With a population of only 85,000, Duluth, Mn is not exactly the center of the world. Temperatures can get to -40 in the winter. Snowdrifts can get to 10 feet. But we too stand in solidarity with Occupy Wall Street. And with a permanent camp in front of the city hall we are standing strong. Now, our city administrators want to kick us off their land, but in reality it’s OUR land, and we are not leaving. We are the 99% and no temperature can drop low enough to make us give up this protest. So stay strong, think of us, and remember we’re all in this together.
Reports of Attempt to shut down camp. It would be wise to err on the side of caution. Please report to camp if you can and also flood the non emergency line of PD with support if you can. Together we can hold this place of refuge. This is now my home and the home of many others let us protect it. Police non emergency: 218-727-8770. Emails and calls to other city officials would help as would an ACLU member or other legal support. Bodies at camp are best. ♥
Occupy Duluth General Assembly
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Location: DAD/MOM, 7pm
Facilitator: Lara, Nadia, Tyler
Lara reviewed hand signals. Please keep direct responses to a minimum
We agreed to modify the agendas for the General Assemblies. First on the agenda will be the Direct Action/Community Outreach proposals and Events planned for the coming week. After that we will have a quick run through of all the working groups. After that, there will be an Open Forum or Soapbox for people to bring up other issues and comments.
Members of the media present at the General Assembly were asked to identify themselves: Clint Austin, Photographer with Duluth News Tribune, Mike Creger reporter with Duluth News Tribune, and a reporter from the Superior High School newspaper.
Direct Action/Community Outreach/Proposals/Events for this week
Friday, November 4:
The following event is informational only. It was not brought to the General Assembly for consensus to attend. DFL rally the troops meeting on Friday. Door knocking this weekend. Jackie Halberg is running for the DFL. She supports our encampment and is in city hall.
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. Allen Richardson organized a table for us. We are at table 34. Wells Fargo will be at Table 11. We only need one person for our table. Jennifer volunteered to staff our table. People are welcome to stop by and assist Jennifer, or give her a break.
Saturday, November 5 is also Move the Money Day. Move your money from the big banks into credit unions or local banks. We agreed to have a Bank Action Meeting at opening time of the Wells Fargo Bank – Kenwood. Leafletting to educate people why and how they should move their money from the big banks like Wells Fargo into local credit unions. This direct action event will last until it is time to return to the People’s Plaza for the Saturday General Assembly:
Saturday, November 5: General Assembly, People’s Plaza, 2pm.
Saturday, November 5: 4:30pm Protest at M & I Bank Superior: M & I bank is closely tied to the Scott Walker campaign. This is why the action is there. This action was not initiated by Occupy Duluth, but we support it.
We can do more than one bank event at the same time if we have enough interested people. The downtown Duluth Wells Fargo is closed on Saturdays, but the other branches are open.
Wednesday, November 9: – 7:00pm – 9:00pm Corporate Personhood Event:
Location: Peace Church, 1111 N. 11th Ave. East. Our General Assembly, normally scheduled for this time, was postponed to Thursday, November 10 so we could attend this event.
Speakers / Performers include: David Cobb, Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer, Jim Northrup, Joel Sipress, and Sharla Gardner. Music by Rachael Kilgour.
Thursday, November 10: General Assembly: 7pm, DAD/MOM Re-scheduled from our normal Wednesday.
Thursday, November 10: 6:30-8:30 PM Holiday Inn, Room TBA
Hearing on Post Office closures. Support Postal Workers!
Saturday, November 12: General Assembly 2pm at People’s Plaza
Wednesday, November 16: General Assembly, 7pm at MOM/DAD
Thursday, November 17: 12 noon: Infrastructure, nationwide people protesting at bridges. Event at the Depot for the Northern Lights Express
Friday, November 18: 7pm-10pm, followed by a dance. Occupy Your Mind event. This is from their Facebook Page:
“Occupy Your Mind is the first in many upcoming educational seminars. Together we stand strong against oppression and corruption, and have the ability to stand up for our rights. We the people, are being oppressed and it’s time to say NO! We need to be educated, and be able to educate others about what we’re standing up for. This meeting will take place from 7pm-10pm.
There will be educational speakers at the seminar from many different backgrounds. Our mission is to arm ourselves and others with knowledge of the very foundation that the Occupy Wall St./Occupy Together movements stand on. We come across people on a daily basis that know only bits and pieces of the message these movements are trying to deliver. We believe the only way to beat the 1% is to be smarter than them! We want to raise awareness across the nation. We want the 99% to KNOW what the movement is about, what happened that got us to this point, and most importantly, what we have to do in order to make some REAL changes.
We are working on getting a panel of educated people to present an overview of our current economic situation in a non-biased, factual lecture form. If you feel you fall into this category, contact John K. Nystrom @ firstname.lastname@example.org to fill a spot.”
Occupy Duluth will definitely have representation on the discussion panel, though we did not discuss exactly who it would be. This will be discussed at Saturday’s General Assembly.
Saturday, November 19: General Assembly and also International Day of Solidarity – boots on the ground.
Other Direct Action/Community Outreach Ideas:
Zombie March in the skywalk: dress up and move like zombies. Jesse demonstrated. This idea tabled for Saturday’s General Assembly.
