Sunday, 27 April 2014

1. First Contact

"May I help you sir?" asked the secretary.

"I hope so ma'am." said the visitor. "My name is John Smith and I’d like to speak to the Major."

Well Mr. Smith, you’ll need to schedule an appointment. What is this regarding?

I want to establish a farm/homeless shelter/soup kitchen in the City and I’d like to discuss the details of doing so with him.

You’ll need to talk to the City planning department first. The zoning here is very strict and you’ll not likely be able to do any of that.

So I figured. However, I have some special circumstances that I’d like to discuss with the Mayor first. So can I make an appointment to see him?

Are you a resident of this town?


Well, it would really be best if you go through the appropriate channels. You can go see the folks at the Planning Office down the hall.

Thanks, but I don’t think they’re in any position to give my special circumstances the consideration they need, so that’s why I’d like to start by discussing this with the Mayor.

I’m sorry Mr. Smith, but considering that you’re not a resident of this town, the Mayor cannot spare any of his time talking to you. We have channels for dealing with whatever issue you have and they start at the Planning Department.

Ok, ma'am. Thanks for your time and information. Oh yes... here's my card. Just in case the Mayor needs to talk to me. Have a nice day.

Ok Mr. Smith. You too.

Saturday, 26 April 2014

2. Second contact

"Ok men. As I expected, I got the brush-off at the Mayor’s office. So now it’s time for the next step." said John Smith.

To remind you of why we're doing this... In this step we’re going to do something minor that will get us arrested. We will use this as an introduction to the people in charge of the City, as well as the other residents, and as a means to calibrate their response.

What we’re going to do is to setup a food bank at the park. They will tell us to leave and we will refuse. Then we get arrested. Beforehand, we will notify the media that there’s going to be a show in the park.

Labor Squad. You all will carry the table and chairs and sign and boxes in the cart.

Media Squad. You call the local TV, radio, and newspapers and remind them to be sure to be there to film the fun. Tell them the basic purpose is that we want to solicit donations of non-perishable food. Determine a collection of supermarkets and other public spaces where we can post flyers.

Legal Squad. You stand by to ensure that we behave within our limits (ie. We break the small laws but not the big ones, that nobody interferes with our filming.) Make sure you properly document our property that is confiscated.

Latrine Squad. We need you there. Even though you are guardians of the Chamber Pot, we keep that pot near the food bank. Covered and discrete so it doesn’t disturb anybody but near enough so that it is seized with all the rest of the booth. We will want it saved as evidence.

Arrest Squad. You men run the boopth and get arrested.

Chuckwagon. You're needed.

Ok, so, here's the plan...

5:00 pm the day before. Media squad hangs flyers and alerts the media.

9:00 am the next morning. We all go to the park and setup the booth. As people come by and donate whatever food they have, some of it will be perishable. Chuckwagon takes the perishable food away because we’ll eat it for lunch or eat it soon. No need for it to be confiscated and spoil in the evidence locker. We also take a portion of the donated food away as well. Again, it’s good to stockpile this and we don’t want it tied up in an evidence locker. On the other hand, we do need some piles of non-perishable items sitting on the booth to remind people to donate as well as something to be seized with arrest.

We also introduce our organization in order to find interested and sympathetic outsiders.

10:30am park police come by and see what’s going on.

Hello, what’s going on here?

Good morning officer, nothing’s “going on.” Is there a problem?

There’s an ordinance against soliciting charitable donations in the park. You also need a permit from the City to setup your booth for whatever permissible purpose you might have. Do you have a permit to do this?


Then I’ll have to ask you all to leave.

"Before you ask us to leave I’d like to ask that we speak to the Mayor about this. Perhaps a brief chat with him will clear everything up" said the Legal Squad.

"This has nothing to do with the Mayor" said the police officer. "If you don’t have a permit then you’ll have to leave."

"What happens if they don’t leave?" asked the Legal Squad.

