Meeting start: 1916 hr
“The Mayor Wants to Kick Us Out” Committee
Letter from the city fire marshal letter explaining how they’ll come down on the camp tomorrow end-of-business for purported violations.
Guerilla Arts Festival
In Spencer Plaza, aiming for the dates between the Clifford Brown Jazz Festival (Jun e 18-23) and the Bob Marley Festival (July 28). Artists, musicians welcome! (Josh, Julia)
The food and supplies we had at SsAMS, canned goods, pasta, is available for use, or for soup kitchens. See Arnie.
Good turnout at Delaware Avenue rally today.
From yesterday’s meeting, we discussed implementation of an event calendar, doing an action around MERS, and around Steve Colbert’s superPAC (Michele is working on a video montage toward that).
Garden Project action last week, 5th and N. Harrison, we worked for 6 hours, a dozen or more people working. The garden looks great and there’s more work to do with the fence. We got a certificate from the mayor, signed, thanking us for participation in Community Day, there’s good video, photos on the sites. We have found artists to work on the mural that we’ll put up on the wall next to garden.
Review of hand signals.
Occupy NG and Occupy Caravan projects are starting to merge, bringing people from across the country to Philly Independence Mall the weekend of July 4.
Vigil/Open Memorial Service for people who don’t get proper memorials, hosted at the site.
An action tomorrow at Rodney Square, 3 – 6 pm, to engage with the folks there. Do an open forum to get input from people on why they’re angry, at 5 pm.
A corporate front group attempted to insert themselves into a couple boards of education. They failed. The News Journal has been supportive of these (Rodel) people. It’s all about getting rid of the unions.
Talked with Reggie at Occupy the Hood, invited them to join ODE to make us more diverisified. He’s interested.
We’ve been talking with people at Rodney Square about coming to meetings and getting involved. They’re stubborn. We can make an impact with the people getting on and off the buses.
We’re approaching Lowes and Home Depot for fence for the garden.
There may be another bus trip to NY June 20.
Bernie August is announcing his candidacy for US House at the Green Party of Delaware’s annual meeting this Saturday.
On the FB there’s a link to registering to vote.
BoA shareholder meeting in NC was today, a couple thousand people showed up and shut it down. Big march after.
Economics Affinity group meeting after the GA–directly affecting the economic system.
This Sunday, Mother’s Day, a couple foot races the city is sponsoring, for ODE to make its presence known at.
Grand Prix weekend coming up is another opportunity. Brew-Ha-Ha will have a table out there all day. Setting up a water table? They have 3000 runners in this race, a marathon and a half-marathon. Out Walnut St. and back on King St. 3000 runners, 4 cups each, that’s a lot. Instead we can haul the Occupy sign up to King St.
Tomorrow evening, 7 pm, another WiT film showing at Rodney Chapel, come watch and discuss The World According to Monsanto. Westminster Presbyterian Church, Wilmington. Free. Bring friends. This film is highly motivating.
We went to the City Council meeting, no one is complaining! Loretta Walsh was praising us.
We’ve been talking to Loretta today. City Council is out of the loop, a disconnect from the mayor’s office. Loretta, in the Public Safety meeting, had not been informed until we informed her today.
We’ll lie down in front of the DART buses with Mike Brown, June 17, if the bus hub is going to be moved. We should reach out to Mike Brown.
Review of proposal procedure.
Proposal 1: Mayor-Kick-Us-Out Committee. Citing us for code violations. ACLU advice based on latest letters from city that we remove the pallets, foam, and tarps by the close of business day tomorrow. If we do not comply and therefore go to court we will very likely lose and judge will require us to remove the things as a condition of staying or kick us out immediately.
We need to decide if we want to comply or not comply.
I was in DC during the Poor People’s Campaign, they solved similar issues.
We’ve discussed alternatives. Some we don’t have time for.
The plaza floods, some of the tents would be soaked. Most tents don’t have full rain flys. We know the tarps are not flame retardant.
