WHAT: An Invitation to the entire community of Duluth to assemble for a facilitated discussion on Constitutional Rights and the Occupy Movement
WHEN: Thursday, November 17, 7 PM
WHERE: Duluth Civic Center
Sponsored by Occupy Duluth
This press release is to serve as a City-Wide Call to Democratic Participation.. a call for ALL Duluthians to gather for a facilitated discussion on constitutionally protected rights and the Occupy Movement. At 7pm on November 17, Duluthians; of all view points, are asked to gather to discuss questions of First Amendment violations as it relates to the eviction of Occupy encampments across the country. As part of this dialogue, discussion is encouraged about the potential eviction of the Duluth-based Occupy camp, known as MOM/DAD standing for Mass Occupation Movement/Duluth Autonomous District. –
For those wondering why an urgent city-wide discussion is needed regarding our constitutional rights, here is a segment of a civil rights complaint filed with the Department of Justice on November 10, 2011 in response to the increasing antagonism of police against peaceful protesters
It is our contention, that “we the people” have the right to Occupy public spaces, and to peaceably assemble, as we seek this redress. This symbolic vigil, is an expression of our First Amendment rights..This expression is in the form of constant attendance by voluntary representatives of the people, maintaining this presence 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.
The First Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits interfering with the right to peaceably assemble or prohibiting the petitioning for a governmental redress of grievances. This applies to each State and Local government. It is clear to anyone, given the context offered herein: that this first amendment is being violated by state, and local governments, all across the United States of America, in relation to the Occupy Movement.
It has been witnessed that actions of police brutality, meant to intimidate the attendees of these vigils have been perpetrated. There are images arising in the media, and excessive shows of force can be researched by anyone with an internet connection. There has been use of force, non lethal weapons, bulldozers to drive crowds out of places of Occupation and physical contact to peaceful voices of protest. These respective local governments have attempted to dismantle the petitioning of the government, in this symbolic expression of vigilance. The authorities have changed regulations and are invoking curfews, and other obscure regulations in and attempt to force the Occupy movement to disband, or be arrested. These curfew regulations were passed after the First Amendment and herefore are subject to be overridden by the First Amendment.
Whether you agree, disagree or just need more information, please join your community in discussion this Thursday at 7pm.
This is how you occupy a news report.
head covered while sleep – not mouth!
condensation and sweat in sleeping bag will create cold.
-pair of slippers and fleece pants that stay in sleeping bag.
wool NOT cotton
core temp gets cold. falls below a point youll get very sick
signs: shivering is first thing – not bad, a good sign you’re keeping warm, if you sop shivering and then start again then stop and get comfortable, YOU’RE GETTING HYPOTHERMIC (many are found, DEAD, naked b/c they’ve started to “feel” warm and stripped when realy have been freezing), blue lips and fingernails, circulation pulls within your core away from your extremities, mainly confusion.
UMBLES = BAD (fumble, mumble, stumble, tumble)
almost all hypothermic victims are also dehydrated. stay hydrated. get free water everywhere you go.
get a thermos clipped to yourself.
buddy system – keep an eye on each other. RULE: no one sleeps alone.
Allen’s gotta run, POI: consolidate tent – exactly what that will look like and what we’re willing to get away with.
Francios -20 cold moves in.
Pallets off the ground.
1 comforter under bed 2 on top. socks, cap, sweater,
heat up rock on stove and roll in bed before getting in. hot water bottles, tomorrow’s clothes with you or under.
wrap jacket around legs, garbage bags may help.
silver solar blankets under or over tent will help.
insulation works by trapping air. thick blankets next to you, airy on top (don’t compress airy insulation)
which is more effective; individual zipped bags or 3-5 under conjoined blankets?
-strip down and pile layers on top and get friendly.
Liner – piece of cloth about 6” from side of structure to create air pocket that goes all the way around to the ground to prevent draft.
high calorie snack before bed.
melting snow vs. melting ice: snow has more volume and takes much more space to melt.
Original equipment – YOUR BODY. do jumping jacks, move around if you’re cold, eat food=calories=heat.
splitting wood: oak, maple, ash for great coals burns slow. pallets okay. we have a chainsaw.
-county land wood $10 permit
-Jennifer’s land owners may offer wood to be collected
*proposal for wood splitting committee – GA
-fire extinguisher, smoke & carbon monoxide detectors.
grab a sign and run around the block on superior on the hour.
peeing during the night is an issue. drink during the day. early afternoon stop/slow down. get to know your body.
-pee bottle in your tent/bag.
-females: let’s make some p-wizzles.
DON’T SPILL IN YOUR BAG cuz you’ll lose a lot of heat.
Snows a lot – which is our forecast.
union donated tent is small = 10×12
– elevated floor
loft sleeping layers
whatever we come up with
plan for safety and comfort primary concern over city’s.
