Unfortunately it was revealed to #OccupyIsaac volunteers at the #KidVillageKitchen that there was a risk of contamination from the Chemical spill in Braithwaite. These circumstances paired with a bleak fundraising outlook being experienced by all relief organizations, the fact that organizers had fronted many of the expenses for the effort out of pocket & were over extended, led organizers to make the decision to suspend relief efforts by #OccupyIsaac indefinitely. All fundraising accounts will be closed and donor statements will be provided within thirty days.

Although the #KidVillageKitchen and fundraising activities by #OccupyIsaac have ceased operations, the Common Ground Collective will continue to operate the Common Ground Collective Disaster Tool Library, and provide safety equipment & manuals to returning victims of Hurricane Isaac and the subsequent Chemical Spill. We invite you to visit the Common Ground Collective Hub on Interoccupy to find out how you can help the long term rebuilding efforts of the Common Ground Collective.

Yours in Struggle and Peace,


| OccupyIsaac@interoccupy.net

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[accordion auto_height=”false” ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” collapsible=”1″ active=”0″]

[accordion_panel title=”Occupy Isaac Suspends Relief Operations Because of Chemical Contamination”]

Posted September 19th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

For Immediate Release:



The Relief Effort Known as #OCCUPYISAAC Consisting of the Common Ground Collective, Food Not Bombs, and Occupy Have Ceased Operations In The Wake of Revelations of

Widespread Chemical Contamination in Palequemines Parish

After revelations of widespread contamination of the Palequemines Parish in South East Louisiana and contradictory filings by Stolthaven New Orleans LLC, #OccupyIsaac has suspended all relief activities. On Monday evening #KidKitchenVillage, a mobile kitchen set up in Phoenix, LA approximately 20 miles down river from the site of the chemical spill, was warned by authorities of the high potential of toxic & carcinogenic contamination in the area. These revelations in addition to an absence of interest in providing relief and rebuilding the area nationwide, led #OccupyIsaac to cease operations immediately.

The contradictory filings by Stolthaven, originally telling the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality that no more than 38,700 of relatively safe chemicals were spilled on September 4th and then on September 11th disclosing to the Coast Guard’s National Response center that not only were these two “relatively safe” oil based chemicals released but also no more than 119,000 gallons of highly toxic Octene. Stolthaven admitted to the Coast Guard that at least 65,857 gallons of the Octene were spilled during Hurricane Isaac. This admission that over 65,857 gallons of the highly toxic chemical Octene were spilled into the floodwaters that swamped many residents homes and in which rescue workers worked, after initially claiming that only 38,700 gallons of ‘relatively safe’ oil based products were released, shows a history of obfuscation of the facts and casts doubt on the veracity of this latest filing.

Octene has been shown to be harmful and dangerous to the environment. It is extremely toxic to aquatic organisms and has been shown to create adverse long term effects in aquatic environments. In addition to being extremely harmful for the fragile ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico and bayou wetlands of Southern Louisiana that are still recovering from the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill in 2010, exposure to Octene has been shown to cause lung damage and lung cancer. The prospect of not only first responders and relief workers being exposed to this chemical as they worked to save people but disaster victims returning to their houses & being exposed to this chemical is tragic.

“It would be irresponsible for #OccupyIsaac to expose our volunteers and our families to extremely toxic chemicals. Despite the fact that the news media has failed to report on the dire need to rebuild New Orleans & the outlying Parishes, to restore the wetlands of South East Louisiana, and the dire fundraising outlook being experience by relief organizations across the board, #OccupyIsaac activists were content to finance the relief effort out of our own pockets. Many organizers have accepted that they will not be reimbursed for the money that they have spent up front in order to make this relief effort a reality. However now that we have learned that not only have the victims of Hurricane Isaac and the already fragile wetland ecosystems of the Gulf of Mexico been exposed to toxic chemicals, but also that relief workers responding to this disaster have been knowingly exposed to harmful chemicals in an attempt by Stolthaven to shirk responsibility for this potentially devastating chemical spill, we can no longer in good conscience continue our relief efforts,” said Gary Roland, and organizer for the effort.

The #OccupyIsaac relief effort was a collaboration between activists and relief workers affiliated with the Common Ground Collective, Food not Bombs and the #Occupy movement, to provide relief, rebuild, and restore South East Louisiana. “The inability of the current neo-liberal status quo under both the Bush and Obama regimes to make commitments to rebuild vital infrastructure and restore vital ecosystems in South East Louisiana since Katrina is ensuring that New Orleans sinks into the toxic sludge of the Gulf of Mexico & exists as a Post Neo-Liberal Globalization wasteland,” said Gary Roland. “New Orleans is the birthplace of Jazz and is emblematic of the melting pot of American Culture. It is also extremely important to global commerce, as combined the ports in South East Louisiana are the largest in the United States and third largest in the world. The fact that none of the wealth generated in this city actually benefits the residents of the city is emblematic of the problems that all people face in the post-globalization economic landscape marked by soaring inequality. The inability of the status quo to act or even identify that there is a problem with their environmental and economic policies, present an enormous opportunity for activists in the post neo-liberal globalization social movements sometimes referred to as Occupy, to put their money where their mouth is and rebuild South East Louisiana according to the tenants of Localism and Environmental Sustainability.”

Malik Rahim, Common Ground Collective Co-Founder and New Orleans native, said, “The way the Gulf goes, is the way that America will go, and therefore the world.”

Although the #OccupyIsaac has ceased its relief operations the Common Ground Collective will offer safety manuals/materials and operate a Disaster Tool Library for returning residents.

