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anything i can't justify as a remotely connected to web development will go here instead of https://agaric.coop

Psst OK it's midnight now i can tweet this. Some of the circuses are shutting down and in some places it's hard to get bread.

The time for organizing— and for a short period, especially digital organizing, is here.

We need to build power and we need to build ways to share it.

Corona virus is a crisis and it's terrible and do everything you can to keep you and your loved ones and everyone else safe. Wash hands and stay home as much as possible and all that, but also...

Move public opinion and policy on things that will save lives right now & longterm

Like, stop people from getting evicted by the rich and the courts and police who serve the rich:

https://twitter.com/CityLife_Clvu/status/1237775018672697351

Move toward prison abolition and decarceration by demanding jails in this crisis reduce pressure to what they can deal with by releasing older and other at-risk inmates:

https://twitter.com/NazgolG/status/1237084635433238528

And work to put a freeze on entangling more people in the judicial system in the first place:

https://twitter.com/radleybalko/status/1237755639146917890

And do whatever you can, where you are, like by getting food and necessities to others

https://twitter.com/miamingus/status/1237900119338405888

And yes, in the name of harm reduction, work to get @BernieSanders elected President and other candidates elected and to get near-universal public support for universal public programs and benefits

https://twitter.com/AOC/status/1237900019350421506

And build communication networks that break through the levels of propaganda that keep us in one of the lower levels of hell— communication that builds organizing that builds power. It's vital that we share control over this communication to share power.

https://agaric.coop/blog/election-first-organizing-failing-us

A huge thing in the #CoronaCrisis and for the future of humanity is to get people out of prisons and jails and take care of people in their communities

https://twitter.com/VOCALNewYork/status/1237869663020707840

Tech i want to help build to build networks of communication that keep the power we build together shared among us, that doesn't exist yet, that i can find.

But the tech to help one another now sure does exist:

https://twitter.com/loud_socialist/status/1237937468722352129

We don't have much power. But there are many places we can apply pressure— such as pushing more businesses, universities, and towns to provide paid sick leave to their workers— immediately helping people now, and establishing precedent for long-term improvements.

More on such efforts:

https://twitter.com/HongPong/status/1237962809977253888

Oh and https://libcom.org/library/you-say-you-want-build-solidarity-network

I definitely meant to have an #AbolishICE resource in this #coronavirus action list. @ConMijente is one organization for that. Here's the reason to give people in their own self-interest, that may also help people see immigrants as human:

https://nitter.net/matt_cam/status/1237939272839282688

Covid-19 hitting is making people viscerally realize we need to rebuild the social net shredded by reactionary policies (implemented by Republicans and the Clinton/Biden side of the Democrats) over decades. (But the net was never great; we need a social floor no one falls below)

and part of that is restoring resiliency as a value more important than ephemeral efficiency:

https://twitter.com/dellsystem/status/1237933116427132928

Philidelphia looking at keeping people safe (from compounding the effects of poverty) in their homes throughout the epidemic. What about your city?

https://twitter.com/jblumgart/status/1238120512334725126

Focusing on age and claiming dementia is wrong, morally and (for progressives) as political strategy. It's basic human decency to not attack people for something they did not choose or cannot change or that isn't harming other people. (Both the inherent and no-harm conceptions of recognizing humanity are valid, but the latter is more powerful. For example, the more conservative approach to fighting for queer rights focuses on “born this way”; the more liberating approach focuses on fundamental human rights to be who we want to be.)

Still, it's worrying that many people seem to have suddenly decided to share that they have diagnosed what appears to be Biden's frequent inability to express coherent thoughts as an expression of his stutter.

I agree completely with Sabrina's tweets:

How to criticize Biden without being ableist: 1. don’t mention his stutter or say “he can barely get a sentence out” 2. don’t criticize memory loss or similar issues. 3. there are so many problems with Biden so please criticize the policy content instead of engaging in ableism.

