G.A. Minutes 9-14-13

G.A. Minutes 9-14-13

Our meeting may be rather short this evening. The forecast is rain all evening and throughout the night. The sky is overcast and grey with sporadic light sprinkles as we arrive.

It’s decided we will just put out a few chairs and sit for a while to see what happens. The usual suspects are present along with a few former campers who we have not seen in a long time. We spend some time hearing about their life events of the past year. Sounds like things are pretty much the same for them as they were a year ago.

An Occupier reports she had come across a member of the Duluth Citizens Review Board a few days ago. The Occupier told the CRB member she had finished the composition of our complaint against the Duluth Police Department. She also described the general outline of the complaint. The CRB member asked for a copy and the Occupier dropped off the copy today. When she dropped off the copy she visited with the member and found out the member had a meeting on Friday with the Chief of Police.

At the meeting, the CRB member discussed our complaint with the Chief. He told the member the City had wanted the CJM Memorial Board to address the issue of our small safe fire. The BOD had not done so and this is how the issue became the responsibility of the DPD. This is contrary to the information from Officer Rish we had been shown a few weeks ago.

He also cited another irrelevant city ordinance. We’re not surprised. The Chief then said the crux of the problem was the fact that by making our fire we were inadvertently saying that homeless people could build small safe fires in public spaces. We really crack up at this statement. It’s like…. Duh? There’s nothing inadvertent about it. That’s the purpose of our entire confrontation over the past year with the DPD. Homeless people and others should have the right to make small safe fires in public spaces! The member will take our complaint to the CRB and they’ll discuss it. We’ll be there too.

Laughing in the rain is fun. It’s coming down a little stronger now. We quickly review a few things like, the events about human trafficking are next Thursday 7pm at Trepanier Hall and next Saturday somewhere to be decided in Superior WI. The next CRB meeting is Tuesday, September 24th, 5pm at the Harrison Community Center. That means we’ll have a meeting at the Memorial next Tuesday and then we’ll need to be gone for a week. We have other things that need to be talked about but at this point it’s seriously raining. We gather up our things and run to our vehicles.

Just as we are about to take off a squad pulls up and on officer we don’t recall seeing before runs up to an Occupier’s car. She stands in the rain and says, “I was just wondering why you folks were sitting there. Do you know this is a dangerous area and many people here do bad things? It’s good that you come here and sit because that keeps the bad people away,” The Occupier doesn’t say anything, she just smiles. She wonders if the cop is really that naive or is just pretending to be. It almost makes her prefer the gruff threatening cops. Almost.