"Who are you all?" asked the police officer.

We’re their Brothers.

Then I’ll have to call for backup and they’ll be cited for trespassing.

The Arrest Squad does not have have a permit for doing this and the police tell the squad to leave. Legal squad argues with the police for a while, but in the end, the police demand that the arrest squad leave. The squad refuses to leave. The police arrest the four men of the Arrest squad.

Sunday, 6 April 2014

3. The Mayor and the Police Chief

"Hey Jack, you have a minute?" asked the Police Chief.

"Sure John, come on in. Have a seat. What’s up?" said the Mayor.

Remember those vagrants and the soup kitchen at the park last week?

Vaguely. Arrested for trespassing?

Yes, that’s it. But guess what?


We got eight more of them today.


Yes, they setup the same stunt as last time, refused to leave, so we had to bust ‘em all.

Didn’t they learn their lesson the last time? WTF are they doing? Any ideas?

Well, they had some “friends” with them who obviously have some legal background. We did not arrest the friends because they were not breaking any laws. However, the friends explained that they want to see you.

What for?

They didn’t say. But they did say something about trying to get an appointment before and being turned away, blah, blah, blah… They said this was the only way to get your attention.

Well, they have my attention now, but I’m fairly busy and I don’t think I have any time to deal with vagrants.

My men tried to tell ‘em that themselves. But you’ll never guess what their response was.


They said that they expected these arrests today to ultimately cost the city about $35,000, that they have many more volunteers looking to get arrested, and that their ultimate goal is to bankrupt the City!

What!? WTF for? What have we done to them? What is their beef with us?

I don’t have any idea, but perhaps it can’t hurt to talk to them and find out.

Yes, I’ll do that. One moment please…

Hey Doris, would you come in here please?

"Yes, Mayor, what can I do for you?" said the Mayor's secretary.

Have any homeless people come looking for me lately? Have you turned away any appointment seekers?

Hmmm… Actually, now that you mention it, there was a guy here a few weeks ago who wanted to see you.

What about?" asked the Mayor.

He said something about setting up a homeless shelter in this town." said the secretary.

What did you tell him?

I told him that the first step would be to talk to the Planning Department.

Did he ever go talk to them?

I don’t think so. He thanked me for my time and then walked out the front door. I haven’t seen him back nor have I heard anything about this from Planning. Have you?

No, I haven’t. Did he leave any contact number?

Ahm… yes. He left his card. Let me go find it. Be right back…

Hmmm… this is not good. Our finances are tight enough as they are. The last thing we need now is for protesters to make trouble here.

Yeah, I hear ya.

God… there’s 1000 things they could do that would burn money for the City! What if they start protesting in front of some of the business? Many of them are alive by the skin of their teeth as it is. I’ve got to nip this in the bud!

Here’s his card Mr. Mayor. His name’s John Smith.

Ok, thanks, I’ll give him a call now.

Ring, ring, ring….

Hello, John Smith speaking….

Hello Mr. Smith, this is Mayor Goff from the City of Baum Fauk calling. I understand you came looking for me the other day and was turned away?

Yes Mr. Mayor, that’s what happened.

Lately we’ve had some incidents in the park with some vagrants setting up a soup kitchen or food bank. Are you in any way connected to these activities?

Yes Mayor, I’m their leader. I’m the cause of all of this. I’m sorry I’ve had to go to such lengths to get your attention, but that’s how things have worked out.

Well Mr. Smith, you’ve got my attention now. I’d like to arrange a meeting with you to find out what your beef with us is and see if we can figure out a way to defuse things.

Ok Mr. Mayor, that would be great. What would be a good time for you?

How about 8am tomorrow morning?

Yes, Mr. Mayor that’s fine by me.

"Ok, great. I’ll expect to see you then." said the Mayor.

Yes sir, will do. Thanks for calling and I’ll see you tomorrow.


Well, well, well… looks like we’ll find out wtf is going on first thing tomorrow morning.