G.A. Minutes 4-2-16

G.A. Minutes 4-2-16
A fairly long line of customers are entering the front door of Coney Island as the first Occupiers arrive.  One Occupier gently pushes through the crowd, hurrying to the back booth.  She slides in, waiting for the rest of the group to join her. 
We prefer the large booth in the back of cafe’ as it accommodates us well when everyone is present.  It also allows us a good view of our surroundings.
The newest hipster is minding the shop all by himself again.  We’ll wait to order our food until he’s finishes serving the new arrivals in the front booths.  He looks a bit overwhelmed by such a large group but seems to be holding his own.
When we get settled an Occupier says, “I’m sorry I didn’t post any minutes from last Tuesday’s meeting.  As we were leaving last Tuesday, I said I was gonna swing by the ER and get some cough syrup to take care of my lingering cough.  I went there but had to wait over 4 hours to be seen.
“That was at the good hospital.  I guess there are a lot of people catching this cold and cough that’s going around.  I can’t imagine what it was like at the not very good hospital.  Anyway, by the time I was finished there, I was just too tired to do anything except take my medicine and go to bed”.
The big news tonight is centered on our fellow Occupier and 2 other friends who had their trial yesterday re: refusing to leave the Enbridge office during the Stop the Enbridge Invasion march and rally last November.
Some of the Occupiers attended the trial while others stayed behind and worked the Idle No More/Northwoods Wolf Alliance NDN Taco Sale.
One of the taco workers says, “So tell us all about it”.  Another Occupier replies, “Well you know they were found guilty of trespassing but at least they got a chance to present the “Necessity Defense” and have witnesses testify and all that.  Use of the “Necessity Defense” is just beginning to be used in courts of law. 
“I’m sure it will be used more and more as climate change and the destruction of Mother Earth gets worse and worse.  I mean, what else can we do?  Their stupid little property rights rationalizations pale in comparison with the rights of the earth, water, air and lives of all sentient beings.
“So the judge found all 3 of our friends guilty and gave them each a $300 fine.  It’s a good thing some of us stayed behind to help with the taco sale.  Our friends may have to ask for help from our allies in order to pay fines of that size”.
Our friend, the city official arrives.  “Hey, guess what”, he says, “Did you hear that Donald Trump is coming to Superior WI. on Monday?” 
We all just crack up.  This is the most ridiculously funny thing we have heard in weeks.
Our official friend tells us, “No, no, I think this is real”.  An Occupier pulls out his cell phone and begins talking to the pleasant young woman who lives inside of the phone.  They converse intensely and then the Occupier shows everyone his phone screen.  The screen shows a current newspaper article which states Donald Trump will be in Superior on Monday.
Someone says, “WTF?”  Someone else answers, “I guess the talking heads that pay attention to that stuff have decided that if Trump can’t win the WI primary, he won’t get the Republican nomination, therefore, Donald is schmoozing in WI”.
An Occupier remarks, “I think I’m going to be sick”.
Another Occupier interjects, “Here’s a funny story.  Yesterday, our friend, the director of All Nations was walking up the hill to help with the taco sale.  Acting Police Chief Tuskan pulls up and offers him a ride.  The Director answers, “Are you trying to get me shot?  I can’t be seen riding around with a cop”.
An Occupier reports that she attended the Transgender Day of Visibility rally yesterday.  She explains, “It was really nice, about 50 people showed up.  The sun was shining and I was surprised by the large amount of beeps and signs of support from the driving people.
“The Mayor and the extra tall City Councilor showed up too.  The Mayor was relaxed and friendly and the City Councilor was enjoying himself so much I thought maybe it was his birthday”.  
Somehow the conversation transforms into one about racism.  Our official friend bemoans the lack of people of color working in Duluth city administration.  He informs us that there are also no POC heading up any of the many NGOs in the Twin Ports area.
We have many reasons to love living in Duluth but on a daily basis we observe the lack of concern and respect given to our city’s poor or POC.
Our friend also comments on the excitement he feels about the newly elected School Board. He says, “I’m so happy that the board refused to sell the former Central High School that sits on top of the hill overlooking the lake.  They appear to be thinking in the long term instead or the “take the money and run” attitude of previous boards.  It’s been a long time since we’ve had a board like we have now”.
The Occupier sitting on the outer edge of the booth states, “Hey, there are customers standing at the counter but I don’t see our hipster buddy anywhere”.
A regular customer sitting at the counter answers, “He’s gone to the bathroom”.  The bathroom is outside of the café’ and down the hall. We wait a little while longer and see that even more customers have arrived.
An Occupier goes to look for the hipster.  A few Occupiers take the opportunity to go out for a smoke break.  They assure the customers that the hipster will be right with them.
They smoke outside while noticing the hip guy still hasn’t returned.  An Occupier says, “I wonder if we should go in and offer coffee to the waiting customers.  Maybe we could take their orders too”.
Another adds, “It wouldn’t be very hard.  I’ve done stuff like that many times”.  Still another cautions, “Yabut, what if the dude comes back and thinks we’re trying to take over?  What if he doesn’t realize we’re just helping?”
As we are contemplating our next move, the dude returns.  He takes everyone’s’ orders and gets everything rolling in no time.  Problem solved.
We sit around for a while longer, just laughing and making jokes.  We wonder if anyone is planning a Dump Trump action.  Then out comes the mop bucket….Time to leave.
We plan to return on Tuesday, maybe we’ll have adventure stories to share.
It’s still too cold but the return of recreational fires is now within sight.

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