G.A. Minutes 2-2-17
It’s Thursday again and we’re back at Coney Island. The non-hipster dude is working alone again. He’s still stressed out but doesn’t seem to care. Although there are only a few customers, he’s running around like crazy. Maybe being stressed is just his normal way of being.
Winter has definitely returned. It snowed during most of the week and now temperatures are in the single digits with strong wind. The street is devoid of pedestrians. Everyone who can be indoors is indoors; many of those who cannot are hiding out in the parking ramps and the skywalk. On nights like this, most of the security guards will turn a blind eye to the homeless ones as long as they are quiet, hidden and back out on the street before the business people arrive.
The Anonymous crew is out on the corner of Lake Ave and Superior St holding a #NO DAPL rally. As she walks through the café door, an Occupier says, “I’m so glad the youngbloods are stepping up. Ever since I contacted pneumonia a couple of years ago I’ve been unable to breathe while standing outdoors when it’s really cold”.
As the first Occupiers arrive they are joined by a woman, formerly of the streets, who they have known for many years. She’s had her own apartment for a few years now and has still been struggling with addiction. She’s had a very hard life but has not given up. Fortunately she is highly intelligent, with great organizational skills and a kind heart. We’re pretty sure she will be one of the lucky ones who survive and then go on to help others.
As more Occupiers begin to arrive the conversation turns to the hot topic of the past year or so, Standing Rock. There was another confrontation with the cops yesterday. This time it was with the National Guard and not the Morton County Sheriffs so none of the water protectors were seriously injured or maimed. Well over 50 were arrested though. Their crime? Setting up another camp on land stolen from the Standing Rock Sioux over 100 years ago. Of course, although the confrontation was completely peaceful, the arrested water protectors will be charged with inciting a riot, assault of a peace officer or some other trumped (pun intended) up charge that carries expensive bail and a large fine.
As most people know by now, the Psychopath In Chief issued an executive order a few days ago aimed at the Army Corp of Engineers. The order stated that the ACE must quickly finish the DAPL EIS and permit the pipeline to be finished no matter what. The ACE has not yet responded, no permit has been issued and the executive order is probably unconstitutional but some of the water protectors believe Energy Transfer has begun drilling under the river anyway. Each time any of the water protectors try to sneak a little peek at what’s being done, they are met with the rubber bullets and dangerous chemical sprays of the Morton County Sheriffs Department.
The water protectors of Standing Rock have sent warning to the water protectors of northern Minnesota that we can expect to be next in line re: Enbridge (a major investor in Energy Transfer) attempts to build their water destroying pipelines across the waterways and wild rice beds that lie in the ceded territories of northern MN Anishinaabe tribes. Many Native and non-Native people of northern MN are sworn water protectors; preparations began years ago but more are in the works.
Several of the Occupiers have been meeting with elders and almost-elders of the Fond du Lac band. At this time the discussions in these meetings cannot be made public. The Occupiers have been able to provide a few ideas as far as strategy goes but mainly they have been learning and receiving the wisdom from the legends and philosophy of Anishinaabe culture.
An Occupier comments, “I wonder how things went at the meeting between the Homeless Bill of Rights Coalition and the Human Rights Commission. I really wanted to be there but our meetings at FDL happen at the exact same time as the HB of R meetings”. None of the Occupiers who are present attended the aforementioned meeting. We agree to ask around and to attend the HB of R meeting next Tuesday and the HRC meeting next Wednesday.
Another Occupier reminds us, “This upcoming Saturday, there’s going to be a rally in support of refugees, immigrants and against the “Trumpopath’s” ban of them. It will start around 1pm and then at 3pm there’s gonna be a Forum on Polymet at the Zeitgeist. On Sunday, our friend from the Green Party will be sponsoring a potluck and presentation about a Guaranteed National Income”.
Some of the Anonymous folks come through the door. They are carrying signs and their sound system. They appear to be at least halfway frozen. We quickly order coffee for them.
The non-hipster staff dude needs to go out for a smoke. We’ll keep an eye on everything until he gets back.
An Anon reports, “We had at least 15 people show up for the rally”. An Occupier responds, “In this weather on a week night, that is amazing”.
Another Anon tells us, “I was talking to a woman from the City’s Clean and Safe Team. She told me that she is very opposed to the Homeless Bill of Rights”. An Occupier opines, “She probably sees homeless ones as a big nuisance. She might even find them scary. Some of them actually are. However, the homeless really can’t help it that they have to hang around on the streets. They don’t have anywhere else to go or anything to do. If I were homeless, I think I’d become a major drunk or dope fiend just out of boredom”.
The Anons begin talking among themselves about future plans for actions and such. We just sit and listen; they have many good ideas. We’ve noticed that many of the Millennials are turning into good, responsible revolutionaries. This gives us a huge amount of relief. Some years ago, most of us were worried there would be no one to carry on the work and the dream for a healthy planet and society once we all were gone.
The staff guy is sweeping the floor in a hurry. He probably wants to go home. We begin to clean up; the Anons gather up their stuff. We notice that although they are dressed in layers, none of their clothing was made for actual winter weather. They’re planning on hauling all their stuff way up the hill.
One of the Occupier couples will somehow figure out a way to cram 3 Anons and all of their gear into a small car and give them a ride home. It’s the least we can do.
The way things stand now, we plan to be back at Coney Island next Thursday.