-get it figured out and tell the city what we need not other way around.
20 bales to work with if desired
don’t want to alienate anyone
wrap bales in plastic
alcohol and tobacco will take away from your warmth.
sleeping bag moisture. if you’re taking a night off/day off take your sleeping bag somewhere to air out and dry off – all gear; boots, socks, liners, clothes.
woodstove – a lot of sparks come out. small space and a lot of materials.
plastic bags over socks within boots – great idea, but seals in moisture and risks trenchfoot so, be sure to dry out. newspaper (5-6 sheets) in bottom of boot helps.
keep in mind more homeless may be coming to join us because we have skills, shelter, supplies. we will have limited space but none of us want to turn anyone away.
Jennnifer can do a felting workshop (carded wool is cheap, wet felting is quick)*Dec. 10
boot insoles, mittens, carpets,
do we know anyone who will donate carded wool?
homeless not a problem, drunks a problem
are we going to improve these structures?
these two tents side by side and tarping from tree down over them.
you gentlemen, how do you think we should re-organize? *city said 1 warming tent
they are going to demand things we cannot give them if we’re going to stay here.
these structures won’t stand up to our snow storms. bearing load for house 42lb/sq.ft.
high pitch and push broom for snow removal
insulation: liner, mount snow around, build snow wall wind barrier will really help, be off the ground with pallets and wool carpet (stove) felt
build! plywood sandwich foam.
our safety should we defy? perpetual fine? according to code it should be fine.
heather will find city codes
contact sheet has contractors, builders union has offered support.
*get code (how many homes have sheetrock on outside?)
building something dangerous delegitimizes us.
more-permanent structure bring the yurt up to code – ORGANIZE A BUILD IN!
temp check Sunday @ 9am: hot – SPREAD THE WORD
call tree: time/date/tools/materials/plans
building has to be quick, city’s gonna freak out no matter what we do.
yurt free standing, let’s get it up.
swaying tarps from tree for one big tent.
– snow weight an issue
– support beams would do it
City evicting us, media creating rumors:
Joel: not immediate=fine tonight.
Zach, from channel 6, recieved e-mail: “we will have them out by this weekend” we have asked for this to be forwarded.
Joel was told Monday.
Joel: not likely – media looking for a good story.
police will be delivering a letter with eviction date. haven’t yet maybe good sign.
Occupy Duluth General Assembly
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Location: People’s Power Plaza, Superior and Lake, 2pm
Lara shared today’s agenda
Facilitators; Tyler, Lara
Lara reviewed the hand signals for consensus decision-making
Use blocks sparingly and have a proposal to rectify your problems if you do block.
Summary of Proposals Passed , Key Announcements, and To Do’s Agreed Upon
1. We have approval from the city to keep our occupation camp where it is indefinitely, with a review scheduled for March 21, 2012. We agreed to the city’s proposal in principle. We will work on getting changes made to the city ordinances related to camping in public parks as a first step, rather than immediately applying for a permit.
2. We passed a Resolution to Support the work of MN ASAP, http://www.mnasap.org/ .
3. Discussion of Bank Foreclosure issues will take place Monday morning at 9am at DAD/MOM. Volunteers needed to join this working group.
- Diane to put notes from Move to Amend up on the Facebook and Website so people canlook at it and understand it, before we discuss it again at our next GA.
- Diane to get the support letter regarding the grounds to the Police Liason working group.
- Vern will contact his friend to bring in a solar panel system as soon as possible.
- Someone needs to enter the key events mentioned here into the calendar at www.occupyduluth.org
1. Facilitation: Lara:
The Facilitation working group has always wanted to have other people join them, and this request is going out once again. The Facilitation Working Group will be doing teach-ins on this, so people who haven’t done it before can feel comfortable facilitating the General Assemblies and other assemblies.
2. Direct Action/Community Outreach
Donna Howard: This past Wednesday, the Direct Action working group met. We will be meeting again to discuss foreclosures and assign research work needed on Monday, November 14, at 9am at DAD/MOM. Volunteers needed.
Tyler: Teach-In: Monday, November 14th, 5:00 pm Duluth Autonomous District (DAD/MOM) Agitation and Organizing 101 Teach in by C Ryan Welles
Tyler: Teach-In on Winterization on Tuesday, Nov 15, 6pm, MOM/DAD. Winterization is a pressing matter. The ground is getting too hard to get stakes into the ground.
Heather Lynn Henkel: There is an Occupy UMD Student Group, which meets every week. This next week it will meet at 5pm Wed, Nov 16, at the UMD Kirby bus hub.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 17 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF ACTION
Tamara: Nov 17 Rally at Depot, 11:30 am rally and speakers at Northern Lights Express Passenger Rail project. The Northern Lights Express, www.northernlightsexpress.org, could bring in 13,000 jobs. At the rally there will be speakers, then a march to City Hall.
