G.A. Minutes 12-5-17

G.A. Minutes 12-5-17
We’re at Coney Island once more. No surprise there; the weather is really cold again. Skies are cloudy with snow forecast for later; the temperature says 14 above but the fierce wind is pushing it much lower. The streets are pretty much empty; only crazy people are out tonight.
The Occupiers and the Anonymous crew arrive simultaneously. We are all bundled up from head to toe but the Anons are also stylin’. A couple of the Occupiers are snazzy dressers but the Anons are professionals. They’re dressed mostly in black over layers of warm clothes; their hoods and gloves are black too. Each has his entire face covered by a different colored Anon mask. Some have capes and carry big flags.
They also have lots of flyers for the No Enbridge Line 3 Pipeline event to be held at Black Bear Casino on Monday December 11th at 10:30am. They’re going to flyer the entire downtown area once they rest and warm up for a bit. We order a carafe of coffee and a bunch of cups as a gesture of solidarity.
An Occupier says to an Anon, “Did you guys go to the Pancakes Not Pipelines event last Saturday?” An Anon answers, “Yeah, we were there early to help with set up and then we went over the bridge to the event at UWS”. The Occupier replies, “Oh, I thought you guys had probably been there. We showed up about an hour into the event, stayed for the entire thing and helped with cleanup. Everything went well; a carload of residents from the Makwa Line 3 Resistance Camp arrived just after we finished watching a really good documentary. Our friend who organized the pancake event was able to give almost $200 to the campers.
“They all got up and introduced themselves; each one of them has years of experience in protecting the water and fighting pipelines. They said they are always in need of firewood. I’ve been trying to find some for them but all the firewood dealers that I know of are out of dry, split and seasoned wood until next spring or summer. One of the Line 3 Water Protectors said they’d be more than happy with 8 foot logs which they are able to prepare themselves. I’ll get to work looking for 8 foot logs right away”.
Another Occupier adds, “The ‘pancakes people’ are having another meeting to plan next steps for supporting Makwa Camp and fighting Enbridge on Friday, December 8th at 11:30am at the same place where the Pancakes Not Pipelines event took place”. Many of the Occupiers plan to attend.
An Occupier asks an Anon, “Do you know that the Justice City Coalition is having a meeting tomorrow, 6pm at the Men As Peacemakers office?” The Anon answers, “We weren’t aware of that but now that we know, I think some of us will attend. We received an invitation to join the coalition a few weeks before the big march happened so we attended the last couple of meetings. The Occupier opines, “I’m excited to learn what the next steps will be in Dismantling the Legacy of Racism and Building a Community of Peace”.
One of the youngest Anons inquires, “Have you guys seen or heard about people in Leech Lake being able to turn on their water faucets, put a lighter to the faucets and see big flames come out of them?” None of us have seen or heard about this supposed phenomena. The Anon continues, “Yeah, I watched a video on Facebook of this girl who said she lived in Leech Lake. She put a lighter to her water faucet and flames came out. I heard that Facebook has since taken her video down and that all news coming out of Leech Lake is being censored”.
An Occupier responds, “Hmm… Leech Lake…. is there any fracking being done around there?” No one knows and she continues, “Flames coming out of one’s water faucets is usually a result of fracking. We know people who are from Leech Lake. If we see them, we’ll have to ask them what’s up”.
The Anons are now properly warmed and coffee’d up. They’re putting all their layers on. One of the Anons suggests, “Should we go down to Bentlyville again tonight?” The oldest Anon tells him, “Bentlyville? Tonight? Did you feel how cold the wind is outside? We’re up here where all the buildings are; the buildings block the wind. Bentlyville is wide open down on the bay. The wind down there will be so strong that it will be hard to even catch your breath. We need to save Bentlyville for another night”. Then off they go.
An Occupier queries, “So what’s going on with the city official? He hasn’t paid us a visit in over a month”. Another Occupier replies, “Oh, I guess I forgot to mention that he now has a very important meeting that he has to attend every Tuesday at Community Action Duluth. I don’t know any of the details but I know it has to do with the very real possibility of creating a not-for-profit charter school that will cater primarily to students of color”.
The first Occupier exclaims, “Oh that would be so cool! I sure hope it all works out; we really need a school like that in our community. I also hope that the official man gets a Tuesday night off soon so he can come to visit us. I miss hearing his point of view”.
The Occupier who reports stuff reports, “As usual, the Homeless Persons Bill of Rights Coalition meeting is on Thursday, 6:30pm at Dorothy Day House. Everyone is welcome”.
An Occupier comments to another, “It looks like the cold, dark days of winter are upon us now. It’s time to try and track down the partner of the Stylish Native Woman. I don’t want him to freeze off any more of his appendages this winter. As a last resort, I’ll let him sleep on my living room couch”.
Another Occupier agrees, “You are so right. We have to make sure that The Partner is taken care of this winter. I’ll go down to CHUM and look for the Stylish Woman; she stays at CHUM once it gets too cold to sleep outside. It’s too bad that they won’t let her partner stay there too. He may be schizophrenic but he’s also a very decent guy”.
It looks like we have another busy week ahead of us. It’s only a little after 8pm but we decide to pack up, go home and rest up for the week ahead of us. Our old bones don’t bounce back as quickly as they used to however, we’re just bursting with life experience and wisdom. In fact, we’re all so damn smart we’re gonna predict that we’ll be back at Coney Island next Tuesday.

