G.A. Minutes 5-31-16
It’s still raining or at least it has been for most of the last week. It rained off and on all day today too. It’s not raining right now as we arrive at Coney Island but it’s cold and overcast and could start up again any time.
All the leaves and early flowers are out now. The sun was out yesterday. Everything was warm and beautiful; even the lilacs are starting to bloom. The weather people say we can expect one more day of rain and then we’ll start to experience the type of climate conditions that we spend about 8 months a year waiting for….. Maybe.
The old regular hipster, who hasn’t been around for at least 5 months, is working the counter tonight. He was always our favorite, remembers us and switches the radio to our friend’s weekly KUMD show right away. Sweet.
As we’re settling into the back booth, an Occupier asks of another, “So where’s your “old man”? The questioned Occupier responds, “As we were leaving our building we saw one of the bigger kids at the Neighborhood Youth Center beating up a smaller kid. It looked pretty bad so we stopped and he went over to break it up.
“When he came back he was pretty upset. He told me that the bully kid called the kid who he was beating up over and asked if what my “old man” was accusing the bully of was true. The kid who was getting beaten and was obviously afraid of the bully stated that the beating had never happened.
“A few of the NYS workers came out and my husband told them what was going on. About that time I got out of the car and started over there myself but my husband was coming back saying, ‘They’re trying to tell me I’m crazy’. I reminded him that I had witnessed the very same thing that he did. He was still pretty upset so I suggested that he go run an errand he still needed to do and then join us. We both agreed that we need to pay more attention to what goes on with the neighborhood kids”.
More Occupiers roll up; one of them asks, “So what’s going on with Juneteenth this year? Are the NAACP and the African American Men’s Group going to do the usual thing at the Hillside Community Center?”
An Occupier answers, “I’m not sure but we had talked about going over to Superior to join the Superior Organizer and company for their Juneteenth celebration on Saturday June 18th 2pm-7pm. I know one of the main people in the NAACP is listed as one of the speakers so that tells me Duluth won’t be doing anything on the same day”.
Another Occupier comments, “Oh that reminds me, we’re going to the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial Cleanup Day on Saturday. Maybe we should bring some coffee or juice or something”.
An Occupier says, “So do you wanna hear about the weird things that have been going on in my life lately?” We say sure and she continues, “Remember when the City Attorney told me that he was going to be circulating a letter stating there were to be no fires of any type at CJMM? Well, I’d been waiting to hear that the letter had been sent out for about 2 months.
A couple of weeks ago I emailed him asking if the letter had been sent out. If he had sent it would he please advise me as to where I could view a copy? He responded almost immediately saying he’d sent it out a long time ago and was surprised I hadn’t seen it. He didn’t include a copy so I emailed him back asking to see a copy. After about a week he emailed back saying he would give one to me but didn’t include it in his email. I think I’m being given the run around. These political types are so tiresome”.
Another Occupier opines, “They do that shit on purpose hoping that we’ll just go away”.
The first Occupier adds, “Another thing that happened lately is that last week, as usual, I attended the monthly Citizens Review Board meeting”. She turns to one of the Occupiers and remarks, “Remember we were going to tag team the subject of the DPD complaint process? Well, it’s a good thing you didn’t show up because that’s not how things went.
“First, some people from PAVSA made a presentation about a 3 year program they have going to test the backlog of rape kits that the DPD has been keeping. Their presentation was reasonable but they kept using the phrase ‘rape victim’ instead of ‘rape survivor’. That was kinda bugging me and I was going to comment on it when the time for public questions came up but it never did. I guess the CRB president forgot. Whatever.
“Then this really strange guy made a presentation or something. He started out sounding reasonable but very soon started sounding paranoid and delusional. He told us about how he was estranged from a very wealthy family in Edina. He lives in a van because CHUM, Loaves N Fishes, the DPD, Oneida Realty and a whole bunch more people and organizations are involved in a big plot to destroy him.
“Also, he owns several valuable Picassos that he tried to sell on E Bay but the DPD ordered E Bay to not sell them and he has personal knowledge about the real deal behind the JFK assassination. He went on and on so long that I started falling asleep.
“Pretty soon it was almost an hour over the normal meeting time. The CRB president, like he always does, asked me if I had anything to say and I said no not tonight. As I was leaving, Lt. Marquardt (apparently she’s a Deputy Chief now) was giving the guy her business card and making an appointment to meet with him. I don’t think she realized what she was getting into”.
Another Occupier asks, “Can you give me a description of the guy?” She gives a description and he continues, “Oh, I know that guy. He came to my church several times. He’s going to press charges against me or sue me or something because I asked him to stop talking. He’s annoying because he can’t seem to talk about anything except himself”.
An Occupier tells us about an interesting conversation he had recently with some other activists. They discussed the subject of a national guaranteed income. We think that would be a good start for combating homelessness, crime, poverty and mindless wage slavery.
Someone postulates, “What do you think it would be like if Trump actually became president?” We all groan and someone else replies, “Some people think his being the president would bring the revolution about sooner”.
A few of the Occupiers go out for a smoke break. As they are smoking, they encounter the grey haired woman. She says, “So when are you gonna start up the fires again?” We explain that we have been having fires at People’s Plaza for more than a month now. We point out the Plaza to her as it can be seen from where we are standing. We know that several people have told her this already but she just can’t remember. We hope she will walk by on one of the evenings we are having a fire and she will remember and join us again.
More Occupiers arrive. We squeeze tightly into the booth. If anyone else shows up, some will have to stand.
An Occupier reminds us about an event taking place at Mesaba Co-op Park on June 25th. The park is near Hibbing and was originally founded by Finnish communists in the 30s. He tells us he always has a good time up there and encourages us to attend.
Another reminds us that the Respect Your Mother Earth Festival will be held this year on July 23rd and 24th. We have attended in years past and certainly expect to do so again this year.
An Occupier reports that our organizer friend who has moved to Hawaii has been coming out in support of Hilary. We say, “What?!?” Another Occupier comments, “I’m gonna have to contact him and say, ‘I’ve heard you done lost your mind’. Others gasp and say, “Oh no, don’t say that. She responds, “Don’t worry, I’ve been teasing him for years”.
The place has had few customers besides us all evening. It’s empty now and we notice the hipster appears to be straightening up. Someone remarks, “I think he’s ready to close”.
The hipster guy says, “Sorry but my co-worker went home ill a long time ago and I’m really tired”. An Occupier replies, “Yeah, we’re kinda dense but if you just roll out that mop bucket we will get a clue.
We perform our usual cleanup and tip routine and head on out. We’ll be at the CJMM cleanup on Saturday but we really, really hope the weather will allow us to start up our fire at People’s Plaza next Tuesday.