G.A. Minutes 3-29-14
We’re in the small gallery again and it appears progressive activities may slow a little for the next week or so which means we may have a few consecutive meetings. The weather is beginning to warm, things were melting again but another snow storm is possible by Monday. Fortunately today’s good temperatures have brought out a few more Occupiers than usual and everyone is in a good mood.
An Occupier reports that NORML is tentatively looking for a larger space to hold meetings. The Occupiers who live in the WSAC building reply there may be a room that is larger than the small gallery and could possibly be used. They will check with WSAC members and the reporting Occupier will check with NORML. Seeing as some Occupiers also attend NORML meetings, communication should be simple.
Another Occupier brings up the subject of May Day…….again. She says she thinks we really should do something for this important day. Everyone says we really want to do something but we are all over extended. People from other progressive groups have the same problem. The Occupiers says, “Let’s make a list of what tasks would have to be accomplished in order to do something small at the People’s Power Plaza/Mai’igan Corner. Then make a list of groups and/or people who have expressed interest in having May Day. We make these lists and when we finish, actually having an event doesn’t seem impossible. We agree we will each contact some of the groups on the list and see if they will agree to each take one task. We’ll give ourselves until Saturday and then look at the results.
Someone says, “I was going to bring up the subject of the Global Convergence from Earth Day to May Day and say we really should participate in some way. If we do May Day; that makes my statement irrelevant.
One of the Occupiers has been contacted by members of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial BOD. The CJM Memorial is the space where we hold our meetings with the small safe fires. The BOD members requested that we meet with them and we sent the message as to the times and places of our meetings and invited them to stop by. Apparently they don’t want to do this but want us to attend their meeting. This is the point where tonight’s discussion begins. An Occupier says, “There’s no way we should go to their meeting. You know they’re just gonna give us a bunch of crap about having our meetings at CJM. I don’t care what they want. They’re just a bunch of rich people hanging out at Country Clubs and being on the CJM BOD because it looks good on their resumes. Remember when one of the main street guys asked us if CJM was built so white people could feel good about themselves? Remember we had to say yes because it was true?” Another Occupier says, “I was told that some of the new BOD members don’t think anyone should be having meetings, cookouts, music or art events or anything except important ceremonies at CJM”. The first Occupiers says, “All I have to say to them about that is ‘bite me’. Remember when the Black guy from the street said he was really baffled by white people because they would just show up every once in a while, ignore all the street people and have some type of speeches or something and then leave never to return until their next weird event?
“So you build an open space in a neighborhood filled with homeless people. The homeless people are kicked out of all the stores, the Lakewalk, the streets, the parks and everywhere else in the city except for the quarter block area surrounding the CHUM center and some people are even kicked out of there. There’s one small open space (CJM) in the entire neighborhood where a homeless person can just sit and rest or talk for a while and you don’t want them to go there either? We know the CJM BOD has no legal jurisdiction whatsoever over CJM and we’ve already spent over a year arguing with the DPD before they had to admit we had a legal right to build a small safe fire, give out free food and a chair to sit on to homeless people for a few hours. I don’t think we should do anything that makes it appear like we’re giving any credibility to what the BOD has to say. If they won’t come on our turf then there will be no meeting with them”. When the first Occupier finally takes a breath, others say things like, “We’re the ones who are doing the more important work for this city and we don’t have time to rearrange our schedules to go to their meeting. They can postpone their workout at the gym or whatever and come to see us”. We agree to request the Occupier who was contacted to ask them why they want to meet with us and to tell them they’ll need to do it on our schedule.
To change this emotional topic, someone says, “I just heard the UN Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Rights paid a visit to Leonard Peltier yesterday”. Another says, “That’s great! He shouldn’t have been imprisoned in the first place.” Someone else says, “Well you know, many Native people don’t feel that way”. The younger Occupiers say, “What!” The older Occupiers explain about the murder of Anna Mae Aquash and the fact that the identity of the murderers has never been agreed upon within the Native community. Some say it was the FBI and others say it was some of the men from AIM. This conflict is still unresolved among some of the older Native activists to this day.
We become quiet for a moment and then notice that again tonight, it has become very dark and many hours have gone by. We gather up our things and go off with plans to meet here again on Tuesday.
G.A. Minutes 3-29-14