G.A. Minutes 9-22-12
Only six people are here tonight. 3 campers, 3 Occupiers. We are all somewhat “shell shocked”. Last night a major fiasco took place in the camp. A person from the alley came into the camp, there were no Occupiers in the camp at the time and the alley person knew some of the alley campers. They all began drinking alcohol and smoking something that smelled like incense. By nightfall they were crazed. The person from the alley began fighting with one of the alley campers. Several tents were destroyed; the fight went up into the alley. Innocent neighbors were punched in the face and the DPD arrived. Lots of them. The alley person and 2 campers were hauled off to jail. All the rest of the alley campers ran away. Occupiers arrived but the damage had already been done. The first thought was to just close down the whole camp. The Occupiers depart with the plan of returning the next day and taking down the camp. Only the few reliable campers remain on the premises.
Upon returning the next day, the Occupiers find the reliable campers have cleaned up the whole camp and rearranged the remaining tents. “We have no place else to go. Believe it or not, this is the safest place we’ve had in a long time”. They say,” We’d like to keep the camp for as long as we can.” The meeting starts out with all these things in mind. We discuss what can be done to remake our camp so things like this don’t happen again. All of the old alley campers have already been allowed to pick up their belongings and have also been told they can’t live in the camp anymore. We’re sure they will be back in the next few days begging to be let back in. We’re conflicted because we know their stories and their problems. We have empathy for them. However, if we harbor people who have no interest in Occupy ideals and are simply looking for a place to crash, we invite the Friday night type of problem to become the norm. We decide that our camp should remain much smaller and we will be very careful about taking in new campers. Then we start planning our next steps to protect ourselves from the evil property manager. It’s quite cold tonight; we sit close to the fire. When the people who have homes eventually leave, they know that the campers are going to have an uncomfortable night. We know they will be doing better than their comrades who are sleeping under a bush.