G.A. Minutes 2-14-15

G.A. Minutes 2-14-15

There are only a few Occupiers tonight and we are meeting at the Occupier couple’s home. Their home is centrally located and it’s just too darn cold to go anywhere else. The temperature didn’t get above zero even during the day and the wind is strong.

Here we thought we were going to get by with a very mild winter. In the back of our minds we knew better. The real winter started today and threatens to continue for a while.

We have been unable to have an official meeting for several weeks. We’ve had obligations with our allies and there has been quite a lot of colds and flu going around. Several Occupiers are still under the weather. Anyway, it’s good to be able to get together this evening.

We start out by talking about the film Occupy Love which we watched as a group a few weeks ago. An Occupier has discovered the film is the last in a trilogy of films created by Velcrow Ripper, an artist who is active in the worldwide Occupy Movement. We decide to watch all three of his films and then decide if we should do a series of film showings with each film being screened on a separate date. The Occupier expects to receive the download of the first film by mid-week so we make plans to view it on Saturday February 21st.

Next we get a report about the NdN Taco Sale that some of us assisted Idle No More with about a week ago. It was a huge success. Everything was sold out well before the scheduled closing time. We had theorized that having the sale on the first Friday of the month instead of the last Friday would draw more customers. We were right about that.

The plan is to have a taco sale on the first Friday of every month. We will prepare at least twice as many taco ingredients and hope for as many customers again. If things go as anticipated we’ll be able to raise enough funds to get some INM projects off the ground.

Another Occupier tells us about the invitation we’ve received from Water Legacy. They’re having a fundraiser event at Trepanier Hall, February 22nd 11am-2pm.

Still another Occupier tells us about a comment she heard during last week’s Human Rights Commission meeting. She says one of the commissioners jokingly stated, “One of the problems with Occupy Wall Street is that they occupied a burning house”. She laughed and replied, “Yeah, most Occupiers have figured that out”.

Someone reminds us that we are going out to the Fond Du Lac Reservation area on this upcoming Tuesday in order to meet with an Elder. We’ll be leaving at 4pm.

Another item on the agenda is the fact that MN 350.org has approved the formation of a Twin Ports chapter. It’s going to be called Northwoods 350.

Local organizers put out initial feelers and there appears to be plenty of interest. We have all signed up as helpers. An Occupier comments, “Finally! We have been saying for over a year that local folks need to become aware of what the 1% has in store for us with the Alberta Clipper and Sandpiper pipelines’.

“I wrote an article about it over a year ago for our local alternative newspaper but received absolutely no response. Everyone was totally focused on the Keystone XL. Now it looks like that’s not gonna happen so you know they will try to quietly slip in the Clipper. The pipeline is already built so they can get Obama and whoever else’s approval on the sly, fill that snake with tar sands and destroy what’s left of our pristine wilderness and sacred Lake Superior. We have got to get the word out”.

We begin discussing the route the pipeline travels and where it crosses from Canada into the U.S. Because we are at the couple’s house, we have access to several computers. People begin looking.

At first we find the official map put out by Enbridge. Then we look at other maps of northern MN. We can’t find the names of any of the towns listed on the Enbridge map on any of the regular maps of MN.

By tracing and comparing we think the Clipper runs at least through Bemidji and Grand Rapids. We believe the Enbridge map deliberately lists just the pumping stations in order to reduce the amount of alarm that would be felt if people realized how close a potential tars sands spill will be to where they are living. Seeing as Enbridge has had over eight hundred spills in the last fifteen years or so, a spill is pretty much a given.

Eventually we notice it is well past the time for our meeting to be over. Computer work tends to mess with one’s sense of time.
We print a few things out and do a posting to the Northwoods 350 site.

All Occupiers without vehicles are mandated to accept rides with those who have driven. No one complains. This is the time of year that homeless folks are found frozen to death.

We will be doing actions during our next few meeting times and are not sure when we’ll be able to have an official meeting again. Probably not until February 24th or 28th. Stay warm.