G.A. Minutes 9-19-17
When the Occupiers roll up to Peoples Plaza this evening they find the guy who is the head of maintenance in the MN Power Building waiting for them. We’re not sure what he’s doing here but he’s very friendly and accommodating. He apologizes for the fact that his staff is not always able to keep the Plaza as clean as they would like. We are all generally suspicious of “suits”, even though he’s not wearing one. We imagine that the maintenance dude has some kind of ulterior motive but his true intention is not obvious. Whatever……
Some of the Anonymous crew have arrived early and have already begun chalking anti-Enbridge slogans all over the space. They expect the personable guy to disapprove but he says, “Aw, don’t worry about it. It’s gonna rain tonight and anything the showers don’t remove we’ll just wash off in the morning”. He wishes us a good evening; we respond in kind, he leaves and that’s the end of that, for now anyway.
The weather is pleasantly autumn-like tonight; it’s partly cloudy; the temperature is in the mid-60s and the wind is strong and variable. The gusts are not cold though; we think, if we weigh down everything on the table, wind will not be a problem.
The Fire Magician gets the fire going right away; the strong breeze shoots the flames up really high and then out in all directions. The flames almost touch the folks sitting in the circle. An Occupier asks, “Whoa! Are the flames higher than 3 feet?” The Fire Magician answers, “Yup.” and the Occupier exclaims, “Oh no! We’re out of compliance”. Everyone laughs and then the flames settle down to normal size like they always do and that’s the end of our fun. Bummer…..
More Anons arrive; so do the Stylish Native Woman and her partner. Everyone is getting food including some of the street folks who we don’t know. Apparently, word is getting around that everyone is welcome to the contents of the table. We just ask that everybody do their best to maintain a good vibe.
The city official arrives; he’s been very busy as of late because several well established community groups have requested his expertise for their newest projects. Tonight he’s on his way to the meeting of the Duluth School Board. He says, “I want them to know that I am always watching them”. The city man reminds everyone about the unveiling of the mural at AICHO this upcoming Saturday from 6p-9p.
The Occupier who works at the Mission rides up on his bike. He’s been put in charge of managing the security for the Dismantle the Legacy of Racism event on October 14th. He tells us that he’s asked a few of the Anons to work as marshals during the march. The marshals main jobs will be to make sure the marchers stay within the agreed upon marching area and to be alert for any march infiltrators who attempt to commit violence and/or property destruction. The marshals will also be on alert for any white supremacist types who may attempt to disrupt the event. Duluth has had very little of this type of behavior at peaceful events in the past so we are not expecting any at the October 14th happening either. However, we think it’s always wise to be prepared.
The Occupier tasked with heading up security says to another Occupier, “I’m gonna have to miss tomorrow’s Dismantle Racism meeting because I have to attend the U.U. Board meeting. If you’re going to go to the event meeting will you give my report for me?” The other Occupier will be going to the meeting. She carefully writes down everything that he wants her to report.
Chicago Man sits down; he tells us that he’s been having some trouble with his co-workers on his job at the big box store. He’s the only African American working on the pm shift and some of his co-workers are openly racist. By nature, he’s not a big people person so he’s not sure how to handle the situation. He’s afraid to complain to his supervisor as he figures the supervisor will see HIM as the problem and probably fire him. He needs to keep his job as he has only himself as a source of income.
We want to attempt to counsel the worried man but more people arrive, the conversation switches gears and when we mentally return to Chicago Man and his problem, we find that he is gone.
The Occupier who is a single parent appears. When he joins the circle he remarks that he’s been conversing with Evangelical Christians again. He reports, “We’ve been discussing the “dominion teaching”. The Bible says something about mankind having dominion over nature. The Evangelicals say that means humans are entitled to do whatever they want to the earth, the water and the air. I’ve been trying to tell them that it means that they’re supposed to care for and protect nature. They don’t like that very much”.
Another Occupier adds, “You are so right! When parents have children they have “dominion” over those children for several years. Parents are supposed to teach, nurture and love their children. They’re not supposed to make them work constantly and use them up until they drop dead. It sounds like the Evangelicals you’ve been talking to are a bunch of bozos”.
