Liz passed out copies of an open letter to postal workers endorsed by a number of organizations (including Occupy the Upper Valley, at the last General Assembly). She invited us to pass them on to workers at our local post offices to demonstrate our support for postal workers.
Tuesday, 17 April: leafleting all day at Sykes Ave Processing and Distribution Center from 9:00 – 6:00.
On Saturday, some of us participated in a large rally to shut down Vermont Yankee with 2000 other protestors from Vermont, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts/
The Action Working Group will hold its next meeting at 7:00 Wednesday the 18th at the Norwich Public Library.
Several of us made plans for a tax day action in Hanover on Tuesday the 17th to protest and raise awareness about how our tax money is allocated in the federal budget. Hanover, outside Collis Center at Main and Wheelock, 12 – 2.
2012 Tax Day Flier
2012 Tax Day Flier Backside
We agreed to meet at the Lebanon Green for a General Assembly on Sunday, 22 April at 4:30, on the recommendation that meeting there will help us in visualizing how we will use the venue on May Day event.
There would be a communications working group meeting following the meeting (and there was, such as it was.)
May Day planning.
We used the remainder of the meeting discussing plans for our [May Day event on the Lebanon Green.]
Patricia expressed doubt that we had a sufficient number of persons organizing and contributing to pull the event off. After some discussion, we decided to continue with the planning with the ambition of achieving an event of a scale we could manage with the numbers we had.
Permits and Money
Anthony reported that he has secured insurance, and is still waiting for a permit from the town.
Tim was worried about not being granted a permit. When he went to get a permit for music, the Lebanon police had told him that bicycles were disallowed on street per city ordinance [sic]. After some discussion about this issue, we decided to potential legal problems by eliminating a bicycle ride from the planned agenda for May 1.
Anthony reported we have $400 from Cedar Circle, $100 from an anonymous donor, $250 from Transition Town, and will have donation buckets at the event itself. Our costs are insurance, food, and supplies. Right now our costs and funds roughly balance.
Anthony asked whether we want to create a bank account or use cash. After some discussion, we decided that we would not need to write checks and did not need a bank account.
We requested volunteers, and recognized Anthony and Simon as treasurers for the May Day event.
Tim asked if we felt it was acceptable for him to have a dedicated donation bucket for a particular cause at the event (in this case, one for 9/11 Truth at the 9/11 Truth table). We agreed that this was perfectly acceptable.
We drew up a draft timeline of planned events for May Day:
305 mike check
310 Mark and Tim: songs
320 speakers: Patty from usps.
350 speaker: President of Mascoma teachers’ union.
400 music: Laura Simon
425 keynote address: Gus Speth of Chelsea Green
500 spiral dance, skit, may pole.
540 Fogey Mountain Boys
600 green room
620 general assembly.
710 clean up.
Liz passed on from Griffin that there is statewide General Assembly scheduled for 4-6 on May Day in Montpelier.
Patricia encouraged us to stay in Lebanon, as we will likely need as many people as we can get to make our local event a success.
We plan to have food available throughout the afternoon (there is no particular time dedicated to a meal).
Patricia: We have committed ourselves to free food. There is a food committee. There will be a bread oven. There will be pizza. We hope to procure a bicycle generator to run a blender for smoothies.
Derek expressed opposition to insisting on making all food at the event free. What happens if money falls short? And also: we are excluding small businesses that we ought to be supporting, by inviting them to participate by selling food at the event.
Karen: We want to give away free food as a generous action, and to encourage a gift economy.
Liz, as a point of information: Occupy Wall Street had central kitchen with free (donated) food.
Michael: Nothing is free. We do want to support local businesses.
Simon: We have 3-4 people who are backing free food and doing work to make it happen, agreed on this at last general assembly, and it is already on publicity.
Deb: Can’t we have both? i.e. give away food and also host local vendors?
Miranda: If we allow vendors to sell food, this will attract more people to the event.
Tim: Nationally there is a call not to not use money on May Day. But the presence of vendors alongside free food does not compromise the event.
Patricia: Can i invite farmer’s market people to come?
There was some encouragement and no objection.
We came to an agreement that while we would continue our project to provide free food, we hold no principled objection to inviting local businesses to come to the green to sell food during the event, and that this was desirable in some ways (i.e. supporting local businesses and drawing people to the event)
Patricia volunteered to contact and invite local farmers and vendors.
Dogs on leashes with poop bag are welcome on the Lebanon Green.
Derek has two 10′X10′ tents which he will provide.
We need table and chair pickups from St Pauls at 1:00, or preferably from the Methodist Church. We need pickup trucks. Some of us do have them.
We decided to sign up for work shifts at end of the meeting.
Michael agreed to work with Patricia on preparing the Occupy table.
We distributed 100 larger and 100 smaller posters advertising the event among those present and coordinated posting them at key locations in area town.
Miranda is concerned that we could be posting too much to town listservs: Thetford has a very active listserv. The pattern in the past has been that when the volume of political content reaches a certain level, or content that is perceived as extraneous to the purpose of the town listserv, there is a backlash, and many people leave the listserv, resentful of people who have been posting the content they perceive as political or off topic. Then the subscribers reassert the specifity of the listserv. Miranda believes that by posting excessive political content, we are likely losing more sympathy than we are gaining.
After discussing this question, we agreed that we should be mindful of the issue and we should exercise discretion accordingly, in what and how much we post to town listservs, and in the framing and phrasing of posts.
I missed a small part of the meeting to break out and discuss communications with the communications working group. I believe that during this time we allotted roles for contacting various organizations to solicit their participation in the May Day event.
Website: Anthony is designing a page for May Day information (www.occupyuppervalley.org/mayday). Since the web address on our posters directs to the occupy home page (www.occupyuppervalley.org), Miranda will be designing a prominent link on the home page to the May Day page.
I polled those present on what day of the week was a good day to send the weekly announce email. Thursday was.