G.A. Minutes 11-28-17

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 11-14-17

G.A. Minutes 11-14-17
The temperature is in the mid-40s this evening; all week long the weather people were forecasting warm temperatures along with rain all day and evening for this Tuesday. They got the warm temperatures right but it didn’t rain at all today.
WE COULD HAVE HAD A FIRE!!! Instead, we listened to the weather people and did not make preparations for a fire circle. Bummer; we’re at Coney Island once more. We probably won’t get a chance like this again until the brief January thaw that comes around each year. However, with all the climate change activity going on, we have no idea if we will be blessed with a thaw this season. Everything just gets curioser and curioser.
When the first Occupiers to arrive drive up they see a small group of Anons walking down the street, away from Coney Island. They figure the Anons must have showed up early, saw that no one was there yet and decided to cruise the hood. They’ll probably be back later.
As we are settling in, an Occupier comments, “I noticed that the City workers were putting up the annual gigantic Christmas tree in Peoples Plaza this afternoon. They was a big crane, other equipment and lots of people there. Maybe it would have been too difficult to have a fire tonight”.
Another Occupier responds, “I don’t know, remember last year when winter didn’t start until December? We just moved our fire over to the far west side of the Plaza so as to not have stray sparks falling on the tree. We would have been hard pressed to explain why we burned the big tree down”.
We all laugh and an Occupier adds, “Actually, I’m betting they spray that poor tree with tons of fire retardant chemicals; otherwise it would be too easy for some hater to take a lighter to the tree and start a major blaze. You’d think there must be a least one person working for City maintenance that realized the annual live giant evergreen could be a fire hazard”.
Another Occupier says, “I have no desire at all to burn down the City’s Christmas tree but as usual, I’m not looking forward to the holiday season. The actual day can be nice if you have pleasant friends and family to spend it with but all the capitalist crap we’re forcibly bombarded with for over a month before Christmas really gets me down. Also, it seems like each day closer to Christmas Day makes the drivers on the roadways more aggressive and deadly”. Everyone agrees that the capitalist system makes the holiday season unnecessarily stressful.
A small group of Anons roll in. We tell them about some of their crew that we saw as we pulled up. An Occupier says with concern to one of the youngest Anons, “Dude, I heard you were chased by Nazis with baseball bats the other night! Are you o.k.?” The Anon answers, “I’m o.k. I was able to out run them but it sure was fucked up. I was walking home up 1st Ave W. about a block up from CHUM when a black SUV full of guys pulled up to me. They were all wearing Nazis arm bands and identical Anonymous masks of a particular style; they jumped out carrying baseball bats and started swinging at me. I ducked, they missed and I started running; they chased me for about six blocks before I got away. I wasn’t wearing any of my Anon gear at the time but I think they knew who I was”.
Another Anon adds, “We’re pretty sure that this is the same group that harassed us last year. We have a picture of the car and the license plate. We gave it to the cops but we haven’t heard anything further from them. I wonder if they will investigate”.
An Occupier opines, “I can’t tell you if the cops will investigate or not but if they do, they’re not gonna tell you about it. They might say something to you six months or even a year from now. I’m guessing Duluth Anonymous has not been the only group these baseball bat psychos have attacked. Maybe the cops will take your report and combine it with other reports they’ve received. It’s hard to say. Damn! HWSNBN has every sicko in the country out and strutting these days”.
An Anon tells us, “We have the name of the owner of the black SUV. We’ll be doing our own investigating”.
An Occupier changes the subject by saying to another, “So how did your meeting with the Mayor about the Homeless Persons Bill of Rights go?” The questioned Occupier replies, “It went o.k. I guess. It was what they call a Stakeholders Meeting. That means a meeting between the HPB of R Coalition and representatives of all the City departments who are gonna have to make adjustments when the HPB of R Ordinance passes. Those government suit types speak a whole different language that I am just beginning to learn. I refuse to speak it but I need to know what it means.
“Anyway, our HPB of R folks consisted of the president of the Human Rights Commission, some heavy hitters from Loaves N Fishes and me. The City Human Rights Officer, Carl Crawford was there, DPD Chief Tusken too and a big group of suits way too numerous to mention. Mostly, it was just dialog between the HRC president and the mayor with the HRC president saying that we will be expecting compliance from the City when the HPB of R passes and the mayor saying that the administration is not at all opposed to a homeless rights ordinance but they need to be able to figure out exactly what they will need to do in order to comply.
“They call that type of dickering back and forth ‘pushback’”. We all groan and the Occupier continues, “So we’re all reading the introduction to the ordinance which is a description of all the various living situations that are considered to be homeless situations. Some guy from some City building department starts freaking out and says, ‘Wait a minute! It says people sleeping in abandoned buildings; it’s illegal to sleep in an abandoned or condemned building. This is going to make people think that it’s o.k. to sleep in condemned buildings. It’s not, it’s illegal!’ Then he goes on a diatribe about that particular sleeping arrangement being a safety issue.
“When he finally stops to breathe we explain to him that the couple of words in the introduction are just a description of where a homeless person might be sleeping. Illegality or legality is not an issue. Gehzz…. Stuff like that always happens when we meet with the suits. I swear they live on another planet.
“As all this stuff is going on, I tried to keep the human perspective alive by telling occasional stories about the actual life experiences of homeless people that I know. The time for the meeting went by without a whole lot being accomplished. That’s pretty normal. The mayor suggested that we have another meeting with less people in it and really get down to the details. They need to get their shit together soon because we’re expecting the ordinance to be passed before the end of the year”.
The conversation turns back to the white supremacy problem. We entertain the Anons with the story from about five years ago when a white supremacist group from down south announced that they were coming to Duluth to have a rally at City Hall. There was a big split between white progressives with the larger group planning to hold another event far away from City Hall and a smaller group supporting a confrontation with the racists.
We went with the group confronting the racists. It turned out that five people from Stormfront (the bigot group) showed up. Our anti-racist coalition had at least one hundred folks; we had banners, signs and music and Native Americans showed up to drum and pray. A big snow storm started and we chased the Stormfront away with massive amounts of snowballs. One of our Occupiers was arrested because she didn’t have very good aim and one of her snowballs hit a cop in the head. Once the racists ran off, we Occupiers were dancing and singing “We gonna chase those crazy ballheads out of our town!”
After hearing our story, the Anons are ready to get busy. They are going down to the protest corner outside of Peoples Plaza to do some thumping and jumping.
An Occupier comments, “I see that a lot of people are figuring out that the best way to get a corporations’ attention is to cost them some money. I can’t remember the details but I know that some local governments are suing the big pharmaceuticals for the damage and expense their pushing of narcotic medicines has caused. Some other groups are suing Remington for the damage mass murderers have caused because of easy access to the weapons that Remington produces. We say, “Good for them”.
Another Occupier asks, “Have you noticed that a lot of the corporations who are major polluters are running ads talking about how green and sustainable they are? Of course, it’s all a bunch of b.s. They’re trying to make money off of the word sustainable while continuing to destroy our Mother Earth”. We say, “Grrrr…..”
The clock is reading close to 9pm. The staff is washing everything down. We pack up, leave a few tips and head out. As we’re going out the door an Occupier suggests, “Hey, before we go home, let’s cruise by protest corner and beep our horn in support of the Anons”. Sounds like a plan.
Unless we’re struck by a surprise heatwave, we’ll be back at Coney Island next Tuesday. You’d be welcome to join us if you like.