According to Bill Quigley’s article “Katrina Pain Index 2012: Seven Years Later”, Louisiana imprisons more of its people per head than any other state, New Orleans has the second highest homeless rate in the country, New Orleans ranks 2nd in the highest rate of inequality among cities over 10K in the United States, 21% or residential addresses in New Orleans have been abandoned or blighted, 27% of the residents of New Orleans live in poverty, and a third of low income mothers in New Orleans still suffer from PTSD related to Katrina.



Interoccupy Hub: http://interoccupy.net/occupyisaac/

Twitter Handle: @occupy_isaac

“Katrina Pain Index 2012: Seven Years Later”, By Bill Quigley http://huff.to/Qe5BQd

“Hurricane Isaac not Producing Outpouring of National Support”, by Bruce Nolan http://bit.ly/S3bake

“Braithwaite neighbors speak out after report shows potential massive chemical spill”, http://bit.ly/Od7gWE

“Report, Photos Show Evidence of Potential Isaac-Caused Chemical Spill in Plaquemines” http://bit.ly/QeWMou

“Report: Isaac damaged 2 tanks, chemicals leaked”, http://bit.ly/S5NQ0F

“Stolhaven Accident: 191,000 gallons of chemicals, including carcinogens, released into Gulf”, http://bit.ly/NAk3AU

Safety information on Octene: http://bit.ly/UewS6X



For Press Inquires Please Email:


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[accordion_panel title=”Proactive Charity w/ Gary Roland by Swag The Dog”]

Posted September 13th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

7 years after Hurricane Katrina, almost to the exact hour of the storm, Hurricane Isaac ravaged the Gulf Coast and left New Orleans in disrepair. And to help out, the Occupy Wall Street Movement is taking charity to the next level. Host Carl Gibson talks to Gary Roland from the Occupy Isaac project in New Orleans about how their little group plans to do what millions in federal dollars and Red Cross trucks could never do.

View the video here.

One Response to Proactive Charity w/ Gary Roland by Swag The Dog

  1. Chigolum says:

    When the ulotraviolence starts off, I hope a few nutso individual simply caps Corslime regarding all the rest among us.

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Posted September 11th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

by Orissa Arend

When Katrina churned into the Gulf, Malik Rahim and his partner Sharon Johnson decided to hunker down in their Algiers bungalow. They had always ridden out hurricanes. And as a former deputy of security in the Black Panther Party, Malik knew quite a lot about making preparations for just about anything.

Three days after the storm a techno-miracle occurred. Mary Ratclliff, editor of the San Francisco Bay View, reached Malik on his land line. He was incensed. “This is criminal,” he told her. “There are gangs of white vigilantes near here, riding around in pick-up trucks, all of them armed . . . People whose homes and families were not destroyed went into the city right away with boats to bring survivors out, but law enforcement told them they weren’t needed. I’m in the Algiers neighborhood. The water is good. Our parks and schools could easily hold forty thousand people, and they’re not using any of it. . . This is criminal.” Ratcliff typed like crazy as he talked.

Meanwhile Scott Crow and Brandon Darby, white activists from Austin who had worked with Malik to publicize the plight of the Angola 3, felt drawn to New Orleans to help. The Angola 3 are Black Panthers who have suffered decades of solitary confinement at Angola State Penitentiary for their political beliefs. Scott and Brandon brought Malik some supplies and went looking for Robert King Wilkerson, the only freed member of the Angola 3, in flooded Mid City in New Orleans proper. But they were turned away by the authorities. They returned to Austin for more supplies and this time vowed to swim to King’s house if they had to. Brandon insisted that some rangers go to King’s house and look for him. When they got there, King was reluctant to go with them until they mentioned Brandon and agreed to take his dog. They delivered him to Brandon and Brandon and King headed for Malik’s. It had been a long two weeks for all of us, wondering if King was alive.

Malik told Amy Goodman with Democracy Now, “While we was together, we – every evening, we used to have these dialectical discussions, and one of our main discussions was on why progressive movements have always started with such a bang and then end in such a frizzle. And we kept coming up with that we allowed our petty differences to stop us from working together. . . King said that the thing that we need to find is the common ground, and so with that, we took that name.. . . and Common Ground was founded. Sharon Johnson, my partner, she put up $30. I put up $20. And with that $50, we founded Common Ground.”

Prior to the storm Sharon had no community organizing experience and she and Malik were a newly established couple. But she chose to stay. And with enormous grace and spiritual radiance she took on critical organizing roles and held together an odd, ever-expanding commune.

Ratcliff emailed her group the “This is Criminal” missive and they forwarded it around the country. A few days later activists began arriving in Algiers – Jamie “Bork” Laughner, an advocate for the homeless from D.C., street medics Roger Benham from Connecticut, Noah Morris from Rhode Island, and 20-year-old Scott Mechanic from Philadelphia (we called him Boy Scott to distinguish him from the two other Page 3 Scotts). Two weeks later, Mo, a registered nurse and herbalist from Dillon, Montana, came. She and Bork had conceived the idea of an anarchist clinic in New Orleans before they met Malik.

When the self-identified white anarchists knocked on Malik’s door, he directed them to the mosque he once attended, Masjid Bilal, where they emptied the refrigerator, put tarps on the floor in deference to the sacred Muslim space, and set out supplies. This was September 9, 2005, eleven days after the storm. Bork spray painted “Solidarity not Charity,” “First Aid,” and “No Weapons, including Police and Military” on plywood outside of the mosque. Then the group began to think about how to get patients.

