Occupy Delaware General Assembly Meeting Notes
Hanover Church, Wilmington
Meeting start: 1920
Bernie’s therapy session. On Monday 2 of my neighbors were murdered in the courthouse and I’ve been sick and in shock for a week. My community makes me what I am, our community makes us what we are. At the Occupy site we had to deal with a lot of violent people…what do you say to yourself? Survivor’s guilt.
There’s a thankful side, too. Could I (we) have stopped it? The murder was completely planned. But the police understood the situation…They don’t check you for guns going into the building..Just thank our lucky stars, for the friendships and dignity we treat each other. I’ll never be able to figure out the reason.
The march on Sunday…the Occupation…community is where it’s at. Not the suburbs. Now my suburban community is severely wounded, and we’ve lost people to cancer. But murder is something that happens in somebody else’s neighborhood.
This is over the top, the violence, our behavior as a species, is getting pretty bad. Our group here, try to remember. Bullets, bombs, war don’t solve anything, we have to communicate. And even then that doesn’t always work.
What’s it all about? We’re fighting a bunch of serious crap here, and the hostility can be right next to you..
This was a tragic week for all of us, and for 7 children who lost mothers. It’s all ugly, there’s nothing good about it. Take care of yourselves. Because it goes very fast. Count your blessings and keep the faith up.
We are in denial of the war that’s here at home. Not somewhere else.
Proposals. We’ll come back to these later. There are 2 letters I’d like a sign-on from ODE. State budget issue, to make income take more progressive. Letter to Obama.
At the ForwardOnClimate rally, they didn’t get chanting very well. We tried several times “Shit’s fracked up…” but they wouldn’t do it. Next protest, we need bullhorns, Occupy the Protest.
I went to the ForwardOnClimate protest on Sunday, to try to put pressure on the administration to actually do something about climate change, and stop the expansion of the Keystone XL pipeline. It’s the end-game for climate change. It was good, there were 35,000 to 50,000 people. Sierra Club was one of the cosponsors, our local contingent was organized by Delaware chapter of the Sierra Club. 200 people from St. Andrews school were there. The crowd was pretty mainstream.
Wilmington In Transition is launching a time bank, Delaware Hour Exchange. It’s an egalitarian alternative economy, not fiat based, but it values not scarcity but things that promote healthy community. The unit of exchange in one hour of time and everybody’s hour is worth the same.
Delaware Environmental Summit (Delaware Sierra Club): Nukes, Bag Ban, Fracking, Energy/Climate. I was looking for more action — what can we do. Overall, networking, there are more people concerned about these issues than appears.
Unitarian Church in Newark, about homeless, Bill Perkins, Friendship House. The state of homelessness in NCC. How all the organizations fit into the mix. There are some holes. There’s no women’s emergency shelter. That’s a real need. It could be anywhere in the county. Social services need to be better across the state. Things people can do to help. Press our elected officials. More jobs. More affordable housing. In Newark, a shelter would server 2 corridors, different populations, with different needs. Elkton-Kennett Square, more rural, living in tents. Baltimore-Philly, more urban. There are officially 5,500 homeless in NCC, but it’s probably closer to 8,000 when including home-insecure.
Connections? People don’t get it. Connections has its problems, but they take anybody. They’ll serve you if you have disability benefits.
It’s an all-day job to be homeless. A facility to clean, eat, sleep anytime is needed. There’s corruption. You can’t work and be homeless, being homeless is full-time work. Can Connections be made more accountable? Everybody was wasted there, they’re supposed to be a drug-help facility. It’s the only organization in the entire state that takes just about anybody. They don’t give you (women) services for overnight services. The new Connections is better.
One of the things we can do is to be advocates out in the community. When I talked to people about being in Occupy there was a lot of negativity in response, so we can say, no, you are misinformed, you haven’t seen what it’s like. I’ve been there, yes they’re messed up but they’re still human beings, you still need to have compassion. We can make this more important issue. We don’t force our government to care. Most people don’t want to care.
