201204171800 Notes, Occupy General Assembly Tuesday 6 pm Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial
A rather chilly spring evening….not horrible bad except for the wind. I should have worn another sweater. We met as the sun painted warmth on the square, and then in the last slanting light, and then in the cooler radiance of streetlights. As we started, a bevy of young children in bright colors, and their duller bent-back mothers, exited the old 1896 Shrine Auditorium which stands kitty corner cross the street, and a welcome bubbling wave of excitement and playground shouts crossed First Avenue. The corner of history and the neighborhood decline was not on their mind, nor was the shaping of their future. That part is left to us.
Present: Adam, Carl, Kathy, Mike, Jesse, JD, Wes, Matt, Richard, Lara, and Nadia, as well as some neighborhood passers-by.
Agenda: Foreclosure report, Mayday actions, the wandering GA, changes to Tuesday GA, Food Not Lawns report, and a report on what happened at the Tax Day Rally.
Foreclosure: Adam reported that the working group decided to change the bank picket time in the action in support of Mary Ann, from what it was, 5:00 to 6:00, to what it will now be, Noon to One. The group has discovered that the city keeps some funds at this bank. Daily pickets and a petition drive continue. The bank appears to be considering changing the terms of the mortgage, and the Sherriff’s sale has been delayed. The picket will continue until there is more evidence that the bank is really cooperating, and not just stalling. A new case of foreclosure in Washburn is being looked at. It involves a woman with special needs children and MS. Adam suggested a team travel to the Ashland area to raise local consciousness, and to encourage local activists to take on the bank. Wes suggested contacting people at Northland College Campus, and at the upcoming folk festival in early May. See http://ncsanorthland.org/special-events/the-43d-annual-folk-festival for more information about festival times and tickets. Please encourage anyone you know who is suffering foreclosure to contact the working group, Save Our Homes.
Mayday actions: Jesse described the many events being planned to take place from Noon to Midnight at the 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 in the works. Jesse called for help getting the word out to media. There are also flyers and wheat-pasted posters planned. Since Mayday is a Tuesday this year, Jesse suggested we plan to hold a GA at the action site.
Wandering GA: The proposal is to hold GA actions in other parts of Duluth and in surrounding communities. The purpose would be to gain greater visibility and attract supporters, possibly to form other Occupy groups. Kathy suggested table the proposal until after Mayday. Happy fingers.
At this point Nadia, ever athletic and quick to respond, ran out into the street to intercept a surreal yet determined tire which was rolling down the hill. “It’s full of sand and water,” she said, after kicking the tire to the curb. That explains the surreal creep of the escaped tire.
Wes announced and described events planned at the Farmer’s Market. Food Not Lawns is looking for volunteer sites in which to place 4’ x 8’ raised bed food gardens. Please ask your friends and neighbors if they have a sunny lawn space and would like to see it in production. The $200.00 material fee cannot be waived, but FNL is looking for sponsors to ease the cost. FNL is also looking for volunteers to canvas neighborhoods for sunny lawn sites.
Jesse, Nadia, Lara, Warren, Tyler, Allen, Mike, Dan O’Neil and others attended the Tax Day Rally, which involved a protest at the Civic Center, then a march to the Rainbow Senior Center, where there was to be discussion of the effects of the Paul Ryan budget on Medicare. Becky Hall and a zoo of provocateurs from the Tea Party showed up to attempt a disruption of the event. They made total fools of themselves by pushing people around, trying to monopolize the media, and waving signs to block cameras. Media seemed to pretty much ignore them, but there were plenty of other video vigilantes to record the disorderly conduct of the handful of TP-ers. Becky, for reasons known only to herself, did not wear her Betsy Ross costume. Perhaps she finally realized what a pathetic and embarrassing figure she presents as flag stitchery for the Tea Party. Or not. TP-ers are not known to indulge in self-realizations.
This Saturday we will meet at 6:00 pm at the courtyard. Next Tuesday April 24th we will meet in the Clayton Jackson McGhie memorial at 6:00 pm.
The meeting adjourned at 7:51 pm.