Spiritual Man arrives; he states, “I snuck away for a while. Whew!” He gets coffee and is about to sit down when his phone rings and he’s off again. Probably to wherever it was that he escaped from.
The single parent Occupier and the partner of The Stylish Native Woman begin a conversation about the Bible; others join in. They talk about all the translations that have been done since the writing of the original compilation of the Bible. The single parent has done some research and has found that the original Bible written in Hebrew is very different than most of the English translations.
The Partner has been calm and coherent all evening but now something sets him off and he starts ranting. He stands up; he’s very excited and starts talking about past events from his childhood. He bounces from topic to topic; rants about being adopted, about being hospitalized and being tricked into allowing his fingers to be amputated and about the social workers who confiscated his money.
The Stylish Woman is visibly upset by her partner’s behavior; she stands up and begins to walk away. The Partner calls out, “Wait! Where are you going?” She calls back, “I’m not going to listen to this again”. The Partner rants for a few minutes longer then goes off to find her.
The Anons are returning early from their marching and chalking. They tell us, “When we got to the Enbridge building, a cop was sitting there guarding the door. When we turned around to come back to the fire, the cop drove off, then circled around and followed us here.
We think they will need to be less predictable but we don’t say so. We know they will figure these things out as time goes by. If they ask for our advice, we’ll give it but otherwise, they are very capable of finding things out for themselves.
Menagerie Woman rides up; she’s donated and watched her movie. She still has a little money left so she’s going to go and gamble at the Casino. “Wish me good luck”, she laughs. We all do so.
The young man who the Anons call Lil Bear comes up the stairs. He has a young woman with him. She has a smile in her eyes but is very quiet. Lil Bears gets snacks and tobacco for her. For the first time since we’ve come across him, Lil Bear appears to not be drunk. He appears to be kind hearted and intelligent. Lil Bear asks if anyone has spare blankets; an Occupier has some in his vehicle that he has been keeping for just such an occasion. He goes to get them.
An Occupier says to another, “So how did your meeting with Mayor Larson about more public bathrooms go last week?” The other Occupier replies, “Actually it was rather surprising. The meeting consisted of myself, another member of the Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights Coalition, the mayor, the City manager and the acting head of Parks N Rec. I thought they were gonna argue with us and try to convince us that more and better public bathrooms were not necessary, blah, blah, blah. Instead, they acted like more bathrooms was a done deal.
“They offered to keep the heated public bathrooms at the Rose Garden and at Endion open for longer hours. They also said they had no problem getting at least 5 porta-potties set up around our homeless areas. They were very happy to see that we just wanted the porta-potties installed in places commonly frequented by homeless folks. I didn’t say anything but I wondered why they thought we would want the potties installed in places that WEREN’T frequented by homeless folks.
“Anyway, they were intrigued with our ideas about using the old shower facilities at the Washington Center and refurbishing a discarded city bus with showers. Of course, I’m always wary of “suits” so they may just have been faking it and plan to set us up for something in the future but the meeting went way better than I expected”.
A male and female couple who we haven’t met come into the circle. The woman explains that the man is new to the street scene and that she is showing him around. She is angry that she has been kicked out of CHUM and has been unable to find any other place where she can sleep. We converse about other possibilities but it seems she’s been banned from all of them. She feels she’s been unfairly treated and it sounds like she has.
Suddenly, we hear all kinds of sirens and see flashing lights all over the place. Some of those in the circle go to stand on the back benches and peer over the bushes to see what’s going on. When they return they tell us that there is an ambulance, a fire truck and 3 squad cars across the street. A woman was passed out on the floor of Lake Place Park but the para-medics now have her up and walking.
Someone opines, “Kinda overkill for one passed out woman. Someone else responds, “With all the heroin overdose deaths that are happening all over our city, I suppose they’re on high alert these days”.
