The new UNM president was inaugurated today at Popejoy Hall. A wonderful group that will remain unnamed put up a banner that said “We will fight for free education for all. Will you?” to greet the guests when they exited Popejoy.
Friday Nov 23rd at 9am there is an action against WalMart at Carlisle/Menaul organized by the United Food & Commercial Workers union. We agreed that we would take the union’s lead on whatever actions they have planned. We’re aware it’s the most stressful day of the year for WalMart workers, as many shoppers are aggressive. We want our actions to be supportive of the workers and the union esp since the union has been painted as agitators and violent by WalMart. Sayrah will contact UFCW to get more info about the action, even simple things like what color shirt to wear to show solidarity, etc.
Bill McKibben said today that the White House has agreed to the Keystone Pipeline. Boo.
Loren announced that this is his last meeting with (un)Occupy. He is ashamed of his actions Friday at the Gaza protest. He doesn’t want to do things that “hurt the family” and his uncle is angry at him too because of Friday’s news footage of Loren. He has to be in court on Nov 26th as a result. He also has plans to make a group called Eagle Warriors of Native Americans locally. Its also possible he may move to Denver with his aunt. By the end of the meeting, Loren began to change his mind about leaving the group. We discussed how we all make mistakes but the importance of learning from them and not doing things we are ashamed of or hurt the movement. Loren stressed the importance of giving voice to Native Americans. He brought copies of “Indian Country Today” magazine and talked about some of the articles on the economic plight.
Discussion on Legislative Issues
This was an initial discussion to get a “temperature check” of what interest there is in legislative issues and what role our movement wants. During the 2012 legislative session, people walked to the Roundhouse; we helped plan with a coalition for a large rally on opening day; a group mic checked the governor; we disrupted the ALEC dinner; we tracked some bills like the drivers licenses regardless of documentation status; etc.
Some people today were very interested in doing legislative work and others were not. We are clear we will not endorse politicians nor appear to be. We like using direct action rather than lobbying.
Here are some of the ideas:
- Try to decrease Gov. Martinez’s popularity by exposing her corporate agenda. This could include tactics like “occupy the 4th floor”; having a people’s agenda; etc.
- Reach out to our allies about bills that are important to them and have teach-ins and give support. This could include supporting Somos Un Pueblo Unido and El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos on the drivers license bill; United South Broadway on ending foreclosure; working against the Monsanto written “right to farm” bill; working on health issues; checking with unions on issues, etc.
- Find out what ALEC is doing and expose them again.
On a national level, we know that there may be deals happening now around Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid and that these social programs need to be prevented from cuts. We also know that they are not perfect and it would be better if everyone had healthcare through a single payer system; that everyone should have living wages, etc. Some of us feel our state is so small that we can have an impact on the federal delegation from NM to stop them from supporting cuts to these programs. We agreed it was okay to send out action alerts on these issues as long as there was a larger context of what a just system looks like rather than protecting status quo or programs for some instead of all.
Future General Assemblies
Though it was a beautiful sunny warm day in Yale Park today, we know we need to move indoors for the winter. Summer has checked into the Peace & Justice Center. It is available on Sundays at 1pm and Tues and Fridays at 6:30pm but not Thursdays at 6:30pm. There is a cost or we can volunteer instead of paying. Other ideas of indoor meetings include the SUB, Frontier, Winnings, etc.
We weighed the pros/cons of each place.
The drawback of the SUB is lack of parking, hard to find the GAs, and its closed during winter break. Drawback of restaurants is the pressure to buy something and no space to make signs, etc. Winnings has open mic night on Thursdays so it would be hard to have a GA there.
The Peace & Justice Center has many pros: there is parking, its near Yale Park, we would be supporting a good organization, there is a way to do teach-ins with films. The drawback is paying every time we use it or only some people able to volunteer. We want to find out more about how much volunteering would be required.
We also discussed if we want to continue GAs 2x/week. One proposal is to meet on Sundays at 1pm and then have Thursday evenings as a working group time and not use the P&J Center on Thurs (since its not available).
We know we agreed that in order to make a decision about changing GAs, we need to give everyone time so we are sending this out for further discussion before making a decision, though it would be good to do it by December due to the weather.
There will be no GA on Thursday Nov 22nd due to holiday. Next GA is Sun Nov 25th at 1pm at Yale Park.
Possible agenda items:
reflection on actions
future of GAs (location, # of times/week)
discussion on legislative actions