G.A. Minutes 2-28-17
Last week Duluth was a tropical paradise; tonight we’re having a blizzard. Cars are sliding all over the place; many are having serious trouble getting up the hills.
It’s really not that bad though because temperatures are in the low 30s with an occasional wind. Providing they have somewhere warm and safe to go, folks who must walk won’t suffer frostbite. Homeless folks will be wet, uncomfortable and unable to actually sleep but they probably won’t die. Heck, it might even be spring one of these days; with the schizophrenia of climate change you never know.
We are only a few Occupiers and the city official at Coney Island this evening. Maybe some forgot about our earlier starting time or maybe they just didn’t want to go out into this end of winter sloppiness.
We say hi to the lone hipster working the counter and head to the back booth. The only other customers are 2 regular guys in another booth. They’re talking about people who have seizures.
The city official tells us about the wonderful time he had at the Milwaukee conference. He gives us a booklet from the event; it looks really interesting and makes us all wish we had been able to attend. The official reports that when he was introduced as being from Duluth, the entire audience broke out in huge applause. It seems that people all over the nation know about our Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial and are quite impressed. We’re sorry that most people in our City government don’t feel the same way. Mostly they just ignore CJMM; despite many requests, they still haven’t cleaned up the pawnshop garbage that’s been sitting behind the Memorial for 8 years.
The city man asks if we’re aware that the City Council recently voted to approve giving $250,000 to a developer to help him develop more market rate apartments in a currently wooded area near the Miller Hill Mall. Of course, there will be no low income units available in this new development.
An Occupier comments, “Yet the City budget people say they can’t possibly finance 7 port-a-potties for homeless folks at a cost of $5,000 – $10,000 a year. I’m gonna be sure bring that up the next time I speak before the Council. I am so sick of this shit”.
Another Occupier changes the subject by saying, “Remember how we talked about a recent increase in shootings in our neighborhood last week? I said I was going to the Citizens Review Board meeting and would ask about it. Well I went to meeting but I didn’t have to ask; all the Commissioners were very concerned and asking what the hell was happening.
“Chief Tuscan was there so he gave the run down. In the past month or so there have actually been 6 shootings scattered around our poor and working class neighborhoods. One was at the liquor store close to CJMM, another in the East Hillside, one in West End, and one at 65th Ave W. Then there was one where people in cars driving on I-35 were shooting at each other and another (I forgot where he said it was) that was an actual premeditated murder.
“Tuscan assured the Commissioners that all the shootings were between people who knew each other and there were no sniper type events. He said the reason for increased shootings is probably because there are a lot of guns among the general public these days. Of course, one must always take what the cops have to say with a grain of salt but that’s the info they’re putting out right now.
“I asked about the incident I witnessed on the Blatnik Bridge but all the cops said they were unaware of that event even happening. They thought it might have been some other law enforcement agency. I told them it was so dark that I was unable to see the markings on the SUVs. We have so many so called law enforcement agencies these days; it’s anybody’s guess what was really going on”.
An Occupier states, “Before I forget, Idle No More/Northwoods Wolf Alliance will be having a Taco Sale on Friday and they’ll need our help. We’ll need to call the others as we’ll need them to help too.
“Also, the Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights Coalition is doing a letter to the editor campaign right now. They find that there is so much talking behind their backs going on with the City government and some of the NGOs that it’s time to get the information out to the general public. So far, there have been 2 letters posted in the Northland Reader and 1 in the Duluth News Tribune”.
The lone hipster asks if we mind if he goes out for a smoke. We say that’s fine. There are no other customers currently in the place so our job shouldn’t be too hard.
An Occupier reports, “Duluth for Clean Water is having another event at the Zeitgeist on Saturday at 2pm. I don’t think I’m gonna go though. I found their last presentation to be really elemental; I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know. Also, one of the last presenters made the comment that seeing as we’ve learned so much now about how to fight sulfide mining, we will be really prepared when the next sulfide mining projects apply. I was very offended by that. Everyone knows that other mining companies won’t be able to apply until after Polymet is in operation. So was she saying that Polymet is already a given? That was so lame! Even if that’s what she thinks privately, she shouldn’t be putting that out in public. It made me wonder who she’s really working for”.
The Occupier who usually keeps track of the weekly progressive/radical goings on reports, “The HPB of R Coalition meeting will happen again this Thursday, 6:30pm at Dorothy Day, the Anonymous kids will be out on the protest corner tomorrow starting at 11am and there will be an International Women’s Day Strike Rally on the same corner March 8th at 5pm. There are a lot of things going on again this week so I brought a copy of the Northern Worker activist calendar for everyone to look at”.
It’s coming up on 7pm and it looks like the hipster dude is dying to go home. As we pack up, an Occupier says to the city official, “I want to thank you again for the tickets to the Soul Food Dinner. We had a good time. The place was packed, the food was great and some of the spoken word presentations just blew my mind”.
So we’re off. For another week we will try to do good things and stir stuff up as much as we can. We plan to be back at Coney Island next Tuesday.