G.A. Minutes 10-13-12

G.A. Minutes 10-13-12

We’re at the Clayton Jackson-McGhie Memorial again with a fire going and snacks to offer. It’s a short meeting but a long evening this time. We’ve discovered that Democracy Now! is not going to be doing a broadcast with some of the alternative candidates for the second presidential debate. They will be doing the broadcast for the third debate on Monday, Oct. 22nd at 7pm (CS time). An Occupier with appropriate connections agrees to book a room at UMD. We will hook up a laptop to a big screen TV and invite people to join us in watching the alternative debate.

We get a report from an Occupier re: the current status of our legal situation. We checked out the attic and found that it will work for some things but the stairway is too narrow to transport big things. We think we have access to another free storage space for the big things. An Occupier offers to take a look and see if we can use it. We will need to contact the owner of the Ballrooms’ property manager and arrange a day and time to get our stuff out. An Occupier offers to write an official letter. It’s going to be a big job; we would welcome anyone willing to help us. The other legal issues are a work in progress.

We have a lot of street people stopping by to get warm, have a snack and talk. The conversation generally goes like this: Street person: What are you guys doing here? Occupier: We’re having an Occupy meeting. SP: A what? O: You know, Occupy Wall Street. SP: Huh? Occupiers begin to explain what Occupy is all about; the street person quickly becomes bored and changes the subject. Oh well. We hope they will remember the name Occupy.

One woman tells a long story about her oppression living in government housing. Her life is strictly monitored. She is afraid to even talk to her neighbors. She fears being evicted, is denied her prescribed medication whenever the caregivers feel like messing with her. We hear this type of story from many formerly homeless people who are now in government housing.

A past regular camper who we haven’t seen in a while stops by. We say, “There’s a rumor going around that the cops took you outside of the city, beat the crap out of you and then left you to find your own way back.” He says, “What actually happened was, I was standing on the street when I felt an unknown person grabbed my shoulder, I reflexively raised my hand and made a fist. As I turned and saw it was a cop, his partner knocked me to the ground and I cracked my head on the sidewalk. I was bleeding profusely. The cops searched me and gave me a breathalyzer test. They said, “O.K., you can go now.” and they drove away. We wish the Citizen’s Review Board was up and running.

About six squads are zooming up and down the street and avenue with no sirens and their lights flashing. This is probably their idea of fun. They sure aren’t noticing us. Good. Maybe the Memorial has some kind of magic around it that makes Occupiers invisible to police. That would be nice. It gets close to 10 pm and the Occupiers who are staying at the CHUM must leave in order to make curfew. The rest of us stay and watch the fire. Things are quieting down, the coals are dancing, it’s time for change of shift for the cops. We pack up and get ready to head on home, realizing we are very lucky to have homes to go to. Another night in the hood. It may seem strange to some, but we’ve grown to like it here.