G.A. Minutes 12-20-14

G.A. Minutes 12-20-14
It’s back to the Amazing Grace again for the homeless Occupiers. That comment is intended to be a joke. Our situation in no way compares to the situation of a real homeless person.

Our last meeting consisted of a lot of bad news. Tonight’s meeting will be different as we have several items of good news.

A Black Lives Matter coalition held a rally today at the Mall of America down in the Twin Cities. The event was publicized for at least a week beforehand and the mall owners responded in the way they always do whenever an event that challenges the status quo is announced.

The capitalists response was something like, “The MOA is private property. Your BLM event will not be authorized. If you attempt to hold a rally, you will be arrested”.

MOA management has no problem allowing church choirs, cheerleaders, promotional sporting events and other meaningless drivel but when something that is actually of great importance comes along……. Not so much.

Anyway, thousands of people showed up for the BLM rally. They sat-in and completely filled the large downstairs rotunda. Both second and third floors were also covered by folks standing and chanting.

Among the chants were, “Black Lives Matter”, “Hands Up Don’t Shoot” and “While you’re on your shopping spree, black people can’t breathe”.

The rally crowd consisted mainly of young black and white people. The sound was deafening, the sight exhilarating. Every once in a while MOA stooges would turn off all the lights and flash on a big screen a paragraph of words which basically said, “What you’re doing is illegal. If you don’t stop and leave, you will be arrested”. Each time the crowd greeted this tactic with massive boos and the resumption of chanting.

The police were present well before the rally started. They had riot gear and bunches of zip ties. After a while they lined themselves up in tight rows and marched toward the crowd. They herded the people in the rotunda through hallways and outside. Then they started on the people on the upper floors.

Apparently, the BLM people had decided in advance that they would not physically resist the police. There were many reporters filming and it appeared there was no violence from either side.

As things began to wind down, a group was cornered in the parking lot and the police began randomly grabbing and arresting people. It was at this point that Sam Wagner’s Live Feed cut out.

The BLM people held the MOA for at least an hour and a half, parts of the mall were closed down, shoppers were very sparse in the rest of the mall and the event was definitely covered by the media.

An Occupier says “I saw a few Twitter comments that said, ‘how come the protesters had to inconvenience shoppers?’ Well big f’ing deal. Are innocent black youth a little inconvenienced when they are wrongfully arrested, imprisoned and/or murdered by police? Doyathink?”

A favorite sign we saw was “White Silence=Black Death”. Some of us didn’t get much work done today as we spent most of the afternoon watching our comrade, Sam Wagner and his live feed production.

Then yesterday, a U.S. Appeals Court judge ordered that all the wolves in MN, WI and MI be placed back on the Endangered Species List. She called the decision to remove them “arbitrary and capricious”.

This means as of now, no wolves in the Great Lakes states can be legally killed.

Of course, all wolf advocates in the country were elated at this news. At first, the talk was of relief and the desire to relax.

Others quickly admonished that the wolf and earth destroyers will certainly challenge the decision. They will try every trick they have to get rid of wolves and endangered species in general.

Therefore we must not let up in our fight. However, the court’s ruling does lift our spirits and give us a small amount of additional time.

An Occupier reports he received another email from the Chairperson of the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial BOD. The email stated we were not allowed to hold any more fires at CJM.

Another Occupier adds that she sent the Chairperson a return email asking for the date and venue of the next CJMM BOD meeting.

She received a response that said BOD meetings were closed and one had to be invited to attend. He asked what it was that she wished to speak to the BOD about.

The Occupier continues, “So just forget about them. I told him I doubted the BOD would be interested in what I had to say and that I found it strange that the BOD felt it could just issue pronouncements without any input from the general public. I also said I would be happy to assist him in any of his endeavors outside of the CJM BOD and thanked him for all the other work he is doing for our community”.

An additional Occupier responds, “Yes, we should just forget about them and go on about our business. We have a lot of important things to do and we don’t have time to play wannabe games”.

Someone tells us the Idle No More/Northwoods Wolf Alliance meeting last Friday concentrated almost exclusively on the wolf/mining timeline.

Everyone took home a copy of the grant application and will be expected to show up to the next meeting with their version of what they think the application should look like.

The next INM/NWA meeting won’t be until January 16th, 1pm at the Duluth Indian Center.

An Occupier says there are two more events everyone may not know about. The first is a homeless vigil sponsored by CHUM on Wednesday, December 24th, noon at the Civic Center. The second is a New Year’s Eve dinner and dance at the Washington Center 5p-10p. This event is sponsored by the Duluth Indigenous Commission, All Nations and Anishinaabe Ode.

One Occupier remarks, “It will be nice to have somewhere to go on New Year’s Eve. I never go out to the clubs because New Year’s Eve is so ‘amateur night’”.

Many Occupiers will be sharing Christmas dinner at the Occupier couple’s house. The couple asks that our next Tuesday meeting be held at their home because they will be in the midst of preparations. Having to stop and go out would be a big hassle. We say, “No problem”.

The conversation tonight has been lively and time has gone by quickly. It looks like they’re about to close the café.

It’s somewhat chilly with a little wind but it’s not slippery so we run off to our vehicles, go home and rest up for another busy week ahead.