G.A. Minutes 12-18-12

G.A. Minutes 12-18-12

The usual suspects are here in the skywalk tonight. We exchange observations re: the City Council meeting held last night. Councilor Gardner and MN ASAP presented a resolution calling for the government to reduce military spending and use the money to fund the needs of regular people. The resolution passed 5-3-1. Minneapolis and St. Paul passed this resolution unanimously. We agree we are pleased that it passed but we wonder where it will lead. Other states are presenting similar resolutions; a lot of people are putting a lot of work into this. We wonder if any significant reduction in our military will result. An Occupier says, “It’s all so stupid. People work their butts off trying to get some candidate in office and then they spend the rest of the time begging that person to make decisions that actually benefit the people. If all the people signing petitions and such would take to the streets the government would listen. Of course, they’d beat our heads in first”.

We note the next two Tuesdays will be Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Everybody will be busy with holiday events and the skywalk may be closed so we won’t be meeting on those days.

The subject of our upcoming meeting with the local homeless advocacy group is introduced. We expect this meeting will include social work students so talk about the social work profession. A career in social work is generally a low paying one. Social workers usually need a master’s degree in order to make a living wage. In our marvelous capitalist system all helping professions receive low pay and we wonder if the students know what they are getting into. In a previous meeting with social work students, many of them expressed distain for behaviors which are common in homeless and other very poor people. The Occupiers hope to be able to help the students see the poor in a more realistic light.

An Occupier tells a story of being unable to find a bathroom in the downtown area. He is staying outside of our city so must rely on public facilities when he is in Duluth. He went through the skywalk system but found all the bathrooms locked. He felt his bladder was about to burst so got in his car and drove to a bathroom. We have heard many stories from homeless people about the lack of public facilities. One of our homeless friends actually wet himself because he couldn’t find a bathroom. Homeless people are usually kicked out of restaurants, stores, hotels and other places where one would find a bathroom. However, it’s illegal to relieve oneself in a bush, hidden corner or whatever else can be found. The cops who walk the beat lie in wait for homeless people who are forced to relieve themselves illegally. The cops ticket and/or arrest them. Businesses complain about the smell of urine deposited in doorways when the businesses are closed. Something’s wrong here, a person is not allowed the use of a bathroom unless he has the ability to pay, if he relieves himself outdoors he will be arrested, people despise him because he needs to go to the bathroom. It’s enough to give a homeless person a bad attitude.

On that note, we adjourn our meeting. See you on Saturday.