Jesse: Nov 17th: event at MOM/DAD we will have musicians, wish lanterns, speakers, different things going on all day, beginning at 11:00 am
The 17th is an international day of action. There is an opportunity for Actions for any activist organization or union. Push for activism – Get out and do something on the 17th. Let’s get our people out there, let’s get a lot of folks down there.
MN for a fair economy is all announced, and will be there. (Note from Diane: there are now 3 reflective vests with Occupy Duluth on the back and front pocket at DAD/MOM if anyone wishes to go out picking up trash, delivering coffee, etc. Sizes: Medium, Large and Extra Large. Look above your head in the Living Room)
Christmas City of the north parade Friday, November 18
Ed Barkos: It is too late for Occupy Duluth to get their own spot in the Christmas City of the North Parade, but we can be part of the Labor group, if we wish. This is the first time Labor is back in the parade in 20 years.
If we want to be part of the Labor group, bring signs like “We support Occupy Duluth”, and keep things respectful, as it is an event aimed at children.
Line up at 5:30pm, Division Yellow, Unit 11, by Georgia Pacific General Mills Plant. Just tell them you are with Unit 11. The Park will get filled fast. The actual parade begins at 6:20pm. It is a 3 hour parade. No alcohol or drugs, including smoking.
Tyler: There are costumes donated by Allen, if we want some.
Lara Mary: Community Outreach is planning an event on Portland Square on Saturday, November 19th. If you know any one interested in speaking or playing music at the event, contact Lara
Move to Amend:
Vern proposed that we adopt a resolution in support of Move To Amend, www.movetoamend.org There was an event at Peace Church this past Wednesday. David Cobb from Move to Amend spoke on the importance of ending corporate personhood. Many Occupy Duluth supporters were there.
Because not many of the attendees of the GA were at the Move To Amend presentation, Diane offered to write up her notes on the event, and put them on
Facebook and our Website so people canlook at it and understand it.
We agreed to Table this resolution until Wednesday’s General Assembly.
Vern proposed a 2nd resolution: That we officially support MN ASAP: www.mnasap.org This organisation is working to shift federal spending priorities from war to meeting essential needs. Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer spoke on this important effort at the Peace Church event on Wednesday.
Attendees were given a handout on the effort, and we passed a resolution to
support it, and a request for all of us to take the time to sign it individually. A paper was sent around for everyone to sign their support for the work this group is doing.
There were no sad octopi on this temperature check.
Winterizing Donations: We need Firewood, kindling, hay bales and big plastic garbage bags to encase them, and bagged dry leaves. You can bring them to the camp. See also our donations page at www.occupyduluth.org
For donations by check, contact the Northland Antiwar Coalition, www.northlandantiwar.blogspot.com
We need no donations of small tents, or tarp yurts, or foam yurts. The foam releases toxic gases if it burns. Walled canvas tents are allowed, because if they catch on fire, you do not have the issue of toxic gas.
4. Police Liason
Joel: would like to bring some new people into the work. Would like Peacekeeping and the medical team to join in the meetings. Would like it if the people who wish to join the Police Liason group would be consistent in turning up for the meetings, and would like no more than 2 extra people. Tamara would like at least one of the additional people to someone who stays at the camp on a regular basis if possible.
Jonathan would like to help.
Bridget: do we still have a peacekeeping team? Reply: we do still have a core group, but we are working to get everyone who is an occupier savvy to the way to handle things.
Joel: The city has brought a proposal to us to allow us to stay at the civic center indefinitely, with re-evaluation scheduled on March 21, 2012. There are concerns about electricity, safety, care of the grounds, and preferential treatment given to the Occupiers. We are currently violating city ordinances by being there. They have asked that we voluntarily comply with not using city electricity. We have already decided to move the kitchen off site, which helped.
They would prefer that we move into one large canvas tent. Tamara said we would need at least one separate tent for medical (smaller than the current tent), Tyler: advised the Police Liasons to ask for 3 tents: barracks, living room, and medical. The medical tent does not need to be as big.
There are two ways to proceed on the city ordinances issue.
One way: apply for a permit: The city is willing to work with us on the fees, and think of some creative way to put it in the name of an organization
The other way is to apply to get the city council to change the ordinance about camping overnight. Tamara had an opportunity to talk briefly with Sharla Gardner about this possibility. Sharla supports Occupy and will be working on bringing something forward. Tamara welcomes help to get a proposed ordinance crafted.
Joel: There are two ordinances: one is the closing hours for city parks. These can be 10pm or midnight, depending on the park. The other ordinance is about tenting. Tenting is expressly prohibited right now.
Heat source; waiting for an answer from the fire chief, by Monday, on what is acceptable as a heat source for the camp.
The Grounds: There has been no direct ask, but they are concerned about the state of the ground, and what plans we have to repair the grounds.
Point of Interest from Jennifer: Dina from the city stopped by the camp to tell us how nice it looked.
