G.A. Minutes 1-13-15

G.A. Minutes 1-13-15

Tonight is the first time the Occupiers have held an official meeting in this New Year 2015.

The last several weeks have been so busy we haven’t had the time to meet. We’ve attended the Public Utilities Commission hearing on the Sandpiper pipeline, the annual Marxmas Party of Socialist Action and an Ethiopian dinner at Jefferson People’s House.

We think all the events were good uses of our time. The Marxmas Party was tons of fun.

This evening we’ve decided to try something different. We’re at a new little café called Toasty’s up in the neighborhood of what was the old Chester Creek Café.

Toasty’s has opened quite recently. It’s completely empty when we arrive. The lighting is bright but not offensive. The place is small with little wooden tables and plastic chairs; one gets the feeling that everything is yellow even though it’s not.

The café specializes in a wide menu of organic, free range etc. types of grilled cheese sandwiches and various drinks. Several of us place food orders.

As we are getting seated someone says, “So what do you think is really going on with oil prices crashing?”

Nobody has a firm idea.

Someone else answers, “Well a lot of oil has been pumped over the last year or so. It’s possible there’s just too much on the market right now”.

Another speculates, “The recent budget bill passed by Congress has a provision that states something like if the fracking and tar sands industries crash the American taxpayer will be mandated to bail out the big banks and investors again.

Still another responds, “Yeah, I’ve read predictions by several non-mainstream economists saying we can expect another 2008 type economic crash starting at the beginning of 2015.”

The original questioner remarks, “Oh great, just what the common person needs, more insecurity and suffering than they’ve already had. I hope it brings even more people out into the streets”.

An Occupier changes the subject saying “Does anybody know how the hastily arranged anti-Keystone rally went today?”

No one knows so he continues, “I was talking to our friend who organized today’s rally. He told me that he’s been asked to form a Duluth chapter of 350.org. He asked what I thought about it and I said I’d ask everyone at tonight’s meeting”.

Another Occupier responds, “I think it would be a good idea. As far as I can tell, 350 has been the main group taking on Enbridge. I’ve been saying for over a year that we need to get busy here in Duluth and educate the general public on what the Enbridge Alberta Clipper is all about”.

The first Occupier adds, “Yeah, if the Keystone XL is denied and it looks like it might be, they will certainly try to sneak the Clipper on us with as little fanfare as possible’.

“If the Clipper is allowed to proceed it will be as bad, if not worse, than the Keystone. Our sacred Lake Superior, a major remaining supplier of fresh water will be destroyed’.

“I think a lot of local people who are strict environmentalists and some of the Fond du Lac Band people would get on board with a Duluth 350.org chapter. Getting the word out is essential. I’m going to tell him we think he should go for it, o.k.?”

We all say, “O.K.”.

An Occupier asks, “Have you noticed the latest developments within our local NAACP?” Some of us have not so she explains, “Well you know a new president was chosen a few weeks ago and the former president challenged that election. Last Saturday the former president called and held another election. I’m told not all of the NAACP members were invited. At that election the former president was reelected’.

“The new president is refusing to accept the second election. She states she is the official president and will be calling NAACP meetings. Basically, it looks like the younger more progressive members are challenging the older establishment members for the direction of NAACP. One result of this split is that I have absolutely no idea what will be going on for Martin Luther King Day next Monday the 19th.”

Another Occupier says, “I may be old but I’m going to throw my support to the young folks. I think it may be a good idea for us to sit this MLK day out. We should probably just wait for the dust to settle before we publicly come out in support of the new progressives”.

“The African Americans need to get their own house in order before we put our two cents in. I’ll try and contact our friend the government official and see what he suggests”.

Everyone thinks this is a good plan.

One more Occupier reminds us that the next Idle No More/Northwoods Wolf Alliance meeting we be held on this upcoming Friday at 1pm.

She also reminds us that we have been invited to spend another evening with an elder at the Cloquet Community Club on Tuesday, January 20th.

As we have been talking, a few people have come in and ordered things. They all took seats at the other end of the room, leaving us undisturbed. In fact, we’ve been so undisturbed we’ve almost forgotten we were in new surroundings.

Now we notice that the workers appear to be closing up. As we get ready to leave, an Occupier asks, “So what do you think of this place? Should we come back?”

Another Occupier replies, “This place is o.k. but I feel more comfortable at the Amazing Grace.” Everyone else thinks so too.

We’ll meet next Saturday at the Amazing Grace.