Their first ambassador was a local woman, Mama Souma and her daughters, who took them around the neighborhood knocking on doors. Malik was as interested in easing the racial tensions as he was in building a patient base. New Orleaneans fleeing the flood had been turned away at gun point by authorities as they tried to walk across the Mississippi River Bridge to higher ground. The governor had issued a “shoot to kill” order, affirmed by New Orleans’ mayor and police chief, on looters, many of whom were only securing survival rations. Algiers had been invaded by soldiers, federal police officers and private paramilitary personnel creating an atmosphere of tension and trepidation. Bodies were left to bloat on the streets of Algiers, covered by pieces of corrugated tin and ignored by guardsmen passing by Malik points out one of the bodies in the documentary “Welcome to New Orleans.

The newly arrived young white medics fanned out on bicycles, asking people if they needed water and telling them about the clinic. Malik knew that white skin had its privilege and its uses. He saw the real possibility of the whole African American community in Algiers being slaughtered.

When people asked the medics if they were Red Cross or FEMA, neither of which had made an appearance in Algiers, they said no, they were just volunteers who had come without authorization. They took blood pressure, offered first aid, and checked for diabetes, anxiety, and depression. “It was the street medics who really stopped this city from exploding into a race war, because they were white and serving the black community at a time when blacks were fed up. They are the real heroes of this thing,” Malik said.

Boy Scott limited conversation with guardsmen to health care. But Bork saw fit to reveal her anarchist political context causing one incredulous soldier to ask, “So you’re the anarchists in the mosque brought in by the ex-Black Panther giving free health care?”

“Yeah. And we’re environmentalists, too,” Bork replied. The next day, the soldier, having done some research, addressed her by her real name.

The medics were followed a few days later by a caravan of doctors, nurses, grief counselors, acupuncturists, and herbalists from San Francisco. On September 11 a French relief organization, Secours Populaire, arrived. When the French physicians accompanied Roger on house calls, they were amazed at people’s poor health. “Chronic illnesses, old untreated injuries, and results of neglect had only been exacerbated by Katrina, not created by it,” Roger wrote in What Lies Beneath: Katrina, Race, and the State of the Nation.

Word spread and almost over night health practitioners and political activists arrived in droves. On September 22 with Rita threatening to make landfall, who knew where, my son Jonathan called me from New York where he was doing a community medicine residency. He was aching for his home town. He said FEMA and the Red Cross had not been responsive to his offers to help and did I know of anything? I called Malik and he told me about the first aid station. But he recommended that volunteers not come until we knew where Rita was going.

Jonathan, who only had a week off, pondered the situation into the wee hoursand then hopped a plane, figuring the worst that could happen is that he’d evacuate with his parents from their temporary digs in Luling. The next morning I crossed the Mississippi River and picked him up at the New Orleans airport. It wasn’t hard to find him. As far as I could see, we were the only people there.

Malik wanted rain gear. When we found ponchos at a Dollar Store, we felt like we had won the lottery. We made our way to the mosque bullying through all the checkpoints and defying the mandatory evacuation order. The guards with guns made me nervous, but Jonathan’s stethoscope worked like a charm – that and the fact that we were white. I left him at the mosque and headed “home” (euphemism for our rented house in Luling) wondering to what great vortex of weather and social chaos I had just sacrificed my first-born son.

Jed Horne notes in his excellent book Breach of Faith, “Six days after the clinic opened, some forty out-of-state activists were camped out in and around Rahim’s home. By year’s end, a total of one hundred seventy volunteers would have rotated through the clinic, including three dozen locals . . . Common Ground’s first aid station had become a full-service medical clinic, still a cash-free operation dependent on in kind donations and volunteers.” In addition to traditional medicine, it offered herbalism, massage therapy, and acupuncture.

By early October, the clinic was treating over a hundred drop-ins per day. It also spawned the Latino Health Outreach Project to help migrant workers with health and legal issues. They even made house calls for workers injured on the job.

Scott Weinstein, a tall, slender RN from Quebec who arrived soon after the clinic opened quickly made strategic linkages with what was left of the New Orleans medical community. He says that the clinic reshaped the way he thinks about politics. “Most people think of direct action as taking a street during a demonstration,” he says, “but big deal, so you got a street. This is not about taking the streets; it’s about taking health care.” SOLIDARITY NOT CHARITY became the clinic’s motto.

During the week that Jonathan was there, the clinic never closed and volunteers slept wall-to-wall on the floor. Intake was thorough and records were meticulously kept. The list of projects and tasks on the wall that needed volunteers included: critical incident debriefing; medical legal support – or covering our heinies; and infusing all we do with anti-oppression intentions.

Jonathan told Michelle Garcia of the Washington Post (Sun. Dec. 4, 2005) that locals such as Swamp Rat Jack, who lives across the street from the clinic, stayed away from the medical facilities with soldiers stationed out front. He preferred to have his asthma checked at home, where he could show off photos of the gators he had shot down in the bayou.

Seven years later, the clinic is a registered 501c3 organization that strives to be an anti-racists, radical, integrative, and neighborhood based health clinic that provides free, high quality health care for all. The Common Ground Health Clinic remains true to its roots and to the vision that made this free clinic a reality.

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[accordion_panel title=”Unmetneed’s Assessment Report Mississippi – 9/7/12″]

Posted September 7th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

9/7/2012 Hurricane Isaac – Mississippi

There has not been a lot of widespread structural damage from the storm. While there we literally saw more damage from previous Hurricanes than from Isaac. Half the debre piles have been picked up.Mold remediation will definetly be needed. Southern Mississippi had to contend with a rain storm that dumped 6 inches of rain in two hours, after Isaac had landed. Waveland Beach is closed due to some nasty stuff that washed ashore thousands of dead rats and have attracted thousands of snakes from miles around.
Piecemeal feeding is recommended, long term feeding may cause stress to the local economies.

