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!