Once the commotion dies down, we think it may be time to pack up. The Fire Magician goes off to get his truck. As the Occupiers and some of the street folks begin to take up the chairs, we notice that Lil Bear is gone and his female friend is sitting alone on a chair. The fire is dying and she looks cold.
Just as we are about to question her to see how we can help her……KABOOM!!!! The woman who is banned from CHUM comes running up from somewhere and leaps on the cold and alone woman. She knocks her on to the floor and begins pounding on her. WTF????
The woman being assaulted screams and wraps her arms and legs around the attacking woman’s body. The attacking woman’s friend and another street man are on the situation immediately. They each put their hands on the women and gently try to pull them apart. As they do this, they are both talking calmly and gently talking to the women. The Occupiers just stand and watch, looking like a buncha dummies.
However, it looks like the street men have everything under control. The friend gets the attacking woman to let go and stand up. She looks confused, like she just woke up. The friend hauls her off saying, “Sorry, sorry” as they leave.
The other street man helps the assaulted woman on to the one remaining chair. She looks stunned. An Occupier offers to put her inside the cab of the truck where she can feel safer. She gratefully accepts. Another Occupier comments, “Well, now I see why the attacking woman has been banned from CHUM”.
Once everything is packed up, the Occupier goes to talk with the battered woman. The woman exclaims, “I’ve never seen that woman ever in my life. She asked me a couple of questions about people I’ve never heard of so I just told her I didn’t know any of those people” The Occupier asks, “You came with Lil Bear, didn’t you?” The woman replies, “Yes I did and I have no place to go now”. The Occupier calls out to everyone still in the Plaza, “Does anyone know where Lil Bear is?”
The older burned out Native dude, who’s been coming around lately, comes over and informs her, “He’s just across the street; if you’ll watch my bag, I’ll go over and find him”. Off he goes. Lil bear returns shortly; he’s carrying all the blankets. When the Occupier tells him what happened, he looks concerned. He goes to sit with the assaulted woman and he puts a blanket around her.
When it appears that everything has settled down to a dull roar, an Occupier opines to the others, “We need to talk about what to do when violent things happen. Maybe we could talk about it next Tuesday”. Another Occupier agrees, “Yeah, it seems like if we want to stop relying on the police, we need to discuss other options”.
After all that, we plan to be back at Peoples Plaza next Tuesday.

G.A. Minutes 9-12-17

G.A. Minutes 9-12-17
It’s summer again!!! At least that’s what it feels like when the Occupiers roll up on Peoples Plaza this evening. We’ve had marvelous summer weather all day; this evening the sky is partly cloudy, the temperature is in the high 70s with an occasional light southern breeze.
We are just beginning to set up the fire circle when The Boyfriend shows up. He is ranting and is really, really angry. We are taken back by the amount of bad and vulgar language spewing out of his mouth. Apparently, he was just sitting on a bench across the street in Lake Park Plaza. He wasn’t sleeping but he was resting with his eyes closed so he didn’t notice when the Duluth police officer quietly walked up and stood beside him. The cop grabbed The Boyfriend’s arm and yanked it so hard, the Boyfriend feared it had been pulled out of the socket. Then the cop told him to “move along”.
Once the ranting guy took a breath, an Occupier asks, “Did you get the cop’s name or badge number?” The Boyfriend answers, “Naw, but it was that black cop from Louisiana”. None of us know which cop that is but we do know that the cop is definitely out of the loop. Chief Tuscan and the rest of the administrators have very recently put out a new policy entitled Interactions with Persons Experiencing Homelessness. This policy instructs all DPD officers to treat people suspected of being homeless in the same manner that they treat the tourists or other citizens of Duluth who are suspected of being well off and important.
The Occupier tells The Boyfriend, “You could file a complaint about the cop’s abuse; we’d be willing to help you with it or we could do it on your behalf”. The angry man replies, “I just might do that!” He then continues to behave in a manner so surly and nasty that another Occupier has to tell him, “You know, we’re trying to keep a good vibe going around here. If you can’t help us with that, maybe you should leave for a while”. The Boyfriend does leave; throughout the evening we see him peeking occasionally through the bushes from the sidewalk but he never does come back to the fire. Maybe this is a sign of respect?
