G.A. Minutes 1-9-16

G.A. Minutes 1-9-16
There are only 3 Occupiers present for tonight’s meeting and they are all absolutely insane. The reason we know this is because the temperature at 6pm is 4 degrees with a strong, biting east wind.
No one in their right mind would be out on a night like this.  Unless, of course, one is homeless and banned from the CHUM and other shelters.  We’ve been told CHUM will not start admitting everyone, regardless of their standing among the homeless ranks, until temperatures reach 20 below.
We hurry to the back booth, removing our coats quickly so as to get the chill off of us.  There’s a different hipster guy working the counter tonight.  He’s pleasant and brings us hot coffee right away.
An Occupier comments, “We rocked the Idle No More/Northwoods NDN Taco Sale yesterday, didn’t we?  There’s discussion going around about possibly having 2 sales a month.  One would be for INM/NWA and the other for All Nations.  People really like NDN tacos so they work well for fundraising”.
A man who we don’t know is sitting at a table in an electric wheel chair.  He rolls over to us and strikes up a conversation.  He says he’s lived in Duluth since 1990.  He says the biggest difference he finds in Duluth, as opposed to other places he’s lived, is the strength of the women.  “Man, if you do something to piss a woman off in this town, she’ll just haul off and punch you so hard you’ll be knocked out”.
The female Occupier present tonight decides to just let that one slide.  She thinks it’s not worth the effort it would take to make an objection.
One of the Occupiers explains to the guy that we’re having an Occupy meeting.  The guy tells us if we’re about making the world a better place we could get better bus service from Superior to Duluth.  We know that the bus between the 2 cities is very poor.
The guy continues, “I’ve gone to talk with the head of the bus company in Superior several times.  The head guy showed me all sorts of charts, pictures and plans he’d drawn up and presented to various government departments heads and to the Superior City Council.  These things were really good ideas for improving bus service but apparently the City of Superior refuses to put any money into improving public transit”.
We chat a bit more with the guy in the wheelchair.  Then it’s 6:45pm and he has to go and catch the last bus to Superior.
So now it’s down to business, more or less.  An Occupier asks, “So did anybody come up with a draft of a letter to the editor?” No one has.  One Occupy offers to take on the task.  We’re delighted as this Occupier is a skilled writer.
An Occupier states, “A letter in the Duluth Tribune and/or the Reader will be a good first step in exposing the abuse and lack of fairness commonly practiced by many of our so called City officials”.
Another Occupier replies, “It looks like this kind of behavior from government officials is the new normal across the country.  When regular citizens point out illegal and abusive goings on, the officials just ignore them and keep on doing what they’re doing”.
The minister from the storefront church down the street from the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial walks in.  His entrance proves that he’s crazy too.  We wave and he waves back.
An Occupier says, “I suppose you’ve heard Roger Reinhart isn’t going to run for reelection as state senator for our district 7 and that Sharla Gardner and Erik Simonson have both filed to run for the seat? 
“Well, this could be interesting.  We know Sharla has always been supportive of our fires.  I wonder if there will be an opportunity for any of us to attend a question and answer session with both candidates.  I’d like to hear Erik explain why after being shown all the laws which support the legality of our fire, he still told us we weren’t allowed to have it.  I wonder what Sharla would say in response?”
Another Occupier postulates, “I’d like to know why Erik did what he did too.  Looking back, when we met with him in mid-November, I suppose he already knew he was going run for the senate seat and didn’t want to ruffle the feathers of any wealthy campaign donors”.
Somebody asks, “So what’s going on with the mayor of Superior these days”.  Someone else answers, “Did any of you listen to that radio interview with Mayor Hagen and the guy who’s the head of our area Islamic Center?”  No one has.  She continues, “Well it was boring and I had to suffer through a whole hour in order to hear everything.  Mayor Hagen seems to have all the basic Republican lame ass ideas about never sincerely admitting to a wrong.  He says he will never resign as that would mean showing weakness.  He says that although he knows he suffers from depression, he’ll never go into any kind treatment as that is for movie stars and others willing to admit defeat.  He had no clue as to the deeper issues surrounding his Facebook faux pas.
“The Islamic guy was smarter but he just kept saying that Islam is a religion of peace.  If he would have elaborated a little, it could have been interesting.  Anyway, our friend the effective Superior organizer is trying to set up some town hall forums in order for Superiorites to discuss racial issues.  I’m going to try to go to the forums; I think all of us who are able should attend. However, we will need to stay far away from any limelight as if people see we’re from out of town that could open up our friend to charges of outside agitation”.
An Occupier inquires, “I’m going to apply to be on the board to interview candidates for our new chief of police position.  Do you guys want to do that too?”  The others groan and shake their heads no.
Another asks, “Has anything new happened today with those right wing dudes who have taken over a nature center in Oregon?  Someone explains, “Well they’ve been crying a lot, they’ve run out of ‘snacks’ and one of their guys stole all their money and went on a drinking binge.
Someone else comments, “What a bunch of whack jobs!  That white privilege stuff is coming out of their ears. They think all of nature and the animals and such can just go to hell. Apparently the earth was created for ranchers and hunters”.
An Occupier jokes, “Yeah, I guess that stuff is written in the Bible or the Constitution or something”.
On that note, we put on our coats and stuff and dash out into the freezing cold.  We’ll be back here on Tuesday.   

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