General Assembly Minutes October 29, 2011

 

Occupy Duluth General Assembly

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Location: Superior and Lake Streets, the fountain next to Electric Fetus

2:00 pm

Facilitator: Lara

Stack: Tyler

Notes: Diane

Key Actions since Last GA: Lara

The First Communique was posted  and pushed. It was posted on the website www.occupyduluth.org and sent to media contacts. It has also been made into a half sheet flyer. If anyone wants some to hand out, please contact Diane at DianeEmerson@yahoo.com

 A Day in the Life of an Occupier: Mike Creiger from the Duluth News Tribune is planned to be published on Halloween day. Mike agreed to stay overnight at the occupation to get the full story. He also has offered to donate any overtime pay he gets for the extra hours to the movement. Thanks, Mike!

Donation Jar: The small one was stolen. After some discussion it became clear that this was one of those issues that would best be handled by a working group of people who live at the occupation site- the Occupation Assembly.

On a related note, Jesse was robbed and mugged on Friday night, and in the spirit of nonviolence and direct mediation, will be walking the neighborhood talking to people about it, in an effort to talk to the person who attacked him, rather than report it to police.

A buddy system will be discussed at an Occupation Assembly, and Allen suggested the dojo on the corner for non-violent self defense.

Declaration/Manifesto. The draft of this was handed out at the Oct 26 General Assembly. This will be e-mailed out to members who have shared their e-mails, for comments and input, before posting on the website. If you want to be sure to have input, send your e-mail address to the following e-mails, to be sure you get information as it becomes available: occupyduluthsuperior@gmail.com and admin@occupyduluth.org

Calendar of Events:  Phil, Lara and Tiffany can post items to the website, www.occupyduluth.org  including calendar items.

Aaron: A statement of solidarity with the Postal Service will be posted to the website. A draft was handed out at the last General Assembly, and approved for posting at that meeting.

A statement of solidarity and support from labor unions was tabled for future discussion.

WORKING GROUP REPORTS

Diane suggested that all attendees review the minutes from the previous General Assembly before attending the next one, if at all possible, because discussions and reports from working groups will make much more sense to attendees.

FOOD – Jennifer.  We are continuing with healthful, organic foods as much as possible. The Food working group follows the advice of Hippocrates: “Let food be your medicine and medicine be your food.”

Jennifer reminded the Assembly that food gift certificates are very welcome, so the Food team can purchase the exact ingredients they need to make meals.

There is concern that food donations may be coming to us rather than going to local food shelves. As a result, our energetic Food team is having a Halloween Food Drive – a Trick or Treat So We All Can Eat. The idea is for volunteers to go door to door before the trick or treaters come out, asking for donations of food for the food shelves. Collectors (preferably on bicycles) would pick up the food at the street corners and deliver it to the food shelves.  Here are more details which came in shortly after the GA:

Volunteers needed for:

Collecting food door to door (on foot, bike, skateboard, preferably not in car and in costume)
Picking up food from collectors as they go.
Organizing routes for collectors
Posting fliers at supermarkets
Delivering collected food to food banks.

Collecting should start around 3-4. All ages are encouraged to participate. This can be done by anyone anywhere, going together just might make it that much more fun :)

Please call Jennifer @ 952.237.1705 to volunteer. Or sign up in the living room

The first time Jennifer saw this done hundreds of pounds of food were easily collected in just 2 1/2 hours!! It was the largest one time donation the Brick food shelf had ever gotten.

SANITATION: Allen: We have permission to use the facilities at the Labor Temple. If you want to help empty the camp’s trash and recyclables, bring the bins around to the back of the Labor Temple.  We will need to keep appealing to the Labor Temple for funds to continue the emptying of the portable toilets and funding of electricity.

DONATIONS: Tyler. He wants to ask people for tents so we can expand, and read a communique from Cairo. After discussion, it was determined that we should not yet expand the encampment.

MEDICAL: There is a herbal First Aid workshop Sunday at the Pineapple Arts building. Cold weather herbal remedies will be covered, among other topics.

It was suggested that a separate tent be set up to hold the extra blankets and warm clothes which are being donated, so everyone knows where to go to help someone who comes into camp cold. Details will be worked out at the Occupation Assembly.

TOWN PLANNING: Jennifer. The space at camp has been re-arranged, as proposed at the last General Assembly. Andrew from the Duluth News  Tribune arrived the day of the move and documented it.