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[accordion_panel title=”FEMA Assistance for the Following Louisiana Parishes”]

Posted September 6th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Residents in the following Louisiana parishes may be eligible for FEMA assistance:

Ascension, Assumption, Jefferson, Lafourche, Livingston, Orleans, Plaquemines, St. Bernard, St Helena, St James, St. John the Baptist, St. Charles, St. Tammany, Tangipahoa, Terrebonne and Washington.

FEMA assistance is for people who sustained uninsured or underinsured Isaac-related damage to their homes, vehicles, personal property, business or its inventory beginning Aug. 26, 2012.
Louisiana residents can apply for disaster assistance in two ways: by applying online at www.DisasterAssistance.gov or calling (800) 621-3362.

Read more: http://www.wdsu.com/weather/hurricanes/Five-more-parishes-to-get-FEMA-aid/-/12848220/16508968/-/13oiw16/-/index.html#ixzz25izAvS1X

Thank you Hurricane Isaac Info!

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[accordion_panel title=”Why #OccupyIsaac Makes Sense….”]

Posted September 3rd, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Please visit our Hub on InterOccupy.

If you haven’t heard yet a historic coalition is being built in the City of New Orleans to help not only those displaced and left in need by Hurricane Isaac, but also the almost 10,000 people who have been left homeless since Katrina struck 7 years ago. The Occupy Movement is using the communications capabilities of InterOccupy and its national & international reach, to bring together the Common Ground Collective & Food Not Bombs, in a relief effort that will force our political system and the mainstream media into a conversation about the human impact of global warming.
Since I have arrived in NOLA early Sunday morning I have observed the electrical crews working to restore power, armed National Guard Humvee Patrols, and Air Force One flyovers that exemplify the band aid approach that our leaders apply to increasingly frequent natural disasters. The media, not having the sensational pictures of thousands of underprivileged citizens of NOLA clinging to their roofs for dear life, is content to report that lessons were learned, levies were strengthened, and that we have averted the tragedy that accompanied Katrina’s landfall exactly seven years prior to Isaac. But have we really?
Any person that has passed 5th grade science can tell you that the release of greenhouse gasses like CO2 into our atmosphere will raise the temperature of our planet, putting more water vapor & energy into our atmosphere and increasing the frequency & ferocity of disaster weather events. As this water moves from our lakes, rivers & glaciers into our atmosphere, the seven billion people & the plants that feed them, will compete over less & less water. At the same time the polar ice caps are melting and rising oceans will threaten to flood cities like New Orleans and displace 80% of the world’s population.
Still our political response has been to retrench into our existing energy sources and give lip service to changing our world’s suicidal addiction to the energy sources that release greenhouse gasses. Even more disturbing than Governor Romney’s plan to allow for more drilling, mining and the exploration of oil, coal and tar sands so that we can burn them; was the incredulous laughter on the convention floor to the proven fact that our oceans are rising. This summer Bill McKibben pointed out in the article “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math” that even if no new drilling or mining occurred and we only burned the fossil fuels that are currently in the Oil companies reserves we would release 2,795 Gigatons of CO2 into the atmosphere, almost 5 times the 575 gigatons that most scientists agree would be catastrophic if released into the atmosphere.
Our government’s response to Isaac, much like its response to global warming, is like a doctor prescribing band aids to a hemophiliac. It fails to address the underlying condition and looks rather to give the impression of helping, while actually allowing the underlying condition to get worse. Yesterday I had a conversation with an Algiers resident who described the dehumanizing experience of visiting a Red Cross Distribution Center and being menaced by twenty M-16 wielding National Guardsmen. Today I have received reports that both FEMA and the Red Cross are beginning to pull out of some of the hardest hit areas. In their eyes, the mission has been accomplished, and the band aid has been applied.
However #OccupyIsaac doesn’t agree. We know that only addressing the short term physical needs of the victims, will only neglect their psychological, spiritual and communal needs. After Katrina these needs were neglected in the broader New Orleans population and the city has never really recovered. Even today the city has almost 100,000 less residents than it did prior to Katrina and more than 10,000 residents who are homeless. Despite the fact that New Orleans has the largest port in the country economic opportunities for residents are at an all time low. Like Detroit, New Orleans has become a warning story about the perils of Globalization and Neo-Liberal Corporatist policies. Its time to learn the lessons of Katrina and use our response to Isaac as an example of what collective action can achieve.
I have been working closely with Malik Rahim, the founder of Common Ground, and a lifelong New Orleans resident, to create a vision of what it is that we will achieve with this relief effort. Our shared vision is to play to the strengths of Common Ground, Food Not Bombs, and the Occupy Movement; to celebrate the ability of autonomous individuals to accomplish seemingly impossible tasks when they come together with shared intentions in a respectful and cooperative fashion. Right now mobile kitchens from across the country are being mobilized to travel to New Orleans and the surrounding hard hit Parishes. However, rather than just providing food and doing mass feedings; when we provide food we will engage the community in the fashion of a community dinner; where entertainment will be mixed with education, and a compassionate ear will be lent to the victims of this storm so that they will know that they are not alone. When we provide relief to a family whose home has been flooded, rather than just gutting the home for them, we will educate them on how to do it themselves. We will provide Tyvek suits, respirators and teach the basics of mold remediation. We will teach them that infections will be rampant after the flood, teach them the basic first aid necessary to prevent infection, and administer tetanus shots. We will teach them how to heal their fields and gardens by removing pollutants through biological soil remediation. We will teach them about the decisions that they can make as they rebuild their homes, that will make the next disaster a little less devastating. We will teach them how to be more sustainable and how many of the “easy” decisions we all make in regards to our lifestyle translate into more disasters for them. Most importantly we will teach them why the inability of our political class to mobilize against global warming & the Oil companies is condemning them to disaster and we will tell this story to the rest of the world, giving a face to the victims of our disastrous energy policies and lifestyle choices.
This begs the question of WHAT CAN YOU DO? Although Common Ground and Food Not Bombs will be performing the on the ground relief effort, this effort will not work without the participation of Occupy Camps across the nation and the world. Unlike the relief effort of the Red Cross and FEMA, our relief effort will not be measured in days and weeks; but rather in months, years and decades as the volatile weather produced by our warming climate continues to destroy our communities. We urge you to activate your camps and retake the parks and squares from which you were pushed. However this time rather than re-establishing your camps for the purpose of 24-7 sleepful protests, we urge you to retake the parks and squares for the purpose of organizing daytime food drives for the benefit of those who have been left in need by the volatile weather brought on by our warming climate. We urge you to recast the compassion for those drowning in a sea of inequality that informed our original acts of defiance, into acts of compassion that exemplify what we are all capable of achieving when we act in a respectful & cooperative fashion. The purpose of #OccupyIsaac is not to antagonize the status quo into confrontation, but rather to inspire all of our communities with the power of compassionate collective action.