Good things to call Biden out on: 1. Being a sexual harasser 2. Supporting segregation 3. Voting for disastrous wars 4. Homophobia & transphobia Don’t discredit your very valid critiques by reverting to ableism!

Especially given that some people made the same argument about Trump, that he was in cognitive decline— and whatever the state of his mental faculties it has not at all gotten in the way of his promulgating racist, classist, ableist policies or of nominating reactionary, white supremacist, protect-the-rich-at-all-costs young men to lifetime appointments.

But in the completely (and temporarily) media-constructed narrative of Biden's “electability” (which spell check rightly doesn't consider a word) that has made Biden the leading candidate by avoiding almost any discussion of policy, Tim Faust's point is valid too:

if Biden attempts to wave away his mental coherence issues as a 'stutter' than i, a stutterer, am going to use my free pass to fuck up all the time for the rest of my life

The strategic progressive thing to do now is to relentlessly focus on policy— and personnel. We'd need some help from Sanders on that latter part. Biden is in theory much better positioned to build a “dream team” to take on the Trump regime, so an inability or unwillingness to do so now should be disqualifying. But Sanders too should be able to have a person to name for agriculture, housing, energy, commerce, labor and every cabinet position who can powerfully advocate for (respectively) non-factory farms and farm workers, non-polluting energy policies, small businesses, workers, and everything else that makes up a progressive change on the federal level.

Having so many official representatives is a great way to get some of the vital so-called earned media, too.

We need to relentlessly press in social media and directly on Biden and his representatives and the media that's supposed to be representing us to get to the policies that a president will enact, and not let Biden's incoherence prevent getting to what his policies are or distract from the lack of humane goals and policies.

Even if every Alzheimer's doctor in the country were to declare some iron-clad diagnosis, focusing on such claims harms disabled people and the elderly and does nothing to advance our long-term goals as people who give a damn about making a better world for all.

In any case, in the primary (unlike the general), Biden's well-paid defenders (including many in the media who managed to spend three different news cycles on Sander's evidently minor heart attack) will be able to deflect any questioning of Biden's capacity to govern as an attack on his disability.

If only it were so easy for us.

“Bernie Sanders' lifetime of advocating for policies that benefit the majority of people in the United States, even when they haven't been politically viable, is a condition known as integrity, and it should not be held against him in an election!”

(This was on Monday night.)

Me

do you have the BERN App? https://berniesanders.app.link/

to get everyone in NY registered in time for your late and possibly decisive primary!

Brother

Unfortunately it looks like the same thing that happened to Bernie in 2016 will happen again in 2020.

Me

Not if half the people we're counting on to join Bernie in voting out Trump and his rubber-stampers in Congress actually start paying attention and showing up in the primaries. It could really come down to NY.

(mostly agreed but it'll be really hard for them to pull that with a large lead in delegates and growing momentum, so again, New York!)

Brother

Hopefully you're right. It looks grim with many prominent Democrats openly not supporting Bernie.

Me

that's exactly why this hinges on people who don't usually vote—and have lots of good reason to dislike most Democrats because those Democrats never cared about them. And have reason to question the fact that others, even if admirable public servants, have not delivered the goods of needed change.

(and still bummed we're organizing in the context of political campaigns, instead of having huge movements that as an afterthought chooses our politicians, but we have what we have, and Bernie's campaign is pretty good)

Brother

It was good the first time around as well. Hopefully people are more educated now than in 2016.

Maybe an app that has all the candidates voting history🤔 🤔

Me

There's tons of websites with that stuff. Probably some apps. I do wish yeah like the BERN app had easy access to facts like voting records for all the politicians that might come up in a conversation about going to vote, but as i understand it the best use of time is to just get people moving who normally aren't, not try to change minds with facts.

Brother

True indeed

Me

But the app i want is to collect what people want, not what politicians have done, and once we collectively decide what we want, we figure out how to coordinate to get it— whether it's electing someone or holding politicians or businesses accountable with direct action or forming a giant corporation and buying community land / healthcare together and making the corp a monopoly through which we sell our labor since the laws favor monopoly corps over unions!

