GENERAL ASSEMBLY Tuesday January 17th 2012 at 6:00 pm at the new MOMDAD camp. Directions: go to the corner of 2nd Avenue West and 1st Street N, go up the hill one half block to the alley. Turn left into the alley and MOMDAD is in the first courtyard on the left. Look for the tarp tents! Come on in. Some heat and hot drinks may be available.
201201101800 GA DECC harbor side entrance to skywalk lobby
Minutes, short form (expanded form may follow if I get time)
About thirty members were present. Lara reviewed hand signals and consensus process. Kathy took Stack, Richard took minutes, Jesse and Lara facilitated. Agenda: Foreclosure working group report; Occupy Courtyard; Phase II: banner drop; next GA at new MOMDAD site; update on West Duluth Office site.
Foreclosure: Vern reported that the bank has agreed to push back the January 19th sheriff’s sale at one of the occupy foreclosure locations. Petition to the foreclosing State Farm bank asking it to reconsider has been extended to February. A media forum is to be announced. There will be a Martin Luther King march on Monday 16th January. Occupy will gather at 10:00 am to march from one of the foreclosure sites (7th Ave. & 8th street in central hillside neighborhood) to Washington Center, where it will link up with the King marchers. On Saturday 20th January Move to Amend will rally at the Duluth Federal Courthouse. Planning meeting for this event will take place on Saturday 14th January from 3 to 5 pm at the Friends meeting house, 18th Ave. E. and 1st Street. Friday 29th January at noon there will be a Moveon.org and Minnesotans for a Fair Economy presentation to pressure Obama to move to the left by supporting the attorneys who are now suing the banks. Saturday January 28 from 9 to 3 the Citizens in Action and League of Women Voters will have a teach-in on how to navigate the caucuses and how to work the media. Pre-registration is required and the registration forms have just come off the press. Adam will present a request at the next meeting of the Central Labor Body that the labor body endorse the Save Our Homes action. Vern suggested a five day encampment on the lawn of the foreclosure house.
Jesse said several members have agreed to rebuild MOMDAD camp at the courtyard of the Paul Robeson Ballroom. Paul Robeson Ballroom is an undamaged part of the burned out former Kozy Bar complex, and the courtyard is accessed from the alley behind St. Regis apartments. This phase II action is in solidarity with Occupy groups across the planet, which are taking back foreclosed and condemned buildings and returning them to use, since the current governments have failed to serve the public interests. The Paul Robeson Ballroom courtyard is private property, and the owner is not responsible for our being there, but is expected to be sympathetic to our cause. The occupiers will work to restore the building to code, to clean up the site and the neighborhood, and to address the needs of the people who live in the neighborhood. Thursday at 11:00 occupiers will need help, especially people with trucks and trailers, to haul trashed-out furniture and materials to the recycling center. People who wish to help will need to park on the street next to the Kozy and walk up or down the hill and through the alley to the Paul Robeson Ballroom courtyard.
The next GA will be held at the Paul Robeson Ballroom courtyard on Saturday at 2pm, under the canvas of MOMDAD phase II.
Tyler reported on progress with the Ft. Meyer office space in West Duluth, 24 N. 21st Avenue West, suite C. Melanie Ford’s office is in the same building. Computer and telephone banks are possibilities. There is office furniture and a small kitchen area. A working version of Microsoft Office could be very helpful if anyone can donate one. Also needs an Ethernet jack. Tyler also announced a National Protest of the Guantanamo prison camp, with local action from 2 to 4:30 tomorrow, Wednesday 11 January, at the power plaza. Move to Amend is having an occupy the ports action at 7 pm February 20th.
At this time the meeting was rudely interrupted by four burley employees of the DECC, led by Terry Burke, who informed us we were on private property and we would have to leave. We asserted our right to use the space, as has been agreed with police representatives at past GA skywalk occupations. Burke stated that “we don’t want anyone hanging out in the skywalk” and implied that we were loitering. We informed him that this was a public meeting, which he was interrupting. He threatened to call the police. When we did not move, he retreated with his would-be goons to an employee only area.
The meeting was almost over, and despite Mr. Burke’s protest that our meeting was unsafe and could be trampled at any moment by the thousands of people who could show up to attend a DECC $anctioned activity, we continued to occupy the space unmolested for another half hour, until we were properly agreed (happy, happy hands) and we adjourned at about 8 pm. Small groups stayed another half hour for conversation, but unfortunately no police responded to the emergency of Mr. Burke.
This is a preliminary report and is subject to correction. Dates and times should be verified with the relevant action committees.