G.A. Minutes 5-25-13

G.A. Minutes 5-25-13
There are a moderate amount of Occupiers at the Memorial tonight. Everyone is exhausted but some of us feel the need for a fire.

The March On Monsanto was a big success and we spend some time talking about it. At least 100 people showed up, many had great costumes and signs. Occupy was able to contribute our 2 faced CEO puppet, our Corn Monster costume and a large banner. The response from the general public was rewarding and we were impressed by the number of people who were aware of what the struggle for control of our world’s food sources is all about.

The first hour or so was spent chanting and waving to the traffic and passersby on Lake and Superior, then the Howling for Wolves people arrived and we spent an hour joining them in howling for the wolves, protesting their removal from the endangered species list and their government sanctioned killing by those who hunt for sport. The response from the general public was pretty good for the wolves too.

We listened to a short speech by Jamie Harvie of the Institute for a Sustainable Future in which he listed the many things that people are doing and/or can do to insure a safe and healthy food supply. Next it was off for a march down and through Canal Park and back to People’s Plaza. Upon return, a little more working of the crowd, then packing up and leaving, feeling energized for all the work ahead of us.

Someone asks, “So what are we going to do next?” Juneteenth is coming up in just a few weeks and we still haven’t heard what we are supposed to do to help. An Occupier volunteers to make contact and see what he can find out.

The older woman from Mississippi who has been visiting us regularly since last Fall stops by. As usual she is full of goodwill and blessings for us. However, this time she is carrying some type of case and asks us if we would like to buy some recordings of gospel music. We believe she has an apartment and is not homeless but as with all the people of the street she is very poor. She has never asked us for money in the past so we know things must be very rough for her right now.

The Occupiers have very little personal money although most have a little more than the street folks. We never carry any money with us when we come to the Memorial as we know the need is huge among our street friends and we can’t possibly take care of everyone. We refuse to pick and choose. Our job is to force the 1% to give up their ill-gotten gains and to allow all the people of the world to meet their basic needs.

Many people stop by; some have personal property they are trying to sell. It’s the end of the month and people on various types of fixed incomes routinely come up short at this time. A woman we haven’t met before gets some coffee and sits down. She complains about the treatment she has received from the Gimajii Center. We have heard complaints about Gimajii previously and tell her so. One of our Occupiers is currently meeting with some Native people who are attempting to make changes at the Center.

The woman says, “Why did they make this place for them?” She points to the portraits of the 3 African American men who were lynched in Duluth in the 1920s and to whom the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial is dedicated. “Don’t they know what was done to our people?” She then describes some of the many appalling acts perpetrated upon Native people by the colonizers. We would like to say to her that both Native and African American people have been severely wronged but instead we just listen.

After she leaves an Occupier says, “I see this so frequently. Native people complain that black people are given more than they deserve and black people complain that Native folks get all the breaks. If the 2 groups would ever make amends and join together, their power would be unstoppable.”

The sun is going down, the fire is dying and we are all very tired. There are hugs all around and we go off for the night. If it doesn’t rain, we’ll be back on Tuesday.