G.A. Minutes 6-25-13

G.A. Minutes 6-25-13
We’re running a little late tonight and we see the Christian youth leaving the Memorial as we’re driving down the hill. As we’re setting up, one of the Christian counselors returns. “I just wanted to check in and see what’s going on with you guys,” he says, “I feel very supportive of what you are doing and wish I could participate.” An Occupier tells him a little bit about the mining projects we are protesting. He can only stay for a minute as he has to get back to his charges. Perhaps he’ll spend more time with us once his job is finished.

The Occupier who normally puts the fire together isn’t with us tonight and we’re having some trouble getting the fire going. One of the female Occupiers is chopping some logs for kindling. She says she was really good at chopping in her youth but now it’s difficult. An Occupier with greater strength shows up and finishes the job but the fire just won’t burn. Finally one of the neighborhood guys from a group home arrives and he gets it going. We fire up a bundle of sage and relax.

The people who did petitioning for Water Legacy on Saturday compare notes. Everyone one found the race watchers to be friendly and many were supportive. Between all of us we gathered almost 200 signatures. Pretty good for a first time out. We imagine we will help them a few more times before summer is over. The public comment period related to the proposed Polymet sulphide mine will take place at the end of August. Water Legacy would like to have as many petition signatures against the mine as possible to present during this time. We have found that most people are opposed to the mine or they are completely unaware of the issue. Asking the local folks to sign our petition serves as an education tool. There are many other actions against the mine either in process or in the planning stages. We’ll be participating is some of those things too.

Someone mentions we haven’t seen one of our regular visitors lately. Another remembers that the last time that particular visitor was with us; an evangelical Christian woman stopped by. She gave us little books of Christian cartoons. The visitor was greatly angered by this, yelled at her and threw his book in the fire. We comment he has always been offended by any mention of anything spiritual. A short discussion of various types of religion and spirituality ensues. There are many different beliefs among us but this has never caused any problem. We have been able to realize none of us knows anything for sure.

An Occupier gives an update about what’s going on with LCO Harvest Camp and the Penokee hills. Ashland and Iron counties have each passed very strict mining ordinances and the GTAC company is very angry. They’ve made comments about going somewhere else where they are welcomed. We say, “Don’t let the door hitcha where the dog done bitcha. Bye!” It looks like Wisconsin may win this one.

Another Occupier states there has been a lot of talk among local organizers this past week. The subject of discussion has been the seldom mentioned Enbridge Alberta Clipper pipeline aka the alternative to the Keystone pipeline. This Clipper pipeline is already in existence; it ships regular oil and runs from Alberta, Canada to Superior. Wisconsin. If Obama denies the Keystone, the alternative plan is to considerably increase the capacity of the Clipper and pump tar sands oil to Superior.

An additional plan is to build a big loading dock in Superior and ship this tar sands oil out in cargo ships across Lake Superior. There has been very little media attention paid to this dangerous plan. The only mention by regular media we know of was a recent DNT article. The article was written in praise of the fact that Enbridge is increasing its presence in the Twin Ports and is offering some high salaried five year jobs. We say jobs at what price? We realize we must educate the public and tackle this issue immediately. Many Twin Ports organizers are interested but all agree INM should first be consulted. The Occupier reminds everyone the next INM meeting will be Friday, June 28th, 9am at Randy’s Café.

An occasional visitor states more people are needed to run for the School Board positions. We try to give her ideas as to who might make a good candidate. Another Occupier reminds everyone that CHUM is sponsoring their annual Rhubarb Festival this upcoming Saturday at 1st Lutheran Church.

The neighborhood man who had made our fire burn returns from signing in at his group home. He carries a bundle of cedar. The sage has finished so we light the cedar. It smells good too. We begin to talk about all the rules and regulations one must follow if living in group homes, homeless shelters and such. Many of these rules are silly and demeaning. The Occupier who has been living far away has found a local apartment. For now he has a home but realizes things are pretty tight and isn’t sure he’ll have one in the long term. He questions one of the homeless Occupiers and receives a list of feeding places, food shelters, homeless shelters and homeless camps, complete with times and other helpful details. Many of the Occupiers are homeless, others are near homelessness and the ones who have homes have homeless people living with them.

We’re going to leave early tonight as almost everyone has somewhere they have to be. It’s been a quite night, pleasant weather, very few visitors and no drama. Hopefully we’ll catch the same vibe when we return on Saturday.