G.A. Minutes 11-7-17
We’re at Coney Island again this evening. The temperature is already in the mid-20s and on its way further down. A moderate wind from the west is not helping at all; it’s dark too and we can’t see any visible stars so it’s probably cloudy. The weather people say it’s going to snow tomorrow and then go into slightly below zero temperatures. Great….. We didn’t expect winter to arrive so early and so suddenly. We didn’t even have time to exchange contact information with our most favored street folks.
Some of the Anonymous crew is outdoors by the side of the building when the first Occupiers arrive; others are inside Coney Island and have pushed several tables together so as to make room for a large gathering.
The Occupiers are slightly late as they stopped by their polling place in order to cast their votes in the City election. Some City Councilor and School Board positions are on the ballot along with a referendum asking to increase the City sales tax to pay for much needed repairs to our streets.
An Anon has brought a big pan of homemade fried chicken. It was left over from the nightly dinner served at Life House this evening. Fortunately, the Coney Island staff doesn’t mind them bringing in outside food. In fact, the staff guy adds an extra order of fries, at no charge, to their food and drink order. Sweet.
A new person is joining the Anons tonight; we don’t know where he came from, it seems he’s someone they met on the street. He appears to be a nice enough guy; he’s a college student who moved down from Virginia MN in order to study sociology at one of our local colleges. The Occupiers are all older than the Anons; the new guy keeps saying Ma’am and Sir to us until an Anon comments, “They’re with us”. The new guy becomes more relaxed after hearing that we are part of the Anonymous crew. That’s not completely true but no matter, we’re all working towards the same goal. Organizational names get in the way sometimes; in reality the Anons have strong bodies and great physical stamina. The Occupiers don’t have that anymore but we have a lot of life experience; each group uses somewhat different tactics but both are interested in saving humanity and Mother Earth.
An Anon tells us about the Million Mask March that most of them attended in St. Paul last Sunday. It sounds like there was a good turnout but it also sounds like there were more of various types of cops than there were Anons. Anyway, no one got their head beat in and they all had a good time.
Someone reminds us of when one of Bush Jr’s cabinet members said, “There are things we know and things we don’t. There are things that are unknown that that we know we don’t know and there are unknowns that we don’t know that we don’t know.” An Occupier laughs and adds, “And these guys were considered to be competent! I wonder what we’re supposed to consider all the people who work for He Who Shall Not Be Named”. We think Incompetent is too elevated a word for those bozos.
An Occupier reports, “The Homeless Persons Bill of Rights event last Thursday went well; there was pretty much a full house. When we asked actual homeless people which of the six porta potty sites that the City is offering they would find most suitable, the top two choices were that bus turn around space by the M+H gas station on W. Superior St and the Main Public Library Plaza. The other spaces chosen were Central Hillside Community Center, the Midtown Park Parking Lot, 1st Ave W. + W. Michigan St. and Lake Ave. + Superior St. So now I just have to email the Mayor and Parks N Rec with the choices and then we can start encouraging them to get those pottys set up”.
Changing the subject, another Occupier comments, “We had a good time going out to Makwa (Bear) Line 3 Resistance Camp yesterday, didn’t we?” Several other Occupiers nod in the affirmative. The Occupier continues, “It looks like they have quite a few people living there. Of course it was cold, so most of the people were inside individual handmade structures with pipes from wood stoves sticking out. Most structures were made from thick canvas; it looked kinda like a village for giant Hobbits. It’s definitely not a party camp, it’s a working camp and there’s plenty of work to be done. Like everyone else in the Northland, they didn’t expect winter to arrive quite so soon; they’re having to do some catching up.
“When we arrived with our load of firewood, many people came out to help unload it. They were happy to receive it; it didn’t look to me like they had a lot of firewood. I’m gonna try to think of ways to get them more wood.
“So when everyone started to unload the wood, I decided to act like some kind of ‘spring chicken’ and help them. Of course, I slipped on a piece of ice, landed on my hip, bounced off and landed full face in a pile of snow. It didn’t hurt at all when it happened but I’m certainly moving slow right now”. We can’t help but laugh.
An Occupier adds, “I think the answer to finding more firewood for Makwa Camp is to have the funds. Just about everything boils down to money these days. The City doesn’t want to open the heated public bathrooms to the homeless because it would cost too much money; we can’t have a decent educational system or more public housing because there’s not enough money etc. etc. However, there’s always enough money to give to rich people who already have enough and don’t really need any more”.
Another Occupier comments, “If our so called leaders don’t have enough money, they could stop having wars. There’d be enough money to go around then. The country of Costa Rica disbanded their army in 1948. Since then they’ve been spending their money on the needs of the people. Although Costa Rica has a standard of living much lower than ours, the country ranks #1 in the World Database of Happiness every year”.
Someone remarks, “Well, I see that Bernie Sanders is still kicking it in the Senate. If he runs again in 2020, maybe we could score big on the Happiness Index too”. An Occupier replies, “There were many good things about Bernie but I don’t remember that he ever spoke about ending war or disbanding our military. I think he did chastise Israel a bit at one point. I guess the fact that Bernie is Jewish would make him not want to criticize Israel too much”. Another Occupier opines, “I’m not Jewish so I don’t know anything for sure but I think being Jewish and supporting Israel are two separate things. I know many people who take their Jewish religion very seriously but they don’t support Israel at all. As to Bernie…..who knows?”
One of the Occupiers is a college student at the University of Wisconsin – Superior. Another Occupier says to the student, “It sounds like things are really hopping over at UWS these days”. The student Occupier answers, “Oh yes they are! The stupid administration is closing down 25 majors and minors and a graduate program too. These are really important programs like Broad Field Science, Chemistry, Journalism, Political Science, Sociology, Theatre and the Art Therapy Master Program. They say students have too many choices and are overwhelmed by them. Bull! I think it’s just another step toward Scot Walker and his minions’ dream of privatizing the whole WI University system.
“I wasn’t able to attend the sit in yesterday but I did go to a couple of the meetings. At one of them I asked the Chancellor if she was also gonna cut administrative positions. She gave me a dirty look and didn’t answer my question”.
An Occupier agrees, “I wanted to attend the sit in but went out to Makwa Camp instead. I wonder how all of this will play out. Please keep us posted”.
The Anons are bundling up in preparation for hitting the streets. There’s quite a few of them tonight. We notice a new woman who looks familiar to us; upon closer observation we realize she is Half Naked Woman. She visited our fire circle at Peoples Plaza one evening in the summer. She was really drunk and wearing a long skirt with a slit that went all the way up to her waist; she wasn’t wearing any underwear either. To top it off, she was crawling all over every man she could find and making them very uncomfortable. It’s hard to believe that the woman we see before us is actually the Half Naked One. Tonight she is all bundled up like the rest of the Anons; she’s calm and talking like a so called normal person.
The Occupier, who is a single parent and a college student too, brought his youngest son along with him this evening. As we’ve been talking, the boy has been eating hot dogs and playing with a cell phone. Now his father says to him, “You have political ideas too, don’t you? Why don’t you tell my friends some of them?”
The boy rolls his eyes then reports, “I think there should be accurate labeling on food and I think they should serve us better food for our school lunch”. His father says, “I’d better take off now; he has to go to school in the morning”.
We think it’s time for the rest of us to go home too. This cold weather makes us long to wrap up in warm blankets and hibernate until spring. Unfortunately, we can’t do that because the 1% has no intention of hibernating. We need to be ‘woke’.
The weather people say the temperature will be in the 40s next Tuesday; they also say it will be raining. We’ll probably be back here at Coney Island.
G.A. Minutes 11-7-17