Brother

Sounds like a great plan many people would want to be a part of

We need to move to movement-first organizing

(Cross-posted to https://agaric.coop/blog/election-first-organizing-failing-us )

Monday night before the “Super Tuesday” primary, I'm searching for “does the bernie sanders app help you offer rides to polls to people” and finding no answer. (It does not.)

All I found was Lyft offering ride codes to for a handful of non-partisan non-profits to distribute. If Lyft can realize that simple physical access to vote is a barrier that affects different groups of people unequally and cite the facts about youth not voting, it surely came up on the Bernie Sanders Slack.

Yet in this highly online-connected campaign, some of the basic steps to winning (asking everyone: Do you have a plan to vote? Do you need help getting to the polls?) didn't make it into the official app, nor in any public side efforts.

There are a huge number of thoughtful, dedicated people working on the Bernie Sanders campaign (and in other political campaigns), but as in every movement I've witnessed I'm convinced that not all the best ideas are bubbling up.

Even when a goal is simple (get this one person elected president) the tactics are likely to need to be varied and complex.

This is vastly more true when we're talking about a movement. Even in a presidential campaign like for Sanders, the the goals behind the goal—health care, living wages, lots more jobs for everyone because we're putting people to work reversing global warming—are many, multifaceted, and cannot possibly be achieved only through electing someone, even to an office like the United State's imperial presidency.

After getting over my personal hangup of asking people for something without having at least the barest offer of help (a ride to go vote), I did start texting a few people to encourage them to vote. But as I texted my brother in New York, I'm still bummed we're organizing in the context of political campaigns, instead of having huge movements that, as an afterthought, choose our politicians.

I'm not making (or necessarily opposing) the argument that electoral organizing distracts from more important grassroots organizing.

I have gotten involved with a local solidarity network which focuses on direct action to help people with immediate problems— frequently a dozen people helping just one person or a few people at a time win livable spaces from landlords (or get security deposits back), or get stolen wages from an employer.

This sort of deep organizing—really only medium deep, but it's using available resources to nearly their maximum capacity—does not have the breadth of the typical mayoral campaign.

We need breadth as well as depth. There are many problems that can't be solved on a case by case basis. Although the type of organizing local solidarity networks engage in builds the capacity to take on bigger problems, it doesn't necessarily scale fast enough, or have clear mechanisms to translate built power and solidarity in one area to others.

The question of translating power built in one sphere to another is even more pressing for the election campaigns.

It's no secret, as Frank Chapman of the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression reminded people in Minneapolis when he visited from Chicago, that you build political power by going door to door and finding supporters.

What would our political movements be able to do if we didn't have to redo all the grunt work every time?

Or if people weren't canvassed only by campaigns (electoral or otherwise), but asked about their needs?

There are enough people who give a damn.

We could build immensely powerful movements from the ground up, if we had a way to agree how shared resources of movements—including communication channels—would be controlled.

To be a movement for, among other things, democracy, we need to be democratic ourselves. The DSA is probably farthest along in reach and democratic mechanisms, and so a natural place to join.

We need better technology to coordinate to achieve justice, liberty, and better lives for all. I don't mean merely a better canvassing app.

We need approaches and tools that let us share power. Then we can truly build power together.

A positive spin on this extremely spun election: media coverage has meant a ton but advertising has not. And the national, corporate media (which, if for instance you haven't checked who owns your local newspaper, if you even have one, is nearly all of the news media) is the sworn enemy to economic fairness and equal political power. No one with resources should put a cent into our enemies pockets by buying ads, especially when it doesn't even work.

It's a perfect opportunity to build institutions that work for us, rather than pouring resources and energy into institutions that are getting us killed.

We can build a communication network through which we collectively decide what we want, and then figure out how to coordinate to get it— whether it's electing someone or holding politicians or businesses accountable with direct action or forming ourselves into a giant cooperative corporation to negotiate as workers and buyers more equally with the huge corporations we deal with on a day-to-day basis.

