2012/04/16 EWG Meeting minutes
Chris, Elena, Mike, Peter, Lilias, Fareeza, Janos, Andy, Juliana, Sean, Tim, Tina (Dave – apologies)
1. Minutes of the meeting 13th April 2012 – add Chris’s apologies
2. Waltham Forest (WF) – Activist infrastructure exists – the Mill (ex-library) with a £150K
grant for a community centre although still have to pay rent to Council. Use Waltham Forest
(with the Trades Council) as a trial run for localised activity then we can then get to
Hackney and other boroughs. Leyton Marsh is in WF. Simon and Liz should go to the WWF
meeting to find out about what the concerns of local community. Planned public meeting on
21st April. Trades Council will facilitate and provide one speaker, Mike will speak for
Occupy focusing on economic issues. Mike and Tina will liaise because there is material
from occupy outreach Mike can use. This is a preliminary public meeting with a view to
planning outreach to schools – Occupy has accredited CRB checked people. Planned walk
later in the summer – when walk gets to Waltham Forest there will be an event, “Steve and
the Protest Family” may be prepared to play for the event. Is it a professional (booked) event
or unofficial? – if the former, it will need licensing etc. Occupy isn’t geared up to being
professional when dealing with local councils although Waltham Forest may be different.
Danger of not managing expectations and overloading the day with big complicated
schemes. Need to feel that Waltham Forest event is Occupy rather than being a Trades
Council event. Set up an occupy affiliate working group (camp) in Waltham Forest– could
be a blueprint for other boroughs. Why Waltham Forest? There are other causes, land rights
(Canary Wharf) – is occupy being spread too thinly? Let the people in Waltham Forest
occupy and gain support from centre. Trades Council is loose and there was a feeling of a
lack of activism but Mike’s suggestion for a joint meeting with occupy received enthusiastic
support. Trades Council is looking to create a challenge to the establishment – it is a small
hope but it is the only game in town. Need to lay the ground work – to be established at the
meeting on Saturday 21st April. For attendees: 12:48pm train from Liverpool St (or take
Victoria Line) to Walthamstow. Mike will meet people at the station around 1pm . Email
Mike in advance so he knows to expect you..Tina will circulate the occupy presentation
(15mins) to the group.
3. Housing – deferred to Friday (Road Map Monday)
4. Borough Walk – Open day meeting 7-9pm Wednesday 18th April and actions will be
discussed. Walk is important and EWG needs to be represented at the planning meetings.
EWG has agreed to be represented on the walk but we don’t need to be involved in the
planning of the walk itself. Bitcoin awareness campaign on the walk? Walk is due 1st May.
Need to know the dates. How to engage with local communities? Plans for one day walk per
borough for about a month. Liaising with local boroughs to pick up what they’ve failed to do
for local communities. Danger of under delivery because of ambition. Occupy is being
reinvigorated with legal council assistance. Focus on areas where there is a big need for
achievable projects. Localism Act is one year old and outreach is working to make it
happen. Waltham Forest is a good test bed for the local walk. Nomad group expertise could
be useful and could be involved with the walk. Nomad have their own agenda for May and
then they’re off to Wales for a month and it so it may not work. Mile End will join in with
what occupy are planning and would fit in well. There have been examples of Occupy’s
failure to work effectively with councils eg. Finsbury Square/Islington. Typified by hippy
approach of knocking things together. Project management skills are lacking? Occupy has
the skills but need to be brought to bear on projects.
5. National conference report – big space (car showrooms in Southend) – Occupy Southend.
Only 50 people there but representing 10 sites present: including Scotland, Worthing,
Brighton, London, Lancaster. Lots of connections independent of occupy camps; leaving
more time to do outreach/ interventions/actions. Workshops on direct action, facilitation,
seeds for change, conflict resolution, thinking outside the box, citizenship and international -
everyone had to participate. How to develop a school campaign – learn by doing rather than
talking. Given tools how to organise a campaign. Toolkit for activism. Citizenship –
powerpoint presentation available. Can’t do propaganda in schools. One sixth form college
is in prospect for Walthamstow. Lots of experience of working with schools. 2 hour
workshops with tools and methods then breakout to decide what issues are important to
them. (16year olds). Meeting was a good opportunity to see what others are doing. Legal
workshops – section 6 (re squatting) due to be repealed which will remove squatters’ rights.
How to deal with the law from a citizens point of view based on the work of Mark Stevens
from the US (adventures in legal land). Stop cases proceeding where there is no injury, loss
or damage; translated into English law by someone from Worthing. Liaising with economics
people but don’t seem to be economic working groups elsewhere. Sense of strategy? Not
6. May12th – Actions on the weekend in aid of 6 months celebration of OccupyLSX– tour of
the 1% highlighting inequality. 40 locations homing in on different locations. It would be
good if EWG could produce a some ideas for targeting specific locations. Corporate watch
doing groundwork for the trail (10 stops); so try to avoid duplication of effort. Information
to engage people at each stop. Tina will forward information. Liam has done walks in City,
Canary Wharf and Mayfair – ought use his expertise rather than reinvent the wheel. 10am
start – kids treasure hunt followed by kids GA at 12noon at St Paul’s. Adult stuff will follow
on. Other stuff on May 1st – artist billboards – slogans, Frankfurt on 19th. Handbook to be
circulated by next Monday with the Road Map. Objective is to distil these into a single
document. Other ideas for graphical representation of problems eg. income differentials
related to height to demonstrate inequality or land ownership – 0.6% of the population own
50% of England.
7. Olympics – corporate involvement? Leyton Marsh arrests. OccupyArt arrests. Need to
support people who’ve been arrested. Antagonistic protest could be counterproductive for
Occupy. Very heavy security. There is an anti-Olympics group outside occupy. Olympics
games are popular with the 99%. But work with the media highlighting sportsmen from
different countries playing by the rules versus corporations which committed offences
within the countries they represent. Large scale sporting events economic benefits? Montreal
still paying for Olympics, Greek debt includes cost of Olympic stadium. Tourism displaced
by Olympics. Net tourism is a loss to host countries. Olympics will lose billions. Coca Cola
and MacDonalds (CC-water depletion etc.). Olympics is now tainted like a lot of sport by
money, drugs etc. Coca cola has monopoly on drinks – can’t take food or drink into the
arenas. Food exclusively MacDonalds. Dow Chemical /Bhopal . Glencore. Two separate
strands – sponsorship from bad companies and economic impact. Metals for the medals
from Glencore? Any sympathy from athletes for occupy would be great but not something
we should instigate. Occupation Occublimpics?
8. Panorama – 8:30 Tonight’s program is on billionaire transgressions.
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