G.A. Minutes 11-7-17

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 10-31-17

G.A. Minutes 10-31-17
Winter is trying to stick its mean, ugly head into our city. Late into the night last Thursday winter snuck in while most of Duluth’s citizens were sound asleep in their beds. It left 5 or 6 inches of heavy, wet snow behind.
We don’t think that was very funny. About 80% of the snow has melted by now but the temperature hasn’t been out of the 30s since then. It’s way too soon for all this to be happening; some of the leaves on the trees are still green. We still want to have a couple more fires before packing it up until spring. It’s not fair…..
We’re at Coney Island this evening; the temperature was 30 degrees at 6pm. Our fire pit isn’t big enough to actually keep people warm at temperatures below 30. So here we are.
This Coney Island is rather strange; not at all like the old Coney Island. It looks like a gigantic ice cream parlor from the 50s; the booths are small but they don’t care how many tables we push together in order to accommodate everyone. Oh wait…both Coney Islands have, or had, hot dogs. Unfortunately we’re not particularly looking for hot dogs. They don’t have hipsters and street people constantly running in and out and they don’t have a good sound system with great music playing. However, it’s what we’re stuck with for now. We don’t have a lot of spare time to go hunting for another place that has low prices, feels comfortable and has staff people who are non-judgmental. If someone were to know of such a place; it would be nice if they’d let us know.
So a few Occupiers are sitting in a booth waiting to see if others will show up. We know a few of us are at choir practice, another is studying for his mid-terms. An Occupier tells the others, “We had a pretty good meeting with Mayor Larson yesterday. It was myself and two other organizers representing the Homeless Persons Bill of Rights Coalition Bathroom Committee (pretty fancy title, don’t you think?). The mayor and a person from Parks N Rec were representing the City.
“The City is acting like they know that the HPB of R is gonna be passed by the City Council so they want to get a head start on the ‘entitled to 24/7 use of public hygiene facilities” right. The Parks N Rec woman made a big map of all the suitable for porta-potty placement areas. At the last meeting, we gave them our map of potential placement areas that we picked after consulting with lots of actual homeless people. The City’s map and our map overlapped quite a bit.
“On Thursday, November 2nd, 5:30p-7:30p at the Central Hillside Community Center, we’re going to hold an event for homeless people. We’ll have free food and hold a discussion about the HPB of R again and show folks both the maps. We’ll be asking for their input one more time. It appears that the HPB of R Ordinance will become a reality before the new City Council members take their seats at the end of January. I sure hope so; we’ve been working on this thing for four flippin’ years”.
Changing the subject, another Occupier comments, “I hear that some folks are pushing Enbridge to change the route of Line 3”. An Occupier replies, “As far as I’m concerned, we don’t want their pollutin’ ass pipeline anywhere in our state; anywhere in the world actually. Anyway, I doubt Enbridge is even considering changing the route. They’re so used to being given everything they want; this Water Protector thing is really giving them fits. It remains to be seen whether they’ll be able to use the old tried and true method of having the police and military beat everyone’s heads in. We really don’t know yet but we do know this is Minnesota, not North Dakota. I really admire the Native young bloods and their allies for putting their bodies and lives on the line to save our sacred water”.
Someone else says, “Speaking of Water Protectors, we finally have a new load of wood; we have it all stacked and everything. We filled up the trailer with some of it and want to bring it out to Makwa (bear) Line 3 Resistance Camp; but the weather’s been so bad on the days we’ve had available to go there that we haven’t been able to get it to them. We’re gonna try again on Sunday”.
A fairly large group of folks from Anonymous walk through the door. They are well bundled up against the cold. They push a couple tables up to our booth; most of them order chocolate malts. They’re trying to raise funds for gas so they can all go down to the annual Million Mask March in The Cities on November 5th. An Occupier gives them a small donation.
An Anon, who we don’t see often, asks us, “Do you have any idea what happened to All Nations and its director? The director is a really good person; I consider him a friend but I don’t know what happened to him”.
We tell the guy the sad story about how The Director chastised two of his staff members because they had not taken care of their assigned duties while The Director was out of town. Because these staff members neglected their duties, a man lost custody of his children and will not be allowed to have contact with them until they turn eighteen. A person lost their housing and a young woman who was trying to leave town in order to escape domestic violence was left to fend for herself. Anyway, the staff members wanted revenge for being chastised so they pulled a few strings here and there and then informed The Director that the All Nations Board of Directors had fired him from his job.
We tell the Anon that the Director was crushed; he created All Nations and worked his butt off for six years in order to keep it going. We were hoping he would stay and fight for his job but he decided to leave town instead. He’s down south with some of his family.
The Anon asks, “Do you think he will ever come back here?” An Occupier opines, “Yes, I think he’ll come back someday; his immediate family is still here but he has many irons in the fire down where he’s at now. We’ll just have to wait until he’s ready to return”.
Another Anon exclaims, “Oh, so that’s why you guys avoid working with the couple who is trying to set up the Maii’gan (wolf) Line 3 Camp!?” An Occupier agrees, “Yeah, that’s about it in a nutshell. It’s a character issue. We prefer to work with organizers of good character. We think that may be lacking in the leaders of that camp.
The Anons are ready to go off again. They plan to put flyers about No Line 3 all around. We say our goodbyes and hope they will be able to fundraise enough gas money so they can all go down to the Million Mask March.
An Occupier asks, “Have you guys heard about a Makwa Line 3 Resistance Camp event that one of our friends is trying to organize. It’s supposed to be a fundraiser for the Camp. Water Protectors who are currently living in the Camp will be at the event to explain to folks what they are doing. Our friend is planning the event for November 11th at the CHCC”.
Another Occupier responds, “No, I hadn’t heard about that event; I’m going to reserve November 11th on my calendar and hope it actually happens. Maybe we can help him with the event”.
The Occupier who reports things reports, “Idle No More/Northwoods Wolf Alliance is going to have another Anishinaabe Fry Bread Taco Sale at the Washington Center on Friday and of course, they need our help. Everyone agrees to help.
The place is empty except for the Occupiers and one customer at the counter. A man comes in with a small child who is dressed up to look like a hotdog. We think the man must be friends with the staff guys. The child is very young and doesn’t appear to know where he is or why he is there. We think he doesn’t know that tonight is Halloween or why he is dressed as a hotdog. The child is handling it well though. Unfortunately, no one has any candy to give to Hotdog Child.
On that note, we think it’s time to go. It sure would be nice if we could go to Peoples Plaza next Tuesday. We’ll just have to wait and see. If the Plaza is a no go, we’ll be back at Coney Island on the aforementioned Tuesday.

