G.A. Minutes 3-26-16

G.A. Minutes 3-26-16
So here we are again; at Coney Island that is.  A light rain tickles our faces; the temperature is in the 30s and there is no breeze to speak of.  If the weather continues on like this, April showers will bring May flowers and our days at Coney Island will be numbered.
We are few in number again tonight.  Many are fighting off colds and /or taking care of other responsibilities.
The Occupier who spent half a day at the Public Library shows the results of her research to an Occupier who was absent from our last meeting.  After reading through the research the absent Occupier states, “This is good news.  I think we should go ahead and plan on using that spot for our fires”.
The Occupier who volunteered previously to write a letter to the editor of the Northland Reader has finished her first draft.  She passes it around and all present think it is satisfactory.
She says, “Good, I’ll try and show it to the others before our next meeting.  If everyone approves, I’ll send it in.  We need as much good publicity as we can get”.
An Occupier comments, “I guess it’s time to actually get new equipment for our fire pit and everything else we’re going to need.  It might not be much longer before we can get actual fires going again.  I haven’t received any responses to the various posts that put around asking if anyone had an old barbeque grill bottom they didn’t want anymore.  I guess we’ll have to buy a new one”.
Another Occupier suggests, “If we stay focused we could finish up all our business here and get to the big hardware store before it closes”.  We say, “Good idea”.
Over the past week or so, the Occupiers have been having informal discussions as to whether we should make a big deal about announcing our first official recreational fire of the year. Some want to pass out flyers, get media attention and notify absolutely everyone we can think of.  They say, “We really need to have a lot of our supporters present when we start the first fire.  That would prove to the general public that we have a lot of support”.
Others want to just set up the first fire like it was just another normal evening.  We could tell our close friends and then just do everything like we’ve always done.  The word that our fires are back will filter through the neighborhood soon enough.  They say,” We’d kinda like to have a few nice relaxed fires before the police get a clue and start showing up”.
No decision has been reached yet as to how we will do things.  No worries, it will all get figured out.  Fortunately, there is little drama or infighting among the people of Occupy Duluth.
A few of the Occupiers were able to attend the funeral for the 9 year old grandson of the Superior Organizer.  The deeply loved grandson passed on due to medical problems.  We were all very saddened by this turn of events.
An Occupier reminds us, “The NDN Taco Sale is this upcoming Friday and of course, our help will be needed”.  Another Occupier responds, “I don’t think I will be able to help out with deliveries this time.  I think I should go to the Fossil Fuels Day Brunch, March and Rally”.
The first Occupier agrees, “Oh right, our friends and our fellow Occupier are going on trial on Friday too, aren’t they?  The Fossils Fuels will go on from 10am til 2pm or later and the NDN Taco Sale will start at 9pm and go til about 3pm.  I hope we have enough Occupiers who can go to at least one of the events”.
An Occupier asks, “Have any of you ever been to the May Day Parade in the Twin Cities?”
Most shake their heads no; one Occupier exclaims, “OMG YES!  The May Day Parade was one of the most wonderful experiences of my life!”
She then goes on to tell about all the music, art, dancers, gigantic puppets, right on political themes, major amounts of various types of hippies and other great stuff that make up the parade.
Someone suggests, “Maybe we should think about going down for the parade this year.  May 1st is on a Sunday this year.  I think they usually do the parade on Saturday or Sunday”.
So our basic business is finished and we start thinking about going off to purchase a small fire pit.
An unassuming 30 something man walks over to our booth.  He says, “Is this an Occupy meeting?”  We say yes; he introduces himself and tells us he has come into town with a family member.  The family member is interviewing for a job at one of the local colleges.
The man has been reading the Occupy minutes on our website and thought he might like to meet us.  The Occupier tasked with writing the minutes looks around the group and announces, “See, I told you that there are people who read the minutes”.  Everyone laughs.
The 30 something man seems to have had experience with homeless outreach so we began a discussion about the subject.  An Occupier reports that a local coalition of NGOs have just completed a “little home”.  An Occupant for the home and a piece of land to put the home on has already been chosen.  Plans for an additional 3 little homes are in the works.
An Occupier says, “You know, this isn’t the first time this little home idea has been tried.  A few years ago, CHUM and others started making plans to do it.  The former City administration informed them if they tried to do such a project, the City would sue them.
“Maybe this new City administration will have more compassion for our non-wealthy citizens”.
Our visiting friend appears to have an educational background in psychology and/or sociology. He teaches us a new phrase, “fundamental attribution bias”.  We think that means something like trying to figure out or explain the actions of another while having only one’s own life experiences and prejudices to use when making the analysis.  Something like that.
We’re having a great time talking with the visiting man when an Occupier looks up at the clock and says, “Yikes!  Look at the time!  If we’re gonna go get a fire pit we’d better hurry”.
We start quickly gathering our stuff etc.  The man tells us that if his family member is hired for the college job, he’ll be returning to Duluth sometime in May.
An Occupier responds, “That would be great!  Just keep reading the minutes, then you’ll know where to find us”.
We all rush out the door.  All the Occupiers want to help choose the next fire pit and we don’t how late the big hardware store stays open.
We plan to be back at Coney Island on Tuesday.