April 17, 2012

announcements report backs:

  • rad arts
  • labor cluster-Labor assembly



Arts and Labor  4/17/12  Meeting Minutes

small meeting, 9 in attendance,  partial notes:

RH facilitating
AB on stack
TB notes

announcements report backs:

rad arts
next meeting saturday 2-7 at catherines studio

labor cluster
includes A+L and a a few other occupy groups. also in attendance were representatives from Unions. super nice. agreed that it would be a good idea for us to be in touch as groups and identify areas where we have common concerns and activities, and in the future to imagine areas that we haven’t yet identified where we can collaborate. Next
meeting after May day. Following that a teach in on labor law, on the restrictions on organizing, and some proposed that it was about our opportunities. Also about history of Wildcat strikes. Teach in will be about the opportunities available to us within the restrictions.

Labor assembly
Was less action oriented, but people presented projects they are doing. Eva Mic Checked. balloons!

Meeting with sotheby’s workers Questions about the sustainability of that kind of activism. Would like to see if we can have a meeting with them. Perhaps suggesting a think tank. occupy museums is interested, would A+L be interested?

AG: lockouts are making a comeback, and the reason it is important to discuss because not only is this about the workers at Sotheby’s but also about setting a precedent for lockouts. Sotheby’s has been able to drag this on long enough to kill the union and not provide back wages to its employees. It is one of the many tools that we have for
organizing, and we ought to pay attention to that. This is very urgent, no matter your opinion on unions.

occupy comics
trying to figure out how to get involved in may day. does anyone have suggestions?

Continuing with sotheby’s
CK: Sotheby’s issue is important. Considering what happened in Madison last winter to reawaken people to these issues. We need to help get these guys their jobs back. It is problematic within a+L that the union gets a bad wrap – but those of us who support it need to articulate the reasons for our support better. The sotheby’s guys also
need to work with us to build more support.

MB: That’s why i’m proposing to have a meeting, a think tank with the sotheby’s workers, as soon as possible. I want to explore different ways of organizing labor and ways to organize their own labor. I’m interested in understanding and expanding on new ways to organize.

RH: This conversation needs to happen. It would be wonderful if we could get a+L consensus but not necessary to simply have a conversation, let’s move ahead with what we have and invite those interested.

AG: frankly, how would alternatives help the 43 locked out IBT workers? alternatives won’t happen within four months, which is the timetable we have. unions are also the only thing between completely arbitrary job termination, and slightly less arbitrary job
termination, and for all their flaws, unions are good.

CK: a month ago G came down here, works closely with labor, and there was consensus to publish a statement in support of the workers and threaten escalation of tactics but that hasn’t happened yet.

MB: Think Tank is a facilitated open discussion. bring together people from labor cluster, occupy museums, and A+L and have an open discussion.

RH: Is there a projected timeline?

CK: Perhaps this should be tabled as a proposal and we should solicit autonomous support.

AG: we could invite people to do this at the next labor cluster meeting.


CK: can we commit to not engaging with capital as much as possible on that day? How do we prepare? How do we disengage?

How do we want to participate as arts and labor? or as autonomous people? presence. Does anyone know if arts and labor would know?

MB: Has anyone been going to the call to create meetings? no? One thing is that there will be specific events planned throughout the day. There will be a fashion show.

TB: invite people out in the morning and bring them to a central space for occupy lunch

RH: torn, understand the need to be engaging with the art community, thats where i am and have leverage in culture and the economy, but personally don’t want this day to be about the artworld for me. I want to put my energy toward solidarity with other groups and supporting larger actions. not sure how to balance these for M1 specifically.

J: I want to have a place where we can talk about the position of students of color within arts schools, and faculty of color. More than just in a GA, i want to see something specific, because the topics get lost in the general stream.

AG: It would be better to have people come to things that already exist to build the critical mass. In terms of people of color in the arts, demographically A+L doesn’t represent that, and it is super important that we find good ways to bring them up. We should have a whole thing dedicated to that.

RH:  response to J, M1 Free University is happening at Madison Sq, check maydaynyc for schedule and details. Student voices are very important, ppl of color issues are super important, and a lot of people here would be happy to plug in and help.

CK: Wants to be with TB on MAY day. Let’s facilitate good times.

MB: May day for me is about showing an alternative way of being in the city.

CK: Let’s develop a proposal for next week.


AG: Are students at cooper involved or interested to begin with?

J: No, probably not. But in terms of tuition, we have this revenue task force to figure out what to do with our tuition. Saturday programs will be cut. the art school is organizing meetings daily now. we have a two month window to work in.

AG: the financial crisis is the public face of the crisis. But recently they imposed 10% budget cuts across the board which have caused some terrible troubles. they are cutting jobs, lowering salaries, replacing union with non-union work, etc. And on the other
hand, the top employees make a huge percentage of the total revenue. And the debt service for the new building is what is causing the trouble. This is a great confluence of all the things we have been talking about at A+L.  We should leverage our power in this place, because there are a lot of eyes on it. If we can galvanize, or help in
galvanizing them, then … well, this is something we need to look at and generate proposals on.

RH: hoax that cooper was selling it’s building to NYU.

J: there have been a lot of stunts from students. things like that happen a lot. people are tired.

CK: we’re a big group and a lot of us are cooper alums. This is a big deal, on the scale of sotheby’s.

J: cooper education is very self-absorbed. people don’t know how to have a conversation. at one of the student council meetings, in conversation to bring up issues related to vision: ” BITCH, i’m not talking about a dream I’m talking about a necessity!” ()()()())()()()()

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