G.A. Minutes 12-27-14

G.A. Minutes 12-27-14

There are hardly any Occupiers tonight at the Amazing Grace Café. Some have sent messages saying they won’t be attending the meeting. The few who are in attendance commiserate concerning the exhaustion they feel from holiday obligations.

Oh well…. It’s almost over, then we’ll just try to survive the winter while dreaming of spring. Most of us are not fans of winter outdoor activities. We endure the frigid months in order to experience proximity to nature the rest of the year.

An Occupier has brought copies of the Indigenous Environmental Network grant application for those who were not present at Northwoods Wolf Alliance/Idle No More meeting last week. NWA has asked all involved to fill out their version of what they think should be written on the application.

The Occupier comments, “I’m not so sure that applying for grants is actually worth all the trouble required. I mean, we’re going to do what we’re going to do whether we get a grant or not. Sometimes the amount of work required just to get a grant takes away from the time that can be spent on making the proposed event actually happen”.

Another Occupier says, “I know what you mean. I think grants are just another way rich people try to make sure that nothing that will make real change actually happens. I notice they rarely fund any ongoing expenses of an organization. They only want new projects. If the project is successful and begins to look like it will make a difference, the grant money then dries up and the project is stopped because its success was tied to the grant money. Another group has to be formed and another grant applied for. Seems like a racket to me”.

The first Occupier responds, “Yeah, but the indigenous members of NWA want to apply for the grant so we’ll need to provide assistance. Maybe they will see the futility of grant writing as time goes by or maybe we’ll be in for a shock and things will work out fine. I’ll think we should just go with the flow on this”.

The centerpiece of the project that is planned, grant or no grant, is the MN proposed mining projects/delisting of MN wolves from the Endangered Species List timeline. The Occupier who is doing a large part of the preparation for the timeline reports, “I’ve completed the first draft. I envision it looking like this”.

He draws a rough sketch and another Occupier exclaims, “That’s exactly how I envisioned it would look. This is gonna be good!”

We discuss printing in terms of types of paper, sizes, use of color, placement of text etc. The excited Occupier says, “As soon as the final version is approved by the entire NWA group, I will hook you and the NWA member who is living outside the Duluth area and will be doing the printing. The two of you can make the final decisions about these things”.

An Occupier states, “I wonder what we will do about a copyright or whatever it’s called. In previous conversations we had thought it would become the property of NWA with permission for others to use it for purposes related to saving our planet”.

The Occupier creating the timeline explains, “With the prevalence of the Internet, copy rights are pretty much a thing of the past. An author can write a request at the bottom of the work that anyone using the work should please attribute the work to NWA or whatever but the person using the work can pretty much do what they want. The authors’ only recourse is to file a lawsuit. I don’t have any interest in doing anything like that”.

The first Occupier replies, “Oh. I guess I’m still thinking in old school terms”.

Another Occupier says, “Man, up in Canada there are places that were wolf habitats but now the wolves are completely gone. I think it’s because of the pollution of mining and tar sands projects. The wolves just can’t live there anymore. Also, the earth destroying companies demand the right to shoot any wolf that even comes near their site. They also demand the government send people to shoot any wolves that can be found and the government actually sends in wolf killers”.

One more Occupier says, “I don’t think Canada has the same type of environmental laws that we have. I’m not sure it makes any difference though. The corporations pretty much do what they want in the US too.’

“I don’t hear much about anyone except First Nations people fighting for Mother Earth. One can’t really be sure what’s going on. We don’t get much from Canadian media. There may be all sorts of Canadian people going to jail”. A discussion about going to jail in defense of our Mother ensues.

An Occupier comments, “I was just reading some serious advice about going to jail. It said anyone who is mandated to take lifesaving medications on a regular schedule should not go try to go to jail as they will not be given their medications for at least several days”.

Someone says, “It’s later than we think. We need to review the events coming up in the next few weeks.

“The Public Utilities Commission will be holding a public hearing on the proposed Sandpiper pipeline on Tuesday, January 6th 2pm , Room 200 of the downtown Holiday Inn.

“Those things go on forever and they’re very tiring. If we go, I propose we do it in lieu of the G.A. that evening.

“On Saturday January 10th, Socialist Action is holding their annual ‘Marximus’ party at 5pm in Superior, WI. I attended a few years ago and it was quite fun. Our area’s official socialists are a really good bunch of people.

“The next NWA/INM meeting will be January 16th, 1pm at the Duluth Indian Center. Also, on Tuesday, January 20th our friend and fellow NWA/INM member will be feasting another Anishinaabe elder. The event will be at the Cloquet Community Center at 5pm”.

We all agree that we would like to attend all of these events.

The one thing we really don’t want to do is to go out into the frigid night air. However, being the hearty revolutionaries that we are, we do it anyway.

There won’t be any live music next Tuesday so we’ll meet here at “The Grace” again.