G.A. Minutes 12-14-13
We’re back at Amazing Grace after about a week and a half of other obligations and very bad weather. The weather’s still not too good but at least it hasn’t forced the place to close down like the last time we tried to have a meeting.
As we settle in, an Occupier talks about his living situation in a public housing complex in the Lincoln Park/West End area of the city. He says, “The only feeding center in the neighborhood is the Salvation Army. They’ve just closed down until the holidays are over. There are absolutely no grocery stores in the area. The only place one can get any type of food is at the gas station and the stuff they sell there doesn’t really qualify as food. If I want to get groceries I have to walk 2 miles west or 4 miles east. I don’t have a vehicle so can’t carry much when I shop. There are a lot of people in my neighborhood who are in my same situation. The West End is a complete food desert”.
We remember this issue was prominent in the local media a year and a half ago. Community Action Duluth was able to get a government grant around that time but it was only enough money to build a few gardens enabling them to sell fresh produce at very reasonable prices during the summer and fall. Unfortunately, many people in the neighborhood have spent much of their lives deprived of decent food sources so they don’t have much of an idea of what to do with most fresh produce. We agree that the gardens are a good start but much more is needed. We jokingly say if the City expects to force all the homeless people into the West End they’re going to have to force all the feeding centers to move there too.
All of the Occupiers who are present tonight participated in last night’s Northwoods Wolf Alliance/ OLB action in Hinckley. We agree it was a successful event even though it was horribly cold and we couldn’t stay on the overpass for a very long time. We also agree we are absolutely exhausted. Only one of us was able to make it to the regular Wolf Rally today and she arrived at least a half an hour late.
NWA has 2 more Overpass Light Brigade actions planned for this month. The next one will be in Duluth on Friday the 20th and the other in Bemidji on Friday the 27th. We plan to attend both of them.
A well-known and very talented blues guitar player from the area has arrived at the café and begins setting up for his monthly gig. We decide to move to the back of the room and continue to talk quietly.
A quick rundown of this week’s events is in order. Loaves N Fishes will hold their annual holiday gathering tomorrow, 2pm at St. Paul’s Church. Idle No More meets on Monday, the 16th, 1pm at Randy’s. The Indigenous Commission meets that same Monday at 5pm on the 3rd floor of City Hall. The Citizens Review Board meets Tuesday, the 17th, at the Red Lake Urban Office, 5pm. We need to give the CRB the report regarding our settlement (of sorts) with the DPD so decide to cancel our Tuesday G.A. and go to that meeting.
Someone mentions the MN wolf hunt will end when the wolf killers reach their quota of wolf murders allowed by the state or on January 31, 2014, whichever comes first. We’re not sure what NWA plans to do once the wolf hunt is over for this season. An Occupier says they will probably allow the OLB lights to be used for other radical actions. Another says the current set of 16 light boards cost almost $500 to make and that’s not counting the very, very many hours of unpaid labor.
We will need to find slogans that incorporate the letters we already have so we begin brainstorming. We manage to come up with NUKE THE SHOP, SHUN THE FLOW, FLUSH POT HUD, PUNT THE HOT FLOWS and HOP TO THE NUT. It’s probable that none of these slogans will be of much use but we do a lot of laughing while creating them. In fact, we are on the verge of delirium. Time to leave; we don’t want to interfere with the guitar player’s performance. We expect to return next Saturday.