G.A. Minutes 10-3-17

G.A. Minutes 10-3-17
It’s been kind of a weird day which is now being followed by kind of a weird evening. We’re meeting at Coney Island on 1st St because we had a serious rainstorm that began late Monday evening and lasted until mid-morning today.
Because we need to do food preparation and such, we generally make a decision as to where we’re gonna meet by around noon of our meeting day. When the rain stopped around mid-morning, the sun peeked out for a bit and then it clouded over again. The weather map showed there was more rain to come but was not definite about whether it was gonna come here or not.
Also, the Fire Magician’s truck is in the shop waiting to get its front end repaired. The fire pit, chairs, table and other fire circle stuff are in the truck. In order to meet at Peoples Plaza, the Magician would have needed to get someone to drive him to the repair shop, get the truck and then bring it back to the shop the next morning. That seemed like way too much of a hassle when we didn’t know if it was gonna rain again.
So here we are at Coney Island. This Coney Island is different than the one we used to go to (until it went out of business) on Superior St. It’s much bigger but doesn’t have healthy food options. The staff is accommodating and non-judgmental just like the old place but it doesn’t look like they employ hipsters. That means no way cool music on the sound system. Bummer.
What we really would like is a hippie type soup kitchen with very affordable prices, non-alcoholic, comfortable, accepting of all types of customers that employs friendly, intelligent and witty staff people who are well paid and treated so well that they just love working there. It would have palm trees and be run by the IWW too. Well, it could happen.
Anyway, we don’t expect to have a lot of Occupiers in attendance tonight. The first rehearsal for Echoes of Peace Choir is happening this evening; some of the Occupiers are members of this choir. Seeing as the choir hasn’t rehearsed for a while, we expect they’ll run late.
An Occupier starts by apologizing to the others, “So I suppose you’ve noticed that I didn’t write any minutes from last week’s fire circle? Most of you know that I was laid up in bed with a cold for several days last week. I’m still pretty low energy; with all the things going on right now, I just was unable to catch up. Too bad because, with the exception of the cops showing up several times to harass the Anonymous crew for wearing their masks, I thought last week’s meeting was pretty mellow”.
Another Occupier adds, “Oh that reminds me; I printed out copies of the MN Statute about not concealing one’s identity when in a public place. The Anons could give a copy to any cops who come to harass them. Most of the time cops have no idea what a law actually says. They just listen to what their supervisor tells them; usually the supervisor doesn’t know anything either. Many times though, the cops just make things up and then expect citizens to obey them.
“MN Statute 609.735 has so many loopholes in it that the Anons can easily slide through. The street cops will be pissed off and will try to act intimidating but as long as the Anons remain firm but respectful the cops will eventually leave them alone. I hear the Anons will be marching tonight and will probably stop by here but of course, I forgot to bring the copies”.
Just as we are speaking of the Anons, a good sized group of them roll in. They have their masks and some signs; they’ve been marching around the downtown area. They may have decorated a few buildings along the way or maybe they didn’t. Some things are better left unspoken.
The Coney Island staff have assured us that we can go ahead and slide more tables together when more of our people show up; so that’s what we do. One of the crew has tried to dye his hair red but it didn’t actually turn out the way he wanted it to. His hair color is more of a rose pink and he’s not too pleased about it. It actually doesn’t look too bad and we try to assure him of this. We don’t think he believes us.
They’re making a pit stop to get something to eat and also to see what’s up with us. An Anon asks, “So what do you have going on for the rest of the week? The Occupier who reports stuff answers, “Tomorrow is the weekly planning meeting for the Dismantle the Legacy of Racism; Build a Community of Peace march and rally that will take place on October 14th at 10am starting at the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial and marching to the Civic Center for the rally. It looks like there will be lots of people attending; the organizers are planning other anti-racist events to take place over the next year or so.
“I’ll be going to the Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights Coalition meeting on Thursday, 6:30pm at Dorothy Day House. I’ll also have to find the time to make the taco meat for the Idle No More/Northwoods Wolf Alliance Anishinaabe Frybread Taco Sale on Friday at the Washington Center from 11am-2pm. They need people to help at the sale so anyone who can help will get one of their delicious tacos for free.
“Monday, October 9th is Indigenous People’s Day and there will be an event at noon at the Civic Center. There’s a lot more things going on this month but these are the main things I know about that will happen before our next meeting”.
An Anon adds, “Remember that the Public Utilities Commission will be holding a public hearing concerning Enbridge’s Line 3 at the DECC all day and evening on Wednesday, October, 18th”. All the Occupiers plan to attend.
Another Anon asks the Fire Magician, “So what’s up with your truck?” The Magician responds. “Well, it runs fine and its o.k. for driving around town and on the freeway but we’re running low on firewood and need to go out to the country to get more. That will entail driving on bumpy dirt roads while pulling a trailer. The shocks and the front end need some work before we can do that. The mechanic guy says he’ll have it fixed by early next week.
“Once that’s done we’ll go get more firewood; maybe some of you would be willing to help us stack it up when we get back. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to get enough so we can bring some out to Mukwa (Bear) Line 3 Camp too”.
The Anons are ready to hit the streets again. As they get ready to leave, the city official arrives. We don’t get to see him as much as we’d like to these days. He’s very busy with organizing all the musical events for the annual Martin Luther King event in January. Then there’s his weekly radio show and he’s started teaching a course at one of our local 4 year colleges.
He tells us about the latest developments for the MLK event. The yearly event has always been sponsored by our local NAACP chapter. Over the years and across the nation, the NAACP has been considered to be far too conservative for many African Americans, especially the youth.
When Black Lives Matter and other groups organized primarily by African American youth came on the scene, the national NAACP leaders put out a directive to all the local chapters saying they needed to become more current and responsive to the requirements of the youth. Our local Duluth NAACP chapter is attempting to follow this directive. We think this may be why they asked the city official to take charge of the music for MLK.
However, when the city official explained his initial plans to the MLK planning committee, some of the elders were nervous about the many changes being made. The official man had to tell them that his acceptance of the task they have given him was sort of a “take it or leave it” deal. When he put it that way, the elders decided to take it.
Everyone is tired tonight; we’ve all been working hard. We decide to head out and get some rest in preparation for the week ahead. We very much hope to be back at Peoples Plaza next Tuesday.

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