A large group of Anonymous folks arrive. Tonight is a special night for them as they are about to begin their Operation Black Snake Engaged. They will be calling attention to the proposed Enbridge Line 3 pipeline that promises to pollute all the manoomin (wild rice) and the lakes, rivers and streams that drain into our big Lake Superior. This proposed pipeline will carry tar sands oil, the most destructive form of oil in existence.
Enbridge claims this oil is desperately needed in the world but the truth is that the only “need” this pipeline will meet is the “need” for Enbridge stockholders and CEOs to line their pockets with more money than they already have. Public hearings for this proposed pipeline will be held from September 26th to October 26th throughout the Northland. The public hearing in Duluth will be held on Wednesday, October 18th 1pm-4pm and 6pm-9pm at the DECC. The Occupiers and Anons plan to attend.
Although Line 3 is only a proposed pipeline, Enbridge is behaving as though it were already a done deal. They have mountains of new pipeline piled all along the proposed pipeline route; they also have much digging equipment and have even begun digging in some places. Water Protector Camps are springing up at various places along the route in order to monitor the behavior of the Enbridge workers. Water Protectors have also participated in at least 6 “lockdowns”. A lockdown is when Water Protectors chain themselves to oil company earth destroying machines in order to prevent the workers from using these machines and in order to force a general work stoppage. Every time Water Protectors can force a work stoppage it costs the oil company money. Money seems to be the only thing that oil companies understand.
The Anons plan to hold their Operation Black Snake Engaged for the next 2 weeks and to protest on the corner, march, make slogans with chalk and use any other non-violent methods they can think of to call attention to the proposed Line 3.
Some of the Anons are hungry so they chow down from the table before going out to the street. An Occupier says to the Anon that she usually drives home after the fire, “I’m gonna have to be out of here by 9pm tonight. I have to meet with Mayor Larson early tomorrow about what the City can do to provide 24/7 access to bathrooms for homeless people and others. I suppose it would be a good idea for me to get enough sleep in order to talk sense at the meeting”. “No problem”, says the Anon. He’s planning on staying out as long as his young body will allow.
A couple of well-respected Water Protectors from Fond du Lac enter the circle. They have made the effort to get to Duluth in order to participate with the Anons. The Water Protectors are friends with some of the Occupiers so stop in to say hello. They have not been in our fire circle before; they think it’s really cool.
An Occupier tells the Water Protectors, “My partner and I went out to Mukwa (Bear) Camp last Saturday”. A Water Protector responds, “Yeah, I saw you guys roll in just as I was leaving. I planned on coming back in time to greet you but things just didn’t work out that way”.
The Water Protectors and Anons go out to the corner; they plan on preaching to the cars for a while and then to go marching through the downtown area and Canal Park.
The single parent Occupier appears; he gets coffee, sits down and reports, “I read a newspaper article recently that said the City was gonna put up 5 new street lights in West Duluth and that it was gonna cost 3 million dollars to do so. 3 million dollars? I don’t understand why it should cost that much”. Everyone in the circle thinks that price is too much.
The big African American dude who was having girlfriend problems last week returns to the fire. He has a different woman with him this time. They get snacks, sit in the circle for a bit and then go to one of the back benches to chat. It appears they are getting to know each other. We kind of recognize the new woman but can’t remember where we’ve met her.
The Stylish Native Woman and her partner join us. It now gets dark a little before 8pm. They’re just stopping in to roll a few cigarettes then they’ll go off to their sleeping place.
A middle-aged, very pleasant Native woman is sitting with us tonight. We haven’t met her in the past but she gives off a very good vibe. When a conversation about protecting the earth gets going she offers, “Our Mother Earth is alive. She has been abused by humans for many centuries now and she is ill. All these storms, fires and such are happening because she is trying to heal herself”. An Occupier adds, “Hopefully she won’t have to rid herself of humankind in order to become whole again”.