If you wind up helping people and there are problems…
Homelessness is a symptom of a much bigger problem, as is addiction. And there’s stigma. We can’t know what it’s like for them. When you see a kid who has been sexually abused by family and sold to anybody and is using drugs and has AIDS…and we’re scared of them, we hate on them. When you’re homeless, what the fuck. It’s the thing to do when you’re homeless. And it’s scary to work with.
You have to be savvy. Can help with basic supplies and needs. You can get to know some pretty awesome people, and some who are so damaged they can’t accept help.
You don’t see people sleeping on the streets in Wilmington, as you do in other cities. They have their hideaways.
That’s true of a lot of different problems in Delaware. There are a lot of carpets in Delaware that dirt gets swept under.
So, get under the carpet!!
Duck and Cover!!
Don’t vomit on a bus. Don’t use the bus bathroom after someone has vomited on the bus.
The Sunday rally, I was with 40 young kids. A contingent with a sickle and hammer. Obama’s no socialist, we are we are!! Upper middle class kids, very worried about the environment. Not war, not poverty, because the environment affects everybody. The EcoSocialists.
My sign attracted every Jew at the rally. It was tikkun olam in Hebrew. Probably close to 70.
Blessings upon our work and our witness.
We all want to see change, take back our rights, our country, things like that. The actions we did, what did they do? Unless somebody is outraged they won’t step up and do something. So, how can we outrage people? In the meantime we’re being active in other groups…but not Occupy activism. Whatever that may mean, I want to get back to it. Sow discord among the masses.
On the farm we’re living very close to the earth, marginal power, water. So we’re using our Occupy skills, living more sustainably. This summer we’ll have a garden on the farm. Ideas for what to do with it, what to grow.
You need to start your kale and snow peas now. Start them inside.
I amazed by how many people were at the rally. Introduced to myself to Jill Stein. She was the craziest one there — and she’s good at chanting. The President was playing golf with 2 oil executives. Some of the younger anarchists made snide comments about the Green Party, and I confronted her about what was her solution…
Thinking about doing another Occupy House, a foreclosure situation. I want it to be activist, not squatting.
Did Delaware Ave. today. It was cold. Every Wednesday, 4:30 pm. Bridge over I-95. Holding signs.
There are so many things to get involved with (so much fucked up shit) and I’m sorting out what I feel most strongly about. Whatever your personal thing is, is great. We need to do another action. Try to get NY/Philly etc. to come here. In Wilmington. We all have connections.
A “Shit’s Fucked Up and Bullshit” rally. This will be continued in the Action Meeting after the GA.
In Tunisia, 7.5 million people, after millions, more that 15 percent, has left, leaving cities empty. So enough people stepped up, the police attacked, the prime minister stepped down!
People for the American Way. Summits, systems of oppression. Blueprints of change. A great program. There have not been any Delaware college kids — Young People Forward. The one thing I have seen people get angry about, union people, angry over what happens with state employee pay…
Delaware City refinery is accepting tar sands via rail, with no public informing. One of us was out taking pictures of trains and someone pulled up behind her, a refinery security truck showed up at her house, and a state police car just showed up at her house.
They asked us what we’re doing, ask for our ID. In the guise of 911. An action? We need a critical mass.
Progressive taxes are the more you make the higher your tax rate…how do taxes paid in other states come into this? There are reciprocity agreements between states.
We have a progressive tax rate up to $60,000, then the rate is fixed after that. We should raise that level.
I think we are assuming too much about our legislators that they would understand this. They understand it, and the governor is very opposed. Legislators tend to be supportive.
Fix copy errors.
We don’t really know enough about multinational corporations and how they move money around to be able to say yes or no that we agree with it.
We have a concern, and this is a way to express that and start a discussion.
Friendly amendment to make copy edits.
Straw Poll on ODE endorsing the federal level: in favor 10 out of 12. None opposed.
Binding Vote: 10, opposed none
State letter: Passed by consensus, straw poll and binding vote.
Meeting adjourned: 2055 hr.