G.A. Minutes 7-16-13

G.A. Minutes 7-16-13

There’s only one word to describe the Memorial this evening. Hot. That about sums it up. The thermometer says 93 degrees at 6pm. There’s a big group of church kids, even they are a little subdued. Many of them are from suburbs of Chicago, probably spending most of their summertime in air conditioning. One of their counselors tells us there is a Memorial similar to our Clayton Jackson McGhie in Memphis. It tells basically the same story; some innocent black men were accused of raping a white woman and then lynched. We’re surprised by this as we’d been told CJM was the only one in existence. We’ll have to check this out.

The big news tonight is the death of our friend the homeless advocate and County Commissioner. He will be sorely missed. An Occupier has set candles out on the table. We will burn them in honor of the good man and his family. An Occupier asks that we send a card to his family. This is not something we would normally do however for him, we can make an exception.

Another Occupier reports that Water Legacy needs help getting petitions signed this weekend at Bayfront Park. The petitions are important as they will be submitted to state mining regulators near the end of August. The regulators must decide if they will allow PolyMet to create a sulphide mine up north of us. If the mine is allowed it is guaranteed to pollute all of our waterways, destroy the Native people’s wild rice crops and kill much of our plants and animals. Needless to say, it’s not very difficult to get signatures for this petition. Whether the regulators will accept the will of the people is another story. The petitions are just the first line of defense. Those of us who are able will be down at the park this weekend.

Someone reports on the Trayvon Martin rally held yesterday at CJM. At least 60 people attended, the crowd was quite diverse. There were many good speakers and a large demonstration directed at the people driving on the street. This rally is the first of many to come. An Occupier states he is of course angry at the lack of justice for Trayvon but he also wonders if the corporate media is using Trayvon’s killer’s acquittal as a diversion from the NSA, Eric Snowden and other things they want Americans to ignore.

Some Occupiers were unable to make the rally because they were attending a City Council meeting to lend support to other victims of racism. These abused people are the local Native community who have had their Cultural Staff covertly removed from the Civic Center. Several tribal members spoke and” threw down the gauntlet”. Members of the Human Rights Commission and the local white community spoke in solidarity. The basic message was, “We will not tolerate your insults and your racism. Our Staff will stand on the land you call Duluth. If you do some research you will find much of what you call the City of Duluth stands on land given to Chief Buffalo in a treaty that remains legal to this day.” Of course the City says, “First go to this meeting, then fill out this form, sign this paper blah, blah, blah”. How all this will turn out remains to be seen.

An Occupier announces a major hearing concerning the Alberta Clipper Expansion will be held tomorrow at 1pm in St. Paul. Many people groan and say, “There’s no way we can get there with this short notice”. She says, “I’ve been in communication with Occupiers in the Twin Cities and it sounds like they’ve got this covered.” She is working on writing an article for a local alternative newspaper. Everyone knows we must get folks in our area educated about this dangerous pipeline expansion. Another Occupier reports there will be a presentation on this subject Sunday morning, 9am at U.U. Church.

Somebody reminds us of the Loaves N Fishes homeless training session to take place Thursday, the 18th at 5pm. We know our forces are spread thin so most of our homeless outreach takes place during our meetings. Some of us are still interested in taking the training as we expect it will be beneficial.
An Occupier gives us a list of dates to make note of; some national Occupy actions are, September 14th – March On Corporate Media, October 12th – March Against Monsanto, November 2nd = March Against Corruption and November 5th – Million Mask March On Washington D.C.
The Occupier who manages our website says we are having attempted troll attacks. So far, they have not succeeded and he is in contact with the website owner so they can stop this asap. The computer people begin to talk computer language but just then a couple of DPD officers pull up. We say, “Hey, what’s up?” They say, “Oh nothing. We just wondered what your sign was about”. We have a sign tonight that says “Thanks Eric Snowden for Telling The Truth”. We tell them what that’s about and have a little chat about government spying on their own people. The cops pretend they’ve never met us before and we pretend we don’t recognize them from last summer. So tiresome….. They say goodnight and leave.

An Occupier reports that this upcoming Saturday will be a national day of action for Trayvon Martin. We know some local African Americans are having a meeting related to this topic right now, up the street. We wonder if they’ll be here when we arrive on Saturday. If so, we will join in.

Someone’s phone rings and they give us the message that the newly deceased County Commissioner’s visitation will be this Saturday, Peace Church, 6pm-10pm. His funeral will be at the DECC Sunday at 1pm. The DECC is our city’s largest venue. It will be needed as there will be a very large number of people wishing to attend the funeral.

Our business is pretty much finished and we could pack up but no one feels much like leaving. We’ve captured a good cross breeze so we just sit and chat with the street people as they get their refreshments and sit around. A man on a bike is well versed in progressive issues. He talks with us for a while. We brought almost two gallons of organic homemade lemonade today. We and our guests drank all of it. Most people aren’t talking too much; they just sit with us in pleasant camaraderie. Everyone is hot, but not crabby. We finally get our butts up and slowly moving. Hopefully it will cool down enough for sleeping. If you are unable to read these minutes it will be because the trolls succeeded.