201204291227 Notes, Occupy General Assembly, Saturday 6pm April 28 Paul Robeson Ballroom Courtyard.
We worked the Really Really Free Market all afternoon, and small groups of people passed through, taking mostly clothing and all the hot delicious home-made corn chowder,served with Great Harvest bread. The remaining RRFM donations will be given to Goodwill. We also did some chores, moving compost to the roof for the raised bed gardens and reorganizing our space for support of oncoming direct actions.
This was, as it turned out, a watershed meeting. The main topic of conversation was much larger than any of us, and addressed a question which is crucial to the future of the movement. Those present included representatives from the Save Our Homes working group, Take Action Minnesota, and Credo.
The following text in italics is my own opinion, written autonomously. The weather was cool and bright, with clear skies to the North and a high layer overcast to the South. The boundary between these two conditions was a smooth straight line of demarcation, clean cut as a vapor trail, right down the middle of the sky, everything South cloudy, everything clear in the North. I often find it enlightening to look to the sky.
Present: Kathy, Mike, Jesse, Richard, Reese, Marcia, Scot, Adam, Ben, Justin, Allen, Tyler, Lara, and Monique.
Agenda: Foreclosure report, Mayday actions.
Foreclosure: Adam reported on the status of the Save Our Homes action in support of Mary Anne and her disabled children. Conditions remain pretty much same as at last meeting. Petition drive is wrapping up, actions going on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at branch outlets of Wells Fargo bank. The petition will be delivered to the main Wells Fargo store in downtown Duluth on Thursday. A deadline has been set for Wells Fargo to respond. If they do not come up with a plan to save Mary Anne’s home, the protests will escalate.
Wells Fargo continues to keep a close hand, offering small hopes and conditional promises to the solemn group of protesters in mourning, who have politely waited in the lobby while the bank forecloses on hundreds of thousands of homes across the nation. The decisions are made by big shots in closed board rooms back East. Presumably the local bank manager is innocent, merely carrying out orders which come from far away. That excuse is pretty shop worn, having been used by individual Nazis after WWII. (For those who may not remember, it went something like this: “What!?? The government was doing THAT? I didn’t know. I was only working a job, pushing papers. You surely can’t blame me for following orders?” “Yes,” said the Nuremburg jurists. “We do hold you accountable. Go back to your cell and stay there so long as you may live.” That decision has since served widely as a legal precedent. Human tools of the corporations need to be reminded as often as necessary.
Adam also delivered a request from the SOH group that undisciplined autonomous protesters keep out of it. If you attend the SOH protests, be sure to take a bath, wear nice clean clothing, polish your shoes, comb your hair (or better, get a haircut for gods sake), be polite and mournfully concerned, and do not in any way jeopardize the order of business and the delicate negotiations. Especially, keep quiet and leave your noise makers at home.
Discussions of this request took up much of the rest of the meeting.
This request is the watershed part. On one side of the divide, young committed persons who have nothing better to do than parade up and down the street wearing rags and funny costumes. On the other side, old time established liberals who have been standing mournfully against the Beast for the past sixty years, while the political machine marched steadily to the right. Did you know that Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan were once considered conservative? Subsequent history has made them look like champions of the radical left. I am sorry, old time liberals, but this is not progress. The old tactics have failed.
I have seen this before. In the 1970’s the hippies were divided and reduced to yippies, the yippies transformed to yuppies, and the yuppies into mass middle class consumers with no voice of their own. George McGovern, or “Clean Gene” as we knew him then, asked the young left to get in line, put on suits, and get a haircut for god’s sake. Will this happen again? Wait and see.
Mayday actions: Rain in the forecast. We will adjust accordingly, the action will go on. Speakers and musicians continue to sign on. Tents and tables are being prepared. Money for food and other supplies was raised at the “Rise Like Lions” movie night, courtesy of Zinema II, which waived the showing fee.
Announcements: There will be a debate between occupy members and The Tea Party Thursday May 3rd at the Friends Meeting House. The Tea Party leadership reportedly has pressured their members not to participate. Evidently being reasonable and factual is not their style. The debates will go on anyway.
SOH is working with a new foreclosure project in Washburn. A meeting has been set in Washburn at 2 pm, May 5th at Stage North.
Mayday activities will continue from noon to midnight at the Minnesota People’s Power Plaza, corner of Lake and Superior, Duluth.
Next Occupy General Assembly, Wednesday May 2nd, Paul Robeson Ballroom and Courtyard, 6pm. Agenda: review of Mayday actions. What did we do right? What could we do better? Note that this meeting is on Wednesday, not Tuesday as usual. Tuesday May 1st we will be celebrating Mayday at the plaza. Everyone is welcome to participate in our meetings and actions.