We now have a 10ft by 20ft car port next to the living room.  We have received a huge tarp, 36 by 36 paces large. It was proposed and approved that it be used to cover the eating area, with the assistance of a tree.

Diane raised the idea of solar panels rather than our high use of electricity and fossil fuels. Jesse pointed out that solar panels also depend on non-sustainable materials for their creation. Great Northern Solar wishes to help us, but they need a proposal with energy usage need. The assembly agreed that Jennifer would calculate the energy usage needed and Vern would follow up with Great Northern Solar. Also that Jennifer would talk to the design school she attended regarding a small wind turbine for our space.

Bob Monahan has offered the Radisson Pool to occupiers at 6pm Sunday.

There will be an Occupiers Assembly at 7pm Sunday, to discuss issues specifically related to the occupation site.

Winterization: There is a general request for bags of dry leaves to assist with insulating the camp, tents, etc. Bring them in!

COMMUNICATION

Events in the Transistor need to be e-mailed today. Basic information like mealtimes, teach-ins, and assemblies.

Lara is running the calendar of events on the website.

DIRECT ACTION:   Allen.

Here are some future events taking place, if we wish to do direct action at them. If nothing else, attend, talk to people, and hand out leaflets like the 1st communique.

Tuesday, November 1: Shane Claiborne event:  CHUM Fall Community Assembly The event will be held from 6:30 to 8 pm in the Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St. Scholastica. Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus.

Wednesday, November 2: Day of the Dead celebration. Our General Assembly will be postponed so we can honor this day

Thursday, November 3:  7pm,  General Assembly, at DAD

Saturday, November 5: Connecting the Dots, event put on by Duluth Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) 8:30 -12 noon, at Clyde Iron Works. Free to get in, free breakfast. Also Move the Money Day. Move your money from the big banks into credit unions or local banks.

Wednesday, November 9: – 7:00pm – 9:00pm  Move To Amend with David Cobb. Note:  Our General Assembly will be postponed so we can attend this event.

Location: Peace Church, 1111 N. 11th Ave. East

Speakers / Performers include: David Cobb, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jim Northrup, Joel Sipress, and Sharla Gardner. Music by Rachael Kilgour.

David Cobb (Keynote Speaker): Spokesperson for Move to Amend, 2004 Green Party presidential candidate, attorney, initiator of the 2004 Ohio Recount.

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer: Professor of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas, author of thirteen books, leader of the Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project (MN ASAP).

Jim Northrup: Renowned Anishinaabe poet / author of numerous books and other publications.

Joel Sipress: Professor of history at the University of Wisconsin Superior and progressive activist.

Sharla Gardner: Member of the Duluth City Council.

 Thursday, November 10:  General Assembly: 7pm, DAD

 Thursday, November 17: Minnesotans for a Fair Economy, Veterans for Peace. This will be a big day for action, focusing on our dilapidated infrastructure. Supporters will be out for the Northern Lights Express. Big Event on infrastructure, probably at the depot, time TBA

Saturday, November 29: International Solidarity Day with Palestinian people

December trip to Washington, DC to participate in the Tent City. Depart on the 5th/6th, return on the 11th/12th. Most of the expenses will be covered by the labor unions. Transportation provided. Need 5 people. See Allen Richardson.

 Other Actions:  Donna, a member of TROU: The Rest of Us, led a discussion about possible actions people attending the General Assembly would like to personally work on. Attendees offered the following suggestions:

  • Banks – the top 4 banks. Focus on repossession of homwe where they can’t find mortgages, and moving money from banks to credit unions.
  • Duluth Port Authority and the Mars Company monopolization of manufacturing jobs in Duluth
  • Clean Water and Lake Superiour.  A Legacy Fund was set up for this but is in danger of some of this fund being transferred to build a stadium in the Twin Cities. Actions could include writing a letter, calling the governor.
  • Movie Nights. One movie suggested is “Tapped”.  This documentary is about bottled water: privatization and health issues.
  • Student Involvement: LSC, UMD, CSS. Teach students what this is all about. Show movies at UMD, other locations. Student organisations are being created, possible connection with SDS, Students for a Democratic Society.
  • Move into a foreclosed home, especially one where the original mortgage has been lost in all the financial paper shuffling.
  • Homelessness and Unemployment: Turn Cravaack’s office into an employment centre, simply by helping unemployed people fill out job applications in his office.
  • March on the Duluth Chamber of Commerce. Nathan Ness suggested this action, and would like to have a conference call with anyone who is interested.

