G.A. Minutes 4-1-14

G.A. Minutes 4-1-14
This evening we are at the Amazing Grace Café. At our last meeting we had forgotten that the Wildwoods group uses the small gallery each 1st Tuesday of the month. Fortunately someone remembered so we were able to reroute everything in time. The musicians are playing loudly and the place is packed. Having our meeting will be challenging but we’ll make the best of it.
One of the Occupiers arrives somewhat upset. We find we have to almost shout to hear each other. We crowd around the table and lean forward in order to hear what he has to say. Most of us had attended the NORML presentation last Sunday evening at the Ziconne. The upset Occupier was with us. We felt the presentation was reasonably worthwhile; apparently the upset Occupier did not feel this way. He says, “I’m really worried about the possibility of marijuana becoming legal in MN. I’m afraid people will smoke it and then go driving and have accidents and kill others. I’m afraid they’ll smoke it and then neglect their children. I tried to express my concerns to the speakers and organizers after the presentation but they just ignored me or said my worries were insignificant”. We have known the upset Occupier for years so we know that sometimes he just needs to be validated. We listen and suggest that some of these things will be monitored by having the same type of regulations that are currently in place related to alcohol consumption. As we listen more we begin to realize his main concern is with the drug testing equipment used nowadays. Another Occupier says, “That’s the main reason I am so opposed to employer mandated drug tests. The test can’t tell if a person is stoned at the time of the test or if they had some weed days or weeks ago.” The upset Occupier says, “That’s what bugs me. If a person is driving while too stoned they won’t be charged with intoxication because it can’t be proved they were too stoned at the time of the test.” An additional Occupier replies, “I think we’ve already found that punishment is not a very good way of altering people’s behavior. We’re attempting to usher in the new paradigm. As this develops folks will be more loving, trusting and respectful of each other. This may take care of a lot of bad behaviors and the suffering that causes bad behaviors.” Upon hearing this, the upset one calms down. He says, “You’re right. Love is the answer. I know that, I just forgot. I have some things going on in my life right now that are difficult to deal with.” We all emphasize with him.
The coffee house is so loud we decide to just quickly go through announcements and postpone other subjects until next time. On Thursday April 3rd several activities will take place. NORML has a meeting at 5pm at Pineapple Arts, the Green Party has a meeting at 5:30pm at Randy’s and one of our organizer friends is recommending an organizing forum that will take place at 6pm in Rm 510 of the Dewitt Seitz building. We’ll each pick the event that most interests us.
On Saturday April 12th there will be an all-day Pow Wow at Fond du Lac Community College. One of the Occupiers has volunteered to watch the NWA table and asks if the Occupiers would like to cancel the G.A. that day and come on out to the Pow Wow. Everyone thinks they would like to do that.
On Tuesday April 29th another organizer is holding a forum called Effective Organizing vs Ineffective Organizing. It will start at 4pm in Rm 1004 of Swenson Hall at UWS. We think we’ll probably cancel the G.A. that day too and attend the forum.
That’s enough business for tonight. We sit, listen to the bluegrass music and chat about the problem of corrupt judges within the American judicial system. Before long, a server starts turning off lights and we know it’s time to leave. We’ll meet back at WSAC on Saturday.

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