G.A. Minutes 10-27-12
Most of the regular Occupiers are here at the Memorial tonight. Some street folks stop by; they already know what we’re doing here. We get a visit from a former camper from Civic Center days. One man is sitting on the ledge passionately talking to himself. He stops, looks at us and says, “Occupy Duluth right?” We say, “Right.” He makes a fist, gives us a power salute, then resumes talking to himself and walks away.
We have snacks tonight but no fire. It’s chilly. We’re in the midst of” negotiations” with the DPD. Officer Tuscan is trying to convince us that it is illegal to have a contained, safe fire at the Memorial. He quotes some MN law, we refute it, then he sends us another one which is equally irrelevant. About an hour before tonight’s meeting we received a reference to a city ordinance. We’re betting it’s another rule that doesn’t apply to the situation at hand but we haven’t had time to review it.
We discuss whether to start a fire which will surely bring the DPD down on us. We decide to wait as we want to make sure we can reply to this latest attempt. It looks like we are playing some kind of game but it’s deeper than that. If we can show there is no law preventing citizen’s from having a fire for warmth in a public space in their own neighborhood, we have in some small way, made the statement that homeless people have rights. Of course, if we prove this, the City will make a law against this right as quickly as they can. This will emphasize their prejudice towards homeless people. Many citizen’s will support this law as hatred of the homeless runs deep. We’ll have to see where it all leads.
We’ll have to do our business quickly as it’s too cold to hang around for long. We know this is how the City means to stop our meetings at the Memorial. We also know that at some point we’ll have to meet indoors as winter, fire or not, will be freezing. However, Spring will come around eventually.
We discuss the legal situation as it relates to our eviction from our camp. Things are progressing. A local attorney has asked us to bring her all the evidence we have collected. We’ll do that first thing next week. We’re also searching for attorneys outside the Twin Ports as we’re finding the “good ole boy” network is alive and well in Duluth.
It’s time to get seriously working on our next movie showing at the Zinema. The Occupier who has taken on the lead role for this event is not with us tonight. The conversation is short.
Lastly, we talk about the large email list we have on our website. We can use it to publicize the movie but will need to find out which people still want their addresses linked to Occupy. The computer geeks among us explain how this can be done.
Time to go. Our noses are running, we’re starting to shiver. We have somewhere to go. Many of the street people sharing our coffee and cookies don’t. If they had a fire, their night would be tolerable.