G.A. Minutes 3-2-13

G.A. Minutes 3-2-13

A majority of the regulars are here tonight. As we start our meeting we notice the sky still has light. A very good sign, winter is saying good bye.

An occasional Occupier had contacted some of us over the last few days saying he hoped to be at the meeting tonight. At the last minute he was required to be somewhere else so asked us to relay his thoughts. He would like to create a coalition to make a big May Day celebration at the People’s Power Plaza. An Occupier who is at our meeting says, “That’s just what I wanted to talk about tonight. I have that same vision”. We all think a May Day event would be a great idea however, most of us have our fingers in so many pies we don’t have the time to organize it. The attending Occupier agrees to contact the occasional Occupier and together they may be able to get things going. Everyone else is willing to offer backup.

We discuss what the event could look like. May Day has both political and pagan significance. One of the lead Occupiers has many connections to the art and spiritual communities while the other is connected to the unions and socialists. This could work out nicely. We make a list off the top of our heads of the cooking and camping type equipment we still have, discuss various methods of constructing a shelter if it should rain and talk about gigantic puppets and other entertainment. An Occupier explains what she has learned over the last year about city laws and ordinances. She says most of the things the police have told us are lies however; a lot of the requirements for events in public events are at the discretion of the officers. We know that means if something is done by Occupy that means it’s illegal. If it’s done by another group………… not so much. So we figure if the event is not billed as sponsored by Occupy, more leeway will be given. Someone asks if the Citizen’s Review Board has begun operating yet. We don’t believe so but hope it begins soon as these types of public space issues need to be addressed.

The Occupier working on the next movie showing reports she has been told the film “The Main” is being shown somewhere in the Twin Ports area this weekend. Others say they have heard this same thing so that strikes another potential movie off our list. The good news is that she has been contacted by the owners of “Milk”. The person she spoke with said if “Milk” is shown in any type of theater they would have to ask for a $250 fee. If we wanted to do the film showing in a less commercial setting the fee would be much less. An Occupier says, “How about a college lecture hall?” Several of the Occupiers are college students and belong to the small Occupy group at one of the area colleges. The movie Occupier agrees to contact the movie owners and report the response at our next meeting.

An Occupier reports on an event held recently at UMD. It was sponsored by MPIRG and concerned the monopoly enjoyed on campus by Twin Cities Bank. Students are encouraged in many ways to bank at TCF. They have TCF access in their student IDs and are offered other perks and gifts. TCF is a major bank with all the usual major bank issues. An Occupier remembers stories told by former students concerning TCF’s predatory practices on naïve young scholars. Occupy had a discussion last summer in relation to this issue. We’re glad someone else decided to take this on.

Another Occupier reminds us April 12th is Steal From Your Job Day. We all laugh, someone says, “Your job is certainly stealing from you so what’s the problem stealing with from them?” People begin to tell various stories about employers setting up long term employees, firing them for absent mindedly bringing home a pen or other insignificant item. This accusation of theft is used as an easy means of getting rid of higher paid employees while also denying these employees their pensions and other long worked for benefits. We have all experienced abuse from past or present employers.

The sky is now dark. Only 8 more days until daylight savings time. Soon it will still be light when we close our gathering. See you Tuesday.