GA Minutes – 1pm, Wednesday 23rd November 2011
Weds 23 Nov 1pm GA MINUTES
Energy is currently being spread thinly over the 3 sites – LSX, FS and BoI; We may need to reassess number/locations of GAs to address this; Discussion has begun online and should be continued in Process meetings and at subsequent Gas.
Later comments on the same subject:
BoI is aware of these issues, sees St Paul’s as the ‘heart and soul’ and is working on energy and support issues.
Perhaps Gas should never be cancelled; if there’s no agenda or process group or facilitator we can just do ‘open mic’.
Discussion of legal case:
A couple of confusing comments about legal proceedings led to consensus that we’d like a legal update on what happened in court this am. Paul from the legal team offered to give this.
Full Minute-taking only began after his update but the general gist was:
At this mornings hearing the full court hearing was set as 19 Dec. This means it’s likely we’ll be on site until New Year. People can apply to defend themselves as individuals in court this Friday – with or without a solicitor – but anyone choosing this route needs to make their own arrangements to do this. To take this option there are hoops to jump through in terms of costs, form-filling and the need to present a good argument as to why one needs to be represented as an individual rather than as part of ‘the camp’. Paul may be able to advise them on an unofficial basis but please can people respect that he also has to put a lot of work into the legal team working group and this advice would be separate from and additional to that working-group work. The judge wasn’t keen to have people representing themselves individually but did accept that individual representations can lead to a richer picture of the whole issue.
Comments following the update included:
People organising their own defence are not immune to costs and these costs can be taken from FUTURE assets not just current ones.
Justice doesn’t exist in the courts, we shouldn’t be putting any faith in the legal system.
Even in one doesn’t expect justice, the courts are a way to get our stories told – there will be a lot of media and public attention. (On this note, the legal team will be taking people’s stories and witness statements for our lawyers to use in the ‘whole-camp’ defence on 19 Dec.)
If we have a legal team prepared to work for free we should let that happen, even if we don’t put all our faith in that system.
In order to have a good case in court we need to take responsibility for good behaviour, cleanliness in camp, noise reduction, being respectful to the public and local workers etc.
We should all ask ourselves: “Am I taking too much, am I giving too little?”
Important to remember this is an International movement, it’s not just about us here.
There is now a sign-making area near the kitchen.
The US Ambassador will be in London? (sorry, check date), help make signs asking US to withdraw from Afghanistan, not attack Iran etc.
Long speech from someone who felt that facilitation was unnecessary and that working groups were too powerful… repetition of these points over several minutes led to some ‘wind-it-up’ hand signals which were objected to strongly by the speaker. A verbal attack on the facilitators present and refusal to co-operate with process meant that facilitators were unable to continue facilitating.
An ‘open mic’ situation continued but no more minutes were taken.