GA Minutes – 31st January 2012

 

Location: TCU
Start time: 19:00
End time: 21:15
Facilitator: Vica
Minutes: Lilias, Tina

Livestream
Launched website. Contains how to livestream, can do it on smartphone, can show you how to protect yourself. OccupyLondonTV.co.uk For eviction, you can do livestreaming from a smartphone, 30 seconds to show you how to do it. Tactics, police, excessive violence.

Finance
Love it if process was followed so they can get through their main items. Today a decision was given to give Earthian and Emily a £500 float for emergency cold weather payment. Over internet, there’s been a call-out for donations for two-season sleeping bags, blankets, gloves, tracksuits, hot water bottles, long-johns, flasks etc.

Tech (Bank of Ideas)
Setting up in tech room at St Paul’s and Finsbury square for the purpose of opening up networks.

Legal team
Xena – have been working on the appeal, is now off to Occupy India.

Welfare
Andrea – Re eviction, hoping to have a welfare person on site every day. Usually to be found in the library. They will be offering alternative psychiatric help, also help with winter shelter. Meet Mondays 6pm at Old London Pub. They might be changing that to Finsbury square.

Online platforms
Lee – New occupy forum. occupyforum.org.uk. Is this just for London or all of UK?

Sarah (from Occupy Citizenship) – non-violent intent for eviction. Occupy forum would be a valuable site for the debate on this.

Vica – strong attempt to move groupspaces to forum to share info.

Lee – link on Occupy.

Maka – national network.

Liz – find forum difficult to use, can’t identify with envelopes. Maybe too difficult.

Economics
Peter – 23 February, RBS teach out. Results were fraudulently compiled, indiccating profit which they have not got. From Occupy, we’re going to ask the 4 main political parties what they think about this. Bring back responses to GA for approval. Once we know who the speakers will be, it’s going to happen either as economics w.g. teach-out or Occupy London teach out. Venue: offices off Trafalgar square.

Regular meetings: Mondays and Fridays 5pm at TCU or Cafe Nero downstairs.

Women’s network
Sara – Two meetings in Edinburgh and Sheffield. 20 women attended. Sheffield: women’s security who worked in the mornings. Safer spaces need to be implemented. When implemented, the policy reduced aggression. Number of women in occupies has fallen. Have more banners about women’s caring work. Working on website to keep in touch. Statistics about unpaid women’s work. Next national gathering at Liverpool. Oakland in US. Evicted but reoccupying homes that have been repossessed. 600 arrests made but many overturned. People of colour, women of colour were predominant in these house repossessions.

Criminal Investigations Unit
Nafeesa – RBS work very successful. Areas of investigation: social benefit system, Davos world economics forum, FSA. Need help with tech maintenance, researchers, interviews, actions, videos, blogs. Check out the website (ociu.org).

Can you please include City bank international in your areas of investigation?

Vica – Meeting time and place?

Nafeesa – Tomorrow 2pm we have a meeting at TCU or Salvation Army if there’s something going on at TCU.

Ruth – Action group, on behalf of Rose. This Saturday have a speak-out on homelessness which is a core issue for all occupiers. In the US it’s a big part of what they’ve been doing. Bad landlords, bad social workers, people here who know how people in the streets are treated, e.g. woken up in the middle of the night and hosed down. It needs an action group to pull it together. Rose is interested, I’m interested, need more people to advertise, get a PA system and so on. Meet at library 4pm tomorrow. Rose will be there.

International world occupy online working group

Martin – What thoughts have your group had on the improvement between communication between working groups? We welcome the forum idea. There’s a round table, we have occupii and mumble. To appeal to people en masse, we need to involve them through the internet.

Vica – I’ll answer that when I talk about internal communications w.g. I’ll answer your question then.

Ruth – I’ll send a piece of paper around, if people who want to help with this add their contact details and phone number.

Internal communication
Vica – If anyone’s interested in coordination of online platforms, last meeting was Sunday 2pm, was at Bank of Ideas. Everyone who’s working on different platforms, please contact me for next meeting.

Last meeting we talked about eviction and the new website. We’re trying to set up a system that will be able to alert as many people as possible when eviction happens. There will be a tweet @occupylsxsos. This tweet won’t send out messages until eviction happens. Send a text to 86444 write follow @occupylsxsos.

Possible new website: social.occupylegal.org.uk
This is the current address. Before making it public we want working groups to test it, see how we can improve it. Three layers: homepage structure (statements, press releases etc.), group space where each working group can add their own things. I’ll be here tomorrow and Thursday, I’d like to look individually with each working group to see how they want to work with this page.

Some working groups already have their websites, so this could be a hub to access directly after their websites.

Third level: social media. Each of us has a profile page, can add video, images etc. To clarify, this is in no way to substitute occupii.org. But it’s international, give a space for the communication of Occupy London. We’ll definitely talk about how to integrate this with other Occupy London platforms.

Martin – You haven’t answered my question.

