G.A. Minutes 10-24-15
One might consider this evening a perfect autumn evening for sitting around a campfire. Providing one has a campfire.
If no campfire is involved, a person would need to keep moving in order to tolerate being outdoors on a night like this.
The Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial space is almost empty save for the young and very large Native man and his friend. There aren’t many folks moving on the streets either.
The Occupiers purposefully get the fire started and everything set up. As soon as everything is done and folks have taken their seats, the Occupier tasked with communicating with the various government entities that want to keep their less privileged citizens “under control”, introduces a letter she received from DPD Chief Ramsay. “So what do you make of this? She asks. The letter basically says the Chief believes too many people are unnecessarily calling the police whenever they don’t like what is going on at CJMM. The Chief says expecting the cops to show up continuously is bad for relationships between the DPD and the Central Hillside neighborhood.
An Occupier comments, “Well it looks as though he’s supporting the fact that we have regular community campfires however, he doesn’t say he’s going to make the government bad actors back off from us. Another Occupier suggests, “Guess we’ll just have to wait and see”.
The tasked Occupier states, “Well I’m glad somebody from the City has seen fit to at least act like they have some type of common sense. I think we should still attempt to meet with the Fire Chief and the City Attorney. It would be good for us to establish our legal right to meet here”.
The Occupier who has been living out of town arrives. He tells us he’s living in the Twin Ports area again. We’re all pleased to hear this.
A man from the street comments on the sage we are burning and a conversation ensues related to the various types of sage, growing methods and such.
An Occupier mentions the recent allegation that McDonald’s poison/ fast food corporation has a policy of not serving homeless people.
Another Occupier adds, “I’m told our own local whole foods, organic co-op has asked its customers to refrain from purchasing food and giving that food to homeless people”.
Someone exclaims, “What!!!” Another says, “Hey, this is something we can do something about right away”. Someone else agrees and says, “The first thing we need to do is talk to the management and the workers and find out if this accusation is true.”
The partner of the stylish Native woman is having a meltdown again. He’s walking across the street and cussing out God or someone. This is a fairly regular occurrence with the good hearted partner. It appears that at times, he becomes so overwhelmed with frustration and anger that he just has to let it all out. He doesn’t want to subject innocent people to his rants so he walks away for a while.
When the overwhelmed fellow calms down he takes his place in the circle. As usual, he apologizes. We say, “Ah man, don’t worry about it. Come on in”.
A local organizer who has been our friend for years stops by. He wants to make sure everyone knows about the Stop The Enbridge Invasion event scheduled for Monday November 2nd. We tell him we all plan to be there.
Another Occupier arrives. He brings a woman who is a professional singer along. She has just finished performing and has come to check out our fire.
Many people are now filling the CJMM space. Little groups of folks conversing are scattered about. Everyone is giving off good vibes.
The partner asks the Occupier who reads poetry and such to give a reading. The Occupier replies, “Well I didn’t have anything prepared for tonight but I have this book about all kinds of circles. You know, like fires circles, prayer circles, ceremonial circle’s and stuff like that”.
He hands the book to the partner and continues, “A major point is that climate change is already here. In another 20 years or so we will have refugees fleeing drought and storms. They’re going to want to live here and we’re going to have to become a whole lot more neighborly if we’re going to survive”.
An Occupier states, “So I see our friend, the City official is hosting Keith Ellison at St Mark’s Church. Mr. Ellison is supposed to be speaking on the State of Black America. So then I see that Rick Nolan is going to show up too, so now our friend has to hustle to find a larger space”.
Another adds, “I think that what is meant when one says that an event has been co-opted. Is anyone here interested in hearing what Rick Nolan has to say about the State of Black America?” We all roll our eyes.
Somehow the conversation gets around to discussing the issue of homeless people being thrown out of CHUM. A homeless man explains, “It’s not the problem that someone has been thrown out of CHUM that is the issue. It’s the problem that it is done just on the whim of any one of the CHUM workers. They each have different standards and some of them are just on power trips and take pleasure in tormenting homeless ones that have severe mental illness”.
The best friend of Ms. Cleanup bounces in. An Occupier asks him if he has seen Ms. Cleanup this evening. He replies, “Yeah but she just got hauled away by 5-0”. The Occupier says, “Oh no. I’ve had her backpack in the trunk of my car since last week when she got hauled away. Best friend answers, “Just give it to me. I’ll take care of it”.
A Native woman in the circle comments that she is the sister of the still missing story telling woman. An Occupier puts her hand on the woman’s shoulder. We all sigh and shake our heads.
The neighborhood retired man drops by. He jokingly makes an attempt to get us excited about next year’s presidential madness sponsored by the 2 party equals 1 party shysters. We all laugh.
The crowd has dissipated; we are all standing up close to the fire with the palms of our hands over what remains of the flames.
The man who is always laughing drives up. He’s on his way to somewhere but stops in to see what we’re up to.
The court hearing that will decide whether he can gain custody of his infant daughter is going to be held in 4 days. He appears confident he will prevail. We all hope he is correct yet, we realize the ease with which the CPS organization robs people of color and the poor of their offspring.
The Ho Chunk man stumbles in. He says he was sleeping soundly under a bush but the cops rousted him out. He missed the last bus to where he has his camp so will have to try and keep out of sight until early morning when the buses start up again. The bus system in the Twin Ports leaves much to be desired. We offer him food and strong coffee.
It’s that time again……. The coals are dying. We pack up. An Occupier offers to give the Ho Chunk man a ride to his camp. The man happily accepts.
We expect to be back here next Tuesday.