Yours in Peace and Struggle,
~Gary Roland
Algiers Point, LA
September 3rd, 2012

Submitted by: Occupy Isaac

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[accordion_panel title=”Disaster Recovery Center in Jackson County”]

Posted September 3rd, 2012 by andrea • permalink

A disaster recovery center is open in Jackson County to help those with storm losses caused by Hurricane Isaac.

Center hours are 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day until further notice.

The center is located behind the Jackson County Fairgrounds at:

4761 Vega St.
Pascagoula, MS 39567

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[accordion_panel title=”List of Southeast Red Cross Mobile Feeding Sites”]

Posted September 3rd, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Orleans MOBILE feeding sites for today. Hot meals served from Red Cross ERVs. Find us near these areas from 4pm-6pm:

1) Louisa and Benefit (Upper Ninth Ward)

2) Near Treme Community Center (Treme/Iberville)

3) St. Claude Ave. and Forstall St. (Lower Ninth Ward)

4) Patterson and Hendee (Westbank)

5) S. Carrolton Ave. and Olive Street (Hollygrove)

6) Franklin and Mirabeau (Gentilly)

7) Jackson and LaSalle (Central City)

8) Crowder and Morrison (New Orleans East)

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[accordion_panel title=”Hub Addresses to Send Food & Supplies to:”]

Posted September 2nd, 2012 by andrea • permalink


Occupy Jackson Hub
101 Red Fox Run
Brandon, MS 39042

Occupy Birmingham Hub
1671 C Valley Ave
Birmingham AL 35209

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[accordion_panel title=”Common Ground Collective, Food Not Bombs, and Occupy Movement Form Coalition to Help Isaac & Katrina Victims”]

Posted August 31st, 2012 by crasstalk • permalink

The Common Ground Collective, Food Not Bombs, and Occupy have come together to aid the Common Ground Health Clinic and set up mobile kitchens to feed those left in need by both Hurricane Isaac and Hurricane Katrina.

A ground breaking coalition of activists from the Common Ground Collective, Food Not Bombs, and Occupy have come together in a Relief Effort to aid not only the victims of Hurricane Isaac, but also the nearly 10,000 people who remain displaced from Hurricane Katrina. Occupy activists are using a communications platform called InterOccupy, that combines conference calls, discussion boards, email listserves, rss feeds and social media links to organize the efforts of the coalition

Occupy activists are urging Occupy camps nationwide to organize donation drives to collect staple food goods and medical supplies. A partnership with Continental Expedited Services, a trucking company, will allow food collected in food drives nationwide to be distributed to those in need in New Orleans through Occupy Distribution Hubs being set up in several cities throughout the South East. Occupy Distribution Hubs are operating in Jackson, MS; Tuscaloosa, AL; and Birmingham, AL. Tonight, drivers will transport the first load of aid from Jackson, MS to NOLA. Aid collected by camps nationwide will be routed to various distribution hubs listed on Occupy Isaac’s hub.

An online Fundraising campaign has also begun with the establishment of a We Pay Account which has raised over $600 since its launch yesterday evening. These funds are to be used to facilitate the transport and delivery aid collected and purchase needed supplies for those in need. Any unspent funds will be donated to the Common Ground Clinic, and a full accounting will be provided by organizers to donors. Activists expect donations to increase as word gets out about their coalition.

The Common Ground Clinic was created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina by activists from the Common Ground Collective and provides medical services to those in need in the New Orleans area. The clinic was left undamaged by Hurricane Isaac and is expecting an influx of diabetes patients needing insulin over the next couple of days. Occupy Activists have been working to fulfill this need.

The timing of the storm could not be worse for the low income residents of New Orleans. Although the Red Cross and FEMA will take care of those worst hit by the Hurricane, much of the city survives on subsistence wages and were waiting for their paycheck at the beginning of the month. With food already low in their pantries and power outages spoiling what was in the refrigerator, many residents have told the Common Ground Clinic that they are in need of food. “Even if they were not going to have to wait for their paychecks for a couple of weeks, the stores are closed,” pointed out a volunteer. In order to fulfill this need Rainbow Kitchen Activists, Food Not Bomb Activists, and a local organization, Community Kitchen, have begun to organize mobile kitchens. Tomorrow the first public feeding by this coalition will begin in New Orleans.

