G.A. Minutes 1-30-18
Hey, guess what….. it’s still winter. Ordinarily that would not be very surprising but seeing as the winter season started in mid-October, it seems like we should be getting a reprieve about now. When I bring up this idea, people tell me, “Things just don’t work that way”. When I ask why, they tell me, “Because life isn’t fair”. I never know what to say after that so I settle for an expletive or two and leave it at that.
Anyway, the weather is pretty much like it usually is during this time of year. The temperatures stay in the teens above zero during the day and drop into the single digits below zero at night. When the wind blows, it takes whatever the temperature is down at least 20 degrees; when it snows without a wind we might go all the way up to 20 above, until the snow stops. Then it’s back down again and so on and so on and so on…… It’s enough to give a person Seasonal Affective Disorder but let’s not talk about that now.
As the first arriving Occupiers settle in at Coney Island one of them tells the others, “I got robbed a couple of days ago”. We say, “WTF?!?” He continues, “Someone got ahold of my bank debit card and took $580 out of my account. That’s all the money I had and rent is due again in a couple of days. I won’t have any money again until mid-February. What a total bummer”.
Another Occupier adds, “I had the same thing happen to me a few months ago. I must have accidently dropped my card when I paid for my groceries; when I went to pay for something at another store about 15 minutes later, I found that I didn’t have my card. I reported it to the credit union security department immediately but still, the thief must have found my card within a few minutes of my dropping it because they went straight up the hill to the big mall and spent everything I had. However, it happened just a few days before my next payday so I was able to pay my rent on time.
“I will be able to get my money back though and so will you, it just takes forever. Whenever a store clerk receives a card as payment from someone they don’t know, the clerk is supposed to ask for an ID to go along with the card. If they don’t, then the store is responsible for your loss or something like that. You have to fill out some papers at your bank, get a case number from the police and then wait for the corporate machine to work its way through the system and eventually you get your money back; or so I’m told”.
The first Occupier replies, “That would be nice. There sure are a lot of desperate people out here. There have always been desperate people in the streets but with the big increase of junkies and methheads happening these days, things have gotten way out of hand. One has to either watch their back 24/7 or not own anything that they would like to keep. If one is homeless, even hanging on to a few pair of clean underwear is not a given”. We all dig into our wallets and give the recently robbed Occupier every penny we can spare.
An Occupier reports, “I assume none of you were surprised that I didn’t put out any minutes from last week’s meeting”. None of us were surprised. She continues, “My computer is in the repair shop, I think it may be toast but I’m waiting to find out. As of now, he’s (she nods toward another Occupier) been able to open an account for me on his computer so I’ll use that for now”.
A young man who sometimes hangs with the Anonymous crew rolls in. He reports, “I don’t think any of the Anons will be coming down tonight. The dude who always leads our Tuesday night excursions has met a girl who interests him and he wants to get to know her better” We all say, “Aaahhh!” An Occupier adds, “Well good for him. He’s such a decent guy; he deserves to have a cool partner in his life”.
An Occupier says to the Occupier who likes to report things, “So what’s going on this next month?” The reporting Occupier responds, “Tomorrow there’s going to be a movie called Fossil Free shown at 6pm at the Red Herring. My guess is that it will be free or suggested donation. On Thursday, February 8th, the big Polymet hearing will be held at the DECC; the rally will be at 5pm outside the DECC with the hearing inside from 6pm-9pm. I know that I’ll definitely be going; depending on my mood, I may sign up to speak. I think the go-to group in relation to this event is Water Legacy”. All the Occupiers plan to attend the Polymet hearing. “Of course, everyone knows that Skip Sandman is running against Nolan for the 8th CD again. He’s going to hold his first fundraiser, an Anishinaabe Taco Sale over at AICHO on Friday, February 23rd from10am-2pm. Of course, he could use our help.” All of the Occupiers who are able will help out.
She goes on, “The Homeless Persons Bill of Rights Coalition will be needing to pack the City Council Chambers several times during the next month. I’m not sure of the exact dates right now but I do know that the Council always meets on Mondays. There will be lots more things going on but that’s all I know right now”.
Another Occupier has a report too, “Did you know that MN cops have a Bill of Rights?” We say, “Oh Please!” He says, “Well, they do”. I was at the Citizens Review Board meeting last week and a couple of the Deputy Chiefs were talking about the Police Officers Bill of Rights. I asked a few questions; they gave me the statute number and I looked it up. It’s MN statute 626.89 Peace Officers Discipline Procedures Act. Basically, it lists a bazillion types of protections that regular cops have if or when anyone, including their bosses, would make a complaint against them. It goes on for a long time and at the end it says that none of the rights given by the statute shall diminish the rights given to the cops in their union contracts”.
Someone exclaims, “Oh great! So cops have two bills of rights that protect them from being punished for any wrong doing they may guilty of but they don’t want our homeless folks to have a bill that simply mandates that homeless people are to be treated like human beings? Give me a break!”
We notice the C.I. staff are scurrying around and cleaning like crazy. Looks like it’s time to head out. An Occupier calls out, “If we hurry we can make it home in time to hear He Who Shall Not Be Named’s State of the Union Address”. We all crack up. Another Occupier opines, “I wouldn’t listen to that psychotic bozo talk about anything!” On that note, we’re off. We plan to be back here and still bitching about rich people and the government next Tuesday.
G.A. Minutes 1-30-18