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EWG meeting on Friday 4th April 2014 – minutes


EWG meeting on Friday 4th April 2014 – minutes
Steve, Abdulla, Schlacke Tim, Omar, Steve, Janos, Dave, Bharat, Mary, Ellenor

1. Introduction – individual ‘expectations of EWG: Analysis of the economic system and identifying fundamental levers for change to help Occupy focus on exposing and demanding the removal of concentrated economic and political power. Develop a blueprint for a new economic system which serves the needs of all rather than the few. Energy and promise of Occupy. EWG – think tank identifying myths, commenting on current events and putting out something to help effect change. Improve understanding of economics – set of ideas accumulated in the initial weeks at St Paul’s – added to since. Volume of work to collate into coherent document – activism in many different fora. Feeling a of lack of co-operative effort to get things done. Time sometimes better spent elsewhere. Co-operation is good. Real work began when authorities suppressed dissent (after the St Paul’s eviction). Need to understand the lies – methodically work on the fundamental three flaws of
control of land, money and labour. We need to be more ambitious. We are in a war situation. And each part of our army is fighting its own fragmented war – ineffectual. “Only attending when there was something interesting to me” – not in the spirit of co-operation. Need self-reflection. When we are speaking we are depriving others of their time to speak. Thatcherite revolution – Hayek started developing the ideas in 1940 we need to be working on a different model for the economy. Introduction of emotional economics – powerfully persuasive. Expectation leads to disappointment. Coercion v civil disobedience. Occupy – intelligent disobedience. Not interested in exploring – crisis is impending. We need a new model. Competition is not explored as a problem – there are always winners and losers. Agreed with everything that’s been said. Different perspective on EWG and expectations have evolved. Felt the need to have a grip on economics as Occupy and to engage with it. Needed to find alternatives. Reading and the road map – curiosity. Attraction and repulsion of different ideas/solutions. Solid foundation is the commons. Pre-set ideologies trying to dominate the EWG/Occupy agenda – mistake. Listening became important. Promote understanding in the original mission – establish principles. Co-operation rather than competition. Need a fundamental set of principles. Should be actively doing things – we should be occupying the economics debate. Reading group is all very but we need activism. Think of outcomes – and displacing the faux economic system. left of the left – EWG is like a rock group that’s been in the studio too long. People are waiting for Occupy – the need is growing. We have a duty/obligation to change the world. Occupy movement – establishment organised – possible experiment to see how to control dissent. Political / economic research – 66 families own 2/3 of the wealth in the world. In a family such equality could not exist. Government is not doing its duty, working for the ruling elites. EWG thinking about what we need to be do for the future – danger of the elites squashing the movement. If enough people understand how they work people will rise up. Need a strategy. Coalition of things which would work and campaign for that. What would move the economy forward and form a coalition – to make things happen. Politics and economics. Raising awareness of economics and how to sort it out and need to educate the young. Publications to direct the young on how to change the world.

2. Separating logistics and overall intellectual framework and ambition of the EWG. If we’re not doing things – talking about things is pointless.

3. Review documents and the banking paper. Occupy and EWG statement. EWG summary needs amending. Three economic principles.

4. What we’ve achieved, why and implications – items – (Mansion House action – disappointing support/numbers) SWOT analysis.
Strengths – few individuals leading and us following? Rotating leadership. Changed/legitmised the conversation on fractional reserve banking, land value, and basic income. Marxist analysis no
longer provokes antagonism. David Harvey at LSE – filled to capacity/overflow. LSE accepted
Marxist analysis due to influence of EWG/Occupy. Coalition between Marxists and non-Marxists – allied to the Green agenda. Online discussions – functions well – consider having our own website. Little Book of Ideas. Andy Haldane meeting etc. Were still here. Strong relationships within the movement, in spite of difficulties. Finding accord.
Weaknesses: We run away from disagreement – not seeking objective truth. Differences aren’t resolved. Failure of the “go round” system – overused – lose threat of argument in need of resolution. Not sufficient to agree to disagree. Facilitated discussion. In running away from internal problems, we are mirroring the problems of the outside world. Jealousy/competition. Need to be more flexible on timing of agenda items. To engage in this group is a responsibility to engage by reading in advance and contributing to the EWG. Turning up for campaigns – you are here to occupy the current economic system. Failure to follow through. More courage required. Failure to engage with Andy’s paper on the abusive nature of financial capitalism – disputed but acknowledged it is an important piece of work. Shortcomings in the transactional relationships in the system. Unawareness of papers and the aims and how to contribute. Weaknesses – listening – meeting recorded – writing two things that people have said. Fear of challenging other people’s ideas. Be less afraid to challenge. Weakness of facilitation. Lacking coordination and co-operation between regular attendees and those who don’t come. Plate of occupy principles to go into every bank – agreed by Haldane. OT more organised but they are more of a closed group. Gestation of
armed resistance in Warsaw – parallels with EWG – young into summer course – squashing of ideas by the strongest. Better leadership needed? Need to make do.
To be continued next Friday.

5. how to support occupy – activism

6. TTIP meeting post-mortem.

7. Times – number of meetings and structure – Timing – 5pm – 7pm! Fridays for now until we establish EWG’s terms of reference.

Agreed: Proposal to consult online about changing the meeting times. Dave has received many emails suggesting more would attend if the meetings start later. Dave to organise. Forward agenda item to be resolved.

8. Setting agendas

9. Personal interactions empathy and listening

Facilitation training needed?

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Occupier at OccupyLSX Camp. Then an Occupy Nomad. The revolution will be Livestreamed.

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