GA Minutes – 7pm Friday 25th November 2011
Location: St Paul’s Steps
Event: Evening General Assembly of Occupy LSX
Date: Friday 25th November
Announcement: Edinburgh council has given official support for Occupy!
Announcement: Finsbury sq is one month old tomorrow – going to have Birthday Mashup from 9pm.
Announcement: Rythms of Resistance Fundraiser for Fortnum & Mason legal.
Announcement: March on Egyptian Embassy, assemble on steps of St Paul’s at midday.
Working group feedback:
Finance: Apologies for not giving more feedback to GAs. Will be getting some more people on Finance group. Donations have gone down, currently giving out more money than are getting. Getting stricter about spending money. Will be looking more closely at priorities, and only spend what were getting in (sustainability). Think about how much money each working group needs to spend. Will be trying to cover essentials only. Welcome to attend meetings at 4pm.
Occupy Times: Costs about £350 per week. Trying to get online donations (as they do at Occupy Wall St).
Online working group: Complaints about moderators of livestream. Have implemented Safe Spaces policy on livestream and other online activities. Safe Spaces is about respect. If moderators can be replaced.
Tent City University: Discussion at 2.30pm on steps of St Paul’s about, “what is a strike?”. John Holloway at 5.30 (thinker about capitalism) talking about relationship between global capitalism and the global Occupy movement.
Environment: 10.30 Dec 3rd international day of climate justice. Teachout, march, Blackfriars at 12.00
Legal: In court, who will be defendants. Tammy and three others have been added as “defendants in person”: George, Dan, and Simon. Success in court depends on how we run the camp between now and then.
Facilitator: Hand signals….
On to proposal from Corporations working. Statement came to GA and did not reach consensus. Have worked on it intensively since then. Over to Jamie.
Jamie: Statement relates to how corporations work. Didn’t want something that sounded like a leftie column, but something more interesting and radical. These are just first steps. 100 copies given out over last few days. Had 11 meetings without about 10 people each. Main thing is to get a statement, that supports what people in the country are thinking, so people can see what we are talking about, and so they will support us.
Facilitator: Will go paragraph by paragraph.
Jamie: Read first para…
[insert first para]
Clarification: Corporations fuel and profit from war. Just a quick request.
Clarification: Phrase “rarely transparent” – are we saying some are transparent and accountable. If so, which ones?
Clarification (cont.): Some of the biggest corporations are arms companies.
Response: Is a better idea to say some corporations fuel and profit from war?
Response: While agree with comment about war and profit, but rather than making document less clear, perhaps that could be a subsequent statement.
Jamie: We could put in phrase “driving war”.
Any disagreement on the addition of war?
Response: Don’t think corporations start wars…
Clarification: Have to include corporate greed of the banks. Can’t keep the banks out of it. Would like to see the word “deliberate” and “dishonest” in the statement.
Facilitator: Do we want to discuss changes to statement, or discuss corporations more generally. Let’s stick to the statement…
Some people disagreed with addition. Are they happy to stand aside. Will take it that you are prepared to stand aside. More comments about the statement.
Clarification: Great to see the citation about psychopathy. Could we also have citation about 51/49 largest entities.
Jamie: Reads revised first paragraph. Are people happy? No…
Response: Need to make clear if we are going for consensus. Temperature checks aren’t clear. War is terrible, but so is pollution and so on. It’s important, but perhaps we should leave that to a subsequent statement.
Clarification: Given the way Iran is going, probably would be good to say something about war.
Clarification: Wars are very central to what corporations do, where they are scrabbling for resources. That’s why our resources are being spent on wars and not hospitals and schools. We’re just adding one word, it’s not a great distraction.
Response: Looking at mood of statement, would be stronger to make a substantial statement about fuelling wars, rather than just adding one word.
Jamie: Wanted to make a clear statement, that shows we are supporting them, so they will support us. Have thought about this, and decided to make a further statement. It would an incredible statement, one word wouldn’t do it justice. Am aware that it is cold. Suggest reading first paragraph….
Clarification: In Occupy we are balancing views of people who think we can change the system and those who think it needs to be replaced. One word: broken. Implies that before they were broken they were okay. But corporations have been destroying lives for a long time. Would like to have “exploitative” instead of “broken”.
Reads prepared sentence….
[cyclists from critical mass appear…]
Facilitator: Reads first paragraph…
Comments on proposed insertion by Ruth. Suggest that we don’t insert whole new sentences. If you want to help write the statement, join the Corporations working group. Here we’re trying to reach agreement around broad principals expressed in statement. Any strong disagreements? No. Consensus achieved.
Confusion about temperature checks and consensus.
Goes for consensus… Consensus achieved.
Reads second paragraph…
[insert second para]
Goes for consensus… Consensus reached.
Reads second third paragraph…
[insert third para]
Clarification: Is there a better word for “subvert” or does it put people off.
Facilitator: Not much enthusiasm for change. Reads third para…. Goes for consensus. Consensus reached.
Reads second fourth paragraph…
[insert fourth para]
Goes for consensus. Consensus reached.
Facilitator: Jamie will introduce fifth paragraph.
Jamie: Background: over the past 6 weeks, have been approached privately by people who work in stock exchange. Offered to give ideas and information to help cause.
Heckle: Use common language! [more shouting]
Facilitator: Reads fifth paragraph… Goes for consensus. Consensus reach.
Jamie: Thanks for everybody. It’s so cold, so thanks for concentrating. Will come out on Monday to have max impact.
[laptop battery died]