Working Group Assembly – 3rd March 2012
Working Group Assembly – 3rd April 2012
Facilitator – Vica Minutes – Jack
Court hearings for those arrested in N9 attempting to Occupy Trafalgar Sq. This case is important. We could see a change to the law revolving around the use of section 5 of the criminal justice act, which has been used increasingly in protests. Please come and support us. Dates are:
4th, 5th, 10th & 17th April 2012
Westminster Magistrates Courts
181 Marylebone Road
Vica – A decision was made at Saturday GA to bring a proposal here. The WG assembly is not a decision making body, but we will attempt this proposal tonight.
Chris – [requests to switch order and leave proposal until after WG feedback.]
A.N.On – Proposal – rather convoluted. It’s about last week’s core expenses. £370, 90 for sanitation 150 for food, 50 for generator and 80 for the gas.
Vica – we will attempt this by same procedure as a finance GA. We will ask for clarity, and possibly conditions
Sarah – another proposal – I am in favour of granting the money today but, additionally at Saturday’s GA I asked for support, in making breachers of acceptable behaviour responsible and calmly but deliberately removing them from site, as one. This isn’t about permanent exclusion. But people who abuse the process and accepted norms should not be allowed to continue.
Vica -[goes through hand signals]
Jules – you said half an hour discussion, due to the fact that food and sanitation are recognised by UN as human rights. People are begging I think it is disgraceful that Occupy London is denying people their rights. People are looking in bins, not skipping, people are malnourished.
Vica – The reason for a half hour cut off is to give a fair hearing to the right of the assembly to share information about working groups. Finance GAs are set at 2 hours, so this seemed fair. We work through consensus, we all have a right to express an opinion.
Fern – In response to Sarah, we have tranquillity who now have permission to remove people from site. We will continue this process. I personally believe food is a human right, I’d like to be able to eat.
Ronan – I was one of the blockers of this proposal on Saturday. The reason for this was that the proposal was completely going around in circles outside of process. There was already money given to cover expenses there and then. I suggested we brought it here as we were very tired in the GA by that point. This issue is wider then this proposal. FS is not currently sustainable, they need to become so. The money in the account is going down far too fast. The current culture of dependency is becoming worrying. The fact that we could be potentially funding and enabling people to lose their welfare support. This is not sustainable.
Sarah – Following from Fern, what I’m asking now is not just a team, but that ALL on site agrees to respect the process of Occupy London. You take responsibility for your community, which is tough, I understand. At Leyton, Phil was abused again, I don’t blame you for that, but if that situation was adequately covered, the situation would not have arisen. We do this, we can get back to the meetings of Occupy. We need as a whole community, across London to work together on this. It’s not exactly rocket science to ask for that. You will see fewer blocks of finance to these spaces if that happens.
Fern – Yes we do not have self sufficiency, but we need finance to do that. If you starve us for 3 weeks we’ll go home. People have given up their lives for this. To Sarah’s point, we are doing our best to remove people but with drug abuse and mental health issues this is difficult.
Sarah – How many people are on site. [Jools answers around 100] so it’s something Occupy London can do as a whole.
Rosa – I would just like to say that a lot of people are working hard at Finsbury. People who would be working hard on political issues if they weren’t supporting themselves. To withdraw the funds doesn’t help with self sufficiency. We are all aware it is a finite amount of money.
A.N.On – I don’t think that Occupy Finsbury Square should be suffering in the failure of process at Occupy LSX. Your solution seems to be shutting the stable door after a horse has bolted twice. Your suggestion, fair enough. But we’re talking about last week.
Jules – yesterday we took in £70 on the front. We have a great skipping team. We’re reasonably self sufficient. But to say we’re enabling people is wrong. There are a mix at Finsbury Square. What you’re doing is preventing people.
Sara – A question. I just came from Mile End? Are they getting finance? They seem to be feeding themselves.
Sarah – Donations, skipping.
Liz – They received a £100 seed money.
? – It’s very easy to feed smaller numbers.