Vica – This is the first attempt to improve communications between working groups. On this platform, every working group will have a space from which to share their communications and information.

Harj – Gee has organised an event, discussed with Phoenix, Tom and Franklin. Just so everyone’s aware.

Gee – I represent a group of artists, musicians and performers. We try and put on socially conscious shows, either free or as cheap as we possibly can. We try to do things unusually, in places people don’t expect. We’d like to put on a big guerrilla gig as a kind of thank you to Occupy. I came here and set up the Tea and Empathy tent.

We agreed on a date of 4th February. We can’t let the police get too much wind of it. We’ll have a stage, some carpet down, actual bands playing, make the place look nice and beautiful. Did anyone see the Standard today. They took a hatchet and smashed Occupy (they’re dirty, unwashed etc.). The organisation that I work with is about trying to give people the opportunities they don’t normally have. Next Saturday, 7-10pm. This is not a squat party outside. This is a high value, beautiful gig. I spoke to Andy, who takes care of the PA system, who’s on board with this.

[hands out flyers]

Have a look at the website (www.occstock.org). We want a few hundred people, to show what you can do with public space when you take it.

? – Who’s going to arrange security?

Gee – We have plans to implement plans for peaceful security. We’ve made links with London’s Buddhist centre. What we want to do is keep it as peaceful as possible.

Vica – I’ll take some points but won’t turn this into a discussion. Just to clarify, events have never gone through the process of being accepted by a GA. What we need to make sure is that the people who are involved in events, e.g. press, are on ball with this.

Liz – If this is a thank you, we don’t have to take any responsibility. Occupy London is the audience, not the ones putting this on.

Tammy – On the subject with security, it would be great if you could bring along more bodies to help with that. Everyone walks past the trouble. Why can’t we all be tranquillity individually and for this event, I think each one of us has a responsibility to keep our ears and eyes open.

? – Are you prepared for sub-zero temperatures?

Gee – There’s two things we’ve done. We’ve told everyone to bring warm clothes etc. It’s even more explicit on the website. We could end up with this magical snow winter wonderland. I’m thinking of bringing along a fire breather with a fire marshal licence.

Jay – I’ll be working with these guys for this event. It’s an open concept. We’re not saying we’re coming to give you a show, we’re saying come and be part of our experience. We’re actually encouraging people to take this to other conscious environments, other Occupy camps, to just come together.

Sarah – It’s really difficult to get events put through process here. I tried on several occasions and failed. The idea of everybody being tranquillity is really good. It should be easier (to get things through process), so many people want to give.

Sara – I’m a bit worried about the logo, it looks like it’s organised by Occupy. Also I’m a bit worried that it’s going to cut into the GA. What will happen with the homelessness events?

Vica – At the moment we are lacking an events working group, so it’s hard to coordinate. I suggest that you (Ruth, Sara) both communicate about what’ll happen on Saturday and also involve the process group, and then press, to make it clear that this is not Occupy but an event that is being done to thank Occupy. Because we have recently approved a statement saying that groups cannot use Occupy London name without GA approval.

Ruth – Sounds great but I don’t think it should set a precedent that someone should ring up and speak to a single person and organise something over a GA. We normally respect our GAs and Saturday nights are really important for us. It needs more consultation.

? – Someone was discussing about homelessness. How many have been or are actually homelessness? Only people who have been homeless should be talking about this.

Vica – It has been very powerful when we’ve had people invited here to have a small GA beforehand. It’s just about communicating with people who take care of these things.

? – Occupy New Zealand. Quite a few gigs on. Some were quite silly, had arranged to stop at 11am but went on until two o’clock at night. Four gigs organised. Played dubstep.

? – Can we get people to arrange rave parties and educate people?

Vica – Would someone like to explain the autonomy statement.

Spyro – First of all, this doesn’t look like the Occupy logo. It’s not a brand. Anyone can use it.

Vica – You need to read the autonomy statement. This isn’t a discussion space. We have to move on.

Church liaison
Liz – Very disappointing although completely unsurprising. Church liaison met with chapter and two members of City of London corporation, about the possibility dangled like a carrot for months that possibly we could have a marquee representing TCU, info somewhere on St Paul’s land. The talking has stopped, he refused to talk to us. So there will be no external structure anywhere at St Paul’s post eviction. There is an agreement to experimentally have with PAs a GA every Saturday at 2pm, till maximally 5pm. Ideally they’d like that GA to be two and a half hours long. They did get a picture that we’d be trying to pull in large numbers of the public.

Tammy – I’m really not prepared to start domesticising a protest. They come in and before you know it they’re telling us when we can have a GA and how long it will last. They cannot tell us, we will decide how often we’ll continue to meet for the next six months, or ten years, or as long as it takes to get the job done.

Vica – This was working group feedback.

Liz – I should have made it clear, this is not necessarily what I’m agreeing will happen. This is what they propose. We’ll take it to GA at some point.

Ruth – The court never said that. They said they were against the tents. I’m not a tent.

