G.A. Minutes 11-8-16
The Anonymous crew is out on the sidewalk again this evening as the Occupiers roll up on People’s Plaza. Their numbers are smaller than they were on Saturday but they’re still making a lot of noise and attracting attention.
The City has this year’s formerly live tree up in the Plaza now. It’s an annual thing; sometime shortly before so called Thanksgiving they have a tree lighting ceremony followed by a so called Christmas City of the North Parade. After that, the Christmas shopping season is in full swing.
We feel only sadness upon seeing a glorious, approximately 60 foot high spruce tree that, until recently, graced the forest providing warmth and shelter for the animals and nourishment and water for the land. Now, after business people have exchanged money, the beautiful tree will preside over the Christmas Season. A time when ‘Mericans scurry around driving themselves crazy and acting meaner and meaner each day until Christmas arrives. This is in an attempt to find the happiness that is the promise of Christmas Day.
The problem is that ‘Merican capitalist Christmas is a lie. The original idea around Christmas had nothing to do with buying and selling. Peace on Earth, Good Will to All got lost in the translation somewhere. In some places it’s at least practiced on that one special day. Then it’s back to bombing, killing and destroying the gifts of Mother Earth. Same ol’ same ol’.
Anyway, the sun is down, temperatures are in the low 50s and there are medium strength gusts of wind. We get the fire going almost immediately as we know the Anonymous kids will be cold by now. Some of them have been “working the corner” since 8am. They tell us they had a pretty good day, but in the early afternoon, a homeless guy who said he was a veteran was screaming and throwing rocks at them.
An Occupier couple brings hot dogs with all the fixins. They even have a grill on a tripod contraption that works really well. One can raise or lower the grill depending on how high the flames from the fire rise. This means we don’t have to forego watching the beauty of the flames in order to cook our food. Cool. The hot dogs get eaten as fast as they come off the grill.
Menagerie Woman arrives. She’s coming from her regular Tuesday night movie and pops in to say hello before going to catch her bus. She tells us she’s in the process of moving into another house while her current home is being remodeled. Her landlord is providing the substitute house. It’s a pretty good deal except for the fact that her household consists of four humans, six dogs, a couple of cats and various other small animals.
Bushman is still living with her. Menagerie Woman says that she’s asked him to leave several times. He tells her, “I’m not leaving ‘cuz I got nowhere else to go”. An Occupier comments, “Well, you can always file a restraining order. Of course, we’ll trust your judgement on that. You know him a lot better than we do”.
The Anonymous folks have been sitting, relaxing and getting refreshments. They’re ready to go marching around town again. They gather up their flags, signs and bullhorn. Off they go.
An Occupier reports, “Idle No More/Northwoods Wolf Alliance isn’t going to have an NDN Taco Sale in December. Too many of their people are going to be gone next month. Also, I don’t know if we’ll be able to have a fire next Tuesday or not. Many cities across the country are calling for a day of rallies in support of Standing Rock. We may be having a rally here too, or so I’m told. We should know in a day or so”.
An Occupier says to another, “You volunteered to be on the Human Rights Commission, didn’t you?” The other Occupier replies, “Yeah, I did. It was last April and I haven’t heard anything since. I know the mayor said she wanted to wait to appoint new Commissioners until a new Human Rights Officer was hired but he’s been hired since last August. I wonder what’s up with that”.
The first Occupier responds, “Well, remember that I told you most of the current Commissioners were belatedly informed that their commissions had expired and they needed to reapply? That meant technically there was no Human Rights Commission. Some of the current Commissioners were pretty upset about that. I’m told the dust has finally settled, they’re getting their ducks in a row and the next official Human Rights Commission meeting will be in December. If we go to that meeting we might get an answer as to when they’ll be appointing more people”.
The marchers return. They’re not chanting and tell us they were stopped by a police officer. He was very nice to them and asked that they not march in the street or block traffic. An Occupier mumbles, “It wouldn’t have gone down that way if you weren’t white”. The marchers agree.
Our friend the Anarchist rides up on his bike. He doesn’t “Surf the Net” so was unaware we had moved our meetings to People’s Plaza. Now that he knows, we expect to be seeing more of him.
A big dude with his hoodie over his head walks up. He asks if we remember him. When he smiles, we do remember him. He’s the same man we met at our first few fires here back in April. He was friendly and said he’d been sleeping on a particular Plaza bench nightly for almost a month. He really liked our coffee. Shortly after that time, we heard the cops had come and run him off.
He sits down, asking if we have anything hot to drink. We give him coffee; he takes a drink and exclaims, “Damn this is good!” We exchange a few words in the Anishinaabe language. The man comments, “I know you guys aren’t Native but I’ve always felt comfortable around your fire”.
We talk more about Native friends we have in common. The big guy becomes introspective, he sighs, “I’m from Red Lake but I’m basically a City Indian. I spent many years studying traditional medicine. I was a drummer and host drummer for many years too. Somewhere along the line I lost my culture. I just don’t care anymore. I’ve seen so much suffering and death. I don’t believe anymore. It’s been a long time since I’ve said that out loud”.
We chat about this and that. As he gets ready to leave, we assure him he will be welcome again anytime he chooses to visit. Once the Red Laker is gone, an Occupier shakes his head, “Amazing…. That is the same dude who was throwing rocks at the Anonymous kids earlier today!”
Another Occupier opines, “He was probably so drunk he doesn’t even remember he was there. I’ve seen people behave one way, get drunk and turn into someone completely different. So sad….”
Anonymous has gone off marching again. As we pack up we notice they have left many of their things, including their sound equipment behind. Some of the Occupiers stay, waiting until the marchers return.
We stand around the fire for a while, watching the coals die. When the kids return they say, “We’ve decided to extend this action to a fifth day. We’ll be here tomorrow, this is fun”.
As we say our goodbyes we wonder if they’ll still be here upon our return on Saturday. We smile as we remember the words…..We’re Anonymous. Expect us.