Anybody who wants to set up a direct action at any of these events or others is welcome.

 

GENERAL DISCUSSION

Todd Erickson, delegate for two local labor unions, reported that the International Union is supporting the Occupation. He also reported that on Wednesday of this week, when he was at Occupy Chicago with a union delegation, hundreds of fliers were tossed out of the window of the Board of Trade building onto the occupiers below, denouncing the Occupy movement, and especially against union workers. Tyler read the statement to us, which was unsigned. Lara will post it on the Misc section of the website.

It was reported that AFSME will march with Occupy Minnesota in Minneapolis.

Nathan Ness drove from St. Paul to attend our assembly, and talked about the Move to Amend event being held on Wednesday, November 7. His proposal to move our GA so we could attend was accepted. So instead of November 7, our midweek GA will be held Thursday, November 8.  Because there are hundreds of flyers out circulating among the public which state that our General Assemblies are held every Wednesday, 3-4 people will remain at DAD to discuss the occupation with anyone who shows up on Wednesday.

Next General Assembly: Thursday, November 3, 7pm, at DAD (civic center). Note: this is a departure from our normal Wednesday schedule. The next two weeks the mid-week General Assemblies will be held on Thursdays, instead of Wednesday. Please check the calendar at www.occupyduluth.org for the latest information.

Communiqué in Solidarity with the Occupy Movement from Cairo.

Keep Going and Do Not Stop

Communiqué in Solidarity with the Occupy Movement from Cairo. 24th of October, 2011.

To all those in the United States currently occupying parks, squares and other spaces, your comrades in Cairo are watching you in solidarity. Having received so much advice from you about transitioning to democracy, we thought it’s our turn to pass on some advice.

Indeed, we are now in many ways involved in the same struggle. What most pundits call “The Arab Spring” has its roots in the demonstrations, riots, strikes and occupations taking place all around the world, its foundations lie in years-long struggles by people and popular movements. The moment that we find ourselves in is nothing new, as we in Egypt and others have been fighting against systems of repression, disenfranchisement and the unchecked ravages of global capitalism (yes, we said it, capitalism): a System that has made a world that is dangerous and cruel to its inhabitants. As the interests of government increasingly cater to the interests and comforts of private, transnational capital, our cities and homes have become progressively more abstract and violent places, subject to the casual ravages of the next economic development or urban renewal scheme.

An entire generation across the globe has grown up realizing, rationally and emotionally, that we have no future in the current order of things. Living under structural adjustment policies and the supposed expertise of international organizations like the World Bank and IMF, we watched as our resources, industries and public services were sold off and dismantled as the “free market” pushed an addiction to foreign goods, to foreign food even. The profits and benefits of those freed markets went elsewhere, while Egypt and other countries in the South found their immiseration reinforced by a massive increase in police repression and torture.

The current crisis in America and Western Europe has begun to bring this reality home to you as well: that as things stand we will all work ourselves raw, our backs broken by personal debt and public austerity. Not content with carving out the remnants of the public sphere and the welfare state, capitalism and the austerity-state now even attack the private realm and people’s right to decent dwelling as thousands of foreclosed-upon homeowners find themselves both homeless and indebted to the banks who have forced them on to the streets.

So we stand with you not just in your attempts to bring down the old but to experiment with the new. We are not protesting. Who is there to protest to? What could we ask them for that they could grant? We are occupying. We are reclaiming those same spaces of public practice that have been commodified, privatized and locked into the hands of faceless bureaucracy, real estate portfolios, and police ‘protection’. Hold on to these spaces, nurture them, and let the boundaries of your occupations grow. After all, who built these parks, these plazas, these buildings? Whose labor made them real and livable? Why should it seem so natural that they should be withheld from us, policed and disciplined? Reclaiming these spaces and managing them justly and collectively is proof enough of our legitimacy.

In our own occupations of Tahrir, we encountered people entering the Square every day in tears because it was the first time they had walked through those streets and spaces without being harassed by police; it is not just the ideas that are important, these spaces are fundamental to the possibility of a new world. These are public spaces. Spaces for gathering, leisure, meeting, and interacting – these spaces should be the reason we live in cities. Where the state and the interests of owners have made them inaccessible, exclusive or dangerous, it is up to us to make sure that they are safe, inclusive and just. We have and must continue to open them to anyone that wants to build a better world, particularly for the marginalized, excluded and for those groups who have suffered the worst .