The Common Ground Collective fulfilled a special need in the Post Katrina clean up, gutting flooded houses of mold and rot. Activists who participated in this cleanup are organizing to provide similar services during the Isaac cleanup.

This historic coalition of grassroots organizations is continuing to grow and includes Portlight, Common Ground Collective, Common Ground Clinic, Food Not Bombs, InterOccupy, and Community Kitchen.


Donation Page.

Interoccupy Hub.

Twitter Handle: @occupyisaac

Common Ground Clinic

Food Not Bombs


Community Kitchen 

For Press Inquires Please Email:


Isaac Press Release.8.31.12 A


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[accordion auto_height=”false” ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” collapsible=”1″ active=”0″]

[accordion_panel title=”Minutes – 9/11/12″]

Posted September 11th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Call Notes for 9/11
Have a local 501c3 to help set up.
We also have 500-1000 tents coming in.
We pay is at $1521.00
He gave an interview to Free Speech Radio Saturday.
Felipe’s kitchen is on site and feeding tonight.
Feed 1500 people and done needs assesment.
Are ready for national fundraising drive.
Also created tool library so people can borrow.
Yesterday there was a clinic celebration and he got to meet some people who work with the clinic.
We need to get structure for organization together. We need to create oversite, operating, and finace comittees. Fiscal sponsor from National Gathering will help get procedures set up. We also need volunteer code of conduct.
Need donor accountability procedures and advisory board.

Amy: What is difference between CG Clinic and Collective?
Gary: These groups are related. Street medics helped after Katrina. In 2006 they took over apartment complex. Owner backed out and FBI took all their files. Common Ground Clinic and Collection all spun off after these court cases. Still a lot of acrimony. Gary met Malilk last October. Malik was asked to help clinic right before Isaac. He asked Gary to come in and lend a hand.
Amy: Long term goals?
Gary: Having preparedness resources available. Creating network for people to get help. Outreach and build networks. Also, Solidarity Hospital support and wetlands efforts. We are trying to build a broader consensus with other groups.

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[accordion_panel title=”Minutes – 9/7/12″]

Posted September 7th, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Occupy NOLA, Justin: Sorry for the hassle. They do not want to work on this and will turn aeway supplies.
Nathan: These are not new allegations re: Darby. CG is trying to build new power. Critisism is misplaced. H20 filters should come today. Please save them. We did give Occupy the Stage $150.
Discussion of Occupy the Stage.
Hillary: Wants to check in on the filters. Please forward valid claims against CG. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
Justin: Darby is not responsible. We know what is happening here. No one did home work. We don’t think FBI is responsible. We have first hand accounts.
Gary: Are you trying to convince us not to continue?
Justin: I am educating you.
Gary: Should we continue with this conversation?
Andrea: We will let him continue.
Justin: We feel like info is overwhelming. We do withdraw.
Lindsey: Can we have some more background?
Gary: Should we continue on this conversation.
Justin: He will compile a list.
Hillary: Would like more info. Does not want to waste effort.
Gary: Tough to work in NOLA. Malik has had 20 years of experience. Never been indicted, etc. These sorts of rumors are usual. This means we are building power.
Lindsey: Donation site is up, but not getting the right stuff. Need flyers and need lists. Making seperate list for medical supplies. People donating the wrong stuff (clothes). Have water and trucks if needed.
Andrea: Wants needs list from Lindsey.
Lindsey: Waiting to hear from the coast assesment (Bill).
Bill: David is in NOLA. He will put on Occupy Disaster FB page.
Gary: will coordinate with David. Port light has also sent some reports. He will get new reports. Meeting tomorrow for people to communicate needs. Mostly need supplies for the clean up.
Bill:David has receipts for money.
Hillary: Wanted to clarify. Filters are worth $70 a piece/. Can provide info if needed.
Andrea: Friend in NY has office donating with company match. She needs concise needs list to put out for transport.
Gary: By Monday we should have 501 c3 status. Donors are waiting. We are zeroed out on account right now. Have given out funds for feeding and gas. We are getting things done.
Andrea: We have $300 left. Pending Lindsey’s receipts.
Amy: Can offer 501c3 info.
Gary: ok. CG got involved in 501c3 that went bad before. It was a bad history, but we can help keep mission.
Andrea: Board is clear.
Gary: Need to get list together. Should we keep tue-fri schedule.
Andrea: Unanimious for this schedule.
Call Adjourned

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[accordion_panel title=”Minutes – 9/1″]

Posted September 2nd, 2012 by andrea • permalink



Gary: Overview and update on situation at CG. Gary will be working out of their offices for now.

Still much assistance needed in the area beyond what bigger orgs can give.

We need food drives and to get food to hubs in Jackson and Birmingham.

Would like to set up some more regional hubs to help get aid to NOLA. Tampa FNB can donate leftover food from the RNC gathering.

Anticipating needing help for a month to three months.

Need to get money coming in for we pay account. Need to get this on people’s agenda around the country for GAs.

Goals for call:
#1) Needs Assesment
#2) Asses capabilities and actionable items

Temp Check: Agenda accepted

Magpie in NOLA:

Went to GA, but most occupiers not accounted for. We don’t have resources to help and GA has not met yet since the storm.

They do not have power and cannot offer aid.

Gary: What do NOLA need?

Magpie: Have wepay set up to get their warehouse back up and running. She is worried that people think they have resources that we don’t have.

Gary: Do they have kitchen set up?

Magpie: Maybe, they need gas for generators. Warehouse has showers.

Gary: Is coming that way, can get gas, etc for them.

Magpie: Could not have fundraiser because of storm, need rent for warehouse.

Gary: Can outsiders help you guys find members, etc?