G.A. Minutes 10-24-17

G.A. Minutes 10-24-17
The Occupiers who usually bring most of the supplies are exceptionally late when they roll up on Peoples Plaza this evening. Everyone was beginning to get worried.
The Food Occupier sticks her head out of her car window and exclaims, “Today was a difficult day. This afternoon my computer crashed and we spent way too long trying to fix it without any luck. After that, we ran around like crazy trying to get all the fire circle stuff prepared. The Fire Magician left his phone in the house then locked all his keys in the truck. He had to walk a long way in order to buzz me at the front door so I could go and let him in. Dealing with that took more time; sorry we’re late”.
The Occupier steps out of her car and remarks, “Oh my god, it’s cold already!” She puts on another layer of warm clothing. The sky is dark and partly cloudy; the temperature is in the low 40s and the wind is very strong. The weather people tell us to expect gusts up to 45mph. We’ll need to weigh down many things on the table.
A few of the Anonymous crew are already out on the protest corner; more are arriving from all directions. We start a large fire right away; the strong wind shoots the flames high into the air. The Food Occupier has made another big pot of soup; this time it turned out well enough to serve. It’s a slightly different version of her pinto bean and vegetable concoction. The Fire Magician gets the charcoal grill up and running and the soup is hot in no time.
The first folks in line to eat are the older Native street woman who likes to fight when she’s drunk, the 60 something Native guy who lives with his sister up on the top of the hill when he’s not drinking and the younger cousin of the Infamous Street Woman. We’ve known these people for many years; they’ve spend the majority of their lives hanging out and living in the street. Behind them are 5 or 6 more folks that we’ve met in the past but don’t actually know. Once everyone else has been served, the Occupiers serve themselves.
The older Native woman who likes to fight has a new sweetheart again. She appears to be a serial monogamist as she changes boyfriends approximately once a year. Her new boyfriend is somewhat drunk but pleasant and wanting to have a serious conversation with us. He asks, “So are you guys Republicans or Democrats?” We tell him that we think Dems and Repubs are really the same party as they are all under the thumb of the corporations. The new sweetheart replies, “Oh, so you guys must belong to the Green Party then”. We answer that those of us who still vote will cast our ballots for Green Party candidates when possible but none of us belong to any political party. This surprises Mr. Sweetheart; he’s not opposed to this concept, he just didn’t realize one could be a community organizer without belonging to an official political party.
Someone has brought flyers and put them on the table. The flyers tell about Community Connect; a semi-annual event in the Central Hillside where homeless and poor people can get connected to all the social service agencies. Most of the street folks have been on housing, healthcare, legal aid and other lists for a long time. They generally are forced to live on the streets for 3 years or so before their number comes up. If they miss any of their scheduled agency appointments, it will take much longer. In the meantime, they just have to figure out how to survive until they qualify to have some sort of roof over their heads. Sometimes they die while waiting.
However, Community Connect also offers free foot care, haircuts, winter clothing and lunch. This time the event will be held on Thursday October 26th 11am-1pm at the Damiano Center. Most of the folks in the circle are planning to attend; a few of the Occupiers will be taking advantage of what Community Connect has to offer also.
The Anons come in from the corner; they then go off marching through the downtown. The street folks are gossiping about something as a big gust of wind blows a lot of the stuff on the table to the ground. We quickly set everything right then sit back down to listen to the folks from the street. Apparently we didn’t notice that the burning sage had been blown out of its dish; started some of the flyers on fire then ignited the tablecloth. Oh well…. we all laugh as we smother the minor blaze.
Mr. Sweetheart opines, “The real problem in this country is that we give all our money to foreign countries; that’s why we don’t have enough for our own people”. An Occupier replies, “Actually, I have no problem with giving aid to the people in foreign countries who need it. The problem is that the money is never given to the people who really lack it. It’s given to the dictators and elites of a country with the provision that they put some in their pockets and use the rest to buy American weapons and such”.
An Occupier says, “The No Enbridge Line 3 rally and the Public Utilities Commission hearing last Wednesday just rocked didn’t it?” We agree and she continues, “The newspapers and TV stations said the hearing was closed down early because of ‘extremist environmentalists’. That’s not how things really went down. There was a great rally here at Peoples Plaza with many, many people. Then a round dance in the main intersection with the police stopping traffic for it and a march to the DECC for the PUC hearing with the police leading the way. When we got to the DECC we all went in. The drummers, singers and dancers led the way and continued singing, dancing and drumming once inside the building.
“When the hearing started, the cops told the Native folks to be quiet. That just made them sing and drum louder. A lot of people don’t understand that most of the young Native Water Protectors are veterans of Standing Rock. They are non-violent but have been so horribly abused by the North Dakota police and hired security goons that they are pretty fearless.
“The cops closed all the doors to the hearing room and one of them told a jingle dress dancer she couldn’t go into the hearing room while wearing her jingle dress. That didn’t go over too well. It’s kinda like if the police were guarding the doors to a big event in a Catholic church. If one of the cops told a Catholic official who was trying to enter that he couldn’t go in as long as he was wearing his long robe and silly looking hat. That wouldn’t go over too well either.
“Anyway, I was already in the hearing room having just finished speaking. The leader of the women’s singing group was testifying when I heard a lot of screaming and yelling going on outside. The judge stopped the hearing, the cops backed down, let the people in and things calmed down for a while.
The judge was pulling names of people wishing to speak out of a box; a guy from a miners’ union up on The Range spoke; he ended by saying’ God bless America and God bless mining!’ The judge called out a Native woman’s name then looked up and said, ‘Oh, you’ve spoken at a previous hearing; I recognize your face. You’ll have to go to the back of the line’.
That’s when all hell broke loose. An African American/Native dude started chanting ‘Racism! Racism! You let the tobacco chewing, good ol’ boys speak but not us? She can’t speak because you recognize her face? Racism! Racism!’ The rest of the Native Water Protectors took up the chant too.
“The judge had been acting like a cheerful kindergarten teacher all night long. She said, ‘If you won’t be quiet, we’ll just stop the hearing until you are’. Of course, that was the absolute wrong thing to say. Louder chanting commenced; the judge said, ‘If you won’t be quiet, I’ll have to shut this hearing down. The Native Water Protectors chanted, ‘Shut it down! Shut it down!’ Other Water Protectors joined in. The judge said, ‘I declare this hearing hereby canceled!’
The people from Enbridge ran out of there so fast I bet they thought their pants were on fire. All the rest of the suits left shortly and things quieted down. I and another Occupy Water Protector stayed around for a while because there were lots of cops outside the building and we wanted to make sure that the Native young bloods were not harmed.
“The cops just stood around; they talked with those who wanted to talk. No one was harassed; there was no violence. If this had been North Dakota, the piggies would have beaten the kids heads to a pulp. That’s not to say the cops won’t be violent with us at a later date. We are very serious when we say we don’t want Enbridge’s earth and water destroying pipeline on our lands.
Many people don’t understand that most folks who live on the reservations are very poor. Many live on less than $5,000 a year. They have had their land, culture, language and children stolen by the dominant culture. The gathering of manoomin (wild rice), maple syrup, medicine and such is all they have left. They use the foods and medicines provided by the Creator for bare survival. Now Enbridge wants to take that away too?!? We don’t think so!”
Another Occupier comments, “I thought the Native Water Protector/Anonymous takeover of Wells Fargo yesterday was pretty cool too”. The first Occupier answers, “Yeah, I saw the video of the takeover. It was well coordinated; you all did a good job. Some of us were unable to be there as we were busy stacking all the wood that we hauled in and also making tonight’s soup. I sometimes wish I could be at least two places at once”.
The newly pregnant Anon arrives; she shows us a picture of the ultra sound she had taken today. No one can actually see anything we can recognize but we “oohh and aahh” anyway. The Anon tells us, “It’s twice the size that it was two weeks ago”.
The multi-racial couple who are regulars at our fire appear. We’re pleased to see that they are back together again. The woman reports, “Well, I had a little relapse when my father died but I’m back on track again”.
The strawberry blonde homeless guy who has serious mental health issues has become a regular at our fire circles this year. As he sits telling harmless jokes an Occupier whispers to another, “Do you think that nice insulated vest that we have left over would fit him?” She says to the blond guy, “Do you have any warmer clothes than what you are wearing?” When he says, “No, everything I had got left behind when I got kicked out of CHUM” she nods to the other Occupier who goes to get the vest and gives it to the homeless guy. Mr. Strawberry Blonde is then a very happy camper.
The pregnant Anon and the woman from the multi-racial couple are talking about Child Protection Services. The Anon turns to an Occupier and states, “I think you are right. I’m only two months pregnant but the people at the hospital I’ve been going to already want to bring CPS into the picture. I’m gonna change hospitals”. The Occupier replies, “You can get all the services and programs that the bad hospital is offering at the good hospital too. The difference is, the good hospital will treat you like a human being instead of a criminal”.
Just then, a huge gust of wind sends everything flying. It even knocks over some of the stuff that is weighted down. It’s only a little after 9pm; the homeless ones have gone off to their sleeping places. We think this may be a sign that we need to take our sorry asses home too.
As everyone leaves, three Occupiers agree to stay and do the packing up. A youngish guy of indeterminate ethnicity appears out of nowhere. He has long dark hair and a beard. The wind makes the temperature seem like twenty degrees or less but this guy is not wearing a shirt or any other covering on his upper body. He’s sagging his pants too.
He starts grabbing chairs and stacking them in the back of the truck. He doesn’t say a word but is quick and efficient. He has all the furniture put away in a minute or less. When we turn to thank him, we find that he has disappeared. Did we hallucinate the whole thing? The chairs are all stacked neatly in the truck so it must have happened. We’re sure we didn’t do it.
Whatever…….. this time of year is kind of iffy but if the weather gods allow it, we’ll be back at Peoples Plaza next Tuesday.