A petite, Caucasian woman who visits our fire from time to time is also in the circle this evening. We think she may be some type of outreach worker. The petite woman opines, “The first thing one needs to do is to heal themselves”. She goes on to talk about meditation, yoga, a healthy diet and sobriety.
Menagerie Woman rides up; she’s finished donating plasma and is going to her Tuesday night movie. This time the movie is one that is currently popular; she expects it will be an extra-long one so she won’t be getting home until midnight. Seeing as Bush Man is already at home, he’ll need to take the dogs out tonight.
Taco Helping Man and his partner come up the stairs. Taco Man is talking about the same thing he always does. He speaks about how he wants to quit drinking and resume all the Native spiritual practices that he participated in before he became addicted to alcohol and drugs. He’s managed to kick his drug habit but the alcohol spirit just doesn’t seem to want to let him go. He is troubled by the large amount of Native people he knows who are lost in alcohol. He says, “Who will help the Indian people?”
The anguished look on his face when he talks about these things really touches our hearts. We tried to advise Taco Man to put his tobacco out and to pray. We don’t know why but he doesn’t seem to want to do it that way. None of the Occupiers are of Native heritage; we know that he needs a Native person with knowledge of Native spiritual practices to show him the way.
We remind Taco Man that the next Sobriety Feast will be tomorrow at the Central Hillside Community Center at 6pm. We remind him that there will be a vigil for The Woman Who Tells Good Stories this upcoming Friday at noon, also at CHCC. Taco Man’s partner is one of the sisters of the Woman Who Tells Good Stories.
When an Occupier tells the couple about Mukwa Camp their eyes brighten. Taco Man exclaims, “Could we go there?!? Could we pack up our tent and all our belongings and take them there?” We think there is definite possibility that they would be accepted at the camp. They are actually a well-meaning, peaceful couple. We think people at the camp would be willing to teach and help them. However, that’s enough information for now. They are both somewhat slow minded so we don’t want to overload them. The next time we see them we’ll talk about it some more. The partner reminds Taco Man that they need to go to their tent and go to sleep early tonight as she needs to go to an early Dr.’s appointment tomorrow.
An older African American man who occasionally attends our fires comes up. We think he may also be some type of outreach worker. He wants to know why we have this fire and we tell him about the people’s right to make use of public space. He wants to know more and after beating around the bush for a bit, we explain that we are Occupy Duluth. Now he gets it; he seems relieved.
The older black man and the petite white woman already know each other. They begin a private conversation about programs, grants and stuff like that.
Now we get a visit from The Most Obnoxious Street Woman. She has not attended our fire since we moved to Peoples Plaza. We don’t say anything but we think “OH NO!” We were hoping she’d forgotten that we existed. Funny thing though….. She’s not acting particularly obnoxious. This is very different. She’s still saying stupid stuff and teasing all the men but she’s not telling lies and trying to cause trouble. We have no problem with that.
The developmentally disabled man who lives at the Wet House stumbles in. It appears that he can still walk tonight but, as usual, he’s drunk. He starts saying stupid stuff and The Most Obnoxious Street Woman joins him. Great…..
Well, it is 9pm and this change in the dynamic of the circle gives us a good reason to pack up. So that’s what we do.
As we are driving out of the Plaza we see that Taco Helping Man and his partner have not gone back to their tent as they planned. They’ve hooked up with an older Native street man who is a confirmed alcoholic. This man has many cans of beer and they are all drinking it. We think the partner is not gonna make her Dr.’s appointment tomorrow. We think Taco Man will wake up feeling sick and berate himself for hours.
Oh well……Life goes on. We bid them all a goodnight and plan to be back at Peoples Plaza next Tuesday.

G.A. Minutes 9-5-17

G.A. Minutes 9-5-17
It definitely feels like autumn rather than late summer at Peoples Plaza this evening. It’s been raining off and on all day; we think it’s probably stopped now. The sky is overcast; the temperature is in the mid-50s and a strong north westerly wind threatens to blow us all away. There is also a full moon. In the past, we’ve noticed that things can become rather unhinged during full moon evenings. Hmmm……..