Jesse: We have already proactively started a working group that we have a plan to address the grounds, and we are capable of doing these things. Jesse reminded the group that we have a letter from a former President of the Minnesota State Horticultural Society (me) stating that there has been minimal damage done to the grounds by Occupy Duluth. It includes an offer to help fund repair of the grounds when the camp leaves. This letter will be given to the Police Liason working group.
Lara: electricity – we are planning to get off the grid. There will be a meeting on Sunday, Nov 13, at 3pm on the Kitchen – at least getting the kitchen off the grid. Vern will contact his friend to bring in a solar panel system as soon as possible.
Temperature check approved to work with Sharla Gardner on getting changes made to the ordinances before working on applying for a permit.
Joel: The Police Liason is meeting with the police on Monday: Occupy Duluth agrees in principle with the proposal.
4. City Planning Committee
The issues coming up from the Police Liason report are mostly city planning issues. Tyler noted that if you would like to be in on City Planning, contact Lara.
Tamara: We have labor support.
Duluth Central labor body paid for our loos again. Will do it indefinitely. They passed the hat, $170 was raised for canvas tent, and the union offered the rest needed to buy the tent. We now have one canvas tent and wood stove.
Propane has been donated. But we will buy wood instead.
Medical Team: Everyone wants the medic tent to be accessible and organized. We have again set up the comfort tent. No comfort items will be left in the medic tent except for those items needed for emergencies. The medic tent is for medics only. But the person who has the armband would have the right to enter the tent, in case there is no medic in camp.
Comfort tent: to better control the sleeping bags and blankets people donate for comfort, there will be someone sleeping in the comfort tent who will distribute the items if there are late night arrivals.
Ed Barkos, President of local 2750, AFSCME: We are supportive of Occupy Duluth because you are fighting our (union) fight. It is about basic rights.
Tyler: if you believe in the occupation, be here.
LisaLee Williams and others discussed how LisaLee came to occupy the city park next to Electric Fetus. There was miscommunication based on previous information from the city about us being able to camp on any city park, at the very beginning. What we know now is that situation and offer changed once we selected the Civic Center as our camp. Joel: in the initial dialogue with police, the message was that they could work with us on any city property, but not now.
Tyler thought it would be legal for us to camp in any city park based on the previous information. Tyler has been advocating direct action that has not been approved by the GA, and apologized to LisaLee about the miscommunication. Lara also took responsibility for some of the miscommunication. “When we encouraged you, we assumed you already knew the fact that it was autonomous action.” The miscommunication was compounded by Allen offering a tent for her. LisaLee thought that any communication on Facebook was official from Occupy Duluth.
It was clarified for everyone present in the discussion which followed that all key decisions are made at the General Assembly or the Occupiers Assembly, and that without approval at the General Assembly, there would be no official support from Occupy Duluth to camp in any other place except the current half of the Civic Center. If people choose to take actions not sanctioned at these Assemblies, they are doing it as autonomous beings.
LisaLee: Occupy Duluth originally said there were going to be demonstrations and teach ins at the plaza on Superior and Lake, but she doesn’t see anything going on here. The Civic Centre is half a mile away.
Ed: having more activities on Superior St would be good for better visibility.
POI: We could be in the large park on the community centre on Hillside, for classes.
Lara: Agreed with more direct action in the public. We need to be out. Direct action is at forefront of our agendas. Also, we want to look into indoor spaces for teach-ins.
Jennifer: when we come down to the plaza for our meetings here on Saturdays, space, we want to rally and tell everyone to come join us. Invite everyone to come down.
Vern: thanks and supports us.
Tyler: Mic check of a People’s Apology, and group hug
Next meeting: Wednesday, November 16, 7:00 pm, Civic Center DAD/MOM
November 10, 2011 a full moon
Facilitators: Nadia, Jay, Heather H., Vern
Discussing events of today concerning invasion of Cravaackistan.
-Police said tent couldn’t be there. We stood our ground by replacing the MPLS tent with a symbolic donated tent. We consensually agreed we would not move tent until clear communication about regulations of the land. Miscommunications between occupiers and police led to freak out of possible eviction. Document was brought to camp, media was present and police didn’t want to talk then. Document very confusing and did not clear up confusion. We set up a meeting.
-Ben: has 30 min. video of conversation with Police Eric. Will post/transcribe.
-Jay: Eric is nice guy, institution a big part of THE PROBLEM. Estatic that police have been so nice to us. Risch made a comment: “I’m not just a badge,” Jay, “I’m not just a cardboard sign.”
Any unwarranted act is aggressive. I feel I can approach him at any time now. Very productive discussion.
What was the reason for not being on this land?
-Original negotiations; MN Power Plaza or other public land, we chose civic center and two lots were designated as city and the other as federal. Disconnect of understanding as to why police told us to leave federal land before they found the document saying it was an easement to the city. Basically, for containment reasons.