Magpie: Needs people to understand they don’t have resources. They need food for warehouse, and donations. Please share wepay link.

Any Questions:

Amy: Can put out wepay?

Gary: Should we have more than one account?

Morgan: Is there an easy way for us to let people know what NOLA needs.

Magpie: Has put on website and National Gathering and Charlotte have reached out.

Gary: Use Occupy Hub to post needs lists. Then we can move lists to other groups.

Andrea: Can take care of posting needs list.

Hillary: Hang in there NOLA, help is on the way. She sent out some filters today. She also sent bucket kits. Do you guys have drinkable water?

Magpie: Water at warehouse might be ok.

Gary: Malik is going to get contacts for people who need H2O filters in other parishes (St. Johns). We need filters for sure.

Hilary: Can’t ship until Tuesday. Will send, plus supplies. Will include testing kits.

Gary: Will email her about supplies.

Lindsey: Trying to get water down first so they can cook etc. Limited number of vehicles.

Amy: Can help divide up social media stuff with Hillary.

Gary: Do we have any other needs?

Lindsey: Bug spray. Basic medical supplies. There has been an outbreak of West Nile. Hoping some power will be restored this weekend.

Magpie: H2O not drinkable and don’t know how to test and they have no power in warehouse. Need filters.

Gary: Will get some aid over today.

Magpie: They only have one car, but it is not in good shape. She cannot provide transport.
Gary: We need vehicles in NOLA. Can Magpie talk to people?

Magpie: Yes.

Hillary: Does have a connection for filters in Florida and they may have bug spray. She will check and see what we can get. Hopefully we can get wholesale prices.

Gary: Needs to get off.

Andrea: What people can provide?

David: Need list of needs and what they have. He has FEMA reports of where groups are providing assistance. He can go find people not receiving help. 3000 people in shelters; that might mean 2500 people still need assistance. Gas shortage. He will be going out to parishes in person to see what needs are. We need to act as clearinghouse for info to direct people to resources and info.

Andrea: How much gas money?

David $160

Andrea: Will contact him directly to make this happen.

Gary: We should be able to assess money situation tomorrow. He is going to feeding tonight and will be working from clinic tomorrow. CGC is doing an assessment now.

Bill: Needs assessment crucial so we are not duplicating efforts.

Andrea: We can keep track of needs list so we are not duplicating.

Actionable Items:

Spread the word/outreach

Food Drives from other groups

Water Filters

Need announcement for InterOccupy Newsletter

National occupy mailing list announcement

Ows.org announcement

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[accordion_panel title=”Coordination Meeting – 8/30″]

Posted September 2nd, 2012 by andrea • permalink

Thu 8/30/12

Call Host: Gary
Call Facilitators: Cal
Maestro Board Manager(s): Andrea
Note Taker(s) : Amy
Maestro Call Registration Link for This Call:

Welcome & Introduction

Introduce facilitation team
Give Notetaker volunteer edit authorization to Agenda & Notes

Brief Procedural Comments
Communication using phone keypad (go through numbers 1-5):
1 Stack, 2 Twinkles/Agree, 3 Disagree, 4 Direct respond, 5 Point of process or Tech support

Be concise so many can speak. Limit comments to 60 second rule.
Say “check” or “I yield” after comments so we know you are finished
Guide Participants to Participant Dashboard to find Agenda & Notes link and other info. Have TA assist those having trouble accessing it in private breakout room.
Remember to enter
after each line (paragraph) posted to Participant Dashboard

Best Method for Hotlink:

Embedded Image:

Report from Common Ground Clinic on Needs (5 mins)
Discussion of Logistical Network (10 mins)
Discussion of Funding Network (10 mins)
Decision on how to/ if to proceed (5 mins)
Actionable Items and Bottomlining Assignments (5 mins)


– updates and what people are doing

Donations can be made online: https://www.wepay.com/donations/occupy-nola-donation-fund-for-hurricane-isaac

Those wishing to volunteer, help or become involved with the effort can join the mailing list: https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/isaac

Closing Comments

Show of hands for those who wish to be on a mailing list to recieve information related to the call [or event or direct action] from the facilitators
Show of hands for those who wish to share their contact info with others on the call who wish to share info
Show of hands for those willing to take the basic Maestro training to be co-facilitators or for those willing to take the basic and advanced Maestro training to be tech assistants on this call. Call must have trained facilitators before third call can be scheduled.
Send comments or feedback on the call to info@interoccupy.org .
Big thank you to the note taker and to all for participating.
Tone indicates the end of call. Those who wish to remain and chat will be on open mic for 20-30 minutes

End at 2:00 Hours

References / Links

(key links and emails relevant to the call or mentioned during it)



Item #1) Clinic Needs

Clinic has power.
Building not damaged.
Open tomorrow from 9-4 and will get a supply list together tomorrow am.
Food kitchens would be appreciated. People don’t have food.
Bill: Planning on setting kitchen up in Algiers.
Gary: Food not Bombs people may show up, but this is unclear. Hard to talk to organizers because power is out.

Item #2) Logistics
Trying to reach out to regional OWS groups. Limited communication with Baton Rouge groups.
Hubs in Jackson, Birmingham, and Tuscaloosa. Can send donations to these locations for delivery to clinic.
Need to find ways to get drivers to deliver supplies.
Item #3) Capabilities.
Mandy Can offer water filtration – www.highwaterfilters.com
Lindsey: Hub in Jackson. Have storage space for the supplies. Need driver support.
Amy: Web stuff.
Andrea: Has posted Press release and info.

Item #4) Financials
Gary: We Pay is up and running and release has been issued. Will pay for drivers. People can donate, volunteer, or donate goods. No donations yet.
Andrea: Will put out to OWS Networks.

