G.A. Minutes 4-15-14

G.A. Minutes 4-15-14
All the usual suspects arrive for tonight’s meeting in the small gallery. We’ve previously agreed to focus solely on the upcoming May Day event so we put up a big piece of paper and write down all the relevant topics for discussion.
First off everyone wants to know the details of the May Day Decolonize event that Idle No More is planning. We’re hoping we can finish our event before theirs begins so we can join and support them. The Occupier who regularly attends INM meetings says the tentative plan is to start the Decolonize event around 5 or 5:30pm down in Canal Park. “Oh good, seeing as we’ll be happening from about 3pm to 5pm we should be able to get down there and join in,” says another Occupier.
Next on the agenda is the role of police liaison. The Occupier who had done most of the legal research during our “battle” with the DPD at the CJM Memorial volunteers to take on the liaison position. She says, “The Civic Center is considered to be a city park and I have a list of all the city ordinances on city parks. I’d like to at least read all of them to everyone before May Day so you’ll know what our rights are.”
An occasional Occupier reports he’s heard some Duluth church is planning a vigil at the Civic Center at 5pm on May 1st. Another Occupier offers to investigate just so we know what we may be dealing with.
The biggest item on the agenda is food. A longtime Occupier has already taken charge of this. He reports on his progress and we make plans to do an inventory of all the cooking equipment we have left over from our previous camps.
We also need to discuss signs and literature. We know one of the occasional Occupiers is not with us tonight because he is finishing the new flyer he is making for May Day. We have a big 2 sided May Day banner from last year and many well-made signs left over from our 2nd Anniversary of Occupy action. We’ll need to make some new signs and an Occupier reports we can make more on Sundays at Pineapple Arts when they open their space to the general public. An Occupier volunteers to find out more and report back at our next meeting.
Will we be inviting people to speak? We think that would be a good idea but no one has any concrete ideas about who we could ask. It will be kinda tricky because we need to find people who speak fairly well, have free time during the event hours and will agree to speak on a topic related to poverty, homelessness and to our challenge to the City to spend more time and money meeting the needs of the citizens as opposed to meeting the needs of big business. We will think about it for the next several days and hopefully will bring ideas to the next meeting.
One of the Occupiers wants very much to also have a fire. He says that a fire is very symbolic of May Day. Another Occupier is adamantly opposed to having a fire. She says, “A fire will cause us a lot of problems with the DPD. Cops are generally not too bright and they are not going to realize that the fact that their Chief gave as a letter stating he has ordered his police force to not bother us when we have our fire at the CJM Memorial also means they shouldn’t bother us about our small safe fire at any place deemed to be a city park. The cops will bully us and spoil our event. Also, we don’t have a lot of firewood and we need it for CJM”. It doesn’t appear that either Occupier is going to concede so we agree to table the discussion until next meeting.
Somebody says, “I guess we’d better talk about cleanup”. That’s always the last and the most unpleasant thing however, over time we’ve become pretty good at it. We invariably leave a site cleaner than it was when we arrived. With 2 large vehicles designated to carry all out belongings and a box of big garbage bags we think we will have it covered.
So that about raps up everything for now. We’ll pack up, stop by the Occupier couple’s house to relax a bit, then everyone will take care of their assigned tasks and we’ll meet back at the small gallery on Saturday.