The Occupiers who bring all the supplies are the first to arrive. They find the high school aged member of Anonymous waiting. As he helps with the setting up of the fire circle, he tells them that his uncle tried to choke him to death on Sunday. His mother refused to defend him so he ran away from home; he spent the night on a friend’s couch.
He spent most of the day Monday and today at Life House talking with the staff and other young people. The counselors have agreed to help him; they’ve offered him a place in the new Center for Changing Lives in October. Until then he will be able to stay on his friend’s couch. He plans to continue attending school and to graduate. The Occupiers encourage the young Anon to accept all of the help that Life House offers him.
More Occupiers roll up and so does Chicago Man. We haven’t seen him in several weeks; that’s because he’s been working at his new job. In fact, he now has 2 jobs; at this rate he’ll be able to get a place of his own soon.

The new boyfriend of the former homeless African American man appears. He has a sack full of trinkets; he gifts each of the Occupiers with some of them. He asks if we have seen the former homeless man lately; we have not. The Boyfriend is bouncing around and talking non-stop; we don’t say anything but assume he’s “methed up” again. At least the stuff he’s yakking about sounds intelligent and makes more sense than what we usually hear from “meth heads”.
Many Anons arrive; they take seats around the big, roaring fire so they can warm up a bit. Once they’re toasty, they go out to the street corner to remind the general public about the really important things in life.
Our friend, The Anarchist, from Vets for Peace rides up on his bike. As usual, he gets some coffee, makes a donation and takes a seat. He comments, “So now I see that He Who Shall Not Be Named is taking aim at the Dreamers. What a fucking loser!” An Occupier adds, “I don’t think the immigrant community is going to take this lying down. The undocumented children who were brought here by their undocumented parents and have been raised up in the US school systems and the US culture are valuable assets to their employers, colleges and communities. HWSNBN is trying so desperately to come up with something that will actually succeed that he’s now going after children. I doubt it will fly; you’re right, he is a big f’ing loser”.
The Occupier who is the single parent of 3 boys arrives. We are so glad to see him. He’s been working out of town all summer but now that school is about to start again, he and his family have returned to the Twin Ports. After we’re finished with all the hugs and greetings, the newly returned Occupier says, “I’ve been able to read most of the meeting minutes over the summer but is there anything happening that I might not know about?”
Another Occupier answers, “Well, plans for the anti-white supremacist rally are taking shape. The theme of the event will be March to Dismantle the Legacy of Racism. It’s will take place on Saturday, October 14th starting from the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial at 10am, marching through the downtown and ending up at the Civic Center. At the Civic Center there will be speakers and music.
“We’re hoping that this march will be the start of workshops, discussions and such about how so-called white people can dismantle the legacy of racism in this country and in our immediate surroundings. Personally, I believe that every white American person, no matter how kind and well-meaning they are, carries some elements of racism within their psychological makeup. It’s impossible not to; this country was founded on racism and white folks are ingrained in racism from birth by our society.
“I don’t think we should blame or chastise ourselves; it’s not our fault that we were born into white privilege. However, it is our responsibility to see, understand and then eliminate the problem. Hopefully, some people of color will be willing to guide us but it’s really not their job to rid us of our racism. That job belongs to us. Of course, as usual, I think that getting rid of capitalism would make the job easier”.
A 30 something African American man who we have not met before has been sitting in the circle since the fire was lit. He hasn’t said anything up until now but it seems he has a story to tell. We all listen. He tells us he arrived in Duluth with his girlfriend a few weeks ago. He has been in a relationship with this girlfriend for the last year or so. They are both from Minneapolis but his girlfriend managed to make quite a few enemies there so she wanted to move to Duluth.
They have been staying at CHUM since their arrival and were waiting for her SSI check to be released. When that happened, they planned to pool their resources and rent an apartment. The girlfriend received her SSI check on September 1st and promptly took off with some guy to hole up and smoke crack until her money ran out.