Item 5) How to Proceed
Amy: Need to get some money in.
Gary: Need to get some suport money in. Pushing out the link.
Lindsey: Getting people who have time to drive. So we can get people on the road. Occupiers have linited means and work obligations.
Hillary: Can’t get donation button to work. She is putting in $200. Her son is in FNBs.
Gary: Thanks to Hilary. Have son contact us.
Andrea: Will put put donation list from OWS National Gathering.

Item #6) Are we capable of procedding?
Gary: Will see if post office can get stuff to the hubs is feesible. Confident in proceeding.

Temprature Check

Bill: Need to asses situation before proceeding to far to see if their are unmet needs.
Gary: Depends on what we find out tomorrow, but giving money to the clinic is useful either way.
Bill: Is aligned with that.

Actionable Items:
Gary: Get the message out and we will send out info tomorrow.
Can use WordPress Page to list needs and have volunteer sign up.
Revised Press List Tomorrow.
Andrea: Can set up Hub on Interoccupy
Gary: That works
Bill: Doesn’t want to promote we pay because they have their own kitchen page.
Gary: Totally understandable.
Bill: We have two complete sets of filters if needed.
Gary: Not sure if we need filters yet. Will know when we get needs list. If H2O is ok, we don’t need. However, worth checking into.
Summer: Knows some relief folks in Florida. Who can they contact if they can’t help.
Gary: Summer email opesrnyc@gmail.com
Andrea will send everyone link to listserv.

Check Out
Amy: Can help with web if needed.
Lindsey: occupyms@gmail.com
Bill: On Occupy Disaster Relief FB Page. Also Rainbow has Isaac Relief FB Page.
Summer: She also knows the Rainbow People. CAn try tpo get phone numbers.
Bill: ARR group not around anymore
Andrea: Thanks. happy to be helping.
Cal: Thanks for helping.
Gary: Thanks for helping. Will get on listserv. Maybe have call in a couple of days.

Hub Addresses to Send Donations to:

Occupy Jackson Hub
121 North State Street
Jackson, MS 39201

Occupy Tuscaloosa Hub
1036 Brandywine Rd
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406

Occupy Birmingham Hub
1671 C Valley Ave
Birmingham AL 35209

Donations can be made online: https://www.wepay.com/donations/occupy-nola-donation-fund-for-hurricane-isaac

Those wishing to volunteer, help or become involved with the effort can join the mailing list: https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/isaac




The Common Ground Collective that Created the Common Ground Health Clinic reaches out to Occupy for help supplying aid to New Orleans in aftermath of Isaac

The Common Ground Collective (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Common_Ground_Collective ) was instrumental in providing aid to Katrina victims in 2005. The Collective founded the Common Ground Health Clinic (http://www.commongroundclinic.org/j15/ ). Malik Rahim reached out to Occupy Wall Street and Occupy activists for help in providing for the needs of those displaced by Isaac, but more importantly the more than 10,000 New Orleans residents who have been displace more than 7 years since Katrina.
Occupy Activists have begun to create the “Occupy Isaac Response Distribution Network” to provide needed aid to those in New Orleans. This growing hub will collect aid from nationwide fundraising and distribute the aid to the Common Ground Clinic, Occupy NOLA, Occupy Baton Rouge, and Food Not Bombs groups heading to New Orleans to feed the needy.

Although President Obama has authorized a preemptive declaration of emergency, Community Organizations do not expect to see any money till late next week. The brunt of dealing with the displaced, hungry and sick will fall to these Community Organizations whose funding has been cut in the current bipartisan attacks on the social safety net. Activists affiliated with the Common Ground Collective, Occupy, and Food Not Bombs have stepped up to fill the gap as an example of what collective action can accomplish.

This afternoon at 3 pm EST Occupy will begin a fundraising campaign for the benefit of the Common Ground Health Clinic. Donations can be made online: https://www.wepay.com/donations/occupy-nola-donation-fund-for-hurricane-isaac

Donors will be asked to help in one of two ways. Send medical supplies and staple food supplies via the USPS to Occupy Hub Locations in Jackson, MS; Tuscaloosa, AL; Mobile, AL, Houston, TX and Birmingham, AL. Drivers are being recruited in these cities to transport supplies into the Clinic and feeding tents being set up by Occupy NOLA and Food Not Bombs. The opportunity to make a financial donation will also be available. Money will only be used for the following purposes: 1. Gassing Vehicles to bring supplies to NOLA 2. Feeding & Caffeinating drivers 3. Buying Ice to keep medicine and Insulin cool 4. Potable Water 5. Staple Foods & 6. Items specifically requested by the Common Ground Clinic. Any additional funds will be donated to the Common Ground Clinic and a report of all expenditures will be available to donors with-in thirty days of the closing of fundraising.
Those wishing to volunteer, help or become involved with the effort can join the mailing list: https://lists.mayfirst.org/mailman/listinfo/isaac or register for a conference call this evening at 7pm : http://interoccupy.net/blog/ai1ec_event/hurricane-isaac-coordinating-logistics-for-aid-to-new-orleans/?instance_id

Those who wish to make a financial donation can do so with WePay:

Press Inquiries can be directed to:

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[accordion_panel title=”Minutes are forthcoming”]

Posted July 27th, 2012 by greggsky • permalink



The information here is from the Occupy.net wiki. Use the wiki to document everything pertaining to your Hub. Wikis are a powerful way to share content and document the processes for the work you are engaged in.

[wiki-embed url=”http://wiki.occupy.net/wiki/Occupy_Isaac_Relief_Distribution_Network” tabs]

[ai1ec view="agenda"]