Handing out hot drinks to people on the streets: especially at the transit center. This is one great idea anyone can do at any time. We have in the kitchen a 6 cup coffee thermos volunteers can borrow, and paper cups, and coffee. Anyone can come and fill the thermos, grab some cups and some flyers, and go give out coffee for Occupy Duluth. For more visibility Diane has ordered 3 reflective vests which will have “Occupy Duluth” on them, if anyone would like to wear them.
Picking up trash along the streets. Again, the reflective vests would be very useful for this community outreach idea. The vests will shortly be available to borrow – from the Living Room.
CHUM Meeting: Allen Richardson is meeting with Executive Director of CHUM (Churches United in Ministry) tomorrow, Nov 4. CHUM represents 40 some odd churches. He will make it clear we are not absorbing resources which would be going to the truly homeless people, and that we are bringing over extra food people have donated to Occupy Duluth.
University of Wisconsin Superior (UWS) and Minority Groups. Nadia opened a discussion of how we can reach out more to UWS and minority groups. If anyone is out there who could help us initiate this, and bring more people into the Occupy movement, it would be greatly appreciated. We discussed doing more teach-ins on racial equity.
Sanitation: Allen: Things going well. We intend to go for the long haul. We decided to save the empty bottles from water to use in a future art or garden project.
Donations: nothing to report.
Food/Kitchen: we have a separate, under cover kitchen! It will be easier to get awesome meals out. One Rubbermaid box will be designated for morning things. Behind the blanket is a prep area clean of allergens. No peanuts, or gluten bread, etc allowed back there. This may seem picky to some people, but when the person who makes your food is allergic to gluten, it pays to keep her happy!
Need to schedule someone getting up in the morning to get breakfast going and feed the meters. Food items we can’t use are going to the Police Dept and CHUM. (DE note: I wonder how many Occupy movements in the USA are sharing food with their local police departments?)
Facilitation: Lara proposed that we have separate Occupiers meetings. After discussion, we reached consensus that we would have Occupiers meetings once a week, Tuesdays at 9pm. The reasoning was that whether or not people work or go to school, it is the people who sleep here at night who are the occupiers, and they will be home by then.
A Shift Schedule was proposed for the camp, so people could sign up for specific times to be here. We decided to have both a big white board for sign up at camp, and also a sign up online for people who cannot easily stop in to sign up on the white board. These two sign up methods will be synchronized once a week by the Facilitation or Communication group. The attendees approved this.
Media: Phil. We are not going to address the Police item right now.
Saturday’s GA: Nathan Ness Move to Amend made a suggestion regarding the Duluth Chamber of Commerce. We have heard nothing more from him about this action yet.
If you are approached by media representatives for an interview, have a recording device or a person nearby, so if your statements are edited badly, you have evidence of what you actually said.
Flyers: So far people have taken it upon themselves to print them. If you want to print something off about an event on our calendar, or something we have previously approved, like the First Communique, go for it. Or, if you want to print your own opinion on something, you are welcome to do so. But if you want it to say it is from Occupy Duluth, bring it to a General Assembly for approval before you distribute it.
We would like to have a laser printer for the camp. An inkjet printer would be affected by the cold temperatures.
Lara: people could write their own statements, and make a section on the website, to get to know occupiers better. If you would like to share your thoughts and stories in this way, submit them to Lara.
Tim wants flyers for UMD. He could make prototypes and bring to the GA.
Medical: Comfort tent: need more blankets and sleeping bags. If people bring blankets and sleeping bags for Occupy Duluth, they need to be donations, as we cannot promise their return. It is an open camp.
Arts and Family: Nothing to report. May tie his group more into Direct Action. Need to re-form. If you have any interest in the Arts and Family working group, locate Aaron, and make suggestions.
OPEN FORUM, THE PEOPLE’S SOAPBOX
Occupy Milwaukee visit: We had a visitor from Occupy Milwaukee. He reported that they have struggled with the police. He joined with the last Occupy Milwaukee GA on Oct 15. They had heavy police presence and intimidation at their march. No arrests, but several hundred police followed the march of 3000 strong. The march in Chicago, where he attended, also had heavy police presence. The park they were occupying, they were run out. First night after the protest had cops following groups all around Milwaukee. Now Occupy Milwaukee stays at a collectively run place, Garden Park. There is a big ethnic and union presence in the groups. He has been working more with Food Not Bombs, getting food for people who are camping out. They had a good turnout. Our visitor implied we are very fortunate in Duluth not to have police intimidation here.
Yurt update. We had to take it down. The Building Inspector came and said it could be a fire hazard. It should be sandwiched between sheetrock, and if it catches on fire, it emits toxic gases. A wooden removable structure could be used. Things on wheels could be in place for 30 days. We need to investigate the regulations so we can create something that fits within them, but Ryan has no more funding for additional materials. We would need donations.
If anyone has any ideas, and is willing to contribute any building materials, see Ryan.
Tuesday, November 8 Teach In: Food, Corporate Agriculture, and the Fair Farm Bill. 7pm at DAD/MOM
Next General Assembly: Saturday, November 5, 2pm, at the People’s Power Plaza, Superior and Lake
Please check the calendar at www.occupyduluth.org for the latest information.