Tammy – Brief direct point. I was in at the meeting, though not for all for it. I told them what I thought of them, directly not rudely. I asked one of the canons directly, so if it’s against the tents, you wouldn’t mind if 500 people protests peacefully along the highway without tents or bedding. He said no, and wasn’t prepared to discuss it further.

? – Response quite clearly specifies they object to the tents but not to lawful protests. This means, we have to apply for permission from the police.

Press
Spyro – A couple of points. We discussed how we’re going to disseminate information during the eviction with internal communications. There will be a plan coming out in the next couple of days. In terms of media, things are a bit quiet at the moment., everyone’s waiting for the eviction to start reporting again. Peter Dombi is working on the restructuring of press team, how we work, streamline etc. There will be news coming out on that in the next few days.

Harj – My phone doesn’t beep when I get a tweet but it does with SMS. So SMS would be very useful.

Spyro – We will have a separate account so you don’t receive random tweets. We’re working on text messages as well.

? – When we got evicted in New Zealand, texting takes too long. Spend the money and actually make a telephone call.

Vica – this is the official structure but it’s really important that each of us contacts all their friends and people they know.

Ruth – Two things. I don’t think people should necessarily talk about the eviction. We can’t foreclose against our own case. We have an appeal in progress.

? – You’re not even here all of the time, you’re doing fuck all as far as much as I’m concerned.

Ruth – Second thing, there has been an issue about spokespeople saying things in the name of Occupy London. About a week ago when we thought eviction was going to happen right away.

Peter – I’d like to point out I’ve never spoken on behalf of Occupy.

? – I thought we had agreed in one of the first Gas, we support Occupy but don’t speak in its name. The only persons we represent is our own selves. Occupy is a global movement as well as a concept and idea.

Spyro – The press team has been very careful when dealing with the media to make sure that we get the key messages across, i.e. the statements that have been passed by the GA.

? – Can I just remind people that we are all on the same side. This is about unity and not fighting amongst ourselves. This is our concept. Us coming together as a whole.

? – Stay here the night before.

Sara – get the widest possible input. The press group should not go on without consulting with everyone else. There are different ones within the 99% who might be invisible.

Vica – I go a lot to GAs, I’m a lot in contact with other working groups, went to the press meeting today. I would just like to encourage whoever has issues be a lot more in contact with Gas and working groups, including press. This meeting was all about getting people from other working groups involved in press.

Thursday 5:30pm at the pub (Ye Olde London).

Jack – We had a breakout GA at the Tate the other week, it was a great feeling.

? – In terms of the eviction, there’s always a bit of tension before it happens. It’s going to happen really quick so that online number you’re proposing, I wonder how this is going to be effective.

Vica – This is a working group assembly. If you have concerns about the evictions, join the relevant working groups and bring your valuable ideas to them.

Outreach

Tina – We’re working with the press group on sending out a letter to all of our supporters asking them to come here and stay for one night or two, support the camp with their physical presence. This during the potential eviction. Friday 5pm we want to organise a march to Whitehall in protest over bankers’ bonuses. Also hold a GA there. Not sure if we need to apply for SOPCA. Also, this Saturday 1-3pm at TCU we’re holding another speakers’ training workshop. Please come if you’re interested in public speaking, we’re getting requests from schools, universities, media, political parties, think tanks, all kinds of places. We can provide guidance and feedback. Also material from previous talks and presentations.

Tent City University
Arun – lots of fantastic things happening in the next few weeks. Let’s get more people in this space, there’s lots of positivity about this space, let’s bring in more people. This is a general callout to people. Let’s use this space in a more creative way.

Vica – This is a very special place for our camp. It’s not only about protecting it during eviction, it’s also about taking care of it right now. Let’s make an effort and clean up after ourselves.

Occupy citizenship group
? – If you’re interested, we’d like to hear from you. We want volunteers. Next meeting is February 10th 3pm, don’t have a venue yet. Occupycitizenship@hotmail.co.uk is our e-mail.

Em – Just had a phone call from Matt, legal who can’t be here but asked me to say a few words. Nothing really new, just to clarify, on the 13th February, they’ll be telling us whether we’re allowed to appeal. If they tell us we’re allowed, they will also be hearing the appeals. So potentially by 13th afternoon we can be evicted, they might also rush through the appeal.

? – What’s happening on the 13th is the review. I know for a fact that some of the people who have put in an appeal have put in a request for a stay of execution until the appeal is heard.

Em – Matt did say very clearly that they are intending to hear the appeal on the same day, if the right to appeal is granted. He also said it’s ok to go and march down wherever it is.

International commission/outreach
Ana – working on summarising the achievements of the occupation from each working group, people they have helped, actions and initiatives taken. It’s going to be important to disseminate this information to other occupations. I’ll need a lot of support from everybody. I’ll be sending out an e-mail with the four questions. Mail Ana (axixetic@gmail.com) for more.

? – Would like to ask everyone to show solidarity for more vulnerable people, it’s very cold weather, please talk to them, and make sure they’re ok.

 

 
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