G.A. Minutes 11-28-17
The weather is relatively mild this evening when we roll up to Coney Island, except when the wind blows. The sky is partly cloudy; the temperature is in the high 30s but when the strong, westerly gusts of air blast on through, the temperature quickly plummets to single digits or less.
The first couple of Occupiers to arrive at Coney Island are surprised to find that no one else is there yet. There are a few customers but no Occupiers or folks from the Anonymous crew. An Occupier remarks, “Damn, I hope tonight’s meeting doesn’t turn out like last week’s meeting; freezing cold outside and no shows up but you and me. Well, some of the Anons were here but after they left to ‘kick it’ in the streets, it was just you and I sitting, talking and waiting for others to show up. I didn’t even write any minutes for last week; it seemed kinda dumb to write minutes about you and me talking”.
As soon as the words are out of the Occupier’s mouth, a small group of Anons arrive. They say they’re not going out on the street tonight but will stay for the entire meeting. The group consists of most of the main organizers. One of them tells us, “We’ve had to ask a few members to leave our group. They were more interested in partying and drinking than in doing serious anti-capitalist work. We don’t have a lot of time for silliness so will have to part ways”.
Yesterday some of the Occupiers and some of the Anons attended the monthly open meeting of Socialist Action. The meeting is always held at a local pizza parlor; so we affectionately call these meetings Socialist Pizza. After the meeting the Anons went down to Bayfront Park to check it out and hold protest signs at Bentlyville. Every Christmas season the City of Duluth sponsors a gigantic Christmas light display with small bonfires scattered around, Christmas music and free hot chocolate. The display is located in Bayfront Park which is just outside our Duluth/Superior shipping harbor; it’s called Bentlyville after the original creator. Many people from the small towns dispersed all around The Great White North come to Duluth just to go to Bentlyville; many local people like to hang out there too. We ask the Anons how things went down at Bentlyville last night.
An Anons responds, “Things went really well. We had all our signs about sex trafficking with us seeing as a lot of that sex slavery originates from the ships that use our harbor. The response from the general crowd was very good. Many people smiled at us and gave the thumbs up sign; some even gave us money. It felt great to see that so many people actually had a clue”.
Another Anon says, “So you guys all know about the Pancakes Not Pipelines event at Central Hillside Community Center on Saturday from 5pm-9pm and the protest at the UWS Chancellors Ball also on Saturday from 5p-10p, right?” We all know and are planning to attend. An Anon adds, “We’ll go to the pipeline event first and then over the bridge to UWS”.
An Anon asks an Occupier, “Do the Homeless Persons Bill of Rights Ordinance Coalition meetings still happen every Thursday 6:30pm at Dorothy Day House?” The Occupier replies, “Yup, things are pretty much down to the wire now. We want to have the City Council pass the ordinance before the end of the year. I think the proposed bill is in the hands of the City Attorney now in order to get the legal language together. I’m hoping we’ll have the language back in time for our next meeting this upcoming Thursday.
“Right now what the coalition needs is for many people to write letters to the editor of the Duluth News Tribune urging the Duluth City Council to pass the ordinance now. I wrote a letter a couple of days ago. Someone from the DNT called me today so I could verify that I actually wrote the letter and want it to be published. I guess that means they’re going to publish it. I don’t subscribe to the DNT and don’t have time to go down to the Main Public Library every day to look at the paper. If anyone sees my letter, please let me know”.
The Occupier who is a single parent and a college student reports, “My environmental science class is driving me nuts again. They keep talking about how we can responsibly use fossil fuels until sustainable fuels are ready for use. I get so pissed off! Sustainable fuel sources are available right now”. Another Occupier agrees, “I know what you mean. It seems that most of the so called common people believe that sustainable fuel sources will be a good thing but that they are still in the development stages. They don’t realize that SUSTAINABLE JUST ABOUT EVERYTHING IS AVAILABLE RIGHT NOW! It’s just a matter of changing one’s mind”.
The college student Occupier opines, “It’s the major media that are owned by the corporations, who put all these lies into the brains of the common folks. They haven’t been taught to do their own research in order to find out what is real. It definitely bums me out to realize that people who are in college master degree science classes don’t care to find out the truth”.
An Occupier changes the subject by asking the Anons, “Hey, do you know the big, young Native Water Protector from Makwa Camp (she tells them the guy’s name)?” The Anons answer, “Oh yeah, we know him. He’s a really great guy”. The Occupier continues, “Well, he’s staying at the home of our good friend, organizer and Water Protector for a little bit. He’s diabetic and has had some minor foot injuries that have turned into a major problem because he’s not able to put his feet up or keep them dry at camp. Because of my previous work in the medical field, I was asked last night to go to look at the young Water Protectors toes.
“His toes aren’t dead, they can be healed but he definitely has to take some time off to rest and heal. He said he feels like he’s slacking and he needs to get back to the camp because there’s so much work that needs to be done. I tried to get him to understand that there are many different requirements for being a warrior and one of them is to have common sense. One needs to get their priorities straight and to realize that taking care of oneself will benefit the people in the long run. If he doesn’t take care of his toes now they will need to be amputated; then he’ll be fighting the pipeline companies from a wheelchair. I’m just an old white woman who doesn’t know much about Native ways but I think the dude heard me. I’ll be sure to check on him again in a few days”.
An Occupier sarcastically remarks, “So what do you think of the Republicans new tax plan?” Everyone groans and laughs or laughs and groans. Another Occupier exclaims, “I think it’s a piece of crap! Various Republicans keep trying to tell the so called common people that the tax plan has all sorts of good things for them. All my trusted sources say that is a bold face lie. The tax plan will actually benefit a small portion of the 1%. Middle and working class people will actually have to pay MORE taxes. I guess He Who Shall Not Be Named can tell bold faced lies every minute of his day so the rest his crew figure they can do the same”.
It’s 8:50pm and the staff guys are cleaning things. An Occupier couple has invited the small group of Anons to stop in at their house before going home. We leave tips and pack everyone into our vehicles. Unless the January Thaw shows up next Tuesday, we’ll be back here, same time, same station.
G.A. Minutes 11-28-17