G.A. Minutes 2-26-13
People tonight arrive sans gloves, hats and with their coats unzipped. If the weather remains like it is this evening, Spring will arrive soon.
We’ve had several weeks with a lot of activity; it looks like things will slow down a bit this week so we take some time to just talk with each other. The first topic is the current state of our local medical field. Someone states there are many PCA jobs available. Another asks, “What’s a PCA”? An Occupier, who has spent many years working as a nurse, states, “A PCA is basically any person who can pass a background check that certifies they have never been charged with the crime of abuse. In hospitals and nursing homes caregivers must have at least a CNA license in order to work. In group homes, homecare and many other places any person can be hired. They receive only a few days training and are then required to care for people with very serious medical conditions. PCAs are required to administer complicated medication regimes, monitor for symptoms, fluid intake and output, blood glucose and much more. Most PCAs have no medical training. The whole situation is very dangerous but PCAs can be paid much less than licensed medical personnel.” Everyone agrees our healthcare system is broken, much like all the rest of the American systems.
An Occupier tells us a story. A few days ago a friend of his was beaten by her boyfriend, the police were called, the woman was very bruised and battered but the police didn’t arrest her abuser. The incident took place in Duluth. The battered woman hid out for a few days but, as she has no place to go with her children, she is going to return to the abuser. The Occupier is upset and saddened, “Why didn’t the police arrest him?” he asks. “In some states they have to make an arrest if there is evidence of physical abuse. The Duluth police are given way too much individual discretion.” He wants to help his friend and he also wants to call attention to a lack of police protection of abuse victims. He has been in contact with some of our friends working in victim protection and they encourage him to pursue this. He asks if we will support him. We will. Another Occupier tells a similar story of a woman in our neighborhood who was raped and then laughed at and degraded by several local officers. She gives him a few suggestions about other support systems he can contact. He will do further research and get back to us.
Someone asks how things are going with the planning of our next movie. The Occupier tasked with the movie says she has chosen five possibilities and is waiting for other Occupiers to view the trailers and offer their opinions. She says she doesn’t think “Milk” will be possible as she has discovered it is the property of a multi-national production company and the company hasn’t responded to her many emails.
One of the Occupiers has decided to spring for a pizza. It is served, everyone is eating and the computer geeks start talking in their language. The conversation seems to be about early types of computers and software.
After eating, an Occupiers asks what types of government people would like to see after capitalism crashes and burns and fake democracy is fully exposed. One Occupier likes some of the ideas of Thomas Jefferson, mainly the ones about small communities of farms. Another says she would like to know more about anarchism but believes this is difficult as she doesn’t know of any anarchist governments that have been formed in the past. Someone else says he has read articles which state that Somalia had some success after their regular government collapsed. We are all very surprised as this is not what we had heard. An Occupier reminds us there are many things happening in the world which the American public knows nothing about.
We are reminded tomorrow is the PSOH meeting, 4:40pm, 109 N 2nd Ave.W. Although everyone is hopeful they will be able to convince Morgan Chase to let Dale remain in his home, the bigger issues revolving around housing as a human right are of special interest to us. Perhaps we can convince PSOH to go up against the entire housing system. This is the root of the problem.
We are fortunate in that our stomachs are pleasantly full. Many others are not so fortunate and we keep this in mind as we go out into the world. We plan to return here on Saturday.