Now that the money is gone, she’s back. Because she spent all of her money and didn’t give any of it to CHUM for safe keeping, she is no longer allowed to stay there. She tells the man who is telling this story that she’s sorry and wants him to take her back. She wants him to take all of the savings he has brought with him from his job in The Cities and use the savings to rent an apartment for the both of them. He told her no; he’s not gonna do that and he doesn’t want her back. Now she’s running all over the street telling anyone who will listen that he is a terrible person who has robbed and abused her.
The heartbroken man opines, “During all the time we were together, I never hit her or disrespected her in any way. I always took care of her and made sure she had everything she needed but I’m done now. I know I have to be civil to her when I see her. I don’t want her to flip out and kill herself or something. No way do I want to have to carry that with me for the rest of my life. I guess I’m supposed to feel bad for leaving her but I really don’t. Am I doing the right thing?”
People in the circle tell him that he hasn’t done anything wrong. It appears that Chicago Man is actually the expert on this type of situation; he’s had to remove harmful people from his life over the past several years. He begins to counsel the perplexed guy; they move off a little and start talking. Chicago Man has a certain amount of sense and is African American too. We’ll leave him to deal with this one.
Menagerie Woman rides up. She’s wearing a soft, warm hooded sweatshirt tonight. Clever and practical girl that she is. She’ll sit with us until her bus arrives.
A street man who we have been aware of for years sits down. We’d like to chase this evil dude off but we don’t. We met him back when we had our homeless camp; one of the homeless women brought him in. He hadn’t been in camp for even a day when he got into an argument with a guy who accused this evil dude of raping his daughter. Mr. Evil stabbed the accuser; we had cops running around everywhere and eventually both Mr. Evil and the accuser went off to prison. Mr. Evil has spent quite a lot of his life in prison.
Mr. Evil also abuses any type of substance he can get his hands on. Tonight is no exception; he’s messed up on something and half drooling, half mumbling about who knows what. Despite his many faults, the evil doer is quite physically handsome and generally has some innocent woman at his side. This evening he is accompanied by a well put together older woman who appears to want to take care of him. We doubt she’ll stay around for long; none of them do.
Anyway, the couple sits for a bit, then leaves. The woman says they are going to catch a bus. Once they are gone, The Boyfriend notices that his bag of trinkets is missing. One of the young female Anons comes back to get her backpack and finds that it is missing too. Everyone starts looking around. We find The Boyfriend’s bag but the Anon’s backpack is definitely gone. A few of the Anons go up to the bus stop; Mr. Evil and his companion are nowhere to be found. Bummer. We remind people that if they want to leave something by the fire, they need to tell us so we can put it somewhere safe. The street can be dangerous at times.
When a woman who has been sitting on a bench outside the circle asks for a cigarette, an Occupier reaches for the tobacco pouch on the table. It’s not there; after questioning everyone in the space, it is determined that the tobacco pouch is missing too. It was still on the table after Mr. Evil left; that means someone else has taken it. This is not good, especially since the tobacco is put out for everyone to freely use. In all the years that we have been making this fire circle, nothing has been stolen from the table. This is a very unusual evening.
An Anon and the single parent Occupier begin a discussion about the existence or non-existence of God. A few of the other Anons join in. The Occupier is well versed in the subject; in fact, it’s one of his favorite topics. Being younger, the Anons are less experienced so the conversation is rather elemental. Still, it’s a good conversation.
After a while some of the Anons ask to take a picture. They plan to make a flyer and want to have a picture of the Occupiers, Anons and others around the fire on the flyer.
We all get up, take a protest sign, hold it up and get our picture taken. Once that is finished, the Fire Magician goes to get his truck so we can pack up, put the fire out and call it a night. As everyone goes back to their chairs, an Occupier accidently bumps the edge of the fire pit, the pit is up-ended and the fire burns brightly on the brick floor. Fortunately, the Magician and his truck arrive, someone grabs a shovel, the fire gets quickly scooped up into the metal trash can, all remaining dust and ash gets swept up with a broom and the floor looks like nothing ever happened. We are all shaking our heads as we hurry to pack everything else up. Geez……
We plan to make some minor adjustments and try again at Peoples Plaza next Tuesday.