Adeline: Occupy the skywalks suggested. Ben informs about possibility of Annex.
Feels people want daily participation without camping (some sad octopi)
Tyler: can participate without camping; GAs, living room discussion, meals
DR Lara: we will be getting fliers out more.
Mayor’s office gets many calls saying they support movement but don’t like some things they see/hear, Jessica will recommend them to stop by
Stack – Tyler: sustaining camp, wear on grass, etc. winterization a priority; canvas wall tent w/ wood stove – off the ground fires city said is okay. More than a campsite. Facilities housing homeless, people with substance abuse problems and mental disabilities, and overflow of city facilities. Temp check of occupation fed land (show of force, when we push we get bigger, consider effects of being part of machine): 2 blocks
Adeline: tremendous effort to move everything. Snow. Better use of effort to move inside.
Jennifer: timing poor. We’ve got to rally on Nov. 17th and moving may take more than 1 day.
Vern: occupation more than encampment. Focus on foreclosure evictions, chips to something bigger.
– Direct Response: agreement
– Direct Response: agreement focus on
Ryan’s block: bureaucratic nightmare. Not worth antagonizing city. Our site is good and visible. Does not impede our rights to not be over there. Let’s work with that, they gave us this.
-Direct Response: if we are really concerned of footprint moving inside would benefit, moving here or there wouldn’t.
Tyler response: risking chips all that’s relevant, first amendment issue – that’s our land, there is no difference between those lands that’s why we should occupy that space. Reorganize on level land, don’t want to trump occupation of foreclosed home. They have said things and they went back on their word. We’re playing fair and they’re not.
DR: In mtg today we made clear expansion of movement inevitable and Joel is developing talks with them about this.
DR: no rights have been infringed yet other than those we’re trying to force.
Tyler’s response: what happens when they start saying no. liability. They are concerned about their safety not ours. Democracy is a great dream but people are whispering in Montgomery, Ness etc ear. Would there be an occupation when shit hits the fan. It sounds like every time they stand up to us we…
DR: there’s a time and place for CD – when you have no other choice and the authority is illegitimate. They are giving us what we need. If not it’s time to sit down and get arrested but that’s not this time.
DR: we’re willing to fuck shit up, but this is not the time.
Point of Process:
Autonomy DA: wanna set up camp over there, DO IT ON YOUR OWN, we’re not moving camp collectively.
Stack: foreclosed houses invite homeowners to storytelling time about thier stories to find ideal candidate to help out and occupy their home – public event, improve our structures, work with relationship we have, police is on our side their the 99%. Shake the mass public up not the police would be more productive.
DR: known houses empty for years, potential living space for occupiers. Plus known family being foreclosed.
Point of process: clarification of filling with occupiers or homeless.
DR: both. Plus send people showing up at night to dorothy day house
Point of Interest: we can’t, those showing up at night have been turned down due to intoxication.
Back to event idea…
DR: there’s a DA committee working on something for 17th
Point of process back to the proposal
Proposal: stage for storytelling of foreclosure families to find a poster family to begin our first home occupation. Temperature check – hot DO IT. Connect with DA committee.
Tyler: let’s not send it to the committee wants to discuss now.
Security culture discussion…
Proposal: committee work quickly to plan and come back to GA
Stack: 17th day of action good time for this.
Every Tuesday at 9pm. First was last night, focused on: drunk population, winterization, electricity, cravaackistan issues, addressing media.
– Agreed on media blackout because of overwhelming. Yet we called media today due to events.
– Teach in on winterization Tuesday 15th at 6 pm
– Go off grid as much as possible/completely. Kitchen will change to off-site.
– Individuals showing up in altered mind states: big topic! Spent 3 hours chasing/babysitting individuals. Increasing issues to figure out. We don’t want to get law enforcement involved if violence/sexual violence not involved. Everyone is involved in peacekeeping and we will start incorporating teach ins for all occupiers. Should not so welcoming house people so intoxicated because it’s distracting. Detox/hospital options for those
- Liability of transporting ourselves
- Health risks may need to be taken to detox
Call Joel to pick up and bring to detox
Temp check for list of help resources: hot.
Treasury: lock box purchased. Armband is in charge of collecting donations will know where and combo of lockbox. This will change on regular basis. Need to be more in contact with treasury to deposit more regularly.
Peacekeeping: discussion of accountability teach-in series.
Medical: Teach in Tuesday 6pm winterization keeping warm, signs of frostbite, fellow with training in arctic. Winterizing camp – move quickly because the grounds going to freeze. We’re going to take down most of these small flimsy tents and consolidate to 1 big communal sleeping area.
Food: kitchen closing soon and we need contact list to prepare off-site food please contact us if you have capabilities and interest in preparing meals through winter – we have funds for you to purchase food. Be responsible for recycling!