G.A. Minutes 10-17-17

G.A. Minutes 10-17-17
A large group of Anonymous folks are already out demonstrating on the corner when the Occupiers arrive at Peoples Plaza this evening. The Fire Magician’s truck is fixed now and we have all the regular supplies back too. Once the Anons see us, some of them come in to help with the set up.
As we are setting up, the Food Occupier confesses, “Sorry guys but I killed the soup that was supposed to be served tonight. I made it last night and foolishly left it sitting out on the stove overnight. When I checked it in the morning I found it had soured and I had to throw it away. The pot was too big to fit into my refrigerator so I talked myself into believing it would be o.k. on the stove. I don’t know what I was thinking but I doubt I’ll make that mistake again.
Fortunately, the weather is really nice tonight so lack of hot soup will not be as bad as it would have been if the weather was colder. The sky is partly cloudy and close to darkness, the temperature is in the mid-60s and there is little wind.
The Anon who has recently found out she is pregnant tells us she’s experiencing morning sickness. An Occupier who has knowledge of mid-wifery and home birthing assures the pregnant woman that morning sickness is actually a sign of good health. She explains that the sickness will pass after the first few months and gives a few pointers on how to cope with the discomfort.
As soon as the fire gets going we are joined by the partner of the Stylish Native Woman, the schizophrenic African American guy from the Skinner and a few other street folks. The city official has been gifting the Occupiers with various pieces of warm men’s clothing which they then bring to the weekly fires and distribute as needed. They’ve been holding onto one very well made flannel shirt which they’ve been saving for The Partner. They give it to him now.
We ask the Occupier who has gone back to college how things are going with his environmental science professor and he tells us, “Actually, once the teacher discovered that I wasn’t someone taking the course in preparation for starting a business to make money off of the climate crisis and sustainable energy, he relaxed and is now comfortable with discussing my ideas.
“Most of what I talk about is the very noticeable increase in violent storms and forest fires all over the world. The climate crisis isn’t on its way; it’s here, right now. I mean it was 106 degrees in San Francisco a week or so ago, for christsakes!” Another Occupier adds, “I used to live in San Francisco; if it ever reached 80 degrees people were in shock”.
The college Occupier continues, “Another thing I’ve been thinking about is the fact that Americans seemed to have lost some of the rights that we used to have. There used to be something called false arrest; I don’t think we have that anymore. What about entrapment? I don’t think that is illegal anymore either”. Another Occupier agrees, “Yeah, I think you’re correct. I don’t know where I was when those rights were taken away but we don’t seem to have them now”.
The Anons come in from the corner; they drop off their excess stuff and go off marching around the hood. An Occupier opines, “I imagine they started early this evening because they need to go in early in order to majorly participate in the No Enbridge Line 3 march, rally and Public Utility Commission hearing tomorrow”. The Occupiers will also be in attendance at the No Line 3 event.
An Occupier remarks, “I thought the Dismantle the Legacy of Racism; Build a Community of Peace march and rally on Saturday went really well. I’m told that about 250 people marched to the Civic Center. I wasn’t able to march but attended the program at City Hall. It was one of the best I’ve ever had the privilege of participating in. I’m looking forward to finding out what other anti-racist experiences will be forthcoming”.
Spiritual Man appears; he has a cold and feels miserable. Several of the Occupiers are just getting over their colds; they empathize. This particular cold that’s going around is fairly intense. Spiritual Man exchanges pleasantries but mainly he just needs to drink fluids, sit next to the warmth of the fire and rest.
Someone says, “Hey, did you hear about the 650 pound black bear that was trapped somewhere inside the city a few days ago?” An Occupier answers, “Yeah, I read about it. Our human culture is so messed up. People think they should be able to live anywhere they want to. They forget that wild animals are legitimate residents of this planet too. Take Ma’iigan (wolves) for example. People keep moving deeper and deeper into the woods, into the animals’ territory. Then they get really pissed off when a wolf eats their dog or one of their cows or sheep. Dumb. They don’t realize that the wild animals also need to have somewhere to live. This planet wasn’t made for humans alone”. Spiritual Man silently nods his head in agreement.
Chicago Man rolls up. He sits down next to one of the street women and begins telling her about his deceased partner. It’s been almost 2 years since his partner passed away; he still grieves deeply.
Menagerie Woman rides up on her bike. She’ll sit with us by the fire for a bit and then catch a bus home. Bush Man has promised her homemade burgers and fries when she arrives.
The Stylish Native Woman checks in; she must have been on some sort of errand. She and her partner go off to their sleeping place. “Sleep well, pleasant dreams”, we say to them.
The pregnant Anon has remained in the circle while the others march. She talks about being afraid to give birth and thinks she will sign up for a C-section. The experienced Occupier explains that recovering from a C-section is painful and the recovery will also make it difficult for her to take care of her baby. The Anon appears to be getting most of her information from her inexperienced friends. The experienced Occupier hopes she will have the chance for a serious talk with the young woman before too long.
The Most Obnoxious Street Woman, Mr. Evil, Lil Bear and a few others are in the back of the Plaza sitting on a bench, probably drinking and talking and laughing quietly. We appreciate the fact that they take their drinking outside the circle without being asked.
The Anons return; they’re packing up their stuff and heading home in preparation for the next day. We say, “See you tomorrow”, as they leave.
An Occupier comments, “This so called Opiod Epidemic is sure a bitch, isn’t it? I hear it originated from Big Pharma but I wonder what its deeper purpose is”. Another Occupier responds, “Personally, I think it has something to do with population control. The so called leaders of this country think we have more people than they need and heroin is an easy way to off a bunch of them. Also, Afghanistan is the world’s largest producer of opium and the USA just happens to have been having a war there for the last 16 years. The supply lines for shipping the stuff to us have been in place for a good while”.
When Spiritual Man gets up to get another cup of coffee, he puts some rocks that are shaped like hearts on the picture of the Woman Who Tells Good Stories which we always keep on the table. The rocks are meant to be an offering to her spirit.
A very straight looking middle-aged couple walks up and asks to sit down. We welcome them. After asking a few questions about what we are doing and getting a few answers, they tell us they are tourists visiting from the St Cloud/Brainard area. Apparently, fire circles like this don’t happen where they live. They don’t stay long; we think they will have a story to tell their friends and family when they get home.
Chicago Man groans and says, “Oh, I sure wish I didn’t have to go to work tonight. It’s my last night and then I get 3 days off but they want me to work at least one of my days off. I don’t think so! My co-workers and my customers at the big box store where I work are so creepy. They look at me like I’m something from another planet. They call me mean names and make fun of my long African braids. If I try to talk about it to my supervisor, she looks at me like I’m the one who’s crazy.
“People really need to take the time to get to know other people who they consider to be different than them. They seem to think that everyone from a particular group is exactly the same. The people I work with think that because I’m black, I’m supposed to be sagging my pants, slangin’ dope and saying motherfucker all the time. They don’t appreciate that I have my own style and personality.
“Black people and other people of color are mistaken too. Back in Chicago they think that all white people are rich and lead charmed lives without any problems. My deceased partner was white, so I knew a little about white people, but even I was surprised when I came to Duluth to find out that there were so many whites who were homeless or poor and on food stamps”. An Occupier adds, “The majority of people in this country who receive any type of government assistance are white”.
Chicago Man goes off to his slave job; many others go off to their sleeping places. Now it’s just the Occupiers and Spiritual Man who are in the circle. We sit in quiet camaraderie, watching the coals burn down.
As we begin to pack up, an Occupier gives Spiritual Man her stash of Ibuprofen and a package of tissues. She says, “I wish I had more to offer you”. Then the Occupiers go off to “power sleep”. Tomorrow promises to be a big day with the beginning of the No Enbridge Line 3 event starting at Peoples Plaza.
We plan to bring the fire circle back to the Plaza next Tuesday.

