Democracy Action – Occupy Parliament.
Date(s) - 17/10/2014 - 29/10/2014
On March 1st 2014, at a General Assembly on the steps of St Paul’s Cathedral, Occupy London decided to form a Democracy Action Working Group (DAWG). Part of the remit of this group was to begin organising for a mass action for Democracy. Parliament Square was mooted as the location for this action; sometime in Autumn 2014 was agreed.
A starting date for the mass action has been chosen: Friday October 17th. This will be close to the 3 year anniversary of Occupy London; it also coincides, on Saturday 18th, with the TUC march.
Minutes of DAWG meetings have been published in the ‘working group updates’ section of the OL website; on 10.4.14, dates and places for the mass action were discussed and decided – minutes are here.
Check the OL Events page for dates and times of DAWG meetings if you’d like to get involved.
John Sinha, of the Democracy Action Working Group, has written about why he feels it’s time for Action on Democracy – his take can be found in the ‘Occupiers’ Perspective’ section of the OL website, here.
A call to action for democracy – the case for reclaiming the power
Note: The Occupy London General Assembly gave consensus for the formation of a Democracy Action Working Group (DAWG) on March 1st 2014. Amongst other aims and actions, this group was formed to organise a mass action, an event for democracy, with Parliament Square mooted as the location. The action will begin on Friday 17th October…
This action has the potential to ignite a movement for democratic change in this country. Democracy and the way it is practised, has always been a key principle of the Occupy movement. We want to campaign for a genuine democratic government free from corporate influence.
We would like to invite all the movements that have been resisting the cuts to get involved. This event could comprise a huge peoples assembly for democracy and include a statement of demands. This should be the outcome of a democratic forum and, it should be open to amendment, modification, or addition, inspired by the Chartists six points, it could include a list of straightforward demands such as
End the revolving door between big business and government
Remove the Remembrancer from Parliament
For the right of electors to recall their MP and all elected representatives by petition
Stop MPs and Lords voting on any bills in which they have a financial interest
Ban all commercial confidentiality clauses in government contracts
MPs and ministers to be paid no more than the national average wage
A set of democratic demands on their own cannot undo the harm the massive transfer of wealth and power from the majority to a tiny minority that has done over the past thirty years. No system of constitutional checks and balances can undo that. But if we are to undo the damage that has been done we need the tools that will help us stand up to corporate power. And reason as to why Parliament are many and what follows could be extended many times over.
We want to bring alive a movement that is able to take action over the institutions that have power over us. The late Tony Benn had five questions of power.
1. What power do you have?
2. Where did you get it from?
3. To whom are you accountable?
4. In whose interest do you exercise it?
5. How can we get rid of you?
Of these the fifth is most important. The late Tony Benn noted that those with power do not like democracy and that is why every generation must struggle to win and keep it. We need to demand answers from them
Together we are powerful – get involved!