G.A. Minutes 11-10-12

G.A. Minutes 11-10-12
Things are getting “curioser and curioser”. We’re back at the Memorial, fire and snacks as per usual. Also, as usual, mostly Occupiers with street people bopping in and out. A reporter is with us, she’s someone we know and trust so we are comfortably chatting with her.
She leaves and we begin our meeting. First item on the agenda is progress made concerning our next movie showing. We just start to discuss but……….. Oh great. A DPD car rolls up, an Officer Friendly gets out, only this guy is not putting out a very friendly vibe. He starts out by politely saying, “You have to put out that fire, there’s a MN statute that says you can’t have a fire.” An Occupier politely explains, the statute applies to fires inside of buildings. The officer replies, “I don’t know about any of that but my supervisor says I have to make you put out that fire”. Another Occupier says, “We could put out the fire but we have to have some way of having an official record of this so we can show that you made us obey a law that doesn’t exist.” The officer is not pleased, he says,” The only way you can have a record is if I call my supervisor and he comes down here and gives you all a citation. If he comes down here, he will bring 3 big cops with him”. The Occupiers communicate with eye contact. An older Occupier asks for the policeman’s badge number and is told he will get a badge number if a citation is issued. An additional Occupier states, “All you guys can leave and I’ll stay and get cited so we can have a record.” Officer Friendly appears really pissed off. He stomps off, returning to his car. All the Occupiers appear to leave. The remaining Occupier sits down. She stokes the fire and quietly talks to the two Occupiers who have stepped off into the shadows, they’re watching her back. After about fifteen minutes, the cop just drives off. She sits at the fire for over an hour; a few squads drive by, look at her and keep on driving. The original threatening officer even drives by but he keeps on moving too. Street people stop by and ask what’s going on. She tells them and comments that the police may arrive at any moment. Most exchange a few pleasantries and quickly leave. A couple with a small child tell her they had been homeless until very recently. The woman of the couple says, “I had never been homeless before. We lived in the Hillside Community Park over the summer. There are a lot of homeless people who are very nice, smart and talented.” The Occupier has been sitting for a long time, she figures the officer is not going to come back and cite her. So the DPD did not get their way but they managed to disrupt the meeting. The others come out of the shadows. Everybody packs up, many of the snacks are still on the table. They’ll be back on Tuesday. It would be nice to have an actual meeting however, when holding meetings open to the public of the “hood” one never knows what will happen.