G.A. Minutes 10-10-17

G.A. Minutes 10-10-17
It’s going to be another kinda weird evening again, although for a different reason this time. We’re at Peoples Plaza but the Fire Magician’s truck and all the fire supplies are up on a hoist in a mechanic shop. We’ve had to beg, borrow and steal everything except the firewood in order to make the fire circle tonight. Hopefully, everything will work out o.k.
There’s a good sized group of people already waiting when the first Occupiers arrive. Among those assembled are Chicago Man, Spiritual Man, a large contingent from Anonymous, Taco Helping Man and his partner, the older, Native, alcoholic who used to live in our former homeless camp and Mr. Evil. Everyone helps to set up the circle.
When we are finished, the Fire Magician starts up the fire. It’s going to be a cold night; the sky is overcast, and it’s almost dark already. The temperature is in the high 40s with an occasional chilly wind.
The flames roar; everyone pulls their chair up close. Spiritual Man asks, “So what was the most exciting thing that happened to you all this week?” An Occupier responds, “The benches are back!!” Everybody cheers. In case you haven’t heard, last Thursday the Duluth Police Department and/or some of the so called City leadership decided it would be a good idea to remove all the benches in Peoples Plaza and across the street in Lake Place Park. They thought removing benches would make all the homeless people leave the area.
What a bunch of lame brains. The homeless people have nowhere else to go. They’ll be made less comfortable but they’ll sit on the cement or on the planters; they won’t just leave.
Anyway, The Homeless Persons Bill of Rights Coalition folks jumped on the issue right away. They asked everyone to contact their City Councilors and the Mayor. Someone started one of those Change.org petitions; it was on its way to 1,000 signatures on the first day. People started discreetly dropping off old couches and easy chairs where the benches used to be.
By Sunday, DPD Chief Tusken decided that fighting about benches for homeless people was not a good thing to do. The benches were put back earlier today. Yes! Power to the People! Smash the State! ….. or something like that.
Tonight we’ve decided to try something different. There are so many hungry people out and about that the food we put out each week is generally all gone in less than an hour. We know we need to put out more food but our budget is quite limited. We’ve talked about having a small charcoal grill with a pot of soup or something on it.
We were recently gifted with a small charcoal grill. The Food Occupier has made a big pot of pinto beans with onions, a few fresh mushrooms, a little tomato sauce and salt. Simple fare but tasty and filling. The beans combined with one of our deluxe PB+J sandwiches can make a meal.
None of the Occupiers has much experience with charcoal but it seems like it shouldn’t be too difficult. The Fire Magician lays out the charcoal cubes, puts a little starter fluid on them and then a match. WHOOSH!!! Flames shoot up really high. The Food Occupier just happens to be sitting between both fires as they sprout gigantic blazes. Everyone is worried that she might catch on fire. She is laughing and thinking “This is so way cool!” Once the grill calms down, we put the big pot of beans on it. The soup is heated in no time and the street folks are delighted to be able to eat hot food.
One of the young Anon women tells us that she’s recently discovered she is pregnant. Her baby’s daddy is also an Anon. They are both barely into their 20s and a little taken back by this new development. However, they’re happy about it. They seem to be a well-meaning couple; we think they’ll do the best that they can.
An Occupier who has experience with these types of things offers a bit of advice. The father to be is Native so the Occupier tells the couple, “You know there are two major hospitals in Duluth. One has a practice of trying to take away the babies of young, unmarried women who are not from wealthy families, especially when the babies belong to people of color. The other hospital……not so much. If you’re going to have a hospital birth, please be sure to have it at the hospital that doesn’t try to take babies away”.
The Occupier who is a single parent rolls up. He’s coming from the Local Solutions to Poverty Candidate Forum that was held at Denfield H.S. this evening. He reports, “They didn’t really talk much about solutions to poverty. Joel Sipress talked a lot about the importance of raising the minimum wage and a few of the other candidates agreed that more low income housing is needed. Other than that, they didn’t have any solutions. It was kind of boring”.
Another Occupier remarks, “Yeah, candidates running for political office don’t like to get too specific about anything. They’re afraid of losing votes and campaign donations. Our election system is really messed up”.
Chicago Man has been talking about how much he hates his job and how most people are big pains in the ass. A handsome young man of indeterminable ethnicity sits down next to him. The young man is a friend of most of the Anons. It’s obvious that the two men are well acquainted; they talk about some family members. When Chicago Man mentions his problems, he says, “Well, I only have myself to rely on in terms of financial support so I have to keep the job whether I want to or not”. The young guy gives the man from Chicago a list of other places that are currently hiring and assures him that these places will have better pay and working conditions. When the young dude leaves to go off with the Anons, it’s evident that Chicago Man is in a better mood.
An Occupier has gone back to school for a Master Degree. He talks about some of his classes. He informs us, “I think I’m taking an environmental science class that was created in the 70s. The professor keeps saying that we have plenty of time to get a handle on climate change. He allows me to respectfully disagree with him but refuses to debate the issue. He keeps saying that we need to give the corporations time to adjust”. Another Occupier comments, “Fuck the corporations!” An Anon is passing by the circle; he hears what the second Occupier just said. He smiles at her and says, “Thank you”.
Menagerie Woman rides up on her bike. She’s finished with her usual Tuesday night activities. She getting some juice and then going off to the casino. She remarks, “Last week I won four dollars!”
The Most Obnoxious Street Woman and her partner appear. The woman is not being obnoxious again tonight. We could get used to this. They’re hungry and partake of several bowls of soup. The partner reports that they have just been kicked out of the nearest liquor store. They were trying to decide what they wanted to buy when the clerk told the partner that he had thirty seconds to decide; he then ordered them out of the store. This couple is multi-racial so we figure it must have been some racist kind of thing or maybe the clerk thought they were fixin’ to rob the place. Maybe both things; whatever it was, the clerk was in the wrong.
We don’t even bother to offer to help them file a complaint. We know that they won’t do it. Most street folks are so used to being mistreated that they just accept it. They figure that if they complain, they’ll just end up in jail. Most of the time they’re right. In the long run, the Homeless Persons Bill of Rights aims to change that. After eating, the couple has to go off to catch a bus to the next closest liquor store.
It’s only 8:30pm but the Anons are taking off. They leave en masse so they’re probably going marching. Suddenly, there are only Occupiers at the fire. Someone opines, “This is like old times at the Clayton Jackson McGhie Memorial”. It is.
The College Occupier asks, “I have a lot of homework this week. What do you think are the most important events needing attendance this week?” Another Occupier responds, “The Human Rights Commission is going to do their first reading of the final draft of the legal language for the Homeless Persons Bill of Rights tomorrow at 5:30pm, 4th floor, Mayors Conference Room in City Hall. We need bodies to show up and just sit there so they will see that many citizens of Duluth support the HPB of R.
“Then, of course, there’s the march and rally to Dismantle the Legacy of Racism on Saturday starting at 10am. We need a really big turnout for that”.
The older burned out Native dude makes an appearance. He states, “I need to find Lil’ Bear. His girlfriend has my girlfriend’s phone and I need to get it back”. An Occupier imparts, “He was here earlier but he left with the Anons. They went that way”. The burned out guy answers, “O.K. Miigwitch (Thank you)” and heads out toward the west end of Superior St.
A young street couple who we haven’t met in the past comes up the stairs. They are clean, stylishly dressed and well spoken. The man is nice looking, the woman is exceptionally beautiful. They are both quite hungry and gratefully consume several bowls of bean soup. They are trying to find a place to sleep for the night. Once they have eaten, they go off to look for a place that is not already taken.
An Anon who wasn’t present when the rest were in the Plaza arrives. “Where is everybody?” he asks. We tell what we know and he tells us that he just got a new job two days ago down in Canal Park. There are no buses running down there when his shift is over so he has to walk two and a half miles to his home. He says, “I got here as soon as I could. I was hoping they would wait for me”.
All of a sudden, a large group of people come up the stairs. Word must have gotten around that we have hot food. Among this group is Spiritual Man, the male from the regular multi-racial couple who have visited our fire for many years and the young couple who left to find somewhere to sleep. We give them all bowls of beans.
Spiritual Man is acquainted with the beautiful young woman. As they chat she comments, “I don’t know how we’re going to be able to keep carrying all this stuff”. Spiritual Man answers, “Well, I have my backpack here. We could put some of your stuff in it and I could follow you and your partner to where you’re going”. The woman replies, “I know you mean well” and proceeds to tell about the many times she trusted someone and they ripped her off.
Abruptly, she stands up and heads off down the street. As her partner begins to go after her, Spiritual Man pulls him aside for a quick minute and says, “You need to get her off the street, man. If you don’t, she is one that will definitely be targeted”.
The male of the regular multi-racial couple seems sad this evening. He sighs and tells us, “Well, we had to break up. She went back to doing drugs again. I hated to do it but I just had to let her go. I wish her well but I can’t let her ruin my life. I’m too old to have to start over again”.
An Occupier sighs and replies, “I’m so sorry. I know she was clean and sober for over a year. She told me that it was the first time in her entire young life that she hadn’t been using something. It was quite obvious that she loves you. I hope she will miss you so much that she will decide to try and get clean again”. The male adds, “She was doing real good but then her father died; her brother died shortly after that. I guess she just couldn’t cope with the pain”.
So it’s now at least 10:30pm; well past time to go in and live to fight another day. The Anarchist rides up on his bike just in time to help us pack up. He’s always helping people.
It had better not rain next Tuesday because we intend to be back at Peoples Plaza with more soup.