Tammy – I’ve just heard from you that you have one of the best skipping teams and are almost self sufficient. So why do you say that people are suffering malnutrition. With regards to money last week, I don’t even know what to say. But the food in your bag, I could be very wrong here, I would suggest that if people are starving you take that food up there now. Thirdly, people have left jobs showing their commitment. That should be applauded. But it also tells me something else, it tells me that those people were capable of work. I myself am currently considering disengagement from the system. After the Lime-house experience I could take this lifestyle up. I could go out to work, but if you’re gonna tell me you need an address. So if there are people that are able to work, they should be encouraged.
?- There are broader issues of strategy, people here should consider the use of long term camps, its not because of people in them. They have inherent problems. Every GA has been about money. There was one big mistake at the start, centralising everything. We should distribute the money and then work from there.
Kay – Just to take on Ronan’s points. I was part of that block. What Sarah said about P. I’m not going to go back on my Finsbury Square experience. But this issue has been strengthened by it. My experience at Finsbury Square was ended by the police advising me not to return to the site. I hope the process we have here will resolve this. In so far as the culture of dependence developing at Finsbury Square, I don’t think people are starving there. Half the camp are receiving Job-seeker’s Allowance. I asked people to contribute to morning food etc… but that never happened. In answer to the question, since arrival at Lime-house, we have been supported by others.
Vica – Can we test now? £370 to go to FS. Can I take clarity?
F – The amounts listed are they for the future or now?
Vica – It is my understanding that it is money for a week, refunding part of last week and some of next week.
Ronan – In blocking you can suggest amendments? [yes]
Chris – Are receipts available for what’s spent.
Jules – In looking at a block as a veto can’t we twist that unfairly.
Fern – It’s a tyranny
Tammy – If you’ve gathered £70 why do you still need the full amount. [interrupted] I would like to give Finsbury Square a specific time to become self sufficient. They can work in that period of time to get on with it. Occupy London won’t have money at some point to give out. Eventually you will have to be self sufficient.
Vica – can we hear any objections.
Liz – Out intention is to return to finance GAs next week. The time will be announced. Because of WG assembly I would like to liaise with them about that.
[Vica asks again for consensus – 1 blocks]
Ronan – I will remove my block but with one condition. That is to compel Finsbury Square to begin negotiations about how to split the finances and allow the site to become fully financially self sufficient.
A.N.On – Are you saying we should come to a decision about the rest of the money?
Ronan – Yes, to that.
Steve – Pay the money, then deal with the issue separately.
Vica – It is the right of the blocker to suggest amendments. Ronan is asking for a commitment. This seems valid.
Fern – 2 questions. What exactly are the other events that are going on that need any money? Why is this not a democracy?
Jules – FS has a statement of autonomy.
A.N.On – This is about a failure of process that allowed this to happen.
Tiffany – Ronan’s idea that we should have a meeting, I agree with that
Rosa – It would be good to move beyond this event and start talking about strategy. To remain united as a movement. We need to get over this hurdle to discuss it.
Jack – The fact you have no knowledge of other events around Occupy that might need funding is rather telling. We have May coming up, we have corporations days of action, we have the OT, we have so much to invest in. These items have been blocked many times in previous finance GAs, which leads me to the next point. I notice that you never called the block a tyranny against democracy when it was you who was blocking spending. We respected those blocks as an expression, please do the same for us.
CONSENSUS REACHED ON £370 – CONDITION – Finsbury Square to take part in negotiations over how to split the Occupy London finances.
Vica – OK, we have another request for finance.
Ronan – We want to print posters and flyers advertising May, so that by next Tuesday we can hand them down to others at the event and open evening. A few hundred posters and ten thousand of the flyers. We’re looking at between £200-£300.
Rosa – Lee has a printer?
Ronan- that would be great and we would do that, but just in case, we ask for the money.
Sarah – The printer and EVERYTHING is ready but it is stuck in Brighton. In the next 2 days we would need it here.
A.N.On – I was at the meeting and we didn’t necessarily agree on a slogan, that is a lot of money. Also when others are frozen from requests it seems a little unfair. I guarantee I’ll give you £100.
Rosa – If we spent that money getting the printer up to London it would be much better.
Chris – you may have mentioned it, but the logistics of getting something done such short notice with Easter coming up… is this possible?
Mark – Obviously, if we print posters and flyers they’ll go to suitable places is. In these cases we have usually allowed a float to mean that if savings are made then the spare money comes back.
