G.A. Minutes 1-8-13

G.A. Minutes 1-8-13

Our surroundings tonight are more luxurious than what we’re used to. We’re in an actual home with soft chairs, an easily accessible bathroom and running water. When one is homeless, the things most Americans take for granted are seen as luxuries.

We have a new person with us tonight. She says she had been following our meetings for some time on our website and decided to come to an actual meeting. This is good. We give her a quick review of various Occupy hand signals, explaining that these signals are very useful in large groups. In smaller groups we usually don’t use them except to raise our hands when we wish to speak.

An Occupier says that Idle No More will be having a rally Friday, January 11th starting at noon at the Civic Center. From the Civic Center they will march through downtown, ending up at People’s Power Plaza where they will have a Round Dance. All supporters are welcome to participate. Another Occupier asks people what they think Occupys’ role is in relation to INM and if we think we are actually welcome there. An additional Occupier states, “In the sixties and seventies, when AIM and other strong Native rights groups were coming into being, Indian people were adamant about Indian things being for Indians only. This made sense. Historically people of European descent dominated Native people, robbing them of their culture and stealing their material wealth. To make things worse, once being Indian became cool again; the white people pretended they were Indian too.

However, things are a little different now. Of course racism and all the other injustices still exist but some white people have attained a deeper understanding of the fact that ‘an injury to one is an injury to all’. INM is challenging the entire capitalist system and will need all the allies they can mobilize. They have made it clear they welcome non-indigenous supporters”. The Occupiers who will be available express their intent to be at the rally.

The next item on the agenda is our film showing at the Zinema. The Occupier working on this states when she tried to download the movie from the Internet she found permission to do this is required. She contacted three separate sources and is waiting for a response. A discussion begins concerning other films that could be shown should the American Autumn producers not respond. It is suggested that “Rise Like Lions” be shown again. We agree it was a fantastic movie and many people were unable to attend the first showing. We speak about our original plan to show an LGBT oriented film and our newest participant tells about a movie produced by a local LGBT activist. No one was aware of the existence of this locally made film. We are intrigued. An Occupier offers to contact the activist in hopes of viewing it.

The Occupier who is allowing us to meet in his home tells us about the library he has put together from all the books Occupy Duluth has collected over the past year or more. He has made a complete list of all the contents and has set up a lending system. Everyone expresses their appreciation.

The final agenda item concerns the February 2nd music event where we will be presenting an Occupy literature table and discussion opportunity. An Occupier says she was thinking we might invite INM to table with us but upon reflection thought the idea was impractical. The group discusses this idea for awhile and decides the logistics involved would be too complicated. We would have to make arrangements with the music promoter also; drummers and a Round Dance could be a distraction from the planned music event. Some of us would like to invite INM to join us for an event but we will wait for the appropriate time.

The meeting is over, people break into little conversations. Our visitor says goodnight. We hope she will return. There will be much work to do over the next month; we’ll be back here at the Grand Ave. apartment on Saturday.