If you're in the position to connect us to campaigns, cooperatives, parties, or other organizations who see a need for communication tools controlled by all the people in an organization or movement, where the ideas and control of resources can build from below, please contact Agaric.

Liz Warren or Bernie Sanders on Super Tuesday?

Discussing voting on Super Tuesday primary with a friend who, it turned out, leaned toward Liz Warren but wanted to hear a case for Bernie Sanders.

Me:

Hi [name of friend i haven't talked to in a year or so because i'm a terrible person], election day is tomorrow! It looks like your polling location is ___. Will you vote for Bernie?

Friend:

Hi Ben! I'd love for Bernie to be president but I'm terrified of him running against Trump... I thought Warren would do better against Trump but it doesn't seem like she's gonna make it. I'm relatively positive she will endorse Bernie and drop out if she doesnt make a come back Tuesday so I was considering voting for her. I have supported Bernie's campaign so far and will happily vote for him against the Trump, but I feel like voting for Warren will ultimately have the same effect and I will have voted for the candidate I legitimately think stands a better chance. (I have seen projections about Bernie but I dont u understand the logic)

I would be ecstatic to see Bernie beat Trump. I have a hard time seeing how he's gonna get the Republicans, Liberterians and the center crowd...

If you think voting for bernie as opposed to Warren tomorrow would have a drastic effect on the end result I'd love to hear your perspective.

Me:

are you... are you... the mythical not-entirely-decided voter?!? I could have sworn you were a concoction of the horserace-obsessed media! ;–)

OK so here's the deal. For reasons that are not at all clear to me either, Bernie Sanders has far more grassroots support than Liz Warren. She is by far the better debater, some of her policies are better or at least better defined, but Sanders' consistency is probably what has attracted the more active supporters and definitely will be a huge advantage against Trump. What he and the billions of attack ads will do with Warren's past as a Republican and identifying as Native American (despite having no tribal or cultural connection, and many Native American communities are still highly not OK with this).

And that's the real thing though— even with truth being completely optional this political era, the ways that Bernie will be attacked will be as a communist and socialist and un-American radical— but the more they paint him like that, the more it is likely to bring the large majority of people who have tuned out of US politics because it does nothing for them into the picture. (While Bernie patiently explains that his policies are indeed what most people across the political spectrum want, it's not at all radical by world standards, and it's deeply part of US political tradition— the Green New Deal and all that, and oh yeah the threat of global warming and lack of health care and inequality killing millions of people requires big actions.

Hillary Clinton made a decision to pursue allegedly moderate Republican votes in 2016's general election. I felt that was the immoral decision at the time— the moral decision is to speak to the disenfranchised, the people who have gotten so little from either political party that they don't vote at all, and move the conversation in a progressive direction (for which there are large majorities for universal healthcare, decreased inequality, better jobs and more control at work— Sanders even talks about worker ownership! but i digress.

What i didn't expect was that Hillary's 2016 decision was strategically wrong. All the Republicans voted for Trump, even though Hillary was everything a Republican could want, economic policy wise, without the incompetence and blatant racism and sexism and xenophobia and general smell of sulfur.

So Bernie will bring more people out to vote than Trump can. He will win, unless large numbers of conservative Democrats vote for Trump or stay home. But despite the concentration of conservative Democrats in office and in party apparatus, the last election made clear that the parties have finished to near completion a long realignment of white nationalists in the Republican Party and ... non-white nationalists in the Democratic. Trump is so uniquely evil to any thinking person that this is a historic opportunity— outside the media, which are already full of the 23 or so “never-Trump” Republicans basically spending the last four years pretending to be Democrats, but whose votes we really never had, very few “moderate” Democrats are likely to defect (i pray, i pray, i pray) and vastly more non-voters will be there for Bernie because he offers something. Again, the sort of attacks that will mostly be made on Bernie have less potential of suppressing voters from the under-represented demographics that we need to turn out than the attacks on Liz Warren would— it would be unfair, but former Republican Warren could be painted as an establishment candidate, in ways that will be much harder to do to Sanders. Trump is now the establishment, but he's going to try to run as anti-establishment, like last time. Even with massive media cooperation, it won't work.