What you do in these spaces is neither as grandiose and abstract nor as quotidian as “real democracy”; the nascent forms of praxis and social engagement being made in the occupations avoid the empty ideals and stale parliamentarianism that the term democracy has come to represent. And so the occupations must continue, because there is no one left to ask for reform. They must continue because we are creating what we can no longer wait for.

But the ideologies of property and propriety will manifest themselves again. Whether through the overt opposition of property owners or municipalities to your encampments or the more subtle attempts to control space through traffic regulations, anti-camping laws or health and safety rules. There is a direct conflict between what we seek to make of our cities and our spaces and what the law and the systems of policing standing behind it would have us do.

We faced such direct and indirect violence, and continue to face it. Those who said that the Egyptian revolution was peaceful did not see the horrors that police visited upon us, nor did they see the resistance and even force that revolutionaries used against the police to defend their tentative occupations and spaces: by the government’s own admission; 99 police stations were put to the torch, thousands of police cars were destroyed, and all of the ruling party’s offices around Egypt were burned down. Barricades were erected, officers were beaten back and pelted with rocks even as they fired tear gas and live ammunition on us. But at the end of the day on the 28th of January they retreated, and we had won our cities.

It is not our desire to participate in violence, but it is even less our desire to lose.

If we do not resist, actively, when they come to take what we have won back, then we will surely lose. Do not confuse the tactics that we used when we shouted “peaceful” with fetishizing nonviolence; if the state had given up immediately we would have been overjoyed, but as they sought to abuse us, beat us, kill us, we knew that there was no other option than to fight back. Had we laid down and allowed ourselves to be arrested, tortured, and martyred to “make a point”, we would be no less bloodied, beaten and dead. Be prepared to defend these things you have occupied, that you are building, because, after everything else has been taken from us, these reclaimed spaces are so very precious.

By way of concluding then, our only real advice to you is to continue, keep going and do not stop. Occupy more, find each other, build larger and larger networks and keep discovering new ways to experiment with social life, consensus, and democracy. Discover new ways to use these spaces, discover new ways to hold on to them and never give them up again. Resist fiercely when you are under attack, but otherwise take pleasure in what you are doing, let it be easy, fun even. We are all watching one another now, and from Cairo we want to say that we are in solidarity with you, and we love you all for what you are doing.

Comrades from Cairo.

General Assembly Minutes October 14, 2011

Occupy Duluth General Assembly

October 14, 2011

Lake Superior Plaza

Committee Reports:

Lara: Facilitation Committee

went through the various communication methods for our meetings, and consensus decision-making. She will make a sign explaining the hand signals for all of us, as well as setting up facilitation teach-ins. We need people fluent in Spanish and English as a Second Language (ESL) to attend these.

 

Chad: Arts and Family

Asked all of us to invite speakers and musicians, and increase the diversity of the movement. We  have 100 plastic cups with tea lights for candlelight vigils. We have face paints. Feel free to bring more supplies. We are hoping to live stream with Phillonious Monk’s laptop.

Bring any kind of music, as long as it is tasteful for families and children.

Bring rugs so we can have a big space rug. Any size is fine.

Key contacts for this committee:  Bob Monahan and Anton. Or contact Tiffany.

 

Jay and Ben: Peacekeeping and Mediation and De-escalation

Yellow has been chosen as the color for this committee. Look for yellow armbands and hats.

The strategy is no tolerance of alcohol or drug use

Committee members will be wearing  name tags

There is a strict “No Weapons” policy, but we won’t be asking people to leave their Swiss army penknives at home.

The main goal is to gear up for Halloween, and the people who will be coming through the occupation site that night.

 

Francois: Food Committee

To begin with, we will have a picnic/potluck mentality for food. So bring what you can, share and pass around with everyone, including visitors to the occupation.  Let the committee know what you can bring.

We need transportation for food, and to involve more people.

Food is so important to a movement like this. We will need to raise money to keep people fed after the first flush of food donations. To assist with this, Lara said that a PayPal account will be set up for donations, and a Finance Committee will be formed.

 

Mary Ann: Medics Committee

We need all the blankets we can get.

