Minutes of Occupy Maine Bath/Brunswick region General Assembly, November 24, 2012
Barbara West, Drew Joy, Susan Chandel, Christine DeTroy, Joe de Rivera, Jim Friedlander, Chris Winn, Selma Sternlieb, Michael Wetmore, Alex Briggs
Walmart Black Friday Demonstrations:
Drew reported that he participated in a flash mob at the Scarborough Walmart. You can see pictures of it at the Southern Maine Workers Center website, MaineWorkers.org. Selma reported that Julie, Karen, Phui Yi, Anita, Cathy, Mike White and she were at Walmart distributing leaflets. Everyone was asked to leave. Selma gave the rest of the leaflets to Barbara. A big thank you to Julie for producing the leaflets!
Joe reported that he talked to the manager of Bank of America who said she couldn’t comment on anything. She told him to call the bank’s PR person.
Joe urged us to contact Angus King and request a meeting. He wants Angus to work on requiring disclosure of campaign contributions. Angus is on record as opposed to Citizens United. Alex noted that Angus is likely to disregard our interests. Ten states have voted in favor of an amendment to the Constitution.
Occupied by Art:
There will be an open mike night at Susan’s on Saturday, December 1 at 4 p.m. Musicians, poets and others can speak. Susan reported that Mapledge was on Maine Things Considered talking about foreclosure.
Susan reported that a meeting will be held in Portland on Monday at 11 a.m. to determine if the company that has been formed (Mapledge Collective) can pay off the mortgage. Chris, who is the president of the the company, believes that it’s in the best interest of the bank to accept the plan. The bankruptcy judge, or referee as he’s called, will make the determination.
Progressive Holiday Party:
We’re talking about going to the Addams Melman House from 2-4 on Dec. 9, and then going on to Susan’s. It was suggested that we bring entrees or salads to the AMH and desserts to Susan’s.
Letters to the Editor:
Kevin Twine had a letter in the Portland paper on health care. Joe had a letter in the Forecaster on Move to Amend.
The councilors may say that rescinding Citizens United is not a local issue. Jim commented that it is a local issue because a big box store company that wants to move to Brunswick could try to influence how the town council votes by putting a lot of money into a candidate’s campaign.
Corporations in Politics:
Barbara feels that there are plenty of groups working on the narrow issue of amending the Constitution. Our goal should be to educate people about the role of corporations in politics. Changing Citizens United doesn’t change the fact that we have no economic democracy. Drew remarked that concentrating on Citizens United is short sighted. Joe feels that we should lobby Angus on the issue of corporate control of politics. Thomas Jefferson believed that corporations are dangerous and need to be controlled.
Collectivizing Our Power:
Alex thinks we should read the same website(s?) as a way to empower ourselves. (I’m not sure I got that right.)
Agenda for Next Week:
We want to talk about cooperative economy vs. corporate economy.
Thanks to Larry Scott:
We decided we want to thank Larry Scott, owner of the store where we meet every week, for his generosity in letting us use the space. Barbara will contact Anita about making some kind of fancy card that we can all sign.