G.A. Minutes 2-23-13

G.A. Minutes 2-23-13

It’s the usual suspects tonight along with a person we are meeting for the first time. He is interested in Occupy and also in the IWW so we start the evening’s discussion by talking about unions. We examine the pros and cons of AFSCME, SEIU, Steel Workers, Teamsters, AFL-CIO, IWW and others. We conclude the IWW really has the best plan but unfortunately, they don’t have a lot of power these days. Perhaps this is because they have a complete world view and the goal of organizing all workers in all work situations. Other unions are generally focused on the narrow concerns of their membership and this is probably why unions don’t get a lot of support from people outside their immediate circle.

It comes to light that our new person is coming from out of town and is looking for a job. An Occupier knows of a company that is greatly in need of help so gives him the contact information along with the remark, “You’ll almost certainly be hired.” This is good.

We give our new friend a brief history of Occupy Duluth starting with the first big camp at the civic center and first eviction by the police, the brief time spent meeting in the skywalk, our move into the Paul Robeson Ballroom and then the Last Resort homeless camp and second eviction by the police, the time spent at the CJM Memorial until very cold weather forced us back into the skywalk, now we’re at 3803 Grand Ave. until the weather lets us go outside again.

As we go over our memories, we arrive at one of our favorite subjects; the lack of basic facilities for poor and homeless people in this town. An Occupier explains we have learned very much about poverty and homelessness over the last year. Most of what we have learned breaks our hearts. The callousness of the capitalist system is astounding.

Almost all the Occupiers attended this morning’s PSOH rally. It was a success with a large turnout and lots of support from passersby. The main objective, to get good photos to send to Morgan Chase Bank, was easily met. We plan to attend PSOH’s next meeting on Wednesday.

An Occupier announces there will be some things coming up in a few weeks related to Idle No More. When everyone wants to know details she says,” Well I really don’t know myself, after they finish making the plans they’ll let us know. I think there will be some type of fire ceremony.” Whatever it is, we plan to be there.

The older Occupiers are tired because of the early activities so the others give them a break and close out the meeting. We’ll be back on Tuesday.