Ronan – I will negotiate hard on this. On Tuesday, we hope to pull many people in to discuss this stuff. All The money will also be accounted. It was much cheaper then last time, but I want the security.
F – I trust that money will be honestly requested. But if the money isn’t for outreach in a political movement what are we doing?
A.N.On – who is designing this?
[discussion forms, where it is suggested a real meeting is important, it could be online.]
Vica – I suggest that people who want involvement give their contact details to Ronan.
Fern – I have no issues as long as it is accountable.
[a little disagreement forms]
Zina – I’ve been here since October every 2 weeks flyers. We spend so much on outreach
Jack – Only £300 have come from Occupy funds for flyers. [I then breach process. Bad minute taker]
Sarah – If Jack says that, why do you not believe him? I am shocked and disgusted by the fact that you can calmly sit here and suggest that Occupy London has nothing happening to spend its money on except FS. Have you no idea what’s happen in May? How dare you ask daily support for your living expenses and have no idea about the politics behind why you are at Finsbury Square in the first place. Why not just drop out and live with your buddies in a field somewhere nice…at Occupy London we support each other to MAKE a change. I would never personally see you denied food, you know me better then that.
Tammy – I’ll tell you what, if you asked for £5000 for flyers, you could have it mate! If this movement is to succeed it needs these kind of these things. If people are really questioning the needs for flyers, plain simple flyers. What are we doing? How can [Tammy congratulates Jack about his commitment – had to minute that]. Can you all get a grip, seriously. I’m astounded. I’m not being rude. I’m just astounded that intelligent and decent people are seriously questioning one of the simplest ways of community building.
Claudine – I’m tired of being emotionally strained. The question is not that we are spending money on flyers, the question is how else have we approached people. May is global.
Fern – The 99% do know what’s happening in May, but most of us don’t know what’s going on because we don’t have phones, or people telling us these things. We don’t have the resources.
Mark – It’s important that we recognise problems we have as individuals don’t always reflect the movement. We have situations across divides, we should work on them . But if we get to the stage of doing nothing because we blame each other for everything we might as well pack up.
Zina – yes I’m an intelligent person Tammy. If I remember rightly you too were concerned about the financial organisation at one stage. You must agree that outreach has had a lot of money spend on it.
Vica – with only a few hundred for outreach, and thousands for camps, that isn’t accurate.
Zina – I am aware of how groups work. It’s not a case of people being dominant over others. It’s not equal.
Vica – So are there any objections further then the need to economise.
CONSENSUS REACHED – £300 float available for printing and flyers
(1 stand aside – A.N.On)
Vica – before moving to WGs . Next Tuesday there will be no WG assembly. We have an open day at Friends House in Euston instead. This is how you get involved… Space is available from 6pm-9pm. 6-7:30 will be an open day allowing people to arrive and interact with occupiers. Each WG can have a table, explaining the things they have done. Use videos, paperwork, examples of actions etc. It would be great if during this week WGs could discuss how they wish to present themselves. Most of all, think how people can engage with your WG. There may be skills that are lacking. Be clear of how to share this. Collect details. This would be also be space for camps, a chance to engage. This goes to all camps, including Leyton marsh. It would be great to bring some of the locals. We will update about food.
OPEN EVENING FOR OCCUPY LONDON
April 10th 2012
Friends House, Euston
Space Opens – 5pm
Opens to Public – 6pm
General Assembly about May – 7:30pm
Event Ends – 9pm
Ronan – The overall aim is to provide access to the large levels of work everybody has been doing. By having an open day, a little cheesy, but a fantastic way to show people how to get involved. Hundreds of cities are going to take to the streets, this is our part of that. A call-out went out last night. This is a real opportunity to get things exciting
Vica – A press release went out yesterday. Please spread the information as widely as possible. Please can WGs contact me if they need a space.
WG Assembly Starts
Next issue ready for May 1st .
We already have some great submissions. I basically came to put a couple of points across. Emails we’ve received are opportunity for all. The first is from the Anarchist Federation asking if anyone would like to talk about Occupy London at the event, May 19th. Second request from Asylum magazine (about mental health issues from anti establishment background). They’re putting together an issue about mental health and anti capitalism. They want people to talk to from activist circles about this issue. I have lots more details then this.
