201204211800 Notes, Occupy General Assembly, Saturday April 21st, 6pm Paul Robeson Ballroom and Courtyard
Present: Adam, Kathy, Mike, Jesse, Matt, Richard, Lara, Nadia, Scot, Jared, Amber, Jennifer, Blake, Tyler, Justin, Henry, another Tyler, and Bob.
Agenda: Foreclosure report, Palestine, Mayday actions, Critical Mass Bike Ride, Really Really Free Market, Building Décor, IWW, Miscellaneous, Donations, Security, Dragons.
Foreclosure: Adam reported that the Mary Anne action is coasting along waiting for the bank to come back with some kind of offer. Petition drive ends this week, pickets continue. Meanwhile, the Save Our Homes working group has turned attention to divesture, pressing the city of Duluth to take its money out of the giant Wells Fargo bank which holds Mary Anne’s mortgage, and re-deposit the funds in a local Credit Union or small locally owned bank. A strategy meeting was held Thursday in which members present voted to placate the bank officers by promising to ask other organizations to respect the SOH decision to keep protesters respectful and dignified. Taking a chapter from the “Good Cop Bad Cop” strategy used by police interrogators, SOH protesters want the “Good Cop” role. “Bad Cop” protestors are of course expected to make their own autonomous decisions in regard to fashions, but SOH requests that “Bad Cop” actions avoid piling on over “Good Cop” shoulders. In an aside, Adam commented that SOH contacts with bank officers have been friendly and respectful, one of the bank officers even sharing the smug information that the bank knows every move of SOH (and Occupy) in advance. How do they get this information? They read these minutes, of course. Or maybe they intercept our email. In any case, as always, just assume any planning session is well-attended by hidden enemies. Even if you are under the bed clothes in your bedroom, remember: Big Brother is Watching You.
Bob shared his mission to force the state to divest its investments in Israeli bonds. There is a law banning states from investing overseas, Bob said, and he is currently pursuing a lawsuit to make it stop. For more information, google Minnesota Break the Bonds and choose one of the many interesting websites.
Mayday actions: Jesse described advancements in the many events being planned to take place from Noon to Midnight at the Minnesota People’s Power Plaza (formerly known as the Minnesota Power Plaza.) These include food, music, speakers, parades, giant puppets, information tables, and others. Activities for children are being organized. The schedule is still developing, but as a guide, there will be two parades, one at noon and one at 5pm. Musicians will perform starting at 1:00. There will be speakers, tables, discussion groups going on intermittently all afternoon. Echoes of Peace Choir will perform at 6:00. Spin Collective and drummers from 9:30. There will be projector videos and possibly a visit from Mr. Nice, who is rumored to be all healed up from attempted assassination injuries sustained during the Mayoral campaign. Adam is working on language for a press release, which will be discussed on agenda at the next GA, Tuesday 24 April 6pm Paul Robeson Ballroom. Adam suggested a four minute limit on soapbox speakers and a pre-emptive block on hate speech. Jenn suggested a more positive approach, with a rule that speakers be nice. Tyler commented that the Tea Party representative has backed out of commitment to debate with occupy on May third, stating that events at the Tax Day protest and Honorable Representative Chapped Craakass rally were overburdened with actually factual information and therefore not conducive to Tea Party arguments. Jenn noted that the Mayday action is on a Tuesday, which is our usual GA day. She proposed the regular GA be rescheduled to Wednesday. Jesse said there has been discussion of having a “demonstration” GA at the Mayday festivities, with the purpose of introducing occupy signals and meeting process. Both proposals were found acceptable. Jenn suggested that the Wednesday GA be dedicated to reflection on the Mayday action. What went right? What went wrong? What was ok but could have been better?
Critical Mass bike ride and rally will happen this Friday, 27 April 2012, at 5:30 PM, starting from the Minnesota People’s Power Plaza, corner of Superior Street and Lake Avenue. The Mass Effect will ripple across the city, ending up at the potluck to be held at Emerson Cooperative at 6pm.
Really Really Free Market will be held again on the last Saturday of the month from 11am to 3pm. Reese, veteran coordinator of past RRFM’s in Duluth, has moved on, so there is a priceless opportunity for someone from our community to step forward and take on a leadership position for organizing this event in future.
Lara said she is organizing a project to decorate the front of the Paul Robeson Ballroom with posters, announcements, and wheat-paste artwork. Meet at PRB noon Sunday. Bring food. Then later we can meet up with Magic Smelt Giant Puppet Workshop Parade and Second Line Dance, to follow along with a 12 piece brass band ending up at Zeitgeist for a 5:30pm smelt fry.
Justin went off-agenda for a moment to bring up a really really good idea…….posting signs around the PRB to announce we are a Safe Zone. Happy happy fingers.
Announcements: On Thurday Occupy is holding a benefit showing of the film about how Occupy came to be, “Rise Like Lions”. Free Will donations accepted at the door, but no one will be refused a seat to view this remarkable documentary.
NEXT OCCUPY GENERAL ASSEMBLY: Tuesday 24 April at PRB, 6 pm, please bring food.