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.

G.A. Minutes 9-19-17
When the Occupiers roll up to Peoples Plaza this evening they find the guy who is the head of maintenance in the MN Power Building waiting for them. We’re not sure what he’s doing here but he’s very friendly and accommodating. He apologizes for the fact that his staff is not always able to keep the Plaza as clean as they would like. We are all generally suspicious of “suits”, even though he’s not wearing one. We imagine that the maintenance dude has some kind of ulterior motive but his true intention is not obvious. Whatever……
Some of the Anonymous crew have arrived early and have already begun chalking anti-Enbridge slogans all over the space. They expect the personable guy to disapprove but he says, “Aw, don’t worry about it. It’s gonna rain tonight and anything the showers don’t remove we’ll just wash off in the morning”. He wishes us a good evening; we respond in kind, he leaves and that’s the end of that, for now anyway.
The weather is pleasantly autumn-like tonight; it’s partly cloudy; the temperature is in the mid-60s and the wind is strong and variable. The gusts are not cold though; we think, if we weigh down everything on the table, wind will not be a problem.
The Fire Magician gets the fire going right away; the strong breeze shoots the flames up really high and then out in all directions. The flames almost touch the folks sitting in the circle. An Occupier asks, “Whoa! Are the flames higher than 3 feet?” The Fire Magician answers, “Yup.” and the Occupier exclaims, “Oh no! We’re out of compliance”. Everyone laughs and then the flames settle down to normal size like they always do and that’s the end of our fun. Bummer…..
More Anons arrive; so do the Stylish Native Woman and her partner. Everyone is getting food including some of the street folks who we don’t know. Apparently, word is getting around that everyone is welcome to the contents of the table. We just ask that everybody do their best to maintain a good vibe.
The city official arrives; he’s been very busy as of late because several well established community groups have requested his expertise for their newest projects. Tonight he’s on his way to the meeting of the Duluth School Board. He says, “I want them to know that I am always watching them”. The city man reminds everyone about the unveiling of the mural at AICHO this upcoming Saturday from 6p-9p.
The Occupier who works at the Mission rides up on his bike. He’s been put in charge of managing the security for the Dismantle the Legacy of Racism event on October 14th. He tells us that he’s asked a few of the Anons to work as marshals during the march. The marshals main jobs will be to make sure the marchers stay within the agreed upon marching area and to be alert for any march infiltrators who attempt to commit violence and/or property destruction. The marshals will also be on alert for any white supremacist types who may attempt to disrupt the event. Duluth has had very little of this type of behavior at peaceful events in the past so we are not expecting any at the October 14th happening either. However, we think it’s always wise to be prepared.
The Occupier tasked with heading up security says to another Occupier, “I’m gonna have to miss tomorrow’s Dismantle Racism meeting because I have to attend the U.U. Board meeting. If you’re going to go to the event meeting will you give my report for me?” The other Occupier will be going to the meeting. She carefully writes down everything that he wants her to report.
Chicago Man sits down; he tells us that he’s been having some trouble with his co-workers on his job at the big box store. He’s the only African American working on the pm shift and some of his co-workers are openly racist. By nature, he’s not a big people person so he’s not sure how to handle the situation. He’s afraid to complain to his supervisor as he figures the supervisor will see HIM as the problem and probably fire him. He needs to keep his job as he has only himself as a source of income.
We want to attempt to counsel the worried man but more people arrive, the conversation switches gears and when we mentally return to Chicago Man and his problem, we find that he is gone.
The Occupier who is a single parent appears. When he joins the circle he remarks that he’s been conversing with Evangelical Christians again. He reports, “We’ve been discussing the “dominion teaching”. The Bible says something about mankind having dominion over nature. The Evangelicals say that means humans are entitled to do whatever they want to the earth, the water and the air. I’ve been trying to tell them that it means that they’re supposed to care for and protect nature. They don’t like that very much”.
Another Occupier adds, “You are so right! When parents have children they have “dominion” over those children for several years. Parents are supposed to teach, nurture and love their children. They’re not supposed to make them work constantly and use them up until they drop dead. It sounds like the Evangelicals you’ve been talking to are a bunch of bozos”.
Spiritual Man arrives; he states, “I snuck away for a while. Whew!” He gets coffee and is about to sit down when his phone rings and he’s off again. Probably to wherever it was that he escaped from.
The single parent Occupier and the partner of The Stylish Native Woman begin a conversation about the Bible; others join in. They talk about all the translations that have been done since the writing of the original compilation of the Bible. The single parent has done some research and has found that the original Bible written in Hebrew is very different than most of the English translations.
The Partner has been calm and coherent all evening but now something sets him off and he starts ranting. He stands up; he’s very excited and starts talking about past events from his childhood. He bounces from topic to topic; rants about being adopted, about being hospitalized and being tricked into allowing his fingers to be amputated and about the social workers who confiscated his money.
The Stylish Woman is visibly upset by her partner’s behavior; she stands up and begins to walk away. The Partner calls out, “Wait! Where are you going?” She calls back, “I’m not going to listen to this again”. The Partner rants for a few minutes longer then goes off to find her.
