G.A. Minutes 12-13-14

G.A. Minutes 12-13-14

We’re having another meeting at Amazing Grace this evening. There’s no live music but there are more people than we’re used to seeing sitting in the chairs and at the tables.

At 6 pm the temperature is in the high 30s; most of the snow has melted during the last few days. We realize that it’s warm enough to have made a fire at the Memorial. Unfortunately, we didn’t think about it until now. We probably won’t see weather like this again until April. Oh well….. Not much we can do about it now.

An Occupier asks, “So how did yesterday’s Overhead Light Brigade – Stop The Wolf Hunt go?”

Another answers, “Pretty good. Northwoods Wolf Alliance brought five people and Howling For Wolves brought more. There were enough people to hold all the lights and enough left over to relieve people so no one had to stand for the entire two hours. I think HFW was impressed with the OLB lights and will want to do actions with NWA in the future.

“A lot of drivers were honking and cheering. It reiterated the fact that the majority of Minnesotans don’t want the wolves to be killed”.

Another Occupier states, “I’m sort of vaguely confused about which direction we should take with all this. NWA is an Anishinaabe based group and we are their allies. As far as I can tell, the Anishinaabe way is to explain the spiritual significance of Maii’gan (wolf) and to tell the Ojibwe story. One should use Anishinaabe ceremonies and teaching as a means of protecting Maii’gan.

“Over the past several years I’ve seen that these methods are effective when interacting with Native and progressive white people but it doesn’t resonate well with others.

“Working on the timeline to show people that the delisting of endangered species is really being done in order to open up land for mining and especially sulphide mining projects seems like the way to go if we want to get more understanding and support from the general public. It’s going to take a large number of people to make an effective movement to save the wolves. At least that’s my opinion from my white person’s viewpoint.

“I feel like I may be overstepping my bounds by pushing a white culture based idea but when we mention the timeline at the NWA meetings, the Native members are really supportive. So what do you guys think?”

Another Occupier comments, “You know this thing with the Endangered Species Act has been going on since 1973. I think it started with the spotted owl in Washington State in relation to logging in their habitat. The logging companies were prevented from logging in those areas.

The ESA prevents any changes to the environment that harms habitats of endangered species. The Act has been effective in preserving the lives of animals and in preserving lands and environments. That’s why the 1% wants to remove animals from its protection”.

The rest of the Occupiers think the timeline is a good idea and should be pursued.

The first Occupier says, “Oh yeah, the next Idle No More/Northwoods Wolf Alliance meeting is this Friday, December 19th 1pm at the Duluth Indian Center.

The next topic for discussion is the “Black Lives Matter” march and rally that took place last Wednesday. A few Occupiers went early to the CJM Memorial to get their Occupy fire going so it would be ready when the marchers arrived. The rest of the Occupiers went on the march.

An Occupier remarks, “I think the whole thing went really well. I was impressed by the diversity of the crowd and by the fact so many people were willing to come out in the winter on a week night. I hear there were one hundred to two hundred people participating”.

Someone says, “The murders by police in Ferguson and NYC have really set off a spark across the whole country. This may be something very big. If we’re lucky it may be the next civil rights movement. I hope it lasts.

“I’m also hopeful about the changes that appear to be going on in our local NAACP. Did you hear the new NAACP president speak at CJM? She was powerful. I guess we’ll have to wait and see. We can offer whatever backup is needed”.

An additional Occupier reports, “I see they’re having live music here on Tuesday. We’ll need to meet somewhere else”.

Another Occupier offers use of his apartment in West End. We agree to meet there.

The Occupier couple suggest, “We’re rather exhausted from this week’s actions. Do you guys want to come over to our house, put your feet up and relax for a while?” We say, “Sure” and off we go.