Thursday, November 22, 2012 9:15 PM
G.A. Minutes 11-20-12

Somewhat chilly tonight and foggy. We’ll make a big roaring fire. Some of the usual Occupiers are here plus one Occupier we don’t get to see very often. He generally has other commitments. We’re pleased he is with us tonight. Things are being set up and……oh man! Not again? A DPD officer is pulling up and getting out of his car. Will they ever figure out that people have civil rights? Will they ever figure out that not everyone will allow them to use the bully tactics they are so used to? This really sucks!

The officer is wishing everyone good evening and acting very friendly. He’s looking for one of our Occupiers who was a victim of a violent crime a while back. The Occupier is with us tonight and speaks with the officer. He agrees to meet with the D.A. later. The interaction is very civil, the officer says,”O.K., have a good night everybody” and he leaves. Kind of funny. When you need an Occupier, this would be the place to find one.

We resume our activities and begin talking about the latest news from Gaza. It has recently become common knowledge that a large amount of natural gas has been discovered off the shoreline of Gaza. A British gas company with connections to several wealthy families in Lebanon is said to be negotiating with Israel for the rights to this natural gas. Wait a minute…. Israel? Doesn’t the gas belong to the Palestinians? Well, you know how that goes. Apparently Netanyahu or somebody has said there is no way the Hamas is going to get any of that money. After all, they wouldn’t use it to buy food, building supplies, heating materials or stuff like that, would they? Of course not. They’d use that money to buy weapons! Then they would kill all the Israelis. Who woulda thought? So, of course, the Israelis will have to bomb Gaza into dust so as to prevent the Palestinians from bombing them. Make sense? Will Obama and friends allow this to happen?

The conversation is going strong but we notice there are a really a lot of street people coming over. There are more street people here tonight than we have ever had at one time. They aren’t particularly interested in talking about the Middle East. It’s their Memorial and neighborhood too so we begin to focus on them and what they have to say. Most are signifying and clowning around. One 40 something street man who was a sometime camper at the Civic Center camp sits down and appears to be interested in serious conversation. He starts out by asking us why white people hate black people. We assure him that we are completely opposed to hatred of any kind. We believe he asked that question to get our attention. He tells us about his past life as a drug dealer and of serving an 18 year prison term for killing in self-defense. He says he was married once, told his wife he was going to the store for a pack of cigarettes and just never came back. An Occupier says, “Well you lived to tell about it so you must be doing something right”. He laughs, “She sure told the truth now didn’t she?” More and more street people are coming around, everybody’s laughing and greeting each other. Our new friend, the older man from the neighborhood stops by. A young Indian man sits down. He softly tells us the story of the coming of the white buffalo. When he leaves, the older man says, “It’s too bad that people still rely on myths and superstitions. They have science now so shouldn’t keep believing in fairy tales.” An Occupier politely replies, “It really doesn’t matter. Both science and the coming of the white buffalo tell us that the earth is being killed and we must change our ways and save her. The older man accepts this.

These evenings seem to go by really fast. The fire is down to coals and “curfew” is coming up soon. If we’re going to get any business done we’ll probably have to call another Occupiers only meeting. We’re also going to have to start thinking about going inside for the worst of the winter. We say good night with plans to meet here again on Saturday.