G.A. Minutes 3-27-18

G.A. Minutes 3-27-18

So it snowed last night, not a lot but enough to make everything covered in white again. After sunrise it turned into rain and right now, at 6pm, the sky has cleared; all the white stuff has melted and the temperature is 47 degrees. It seems kinda weird but around here, it’s normal weather for this time of year. It causes us to believe that spring is going to show up again. We sure hope so.

As the first Occupiers to arrive at Coney Island put their stuff in a booth and pull some tables together, one Occupier says to another, “So what’s been going on in your life since I saw you last week?” The Occupier responds, “Well, myself, the other Occupier and the Camp Makwa (bear) Line 3 Resistance Water Protector who all chained ourselves to the Wells Fargo gate a while back will be meeting with our attorneys tomorrow. I assume we’ll be discussing strategy; we have a pre-trial hearing coming up in mid- April and then a trial sometime after that. The questioning Occupier adds, “I know I’ve already said this a million times before but I’m really proud and grateful to you guys for stepping up and doing that lockdown. You all rock!”

A couple of peeps from the Anonymous crew roll up. One of them tells us, “The Anon who’s been doing a lot of our lead organizing is not gonna be able to make it to these meetings for a while. He had to get a job in order to keep a roof over his head. The college financial aid he’s been getting just isn’t enough to survive on so he picked up a part time position in a restaurant in West Duluth. He’s gonna stay in college and work the job too, while still participating in Anonymous actions. He has to work every Tuesday night for now though”.

An Occupier comments, “Yeah, that’s one of the ways the 1% keeps us all enslaved; housing rents are so high and our jobs pay so little that we’re forced to give most of our lives away just trying to survive. People who have good educations or family connections can get better paying jobs but those jobs have so many requirements that infringe on their personal lives that they live in fear of expressing the wrong opinion or being seen in public doing anything that exposes the true nature of the 1%. We are all slaves to The Man and as soon as the people realize it and turn off their TV sets, we’ll be able to make a better world. We and many, many others are laying the ground work for what is to come”.

Another Occupier suggests, “On the topic of laying the ground work, I know we all want to go out to Makwa Camp. Why don’t we go out there next Tuesday instead of meeting here?” Someone replies, “That’s a really good idea! If we could leave from Duluth around 1pm we could get there in time to still help with whatever projects they have going on for the day, help with cooking and maybe stay for the nightly meal. We have room for 3 more people in our car; if more folks are able to join us, we could take our truck too. Going out on Tuesday makes a lotta sense because we all clear our schedules in order to meet anyway so if we just hook up a little earlier, unless there’s a blizzard or something, we should have a great day”. An Occupier and a few Anons are able to make the trip; we’ll contact others who aren’t present to see who else is able to join us. We all say, “Sounds like a plan”.

An Anon reports, “Our Divest action at Wells Fargo and US Bank last Friday went well. A smaller amount of cops showed up this time and they didn’t seem worried that we were going to blow something up or whatever. Things were much calmer; maybe they’re getting a clue as to who we really are”. An Occupier agrees, “ Right, I’ve never seen or heard of anything violent being done by the real Anonymous people. I suppose anyone can buy a Guy Fawkes mask and do whatever they want but peeps who actually subscribe to the Anonymous code are non-violent as far as I know. That’s in spite of that guy on the internet who says, ‘We do not forget, we do not forgive, expect us’ “. We all laugh.

One of the Occupiers asks the Occupier who reports things, “So what’s on the agenda for the rest of the week?” The reporting Occupier replies, “Please don’t forget that Skip Sandman’s Anishinaabe Taco Sale Fundraiser will be happening on Friday, 4:30p-8p at the Central Hillside Community Center. He’s really gonna need our help; Socialist Pizza is also happening on Friday, 6:30p-8p at the Women’s Building. I love going to Socialist Pizza but I’ll probably miss it as I’ll need to stay and help with the cleanup after the taco sale. Most of you guys might be able to make it down there once the sale winds down . Then on Saturday, March 31st at 7:30p, some women from AICHO will be having a Full Moon Ceremony in the backyard of the Washington Center (310 N 1st Ave W). It’s a women only event and women wishing to attend should wear a skirt. However, they will also need sober Native men and other sober men to guard the perimeters so the women won’t be disturbed by any of our local crazies who frequent the neighborhood. On Tuesday, WE’RE GOING TO MAKWA!!! Yay!!!” We all laugh again.

An Occupier says to another, “So what is the latest news with the Homeless Persons Bill of Rights Coalition?” The questioned Occupier explains, “I got confused and missed the meeting last Thursday but I think the main thing right now is to push for expediency and transparency concerning all this City Code stuff with the City Attorney. When we did the COW (committee of the whole) the City Councilor who is sponsoring the HPB of R gave a good speech about how we have already been jumping through their hoops for the past 5 years, enough is enough, this researching of the codes and statutes must be finished quickly and blah, blah, blah. I don’t think her speech will make much difference though so we’ll need to continuously bug the City Attorney’s office so they’ll get the job done. Maybe they’ll finish quickly to get us to leave them alone?

“Our City Councillor is an attorney and is supposed to help with the research but she tells us she doesn’t know how to do it. Great…. This whole thing could easily fall deep into the bowels of City government, never to be seen again, if we’re not vigilant and careful. During all that crap we went through with the cops, fire department, city government and all when we were holding our fire circles at the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial forced me to learn how to research codes and statutes. I’d be willing to help them and they’d be welcome to take all the credit for any work that I do but I’m waiting for someone to tell me what the actual research procedure will be. I’m not willing to do a bunch of work if they won’t make use of it.

Over the years, I’ve noticed that some people who have so called big jobs with high salaries think they’re very smart and competent and basically really hot shit. They may be hot shit, I don’t know, but smart and competent? I’ve found this to not always be the case”. Laughter abounds.

An Occupier states, “Hey, I heard that the former evil slumlord of our former Homeless Camp is asking the City to sell him back his Old Kozy building”. Most say, “WTF?” An Anon says, “Huh?”

The Occupier explains,”The slumlord owner of the Old Kozy owed 27 thousands dollars in back taxes and wasn’t doing anything about it so the City repossessed the building about a year ago. Ordinarily, we’d be talking bad about the City but in this case, our old evil slumlord is a very messed up dude. He has a long history of trying to get as much as he can from a person while giving them nothing in return. Another Occupier adds, “Yeah, and the dude is fucking nuts too! I think the City will avoid having any dealings with him if they can help it”.

There’s been a fair amount of customers this evening. We were so busy talking that we didn’t notice much; it looks like we’re that last ones left now. Time to go. We’re all in a good mood as we leave because we know we’re going to try and make a trip to Makwa next Tuesday. We expect to return to Coney Island on Tuesday, April 9th 6pm. See you then?