G.A. Minutes 2-15-14

G.A. Minutes 2-15-14
It’s been snowing lightly for most of the day.  The roads are somewhat slippery and the wind is picking up.  We had considered canceling tonight’s meeting at the Amazing Grace Café but seeing as we have been busy supporting various allies for the last 2 weeks we felt it would be irresponsible to cancel.
There are only a few of us this evening; some have gone to the Sustainability Conference at LCO near the Bad River Reservation and others are just fed up with winter.  This time of year the only thing that gets people out of their homes (if they’re lucky enough to have one) is cabin fever.
An Occupier who lives in the Washington Artists Co-op in Duluth reports we may be able to use their small gallery to hold some of our meetings.  The others think this may be a good idea. Amazing Grace is a wonderful place but we sometimes have trouble hearing each other because other patrons are also talking at their tables.  Many evenings the live music starts before we are done with our meeting.
 We strive to hold all our meetings in some type of public space so that all will be welcome and no one will be forced to pay any type of admission fee.  The capitalist system has taken over almost all public space.  We struggle to find suitable space even in times of good weather.  The Occupiers present agree we should try out the WSAC small gallery and the Occupier who lives there agrees to try and arrange it for next Tuesday.
Someone mentions that the Northwoods Wolf Alliance Taco Sale fundraiser at the Red Lake Urban Office is also next Tuesday and that some of us have volunteered to help out.  Looks like it will be a busy day.
Someone asks if anyone attended the Tony Jackson Community Forum on Police Brutality last Monday.  Everyone present had other obligations so missed the Forum.  An Occupier says she had read that the DPD asked for a definition of community.  Another Occupier says, “Tell them to get a dictionary and look it up.  This is a forum for the people and although the DPD has been invited to send a representative, they don’t get to start setting terms”.  We all agree that the DPD will try to control all situations so the community needs to stay aware.  The next Forum will be held on March 13th and we all want to be there.
An Occupier mentions the next Green Party meeting is also on March 13th.  She attended the last Green Party meeting a few days ago and rates it  “meh”.  She says, “They have to conform to all the electoral system rules and the ‘two parties in one party’ have even tightened the rules on 3rd parties this time.  Almost all the people at the meeting were friends of our and some of those friends are being recruited to run for office under the Green Party banner.  The statewide Green Party Convention will be held in Duluth on May 3rd”.
Most of us are not too sure we have enough faith in the current electoral system to justify putting much energy into it and everybody agrees, if forced to choose between the Green meeting and the Forum, we’ll go to the Forum.
Another Occupier states he has discovered that 3 different very high ranking bankers in 3 different banks in 3 different countries recently committed suicide, all in the same week.  He says, “I wonder what that is all about?”  We agree; it appears another huge scandal will break and those 3 bankers will have something to do with it.  Another Occupier says, “What could they be doing now?  Seems like they’ve already done or are doing just about every damn crooked thing a person could think of.”
An Occupier has recently presented a long article about the banking industry.  Among other things, the article talks about what has been happening since Congress passed laws at the end of the Clinton presidency.  These laws allowed banks to purchase actual material things like warehouses and various metals.  Now banks have warehouses with bazillions of tons of copper, zinc and nickel.  The banks are holding these metals, keeping them off the market and using them to control prices and make money when stocks go down and also when stocks go up.  Another Occupier says, “Oh great!  Then they tell us they have to dig up our land, pollute our water and remove our mountaintops because they just have to have copper, zinc and nickel to make computers, cell phones and stuff.  I forwarded that article to every person fighting against the mines that I know.”
Another Occupier says the Progressive Forum that drew such good response in Duluth a few weeks ago is going to be held at different locations across the state.  Our comrades in Occupy MN are holding one tonight in the Twin Cities.  We hope some serious action comes from this.
An Occupier mentions he missed the last Community Forum because he attended a Fair Food Access event.  The subject was the food desert that exists in Lincoln Park/West End.  He tells us a company called Quick Stop presented plans to open a grocery store in the neighborhood.  They will sell fresh fruits and vegetables along with other things.
The evenings live music is starting and it’s louder than usual.  Time to head out.  We’ll meet again next Tuesday either at WSAC or here.  If you’d like to attend, contact an Occupier on Monday. We should know what’s up by then.