-Sunday @ 3 open kitchen discussion of thoughts, ideas, wants, needs, anything etc.
-Please be very conscious and considerate of allergen cross contamination. For more info about those allergens talk to kitchen people,
Facilitation: Nadia’s doing’ great we need more people to step up and get involved.
-temp check for 1 more ga/week: hot – suggestion of a FB survey of when: hot
Communications: live stream 2 more people to create accounts needed. See Lara or Phil to volunteer.
Lara: sorry for improper wording of today’s announcement. We need to communicate better and don’t put out false/misworded information.
-Tyler applauding tenacity of communications today
-Nadia thanking for solidarity and 30+ dropping their things to be present.
Direct Action: Message from Jesse: Nov. 17th make it big, get the word out, be on the corner every day, be autonomous, make it big and strong.
-a lot going on for 17th, should we discuss times for actions, still saying we should discuss these.
17th international action day: 11:30 press conference at Depot northern lights express and jobs. At 12 march to fed to rally. More to be discussed, but
18th: fair farm bill 7pm Kirby ballroom senator or staff present and we will demand stance on GIPSA.
19th international solidarity day: plans needed.
Sanitation: cleaned out tents today. We need to know which tents are available for those who need it. Tons of shit in them: CIGARETTER BUTTS! HUGE FIRE HAZARD AND DISRESPECT TO TENT OWNERS, food PEANUTS now have to be washed b/c of our allergies can’t be back in comfort tent until clean.
– Accountability? Reaction?
– Every morning clean up suggestion.
– Temp check on occupiers checking’ tents each morning: hot
- 1 block: I’m not going to clean up after full grown adults
- Clarified we would just collect donated materials
– Implement with intention to phase out
Community Outreach: only 3 of us. Bridgett, Lara, Mary Ann, Heather-UMD SA
Event at Portland Square on 19th outdoors early afternoon to draw out community members to talk with one another and get familiar with our process. Almost informal intro GA process. Get ideas flowing. Music – if you’re willing to play let Lara/committee know!! We will have electricity/.
Flyering more. Would like help with that when we have them posted.
1st occupy colleges meeting: 5 present, focusing on cost of higher education. Wed. at 5 at Kirby bus hub for now. We will be flyering, not tabling want to think outside the box b/c we want to pop the bubble people up there are stuck in. needs a 2/3 majority student participation but community members welcome. Move to amend will sponsor for food and stuff. SUPPORT THEM CUZ THEN THEY WILL COME DOWN HERE
I would like to personally apologize, I was given misinformation that the camp was under immediate threat of eviction and asked to sound the alarm.
This was apparently not accurate and I apologize for the alarm.
With that said, I just want to thank everyone SO MUCH for the outpouring of support! If the moment ever does arise it is good to know that we can call on the “cavalry”, as it were, if needed.
Again apologies, and thank you all.
Emergency GA to discuss today’s police visits.
Thursday, November 10, 2011
This meeting was called after an emergency call went out on Facebook to get to the occupation site ASAP. Because of miscommunication, we were led to believe that the camp was in immediate danger. It wasn’t. Since so many of us were there, we decided to have a meeting about recent police visits to tents put up by individuals, on their own authority, as autonomous beings.
After much discussion, it was decided to have the individuals who put up the tent in the other half of the plaza talk directly to the police, and only about that specific action, rather than get into a discussion about the entire camp, (consolidation, electricity, heating, numbers of tents, etc.) These will be discussed at the 7pm General Assembly meeting, later today.
It was also agreed that people need to be very sure about situations before sending emergency meeting requests out on Facebook, as the Mayor’s office was flooded with calls of complaint that the camp was being evicted – unnecessarily.
Occupy Duluth General Assembly
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Location: DAD/MOM, 2pm
Facilitators: Lara, Tyler
Lara reviewed hand signals. Please keep direct responses to a minimum. We do progressive stack, in order to hear from everyone.
Eviction Next Week: There was a newscast on Channel 6 Friday night: David Montgomery, Chief Administrative Officer for the city of Duluth announced that they will have a plan next week for moving us.
Discussion: Joel confirmed that no direct orders have been given to police to evict us. Joel has talked to other people in the city, and it was as much news to them as us. He has been given assurances that police will take no action this weekend. Joel is meeting Monday at 2:30pm with the police chief for Duluth.
Moving us or removing us? We don’t know. None of us saw the newscast. Neither the mayor nor any city representative came to Occupy Duluth before this newscast to share their concerns or discuss this in any way.
Occupy Other Spaces
Scot: He met today with a representative of Wells Fargo who is on a committee with the mayor to address foreclosed homes. This is one idea for us to consider for the winter: doing community work to build sweat equity – working towards ownership in the house.