It was suggested by a commenter that we have a sign up sheet for vehicles to be present to take people to the hospital at all times.

 

Tiffany: Communications

The website is being worked on. The e-mail has been set up:  occupyduluth@gmail.com

The communications committee needs contact details for everyone:

Name, e-mail, physical address, phone number(s). All are asked to send/give them to the Communications Committee.

 

A discussion was held regarding a Mission Statement and Press Release. The media are asking for information. It was suggested that at this point, it is too early for anyone to speak on behalf of Occupy Duluth regarding mission and purpose and objectives. People, when asked by media representatives about our mission and purpose, should respond that we are a complex group, and that each individual is representing her or himself only. “I represent me.”  We will be working on mission statement and press releases, but it may take several weeks to come to consensus on these, when it comes to statements of purpose. It took the New York group a long time, and it will take us a long time, though we can also use what has come out of the Occupy New York group to inform us. The Communications Committee will draft a press release for consideration by the General Assembly.

 

Kayla: Donations Committee

We may need to use a charity to funnel money through, or we can set up our own credit union account.

Each committee should make a list of needs and send it to occupyduluth@gmail.com

Northland Anti War Coalition has a bank account we can use.

 

Joel: Police

Police have stated that Superior Plaza can be occupied, as a park, from 6am to midnight only. If, between the hours of midnight to 6am, anyone refuses to leave if asked, they will be arrested.

The police will not enforce the ordinance for no overnight camping at the Civic Center.

There are no open fires allowed on city land. No bonfires. Campstoves are OK. Metal drums set up on top of concrete bricks to get them off the ground might be tolerated as a fire container for warmth.

A biffy is ready to go, and is planned to be delivered to the Civic Centre early Saturday morning.

Proposal: Meet at Superior Plaza at 9am Saturday. Plan to camp at Civic Centre, to begin with. We may move or occupy other public space nearby, as we decide.

After some discussion, this proposal was approved by the General Assembly with no blocks.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Diane Emerson, dianeemerson@yahoo.com

Minutes from the Oct 22 General Assembly

General Assembly Minutes, Oct 22, 2011
2pm-3pm, at People’s Plaza

Moderators: Joel, Lara
Minutes: Diane
Stack: Phil

Lara reviewed the process of consensus decision-making for the newcomers. Here is a link to a YouTube video of her giving these instructions: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StOw8erHFIo

Working Group Updates

Media and Communication: Phil.
The website is online, www.occupyduluth.org All working group members should go to the website and sign up. Mediators can be given access to edit the site.

Needs: We need a Clear Wire Modem and Wireless Router. If anyone has a lead on getting these, please contact Phil at admin@occupyduluth.org

We are looking for someone to talk to the media on behalf of Occupy Duluth. If interested in being considered, talk to Phil.

Donations: Tyler
What we need most of all are donations of people’s time. When telling people about Occupy Duluth, if they are supportive of the idea, ask “What have you done to help?” If they need ideas, have them call Tyler at 218-461-2540.

A Community Outreach committee is also being started, to bring in more volunteers.

Donations of Food – Josh. We will not turn down any food donations, but we ask that people donate food with these guidelines in mind:
1. Food as local as possible
2. Organic if possible
3. Whole foods are OK – such as a big bag of carrots or potatoes. We have the ability to cook our own meals.

Food Committee: We have lots of food, and it’s going to be fun!

Medical Committee: We need supplies. The list is on Facebook

Treasury: Malory: We will probably not be able to get nonprofit status, though Occupy Minnesota is working on it. A proposal will be given at Wednesday’s meeting. We can accept cash and checks, as long as checks are made out to Loaves and Fishes, with a note on the check that it is for “Occupy”.

Arts and Family: nothing to report

Facilitation: We need more members to facilitate meetings.

Town Planning (Occupation site): Need more people residing in the town
Need to shift the tents this next week so we don’t kill the grass.

PeaceKeeping: We need more people

1st Public Communique

A draft of Occupy Duluth’s first communique to the public was handed out for all present to read. This is intended to be sent out as a press release. After discussion and a temperature check, it was agreed by consensus to have the team which drafted the document (Aaron, Lara and Jesse), make changes based on the comments of the General Assembly, and send it out as a press release by Monday.

Teach-Ins
Bianca reported that we need to educate people as to what is going on in society. An Education Working Group will be set up. If interested, people can contact Bianca, or Joel Kilgour. Joel’s phone number is 218-724-2054.

