G.A. Minutes 7-2-13
The Christian kids are at the Memorial when we arrive, just like every other Tuesday since the beginning of summer. They are another group from Mpls. so they’re not impressed by Occupiers. Been there, done that, you know. Their counselor sits down to talk and asks the usual questions. An Occupier jokingly says, “We’ll tell you anything you want to know, just don’t ask us about tents”. The counselor has about had it with the noise of children and confesses they are getting on his nerves. He’d like to stay for some adult conversation but has to leave as the youth are on a schedule. We hope he survives the summer.
Occupiers and some organizers from other progressive groups are rolling up. There are people on the street but the regular drug dealers and women being trafficked are missing. This is normal for the beginning of a month. Most have received their small government checks so will be less desperate for a few days. It’s unusually cool for a summer evening so we decide to have a big fire.
An Occupier mentions that the organizers from Idle No More have a lot of out of town events they need to attend in the next few weeks. They are very short on gas money. She asks if we could take some money from our treasury and give it to them. Unanimous happy octopi. We’ll give the money to them tomorrow when we meet up for the Round Dance.
As we talk, we pass the burning sage bundle from person to person. People of the street come by, take the bundle and smudge themselves. They are always pleased and grateful for this courtesy. One of the organizers points to the bundle and says, “Do you believe in that”? We don’t know how to answer that and aren’t sure belief is the correct word. An Occupier says, “It smells really good and we notice when we let the smoke drift throughout the Memorial, the street peoples’ behavior quiets down and the general vibe is a lot calmer”.
An Occupier reports she has been conversing with people from Occupy MN. It seems they are involved in a disagreement with their offshoot group, Occupy Homes. “I casually told them, up here we try not to argue with each other too much as it distracts from all the important work we need to do,” she says. The others look at her quizzically. She laughs and says, “Well, we do try to do that”.
The conversation turns to the ongoing debate between organizing to help individuals stop the foreclosure of their home or organizing to fight the banks and the entire concept of mortgages, bank loans and the like. Everyone present agrees they prefer to fight the banks.
Someone mentions the fact that an organizer from another city would like to hold a conference and possible resulting action in Duluth. A Duluth organizer says, “That would be good if he can turn out 100 or more people. If the event consists of “the usual suspects” then we’d be wasting our time”. An Occupier agrees to pass that word to the other city.
Another organizer reminds everyone the Organizing 101 second meeting will be a potluck next Tuesday, 6pm at Emerson Co-op. The Occupiers agree to cancel the G.A. on that day and to attend the Emerson meeting instead. The organizer is planning on creating a closed group for online conversations but she doesn’t really know how to do it. Those so inclined, begin a conversation about computer stuff.
Another organizer announces there will be a hearing concerning mineral rights on private property. It will take place Thursday, July 11th at noon in Rm 200 of the County Court House. Everybody groans and he says. “I know it sounds terribly boring but it’s something everyone needs to understand. If a corporation determines your land has valuable minerals in it and you do not own the mineral rights to that land, the corporation can just dig up your land at will and you’re screwed. Most people don’t own their mineral rights and many aren’t even aware they don’t own these rights”. A couple of people pledge to maybe attend the hearing.
The organizer from Water Legacy asks if anyone is planning to help get petition signatures at the Bridge Fest this Saturday. An Occupier states they’re not sure yet. If they’re cancelling the G.A. next Tuesday it wouldn’t be good to cancel the next one on Saturday. However, the weather people say it’s going to rain on Saturday. If it does, we could help Water Legacy. We’ll have to wait until it’s a little closer to Saturday and the predictions are more likely to be accurate. We promise to let him know in a couple of days.
The organizers and some of the Occupiers leave to attend to other things. Those remaining just sit relaxing and watching the fire. Our friend from our former camp who tells the wild stories stops by. Apparently he didn’t bike to California and then leave for Hawaii with his former girlfriend. Apparently he didn’t take that high paying job measuring lava flow for the government. Oh well….. Tonight he tells us he is leaving in the morning and going to Spokane, Washington with his friend. They are going to be researching caves. We don’t know if there are caves in Spokane or not. We don’t really care. We just listen to the pleasant sound of his voice. When he leaves, we put out the fire and leave too. We’ll be back on Saturday if it’s not raining, if it rains we’ll be at the Bridge Fest.