Concern was raised about working with Wells Fargo. Allen mentioned that other occupations are working on this idea, and it would be worth exploring. Christine asked if it would be homes with people in them? Empty homes? We don’t know, but it might be both types of homes: empty homes and ones with people about to be evicted.
Christine asked about the record of Wells Fargo regarding evictions. Donna replied that there were 211 foreclosures last year, from all banks, not just Wells Fargo. Access to information on foreclosures is easy, Donna reported. Lutheran Social Services is another portal to work on this issue. Donna and Vern and Jesse are key contacts for houses empty due to evictions.
Chad: holding this place (MOM/DAD) is symbolic. He suggests that we have a call tree, so that we can quickly get enough bodies here for them to be able to do anything.
Tyler proposed that we colonize Cravaackistan; moving over to the other side of the plaza; federal property. We have not been formally asked to stay off that area. Joel: On the Federal property, the police will move us if they are asked by the Feds.
Jennifer: clarified that our current property is owned by the city, and the property on the other side of the flagpole is federal property.
Tyler: proposed that we address the issues the city has about our safety and the safety of the park. We have experienced winter and arctic campers to advise us so we can stay safe in the winter and we have at least one Master Gardener, and other experienced horticulturists who can advise and repair any damage done to the grass and flowers.
Chad: Advertise that we are doing a teach-in on winter camping, and a potluck, and bring people here. If we do, we want to advertise that we are using food grown locally.
Ryan: so far we have only heard from an appointed official, not an elected official. We should ask our elected officials individually where they stand on the eviction of Occupy Duluth.
Tyler spoke to Don Ness: Ness said that Montgomery has a job to do, if he feels eviction is necessary, that is his job.
David Montgomery is Duluth’s highest paid city official, and reports to mayor Don Ness.
Ed Barkos suggested organizing with other union groups, whether it be AFSCME, etc. If you want to get people here, put out a call to the unions in the call tree. Ed Barkos, email@example.com President of local 2750, AFSCME.
Ken: action he is taking on Tuesday noon, Canal Park. Offering to give carriage rides around this circle.
The Occupy Duluth contact list was sent around for people to sign up, if they haven’t already.
Liability: Gauthier, our state rep, was concerned about snow plowing.
Snow Concern: There was a concern expressed that snow plowed up on the tents would cause problems. Blake and Jennifer spoke to the woman from the city who came to discuss it. She said if we just move out tents 5 ft in from the street there would be no problem. She thanked us for how well we were treating the gardens.
Phil: staying here symbolically is a clear part of supporting Occupy Wall Street
Jennifer: agrees with Phil. This space acts as a third space: someplace you stop by in between home and work. We here have a policy that one person wears an armband, to greet people and check on the space. We need this space. We can expand this space. It is a hub.
Eric: come January, it is going to get difficult for us to gather here.
Ryan: that’s why we do this in winter. We will get on national news if we can be here in January.
After considerable additional discussion, two proposals were agreed to by the General Assembly
1. Make some type of presence here, at MOM/DAD. Winterize it.
2. Look into other options to occupy, including foreclosed homes, tax forfeited properties, and empty city properties downtown. Report back to the General Assembly.
City Council Presentation on Monday: We want to have a good showing at the city council meeting on Monday. You can have two minutes if you arrive at the beginning of the meeting. It starts at 7pm and it is in city hall 3rd floor
Drafting the response: It was agreed to meet on Sunday at 5pm to work on the response to the city, to be presented at City Hall on Monday. We will meet again at 5-6 pm on Monday to finalize it, over dinner.
At 6pm Monday there will be a rally, with as many people as we can get, and the statement will be presented to the City Council at their 7pm meeting.
Issues to cover in the response (among others):
- If they want to remove us because of safety issues, they should address the homeless of Duluth, who are also much more at risk of hypothermia than we are.
- We have experts on winter camping to advise us.
- We have experts on horticulture to advise us on repairing any damage done to lawns and flower gardens because of the foot traffic.
- The snow is not an issue. The tents can be moved back 5 feet from the curb, allowing plenty of space for snow.
- We want to know exactly which of our elected officials supports Occupy Duluth, and which do not
Jennifer: we want to stay here. I want our communications to be peaceful, positive and constructive.
Here are some of our Occupy Duluth supporters who can assist us to address the concerns raised by David Montgomery:
Richard Harbaugh, 830-0109, arctic survival skills
Ken Lindberg: 218-269-3251, winter camping advice
Jesse: Master Gardener
Diane: former president, Minnesota State Horticultural Society
Someone could set up an office at UMD to draw in more students
Allen: we need more bodies, more donations. Fuel. We will bring propane into the mix. Need cash too. We will use the forum on the website to list offers of assistance, as well as needs.
Ken Lindberg: 218-269-3251, winter camping advice and horse and buggy transportation.
Cole: do research with other occupy groups. Thank you to those who stay here every night.