Flags at our Camp
Currently we have 3 flags flying: the corporate flag is the US flag with the stars replaced by corporate logos. The US flag is flying upside down, indicating distress, and there is an Earth flag as well. After discussion, it was agreed by consensus to change the flags to the following:
Top: US flag flying right side up
Next: Corporate flag flying upside down indicating distress
Bottom: Earth flag

It was also agreed to indicate in the upcoming press release that an upside down flag indicates distress.

Open Floor Discussion

Tidiness: Everyone take their dirty dishes to the dirty dishes box. Do not leave them laying around in the living room.

David Cobb from Move To Amend
David is going to be in Duluth on the 9th of November. Here is why Occupy Duluth might be interested in hearing him:
“On January 21, 2010, with its ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations are persons, entitled by the U.S. Constitution to buy elections and run our government. Human beings are people; corporations are legal fictions.” From www.movetoamend.org

Minutes of Oct 26 General Assembly

Occupy Duluth General Assembly
Wednesday, October 26, 2011
Location: Duluth Autonomous District/Mass Occupation Movement (Civic Plaza)
7:00 pm

Facilitators: Lara and Tyler

Stack: Alex, Jay

Time: Ben

Notes: Diane

Committee Reports:
SANITATION: the unions have agreed we can take our trash and recycling there

DIRECT ACTION: Alan. An e-mail and phone list has been created. Next we need to decide what direct actions we will take, and how often. Bigger events, which take longer to plan, are preferred.

Here are some future events taking place which we should know about, if we wish to do direct action.

Friday, October 27: Critical Mass Ride. Halloween Theme. Assemble at 5pm at Minnesota Power Plaza. Ride begins at 5:30pm

Saturday, October 29: Kids for the Future, 1-3pm, People’s Power Plaza. The Vote Yes on the Levy Committee. Chalk design is on Friday.
We will be located across the street, at the fountain, for our General Assembly at 2pm. Need new signs, and new slogans.

Tuesday, November 1: Shane Claiborne event: CHUM Fall Community Assembly The event will be held from 6:30 to 8 pm in the Mitchell Auditorium at the College of St. Scholastica. Shane writes and travels extensively speaking about peacemaking, social justice, and Jesus.

Saturday, November 5: Connecting the Dots, event put on by Duluth Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) 8:30 -12 noon, at Clyde Iron Works. Free to get in, free breakfast. Also Move the Money Day. Move your money from the big banks into credit unions or local banks.

Thursday, November 17: Minnesotans for a Fair Economy

Saturday, November 29: International Solidarity Day with Palestinian people

Anybody who wants to set up a direct action at any of these events or others is welcome.

MEDIA AND COMMUNICATION:
Phil will work on getting the calendar available for editing for Occupy Duluth working group leaders

We need video and photos submitted to the website and by working group leaders, please.

There is a phone list in the living room tent. Add your name and contact details to it.

Media representatives are coming to visit our occupation on Thursday, the day we are moving our tents. Mike is coming at 2pm, and Alex from the Duluth News Tribune is doing “ A day in the life of an occupier”. Jesse and Jennifer will be our key spokespeople, and we will ask Alex to come and be an occupier for a day as well. If you want Jesse and Jennifer to speak for you when the media comes to interview them, please let them know your opinions and ideas.

Armband: We discussed the use of the armband for the person in camp who is to keep an eye on things, people visiting, etc. The “go to” person.

COMMUNITY OUTREACH: Lara
Lara followed up on the first communique from Occupy Duluth. The changes proposed at the Oct 23 GA have been made, and the document was made available on her laptop for anyone who wanted to see it one more time before it goes out. The assembly decided to both post it on our website and submit it to media representatives. This is the “Post and Push” strategy.

PEACEMAKING AND PEACEKEEPING WORKING GROUP: Jay Ben, Alex

Attendees at the GA agreed that we would have a block/ban on physical and verbal violence in the camp.

This working group needs more members and some dialogue on whether to accept into camp people who have been drinking heavily.

DONATIONS: Tyler
We are well loved. People are asked to review the wish list on Facebook

Jeannie of the NE Area Labor Council re-affirmed the support of their organization, and asked what we need that they might supply. Responses included:
Scrap plywood for building
Clean-burning kerosene
Assistance by building tradespeople
General camping supplies
Tarps, rope, more tents.

