G.A. Minutes 4-19-14

G.A. Minutes 4-19-14
The small gallery is full of Occupiers tonight. Everyone is exceptionally cheerful, which is odd considering that we had another big snow storm just one day ago. Things have been melting rapidly since and it does appear that Spring is trying real hard to get here. That’s a good reason for optimism.

We need to go over our plans for May Day. The Occupier tasked with organizing the food can’t be here tonight but he has sent word that there will be almost $100 for buying food. That’s more than enough to provide a simple but healthy meal for a lot of people.

Finding people to speak at the event is something we haven’t taken care of yet. One local environmental activist has agreed to speak about our mayor’s very unpopular decision to support the Endbridge pipeline expansion. One of the Occupiers has agreed to contact an empathetic city councilor and a professional organic gardener. We try to come up with other ideas and a longtime political activist who is an excellent speaker on any subject he chooses is suggested. Also suggested is someone from the Whole Foods Co-op who would be willing to speak about the new store about to open in the poor and working class neighborhood of West Duluth. Someone recommends a well know local permaculturalist and the conversation diverts a bit.

This man has been making a series of permaculture presentations in the area lately. Several of the Occupiers rave about his presentation, which they attended last night. “I was seriously enlightened”, says one Occupier. We all say we should definitely contact this man and we hope he won’t be teaching his college class at the time of our rally.

An Occupier asks, “Could we have a very simple half sheet flyer that we could hand out to passersby at the rally? Another asks, “Do you think we could leaflet the neighborhood the night before the event”? The Occupier in charge of making all the printed materials says, “No problem” to both requests.

The subject of the march after the rally is next. We talk about music and begin discussing various musical instruments that may be available. One of the Occupiers living in the artist co-op says, “You’ll never believe what I dug out of the dumpster a few days ago”. He leaves and returns with an intact high tom from someone’s trap drum kit. Several Occupiers who are musicians express amazement that anyone would throw away something so useful. These musician Occupiers discuss what kind of straps can be put on it so it can be used in the march.

Another Occupier has brought all the old but undamaged signs left over from one of the big actions we held over a year ago. We examine each sign and decide they are all suitable for May Day. That’s great as we won’t have to make as many new ones.
We had originally decided to hold the May Day event from 3pm-5pm. Tonight an Occupier says, “If we’re going to march down to Canal Park and join Idle No More at their Wolves, Water and Women event maybe we should stop the rally at 4:30 pm so we are sure to get there in time”. Everyone agrees.

“Remember the times when we had marches with some of the unions and we marched in the street? If we notified them in advance, the DPD would block the traffic lane for us,” says one Occupier. Another says, “Yeah, but that was when we were marching with the unions. The DPD ain’t gonna to do jack for Occupy”. The first Occupier says,” Oh yeah, I guess that’s true”. We all laugh.
The Occupier tasked with doing the printing gets a text on his cell phone. The text says that we have the use of Pineapple Arts for our next 2 meetings. Sweet. Time to pack up, rest up, maybe do the family thing tomorrow on Easter, then back to work and back to the small gallery next Tuesday.

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