G.A. Minutes 1-29-13
All of the Occupiers attended the Idle No More National Day of Action yesterday so the discussion begins by sharing our impressions of the event. INM put out the official notice of where and when the Round Dance would take place only a day and a half before the actual happening. They were able to turn out over one hundred people. How’s that for established community? We were all very impressed. Some of us joined in with the dancing, lots of pictures were published, several media outlets did interviews and many regular people took notice. We know, at this point anyway, our small group would not be capable of creating a gathering of this size. One Occupier says it is probable that Native people are the last line of defense in the fight to save our environment and planet. She believes treaty rights may be the thing that will stop the corporations from devouring everything on earth. She says western culture respects only money so land can only be preserved by purchasing it. Even then, the government can claim eminent domain and take away the purchase. Treaty rights are something else altogether. Perhaps Native people will stop the destruction of the earth. Another Occupier, of Native descent, states, “Don’t get overly excited. The government has been denying treaty rights since the day the treaties were signed.” He also mentions corruption among some Native leadership and relates some stories about the battles over hunting and fishing rights that took place in central Wisconsin about 20 years ago. He then says he has noticed Native youth seem to be in tune with their Native culture and aware of what is really at stake. This gives him hope.
The Native Occupier tells a story about attending a Pow Wow and seeing people throw their cigarettes on the ground. He was offended by this and explained to them why this was a wrong thing to do. A conversation about cigarette butts begins. Although butts seem to be such a trivial thing, they are not biodegradable and accumulate into billions and billions. Another Occupier suggests there be a one cent deposit paid on each cigarette. This deposit could be redeemed by saving your butts and returning them to the point of purchase. Homeless and other people, who were low on money but had time on their hands, could pick up the butts from the ground if they wanted to and make some money for their trouble. We may have to fine tune this idea a bit but it could work.
Somehow the subject changes into possible types of voting systems. Among the suggestions are: a voting period that lasts for a least one month, instant voting at any time and every citizen having a voting number that belonged only to them throughout their lifetime. Next we talk about the possibility that many of our countries so called national emergencies are man (read 1%) made in order to facilitate passage of oppressive laws. 9/11 and the Patriot Act come to mind. We wander off into a discussion about different types of socialism. An Occupier comments she has recently read an article claiming people have their rights and lefts mixed up. By this she means socialism, communism, fascism and other systems which require a lot of government supervision are considered to be on the right of the spectrum. Democracy and republic types of systems are centrist and different types of anarchy and libertarianism are on the left. Hmmm…… Nobody knows quite what to make of that.
An Occupier reminds folks about all the indigenous prophecies around the world. Most of these prophecies contain similar versions of a paradigm shift affecting all the people of the earth. They will be touched by a huge wave of compassion and will be able to see beyond a material plane. Everything will change and the world will be saved. She is encouraged because these prophecies are found in many indigenous cultures around the world and are predicted to start in the time period in which we are now living. We all agree, if this were to come about it would be most helpful.
We have been talking for over an hour when it is noted, a meeting hasn’t actually begun. Oh well, sometimes it’s just good to talk. Our conversations are a welcome change from the daily grind. The smokers go out for a break and upon return the last minute details for the January 31st movie showing at 7pm at the Zinema and the February 2nd all day tabling at the Clyde Iron music festival are taken care of.
If some of the people reading these minutes would attend one of our meetings, they would likely have a comfortable yet engaging experience. We won’t be having a meeting this Saturday so the next time we meet will be on following Tuesday. See you then.