(Also i totally have Signal on my computer and i am so so sorry if you are trying to type on a phone, you can call me :-P )

Friend:

Haha, I'm generally never fully decided until the moment of action :p Warren being the better debater and having defined plans is what attracted me. I hope that Bernie can calmly distinguish himself from the “socialist” light Republicans see him in.

Very interesting take on Hillary. I saw her loose ground as soon as she stopped pushing to the left. I noticed many who never vote lose interest again. I can see where the projections might be coming from now, it's mostly from those who dont normally vote!

I think Bernie needs to speak more about the green new deal (or some part of his plan) bringing jobs to rural areas, he needs to touch on the job issue that so many lower class Republicans are tied to.

I see your point! Thanks for giving me a hopeful perspective on how Bernie can actually win!

You're right that warren can be turned into the establishment and therefore demotivating people who don't vote from even voting again like Hillary last time...

Haha yes, its terrible typing on the phone, no problem, thanks for taking the time to discuss it!

In terms of having clear plans and better defined policies, I value that but I'm realizing it's not really what politics revolves around sadly

Andrew Yang had me for a while for how logical he was with things, I wish there was a mixture of him with Bernie's ideals

Alrighty, I think I'll just vote for Sanders and reaaaally hope there is a huge turnaround on number of people who vote this year in support of him!

Those who don't ordinarily vote aren't even accounted for in the polling, for the most part! But yeah polls are bunk. Always vote your conscience (and why in the hell do we not have instant runoff voting at least in primaries already, gahh). But the thing Bernie keeps repeating about it taking a movement to change society is absolutely true and one has sort of coalesced around him, more than anything we've seen in the US since maybe FDR—of course, then we had a much stronger pull from the left then—but win or lose Bernie's campaign will do more to bring life to the movements we need: labor, radical politics, green movements. And we're at the delicate point where he needs every vote in the primary, to win it and to burst out into attention of the never-voted-before crowd.

Yes, i just texted to a friend that i cannot believe neither Sanders nor Warren adopted Yang's guaranteed minimum income plan, at the very least! It was such a clear, focused campaign it was just asking to be incorporated by another candidate. Mystifying to me.

Thanks so much for chatting i wish i could be moved to reach out to people more without a sort-of-movement moving me to, heh. I hope you do vote Bernie when the moment of action comes at the voting place! You have definite plans to get there and all? :–)

Friend:

Yeah! The guaranteed minimum income and restructuring of what GDP to account for support of next generation, health, etc. Would have done wonders for their campaign. Would have brought over so many on the line Republicans and Liberterians

Yes, it's 5min from my house, I'll definitely go vote tomorrow! Definitely either Bernie or Warren, but you've definitely tipped me over to Bernie so most likely him!

No worries, I'm glad you got in touch! Always great hearing from you :)

Haha, yeah! It filled in a few gaps for me in terms of Bernie's potential to beat Trump.

Me:

And yes, do vote for Bernie!! I'm bummed it's 2020 and we're organizing in the context of political campaigns, instead of having huge movements that as an afterthought chooses our politicians (the tech i've always wanted to build is to collect what people want, and once we collectively decide what we want, we figure out how to coordinate to get it). But we have what we have, and Bernie's campaign has the best potential for symbiosis with true movements. And this conversation is the absolute highlight of my minuscule voter outreach career!

Friend:

Yes I agree, you would think we would have come up with a better system... I've thought about similar techs a lot, would be good to talk more about it in the future! People have to stop making scary evil AI movies! Its brainwashing people to not want tech involved in politics...

That was great! Thanks again for reaching out :)

[The next day.]