She told us that the group does a monthly Labor Movie Night at the Labor Temple, 21st Ave East and London Road, 6pm, Thursday, October 27.

FOOD/KITCHEN: Jennifer
We are getting too much unhealthy treat food, and the assembly agreed to pass along extra food we do not need to local food banks, rather than store it.

The food/kitchen working group would love to receive more donations of gift cards to grocery stores, so we can buy the necessary makings for our meals, rather than trying to create meals without key ingredients.

Seeds for Success, Randy Hanson, has offered us 100 feet of kale and 100 feet of collard greens. We need volunteer pickers. Let Jennifer know.

There will be training for all people who use the kitchens, and we now have a DO NOT USE table, for allergen free foods only. Our kitchen will as be allergen-free as possible, to help accommodate people with allergies.

CITY PLANNING: Jennifer and team have been working on re-arranging the tents, and after the GA all are invited to finalize the new plan, which will be implemented on Thursday.
Jay mentioned that in other Occupy movements there are two regular meeting groups: a General Assembly and a Occupants Assembly, because there are so many details which need to be addressed and concern only the people who are actually sleeping at the various occupy sites. This may be something we do in the near future.

We will have a place for children to play in our future plans.

FINANCIAL: Malory
Malory has investigated the feasibility of creating a non-profit organization. The group agreed not to pursue this option at this time.
The Northland Anti War Coalition, a not for profit group, has offered for us to use their accounts. We will investigate the possibility of setting up a separate checking account with them.
A small amount of cash will be kept on site for needed purchases.
A donation jar was stolen at our Oct 23 party on the plaza. We need a better system for these donation jars: something harder to walk away with.

ARTS AND FAMILY: Chad
Last Saturday’s artists enjoyed the day, and want to do it again. Photos and videos of the event are wanted for the website. Next event will be simpler. Perhaps Occupy Colleges Nov 2. We could use projectors to show videos to the colleges, such as the movie “I am Not Moving”, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RGRXCgMdz9A.
Not violent movies.
Jennifer offered her disk burning capabilities.
Possible next event date: November 11, although there will be many events of a spiritual nature taking place on that date: 11/11/11
Suggestions were made to have a guided meditation once a week.
A proposal was discussed to have a movie made which included the violence against the occupiers in Oakland and other cities. It was felt it will help galvanize people into supporting the occupy movement. After much discussion, it was agreed to have a movie put together that would be balanced. It would include the violence against other occupiers, but would also be balanced by information and inspiration. This movie would be shown at the next occupy party event. Parents would be warned that it contains violence in the following ways: by mic check, and also by a disclaimer at the beginning of the movie.

OPEN FLOOR COMMENTS

Chad does mushroom hunts, much to the delight of some of the members. Look on the north side of poplar trees.

Community Construction Project: we discussed the creation of a Lean To Greenhouse for Josh and his wife. They offered to bring back to the Occupation everything they grow in it, if we help them build it. We also discussed having a greenhouse here, but it would need to be on wheels.

Construction Committee proposed, with people who have construction background. Women in Construction, Northern Communities Land Trust were both mentioned as possibilities for places to find interested members.

Statement of Solidarity with the Postal Service: Aaron read this statement for the group. It was proposed and accepted that we add this statement to our website and facebook page. Tyler offered to set up a Post Office box for donations to Occupy Duluth, to also help support the Post Office. Jennifer suggested that we print out these statements and mail them using stamps, also in support. We did not make further decisions on it.

Fair Farm Movement: Tyler brought up this topic, which is relevant to the Occupy movement because of the monopolies in the food industry. He encouraged a letter writing campaign to Senator Klobuchar to be a champion on the Senate Floor for the Fair Farm Movement.

Flags: Currently we have a right side up American flag, then an upside down peace flag, and the earth flag. It was mentioned that the upside down peace sign is considered satanic. The peace flag is upside down because our US flag with the corporate logos has disappeared, so we put that flag upside down in its place. Diane has ordered a replacement corporate logo flag.

Forum at Peace Church: Wednesday, November 9, from 7-9 pm. This event includes quite a line-up of interesting speakers and music, but it conflicts directly with our General Assembly. The people will choose. Here is more info on the event:
Date:
November 9, 2011 – 7:00pm – 9:00pm
Location: Peace Church, 1111 N. 11th Ave. East
Duluth, MN 55805
Speakers / Performers include: David Cobb, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jim Northrup, Joel Sipress, and Sharla Gardner. Music by Rachael Kilgour.