The Anons are returning early from their marching and chalking. They tell us, “When we got to the Enbridge building, a cop was sitting there guarding the door. When we turned around to come back to the fire, the cop drove off, then circled around and followed us here.
We think they will need to be less predictable but we don’t say so. We know they will figure these things out as time goes by. If they ask for our advice, we’ll give it but otherwise, they are very capable of finding things out for themselves.
Menagerie Woman rides up; she’s donated and watched her movie. She still has a little money left so she’s going to go and gamble at the Casino. “Wish me good luck”, she laughs. We all do so.
The young man who the Anons call Lil Bear comes up the stairs. He has a young woman with him. She has a smile in her eyes but is very quiet. Lil Bears gets snacks and tobacco for her. For the first time since we’ve come across him, Lil Bear appears to not be drunk. He appears to be kind hearted and intelligent. Lil Bear asks if anyone has spare blankets; an Occupier has some in his vehicle that he has been keeping for just such an occasion. He goes to get them.
An Occupier says to another, “So how did your meeting with Mayor Larson about more public bathrooms go last week?” The other Occupier replies, “Actually it was rather surprising. The meeting consisted of myself, another member of the Homeless Person’s Bill of Rights Coalition, the mayor, the City manager and the acting head of Parks N Rec. I thought they were gonna argue with us and try to convince us that more and better public bathrooms were not necessary, blah, blah, blah. Instead, they acted like more bathrooms was a done deal.
“They offered to keep the heated public bathrooms at the Rose Garden and at Endion open for longer hours. They also said they had no problem getting at least 5 porta-potties set up around our homeless areas. They were very happy to see that we just wanted the porta-potties installed in places commonly frequented by homeless folks. I didn’t say anything but I wondered why they thought we would want the potties installed in places that WEREN’T frequented by homeless folks.
“Anyway, they were intrigued with our ideas about using the old shower facilities at the Washington Center and refurbishing a discarded city bus with showers. Of course, I’m always wary of “suits” so they may just have been faking it and plan to set us up for something in the future but the meeting went way better than I expected”.
A male and female couple who we haven’t met come into the circle. The woman explains that the man is new to the street scene and that she is showing him around. She is angry that she has been kicked out of CHUM and has been unable to find any other place where she can sleep. We converse about other possibilities but it seems she’s been banned from all of them. She feels she’s been unfairly treated and it sounds like she has.
Suddenly, we hear all kinds of sirens and see flashing lights all over the place. Some of those in the circle go to stand on the back benches and peer over the bushes to see what’s going on. When they return they tell us that there is an ambulance, a fire truck and 3 squad cars across the street. A woman was passed out on the floor of Lake Place Park but the para-medics now have her up and walking.
Someone opines, “Kinda overkill for one passed out woman. Someone else responds, “With all the heroin overdose deaths that are happening all over our city, I suppose they’re on high alert these days”.
Once the commotion dies down, we think it may be time to pack up. The Fire Magician goes off to get his truck. As the Occupiers and some of the street folks begin to take up the chairs, we notice that Lil Bear is gone and his female friend is sitting alone on a chair. The fire is dying and she looks cold.
Just as we are about to question her to see how we can help her……KABOOM!!!! The woman who is banned from CHUM comes running up from somewhere and leaps on the cold and alone woman. She knocks her on to the floor and begins pounding on her. WTF????
The woman being assaulted screams and wraps her arms and legs around the attacking woman’s body. The attacking woman’s friend and another street man are on the situation immediately. They each put their hands on the women and gently try to pull them apart. As they do this, they are both talking calmly and gently talking to the women. The Occupiers just stand and watch, looking like a buncha dummies.
However, it looks like the street men have everything under control. The friend gets the attacking woman to let go and stand up. She looks confused, like she just woke up. The friend hauls her off saying, “Sorry, sorry” as they leave.
The other street man helps the assaulted woman on to the one remaining chair. She looks stunned. An Occupier offers to put her inside the cab of the truck where she can feel safer. She gratefully accepts. Another Occupier comments, “Well, now I see why the attacking woman has been banned from CHUM”.
Once everything is packed up, the Occupier goes to talk with the battered woman. The woman exclaims, “I’ve never seen that woman ever in my life. She asked me a couple of questions about people I’ve never heard of so I just told her I didn’t know any of those people” The Occupier asks, “You came with Lil Bear, didn’t you?” The woman replies, “Yes I did and I have no place to go now”. The Occupier calls out to everyone still in the Plaza, “Does anyone know where Lil Bear is?”
The older burned out Native dude, who’s been coming around lately, comes over and informs her, “He’s just across the street; if you’ll watch my bag, I’ll go over and find him”. Off he goes. Lil bear returns shortly; he’s carrying all the blankets. When the Occupier tells him what happened, he looks concerned. He goes to sit with the assaulted woman and he puts a blanket around her.
When it appears that everything has settled down to a dull roar, an Occupier opines to the others, “We need to talk about what to do when violent things happen. Maybe we could talk about it next Tuesday”. Another Occupier agrees, “Yeah, it seems like if we want to stop relying on the police, we need to discuss other options”.
After all that, we plan to be back at Peoples Plaza next Tuesday.