Friend:

Hey Ben, one more thought to run by you. There is an idea that if Warren stays in the race, she will collect more votes from those who wouldn't vote for Bernie but would to her and eventually endorse him with those votes helping Bernie like Biden just got boosted from the others dropping out. This would be purely a strategic decision to help get the more voters for Bernie. Or you think the full boost on Bernie is necessary right now to keep the far left who dont vote motivated?

Me:

Ideal: Warren stays in the race, more people get involved, and Sanders gets a majority before the convention anyway. She is simply fantastic in the debates (and having more people stay in with actual good ideas would be better, like Yang and like Castro who had a great campaign and is now all in for Warren, and heck even Booker would have been nice to have in the race and up on the stage).

The reality is that the literal billionaires and the Democratic establishment working so hard to squash a progressive challenge. Given the field, why didn't they coalesce around Warren to stop Sanders already? So they're likely to try to keep this from Warren and Sanders right up through the convention— and after the first round of voting, delegates are supposed to change votes to get someone a minority, but no one fully controls their delegates at that point. Warren can't ensure her delegates switch to Sanders, so our best bet to get someone who isn't a straight shill for the richest 1% is voting Sanders now.

So to be clear, i think we need Bernie in the general to have the best chance in the general election and downticket races and non-electoral organizing, and voting Bernie now, including in Massachusetts, is the best way to have Bernie in the general.

Friend:

Makes sense, I guess I shouldn't play into a strategy given it's not a sure thing Warren's delegates will go to Bernie and still hope she stays in to gather the votes of those on the line and endorse him in the future

Me:

Thanks again for talking through all this. Would you be OK if i posted the conversation (lightly edited and anonymous)? I feel all the posts that aren't two human beings discussing something are... less helpful for the common ground we need. I also have no personal website actually working right now so i'm about to start a free (and libre!) write.as account

Friend:

Sure go for it! Looking forward to more conversations in the future :)

This Saturday Morning, Three Government Agencies in Minnesota Made Forcing People Off Unused Land a Priority

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – A teepee and a tent rose on the side of a highway Friday night, as a Native-led group again made visible that many First Nations people subsist in sub-freezing temperatures without safe places to sleep and stay. The location, along Franklin and Hiawatha avenues, had been a well-known tent encampment of hundreds of houseless people last year. Despite harassment from police on Saturday which mirrored a de facto city policy of dispersing homeless people, organizers for the action vowed to maintain a presence until all people in need have beds readily available, including in a shelter geared towards Native Americans.

The strip of land between Franklin Avenue (the major corridor through a neighborhood with the highest proportion of Native American residents in the Twin Cities), the guardrail of State Highway 55/Hiawatha Avenue, and the tall noise barrier along Hiawatha Towers public housing came to be called the Wall of Forgotten Natives after the largely Native encampment grew there in 2018.

“The camp seemed to force all of us to acknowledge the larger homeless problem the city has faced for years,” Steve Marsh wrote in January for Mpls.St.Paul Magazine. Minneapolis responded in part by stepped up provision of services to homeless people, and many people from the original encampment moved on to more permanent housing and their lives changed for the better. “As soon as I got my apartment I quit my alcohol, you know, I stopped drinking,” Melissa Bringsthem said. She was able to get a job and a car as a consequence of the efforts stimulated “the last time this happened,” and she came out to support re-establishing an encampment until everyone's needs are met. “When people come together good things can happen.”

As part of dismantling the camp last December (after which the Minnesota Department of Transportation fenced off the area), 176 people moved to a new Minneapolis Navigation Center set up on Red Lake Nation property. Most found other places before the navigation center closed in June, but all involved acknowledged that great need remained. A month after it closed, volunteer and Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center employee Jenny Bjorgo said it closed too soon.

Nothing replaced the navigation center as November brought historic cold and December weather proves equally unrelenting. Native organizers sought to re-establish an encampment at the Wall on Friday night in reaction to the slow pace towards finding a solution that ensures people are not suffering and sleeping outside:

Tonight we take back the Wall of Forgotten Natives to protect our most vulnerable from their constant eviction and relocation across the city. We are here to inform you that we reject these attempts to brush the problem under the rug, and will protect our homeless community at this location until they have a culturally-specific overnight shelter.

