G.A. Minutes 2-13-16
Bundled up from head to toe, the first couple of Occupiers arrive at Coney Island tonight. Duluth is still in the deep freeze. Last night was the worst with wind chills over 40 below zero.
The weather people say we’re gonna start slowly pulling out of this tomorrow. That would be nice. This time of year, people not privileged with luxuries like winter vacations in the Bahamas start feeling kinda desperate for spring. Around this time it feels like everything is sort of hopeless.
When little clues start showing us that spring and its new beginnings are on the way, our butts get kicked into gear again. Speaking truth to power gets a little easier.
The hipster dude at the counter says to us, “Sorry folks but I’m gonna have to close at 7pm tonight. For the second night in a row, I’ve been here from 6am with no relief. I’m exhausted”.
We say no problem. An Occupier remarks, “We’d better call the others and let them know. By the time they get here it will be time to leave. Let’s get some food, go to the back booth, call who we can and then wait for those we don’t reach”.
As we settle in, an Occupier asks, “So what did you all have that you wanted to talk about tonight? If we write it all down and get someone to post it in the meeting minutes, the others can read it and be in the loop about the time sensitive stuff at least”.
Another Occupier responds, “Well, I wanted to remind everyone about the Overdose Vigil tomorrow at 1pm at the Central Hillside Community Center.
“Socialist Action is sponsoring a Love Diversity/Hate Islamophobia Valentine’s Day Vigil tomorrow at 5pm in Superior WI on the corner of Hammond Ave + Belknap St”.
“Also, All Nations is having their NDN taco sale at their building this Friday 11am until they run out of food. They need us to help if we can.
One of the Occupiers states, “I went to my arraignment hearing last Wednesday and pleaded not guilty. One of the people from Socialist Action came to lend me his support. All the other people who were in court with me plead guilty to their various charges.
“I now have a pretrial conference with the City Attorney at 9:50am and a status conference with a judge at 1:30PM. Both are scheduled for March 9th at the Government Center in Superior WI”.
An Occupier adds, “Yeah, another example of how our marvelous justice system screws poor and/or regular people. I’m sure none of those other people could afford to take time off from work in order to jump through all the required hoops in order to plead not guilty. The guilt or innocence of regular people is never the issue. All that matters is how much money one can afford to spend”.
The arrested Occupier nods in agreement and says, “I’m assuming they will drop the charges at one of these meetings on March 9th. The only thing that happened is that a cop decided to get crabby and act like a bully because I didn’t want to show him my ID. I wasn’t committing a crime so I wasn’t required by law to show it to him. How are any of us going to retain our civil rights if we don’t stand up for them?”
One Occupier says to another, “So how was the NC/WP dinner the other night?” The other Occupier answers, “Oh, it was very well organized. They received a lot of support from Twin Ports businesses, the food was good and their ideas for the event were excellent. The only problem was that not many people showed up. It was a very cold night, the publicity didn’t get out to the right places and it was on a Thursday. I think they still were able to raise a few funds though.
“I hope they try it again because the general event plan was good. Maybe if they hold it on a Friday night and put advertisements in the Budgeteer and other papers like that, they’ll get a bigger crowd”.
Someone reports, “For those who care about such things, the DFL caucuses are going to be held at 6:45pm on the evening of Tuesday, March 1st. I think all of the Hillside precincts will meet at the old Central H.S. at Lake Ave + E 2nd St”.
As we are waiting to see if Occupiers will arrive, customers keep coming through the door. The hipster guy tells them that he’s closing soon; some stay and some don’t.
An Occupier announces, “They changed the Human Rights Commission meeting from last Wednesday to last Thursday so I wasn’t able to attend. However, I stopped in early at the Human Rights Officer’s office. A few of the HR commissioners were hanging out there. I told HR officer I hadn’t received a response to the request I put on the CJMM website. He laughed and said, ‘We were just talking out that. We’re trying to figure out who it is, exactly, who’s monitoring the website’.
“I didn’t have time to stay and chit chat. Hopefully, they figured it out. I’ll email the HR officer next week and ask for an answer to my request”.
Another Occupier adds, “Oh great. That gives me extra confidence in the competence of the CJMM BOD”. We laugh.
We look at the clock; it’s almost 7pm. Somebody comments, “We got a hold of everyone except the Occupier from the East Coast. I guess she couldn’t make it tonight and we obviously aren’t going to have any visitors. We could have just gone home but now we have the meeting minutes recorded so getting them posted will be a piece of cake”.
An Occupier says, “Just one more thing. I received an email today letting me know that the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will be holding a listening session in Duluth at UMD on Tuesday, February 23rd 6:30p-8p.
“They want to know what MN can do to comply with the EPA’s Clean Power Plan. If we get there by 6pm, I could sign up to speak. I have some ideas for them”. We agree it sounds like a good idea and we will discuss it further at our next meetings.
A young woman who appears to be in training to be a hipster staff person rolls out the mop bucket. We take the hint.
The streets are empty as we head out into the icy air. See you on Tuesday and pray for an early spring.