Coming on nicely. Starting 5th June. Simon will be finalising the routes map hopefully tomorrow. A lot of enthusiasm. With the things of the moment a chance to focus. Jack is planning to help us publicise…soon. Issues with local concerns, trying to tie the walk in with these. e.g. Charing Cross hospital. Maybe trying to help existing groups. Communities are already fighting the injustice on their doorsteps. We maybe can add a broader picture to these concerns.
Emergency meeting to focus on how we work. We’re still only going into schools. Some feel that we could approach youth outside of these establishments. On Friday we want to discuss approaching some groups in local areas. Work with some university students. We’re meeting Friday Ye Olde London at 4:30pm. If it’s nice weather we’ll move up to St Paul’s. We are also doing an event at the national conference. It would be great to give a presentation at FS about the results of the conference. Steve Moore promised on Saturday to announce all events on the whiteboard on site.
Meeting once a week, a lot to do. We’re going to do a teach in. A discussion about things. We may start circulating drafts. Something about the crown, parliament and people. We’re also looking at the process of developing a constitution. One was looking at existing stuff we’ve got.
We asked the GA on Saturday about this.
-Looking at current practices
-Looking at successes and improvements
-To develop a flexible written constitution.
-Gathering information and opinions.
Vica – non facilitator – As process is the WG who deals with the process. This is their remit. It seems odd to have overlapping groups. Work together.
Natasha – We would love to.
Hello, weren’t here last week. Looking at producing a book of economics for dummies (like me!). Producing some stuff for May and June. Waltham forest is being negotiated for a meeting with the EWG. As a complete aside form that, Leyton marshes, not an Occupy thing, but I have looked into legal support via the open spaces organisation. The important thing. Is something we need to bring to the GA on Saturday. We have a proposal for providing eco friendly and affordable housing. A variety of organisations involved have been supportive, but they are scared to engage with the politics. I did go to a meeting on housing and rents in London. It was important. In essence, what I want to take to the GA is a policy paper, on the case for good housing form the leftovers of Quantitative easing. It would be nice to take it to no 10 and say. Look chaps. Housing is one of the most fundamental needs of society. We have a society that doesn’t care about this. We could shame the government into some kind of action. It would be super. That I hope will come to the GA.
Organising events and campaigns about law and law reform from an Occupy perspective. First the Community Bill Of Rights. And a matter of identity law about the fact that the 1% are beginning to take control of personal data online. We were very gratified by the event we had at LSX. But we have also had lots of supporting from outside occupy. There is one major set of chambers in London, looking at a research unit into these matters. OccupyLawUk is the face-book.
Report back on St Paul’s eviction: the good news is all items EP was asked to save were saved. Some loose ends still being tied up but various big tents, fire extinguishers, gas canisters etc saved and moved to Mile End/Lime-house crew, all personal items that were saved have been returned, burners moved to Finsbury & Mark W got his signpost. Re big tents where owners asked for them back, long library tent returned, kitchen tent moved to LFS to be used as Finsbury TCU, and LSX TCU now being returned to its owners. Thanks are due to EP WG esp Luke, Rawhide, Earthian, Maddy, Obi, Vicky C, Mike (Stoke Newington), Jane Spencer. We returned all we said we would, Occupy keeps its promises.
FINSBURY SQUARE – TRANQUILITY
No one stabbed at FS. Problems solved, now on track. We’re safer than at Paul’s first aid doing excellent injuries treatments over past month. We need to refill stocks of frist aid.
Mark – Talk on at mango landing Brixton 7pm called inspiring minds forum. It’s about how to organise, not burnout, use consensus.
The Park and Olympic authority are attempting to build on the site. People are trying to delay getting a claimant to prevent development. Tomorrow 10:30am Royal Courts of Justice is their hearing.
The Milan international gathering was interesting. It was interesting to see them using the same language, the same way of holding assemblies. We worked out how to communicate using mumble. Nothing concrete but some interesting feedback about what’s happening in other countries. There is a Global call for action on 1st, 12th, 15th May. There is a massive DA in frankfurt 16-18 May. A plan to close its financial centre. They’re calling for people to go there, having a camp, training people for the DA the next day. Spread the word.
Lunchtime lectures at FS every day.