Outreach workers who turned out in support of the action expressed frustration that Minneapolis police continually push houseless people out of visible and long-used spaces, making them harder to reach and serve. Areas where people sleep under bridges have been fenced off; in October, just four blocks away from the former Wall camp, police forced people to leave a homeless encampment.

By preventing homeless people from gathering together, police also help the city avoid pressure to provide help and housing at the scale needed. Keiji Narikawa, an organizer of the action who had also been part of the support network for the original encampment, told Chris Serres of the Star Tribune: “Since the Wall of the Forgotten Natives closed, resources have left and we're back to zero.”

In an effort to change that, dozens of people set up the teepee, which had been a visible part of the 2018 encampment. Even at past midnight, the action got some support from passerby, including a Black man who stopped his car and insisted on donating some cash to the group.

Police watched from SUVs but did not intervene during the initial hours of taking the wall back. However, people who stayed the night, people who returned in the morning, and people who came out in support on Saturday faced down threats and harassment from the Minneapolis police department.

A half-dozen people who stayed past 2 a.m. kept a fire going in a portable fire pit on the side of the sidewalk. An equal number of people stopped by and warmed themselves by the fire and chatted. Several accepted jackets and handwarmers that had been donated to the group before continuing down the snow-and-ice-covered unplowed sidewalk. After several hours of surveillance, at 3:35 a.m., three Minneapolis police SUVs pulled up and four officers got out. One had a shovel which he used to put snow on the fire to extinguish it. (The sidewalk remained unshoveled and a hazard to pedestrians.)

In the twelve minute exchange, officers brought up trespassing, no bonfires after 10 p.m, and loitering, but said that offering any solution beyond suggesting people try to find an open shelter bed before shelters closed for the night was above their pay grade. After Narikawa, Tommy Tomahawk, and others made clear they would not be leaving, the police drove away in their SUVs with “To Protect with Courage, To Serve with Compassion”

The next day brought many more supporters again. It also brought state police and more Minneapolis police representatives, primarily Sgt. David O'Connor and Lt. Grant Snyder, who acted as the primary point of contact with the group even when on land claimed by the state. Although the police's threat of physical coercion remained implicit and sometimes explicit during long conversations, ultimately the police gave the group a little space for the day.

Pastoral Minister Shawn Phillips led supporters in a prayer circle in which people passed a large ceremonial pipe and everyone spoke of their commitment to re-establishing the encampment if that's what it takes to bring about a solution to the crisis of insufficient housing and services. American Indian Movement co-founder Clyde Bellecourt arrived at this time, joined the circle and lent his support and encouragement.

After the group moved out to the sidewalks, Minnesota Department of Transportation employees reinforced the fence around the Wall. No one enforcing this exclusion could explain what made forcing people off of unused land the apparent top priority of three government agencies on a Saturday in the middle of December.

Alongside the fire which was re-started that morning, volunteers associated with the Church of Gitchitwaa Kateri provided hot food at the encampment, continuing a series of Saturday lunchtime meals for people in need or anyone who wants to partake. O'Connor and Snyder took these volunteers aside and attempted to discourage them from showing solidarity with the re-encampment in the future, but allowed serving to proceed that day, and added $300 worth of pizza.

The Wall of Forgotten Natives Facebook page posted an update late in the afternoon:

We came to a temporary agreement regarding the occupancy of the wall and our teepee will remain visible as a symbol until funding and permanent programs are in place for a culturally specific shelter. If no progress has been made within the agreed timeframe we will establish a permanent encampment.

This morning the U.S. Supreme Court let stand a 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that governments “may not criminalize conduct that is an unavoidable consequence of being homeless – namely sitting, lying, or sleeping on the streets”. The ruling does not directly apply to Minneapolis or Minnesota, which are in the 8th circuit, nor does it necessarily cover tents, fire/heaters, or staying in groups for better access to services, but it is a rare recent legal push toward providing housing over harassment.