Bodies in Camp
Jesse: having been in close quarters we are very confident. We know we can make it work through the winter. We need people here if we are going to do this. How do we get people dedicated to stay here? We have had lots of conversation about cooking and winterizing every night. Next week they are proposing to get us out of here. What is important is getting people here.
Scot: Stay here for a night or two every once in a while
If someone decides to stay, is there a guesthouse? There are tents with space in them, and we have extra blankets and sleeping bags, if you don’t have your own. If you want to be sure there is space for you, call Jennifer at 952-237-1705.
Right now is a great time to be camping. The nights are beautiful, and in a winterized tent, very warm.
Calendar: We have a white board in camp so people can sign up for shifts. This is important so we know who will be here. It needs to be online too. It can also be
used for commitment for a tent. This would helps with meals, too, if people could sign up for sleeping here. But don’t worry about signing up if you can’t do it in advance. Just come.
Ryan will make sure the sign up gets up on the website, www.occupyduluth.org
Jennifer: wants to have a huge amount of people here on Sunday night, potluck, dinner, and discussion.
Jesse: It will be really powerful to have an active group of people here when people come to work on Monday. If anyone can stop by before work, have breakfast here, and be here any time from 7:30 to 8:30, it would be great.
Eric: can get people to donate wall tents. Add Wall Tents to our wish list.
We have offer from Valerie and Josh Acquard for overnight shelter if needed when it gets cold. 218-703-3308.
Malory also offered her home.
Allen: legal team needed. Who is ready to go to jail? Who is going to represent us?
Allen offered to lead the legal committee. From experience shared by those present, there does not appear to be any additional charges for being “dead weight” when arrested.
Bridget: We need a teach-in on legal issues we might be facing.
Winterization/City Planning: Ryan is ‘go to’ person for winterization. He is also the go to person for City Planning, which has been rolled into Winterization for now.
Ken: proposes a clean up the garden in the spring committee. City planning committee would do this. Allen: We have $400 in the bank. Proposed to use $200 of this to buy propane fuel. Passed.
Law team: Allen Richardson, 218- 428-0290 richa514 “at” d.umn.edu
Media and Communications: Phil. We have WiFi for now in camp.
We were contacted by Occupy New York City to make a statement on our behalf. After the GA, we will prepare a statement to send to them. The best place to see Occupy New York read the statement is Global Revolution Livestream, www.livestream.com/globalrevolution at 6pm our time.
Occupy Port Wing, Wisconsin: Occupy Together has updates. If you are planning things, please post at Occupy Together. At http://www.facebook.com/OccupyTogether
Police Liaison: Joel. He would like 1-2 campers to join him in a meeting on Monday with Duluth’s Chief of Police . Joel will contact people directly for this.
Direct Action Working Group: Donna: Question: Is the direct action working group meeting? Would like to have more people on it. Direct action committee will meet after the GA.
Allan: Nathan Ness is suggesting action on Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday. Ryan: We want to support local businesses.
MaryAnn: propose that we have another speakout assembly that addresses actions we can take to go out into other areas of the community, where we can reach out to these other members of the 99%. She would like to see more soapboxing, to hear more other voices. Direct Action/Community Outreach working groups.
Cole: The Occupy Your Mind event has now been moved to the 9th of December.
Summary of Activities and Times
Saturday 6pm: livestream of New York reading support for Occupy Duluth
Sunday: 5pm: discuss statement to City Council
Sunday Night: get as many people sleeping over as possible.
Monday morning: have as many people here to greet workers as possible. Come for breakfast.
Monday : Joel and a couple of occupiers meeting with Police Chief
Monday 5pm: finalize City Council statement over dinner
Monday 6pm: Rally for Occupy Duluth
Monday 7pm: City Council meeting
Tuesday: Ken Lindberg: 218-269-3251, is taking action on Tuesday noon, at Canal Park. Also offering to give carriage rides around our encampment.
Tuesday: Election Day. If you are not registered, you can have someone to vouch for you so you can vote.
Thursday, November 10. Next General Assembly. We may pass a hat for donations.
All Week: Let your elected officials know of your support for Occupy Duluth, as well as unelected officials.
Chief Administrative Officer
402 City Hall, 411 West First St.
Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 730-5370
Fax: (218) 730-5904
Come to DAD/MOM as much as possible. Stay overnight if possible. Come for breakfast to greet workers if possible.
Check the calendar at www.occupyduluth.org for the latest information.
The Cheif Administrator of the City of Duluth, David Montgomery (highest paid city official, under appointment of Don Ness) has made public notice that the city is moving forward with “wrapping up” Occupy Duluth. WE DO NOT ABIDE. period. If he thinks we will quietly walk away and thank him for his “concerns for our saftey”, he has another thing coming. Join us Monday morning at 9am while we occupy Rm 402 of Duluth City Hall. We will be addressed face to face on his concerns- or we will occupy until we get the consideration we deserve.