David Cobb (Keynote Speaker): Spokesperson for Move to Amend, 2004 Green Party presidential candidate, attorney, initiator of the 2004 Ohio Recount.

Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer: Professor of Justice and Peace Studies at the University of St. Thomas, author of thirteen books, leader of the Minnesota Arms Spending Alternatives Project (MN ASAP).

Jim Northrup: Renowned Anishinaabe poet / author of numerous books and other publications.

Joel Sipress: Professor of history at the University of Wisconsin Superior and progressive activist.

Sharla Gardner: Member of the Duluth City Council.

Email: ness.nathan.j@gmail.com
Phone: 218.310.7682

NEXT GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Saturday, October 29, 2:00 pm, fountain area (next to The Electric Fetus) accross from People’s Plaza, Lake and Superior. The Plaza has been rented by a student group on 10-29, we will respect their permit and assemble accross the street. Please join us. Everyone has an equal say in our meetings. Come and be heard. Have your suggestions considered by all. Participate in consensus decision-making. No majority votes here!

Protect Our Manoomin

For the Present Generation to the Seventh Generation

Statement Issued by Protect Our Manoomin to Occupy Duluth General Assembly on Global Day of Occupation October 15, 2011

It is the position of Protect Our Manoomin that because mining is a threat to our culture, our traditions, and our spirituality;

* We oppose mining because of the threat to our manoomin – our wild rice – which is a sacred gift from our Creator;
* We oppose mining because of the threat to our sacred nibi – our water;
* We oppose mining because of the threat to our ecosystem;
* We oppose mining because of the sulfates that will poison our waters and the mercury that will not only poison the water but the air that we breathe.

Therefore:

* We call on Corporate America to end the ecocide of our environment;
* We call on Corporate America to end their resource colonization of our homelands;
* We call on Corporate America to end their genetic engineering of wild rice.
* We call on our state legislators to pass laws that will protect our environment;
* We call on our state legislators to uphold and abide by the current environmental laws that are in place;
* We call on our state legislators to close the door on foreign multinational mining companies who want to rape and plunder our homelands.
* We call on our state legislators and our governor to protect the State Grain of Minnesota – Wild Rice.
* We ask that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency end their collusion with state legislators and the mining industry;
* We ask that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to uphold the Clean Water Act to protect our ceded lands;
* We ask that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency to strictly abide by the Wild Rice/Sulfate Water Quality Standard of 10 milligrams per liter of sulfate.
* We ask the Federal government to uphold and abide by our treaties that provide for off-reservation hunting, fishing, and gathering rights on our ceded lands;
* We ask the Federal government to protect our ceded lands from the intrusion of foreign corporate resource colonies that will endanger the rights that we have on those lands.

We offer no compromise because there cannot be a compromise for the well-being of the environment or for the well-being of our people. We offer no compromise for the well-being of the present generation to the Seventh Generation.

Protect Our Manoomin invites all of you to join us to end this corporate greed that threatens our most precious gift – our water. We are born in water, we are made of water, and it is water that sustains us. We cannot afford to stand silent. We must make our voices heard.

We call on Occupy Duluth to take the lead in the Occupy Movement and establish a major goal of fighting against the environmental injustice and environmental discrimination that is at the core of the mining agenda. Duluth is ground-zero for the pollutants released from the Minntac and Keetac taconite mines on the Iron Range. This pollution will continue with Polymet, Twin Metals and the other copper resource colonies that are proposed to be built in our North Country. The toxins from these resource colonies will increase and foul the rivers and streams that flow into the St. Louis River and into Lake Superior. The Kennecott/Rio Tinto resource colony in Aitkin County will foul the waters of Lake Mille Lacs. This assault by foreign extractive corporations affects all of us – Anishinaabe and non-Native alike. If we are to stand against the mining industry, we can only be effective if we stand together. And together we demand environmental justice.

Protect Our Manoomin stands in solidarity with Occupy Duluth to end the corporate mining greed that threatens the well-being of both indigenous peoples and non-indigenous peoples alike.

We ask for all to protect our Mother Earth. Gichi-mii’gwech.

Statement delivered by Veronica Smith, Fond du Lac Ojibwe Nation