There is flame retardant spray. We probably wouldn’t get it fast enough.
The fire marshal was here several months ago when pallets and tarps were in place, he was requested to do a safety presentation. We requested he come to speak to us today, the city’s lawyer declined that. In response the latest letter from the fire marshal was issued.
The city knew about all of this months ago and failed to act on it.
I’ve read the letters and investigated the issues, we have a case to not comply and take them to court. They’re asking for information about the materials that does not exist.
There’s a no-rain window of opportunity for a few days after tonight.
The letter from the city’s attorney implies they want to bring fire code violations against named individuals. It’s a scare tactic.
We don’t know that the names have been sent to the city’s lawyer. If a list had been sent that would have been communicated to us.
For 2 months, all of January, I engaged the city and fire marshal to get them out here, they did ignore us and our lawyer knows that.
I brought all this up to the ACLU lawyer, he said it’s obvious harassment, but the judge will defer to to fire marshal’s statement that the items are a fire hazard.
What is not being spoken here is that we’re not being given redress except within the scope of the city’s accusation. Under the 14th Amendment we should be given redress.
All the Xmas light wires around the site are a fire hazard, put here by they city.
Has our ACLU attorney suggested going to the Federal Court judge and asking for an injunction to stop the city from enforcing these accusations? We will bring this to the lawyer tomorrow.
Complying could put people in immediate harm because of the impending rain.
Are we talking about compliance about all the grievances? Tarps, pallets, foam. That’s the advice from our lawyer. All the rest he can defend against. He’s asking us to comply with tarps, pallets, and foam.
Are these structures not temporary, as they’re supposed to be? Can we get the fire department to spray anything with fire retardant that needs it? That’s a service they provide for Christmas trees. We will ask the lawyer that.
I investigated federal regulations about fire inhibitors, for mattresses, clothing, tarps, all tents, do not have a fire rating, they’re allowed to sell this stuff, and there exists no proof of fire-proofness.
There are fire resistant tarps out there available.
With our repeated asking the fire marshal to come to the camp for advice, I understand about the judge’s position. Should we not take these steps anyway, to have our good efforts documented, and their denials? That will make our case stronger, especially given that they’re trying to violate our 14th Amendment rights.
In the first paragraph of the fire marshal’s letter he used the phrase “appear to be combustible,” can we say that the fire marshal is supposing? Our lawyer says the burden of proof is on us, and we cannot prove that the tarps we have are fire retardant.
What the city is basing this on is a visit on May 2 by the fire marshal, claiming that the fire marshal told one of us that the pallets, foam, tarps had to be removed at that time. The city’s lawyer believes he has communicated with OD. The fire marshal is not allowed to talk to our lawyer, by the city’s lawyer.
Can we comply but add “by the weekend.”? No. Complying means getting rid of the pallets, tarps, foam.
It was not the fire marshal himself who was here.
Scout camps put their tents on pallets. Do we really know it’s a code violation? No, we just know what the fire marshal’s office said.
I spent 5 years suing a slum lord in this city which led to a full investigation of L&I. I had 49 code violations, by an inspector who was on the take. It set precedent in DE the AG convicted the landlord for egregious violations. He had thousands of violation, but what got him shut down were the fire code violations. We’re not going to get wiggle room on those.
Weather tomorrow, a little bit of rain, tonight 60% chance of showers, then nothing for the next few days. 30-40% chance of rain Monday, Tuesday. This could give us leeway, to keep us focused on why we’re here. We can comply and we have time to come up with alternatives to keep ourselves dry and out of the water.
I’ve been drafting a press release…
The fire marshal’s job is not to keep people safe, it’s to enforce code.
I think it would be a good idea to remove tarps, pallets, foam and work toward a solution as quickly as possible to maintain the safety of the camp. This is without a doubt an attempt of the city to harass us. If we’re going to be forced to leave it should be a fight over the signs, free speech, because that is why we are here. I realize sleeping directly on the bricks is the reality for the people here, I deeply respect this. If we don’t comply we will be gone and our story is that Occupy Delaware got kicked out because of fire code violations. Not for free speech.
