G.A. Minutes 12-16-14

G.A. Minutes 12-16-14

We meet again tonight at an Occupier’s West End apartment. Everyone is a little late.

We’re into slipping, sliding and getting stuck winter driving rituals for what will seem like an eternity. It’ll take a few days for folks to get used to it again.

Once we are settled in, an Occupier asks if there is any news about the possibility of getting permission to download the movie “Occupy Love”. The Occupier tasked with finding the information states if we promise not to charge money to people viewing the film, we can either pay the film makers $20 or ask for a hardship exemption from the fee.

Once we give them the location and the time of our proposed showing they will give us the download. We decide it would be fair for us to pay $20. We think we should view the film 1st before showing it.

We departed for the Occupier couple’s house after our last meeting. As we were relaxing at their house, someone suggested we try to get permission from Jefferson People’s House to host a free movie night open to the general public.

The tasked Occupier will continue working to get things in place for a possible film event.

An Occupier announces Winona LaDuke and Honor the Earth are sponsoring a dinner at Clyde Iron this upcoming Sunday at 5:30pm. The dinner will be prepared by a famous chef and will consist of original traditional Anishinaabe and Lakota food.

The event is a fundraiser and tickets are $45 apiece. This is well over the means of any of the Occupiers. Fortunately, a well-known local organizer friend of ours is one of those in charge of the event. He has notified Occupy that volunteers are needed. Anyone volunteering will be served the same meal that will be served to those able to pay for tickets. Anyone wishing to volunteer should call him. Several Occupiers take down the organizer’s phone number.

Someone asks if we have heard that a street friend, who we jokingly called Ogiima (Chief), died of a heroin overdose a few days earlier. We had not and we are shocked. An Occupier says, “I know the main homeless outreach worker was looking for information yesterday, concerning a rumor that one of her clients had died. She didn’t give any names”.

Another exclaims, “Oh no! He had a son who he loved very much. Whenever I saw them together, Ogiima was all cleaned up and happy”. We are extremely saddened by this news.

An additional Occupier comments, “So I guess everyone knows that the senate passed the appropriations bill yesterday and that there were a lot of really creepy things in it? Neither Franken, Klobuchar or Nolan voted for it. They occasionally do something right”.

We believe that the next 2 years are going to be pretty rough for the 99%. An Occupier states, “I hope the oppressive antics of the new Congress brings more people out into the streets”.

Someone else says, “I notice that “Black Lives Matter” is really going strong all over the country. I sure hope it lasts. I know we are all down with the BLM movement but I’ve been thinking about how we can connect our work with environmental causes to it.

“I realized that most earth destroying projects are placed in predominately P.O.C. and/or African American neighborhoods. I’m thinking we can emphasize this fact whenever appropriate”.

An Occupier tells us he has received an email from the president of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial BOD. The email advises us of the decision of the Board of CJMM to deny our occupation of the Memorial for purposes that include the use of a fire as defined by the Duluth Fire Department.

Another Occupy retorts, “What!? Again with this shit? They have absolutely no legal jurisdiction over CJM and I’m so tired of their posturing”.

The 1st Occupier responds, “The email was written in a style very unlike the president’s usual manner. I don’t think he was stating his own opinion but echoing the words of the other CJMM BOD members. In fact, I received a phone call from him a few weeks ago. He stated he was very interested in using CJM as a place for social justice work”.

We have a long discussion about our anger and frustration with what we identify as systematic racism and elitism of the CJM BOD. A friend of ours and 1 of the originators of the Memorial has told us in the past that he believes the current BOD members have lost the real mission of CJM.

Tonight’s meeting has contained quite a bit of bad news. We think it’s time to quit.

Somebody says, “There’s no live music at the Amazing Grace on Saturday. We can meet there. Maybe we can ask the CJM president if he will join us there for a chat”.

Everybody thinks that is a good idea.

We will try not to fall on our butts as we walk carefully out to our vehicles.