G.A. Minutes 7-27-13

G.A. Minutes 7-27-13
There are only 3 of us tonight. It’s raining, so that probably has something to do with it. We stand around for a bit then decide it’s not raining very hard so we’ll set up and see what happens.
The fire is roaring, the light rain is no match for the high flames. The 2 older Native women call out, “Is the coffee on”? “Sure, come on over,” we say. They’re staggering slightly and we assume they’ve been drinking. They take the sage bundle, smudge themselves, get coffee and hang out around the edge of the circle as per usual. We have invited them to sit many times but they are more comfortable hanging on the outskirts. Both are each wearing good rain gear. It appears they are old pros at living the street life. Judging from the look of their faces, they could be sisters. When we first met them they seemed afraid of us, now they’re just shy.
As only 3 Occupiers are present at the Memorial this evening, we know we can’t be making any decisions about anything. We’ll just talk and visit with the street folks. A few of us attended the Idle No More meeting yesterday. Among the many issues discussed was the upcoming so called open discussion at the Gimaajii. One of the INM people plans to attend this discussion and asks others to go with him for moral support. Many in the Annishanabe community are unhappy with the top down leadership and lack of community input at the Gimaajii Center. The Occupiers discuss whether they should accompany the INM people to the event. The American Indian Center aka Gimaajii has been taken over by white people so maybe it would be effective to have some white people standing alongside the Natives. An Occupier has left a message with the INM person and will await an answer.
Many people are stopping and sitting by the fire. The rain comes and goes. Among those visiting is a very drunk middle aged man who shows us his Crazy Horse tattoo, a younger well-spoken man who chastises the tattooed man for using profane language and an African American, very jolly man who had spent time at our former camp. At one point we are subjected to a guy wearing business attire and even a tie. He asks if we have any synthetic, then begins singing loud made up songs with vulgar lyrics. He says, “Whenever I go to Pow Wows people say I’m a white man but I’m not. I’m an Indian!” An Occupier quietly holds the burning sage near him so that the smoke drifts over his body. He says, “Oh to hell with all this! I’m going to a bar and see if I can get some !#*&!”. We hope he won’t return.
We notice almost all the people visiting tonight are visibly drunk. This is not normal. Oh well, some nights are more interesting than others. We put out the fire a little earlier than usual and head on out with a plan to return on Tuesday.

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