I’m a fireman’s daughter and my dad will rise up out of his new grave and slap me if we’re not fire safe. Can we do it by tomorrow 5 pm?
We should do it tonight, with all the people here now.
I don’t think our ACLU lawyer is being dogged enough on our behalf, we need to contact NLG for outside advice.
I’m concerned that if we don’t replace the tarps, etc. soon enough we won’t have people here.
There are high-ground areas, and the command tent is waterproof.
I am concerned for the people here, what will happen if we don’t comply is that we are going to be forced to leave and these people will be screwed anyway.
Our agreement with the city, if we’re going to comply and keep our original arrangement with the city, the camp is a symbol of free speech. The tents are a symbol.
Our lawyer is working within the system, so of course his advice will be the most defensible within the system.
If we’re going to get thrown out let’s get thrown out for the just cause. The fire marshal is following orders from the mayor.
This is a tactical ploy and we’re going to get something like this every week. The goal is to wear us down. We need to be prepared for that.
This is just the first in a long series of letters we’ll be getting from the city.
Clearly their tactic is intimidation and harassment. If we want to see what they have to throw at us, and how far they’ll move the goal post, we have to be here after tomorrow.
I do stay here and I’m willing to stay here further, everything I have I can get again. I say we keep fighting.
If it comes down to me wearing flame-retardant clothes and sleeping on the street I’ll be sleeping here. Delaware is a huge target and so much is happening here and nobody is noticing.
I will vote to comply, the people who have been here are the reason we have the camp. yes it’s a symbol, and a protest, but it’s more than that, these are people.
We can help them get through this.
Add that we allocate funds to achieve this, without going through formal process because it’s an emergency. Seconded.
Factual Information for the amendment.
It wouldn’t cost anything to comply with the fire marshal, to remove stuff.
This amendment does not pertain to the proposal to comply or not
The allocation proposal about emergency funding should be brought up now.
Proposal 2: The GA authorize money to be expended for the purpose of complying with the fire marshal’s demands on an emergency basis.
Priced out tarps, $30 * 6 = $180
Plastic pallets, cinder blocks instead is doable. Probably least expensive.
Pallets would deplete our funds. Cinder blocks we’d need about 50 per tent at $1 each, $300-$400.
50% off of Occupy Supply, they have plastic pallets and tarps. They would be willing to help us.
Why don’t we allocate $500 to get started. Allocate more later if we need to. Accepted by the proposer.
Who will procure this stuff? Steve M.
I am young and strong I will do it. So will I. Just feed me.
If we go for 50 cinder blocks under each tent if we have to move them again that should be considered.
Perhaps we can combine the plastic pallets and blocks…
SP unan in favor
BV unan in favor
Proposal was accepted.
We should not say that it’s not suitable for us to be here, and give ammunition to the city.
I just heard from Loretta (I invited her to join us but she couldn’t): She thinks someone should be here 24-7 to defend our position, she would like to be told immediately if anything is said or happens, council has been shut out of the loop, even though her position is with Public Safety. Don’t give them any reason to strike us down by leaving the plaza empty.
What does that have to do with our agreement with the city? Or code violation. This falls under the category of moving the goal posts.
This will be unclear and messy.
There are real tent cities all over the country, a reality our site represents perfectly. Our occupy goes hand-in-hand with protesting this. There is something to be said for continuing to resist, oftentimes they do give up, at least for awhile, sometimes we win. We’re good to go for now.
It would not be a bad idea to counterattack. Get City Council to endorse us and our efforts, and what we stand for.
If we’re going to go down we’re going to go down for the messages on our signs.
Tomorrow we’ll start at 9 am to start removing tarps, pallets, foam.
Meeting adjourned: 2123 hrs