2012/12/10 Minutes Economics Working Group

2012/12/10 Minutes Economics Working Group

1. Minutes from 3rd and 7th December meetings – approved but amplification would help

2. a) GIRO Post office no progress but strategic objective; b) the Map and Roadmap in progress; c) LBOI no developments other than OWS are translating it for US relevance; d) Website – Vica wants emails of things we’ve done to collate into folders one topic per email e) Social housing: needs to be explored in more depth – possible theme topic? f) FOI Localism – with Mike g) Commoning: Book by David Bollier, the Wealth of Commons; schoolofcommoning.com, and commonsrising.com have information and details of future meetings; James Quilligan interview on Occupy Radio h) statistics – no development; I) e-petition on George Osborne’s sacking – Sean initiative j) Social Useful investing at Mansion House – Triple A status in jeopardy; Cheadle Hume School visited by Dave for a talk to the 6th form – had an Occupy banner; Ian Duncan Smith talking about social credit – simplification of welfare system byut not a citizen’s income; FT US/UK plan to deal with failed banks
3. Themed meetings – 14th December Nelio – financialisation; 21st – Social Housing; Fred Harrison – 4th January tbc?
4. The Rules website – attacking tax havens and evasion – Alnoor Ladha;
5. Future strategy: it has been a long time since strategy has been discussed; Friday was a good introduction but we need to the expand the discussion; connecting economy and environment; campaigns – GIRO was the only one approved; outreach to all London boroughs; national focus from Occupy London; education and ideas; SWOT analysis required which was missing on Friday; economic, environmental and political;
establish where Occupy is;
EWG role in Occupy;
support in UK;
activities which work;
No longer centralised through GA mechanism but website is central; split between press team and OT; autonomy or engagement – alternative or mainstream media; difference between being united and being able to work together; lost the ability to communicate between the various factions in Occupy; liberal wing versus more radical elements; original statement was “this is where we work towards alternatives”; start in one borough and build from there; need to engage with other parts of occupy which are working on strategy; don’t need to provide a menu of policies; need to communicate on our terms on those of the establishment; EWG could be an autonomous entity? Occupy is a network of semi-autonomous groups; support in the UK – we are the 99% – is that the correct analysis; lack of structural analysis; too busy attacking symptoms to properly analyse the systemic problems; remobilise and rethink; new kind of politics; preaching to the converted; we can’t tell people how to act; 99% are not anti-austerity policies; live within our limitations – fight enclosures of the commons; organising around real resources;
unresolved issues on zero growth, global warming; what’s worked? LBoI, Putney Debates; Occupy is mentioned in the City; tax havens are much more of a target; think tank/monitoring role; EWG linkage between TJN and UK Uncut; interest paid by the 80% to the 10% etc.; reformist but looking at structural issues;
Need to devote days to think properly about these things. What is the purpose of EWG and Occupy; strategy with stated objectives within a time frame; Occupy is about a paradigm shift; what counts as economic – environment, society, etc. undo neo-liberal and classical; bifurcation point; neo-liberal world (which makes sense) v different paradigm which makes sense of all we talk about; huge amount of literature on the 99% concept – eg Quilligan; needs to include technological aspects; mustn’t fall for the Frankenstein analogy; we are together in spite of differences; one meeting and one action; choose a menu and develop a strategy – let’s review the statement; austerity – people live in denial and accept it; Occupy is to provide an alternative; put it down on paper; strategy papers required; imbalance;
We do have strength and a global dimension; generate our own perspective on economics – world view; difference in expression; framing the language; desiring our own slavery; bigger than economic exploitation; policy or action to answer questions; eg. Transition societies to answer these questions; differences are not mutually exclusive; unions – organise, educate, agitate; attack is the best form of defence – responding to what has been done; set our own agenda; strength of the Occupy brand – created an umbrella effect where sectarian groups are prepared to work together; PEO political education officer – speakers, teachers to educate etc. Basic banking; tax avoidance; housing; NHS; meeting to launch national GIRO; 10 mins to discuss how we go forward on specific issues; a lot of the ground work has been done; publicity for a public meeting in January;
6. Fred Harrison interview link to be circulated

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