G.A. Minutes 8-28-12
The mtg. begins with a report about the Occupy Forum that some of us participated in at U.U. Church last Sunday. It is reported that the forum went very well and we hope to have another one in the near future.
We then begin to discuss the upcoming Sept. 17th 1st anniversary of the Occupy Movement. Initial plans are made for acknowledging this day with an event. People take on tasks and things begin to take shape. There will be more information to come.
An Occupier camper arrives late and looks rather unhappy. The Facilitator asks if this Occupier would like to say something. He says yes he would and talks about camp conditions. He is concerned about the lack of participation in housekeeping duties from some of the people from the alley that we have allowed to camp with us. They either just sit around all day or leave early in the morning and come back at night to sleep. He’s getting tired of having so little help with chores. We all emphasize with this problem and realize we will have to address the situation. The people who are not helping are very recent campers and hopefully when things are explained to them they will start participating. If not, we will have to ask them to leave. This lack of participation from some veteran homeless folks is a problem in Occupy camps across the country. We hear that camps across the country are beginning to acknowledge this problem and to weed out the serious drug users and violent people. It’s a difficult situation as we know that many homeless folks are saddled with untreated mental illness, lack of care and respect from the people and agencies that are charged with caring for them and undue harassment and abuse from police. Faced with the knowledge of these facts, how does one keep a camp functioning properly? We haven’t figured everything out yet. The Occupy Movement is very idealistic, the young Occupiers are especially so. The older Occupiers have seen this type of thing before in the communes of the sixties. This problem destroyed many of these communes. The younger Occupiers appear to be more determined, the older ones must let them learn for themselves and perhaps teach the older ones something. We will care for each other. We know that the root of the problem lies with the nature of the capitalist system which rewards only wealth and spits on the poorest of the poor. It won’t last forever; time will tell how it all plays out. We can only continue working to bring about peace and justice for all.