was one of 15-20 people who showed up on May 9, the date of Bank of America’s annual shareholder meeting, to “divorce” from the Big Banks. We donned top hat and veil and unmarried the institutions that have abused their relationship with the American public, occupier Donni Romaniello doing a great job officiating. The rest of us were an anti-bride, an anti-groom, and witnesses, all of whom promised to support our local banks and credit unions, “for as long as we all shall bank”.

This was OWSH’s first piece of street theater, and we learned a lot from it. Some of what we learned can apply to other actions:

  • Look non-activisty for as long as possible. Had we done this, we might’ve been able to finish the skit at all three locations, and we might’ve been able to sneak in some props that the police refused to allow.
  • Plan a rehearsal beforehand. We did a brief run-through, but folks were paying scant attention. Had we invested ourselves more in that runthrough things might’ve gone a little more smoothly out of the gate.
  • Designate people to deal with management. We stopped the skit once to speak to a manager, when we could’ve just barrelled right through.

What went well? Everything! We did a good job with an action we’d never done before, distributed a bunch of flyers that were packed with good info about how the big banks reward themselves for wrecking the American economy, picked the right action for the number of people we thought we’d pull out, had a member of the public tell a police officer to let us exercise our free speech rights, and collected good footage that we hope to make into a great video. Just as importantly, we had FUN. We left proud of our actions and happy, and the whole group agreed that this action is worth repeating at others bank branches on different occasions.

Educating the Public

One of the early steps in any campaign is to educate the people you’re trying to motivate. Unlike cities such as San Fransico, which has a long history of activism and a large and dedicated core of activists, Houston is hard to mobilize. That’s one reason OWSH is focusing hard on this step.

Our freeway blog, at US59 and Dunlavy, is going strong. We took a break this week to concentrate on May Day actions and will be finishing up a Bank of America thread next week. Next thread: ALEC.

Beginning in June, OWSH will be hosting a monthly film at Domy Books, starting with “The Corporation” on June 8. Be sure to invite your friends! Let’s make the most of this great opportunity to lay some truth on people in a way they’ll be able to hear.

We plan to show entertaining films that point out problems with the world we live in and solutions to those problems. Got film suggestions? Send them toowshou@gmail.com.

Other News from Our GA

  • Donnie Romaniellocontinues to sort out HPJC sponsorship to secure a bank account and a means of collecting online payment.
  • At the next GA,Delbert Jacksonwill present a report on two other groups he’s working with, OSHA and an anti Hewlett-Packard group. This sort of cross pollination is part of how we can build a strong coalition.
  • Jesus Waldo, Amy Price, and Donnie Romaniello are researching corporate donations and ties between ALEC and the Texas Democratic party to plan for the state Democratic convention in June.
  • We plan to move to twice monthly GAs in June.
  • At the next GA, we will discuss becoming a non-profit.

Volunteer Opportunities

Come to a GA or contact us atowshou@gmail.com and find out how to participate.

from your home:

  • Video editor(takes previously recorded footage of OWSH actions, helps it tell an engaging story)
  • Facebook admin(in charge of researching and posting Tuesday Houston City Council agenda items)

out in the world, with other members:

  • Freeway blogger(participates in banner hangs on Houston’s bridges. Safe and fun.)
  • Film coordinator(sets up for the monthy film screening)

out in the world, autonomously:

  • Coalition builder(speaks for OWSH at meetings of other orgs in the GHA, builds bridges.)

Got an item–an announcement, a proposal, a report–for the next GA? Send it toowshou@gmail.com before Thurs at 10 PM, and Facilitation will get it onto the agenda! Know of an Occupy-friendly event coming up? Email it and we’ll put it in the next newsletter.

Make Your Ideas Heard Outside of the GAJoin our google group,owshOps. Some of the threads so far:

  • Ladder of engagement–ways for interested parties to become engaged at different levels of involvement?
  • Facebook Campaign–how can we promote dialog?
  • Website–usability and design preferences?

Agenda Items For Our Next GA


  • providing opportunities for engagement
  • Permablitz report
  • website (offered by Jesus Waldo’s business as a portfolio-builder)
  • coalition building
  • Pay It Forward in Edward Munoz’s and Selene Ballestas’s neighborhood
  • coalition building

Agenda Items (Cont.)

  • long range planning: June (state Democratic convention), July (Occupy Your Capital), Aug (?), Sept (?), Oct (Re-occupy), November (elections), Occupy solidarity actions


  • banner hang
  • Permablitz
  • Finance on HPJC, bank account
  • Theater for the 99%
  • website

May 11, 2012 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment